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hyperj123

Feedback on Netduma as a company

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So this might come off as I'm being an @$$hole but, I have a few issues about the company in general. First thing is first, we have the forum here for troubleshooting/feature requests and that allows for consumers of the product to assist with helping other users solve their issue or help expand on ideas for the product. That is a great idea. Here is why it works in many other cases but not here: DumaOS being closed sourced. This model has thrived in that ecosystem due to a product being open source. Even chrome which is closed source has the Chromium open source version. Another issue I have is a $200-$500 product being sold with no telephone, chat, or other means of industry standard communication for technical assistance. Yes Netgear has technical support, but since they are not the provider of the OS I highly doubt they have same knowledge and understand as the forum admins here do. That brings me to my 3rd issue. I have been working in the technology field for now over 10 years. Going through some of the forum posts and also ones that I have created pertaining to issues with the OS I see a lot of cookie cutter troubleshooting. Factory reset, downgrade firmware and upgrade back to it, turn it off and turn it back on. While these solutions do work for the time being that does not solve the actual issue of why it is occurring. Now I do have faith that some of the error codes that are posted or log files that are posted are being sent to devs and are working on reducing these issues. I'm not expecting this product to work with out fault. I understand that the DumaOS for the R1 is in Open Beta. Lastly is the cat and mouse games with the geofilter. If a new game comes out tomorrow without warning we want to use our router with that new game come day one or day two. This ties in with the fact that the OS is closed source and we are solely reliant on you guys to provide free updates to support a game.  With all of that being said here are some of my thoughts on how to address the issues I have mentioned. 

Make the OS Open Source or at least allow a "basic" version of the OS without the bells and whistles and open up the development for DumaOS to the public. The best part about this is if there are apps, bug fixes, or features, this will rapidly grow the usability and stability of the router. 

Implement an industry standard tech support system not a simple forum. Users that have purchased a device (at least as far as here in the US) expect some sort of professional support where they can get a human response in X amount of minutes. 

Implement a bug tracker system where we can report an issue and check on it to see that the status. i.e. received bug report, identified issue, testing patch, bug fixed or something like that. 

Reach out to game developers or publishers and see if you can get a heads up of where clusters are for the servers. Attempt to get early access to a games online functionality and place it in your environment so when a game drops it's supported immediately. 

 

To the admins and mods of this forum, and employees of Netduma please take this constructively. You guys changed the game with this router. As a consumer I want this product to be hooked up in every gamer setup because it has huge potential and I love the product (when it works lol). Thank you for taking the time to read this and I'm absolutely open to discussing in more depth some of the points I have made. 

*If this is in the wrong section please move*

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The slow updates are the only thing that bothers me and I think making DumaOS open source would be a cool idea as well.

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Thanks for the feedback.

We're not going to be making DumaOS open source. As a software company, our software is our most important asset, and while it would be nice to make it all available for free to everybody, and it certainly would make troubleshooting easier, the reality is that we need to make money in order to continue development. That's the business model right now.

I understand your concerns regarding the "cookie cutter support". I've only been in this position about a month now, so i'm having to learn pretty fast. When the company was smaller with fewer users, it may have been practical to send every single issue straight to the developers, but right now that's just not practical, so we have to prioritise. We make a note of every issue that's reported, and we start fixing the most widespread issues first. This does take time though, so often the only thing that can be offered are cookie cutter responses.

One of the things i'm currently working on is making our Knowledge Base much more extensive. I'd like to enable most people to be able to get the help they need without having to contact us. We also have a bit of a problem right now where diagnosing whether the problem is a NETGEAR firmware problem or a DumaOS problem is tricky. We are working hard on improving this situation though.

From our point of view, there are many variables in people's network setup, and a lot of those variables are unique and separate from our software. For example, I can hardly be expected to know the exact method of setting up every modem in existence to produce an open NAT. However, I am learning, and if somebody comes in with a problem I've seen before and solved, that second time around it will be much quicker. Common ISP routers and modems are easy enough but if somebody has a really unusual modem, it can be hard to dig up any information online.

Now regarding the Geo-Filter. The current system we have for reporting and relocating servers seems to me (personally, not as a company) quite slow and cumbersome. We are aware of this though and we have some ideas which I think will make it better for everybody. However I can't talk about upcoming features because i'll get in trouble. Just be aware that we know the current system has issues. I will say though that the Geo-Filter is still a unique offering, and since we're pioneers in this space it's understandable that there'll need to be experimentation and adjustment.

Regarding reaching out to game devs, I like this idea. However I wonder if devs would rather just put a server selector in their game rather than relying on an external solution? Like, if there's no way to choose your server in the game, I can only guess that was an intentional decision by the devs. Seen in that light, DumaOS might seem adversarial to them, despite the fact that we're fully on the side of the players, always. One thing we're working on is being able to tell the difference between various types of traffic coming from consoles, but it's a much harder problem than you might imagine.

There are plans to evolve DumaOS into more of a platform. The reason our features are called R-Apps is because the eventual plan is to have a Storefront and ability for R-Apps to be created by the community. As with any new features though, we can't put a time frame on it. Because we work with NETGEAR, any promises we make could be considered a breach of NDA, so we have to keep real quiet. I'm trying to get through to you though that we're working hard on new features all the time. I can see the devs across from me working all the time.

Anyway thanks a lot for your feedback, it was constructive. We're always improving and I can't wait to show you how we're going to address these concerns.

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On 6/11/2019 at 7:34 AM, Netduma Alex said:

Thanks for the feedback.

We're not going to be making DumaOS open source. As a software company, our software is our most important asset, and while it would be nice to make it all available for free to everybody, and it certainly would make troubleshooting easier, the reality is that we need to make money in order to continue development. That's the business model right now.

I understand your concerns regarding the "cookie cutter support". I've only been in this position about a month now, so i'm having to learn pretty fast. When the company was smaller with fewer users, it may have been practical to send every single issue straight to the developers, but right now that's just not practical, so we have to prioritise. We make a note of every issue that's reported, and we start fixing the most widespread issues first. This does take time though, so often the only thing that can be offered are cookie cutter responses.

One of the things i'm currently working on is making our Knowledge Base much more extensive. I'd like to enable most people to be able to get the help they need without having to contact us. We also have a bit of a problem right now where diagnosing whether the problem is a NETGEAR firmware problem or a DumaOS problem is tricky. We are working hard on improving this situation though.

From our point of view, there are many variables in people's network setup, and a lot of those variables are unique and separate from our software. For example, I can hardly be expected to know the exact method of setting up every modem in existence to produce an open NAT. However, I am learning, and if somebody comes in with a problem I've seen before and solved, that second time around it will be much quicker. Common ISP routers and modems are easy enough but if somebody has a really unusual modem, it can be hard to dig up any information online.

Now regarding the Geo-Filter. The current system we have for reporting and relocating servers seems to me (personally, not as a company) quite slow and cumbersome. We are aware of this though and we have some ideas which I think will make it better for everybody. However I can't talk about upcoming features because i'll get in trouble. Just be aware that we know the current system has issues. I will say though that the Geo-Filter is still a unique offering, and since we're pioneers in this space it's understandable that there'll need to be experimentation and adjustment.

Regarding reaching out to game devs, I like this idea. However I wonder if devs would rather just put a server selector in their game rather than relying on an external solution? Like, if there's no way to choose your server in the game, I can only guess that was an intentional decision by the devs. Seen in that light, DumaOS might seem adversarial to them, despite the fact that we're fully on the side of the players, always. One thing we're working on is being able to tell the difference between various types of traffic coming from consoles, but it's a much harder problem than you might imagine.

There are plans to evolve DumaOS into more of a platform. The reason our features are called R-Apps is because the eventual plan is to have a Storefront and ability for R-Apps to be created by the community. As with any new features though, we can't put a time frame on it. Because we work with NETGEAR, any promises we make could be considered a breach of NDA, so we have to keep real quiet. I'm trying to get through to you though that we're working hard on new features all the time. I can see the devs across from me working all the time.

Anyway thanks a lot for your feedback, it was constructive. We're always improving and I can't wait to show you how we're going to address these concerns.

I totally get where you are coming from. My main thing obviously is that I want this product to be THE product for gamers. It has such huge potential. As stupid as it sounds I want Netduma to be the best Netduma it can damn well be. To address having game devs put a server selector in their games wouldn't necessarily change things. For example. You can select your server on Apex Legends but nodes in that cluster might have a terrible tick or other networking issues that impact your gameplay. For that reason alone I see the geofilter to be of use as I can ban that particular node. Thanks for answering my feedback post. I love you guys. DO GREAT THINGS!

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