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Cisco Small Business products - are they all rubbish?

johnboggon
Level 1
Level 1

Over the past 12 months I've purchased the following products from the Cisco Small Business range;

1 x Cisco WIP310 Wireless-G IP Phone

3 x Cisco WAP4410N Wireless Access Points

2 x Cisco VC220 Dome network cameras

1 x Cisco VC240 Bullet network camera

The experience I've had with every single one of these devices has been appalling. A faulty device I can understand. A device that has the occasional glitch I can also understand, but none of these devices has even come close to performing anywhere near to their advertised levels.

Some specifics.

The Cisco WIP310 Wireless-G IP phone

This device simply refuses to stay connected to a wireless access point. It will drop out, sometimes within minutes, always within a couple of hours. Finally, thinking it was the AP i was using (we tried Snapgear, Netgear, Belkin, and even D-Link) I bought a Cisco WAP4410N. That just made things worse (see below).

The phone was RMA'ed, and the firmware updated. I finally ended up throwing it in a cupboard and writing it off as a dud.

The Cisco WAP4410N Access Points.

I bought the first one of these to try and improve the WIP310 phones network connection. When I ditched the phone, I kept the AP and used it to provide connectivity to various iPhones. iPads, laptops, and game consoles we have around the house. It replaced an old 3Com unit that had worked flawlessly for several years.

For the first couple of weeks the AP seemed to work OK, and when a requirement came up for another 2 AP's at my office, I simply bought 2 more of these.

Ever since then I had to suffer daily device lockups. Without fail, once every 24 hours, 2 of the 3 lock up sold, requiring a power cycle to fix. No errors in the logs, nothing to indicate why. Only 1 of them is stable. I've upgraded the firmware on them as it becomes available, but it makes no difference. The same problem remains.

The Cisco VC220 and 240 cameras.

Not being a person to learn from past mistakes, and apparently a glutton for punishment, when I needed some IP surveillence cameras I immediately turned to the trusted Cisco brand, and bought 2 x VC220 dome cameras and a VC240 bullet camera. These things are expensive, and appear to be well built. The reviews I could find on the net had nothing but praise for the entire range.

Well, of the 3 cameras, one VC220 locks up solid every 24 hours requiring a power cycle, and the image quality from the VC240 is absolutely atrocious. I've seen better streaming video from a $20 webcam. It's night vision image is even worse.

The last VC200 seems to be working OK (so far)

The two faulty cameras have been RMA'ed. I'm waiting on the replacements. (

RMA/Service Order# 84013189 - Service Request# 618931311 and

RMA/Service Order# 84013196 - Service Request# 618931527)

If they exhibit the same problems, the whole lot will be returned with a request for a refund.

This whole experience has completely soured my attitude towards Cisco. Do large corporations REALLY use cisco devices to connect and route their networks? I suspect not for much longer if this is any example. 5 out of 7 devices with a cost of about $3000 that don't operate as advertised.

Am I just having a bad run here? The Cisco support forums seem to be full of people having the same issues with the same gear, so I supect the answer is no.

John.

6 Replies 6

Eric Moyers
Level 7
Level 7

Hi, my name is Eric Moyers. I am a Network Support Engineer in the Cisco Small Business Support Center. First let me say thank you for using the community forums to let us know about your issues. This is exactly the reason that we started this.

I am very sorry that you are having issues with your equipment. I am the Wireless and Surveillance Subject Matter for this Support Center and I would like to offer my assistance to you.

It looks like your issues can be separated into three groups, WIP310, WAP4410N and the Cameras. (The VC220s and VC240 can be worked together.)

For the WAP4410N, the current FW that is available is the 2.0.4.2. With the new code 2.0.4.2, we have has many successes in fixing the issue that you are experiencing. If you are currently on that did you do a factory default and then manually reconfigure your settings after upgrading? If not please do that. The reason that we suggest do the manual reconfigure is that sometimes when you do a backup and restore, some of the old fw code is kept and reused. This will play havoc with the device and make it seem like nothing was fixed. If you have currently already followed all of this, let me know and we will dig even deeper.

For your issues with the cameras, I see that you have already created a case and have an RMA in place. Did the agent you worked with do any troubleshooting? If so what did you go over? If the RMA does not fix the issue, please let me know. There may be some further things I can look at.

For you WIP310, I see you also had this phone RMA’d. DO you have the case or RMA number? I tried looking up your info but didn't see any. I would like to research that case and see what was done to help you and make sure that all bases were covered.

Please be assured that we (Cisco) believe in our products and appreciate your business. I promise that I will do everything in my power to make sure that you are taken care of and completely satisfied with us and our support of our products.

Looking forward to your response

Regards,

Eric Moyers

Cisco Network Support Engineer

CCNA, CCNA-Wireless

1-866-606-1866

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your email.

I've now received Service Order shipment notices for the two cameras, so the new ones are on the way back. Hopefully they will work as expected.

The service representative who took the initial call regarding these cameras did no trouble shooting once he found out they were brand new. He simply arranged the RMA.

The RMA for the WIP310 was 83557685. I've resurrected the phone from the dead zone at the back of the cupboard, and have reconfigured it to talk to the WAP4410N access point.

I set a new SSID up on the 4410 just for the WIP310. No encryption of any kind, but access locked down to the phone's MAC. Not ideal, but the phone has now remained registered to our SIP server for over 12 hours - a record.

I've done as you suggested with the 4410, and done a factory reset and manual reconfiguration. The next 24 hours will tell us if the problem has been fixed. If it makes it past that mark, we'll try the same procedure on the other 4410's on our network.

Your email arrived just in time - I was (honestly, no joke!) just about to order one of D-Link's business grade AP's, the DAP-2690. I've suspended that for now.

John Boggon (CISSP)

john@stalient.com.au

www.stalient.com.au<>

Hi Eric,

The replacement cameras arrived today and have been installed.

While the VC 240 looks to be ok, the VC220 has a problem with night mode. The IR leds are not switching on, so the thing is as blind as a bat after dark.

I've tried all the configuration settings in the camera that relate to this, including setting the IR LED's to disabled, and back again. No luck.

You can actually see the LEDS are not functional. In both the other cameras the IR LEDs are visible with a faint red glow when they are operational. In this VC220 they remain dark.

Is this a fault I can take up with you, or do I need to contact support again?

John Boggon (CISSP)

john@stalient.com.au

www.stalient.com.au<>

Hello Mr. Boggan, just want to let you know that I had seen this message and tell you I am giving a training class today on these devices. I can most assuredly help you with this. I will contact you tomorrow about this issue. If you wanted to send me your Cisco UserID, Camera Serial number I can go ahead get started on it when I come in, in the morning. Please send it to emoyers@cisco.com.

What I will have to do is get you escalated up to our Tier two group for some beta FW for the VC220.

Eric Moyers

Hi Eric,

For what it is worth I too am having problems with the WIP310. We constantly have them disconnecting from our wireless network etc.

Is there a new firmware planned for release ?

Cheers

David

Hello Mr. Wadley, Thank you for your post. Currently there is no new firmware planned that I am aware of since this phone is nearing end of sale/end of life. What does your current network look like? This will give me a better idea of what might be happening.

Eric