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Recommending a cable modem and wireless router for a friend... reality check?

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#1
Their ISP is Comcast, they are getting a new cable modem and were thinking of getting a cable modem/WiFi combo box. I recommended against that... instead get a cable modem and a separate WiFi router. That way they can upgrade one or the other as needed and the total cost is about the same.

Cable modem: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XGZBCKP/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

WiFi Router: (Linksys-EA6350) https://www.amazon.com/Linksys-EA63...F8&qid=1531149557&sr=1-7&keywords=wifi+router

They mostly stream media content, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. And a teenager with an XBox and a few streaming devices. No more than three streaming devices at one time. They WOULD NOT BE INTERESTED IN DOING ANY CUSTOM WORK/FIRMWARE TO THE ROUTER ... thoughts about either are appreciated.
 

newtekie1

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#2
That way they can upgrade one or the other as needed and the total cost is about the same.
The other reasons for doing this is most of the built in WiFi on those modem/router combo boxes is very weak and has terrible range, also when lightning hits the cable line it doesn't fry the router too just the modem. In the ~9 years I've had Comcast, I've gone through 3 modems due to surges coming in through the coax line and frying the modem.

Also, never been a fan of Netgear cable modems, I'd go with the Arris 32x8 instead: https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard-SB6190-DOCSIS-Cable/dp/B016PE1X5K/
 
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#3
In the ~9 years I've had Comcast, I've gone through 3 modems due to surges coming in through the coax line and frying the modem.
Is your house sitting on an Indian burial ground? Seriously though, I used to work in a building that attracted lightning like no ones business, at least the trees out in the parking lot, 3 of them got hit (that I know of).

Good points and yea, kind of like the rack vs. component debate for Hi Fi equipment.

What pushes you away from Netgear cable modems?
 

newtekie1

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#4
What pushes you away from Netgear cable modems?
They have just been unstable when I used them in the past. I had to reboot mine about every other week, it would just lock up and the internet would be down, I couldn't even access the UI.

Is your house sitting on an Indian burial ground? Seriously though, I used to work in a building that attracted lightning like no ones business, at least the trees out in the parking lot, 3 of them got hit (that I know of).
It has happened in two difference houses. It's killed the cable boxes too. But we have above ground cables in my area, so the lightning directly hits the poles a lot of the time.
 
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#5
Go separate, you will appreciate what was said above about not frying both units if a storm hits....

And for some reason, among my friends, aquintanances, and family, those who on comcraps seem to complain more about outtages/fryages than those who are on other ISP's all put together..

As for Netgear, I have never used their modems, but have used their routers for many, many years neveranottaproblemo :)
 
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#6
But we have above ground cables in my area
Same here, weird.

And for some reason, among my friends, aquintanances, and family, those who on comcraps seem to complain more about outtages/fryages than those who are on other ISP's all put together..
I have been on Comcast since 1997... three different houses. Although in the 1990's and early 2000's the service would sometimes suck, I've only heard of one person having a router go down. And ironically, it's the person that this is for.
 

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#7
Maybe if you could find a combo box decent enough, but I'd be worried that the combo box would be paired with some crappy sub-par router that wouldn't perform well...
 
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#8
I always recommend avoiding ISP provided gear when possible. And while there are some quality "residential gateway" devices (integrated routers, Ethernet switches, WAPs and modems) out there, I also recommend separate modems and "wireless routers" (integrated router, switch and WAP - wireless access point).

But not for any of the reasons stated above.

ISP provided residential gateway devices are typically configured to setup public wifi hotspots with your device! :eek: The purpose is to allow other Comcast customers driving around your neighborhood to connect to your gateway device and then access the Internet through your equipment. "In theory " they connect via a totally isolated channel, do NOT have access to your LAN or your computers, and do not use any of your bandwidth. But theory and real-world don't always jive. Plus we have seen over and over and over again where bad guys are able to hack networks - easily! Another hack was announced just late yesterday!

Are you willing to put your full faith in Comcast or your ISP that a clever badguy will never figure out how to bridge the public wifi network and your private LAN? I'm not. Even if you do trust your ISP and their provided equipment, and you don't have a problem with them using your residential gateway device to create a public hotspot, are they compensating you for the electricity you are providing to support their service? Nope.

So I bought my own DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem (Motorola SB6141) and wireless router (Linksys AC1900 EA7500). In this way only I can control who accesses my network. BTW, there is nothing wrong with NetGear. I've had great service with them. I would have bought another NetGear if the Linksys was not on sale when I was ready to buy.
 

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#9
As @newtekie1 said, Arris is the way to go, Not had a single problem. Make sure the ISP supports it. Arris cable modem is what Comcast gave me too and that was only replaced due speed limitations so it way out lasted the connection speed bumps, never mind getting sick off paying $10 for a modem a month when you can buy your own for about $80 att.

The Arris i have no yet again out lasted for the second time. Comcast now offer 200mbs now which my aged SB6121 only does 150mbs but as worked like a champ.

As for issue's with Comcast, rarely but does happen time to time they will shut the network down around 12-1am, other from that no issue's.
 
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