Multiple modems for internet service: does it work?

Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-FedRegistered User regular
I'm getting a new internet provider and they have given me a new modem. My old modem is exactly the same as the one a friend owns.

Can he simply plug my old modem in at his house and have it work with his service so he can get his wi-fi better on his second floor?

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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    I'm getting a new internet provider and they have given me a new modem. My old modem is exactly the same as the one a friend owns.

    Can he simply plug my old modem in at his house and have it work with his service so he can get his wi-fi better on his second floor?

    As far as I know, no.

    I'm just going to assume cable internet, ya? So those 'modems' are generally several devices stuck into the same box. There's the modem itself, which can modulate and demodulate the signal coming across the cable, turning that signal into something the rest of the machines can understand. There is the router/gateway, which is a computer that basically negotiates traffic on your network and (among a few other things) talks with the Internet Provider upstream. There is a switch which is the collection of ethernet ports that are hooked together, and there is a wireless access point, which is the bit inside that spits out the wireless signal.

    The internet provider is almost certainly only giving you one IP address and is only expecting there to be one modem and router connected. If you plugged it into a different cable outlet it probably wouldn't even connect (usually the cable company sets specific cable runs for internet service though some means), but even if it did, it would most likely just break everything as the two routers fought each other.

    Now, depending on the model, you may be able to turn off the router and modem functions. You could then connect it to the home network via one of the ethernet ports, and turn on the wireless AP. This would, however, require running some ethernet between the two.

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Hmmm, sounds too complex for me. It's not cable, just DSL but I imagine that's pretty much the same thing. Specifically the modem is an Actiontec PK5000:

    41mNQgD%2BgIL.jpg

    Thanks for the help!

    Magic Pink on
  • JugarJugar Registered User new member
    edited July 2014
    I know sharing a cable modem across different ISPs works just fine. Cable modems nowdays are all using the DOCSIS standard so it is pretty much interchangeable.

    I would expect it would be the same for DSL, but I am not as familiar with how they structure their service.

    Jugar on
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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Jugar wrote: »
    I know sharing a cable modem across different ISPs works just fine. Cable modems nowdays are all using the DOCSIS standard so it is pretty much interchangeable.

    I would expect it would be the same for DSL, but I am not as familiar with how they structure their service.

    The issue isn't moving a modem from one provider to another, it's using two modems on one account.

    I don't think it's possible. You could turn off the modem functions, hook up some ethernet, and use it as an access point. But you can't just plug it into a phone line and use it as "modem 2" I don't think.

    @Magic Pink I think your friend's best bet, if he/she can't do any settings adjustment, is to get a range extender:

    http://www.amazon.com/Linksys-Wireless-Range-Extender-RE1000/dp/B005FDXMJS

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  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Generally speaking, the best way to deal with poor wifi reception in a different part of your house is to get a second wifi router, and connect it to your primary wifi router via an ethernet cable (usually run through a wall to the attic or basement). You'd set up each wifi router a different channel (use channels 1, 6, or 11) with different IDs too.

    This tends to work much better than a wifi extender, even if it means your mobile devices sometimes picks the weaker wifi signal.

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