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#54185 - 04/20/20 07:58 AM Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued...
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
So, our friend has the same ISP and has High Sierra. He has no problems with the reviews. I also had no problems when I used my cell phone without wi-fi. So, now my question is: Could it be our router? It's a Belkin and pretty old. I don't know the model number. I've noticed that most of the routers nowadays have obvious antennas on them except for some of the mesh routers. What do you think?

I've resisted getting a new router because I don't know how to set it up, and am afraid I could screw everything up and then we have no internet.

I also have older TP-Link power adaptors working off our router to power our Tivo. I don't want that messed up either.


Edited by cyn (05/03/20 09:56 AM)
Edit Reason: Topic moved from Peripherals to Networking.
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#54189 - 04/20/20 09:50 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: plantsower]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Based on the discussion and posts in the other forum (Amazon issue) I would be inclined to say it is not a hardware problem. If you are experiencing slowdowns, delays, etc. I would consider the hardware, but not for this Amazon issue.
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#54192 - 04/20/20 10:02 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: Ira L]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
OK, thanks Ira.


Originally Posted By: Ira L
Based on the discussion and posts in the other forum (Amazon issue) I would be inclined to say it is not a hardware problem. If you are experiencing slowdowns, delays, etc. I would consider the hardware, but not for this Amazon issue.
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#54197 - 04/20/20 01:54 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: plantsower]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The tendency is to think of routers like an appliance, but believe it or not they have firmware (that is somewhere between hardware and software) that controls their operation and that needs to be updated occasionally, for a couple of reasons:
  1. SECURITY: In the past year a vulnerability in network protocols was discovered and patches/updates were released to many routers to remove that vulnerability.
  2. Bugs: Developers make mistakes and bugs do creep in
  3. Speed: Wifi protocols are evolving. In roughly the last ten years WiFi standards have evolved from 802.11b through 802.11g and 802.11n to 802.11ac and there is talk of 802.11x. Each change has improved WiFi speeds added additional frequency bands, channels, improved channel spacing, etc. all while maintaining backward compatibility to older standards which is a neat trick.
The first two items can be fixed in a firmware update the third can sometimes be a firmware change depending on design and implementation but is more likely to require new hardware. If your MacBook was built in 2014 or later it is capable of 802.11ac and you might enjoy a noticeable bump in internet performance if your router were also capable of 802.11ac and you are connected using a channel in the 5GHz band.

The point is: Routers do need to be updated but the mechanism for updating routers varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and possibly even from model to model and is known to very few users. If, and that is a very big if, you have registered with the router manufacturer they will generally notify you of updates and instructions on how to install them when they occur. If you did not register you are on your own. My mesh router for several reasons keeps in contact with the manufacturer and downloads and installs updates late at night when there is little or no network traffic and I only way I ever know about it is if I happen to be up and notice the tiny light on one of the pucks slowly blinking off and on.

You mentioned antenna on the newer routers, those are intended to help shape the WiFi radiation pattern and thereby extend the signal further in a desired direction. My mesh router on the other hand extends its signal via multiple small low powered antenna-less pucks scattered through the house talking among themselves on one band and generating their own signal on both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands for the various devices to connect to.
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#54198 - 04/20/20 02:15 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: joemikeb]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Yes, I noticed that some of the mesh routers without antennae are sold in 2's, 3's and 4's, I guess so they can be scattered. My question would be if I update the firmware in my Belkin (if it can be updated since it's so old), would it affect my modem so that I would need a new one? I don't want to update my router if it means nothing works after that because something else is out of date. My Apple is an early 2015, so I guess that's one good thing. I will wait until you answer this question before I attempt to update the firmware.


Originally Posted By: joemikeb
The tendency is to think of routers like an appliance, but believe it or not they have firmware (that is somewhere between hardware and software) that controls their operation and that needs to be updated occasionally, for a couple of reasons:
  1. SECURITY: In the past year a vulnerability in network protocols was discovered and patches/updates were released to many routers to remove that vulnerability.
  2. Bugs: Developers make mistakes and bugs do creep in
  3. Speed: Wifi protocols are evolving. In roughly the last ten years WiFi standards have evolved from 802.11b through 802.11g and 802.11n to 802.11ac and there is talk of 802.11x. Each change has improved WiFi speeds added additional frequency bands, channels, improved channel spacing, etc. all while maintaining backward compatibility to older standards which is a neat trick.
The first two items can be fixed in a firmware update the third can sometimes be a firmware change depending on design and implementation but is more likely to require new hardware. If your MacBook was built in 2014 or later it is capable of 802.11ac and you might enjoy a noticeable bump in internet performance if your router were also capable of 802.11ac and you are connected using a channel in the 5GHz band.

The point is: Routers do need to be updated but the mechanism for updating routers varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and possibly even from model to model and is known to very few users. If, and that is a very big if, you have registered with the router manufacturer they will generally notify you of updates and instructions on how to install them when they occur. If you did not register you are on your own. My mesh router for several reasons keeps in contact with the manufacturer and downloads and installs updates late at night when there is little or no network traffic and I only way I ever know about it is if I happen to be up and notice the tiny light on one of the pucks slowly blinking off and on.

You mentioned antenna on the newer routers, those are intended to help shape the WiFi radiation pattern and thereby extend the signal further in a desired direction. My mesh router on the other hand extends its signal via multiple small low powered antenna-less pucks scattered through the house talking among themselves on one band and generating their own signal on both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands for the various devices to connect to.
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#54204 - 04/20/20 03:28 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: plantsower]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
You would not have to update your modem if you updated your router. They are separate and distinct devices and communicate with one another via ethernet and probably way faster than either your modem or router are capable of.

Do you know if your internet connection is cable or DSL? Cable protocols have changed in the last few years and my ISP updated my modem pretty much the same way I described my mesh router being upgraded. (I have also had two cable modems burn out which is why I now rent the modem rather than buy one. It worked cheaper in the long run. But that is another story.)

FWIW setting up my mesh router was a piece of cake. I used an app on my iPhone to give the network a name and password, and open an account with the router manufacturer (there is a small monthly subscription) and that was about it. The trickiest part was placing the other pucks to optimize the signal throughout the house and shop. But that was mostly trim and error. I would place a puck, wait for it to be discovered and join the net then a few days later use the app on my iPhone to check the signal quality and move it if necessary. Every week or so, the computer in Washington State reshuffles the interconnections based on traffic load and flow and that is about it. Once I got a phone call from the company that one of my pucks appeared to have failed, and they were sending a replacement.
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#54206 - 04/20/20 05:04 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: joemikeb]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Wow, that sounds like a good company. Believe it or not, our ISP is via microwave! Microwave Technology


Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You would not have to update your modem if you updated your router. They are separate and distinct devices and communicate with one another via ethernet and probably way faster than either your modem or router are capable of.

Do you know if your internet connection is cable or DSL? Cable protocols have changed in the last few years and my ISP updated my modem pretty much the same way I described my mesh router being upgraded. (I have also had two cable modems burn out which is why I now rent the modem rather than buy one. It worked cheaper in the long run. But that is another story.)

FWIW setting up my mesh router was a piece of cake. I used an app on my iPhone to give the network a name and password, and open an account with the router manufacturer (there is a small monthly subscription) and that was about it. The trickiest part was placing the other pucks to optimize the signal throughout the house and shop. But that was mostly trim and error. I would place a puck, wait for it to be discovered and join the net then a few days later use the app on my iPhone to check the signal quality and move it if necessary. Every week or so, the computer in Washington State reshuffles the interconnections based on traffic load and flow and that is about it. Once I got a phone call from the company that one of my pucks appeared to have failed, and they were sending a replacement.
_________________________
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#54443 - 05/02/20 08:49 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: joemikeb]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
I looked and couldn't find the post where we talked about trying out Starbucks and that I used Tor. Anyway, now that I have my new router, I have zero problems reading reviews on Amazon with all three browsers. It was the router the whole time! It seemed to work for everything else. So weird. Thanks for all your help.

Rita


Originally Posted By: joemikeb
You would not have to update your modem if you updated your router. They are separate and distinct devices and communicate with one another via ethernet and probably way faster than either your modem or router are capable of.

Do you know if your internet connection is cable or DSL? Cable protocols have changed in the last few years and my ISP updated my modem pretty much the same way I described my mesh router being upgraded. (I have also had two cable modems burn out which is why I now rent the modem rather than buy one. It worked cheaper in the long run. But that is another story.)

FWIW setting up my mesh router was a piece of cake. I used an app on my iPhone to give the network a name and password, and open an account with the router manufacturer (there is a small monthly subscription) and that was about it. The trickiest part was placing the other pucks to optimize the signal throughout the house and shop. But that was mostly trim and error. I would place a puck, wait for it to be discovered and join the net then a few days later use the app on my iPhone to check the signal quality and move it if necessary. Every week or so, the computer in Washington State reshuffles the interconnections based on traffic load and flow and that is about it. Once I got a phone call from the company that one of my pucks appeared to have failed, and they were sending a replacement.
_________________________
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iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#54444 - 05/03/20 12:08 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: plantsower]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: plantsower
It was the router the whole time! It seemed to work for everything else. So weird.

Good thing it was your router and not something on Amazon's end, because you'd have waited forever for them to fix it.

And my gut feeling from the very get-go that your issue had absolutely nothing to do with either your MBP or OS has been justified.

Now, can anybody explain what Rita's router might have been doing to have caused her problem?
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#54448 - 05/03/20 08:47 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Now, can anybody explain what Rita's router might have been doing to have caused her problem?
There are literally hundreds of lines of HTML and JavaScript involved in an Amazon page and it is not the easiest to read code so I am not particularly interested in spending hours digging through it to verify my suspicions. However my speculation is the router is blocking a link to an external page that it either doesn't like or is unable to handle for inexplicable reasons. If my speculation is accurate it could be a combination of a change, probably minor, in the code for the page on Amazon's part and out of date or faulty firmware in the router.
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#54453 - 05/03/20 10:10 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: joemikeb]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
That makes a lot of sense because I never updated my firmware. I wasn't aware I needed to until I brought it up here.


Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
Now, can anybody explain what Rita's router might have been doing to have caused her problem?
There are literally hundreds of lines of HTML and JavaScript involved in an Amazon page and it is not the easiest to read code so I am not particularly interested in spending hours digging through it to verify my suspicions. However my speculation is the router is blocking a link to an external page that it either doesn't like or is unable to handle for inexplicable reasons. If my speculation is accurate it could be a combination of a change, probably minor, in the code for the page on Amazon's part and out of date or faulty firmware in the router.
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#54455 - 05/03/20 10:15 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: artie505]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Yeah, maybe if I'd updated my router it would have changed for the better. I am ignorant of router stuff as is seen by all the trouble I had just setting one up. But, for now, it's working fine in spite of me.


Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: plantsower
It was the router the whole time! It seemed to work for everything else. So weird.

Good thing it was your router and not something on Amazon's end, because you'd have waited forever for them to fix it.

And my gut feeling from the very get-go that your issue had absolutely nothing to do with either your MBP or OS has been justified.

Now, can anybody explain what Rita's router might have been doing to have caused her problem?
_________________________
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iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#54460 - 05/03/20 10:28 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
Now, can anybody explain what Rita's router might have been doing to have caused her problem?
There are literally hundreds of lines of HTML and JavaScript involved in an Amazon page and it is not the easiest to read code so I am not particularly interested in spending hours digging through it to verify my suspicions. However my speculation is the router is blocking a link to an external page that it either doesn't like or is unable to handle for inexplicable reasons. If my speculation is accurate it could be a combination of a change, probably minor, in the code for the page on Amazon's part and out of date or faulty firmware in the router.

What routers do has always been a mystery to me. Thanks for clarifying at least a small part of it.

Based on what you said, it sounds like there's a possibility that Rita's simply having updated her firmware may have cured her Amazon problem without her having bought a new router.
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#54464 - 05/04/20 07:33 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Based on what you said, it sounds like there's a possibility that Rita's simply having updated her firmware may have cured her Amazon problem without her having bought a new router.

Yep, it might have.
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#54465 - 05/04/20 10:45 AM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: artie505]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
You guys may be right, but it made me nervous to do so, especially since I didn't have a backup router in case something went wrong.

The new router gave me fits anyway b/c I've never set one up and it was a nightmare for me. Now I sort of know what to do b/c of the info given here and the experience I gained by doing it. I plan to update the firmware on this one if I can. TP-Link people aren't easiest to deal with. I think I am registered with them, so they can let me know when an update is available.


Based on what you said, it sounds like there's a possibility that Rita's simply having updated her firmware may have cured her Amazon problem without her having bought a new router. [/quote]
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#54466 - 05/04/20 01:03 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: plantsower]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Your experience prompted me to dig into my Verizon Fios router's paperwork, and I learned that Verizon automatically updates its firmware. smile
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#54467 - 05/04/20 01:16 PM Re: Problems reading reviews on Amazon continued... [Re: artie505]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
That's good. I was told (read) that TP-Link will do it (automatically update) if you join their cloud. With all the confusion, I can't remember if I did or not. I think I did. But, some of the buttons don't work on their website so it makes it difficult to check. And everything is taken care of in China. They said I couldn't talk to anyone in the states because of the Corona Virus but I could talk to them in China. What?? Are they not hunkered down? I read that in Beijing and some other well known city there no one was ever quarantined and walking around freely. Other places are a different story. I'm not trying to get into politics, but thought it was odd that I can't even talk to a home bound techy.



Originally Posted By: artie505
Your experience prompted me to dig into my Verizon Fios router's paperwork, and I learned that Verizon automatically updates it. smile
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