Brand new Archer VR900 hosed its config after reboot, wouldn't even start up

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Brand new Archer VR900 hosed its config after reboot, wouldn't even start up

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Brand new Archer VR900 hosed its config after reboot, wouldn't even start up
Brand new Archer VR900 hosed its config after reboot, wouldn't even start up
2017-03-04 09:03:49
Model :

Hardware Version :

Firmware Version :

ISP :

I spent a long time researching which router to buy to replace my Sky provided SR102. I wanted 4 GigE ports, VDSL2 with MER, and 802.11ac.
I should add that the SR102 has limited features but has been rock solid for years. The main reason to replace was for better wifi, since 2.4GHz is getting a bit congested due to neighbours' access points.

Within a day of configuring the Archer VR900 V2 I noticed frequent dropouts watching TV on demand on a wired connection to the PS4 which had never happened in three years of using the Sky's own routers (SR102, and before that an SR101 with separate OpenReach modem).
The Sky router gives me speeds of 38Mbps down and 8.5 up on the Fibre Unlimited 40Mb FttC service.
The Archer VR900 gives me 36.5Mbps down and 7.5 up - quite a significant performance degradation.
For info, my OpenReach line is fed from an a ECI cabinet, not a Huawei one. I think I read somewhere that using a Broadcom VDSL chipset (as in this product) with an ECI DSLAM isn't likely to be as good as with a Huawei DSLAM.

Anyhow, I had spent quite a long time configuring the Archer, setting up IP reservations for all my devices so they don't spam my media server connected devices list, retrieving my credentials and MAC address from the Sky router, configuring the wifi, all my port forwarding rules and so on. Today I tried to reboot the router from the web UI. And it hosed the whole unit. It wouldn't even start - just got the blinking power icon LED. I called support, they said that was the firmware flash progress indicator and asked if I'd tried to flash the firmware. I hadn't. There isn't even an alternative firmware for this model - only the release version exists.

I'm very disappointed that this device's firmware could be so shoddy that it would trash the config during a simple reboot. When travelling I sometimes rely on remote access to systems at home, so any evidence of this kind of issue is a total red flag. Back in the early days of ADSL it used to be that you were far better off with your own separately purchased router, but that difference was soon eroded by reliable ISP kit. After 15 years of using various ISP's own routers (BeUnlimited, Bulldog, Orange, O2) this is my first dedicated router purchase since a Netgear DG834G in the early days of wifi. I thought things had moved on reliability-wise since then. TP-Link seem to have proved otherwise.

The VDSL sync rates are a fair bit worse than the ISP-provided kit and the dropouts are completely unacceptable. All in all his level of unreliability is shocking for something which is not cheap to buy. I shall be returning this product. The Sky router may have poor specs, but it is a very competent VDSL modem. I think I will try the Sky Hub 3.0 instead (which is effectively the Sky Q router). Annoyingly it only has 2 GigE ports, but given how reliable the SR102 was - I have high hopes it will be better than the Archer. I'll just have to buy a switch also.
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Re:Brand new Archer VR900 hosed its config after reboot, wouldn't even start up
2017-03-05 01:28:33
The Archer recovered after I held in the reset button and reset it to factory defaults. But a router that spontaneously does that do itself is not fit for commercial release in my opinion.
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