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Cable modem death?

PeenPeen tw1tch0rzoccasionallyRegistered User regular
Hey H/A folks, how likely is it that a cable modem will suddenly shit the bed and stop working? We've got one that's ~2 years old and our internet has been slower than mud since last night and when we called Comcast they said that they weren't reading any outages in our area but that our modem was old so we should consider replacing it. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about I'm on Comcast's mid-tier cable internet and while it'll load google's homepage it can't even load the bits to make a speedtest work. I figured I'd get more than a few years out of a modem but do you just need to periodically replace them?

Posts

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Comcast will /always/ give the modem as the reason for a problem, usually without doing any diagnostics. It's the easiest thing for them to do, from a service standpoint. Were I you, I would look into support forums and research failures with your specific modem before going down the replacement route. A lot of times your service suddenly cutting out or getting shitty is just the precursor to a problem on their side of things. They should be able to come out and check your service without you paying a bunch of money.

    bowenZilla360Peen
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    What manufacturer/model is the modem? I've seen a few that are ten years old and still doing fine, and unless it just won't power on I would remain skeptical that the modem is the problem.

    That said, if it is a DOCSIS 2.0 modem that could be why they are suggesting replacing it, everything has been moving to DOCSIS 3.0 (and will probably start moving to 3.1 in the near future).

    And that said, if you are having speed problems like what you describe there's 3 likely causes:
    1) You are maxing your bandwidth (upload or download).
    2) There is noise somewhere causing packet loss.
    3) The node you are on is saturated.

    And I don't work for Comcast so I'm not sure what tools the average residential tech support agent has at their disposal, but I'd put a little cash down to say they wouldn't catch any of those.

    Peen
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, that's a good point, DOCSIS 2.0 vs. 3. I would definitely agree with potentially moving up to a 3.0 device if you don't have one. If you think it might go obsolete soon, you could temporarily rent one from comcast.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Well that wouldn't cause a 2.0 to stop working/slow down.

    It's most likely a saturated node. Especially if the problem only occurs from 4:00-11:00pm.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, no, not saying it would cause a problem, it's just an aside, on top of whatever the real issue is.

    bowen
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    It could always just have been a surge that fucked up some hardware. I argued with TWC about that for about a week.

    Then I picked up a new modem and never had trouble again.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
  • PeenPeen tw1tch0rz occasionallyRegistered User regular
    We've had some thunderstorms and it's an old modem and it's slow at any time of the day or night. I'm guess it's just borked, I ordered a new one and we'll see. Thanks everyone!

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    is the DOCSIS upgrade a necessary thing? i get pretty fast speeds (i don't really do much over the internets that's too taxing) with my current modem. i got a letter from Comcast saying i should upgrade, and i thought it was just some horseshit letter trying to get me to rent their equipment.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You might get better speeds. There's a noticeable difference between 1 vs 2 vs 3, but only if you're at the mid/high tiers of service. The lowest one? Meh, DOCSIS 1 should be fine.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    honestly, i have no idea which version i'm rocking... my modem is pretty damn old. might be time to upgrade.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    dangit! i just bought a new router not long ago, most of the modems i see are 2 in 1 deals. ARGH

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    when that happened to me, they ended up coming out to look at a pole and in the process found a couple people stealing cable in the neighborhood which was causing everyone's internet to slow down.

    at least that's what they told me.

    Xaquin on
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    You might get better speeds. There's a noticeable difference between 1 vs 2 vs 3, but only if you're at the mid/high tiers of service. The lowes t one? Meh, DOCSIS 1 should be fine.

    DOCSIS 1 may not work at all. It depends on how the node is configured. I can't recommend anyone use a DOCSIS 1 modem these days (but at lower speeds, if it does work, it will be fine).

    DOCSIS 2 should work fine for any download speed < 20M, but DOCSIS 3 might work better depending on how Comcast has their stuff set up.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited May 2014
    Yup, I would say most nodes are configured to allow the older versions because lol @ upgrading everyone's devices. See tons of those DOCSIS 1 surfboard modems everywhere still.

    DxYIfXY.jpg

    Legitimately TWC is still using those right now. We got one when we moved in to our new apartment, until I asked to upgrade. The SB5120 is still pretty common too, the black version of that modem.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
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