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Belkin Fixes Router Snafu

Belkin announced Tuesday that it had resolved a “connectivity issue” that prevented many consumers who use Belkin routers from accessing the Internet.

“If your service has not yet been restored, please unplug your router and plug it back in after waiting 1 minute. Wait 5 more minutes and the router should reconnect,” Belkin told customers in this updated posting.

Belkin has yet to identify the root of the problem on that customer care thread, but noted that the company is “taking a number of actions to eliminate this sort of incident from reoccurring.” Earlier, Belkin provided users with several workarounds that enabled some of its customers to be back online by setting a static DNS address.

PC World, which speculated that the issue might’ve been tied to a firmware update, noted that a Reddit thread linked the problem to Belkin's “heartbeat” server.

Update: “One of our cloud services associated with maintaining router operations was negatively impacted by a change made in our data center that caused a false denial of service," Belkin said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. "Normal operations were restored by 3PM PST, however, some users might still be required to reset their router and/or cable modem to regain connectivity. Moving forward, we will continue to monitor, improve and validate the system to ensure our routers continue to work properly in the event connectivity to our cloud environment is not available.”

Although the issue was tied to Belkin, the problem also landed in the lap of ISPs, which were forced to step in, offer assistance, and to provide their broadband customers with options as they were dealing with temporarily bricked Belkin routers.

For example, Jason Livingood, vice president of Internet services at Comcast, reached out to Belkin via Twitter to see if it was helpful for the MSO redirect http://heartbeat.belkin.com to an internal IP.  Livingood also suggested on Twitter and on the DSL Reports message board that Comcast customers with XB2 or XB3 wirless gateways remove Belkin routers from the equation by plugging in via Ethernet or using the Comcast-supplied gateway’s  WiFi SSID.

Belkin told PC World that the issue affected select older Wireless-N Belkin router models, including the F9K1102, F9K1105, F9K1113 and F9K1116, and was investigating which other models might have been affected.