Which cable modem should I get?

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Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 8:09 am

If I were to ditch CenturyLink DSL for Comcast cable for my internet service, which cable modem should I get? I am looking at these two, but other suggestions are welcome.

Motorola SBG6580

Zoom 5352
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 8:23 am

Is it a must that its all in one? Or are you up to having cable modem with a seperate n router?
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 8:40 am

XorCist wrote:Is it a must that its all in one? Or are you up to having cable modem with a seperate n router?


I would prefer an all-in-one, particularly a wireless all-in-one. If I can truly get a superior router than the combined cable modem/wireless router, I am open to suggestions.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 9:03 am

I'd say the Zoom appears more desirable what with the dual antennas. I was unable to determine if the Motorola had dual internal ones.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 9:42 am

riviera74 wrote:I would prefer an all-in-one, particularly a wireless all-in-one. If I can truly get a superior router than the combined cable modem/wireless router, I am open to suggestions.

Depending on your wireless needs a stand-alone that can run an alternative FOSS firmware would be my first choice.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 9:48 am

riviera74 wrote:
XorCist wrote:Is it a must that its all in one? Or are you up to having cable modem with a seperate n router?


I would prefer an all-in-one, particularly a wireless all-in-one. If I can truly get a superior router than the combined cable modem/wireless router, I am open to suggestions.


A separate router adds an additional level of security, and they tend (at least in my experience) to have better range. YMMV.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 10:18 am

Additionally, if you have a separate router, you aren' t locked into Comcast. You can hop back and forth between the two, taking advantage of the better deals.

Also, a good router will generally be a better wireless performer than an all-in-one solution. Moreover, do you want wireless-ac in the next couple of years? Be ready to get a new modem, which won't be needed. Just make sure you are able to go up to docsis 3.0 and you should be fine on the modem front. Then find a solid router, perhaps with wireless-ac support, and you'll be good to go.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 12:03 pm

TheEmrys wrote:Additionally, if you have a separate router, you aren' t locked into Comcast. You can hop back and forth between the two, taking advantage of the better deals.

Also, a good router will generally be a better wireless performer than an all-in-one solution. Moreover, do you want wireless-ac in the next couple of years? Be ready to get a new modem, which won't be needed. Just make sure you are able to go up to docsis 3.0 and you should be fine on the modem front. Then find a solid router, perhaps with wireless-ac support, and you'll be good to go.


Well, that is why I want to BUY my own modem rather than use a modem provided by Comcast. (The $7 monthly rental fee is also a PITA.) Both the Motorola and Zoom cable modems I mentioned have DOCSIS 3.0 support already built into the modem.

What would you recommend for a solid router if I were to go separate from the modem itself?
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 12:09 pm

riviera74 wrote:What would you recommend for a solid router if I were to go separate from the modem itself?

http://www.amazon.com/RT-N16-Wireless-N ... B00387G6R8

ASUS RT-N16. Gigabit, N, USB print server and USB hard drive support. You can load DD-WRT or Tomato on it and keep all of the USB functions. I'd buy one today except that the WRT-54GL refuses to die.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 12:13 pm

I know it's stupid expensive, but it's really nice. I generally have routers for 5+ years so when you think about it, it really isn't THAT bad.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833320115
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 12:14 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
riviera74 wrote:What would you recommend for a solid router if I were to go separate from the modem itself?

http://www.amazon.com/RT-N16-Wireless-N ... B00387G6R8

ASUS RT-N16. Gigabit, N, USB print server and USB hard drive support. You can load DD-WRT or Tomato on it and keep all of the USB functions. I'd buy one today except that the WRT-54GL refuses to die.


Ned beat me here. Only reason I suggested the one I did is for AC support.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 12:35 pm

I have a Motorola SB6121 and a Linksys WRT610N v1.1 running dd-wrt right now. It's pretty optimal.

If I were doing it over again, I'd get an Asus RT-AC67U, as it's 3x3 802.11ac and runs DD-WRT already. The Moto can stay, though, since it'll take Comcast decades to bump the speed to something it can't handle.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 12:40 pm

Forge wrote:I have a Motorola SB6121 and a Linksys WRT610N v1.1 running dd-wrt right now. It's pretty optimal.

If I were doing it over again, I'd get an Asus RT-AC67U, as it's 3x3 802.11ac and runs DD-WRT already. The Moto can stay, though, since it'll take Comcast decades to bump the speed to something it can't handle.


mmmmmm 3x3 ac. That sounds lovely.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 11:23 pm

This may sound like a silly question but do you actually need DOCSIS 3.0? If memory serves 3.0 only has a benefit if you have and are using 30Mbps or more, I use a lowly $60 DOCSIS 2.0 modem from Motorola and the ISP service plan is definitely the bottleneck. Good call on buying your own though, Comcast is the devil and that stupid monthly fee for a crappy modem just makes things worse.

I recommend modem + router as I don't have a lot of faith in all-in-ones from a security standpoint. For what it's worth I use an old Linksys 4-port Ethernet router with a cheap connected WiFi router for when I need it, but I'm also kind of paranoid about wireless access and wanted the ability to turn it off when it's not in use. YMMV there.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Mon May 13, 2013 11:35 pm

How about the SURFboard 6141 cable modem paired with a decent wireless router?
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 12:19 am

Is there a difference between the 6141 and 6121? If not, whatever is cheapest, I guess.

Novus - I have 60 down and 20 up right now, and Comcast is muttering about more speed soon. God bless Verizon FiOS. If Google was in the area, I'm sure it would be even more.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 12:27 am

Yeah, go for DOCSIS 3.0 modem + separate wireless router.

I initially signed up for the 30 meg connection with Comcast. But for some reason, I regularly see sustained 100mbps transfers on my connection.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 1:34 am

My parents had a Zoom all in one for a year or so. Then the router portion of the all in one stopped working. I bought them a cheap Asus router which turned out to have a larger range and be more reliable. So even if you get a Zoom All in one you might end up with a separates anyway.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 2:46 am

I don't get what the need for separates is. No one has yet argued well why integrated cable modem/router is not a good solution.

It's DOCSIS 3.0. It's dual channel wireless N with dual antennas and gigabit ports. It's one device.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 2:53 am

This may sound like a silly question but do you actually need DOCSIS 3.0?


No. But if you have an old modem a new one may prove a more reliable device. And you may as well have DOCSIS 3.0 since it can fallback to 2.0 anyway. I had a 10 year old cable modem and in that time modems have become much more power efficient.

And I have no idea if it is even possible to buy a new modem not capable of DOCSIS 3.0 today? It's a huge why. I don't think you'd save much of any money.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 3:27 am

One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go with a double or triple play that includes voice on Comcast you will end up getting a new modem to handle the voice and Internet. You will also end up paying an $8 fee for that modem that you apparently can't get out of since you have to have their modem for the voice features. Though at least you do get DOCSIS 3.0 support.

As for a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, they will work fine at speeds of 30Mbits/sec. I was using one and getting those speeds regularly on Comcast until I switched to their triple play service and got an Arris voice/Internet modem.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 5:22 am

Forge wrote:Is there a difference between the 6141 and 6121?
More channel bindings are possible with the 6141 for higher throughput.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 8:36 am

My Johnson wrote:I don't get what the need for separates is. No one has yet argued well why integrated cable modem/router is not a good solution.

It's DOCSIS 3.0. It's dual channel wireless N with dual antennas and gigabit ports. It's one device.


TheEmrys wrote:Additionally, if you have a separate router, you aren' t locked into Comcast. You can hop back and forth between the two, taking advantage of the better deals.

Also, a good router will generally be a better wireless performer than an all-in-one solution. Moreover, do you want wireless-ac in the next couple of years? Be ready to get a new modem, which won't be needed. Just make sure you are able to go up to docsis 3.0 and you should be fine on the modem front. Then find a solid router, perhaps with wireless-ac support, and you'll be good to go.


You mean other than this?

Just because a modem has a built in wireless router does not mean that its routing is any good. What is the range and power output? What sort of customization can be done? Firmware/software updates? USB2/3? Tomato/DD-WRT? With a separate router, you can pick and choose. Oh, and if you want wireless-ac, its pretty hard to find a cable modem with that built in. Netgear announced one, and its okay. But then you are still locked into cable.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 9:01 am

Get a modem that matches your needs and speed.

If you aren't shooting for 20Mbps+ or more. You don't really need a DOCSIS 3.0 unit. Wireless is nice if you have devices that take advantage of it. You can get a separate decent router. It just makes security and QOS management a breeze.
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Re: Which cable modem should I get?

Postposted on Tue May 14, 2013 9:11 am

I have an ASUS RT-N56U. I love it. Built-in USB hard drive support and print server. Dual-band 802.11n, gigabit ethernet, and tons of configuration options. ASUS's firmware has tons of configuration options and such. They had a firmware update in December that switched them from their own firmware to something based on DD-WRT. Up until they did that, I may have been hesitant to recommend the router, but the new firmware opened up a ton of stuff.
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