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Cable modem wifi router
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Jul 2, 2014, 01:02 PM
 
At home I get internet via Comcast (aka Xfinity) via the provided combo cable modem/wifi base station/router. Range is terrible and it is slow to make connections with a device. It's old enough I suspect it doesn't get the dual band features of the new macbook pro. So I'm thinking about buying my own.

Any recommendations for a device with decent range that would work with Comcast?

Thanks!
     
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Jul 2, 2014, 03:14 PM
 
If it's really that old and poor-performing, Comcast will probably replace it with a newer unit, if you complain about it.
As for a replacement...The big question is do you also have Comcast's voice service? If so, you're stuck with using Comcast's equipment, I'm afraid.

If you don't have voice, I'd go with a separate modem and router setup, personally. Something like an SB6141 and a refurbished Airport Extreme.
     
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Jul 2, 2014, 06:30 PM
 
I concur on the separate devices setup. I get really good range with my AirPort Extreme, which is connected to the Internet via a DSL modem.

With VOIP, you can still use a separate router, you just have to configure the provided equipment to bridge the Internet connection. How you do that depends on what equipment they provided.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
pbowser  (op)
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Jul 3, 2014, 12:38 AM
 
Thanks! This is easier than I thought it might be!
     
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Jul 3, 2014, 09:07 AM
 
It still depends on what hardware your provider gave you. Some cable modem/VOIP boxes are hard to configure, and others are "locked" by the provider to keep customers' grubby hands out of the works (which just makes the determined ones mess up all the worse).

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 3, 2014, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
The big question is do you also have Comcast's voice service? If so, you're stuck with using Comcast's equipment, I'm afraid.
That's not exactly valid. When I returned to Comcast back in December 2012, besides internet and TV (some premium channels with that), I also added Voice services. I already had a router (Netgear RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit Router, Model WNR3500U) , and when I signed up for XFinity at Best Buy, I was able to purchase my own ARRIS Touchtone TM722 Telephony Modem (costs $165 at that time, but I also got a Best Buy gift card for $100). This set up works well for me, as I have that equipment upstairs in our place, next to my Mac Mini, and I can easily connect, via WiFi, with my Mac Book Air no matter where I am "close by" (I am going to try it just outside our place. I can get a good connection on our back deck). And, of course, I am not making any payment to Comcast for the equipment.

When I did return back in 2012, there were, at that time, very few choices as to which Telephony Modems were available (in fact, I believe the Arris was the only one). "Officially", XFinity calls them "DOCSIS" devices. Here's a link that shows which such devices are compatible:

DOCSIS Devices

Unfortunately, it looks like for Telephony Modems (what you need for Internet and Voice together), the retail choices are limited, to say the least! (in fact, only the same model I have is available retail). And, based on a google search I did ("Arris Retail Touchstone Telephony Modem TM722G", https://www.google.com/search?q=Arri...x-a&channel=sb), it seems that only Amazon has them (new for $135, used for as low as $45, refurbished for about $75). So, I guess the deal I got back in 2012 was very good!

Of course, leasing the device from Comcast costs (I believe) $7 a month, so it would take about 20 months to re-capture the cost for a new one. But, if you stay with Comcast for longer, you will come out ahead. Also, if you leave Comcast (or drop Voice services), you could always sell the Arris device.

In any event, I'd also strongly recommend a two device setup (DOCSIS device, and separate router). That is what I have always had (different type of cable modem, of course, before December 2012, as I did not have XFinity Voice), and in fact, I have never leased any type of modem/router from Comcast.
( Last edited by akent35; Jul 3, 2014 at 04:01 PM. )
     
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Jul 4, 2014, 08:27 AM
 
Was the modem you got relatively easy to configure to bridge the Internet connection for your router? I haven't spent much time considering cable modems, so I haven't researched them much, but we're looking at going with Uverse, and I'm not terribly happy with what I know about 2Wire devices.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 4, 2014, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Was the modem you got relatively easy to configure to bridge the Internet connection for your router? I haven't spent much time considering cable modems, so I haven't researched them much, but we're looking at going with Uverse, and I'm not terribly happy with what I know about 2Wire devices.
From what I remember, it was almost seamless. The setup for both the phone and internet (together with my Netgear router) went well. Of course, it certainly helped that the Telephony Modem I have is on Comcast's list of approved devices. If I did have any issues, a call to Comcast would have solved it.

I often wonder if the TM722g is one of the devices that a Comcast technician would install, if one decides to lease it. There are, of course, other approved devices on the list, including a few by Arris.
     
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Jul 5, 2014, 07:52 AM
 
Thanks.

pbowser, what IS the hardware your provider provided?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 5, 2014, 01:50 PM
 
One other thing I'd like to add is that prior to December 2012, both when I was with Comcast/XFinity, and the 2 years (2010-2012) Dish Network was my TV provider, I retained my Internet services with Comcast, and I always had my own modem (last model was made by Motorola, and on Comcast's approved list) and my own router (different Netgear one). Never had any issues, and always had good connections.
     
   
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