Thomson SpeedTouch 585 v5

3. ST585 v5 & v6

The ST585 v5 was effectively declared obsolete within Thomson as soon as the v6 was produced, and there have been no firmware updates since Release in April 2006. In May 2006 the v5 was still being sold in the UK as the current product. (The outcome was similar four years earlier when the ST510 v3.7 was superseded by the v4.)

This means that there will be no further updates to the v5 firmware, e.g. to fix the digest authentication problem with Microsoft IE 7 or to take advantage of improved handling of poor lines. Both these have been delivered in the Release 6.2 firmware for the ST585 v6 only. It would be nice to have the performance improvements; it is very poor indeed that the firmware bug preventing conservation of the digest authentication setting has not been fixed.

You might like to try asking Thomson SpeedTouch Support whether they will update the v5 firmware, but if you can actually persuade them to answer the question you are a better man than I am... They simply ignore the question or do not reply at all. We can only assume not.

The Thomson SpeedTouch Support people I have communicated with do not appreciate the technical differences between the v5 and the v6, (e.g. firmware incompatibility between the BANT-K board with Broadcom BCM6338 chipset in the v5 and the BANT-W board with Broadcom BCM6348 chipset in the v6), and even sent me firmware for the v6 when my support call asked for a digest authentication fix for the v5. This lack of familiarity with the technical aspects of the product line indicates a very poor level of training.

The 585 v7 superseded the v6 in 2008. The new model is branded as a Thomson Gateway: TG585v7. The SpeedTouch name has been dropped. Presumably there will be no more firmware updates for the v6, although it is unlikely this will be as important for the v6 as it has been for the v5.

The v5 is an excellent router in capabilities, performance and reliability, but it is disappointing that some aspects of technical support for it were in practical terms dropped well within the warranty year of a new purchase.

5 April 2008 (updated 25 July 2008)