Modem/Router Combo for Comcast XFinity

luckysox

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Apr 21, 2009
7,235
S.E. Pennsylvania
Hi All - we are changing our ISP/Cable from Verizon FIOS to Comcast/XFinity. Our Verizon deal ended and they were unwilling to come down on a new package/price that was anywhere close to Comcast. We're going month to month so we can yank the cable part if we decide to cut the cord and go with a streaming TV service, but we're not there yet. We'll have 150mbps internet, and I would like to buy my own router and modem. I see many combo units available and am dense in this area of technology. Can someone suggest a few decent combo units in the $100-$150 range? Vitals:

1 story ranch home about 2700 sq ft
1 TV in family room with the cable box
3 Roku TVs in bedrooms (all on same floor with family room)
1 TV in basement connected to Xbox One, used for some low-level online gaming and occasional streaming of Netflix or Amazon.

Many evenings we are connected to up to 6 devices (2 iPhones, an iPad, the Xbox, a MacBook, the Family Room TV) at the same time.

Reading reviews Amazon and on different tech sites is making my brain turn to mush. I don't know what to believe, and half the time the reviews on Amazon are for a different product from the same company. Our current typical internet speed on my computer and on my iPhone is between 100-110. Our connection reaches all rooms in the house and in the basement without problems, and is also easy to pick up in the back yard up to about 30 ft from house. Thanks in advance.
 

rmurph3

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SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2003
992
Westwood, MA
I used to run my own gear, but Comcast's combo modem/router isn't nearly the trash it used to be. Maybe at least try there rig for a little while before rushing into a purchase? Just throwing that out there.

When I moved the Comcast-delivered stuff was set up before I got my stuff unpacked, and I ended up never unpacking it.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
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Jul 13, 2002
20,671
right here
I bought the "better" comcast one from best buy. I probably overspent but it's been awesome. We'll often have 2 phones and 2 computers on wifi and xbox wired and it doesn't even break a sweat. I can't remember exactly what model, will try to look when I get home, but I love it.
 

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
2,371
SF, CA
A couple thoughts: if you aren't wedded to the combo box, think about a separate modem and router (I get where that might not be an option though), this article explains why pretty well.

For separates, matching the recommendations in their modem vs router link:
https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-cable-modem/
I have the Netgear CM500 mentioned there, had it for about 2 years now, using it with Comcast's service. No issues. There's a CM600 for ~$90 that's overkill for 150Mpbs internet service.
https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-router/
I have an earlier version of that R7000P (an R6400), also for about 2 years. It still works great in my ~1800 sq ft place - the new one has band steering which will improve multi-device throughput. The TP-Link Archer A7 would also be a solid pick in a smaller form factor / lower price. At 2700 sq ft I might a little leery of the Archer though, I think it will struggle a little at the outer edges of a house or if you have it set up on one end, the far side of the house might get low-ish signal.

I was going to suggest you look at a mesh setup, but this article tells me that a R7000P handles a 2300 sq ft house very well, so a mesh kit might be overkill for you (again, helps if you can centrally locate the router vs having it on one end of the house).

For a combo, if you have to, I would look at the Netgear C6300 or C7000 (a C7000 is Amazon's deal-of-the-day today for $135 it looks like). You want something with at least 16x4 cable modem in it, ideally 24x8 for future compatibility. Other people may not like Netgear, I've had very good luck with them. Anything with AC1750 or AC1900 Wifi is going to be good, AC2300 is a bonus. AC3200 is likely overkill / overpaying so I wouldn't bother with something that expensive.

Note: non-Comcast supplied modems generally can't do the landline part of their service, if that matters to you. To get that you basically have to use the Comcast device.

I have set up the Comcast router for a friend. It works OK features-wise, but the coverage in her 3-level city house was not so great on the top/bottom floors. She added Google Wifi, one for each floor and that fixed it.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2008
3,572
A couple thoughts: if you aren't wedded to the combo box, think about a separate modem and router (I get where that might not be an option though), this article explains why pretty well.

For separates, matching the recommendations in their modem vs router link:
https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-cable-modem/
I have the Netgear CM500 mentioned there, had it for about 2 years now, using it with Comcast's service. No issues. There's a CM600 for ~$90 that's overkill for 150Mpbs internet service.
https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-router/
I have an earlier version of that R7000P (an R6400), also for about 2 years. It still works great in my ~1800 sq ft place - the new one has band steering which will improve multi-device throughput. The TP-Link Archer A7 would also be a solid pick in a smaller form factor / lower price. At 2700 sq ft I might a little leery of the Archer though, I think it will struggle a little at the outer edges of a house or if you have it set up on one end, the far side of the house might get low-ish signal.

I was going to suggest you look at a mesh setup, but this article tells me that a R7000P handles a 2300 sq ft house very well, so a mesh kit might be overkill for you (again, helps if you can centrally locate the router vs having it on one end of the house).

For a combo, if you have to, I would look at the Netgear C6300 or C7000 (a C7000 is Amazon's deal-of-the-day today for $135 it looks like). You want something with at least 16x4 cable modem in it, ideally 24x8 for future compatibility. Other people may not like Netgear, I've had very good luck with them. Anything with AC1750 or AC1900 Wifi is going to be good, AC2300 is a bonus. AC3200 is likely overkill / overpaying so I wouldn't bother with something that expensive.

Note: non-Comcast supplied modems generally can't do the landline part of their service, if that matters to you. To get that you basically have to use the Comcast device.

I have set up the Comcast router for a friend. It works OK features-wise, but the coverage in her 3-level city house was not so great on the top/bottom floors. She added Google Wifi, one for each floor and that fixed it.

Stay away from the TP-Link Archer. It had one per the Wirecutters review and it worked great while it worked, and then a little after a year started having intermittent outages or restarts. Looking online at reviews this was very very common after about a year.
 

Max Power

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SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
3,517
Boston, MA
I have Comcast's Triple Play service (TV, internet, and phone) because it's actually cheaper than getting just TV and internet. Even though I've never actually used the phone, I'm required to have a modem that supports voice on the account. If you're in the same boat, make sure you get a modem that supports a voice line. I got the Netgear CM500V used on eBay and it's worked great so far.

It's always better to get a separate modem and router/wireless system. Wireless tech and standards change much, much faster than cable modems do. It's nice to be able to swap out just that portion of the setup.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Jul 15, 2005
359
I used to run my own gear, but Comcast's combo modem/router isn't nearly the trash it used to be.
It is still trash. I had to reboot it on a monthly basis before I got my own modem/router combo. My parents who are not heavy users like my family also have to reboot on a regular basis. Comcast tech support always does the reboot when you have internet issues instead of trying to figure out why the modem needs a reboot.

I have Comcast's Triple Play service (TV, internet, and phone) because it's actually cheaper than getting just TV and internet. Even though I've never actually used the phone, I'm required to have a modem that supports voice on the account.
Are you sure about the requirement? I had the triple play and had their modem for a few months before I got my own modem/router setup. I did not get a modem with voice capability. No issues. Just did not use that part of their service.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
3,517
Boston, MA
Are you sure about the requirement? I had the triple play and had their modem for a few months before I got my own modem/router setup. I did not get a modem with voice capability. No issues. Just did not use that part of their service.
They may have changed it now that you can activate it online yourself. But when I had to call service to activate one before, they weren't allowed to do it unless it was voice-capable.
 

gtmtnbiker

Member
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Jul 15, 2005
359
They may have changed it now that you can activate it online yourself. But when I had to call service to activate one before, they weren't allowed to do it unless it was voice-capable.
In my case, I activated it doing it over computer chat. This was 4 years ago.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
13,027
Stay away from the TP-Link Archer. It had one per the Wirecutters review and it worked great while it worked, and then a little after a year started having intermittent outages or restarts. Looking online at reviews this was very very common after about a year.
Fuck the Archer one. Fully agree. Worst money I spent. The thing screamed for awhile then just slowed to a crawl.

I went in with a Surfboard and eero. Eero is awesome.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
13,027
They may have changed it now that you can activate it online yourself. But when I had to call service to activate one before, they weren't allowed to do it unless it was voice-capable.
That’s a lie on their side. I had voice for 9 years and activated multiple modems with no voice capabilities.
 

saintnick912

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Oct 30, 2004
4,300
Somerville, MA
I have some Arris modem (6183 maybe, or maybe that was the previous one). Versus the rental cost it will pay itself off in under a year. If you return their box be sure to get a receipt to refer to when they keep charging you, a receipt number shut them up quick when they said I never returned their modem.

I'm on board with eero also, though not crazy about them being part of Amazon now. Wireless just works throughout my really oddly shaped unit despite thick concrete floor and a thick stone wall in one part. Used to be a mix of repeaters and bridges and nonsense, now just no worries.