Belkin apologises for mass router disconnections

October 8, 2014 // 11:25 a.m.

Tags: #belkin #connectivity #dns #heartbeatbelkincom #heartbeat-server #networking #router

Belkin has apologised to its customers following a server outage that knocked selected models of routers off the internet, stating it is looking into how to prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future.

The issue with Belkin's wireless routers reared its head late last night, when customers suddenly found themselves without connectivity. The issue was traced to a particular host, heartbeat.belkin.com, which the routers regularly ping to verify connectivity. With a network failure taking this host offline, many routers decided they were without a working internet connection and promptly stopped attempting to resolve hostnames via DNS. The result: users world-wide found their internet connections disabled, despite everything at their end working fine.

Users ringing Belkin's support lines found no aid, with the call volumes resulting in long wait times and disconnections. Those who did get through were told that there was no known solution, with Belkin announcing a work-around on its website - switching your computer's DNS servers to Google's public ones, rather than relying on the router to forward DNS queries - a few hours into the outage. More than five hours after its initial confirmation of the outage, Belkin restored connectivity to the heartbeat server.

'We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience to our customers,' the company claimed in a status report on the matter, claiming that the flaw only affected older router models. 'We are taking a number of actions to eliminate this sort of incident from reoccurring.'

Belkin has not yet issued a list of precisely which models of router are susceptible to the flaw, nor has it indicated how it intends to prevent them from being disabled when its heartbeat server is having connectivity issues of its own.
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