Question Need modem recommendation

hunter1801a

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Installing internet in my new home and need a recommendation on a modem. House will be hardwired throughout, with a mesh wifi system. What should I be looking for?

ISP: Cox
Package speed: 150 Mbps

First off, do I need DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. They recommend that for 500Mbps-1GB speeds, which I won't have any time soon.
Haven't decided on the specific mesh system yet, but most likely will be Eero. Not sure if that matters for modem recommendation.
 
If your isp isn't technically restricting older modems, an sb6183 or sb6190 will work just fine. You may have to lie about the model number if you have to call in for activation. People on comcast have gotten older modems to work this way.
 

hunter1801a

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For the modem, you generally want something from the ISP recommended list.
A router behind the modem can be just about anything.
Well ya, but I'm asking about a specific recommendation. There are lots of modems on their list. I just want to make sure I'm getting something good, but not overkill.

Their list:
https://www.cox.com/residential/support/cox-certified-cable-modems.html

My service plan is currently below the "Preferred 150" level, but I may jump up to that. So I doubt I need DOCSIS 3.1 or any modem that has Gigabit speeds.

I was looking at the Netgear CM700, just because it's on the next tier up (Ultimate Classic), so figured that's the most future proofing I need to do.
https://smile.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Cable-Modem-CM1000-Compatible/dp/B07976SNVB/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Netgear+CM1000&qid=1615957972&sr=8-3&th=1

Also, since I'm getting a separate mesh system for wifi, should I just avoid all modem/router combos? Or is it still worth looking at them, but just not using the router function (assuming that's possible)?

Lastly...for the "channel bonding" stat, I'm assuming higher is better? 32x8 > 24x8 > 16x4?
 
Wow, you can get almost anything and it will work. I'd get a used sb6141, sb6183, or sb6190 as these will be perfectly fine for many years depending on if you ever exceed the 150Mbps speed. The Arris sb-series modems are very reliable and very commonly found used for cheap too.

As far as the wifi combo, I would avoid them as you're just paying extra for nothing since if you use them in straight modem mode, the router part is completely turned off. And in some cases it may even cause issues so I would avoid it.

Yep, more channel bonding will allow you to have higher speed plans, but that's not needed if you're not upgrading.
 

hunter1801a

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Wow, you can get almost anything and it will work. I'd get a used sb6141, sb6183, or sb6190 as these will be perfectly fine for many years depending on if you ever exceed the 150Mbps speed. The Arris sb-series modems are very reliable and very commonly found used for cheap too.

As far as the wifi combo, I would avoid them as you're just paying extra for nothing since if you use them in straight modem mode, the router part is completely turned off. And in some cases it may even cause issues so I would avoid it.

Yep, more channel bonding will allow you to have higher speed plans, but that's not needed if you're not upgrading.
You mentioned I may have to "lie about the model number if you have to call in for activation ". Why would I need to and would I just make up a random number?

Thoughts on Netgear vs Arris? I've had experience with Arris before and don't have issues with them, but wondering if there is a benefit to going with the Netgear models. Looking at the following:

Netgear CM500, 600 and 700
Arris SB6183 and 6190 - I know you recommended these, which is fine, but compared to the above what's best?
 
You mentioned I may have to "lie about the model number if you have to call in for activation ". Why would I need to and would I just make up a random number?

Thoughts on Netgear vs Arris? I've had experience with Arris before and don't have issues with them, but wondering if there is a benefit to going with the Netgear models. Looking at the following:

Netgear CM500, 600 and 700
Arris SB6183 and 6190 - I know you recommended these, which is fine, but compared to the above what's best?
I would pick one from the supported list that kinda matches yours spec-wise. I only think you need to since someone on another forum had to, but you may not have any issues.

Arris all the way. I've not read almost any issues with Arris modems anywhere, but I have seen some issues with Netgear.

If I could have any from your list, sb6190 all the way--love both of mine.
 

USAFRet

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It is recommended to buy a modem from their list, because if there are any issues later on, they will automatically point to your off list modem as the problem.
Kinda sorta the same is not "the same".

That is the specific device their network talks to. If you have something from their list, they can't blame it for being not compatible.
 
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All those are on their list, that's why I selected them.

Thoughts on this "renewed" 6190? Seems like a great deal, but wondering why so low. Still really low even for refurbished/renewed.

https://smile.amazon.com/ARRIS-Surfboard-SB6190-RB-DOCSIS-Cable/dp/B06XPRDVDC/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=sb6190&qid=1616037873&sr=8-4
The sb6190 is subject to an Internet 'scare' that told people to avoid them even though there's nothing wrong with them or whatever was wrong seems to get patched with the isp config file. I bought one of my sb6190s new and bought the other open box new for a ridiculously low price because someone was scared by the Internet and was outside their return period. Mine have both been in service on two different isps on two different sides of the country for years now and even have a latency sensitive link between them. The only times I've seen issues is when the isps are having issues. They're otherwise doing their job solidly. I look at the sb6190 as one of the best deals in modems out there as it can do everything the hyped 8200 could do but cost a fraction as much.
 

hunter1801a

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Found a new SB6183 for $60, so just got that. I'm assuming I don't need anything in between my modem and mesh router, right?
It's just Modem -> Mesh router, not Modem -> Standard Router -> Mesh router?

Edit:
^Just re-read what I typed and the formatting made it confusing. This has been answered already, but clarifying for future readers. Should have read as:

It's just: Modem -> Mesh router;
Not: Modem -> Standard Router -> Mesh router
(this has been answered already though; Modem -> Mesh Router is correct)
 
Last edited:
Found a new SB6183 for $60, so just got that. I'm assuming I don't need anything in between my modem and mesh router, right?
It's just Modem -> Mesh router, not Modem -> Standard Router -> Mesh router?
That's a solid buy if you got it from a good retailer like best buy. Otherwise there's a lot of used ones that could be repackaged and sold as new by the shadies out there like amazon.

Yep, pretty simple. Modem-->Router-->Network.
 

USAFRet

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Found a new SB6183 for $60, so just got that. I'm assuming I don't need anything in between my modem and mesh router, right?
It's just Modem -> Mesh router, not Modem -> Standard Router -> Mesh router?
What are these mesh routers and regular routers?
Overall, you want ONE of these devices to be doing DHCP duty and in control of static IP's.
 

hunter1801a

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What are these mesh routers and regular routers?
Overall, you want ONE of these devices to be doing DHCP duty and in control of static IP's.
Example of standard router:
https://smile.amazon.com/TP-Link-Router-AX1800-Archer-AX21/dp/B08H8ZLKKK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=router&qid=1616109915&sr=8-3

Example of mesh system:
https://smile.amazon.com/Introducing-eero-mesh-WiFi-system-3-pack-/dp/B07WMLPSRL/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=mesh+router&qid=1616109921&sr=8-4

I figure the mesh system just replaces the "normal"/standard router.
 

USAFRet

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"It's just Modem -> Mesh router, not Modem -> Standard Router -> Mesh router "

You really only need the modem and a single good router.
The router will provide the wired connections as well as WiFi.
 
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Mesh isn’t all that. Just get a really good high-quality powerful router

TP Link stuff is generally garbage in my book and I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole
Bad advice. TP Link Archer series are quite good and have all sorts of positive recommendations too. And I own two of them and they are good for sure.

That being said, the 'mesh' overpriced marketing hype works well, but can be done better and cheaper by using properly placed access points.
 

hunter1801a

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Bad advice. TP Link Archer series are quite good and have all sorts of positive recommendations too. And I own two of them and they are good for sure.

That being said, the 'mesh' overpriced marketing hype works well, but can be done better and cheaper by using properly placed access points.
The only access point solution I've been recommended is Ubiquiti UniFi, which is more expensive than the mesh systems. Also much harder to set up from what I've read.

My only concern with just getting 1 good router (instead of mesh) is because I'm in a 2-story house. Modem/router is in a closet downstairs and I need to get signal throughout the upstairs as well. 1500 sq ft. Overall shape is kind of rectangular and I don't know if I could get signal on the furthest part of the house. Open to thoughts and suggestions though.
 
When you connect via ethenet you are running as AP. All the device are on a single network and can talk to each other. This has been the way large wifi networks have been installed since wifi was invented. Mesh did not invent this topology. The only reason you would need mesh is if you did not have the ethernet cable and needed all the remote radios connected via wifi. This is just a improved repeater....and it is not even improved unless you buy the good mesh systems that have extra dedicated radios to perform the function ethernet cable does.

You do not have to use actual AP, any router can be made to run as a AP. You do not need real fancy routers because you are only going to use the radio part.

Mesh is mostly marketing. Most people know that "new and improved" means nothing so this is a new scam to get people to spend money on stuff they really don't need because they are too lazy to learn anything about what they are buying.

Ubiquiti is expensive because it marketed at small business. It is easy to manually configure AP if you have say less than 5-10. If you have large numbers you need the all the extra features to help you configure and manage your system. Also real AP tend to be more expensive because they can be powered by the erthernet cable.

The real reason you can't just run a single router now days is all your neighbors have put in stupid mesh systems or have tri band router. When you have mulitple people trying to use all the available bandwidth all they do is stomp on each other. If you had no interference even a lower power signal will work fine.

The mesh stuff is for people who think you can just put magic boxes in rooms that match their artwork without any planning or knowledge. So many lazy people that take thing out of the box and toss the instructions in the trash.
 
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The only access point solution I've been recommended is Ubiquiti UniFi, which is more expensive than the mesh systems. Also much harder to set up from what I've read.

My only concern with just getting 1 good router (instead of mesh) is because I'm in a 2-story house. Modem/router is in a closet downstairs and I need to get signal throughout the upstairs as well. 1500 sq ft. Overall shape is kind of rectangular and I don't know if I could get signal on the furthest part of the house. Open to thoughts and suggestions though.
bill001g said it all. :)

The Ubiquiti access points are much better than normal consumer ones. People have gone from needing 2x consumer ones to replacing it with one Ubiquiti and with better results. I don't think there's a single Ubiquiti install that I've read about where they weren't happy. And these just scratch the surface as real enterprise access points like Ruckus blow the Ubiquitis out of the water, but the cost does too (for new--they have been cheap used at times).

For your particular setup, since you have ethenet ports, you don't need to have your router be your access point--and that frees you up in a lot of ways as you can put one downstairs at 3/4 of the way to the end of the rectangle and one upstairs at the opposite 3/4 end. There would be a nice bit of signal overlap in between and would still be enough to extend out to cover the ends. I've read about a single Ubiquiti LR covering 2900 sqft before, so these are powerful. And you don't even need ubiquti and can go with whatever $100 routers and get 3x of them, installing one as a router with in your closet downstairs and then putting 2x upstairs in access point mode. The beauty of your wired backbone is that you can add them wherever you need them in case you have a dead spot--just be sure to keep the radios turned down so they're not screaming over each other. They should overlap like a Venn diagram.
 

hunter1801a

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Welp...I'm on a short time frame (network guys installing all the wiring this Sunday), so I have through tomorrow to buy whatever I need. Any quick, specific suggestions? Or should I make another thread in the Wireless Networking forum, since this thread has shifted? I may just have to end up buying anything from a local store to get things installed/tested Sunday, then I can research more and return/buy something else later.

So a mesh system with one of the nodes connected by ethernet is basically the same thing as just having another router connected by ethernet then?

Also, the closet that the modem and router will be in is directly underneath where the living room's wifi TV is located upstairs. I figure this should be close enough to get the signal through the floor and not have to rely on the upstairs AP (which I can put at the further end/corner of the floor).
 
Welp...I'm on a short time frame (network guys installing all the wiring this Sunday), so I have through tomorrow to buy whatever I need. Any quick, specific suggestions? Or should I make another thread in the Wireless Networking forum, since this thread has shifted? I may just have to end up buying anything from a local store to get things installed/tested Sunday, then I can research more and return/buy something else later.

So a mesh system with one of the nodes connected by ethernet is basically the same thing as just having another router connected by ethernet then?

Also, the closet that the modem and router will be in is directly underneath where the living room's wifi TV is located upstairs. I figure this should be close enough to get the signal through the floor and not have to rely on the upstairs AP (which I can put at the further end/corner of the floor).
I would get 2x $100 asus or tplink routers. Put one downstairs by the modem and the other upstairs in ap mode as needed.

No, the mesh systems sometimes do funky things with the routing so that your wired network on the wired backhaul would be a different network. It's actually worse than just having a second access point. These systems are designed for installations without wires (and brains, lol).

Why in the world are you running the tv off wifi when you have ethernet jacks! Even if the jack isn't close enough, use a cheap pair of powerline adapters and take advantage of the wired infrastructure you have! The only wireless devices you should have are those that aren't in fixed locations--everything else should be wired. And once you've had a wired tv experience, you'll never go back to wireless. :D
 

hunter1801a

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Why in the world are you running the tv off wifi when you have ethernet jacks! Even if the jack isn't close enough, use a cheap pair of powerline adapters and take advantage of the wired infrastructure you have! The only wireless devices you should have are those that aren't in fixed locations--everything else should be wired. And once you've had a wired tv experience, you'll never go back to wireless. :D
That's just an assumption for worst case scenario in the living room. I'm having a jack installed directly underneath, but I'm seeing a trend in some TVs to ONLY be wifi.

All our current TVs are TCL (Roku) and they do not have ethernet ports (stupid design choice). I'm buying a new one for the living room anyways, but have to account for scenario in which it may not have a port. Plus this current one will be going into the bedroom once I get a new living room TV, so I'll have that situation regardless.

I was also advised that I really should a tri-band router or mesh system. How necessary is that if the node will be hard wired? Can I get away with dual band? Tri's are usually more expensive by a lot.
 

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