Recommend me a new Router

Yeah, I know it would be entirely possible to make that phone call. I decided not to worry about it a long time ago. I just hate making those phone calls so much even if there is a quick an easy strategy to get what you want.

Anyways, good for you for making the effort.

Comcast is just dire. What a horrible company.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Recently, I received a letter saying that Comcast "upgraded" my speed a bit. I have standard internet which costs me $68 or so a month. I don't want to deal with trying to get promo deals every couple months, so I just pay the regular monthly fee. I'm probably on the tier below the "Boost" or "Blast" stuff. Because of that, I keep using my DOCSIS 2.0 modem. I checked recently and I'm getting around 27 Mbps down and about 4 Mbps up. That should be fine for everything that I do. I have noticed that Netflix does sometimes take a bit to buffer very rarely but it is rather annoying when it happens. My guess is that it's on their end, not mine. My thinking is that I would need to be approaching 38 Mbps speeds before a DOCSIS 3.0 modem should be a consideration. I wonder if this is wrong, however.

So, according to Wikipedia, DOCSIS 2.0 has a max usable throughput of 38 Mbps via 1 channel. DOCSIS 3.0 has a maximum usable throughput of m × 38 Mbps where m is a minimum of 4 depending on the modem from what I can tell. So, I still kind of wonder if a DOCSIS 3.0 modem would give me any increase in performance. Has anyone researched or tested this?

We have the Comcast performance internet and got a similar email last week. Since I already own a DOCIS 3.0 modem I went ahead an rebooted it like the instructions in the email said. The send & receive lights on the modem turned from green to blue in color, indicating a bonded channel was detected, which I believe is part of the DOCSIS 3.0 spec. Checked it out on the modem status page and it now showed me getting 4 channels downstream and 3 channels upstream.

I was getting 15-17 Mbps down before, now I'm consistently getting 27 Mbps down, 5 Mbps up.

That's interesting, MacBrave! I'm pretty sure I was getting 20 something before (am at 26 down 4 up now). Now I wonder if 3.0 would help me. Since I don't anticipate anything other than Comcast being available for a great many years, :mad:, I may go ahead and invest in a DOCSIS 3 modem. I'll probably go with the exact one you have. The Surfboard 2.0 one that I have has worked just fine.

Aaaaand, I ordered a tested refurb Motorola SB6120 off of eBay for $48 with free shipping. I will report back in a week or so and let you guys know if it helped me or not.

I picked up that same SB6120 about a year ago, and saw a similar boost with Comcast. Of course, my whole reasoning was that we were still leasing our modem from Comcast, and after 8 months of service we would have "paid off" the upgrade.

Haven't looked back since, hope it works out for you TB.

Are there major differences in the newer vs older models of those surfboards? The one I have in my amazon wishlist is the SB6141. I have no idea why I chose that one, other than it's reviewed well.

Well, I got my new modem today and went home to install it. Everything is up and running, but the speeds are worse! I was getting 26ish down and 4ish up before. Now I'm at 22ish down and 3ish up. I'm a bit perplexed. I even rebooted everything again but that didn't help.

Any ideas? I really don't want to have to call Comcast.

Well, you're only paying for 20 megabits, and maybe this new hardware adheres to what you're supposed to get more closely?

Well, I can only go off what they say on their sales page, and that still claims 20Mbit as the speed grade that sounded most like Tuffalo's description.

I don't think Comcast is especially consistent, either; they may be more aggressive in your area because there's more competition. Or, perhaps there's something wrong with the new modem.

I dunno... but it's going to be hard to call up Comcast and complain that they're delivering more speed than they promise.

That might be true, Malor, but I'm pretty sure Tuffalo and I were both bumped up in speeds as part of Comcast's new tiered structure. They've basically upped the speeds of all their tiers, but Tuff and I are/were both running DOCSIS 2 modems that aren't likely taking advantage of the faster speeds proposed by Comcast themselves.

FWIW: My current speed, over my 5GHz Wireless, Asus Dark Knight and Motorola SB5120.

You might be right. I was just thinking, when I was having network issues with my router, I had spoken with Comcast several times, and they had me completely unplug and reboot the modem for 5-10 minutes at a time. Apparently, the modem had to refresh it's MAC address or something-or-other on their side, so basically I had to wipe the connection to their hub completely in order for the hub to assign it a new number and register the speed increases they promised. My problem is now, I'm supposed to be getting something like 40Mbps with their speed increase, where I was paying for 30Mbps before the increase (and 20Mbps, like Tuffalo, before I moved up tiers myself).

I hope Tuff can get the issue worked out, because if it does work, I'll follow suit as soon as I can. If anything, I'd rather decrease monthly bills by NOT renting a modem every month.

I'll keep you guys posted. I don't feel like dealing with it tonight. I don't even know what package Comcast actually has me on.

Man, I completely forgot, I had ordered the 6141 last week and it was supposed to arrive yesterday. I got distracted dealing with a flat tire on my car and didn't even check to see if it was there. Hopefully it's still sitting on the porch when I get home tonight.

EvilDead wrote:

I wouldn't write them off because it all depends on how your house is wired. I imagine my circuit box is a mess with some of them being connected while others are not. I don't know much about house electrical wiring so that's just my best guess. Also there is no ground prong so if you have 2 prong outlets it's not an issue. When I have a little more time I'm going to see if I can at least use them on my PC to take a little bit of stress off the wireless. I can't use it with the Roku because the second spot on that outlet is reserved for the AC in the summer months.

A couple other things to note:
-They auto connect to each other when plugged in so their are super easy to set up. When they work the computer receives the IP address instantly.
-They can be encrypted by pressing the button on both of them within two minutes.
-They light up and blink like a Christmas tree so you probably wouldn't want them in plain view. At the least you would want some light blocking tape.

So I gave these another try over a month ago and they worked, flawlessly. I had noticed that one of our breakers had flipped in our fuse box on a circuit we never use. It wasn't on a circuit that either of the two outlets are on but maybe it was somehow severing the network connection during my prior attempt. Either that or just giving them enough time unplugged gave the two units a hard reset. Doing a speedtest it maxes out our FIOS @ 40-45 Mbps. I didn't want to post too soon but now that they have been stable for over a month I would definitely recommend them and am considering buying another set for my PC.

One thing that would be nice is if the part that plugs into the outlet near the router allowed for multiple Ethernet inputs so you didn't have to take up another plug to add another set. It's possible that it exists as a separate purchase but I couldn't find one after doing some quick searches.

Well I sat down and set up my modem tonight. I went through the process, but wasn't able to connect to the internet. Then I remembered that I probably needed to plug the modem directly into my computer, I have it running to my Linksys WRT54G and from there to my computer via ethernet. Sure enough, plugged straight in it worked fine. Plugged it back into the router and nothing.

I unplugged the power to the modem and the router, then plugged them back in, same order. The light at the bottom of the modem that shows a device is connected (The red squiggly one at the bottom) is flashing red. I assume this means no connection, the instructions list only a blue or green light. It is blue when plugged directly in to the computer.

I opened Chrome as I was going to log into the router's setup screen and poke around there and to my surprise, my homepage loaded. That light is still flashing red. Any thoughts on why? It's obviously not a big deal since things seem to be properly working, I am curious, though.

I did a before/after speed test as well just for the heck of it:

before: 14.29/4.11
after: 47.24/3.9

I know that first dowload speed is lower than I generally see, but...whoah.

I called up Comcast this evening to check on my situation. I told them that after switching to the DOCSIS 3.0 modem, my performance seemed to go down to about 22-23 Mbps Down and 3-3.3 Mbps Up. I asked what package they had me on, and the person did say that I was on the "Performance" package. She said that because I have the DOCSIS 3.0 modem, she could set me to "Performance Plus" whatever that means. So, she said things would switch in 10 minutes. I did a couple resets, and barring an initial test where I was over 30 Mbps Down and still 3 something up, I'm back at 22-23 Mbps Down.

I have noticed that the needle will go way off the chart (like up in the 40s) for a couple seconds right at the start of some of the tests before settling into the 22-23 range. I'm guessing that has something to do with their burst/blast thing.

I'll check it again tomorrow to see if anything changed. At any rate, 22-23 down and over 3 up should be more than enough for me. I was checking out the requirements for 1080p streaming video, and one website was saying 4.5 Mbps to 9 Mbps. I should think that anything over 20 Mbps like what I have should be more than enough to not be a bottleneck.

I have noticed that the needle will go way off the chart (like up in the 40s) for a couple seconds right at the start of some of the tests before settling into the 22-23 range. I'm guessing that has something to do with their burst/blast thing.

Yeah, that's what I was saying about the modem allowing you to burst for a little while, and then settling back to your defined line rate. This can make web browsing a little faster, but it doesn't make much difference with larger downloads.

Ultimately, if you want more speed, you'll have to pay for it.

Malor wrote:

you'll have to pay for it.

By this morning I've thoroughly convinced myself that I'm happy where I'm at. Since I'm the only person in my household and 20 Mbps is more than double what you need to handle 1080p steaming video, I'm content. I don't need to download anything else quickly.


Well, I could always create an unsecured wireless network...

But what about 4K streaming?

Rykin wrote:

But what about 4K streaming?

He's already doing forK streaming. #dongle

So I think my old blue linksys is kicking the bucket, i'm getting gnarly ping spikes while playing League of Legends when i have 3+ computers assorted iphone and smart devices, as well as a Ps3 running. (it's not his fault that's just a lot of crap to deal with) Is there any kind of consensus on a plug and play gigabit + wireless router?

This Asus is rated very well on Amazon.

It's also very well rated here I use it (and love it), Tuffalo uses it (and I think he loves it), and some others here have it too, though I forget who off the top of my head. I think there's actually a newer RT-something66U that's got the latest and greatest bandwidth (Wireless ab or something, I forget that too), but apparently it will be quite some time before that becomes a standard channel for most devices to use yet.

So yes, the Dark Knight is a badass. Get it and be merry.

Oh, the newer model is the AC66U, which is apparently 300MBps more badass, but again-- I'm pretty sure there aren't many devices that utilize the Wireless AC band, though maybe there are more on the way soon that I just haven't heard about yet...

Yeah, the RT-AC66U is the latest and greatest, but I'd say save the $40 for now. I plan on picking up an N66U any time now too. I can get around not having a hardware VPN endpoint for work now and want a UPnP router for the Xboxes.

Phew $200 for a new router, pretty expensive future proofing... hmmm

Oh, it jumped up. It was $182 last I looked.

Yeah but it is shiny! Decisions decisions.

Just get the N, and you'll be fine. Anything that will be able to do AC should also be able to do N, and the speed boost from where you are now is pretty amazing.

At least, that was my thought process.

AC devices are still months away from hitting the market.

Yeah, it's a great router and N is fine if there is a $40 difference. If it was only a $10 or $20 difference, I'd just get the AC one, though. The AC one wasn't even available when I got mine. I kind of wish I had it because I could have picked up a motherboard that supported it when I did my newish build a couple months ago. But whatever, I saved a bit of money on the motherboard. AC really isn't all that necessary and there aren't a lot of adapters out right now. The ones that are out are expensive.

Mine is still running strong. Haven't had to do anything with it since the last time this thread was active.