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Cable modems

DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
Okay, I'm moving from my current crappy apartment to a new, much nicer apartment. The new apartment has all sorts of things that my current apartment lacks, such as a dishwasher, private parking, multiple bedrooms, a basement lounge with a (small) bar, a working toilet, and a non-misanthropic maintenance guy. One thing it lacks that I've grown accustomed to, however, is FiOS as an internet provider. So I'm going Comcast, for lack of any better options.

One of Comcast's more obnoxious policies is that if you don't own your own cable modem, you need to pay them $7 per month extra for the privilege of them letting you use theirs. Back when I lived in New York, I had Time Warner's cable internet and they never pulled this kind of bullshit. But I digress. I need to buy a cable modem.

So what the hell one do I buy? There's this DOCSIS 3 thing, but I don't know if it's important since I'm not going to be paying for 30+ Mbps at Comcast's extortionate rates. Does DOCSIS 3 help if I'm not breaking that barrier? What brands are good? Can I get one with a built-in wireless and wired router (that actually works most of the time)? Do I want to install DD-WRT Linux to it, just for the sake of installing Linux to every Turing-complete device in my house? Should I just go with whatever one looks exactly like the one that Time Warner used to let me use for free back in New York? Help me out, here, PA, I'm in unfamiliar territory.

Daedalus on


  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited May 2011
    I got a refurbished Linksys off of Newegg that I've been very happy with. Paid for its self within four months.

    Skoal Cat on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The easiest solution is to go to Best Buy (or Staples, etc). They usually have a Comcast kit you can buy with the modem, cables, and optional shitty software.

    Otherwise just about any major brand will work.

    How long are you planning on staying there? Spending $140 on a modem is the same as renting for 20 months, plus you get 'better' service.

    edit: Sorry, was thinking router. The Cisco CM100 seems popular. Or the Moto Surfboard.

    MichaelLC on
  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    If you're going to be using cable connections for more than a year then a modem/residential gateway will pay for its' self. Just make sure you get one with DOCSIS 3 & IPv6 support so you won't have to upgrade again soon.

    You can get the basic cable modem like I did. MOTOROLA SB6120

    Then there is the Residential gateway. I like this because it also has a firewall and DHCP server built in. So you won't need any more boxes for basic stuff. Sou can just use this and plug a switch into if you need more Gigabit thernet ports. This wasn't out yet when I bought my modem. MOTOROLA SBG6580

    Dark Shroud on
  • The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Depending on where you live, Comcast should have upgraded their service to support DOCSIS 3, they have had it here in Utah for a couple years now.

    I have that modem that Dark Shroud linked and I have had no complaints at all. Well, except when I had to register it with Comcast to get it to work on their network; but that was just due to an inept customer support person. Maybe its different elsewhere but for our Comcast you can't just plug and play a cable modem that isn't theirs.

    If you plan on having Cable Internet for any length of time, I would really recommend getting your own modem and a separate router. It pays for itself both in cost and in saving frustration pretty quickly. I've never gotten good equipment from any company when I've rented theirs and it's always a massive headache when family or friends who do have the companies stuff asks me for help with problems.

    As far as the DD-WRT thing on your router, that's just up to you. The Asus I had before my current netgear, I put tomato on and it improved the performance quite a bit. But then the router died in a few months, I'm not sure if it was related at all. I went and got the netgear and haven't had any problems with it at all with its native software. When I bought it, it didn't support DD-WRT and I haven't bothered checking since then if it is now. If it is something you do want to do, make sure you check out what model and revisions are supported by the community before you buy your router. It's very easy to just assume, "Oh, this <model> can support it, only to find out that oh, only R3, not 1 or 2 support it. Hopefully worst case, you find out before you flash it.

    The Dude With Herpes on
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