Buffalo Technology Does Not Suck

Just got off the phone with Buffalo Technology tech support. They most definitely do not suck.

This morning, my house’s WiFi just stopped working entirely. I have a pretty new Buffalo Airstation WBR2-G54, which I bought because cnet seemed to like it, and because it comes with a repeater that extends the wireless range (and creates a new wired access point) simply by powering it up. I was sick of slow media transfer over 802.11b, since I use WiFi to play my music collection everywhere in the house. (I do have pangs of guilt at not buying a router with open source firmware, however, like the Linksys WRT54G).

After trying the standard tricks (resetting the router, different clients, etc.), I decided to call tech support. First plus: Buffalo has free 24/7 tech support for all customers.

The tech support guy I got was clearly clued in. He could tell right away that he didn’t need to ask me if the router was turned on. He also figured out pretty quickly that I run Debian, which is also the distribution that he was learning. I love the feeling of connecting with another Debian user, particularly a tech support person who you know must spend his entire day talking to clueless users—it’s like you have a secret handshake and you can skip all the bullshit.

Anyway, the problem turned out to be relatively simple: I just needed to change the wireless channel. It hadn’t occurred to me because nothing had changed recently in my home. According to the clued-in tech support guy, though, interference can come from quite far away sufficient to make a particular frequency totally unuseable. There is a large condo development going in across the street (probably about 300 feet from my router) and he said he had encountered problems with construction interfering with WiFi several times.

So I still think U-Haul Sucks, but I am firmly convinced that Buffalo does not.

(I’m also wondering if I should worry about interference that is so powerful as to knock out my whole wireless network coming from so far away).


  1. Steve Laniel Jan 28

    I understand that of the 11 channels that you can ostensibly choose for WiFi, only three are actually far enough apart to be usable — 1, 5, and 11. I have clients whose houses have four or five routers, and it turns into a nasty application of the pigeonhole principle to figure out which ones should get which channels.

    So I’d suspect that if a lot of people across the street get routers, you’ll have some problems. Aren’t new wireless protocols supposed to separate channels better?

  2. Adam Rosi-Kessel Jan 28

    The problem isn’t routers across the street–it’s crazy machines. I think that routers can actually coexist on more channels on 1, 5, and 11; it’s just that those are the only totally nonoverlapping frequencies.

  3. Tony Bartling Jan 28

    It’s actually 1, 6 and 11. The full bandwidth of each channel spreads 5 channels up and 5 down.

  4. Mike Spear Jun 22

    I think Buffalo does suck.
    My 250GB hard drive stopped working after 11 months. I had 100GB of family photos on it.
    Buffalo said they would try to recover the data but I received a new drive with nothing on it. When I asked about my data, they said they do not do that.
    Any company that manufactures any storage device should have the ability to recover data or at least try.
    By the way, I have a brand new Buffalo hard drive for sale with a USB interface for 10 bucks. Buyer beware.

  5. Zafar Iqbal Jan 11

    I absolutely agree, Buffalo SUCKS big time, First they conned me out of a rebate then the 250gb HD messed up after 14months.If it says Bullalo on it , I”m not buying.

  6. Network Professional May 18

    Buffalo SUCKS. Their warranty makes their products TRASH. We have had multiple failures, they do not provide a repair service once they are out of warranty!! We had MULTIPLE RAID NAS DEVICES with controller failures (different customers) out of warranty Buffalo’s message is loud and clear THROW YOUR DATA AND DEVICE AWAY AT THE END OF THE WARRANTY! From there “limited warranty” within the warranty period “Buffalo will, at its discretion, repair or replace the defective product.” End of warranty and these devices, WE RECOMMEND YOU DECOMMISSION ANY BUFFALO DEVICE AT END OF WARRANTY!

  7. MikeA Aug 21

    Buffalo most definitely sucks. Their modems are always dropping the signal, require continual resets, have half the range of comparable modems, and are the farthest thing from plug and play. The only thing good about Buffalo Technologies is that their Tech Support is right here in the USA. However, that’s a crapshoot because while half the tech support team is outstanding the other half is clueless. When it comes to the clueless ones you’d get better tech support if it was from India.

    Most recently I got tired of e constant dropping from my late model air station so I decided to set it up in my kids student apartment, where I hoped it would be better because of the short range. The Ethernet connection wouldn’t recognize the Internet (even though the computer did fine when directly connected though the modem). I called tech support and got a very knowledgable rep named Bill. He told me that the router would require manual ip configuration with my modem because the modem had a router built into it. He knew exactly what to do and had the Ethernet connection on the Internet in no time. However, the wireless connections were giving me limited connectivity. I called back and got a totally clueless moron named Tony; who had no clue of the problem and kept putting me on hold to ask for help between each step of the troubleshooting process. In the end he got the thing so screwed upmthat the Ethernet connection stopped working again at which point he gave up and just blamed a defect e modem even though it was working fine on the Ethernet be fire he messed up the configuration.. When I asked to speak with the guy I spoke to before (Bill) he told me that he was no longer there (even though I spoke to him just 30 minutes earlier). When I asked to speak with another rep he told me that there was nobody else there. I then asked him who he was talking to each time he put me on hold and he said a senior rep that was on the phone call. So he lied to me, and if that senior rep was really on another call he couldn’t have been very good because this guy Tony was putting me on hold to ask him a question every 10 seconds. I kept calling back but no one picked up my call so I gave up and threw their crappy router (that cost me $90) in the garbage, went to Walmart, got a $59 Netgear and lo and behold I only needed to plug it in and it self configured and had me accessing the Internet on the Ethernet almost instantaneously. I then configured the wireless in about one minute and was accessing the Internet wirelessly (all in less than 5 minutes soup to nuts). I should have done that before wasting nearly 4 hours trying to get the Buffalo router to work. I have to say it was almost worth the $90 to throw that Buffalo garbage in the trash where it belongs… BUFFALO SUCKS.

  8. Dustin Anderson Sep 20

    My experience with Buffalo is a 1 TB drive:
    – failed after 2 months
    – returned (to manufacturer) and replaced
    – failed after one month – I requested a refund but Buffalo said no
    – returned (to manufacturer) and replaced
    – Failed after a week

    I will be giving this hard drive to FREE GEEK to cut my losses.

    Describe it how you will but I will not buy another Buffalo product and tell my story to everyone I meet about the unreliability of the product and the poor complicated and poor service.

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