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Offline Tatoosh  
#1 Posted : Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:16:31 PM(UTC)
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Hello folks!

I am looking at replacing the rental modem/router on my Xfinity/Comcast account. I am pretty sure that I want to go with a separate modem and router, not a combined unit. My impression from a bit of reading is that the modem side of things rarely changes. But the router side may change features and therefore need upgrading as time goes along.

I will have 2 flatscreen TV's that are primarily for streamed entertainment. I will also have 2 desktop computers and a laptop that will connect, one Desktop wired and the other two computers will be WiFi. And two smart iPhones that run on WiFi at home mostly.

So, I guess I'll be looking at a dual band router and then a reliable modem to take advantage of my connection - currently at 25 Mbs, but I can upgrade that down the road. There are only 2 of us using the system so not all the connections will be running at once.

Any suggestions in terms of equipment or things I should be looking for when setting this up? I want to keep this around a budget of $150 total for the two pieces - the modem and the separate router.

Edited by user Thursday, March 23, 2017 7:05:14 PM(UTC)  | Reason: paragraphing

Turkey bacon is not really bacon. Pork jowl, pork belly, pork something ... slow cured, real smoke, real bacon.
Offline ottoyu34  
#2 Posted : Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:59:04 PM(UTC)
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Depending on the modem router combo provided from your telecom company, you should be able to disable router features and just make it run as gateway mode.

I personally have great experiences with Asus routers.
Offline Tatoosh  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 24, 2017 12:00:18 PM(UTC)
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Well, I do want to ditch the modem my provider ... uhm ... provides. They have this nasty habit of charging me a monthly rental. So part of the motivation for this is to stop enabling their sense of access to my wallet.

Oh, I know, I can't avoid the connection fees, but I can whittle them down a bit. So I will look at the Asus family of routers, to be sure. Thank you for the input, ottoyu34.

As for my modem, I've read that the more channels up and down you have, the better speed you will see. I'm not very informed on this aspect. I had thought bandwidth was the sole concern, so that 75 Mbs is much better than 25 Mbs. But now with channels being added to the fray, I guess I need to look for a modem with x channels?

Then a router that is dual band. Though I saw one that said it was tri-band. Tri-band? What uses that? My old iPhone 4s doesn't even do dual band. It is 2.4 ghz only device. My wife's 5s is dual band though. Are some devices tri-band? Are there cards for a desktop that can go tri-band? Or laptops that are tri-band? Or is Tri-band just a marketing hoopla at this point?

So much to learn. <sigh>

Edited by user Friday, March 24, 2017 12:01:16 PM(UTC)  | Reason: sadly a lack of paragraphing again

Turkey bacon is not really bacon. Pork jowl, pork belly, pork something ... slow cured, real smoke, real bacon.
Offline ottoyu34  
#4 Posted : Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:23:48 AM(UTC)
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Hey Totoosh, ISP here usually provide modems and charge people rental fees. I am with a small ISP and I bought my modem from their retailer outright for about $100. They provide a list of supported modems on their network and I can probably find a cheap one from the used market, but I don't bother.

My house has been equipped with a coaxial cable for TV and internet service since day 1, the same line when from 5Mbps to 60Mbps now usually done by ways like Frequency-division multiplexing.

Router is more than a dumb plastic box now. Most have a decently powerful CPU and Ram on it handle the increase in demand of throughput of connectivity services.

I have an Asus N router, you could look into AC now if budget allows. The coverage and speed increase for new routers are amazing.

Dual band is basically independent 2.4/5Ghz band. Tri is single 2.4ghz and two 5Ghz for better allowance of traffic.

Most cell phones are single antenna, only one stream is supported at one time. Some tablets or high end phones will do two streams, 2X2. Basically doubling up the bandwidth.
Offline Tatoosh  
#5 Posted : Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:31:58 AM(UTC)
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Wow, thank you for the intro. That is exactly what I needed to get started. I will look at the AC routers, though I'm pretty sure the tri-band routers will be outside my budget. But if I go with my own modem and separate router, some day upgrading to a tri-band, if necessary, would not pose a problem.

I know what to look for now. Much appreciate, ottoyu34!
Turkey bacon is not really bacon. Pork jowl, pork belly, pork something ... slow cured, real smoke, real bacon.
Offline ottoyu34  
#6 Posted : Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:38:54 AM(UTC)
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It depends on what kind of network requirements you have. As an example, a family of four with two teenages who do online streaming and game will have different needs than a single dude living along in an apartment.

I personally is more than satisfied with my Asus N router which reach the basements and driveway, so I can stream music while I wash my car :)
Offline Blackhawk8100  
#7 Posted : Saturday, March 25, 2017 10:15:53 PM(UTC)
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Although this is not my forte, I can give some input. As otto said, it depends on your family and who uses the internet, but he forgot to mention your internet speeds and path of upgrade. If you live in the middle of nowhere Nebraska with satellite internet and no way to upgrade your speed or plan and don't want to move, there is no point in getting a high end router. However, if you live somewhere where you currently have good internet speeds and can get good internet speeds and plan to do so, and upgrade is a good idea. Also, most devices you find are not on the 5Ghz band, maybe an IPod or what not, and 5Ghz has a hard time penetrating walls, so there's that. I've worked with the Netgear line, and they are pretty nice. If you want to surf, I can start you there:

This is a Router/Modem combo for $200, a little over your price point but wiggle room still exists.
You can downgrade to just the router and find something like the modem I listed below.
It is all up to you.

https://www.amazon.com/d..._encoding=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.newegg.com/P...spx?Item=N82E16825124017
My Info:
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Offline digitaldd  
#8 Posted : Monday, March 27, 2017 1:50:47 PM(UTC)
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Some ISPs are continuing to charge you for the modem if you have their triple play services (where you have the company's phone service as well). Mostly this is due to the fact that the ISP provided modem has the connector to add phones while most consumer modems do not have the phone adapter on them. You could augment whatever cable modem you pick-up by buying a Cisco SPA112 or similar 2 port phone adapter if you have phone service from your cable company.
Offline Tatoosh  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 1:37:03 PM(UTC)
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Much appreciate the added info, everyone. I am running only my internet through Xfinity/Comcast. I'm also doing only streaming services such Amazon Prime and Netflix. Tried Sling for a bit and dropped it. May add Hulu down the road. My current speed is the 25 megabytes area and, if necessary, I can upgrade to their next tier, which is 75 megabytes, I think.

I do want to try separate units, not a combined one. I know more channels are better. I did not realize that the 5 mghz signals had worse penetration. I thought they'd be better. Right now only my wife's iPhone 5s supports the 5mghz connection.

I have my TV and my current desktop connected via ethernet. However, a second desktop and TV will appear someday and those will be WiFi. We are living in an apartment, wood frame construction, so there are walls, but not the heavy concrete stuff found in the Philippines. The distances are not great, maybe 30 feet or so?

The 24x8 channel modems are pretty pricey. I am guessing I will have to settle for a 16x4 version, maybe the NetGear CM500. It lists at $89 for the modem only. Then an ASUS Ac1750 for roughly $60 or less. Not the hottest setup, but easy to upgrade the router if necessary and I don't see dropping the bucks for the 24x8 modem anywhere in the near future given there are only 2 of us using the system the vast majority of the time.

Yes, I'm looking your link Blackhawk and it is one tempting puppy! 32x8 modem and a nighthawk router. Darn! Double Darn! Only $60 or $70 more and a big jump in capability. Ohhh ... I just hate it when I get so tempted by better tech.

Note: I started hunting for a $400 flat screen tv. That was my budget. I decided I might push it to $500 for the right one. The more I researched, the more frustrated I got with the features in that price range. I held off for months trying to find the sweet deal. Which never came. I finally pulled the trigger $720 plus tax. OUCH! But I ended up with what I really wanted. A 4k screen, viewable from angles, very good up-scaling of 1080p signals. My wallet weeps but I'm completely satisfied with the tv and buyers remorse only lasted a couple of days before it's good features had me smiling.


Turkey bacon is not really bacon. Pork jowl, pork belly, pork something ... slow cured, real smoke, real bacon.
Offline Blackhawk8100  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 2:50:28 PM(UTC)
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Congrats on the new TV!
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Offline Tatoosh  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 6:15:53 PM(UTC)
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Thanks!
Turkey bacon is not really bacon. Pork jowl, pork belly, pork something ... slow cured, real smoke, real bacon.
Offline digitaldd  
#12 Posted : Thursday, March 30, 2017 9:26:33 AM(UTC)
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Tatoosh, in an apartment you definitely don't need a wireless router with tons of range just a strong signal. If you do 2.4 & 5ghz scans using a computer or phone do you see a lot of other access points which you'll be competing with? I say this as an apartment dweller myself as I can see over 100 APs in my building and as a result didn't have decent WiFi until I got a 1900ac router, though I do have a large 1 bedroom apartment at around 900 sq ft.
Offline ottoyu34  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, April 05, 2017 10:04:40 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Tatoosh Go to Quoted Post
Much appreciate the added info, everyone. I am running only my internet through Xfinity/Comcast. I'm also doing only streaming services such Amazon Prime and Netflix. Tried Sling for a bit and dropped it. May add Hulu down the road. My current speed is the 25 megabytes area and, if necessary, I can upgrade to their next tier, which is 75 megabytes, I think.

I do want to try separate units, not a combined one. I know more channels are better. I did not realize that the 5 mghz signals had worse penetration. I thought they'd be better. Right now only my wife's iPhone 5s supports the 5mghz connection.

I have my TV and my current desktop connected via ethernet. However, a second desktop and TV will appear someday and those will be WiFi. We are living in an apartment, wood frame construction, so there are walls, but not the heavy concrete stuff found in the Philippines. The distances are not great, maybe 30 feet or so?

The 24x8 channel modems are pretty pricey. I am guessing I will have to settle for a 16x4 version, maybe the NetGear CM500. It lists at $89 for the modem only. Then an ASUS Ac1750 for roughly $60 or less. Not the hottest setup, but easy to upgrade the router if necessary and I don't see dropping the bucks for the 24x8 modem anywhere in the near future given there are only 2 of us using the system the vast majority of the time.

Yes, I'm looking your link Blackhawk and it is one tempting puppy! 32x8 modem and a nighthawk router. Darn! Double Darn! Only $60 or $70 more and a big jump in capability. Ohhh ... I just hate it when I get so tempted by better tech.

Note: I started hunting for a $400 flat screen tv. That was my budget. I decided I might push it to $500 for the right one. The more I researched, the more frustrated I got with the features in that price range. I held off for months trying to find the sweet deal. Which never came. I finally pulled the trigger $720 plus tax. OUCH! But I ended up with what I really wanted. A 4k screen, viewable from angles, very good up-scaling of 1080p signals. My wallet weeps but I'm completely satisfied with the tv and buyers remorse only lasted a couple of days before it's good features had me smiling.




Newer router have a ton of features such as QoS; which will prioritise traffic within your network. For example, you could download files, stream videos, and do online gaming at the same time.
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