Westell 327W and Dell Wireless chipset issue: FIXED!For the longest time Verizon has been shipping the Westell 327W wireless router/switch/dsl modem to it's DSL customers. What their QA people never bothered to test were the major wireless cards' compatibility with the device. With the release of the new Broadcom chipset in the Dell 1490 (and other) wireless cards, functionality stopped. That's right, stopped. If you were lucky enough to have the Westell 327W and a wireless card with the Broadcom chipset, you weren't getting connected... to anything. It wouldn't even get an IP address. There were many support forum posts and much talk about how to resolve the problem. However, until 2006-09-25, the only fix was to buy a card that didn't use the Broadcom chipset.
I first ran into this problem with my sister's new laptop. I got her the Dell 1490 card, because it was A/B/G. She was going to college and I wanted to make sure she could connect to whatever WAP the college had. But I couldn't get the laptop connected to our WAP. That's when I found, on the Dell support forum, that there was no fix. So I swapped the Dell card for the equivalent Intel card. Finally, working wireless.
I stopped caring about the problem, because my personal laptop also had an Intel card, so as far as I was concerned, there was no problem. That was, until I got my computer from work. What do ya know... Dell 1490. So I placed a helpdesk call to get an Intel card for my laptop. While I was on the phone, I started searching again to see if anything new had come up. That's when I found that Verizon, not Westell, released firmware for the 327W to fix this issue. You read that right, the ACTUAL vendor didn't do squat. Verizon had to do all the dirty work. But, the firmware update was painless. I downloaded it, opened it, it scanned my network to find the router, loaded the firmware, installed it, rebooted the router, and bam! Back up.
Here is the firmware and here is the article where I read about it.
UPDATE: Some people may experience problems using the tool to update the router firmware. If you are one of the few, here is the UPG file. Login to the router's admin interface and do a local update with it.