Question Comcast Xfinity, Verizon FiOS, and getting my own router and possibly cablemodem

So, I'm starting to look up a bunch of stuff, since FiOS has decided to raise my rates, and stubbornly refuses to bring them back down, and I may go back to Comcast as a result.

I have some PCs connected via ethernet cables, and a few devices (phones, printer, TV, Roku, consoles) connected via Wi-Fi. It's just myself and my son, though.

Current setup:
  • Verizon-provided Actiontec MI424WR Rev I - currently I'm not paying for the rental, but I will have to give it back if I quit verizon. It has coax and RJ45 inputs, and has 4 Gigabit ethernet ports in addition to Wi-Fi
  • TP-Link 8-port Gigabit Switch (mine).
I figure I now finally have to move to not using ISP-owned equipment, therefore, my guess is that I will need:
  • Router with WiFi
    • With reasonably strong output - I don't need my neighbors to have access, but I would like to have it strong enough to reach throughout the house, which that Actiontec unit currently does
    • At least 2 Ethernet ports (WAN in, and LAN out). I figure the out would go to my TP-Link switch and cover the needs for all my wired devices.
  • Cablemodem (when using Comcast), and my assumption is that this will be between the outside connection and the WIFI router.
Recommendations for both the router and the cablemodem? I don't plan to go with Gigabit service, even 50Mbps was plenty for me for the most part, though I currently have 100Mbps.

I've done a bit of searching, and bookmarked a few links, and am sifting through that info, but any recommendations, especially from personal experience, would be helpful.
 

punkncat

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If I am not mistaken Verizon/Comcast/Xfinity are the same entity. I think the Verizon part operates as though it were separate, but they aren't really.

As to your equipment you can look up online (on their site) for modems you can purchase to work in lieu of the rental.
 

punkncat

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Ok, yeah had to look that one up. It appears that they struck some deal a few years ago to be operating within each others realm a bit. I recently had to turn in a recalled modem for Xfinity and was told to go to the Verizon store to do so, which we did and had things swapped in moments. Actually the same modem with new firmware.

Edit- I am with Comcast/Xfinity and our service is good, it's cable internet not fiber. They are the Devil to work with, mostly because they know they are the high speed player in my area. The FIOS service which I want so bad stops about 10 miles North of me and probably won't come down here due to the (craphole) of a county between us.
 
Depends on what city or area of a city you live in. Comcast has moved their lowest package to 100mbps. They offer something between 200-400 for mid and in certain areas offer gigabit.

In any case first step is to look through the supported modem list and see what modem works with the package you want. You may want to consider buying a modem that works both on the lower and mid range packages in case you decide to upgrade.

Some of the comcast packages have the modem at no cost, I think they require it on the gigabit package.

Which router you get is mostly a budget issue. The signal strength more or less is the same on all quality routers. You should get more or less the same performance on routers with the same speed "number". Your house and the end devices that are connecting to the router make far more difference than the small difference between router brands.

Mostly it will be other features in the software that make the difference and only you can decide. Be careful not to get conned by big numbers. Your end devices must also support things like 4x4 mimo if you want to use it. It is extremely rare for a end device to have 4 antenna. There are many other proprietary feature the router manufactures use to get big numbers, you need to read the fine print to be sure you can actually take advantage of them.
 

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