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Question Switching from FiOS to Cable; Advice for modem/router, speed?

splunge

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Feb 16, 2006
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My wife and I are moving from our large house to a 3 bedroom condo. We have FiOS connected by ethernet to the PC and wifi using the Verizon provided modem, router and a wifi booster that also connects by ethernet to a internet TV. With the kids home we are likely to have 2+ laptops, 3-4 iphones, the PC, a wifi printer, a Roku and a smart TV using bandwidth, typically not all at the same time. My son and I game on PC but usually not multiplayer so lag speed is not critical.

FiOS is not available for the condo so I expect to switch to Xfinity cable for internet.
They offer several speeds of internet at different price points and I am looking for advice.

Additionally, we can rent a modem but the salesperson suggested buying a modem and router or a combo device. Can someone suggest a product or guidance as to what to look for in a modem/router? Can we use the verizon booster as it connects by coaxial cable? Is it even worthwhile in a smaller space?

Thanks in advance!
 

gggplaya

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Comcast has a ton of compatible cable modem's available on Amazon. Pretty much anything made by Arris or Motorola will be compatible. I had a TPlink modem and it's still working great at my friends house. As long as they advertise Xfinity with the modem, it should be compatible but may not reach the speeds advertised. Instead you should use my guide below.

You need a Docsis 3.0 or Docsis 3.1 modem.

Docsis 3.1 modems will have higher speeds available but cost alot more.

Then there are channels in your modem. If you only plan on getting 100-200mbps, you can get away with a cheaper 8x4 modem. But I'd recommend getting a 16x4 modem as a minimum to have a bit of headroom for future proofing. 16x4 will get you into that 300-400mbps range.

Most people will buy a 24x8 modem to get you into the roughly 600mbps range realistically.

If you want gigabit speeds, you need a docsis 3.1 modem which jumps the cost of considerably. Since comcast's gigabit plan is now actually 1200mbps. I'd recommend a modem with a 2.5gbe network port for future proofing.
 
DOCSIS 3.0 downstream speed is up to 1Gbps. It's only the upload that can max out at about 200Mbps.
With cable internet you'll have asynchronous speeds (download will be much faster than upload) so I doubt DOCSIS 3.0 is going to be a limiting factor.

As others have said most if not all DOCSIS 3.0 (or 3.1) modems will be compatible. Any one will probably do.
 

gggplaya

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DOCSIS 3.0 downstream speed is up to 1Gbps. It's only the upload that can max out at about 200Mbps.
With cable internet you'll have asynchronous speeds (download will be much faster than upload) so I doubt DOCSIS 3.0 is going to be a limiting factor.

As others have said most if not all DOCSIS 3.0 (or 3.1) modems will be compatible. Any one will probably do but STAY AWAY FROM ANY MODEM THAT USES THE INTEL PUMA CHIPSET. Those chipsets in these modems causes random packet drops.

Theoretically you are correct, but this hasn't been my experience with Comcast. With cable companies, they have "profiles" they push onto modems and even though the modems theoretically reach gigabit speeds, the profile that comcast pushed out maxed out much lower for whatever reason. Perhaps it's based on signal or distance or whatever. After 2 weeks of trying to get gigabit speed with my docsis 3.0 32x8 modem, I drove to Microcenter and bought a docsis 3.1 modem and was able to hit gigabit speeds instantly.

Even amazon sellers have updated their customer expectations:
https://www.amazon.com/MOTOROLA-MB7621-Approved-Spectrum-Downloads/dp/B077BL65HS
" Model MB7621 is recommended for actual cable Internet service speeds up to 650 Mbps. "

"DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 600 Mbps"
 
It will depend on what the OP is after. If they really want Gbit speeds they should make sure to get a modem that is know-good for those speeds.

I just caution them not to believe the ISP ads, that you need Gbit speeds if more than 5 devices are connected to the internet at the same time. This is utter bulloks pushed by ISPs to get people into a higher tier.
 
Key here is to see what the ISP recommends. Many times they will say a docsis 3.0 will work but in fine print they indicate it really needs to have the 3.1 in some neighborhoods based on how they have the equipment configured. Of course it doesn't do much good if the ISP is still running 3.0 in a certain neighborhood and you use a 3.1 modem since it will drop back to 3.0. Many cable providers have a very messy network even in the same city because of all the historical ISP buying each other.

Key here is to go to the ISP web site and put in your address and see what they recommend for that address. You will actually get different recommendation from the ISP based on the location . Can't just go by generic "supported" lists even on the ISP site.
 

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