Help me buy a modem or router or whatever this is.

Seels

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Jul 20, 2005
3,785
NH
I don't know why I didn't do this years ago.
Basically, my internet provider just increased what they charge, but specifically put it to the charge of the router, for whatever reason. So this shitty little router I have they're charging me $12 a month for, up from $9 just last month. I've rented this same thing for years, and it works well enough, but it just blows my mind they can increase the rental cost for a fixed price.

So, I need something so that I don't have to rent. I have no idea bout modems and routers. This is a 2 in 1, so I'd guess I need that.

Here's what I have: https://www.ebay.com/i/193646348907?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28

Any suggestions appreciated. I'm not concerned about price, though just looking for something to get the job done. Actually, should I just get the same thing and give this back to them? Or has router/modem technology noticeably improved in the last few years?
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
21,729
I don't know why I didn't do this years ago.
Basically, my internet provider just increased what they charge, but specifically put it to the charge of the router, for whatever reason. So this shitty little router I have they're charging me $12 a month for, up from $9 just last month. I've rented this same thing for years, and it works well enough, but it just blows my mind they can increase the rental cost for a fixed price.

So, I need something so that I don't have to rent. I have no idea bout modems and routers. This is a 2 in 1, so I'd guess I need that.

Here's what I have: https://www.ebay.com/i/193646348907?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28

Any suggestions appreciated. I'm not concerned about price, though just looking for something to get the job done. Actually, should I just get the same thing and give this back to them? Or has router/modem technology noticeably improved in the last few years?
I'm assuming this is cable?

Personally I'd buy a separate modem and router...
What you need probably depends a bit on your provider and what service you have (30, 300, 600 1000mbps?)
The Netgear CM600 is good for a modem for up to 600mbps, it's like $75 I think I paid for it?
For Routers, I have a Netgear Nighthawk I like, they have a few models depending on how much space you need covered.
 

Couperin47

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Separate units = a cable to Ethernet interface (just cable in and 1 Ethernet out) + a wifi router that offers at least 4 (usually) Ethernet ports plus handles your wifi.
Separate usually offers options of a better faster modem and always offers a better router with a better interface and more options. Always the better choice. You need to check on what is compatible with your provider but something like an Arris/Motorola SB 6183 is future proof for almost any tier of cable below 1 Gbit service. Last week I picked one up, open box but new from a guy on Ebay for a whopping $26 shipped....

as for the router, depending on the area you need to cover for wifi, you have the options of lots of standard routers, or if you need to cover multistory or very large areas, a mesh system is usually the way to go these days...
 
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cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
2,897
SF, CA
Separate is definitely more flexibility. The router/wifi part is more likely to need upgrading than the cable modem part.

You need to check with your specific ISP to see what is listed as compatible for the modem. There are basically no compatibility issues for routers, at least not with your ISP, so you have ~unlimited choice there based on your house size, the features you need (parental controls, guest networks, whatever), and so forth.

That CM600 is good, I have a CM500 that's 3 years old, use it for comcast ~150mbit service and it just trucks along without issue.
 

Red Sox Physicist

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Jul 15, 2005
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Natick, MA
You need to check on what is compatible with your provider but something like an Arris/Motorola SB 6183 is future proof for almost any tier of cable below 1 Gbit service.
RCN requires 24 downstream channels for DOCSIS 3.0 modems around here now. The Arris/Motorola SB6183 only has 16 downstream channels. There were a ton of customers who RCN told to upgrade their modem when they made that switch.
 

Couperin47

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RCN requires 24 downstream channels for DOCSIS 3.0 modems around here now. The Arris/Motorola SB6183 only has 16 downstream channels. There were a ton of customers who RCN told to upgrade their modem when they made that switch.
RCN is not different from any of the other majors. An SB 6183 will work perfectly well with their services... up to 650 Mbps, which is what it's rated for. As I said, a modem that requires greater than 16x4 channels is only necessary if you select 1 Gig service, which is a) only available in selected areas from any provider, and b) often is only available via fiber, which of course, isn't really 'cable'. In any event the OP I believe is in NH where RCN has no presence whatever.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Sep 9, 2006
6,620
SS Botany Bay
So my current setup is the final Apple Time Capsule, which is extended on both sides of the house with an Apple Airport Extreme ac. The range and speed has been fine (I have Spectrum 100 internet, with no option for Fios, so I imagine I'll be stuck at this speed for the foreseeable future). Unfortunately the Airports are flaking out on me, so I unplugged them and I think it's finally time to upgrade everything. I am currently just operating from the primary Time Capsule router, which is functional for now.

I'm in a 1950s ranch with a workspace in the basement. Reception outside on the other side of the garage is terrible from an unextended base station, and I have no good cell phone signal on my street, so I kind of depend on wifi-phone.

I'd like to get a mesh system that will enable me to connect a Time Machine backup, but I'm not sure what my options are. I don't think most of the devices allow a hard drive to be connected as a Time Machine backup via USB. Would I need to invest in a NAS system? Any recommendations for hardware for all of the above?
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
6,838
New York, NY
Are there recommendations here for best approach to extending/reinforcing my wifi network? The current scope of options has passed by my general understanding of routers and I am hoping SoSH expertise can help point me in the right direction.

We have a 2-level, 2,000 square foot condo with a yard that probably extends maybe 40 feet from the back of the unit. Our current router is in the front of the house and is tied to a cable box (not optional but could just wire out to a router if that makes sense). The yard doesn’t really get coverage and the router struggles a bit in far corners of the level it isn’t on. With WFH it would also be nice, but isn’t essential, to have Ethernet ports in our current home offices.

I think the solution here is probably a 3 unit mesh network, largely to give us better Ethernet access locations. We don’t have huge bandwidth needs (I think we have 100 mbps right now), but I am happy to spend a little more if that’s what makes sense re future proofing (but not if it’s unnecessary). I’m also open to being told that a mesh network is exceeding and really I just need to invest in a better router that will have adequate range. Again, if cost is close, Ethernet ports in the office locations is a marginal positive, mostly for installation of a VPN phone. Any advice is appreciated.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
1,098
I think the solution here is probably a 3 unit mesh network, largely to give us better Ethernet access locations. We don’t have huge bandwidth needs (I think we have 100 mbps right now), but I am happy to spend a little more if that’s what makes sense re future proofing (but not if it’s unnecessary). I’m also open to being told that a mesh network is exceeding and really I just need to invest in a better router that will have adequate range. Again, if cost is close, Ethernet ports in the office locations is a marginal positive, mostly for installation of a VPN phone. Any advice is appreciated.
I have a 2400sf house and I have a single Netgear router that easily covers the whole house plus a good distance from the house. I think a mesh router is overkill. The one I have is Netgear Nighhawk X6 AC3200 R8000 from 2016.
I just bought a new one recently (TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) for my in-laws 3 level townhouse. Very easy to setup. Has good reviews on Wirecutter.
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
6,838
New York, NY
I have a 2400sf house and I have a single Netgear router that easily covers the whole house plus a good distance from the house. I think a mesh router is overkill. The one I have is Netgear Nighhawk X6 AC3200 R8000 from 2016.
I just bought a new one recently (TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) for my in-laws 3 level townhouse. Very easy to setup. Has good reviews on Wirecutter.
I guess my question is whether I should do this or get a cheaper mesh option like the eero that would give me Ethernet ports in offices and guaranteed coverage without deadzones. I’m not looking to spend $500 on an overkill system but am happy to spend a little more to future proof or add useful features.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
1,098
I guess my question is whether I should do this or get a cheaper mesh option like the eero that would give me Ethernet ports in offices and guaranteed coverage without deadzones. I’m not looking to spend $500 on an overkill system but am happy to spend a little more to future proof or add useful features.
Where are your offices located in the house and do you have the option of running cable to a central location? I ran cables from different parts of my house to a switch that is connected to my router on the first floor. Reading this article, it seems to indicate that a mesh router will give you good coverage through the whole house but you'll sacrifice performance versus a traditional centralized router.

It would be nice if you could get both options to try out and keep the best performer.

Which router do you currently have and where is it located? The only time I had WiFi performance issues is when I had the ISP router in my basement and I'm located in my bedroom on the second floor. Since then, I moved the router (Netgear) to the first floor and haven't had any issues. I can still connect to the router from my car outside about 130+ feet away.
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
2,897
SF, CA
I guess my question is whether I should do this or get a cheaper mesh option like the eero that would give me Ethernet ports in offices and guaranteed coverage without deadzones. I’m not looking to spend $500 on an overkill system but am happy to spend a little more to future proof or add useful features.
What are you trying to achieve with these Ethernet ports? If you are backhauling the traffic from the Ethernet ports over the mesh it's not really helping much versus just keeping the devices on wireless (unless you have some non-wireless/Ethernet-only devices in the office, I suppose). The real "win" with Ethernet ports is actually pulling wires in your walls and punching in jacks that connect from your office(s) to the router, then nothing is going wireless - also some mesh systems can use these ethernet lines as the backhaul, which is also a win. This level of work/home modification may be more than you want to take on though.

I've set up a Google Wifi system for a friend in a 3-level ~3000 sqft house (roughly one module per floor, IIRC) - it worked fine, and gave much better coverage than her single cable-company supplied modem/router combo box (no surprise, I guess). But that was 2 years ago, so I would check https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-wi-fi-mesh-networking-kits/ to see what seems to fit your situation best. I've heard good things from people who've had Eero and Orbi in the past.
 

BlackJack

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Oct 11, 2007
2,183
I’ve got google nest Wi-Fi which works really well. 2 story home, access points on each floor plus one in the basement. It’s completely seamless and we have great connectivity throughout the house.

My mother-in-law bought the eero and I set it up for her at her house. Works just as well and was an easier set up, which was surprising because the google one was very simple.

The eero is much cheaper and is very much a ‘no frills’ option. We don’t use the speaker much on the google setup, if I was making the choice now I’d have gone with the eero based on the price.
 

lostjumper

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Apr 27, 2009
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Concord, NH
We have the Eero as well. I wanted a mesh network so I could put one of the hubs downstairs in the basement where my boys have a gaming room. It was super easy to set up, and the boys don't seem to have any issues with lag. It's a great option, and it's cheaper than the Google Nest.