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[Internet] Best (& Affordable) Cable Modem/Router Combo

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by vstexas09, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. vstexas09

    vstexas09 Contributing Member

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    CF Brethren,

    I've been with Comcast XFinity for 2 years now, and am renting out one of their modem/router for $10 a month. However, I'm not satisfied with the product. I think the internet is fine, but I want to expand the wifi range in the house.

    I have a two story home, and the router is placed upstairs. There's no problem at all with the internet upstairs, but downstairs, there's a bit of an issue.

    I'm using a Dell Laptop and also have a JVC Smart TV that struggle to reach good speeds. The Dell runs fine, but the TV is really slow. Yesterday, I went out and bought a Belkin Wifi extender for 40$, and was initially happy, but as the day went along, the internet took a hit. This morning, the downstairs devices couldn't even connect to the internet. Needless to say, I'm going to return the extender.

    However, instead of going out and buying another range extender, I'm thinking I should look for a cable modem/router combo. I'm hoping for something that can reach both floors of my home, and can give me good speeds. I'm also looking for something compatible with Xfinity and affordable. If necessary, I can buy a range extender also, but would like to hear your experience and insight.

    Thanks fellas.
     
  2. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    I would advise you against buying a combo device. What speeds are you paying for? Generally a Motorolla/Arris SB6141 is more than sufficient, but you can go up to the SB6183.

    If you have T-mobile, you can get a very powerful AC router for free. All you have to do is claim that you would like to use wifi calling because cellular reception is weak in your home.

    Where is the router placed exactly? Ideally, you'd want it as close to the center of the house as possible (even if it means placing it on the floor).

    As for the TV, you should check what wifi standard it uses (B/G/N/AC) and see if you can upgrade if necessary. From my experience, the integrated software of smart TVs are sluggish and poorly designed. You can easily replace it's functionality with a cheap but powerful set top box. We'll give you some suggestions if you tell us what feature you are interested in.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mac#5

    Mac#5 Member

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  4. HoustonTexas

    HoustonTexas Member

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    This. The tmobile router is very good. I have that router with the SB6141 modem and it works pretty well.
     
  5. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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    When Xfinity first rolled out their combo modem/routers the performance was so bad many people would search out xfinity technicians to disable ("bridge") the router so as to use their own standalone routers which would always have much better performance.
     
  6. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    I'll throw in my 2 cents.

    Combo Access Point: As others stated, stay away from them. Get a standalone modem. As my connection doesn't require a modem, I am not familiar with what you would need and/or whats best. There is a plethora of information out there on what is the best stand alone modem.

    5 Ghz AC nonsense: If your downstairs is trying to utilize the 5Ghz range to connect upstairs, stop it. However I doubt this is the case. A more powerful 5Ghz AC router will not fix your problem. 5 Ghz is terrible at wall/barrier penetration. One wall will work ok. Two walls will give you problems. 5 Ghz AC is great for wide open spaces with high bandwidth and multiple devices. On the contrary, trying to connect a TV with a weak receiver on a different floor will always give you problems.

    Range Extenders: Stop it. Dont use them. They degrade your whole network. They were ok back in the day when a 10Mb connection was king, but clearly that isnt the case anymore.

    Your solution: If quality of your internet is important and you're willing to shell out the money, you should purchase a stand alone modem and two routers. HARDWIRE the router from upstairs to downstairs and try to keep it centralize in the house. I always highly recommend hardwiring any permanent device if possible.
     
  7. LonghornFan

    LonghornFan Contributing Member

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    Yup. I went through the new modems, all kinds of range extenders, etc. Nothing worked. Uverse's modems are complete junk anyways and the wifi could not penetrate all of the walls/ stairs/ etc. I ended up having a hard wire installed from the first floor to the second and ran this through a new router and all issues were fixed. My Roku runs great and I always have wifi connection. Cost me about $1000 for this job and sheet rock repairs, but the aggravation is gone.
     
  8. vstexas09

    vstexas09 Contributing Member

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    Upstairs comp:

    <a href="http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/5404405737"><img src="http://www.speedtest.net/result/5404405737.png" /></a>

    Downstairs comp:

    <a href="http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/5404409212"><img src="http://www.speedtest.net/result/5404409212.png" /></a>

    Running on the dual modem/router Xfinity leased to me.

    Thank you all for the suggestions, but I don't think the 'rents are too keen on hardwiring in the house. They're not convinced they have to spend more that $120 to get the issue fixed.

    You guys think these purchases could get it resolved and can stream on the TV?

    Modem:
    https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard-SB6141-DOCSIS-Cable/dp/B00AJHDZSI

    Router:
    https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-AC12...UTF8&qid=1465953142&sr=1-4&keywords=ac+router
     
    #8 vstexas09, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  9. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    It doesn't hurt to swap out for better equipment. It looks like you are getting decent enough speeds. Where I live, people would be ecstatic for your downstairs speed. That said, your loss from upstairs to downstairs is pretty significant for the download.

    This is what I suspect; The transceiver in the TV is very weak. This is very common.

    You could try this:
    https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PA4020P-KIT-Powerline-Pass-Through/dp/B010Q29OW6
    This will allow you to hardwire w/out the need to run cabling through out the house.
     
  10. asianballa23

    asianballa23 Member

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  11. VanityHalfBlack

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    So you guys prefer wired or wireless modem?
     
  12. vstexas09

    vstexas09 Contributing Member

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  13. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Those likely require a driver to be installed. Unless your TV is a full a PC with an operating system, no.
     
  14. cheeno

    cheeno Contributing Member

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    how do i begin this process? just call t-mobile or go to the store?
     
  15. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    Has anyone here used these? Honestly seems a little too good to be true, if I'm understanding it correctly. Rather than running a 100 ft cable through my house, I could just have these plugged in at both ends (one plugging into the router, the other plugging into an internet-using device) and I'll get the same connection speed as if the internet-using device were directly hardwired to the router?

    If it works like that, that's awesome.
     
  16. LonghornFan

    LonghornFan Contributing Member

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  17. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    It utilizes your electrical wirings. Great for home residences, probably will be faulty in any sort of shared housing unit.
     
  18. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    I believe it depends on how clean the power is in your house. I doubt you can use multiple of them in a house with good results. They are basically mini-modems ... transfers IP/digital into electrical pulses down your copper lines just as DSL/Cable does.
     
  19. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    I'm not as tech savvy as some of the guys who are giving advice, but I've read that combo's (modem/router) aren't as efficient as a stand alone (modem/router).
    Having said that, I own a combo and have excellent speed and wifi coverage!


    Here's what I'm using....Good Luck!
    .......
    .......
    .......
     
  20. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    Call them, they have excellent reps. No reason to worry, you aren't gaming the system.

    I just bought a couple of tablets today over the phone just so I could get the "sim card fee" waived. Took no effort at all

    Here is the slickdeals thread that explains the process. Just ignore the stuff about changing the firmware, it really isn't necessary for the average user.
     

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