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Robyn5

join:2012-03-09

[Wi-Fi] Comcast Wireless Gateway & Chrome Questions

I subscribed to Comcast HSI today after 2 solid days of headaches with my current ISP of long-standing (which were preceded by 4 solid days of headaches in late November). Am taking it for a "test drive". I run a small home network (3 notebooks) - nothing fancy. No demanding apps (at least not to my way of thinking). I could only pick up a standard modem at my local office. And was told the only way I could get the wireless gateway (which I need) was to have a tech deliver and install it. I have an appointment set for Sunday.

I have used wireless gateways for a long time - and I like the idea of an "all in one solution". I also like the idea of having one entity responsible for everything that's involved with my internet access and network. So - if something doesn't work - there's not a lot of finger-pointing. I don't care about the monthly rental fee. It's less than the cost of one Comcast TV box.

I am fairly experienced when it comes to computers (bought my first computer in the 1970's - have been on line since the 80's - and have had broadband access since 1995 - initially through MediaOne - which is now part of Comcast). But it's spring in north Florida these days - and I have no desire to spend the nicest part of the year here in north Florida inside spending hours configuring a network. If the Comcast gateway works ok - I'll take it.

So does anyone here have any personal experience with one of these Comcast supplied gateways? Good - bad - or indifferent? What do you like or not like about it? Any feedback would be appreciated (if the tech can't get it to work properly in my house - I don't have to pay for the service call - but it would be nice to know in advance if there are any "known issues" with this piece of hardware - and if people have had problems with it).

Also - I use Firefox - and got the modem I picked up today to work fine with it. But in the course of making some phone calls to Comcast about some unrelated setup matters - at least one person told me that Comcast wouldn't work with Google Chrome (which my husband uses). This didn't sound right to me. But - again - I'm just asking if anyone has any personal experience. Robyn



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4

gateways suck....period.....they dont have the necessary power to run as effectively as a separate modem/router does...the new comcast DORYs (gateway) also lack the wireless coverage needed for a decent size house, or smaller house, depending on construction...

also web browsers have no bearing on access.....chrome, FF, opera, ie, etc all work....
--
I'm better than you!



JJJohnson

join:2001-08-25
Fort Collins, CO
reply to Robyn5

said by Robyn5:

Also - I use Firefox - and got the modem I picked up today to work fine with it. But in the course of making some phone calls to Comcast about some unrelated setup matters - at least one person told me that Comcast wouldn't work with Google Chrome (which my husband uses). This didn't sound right to me. But - again - I'm just asking if anyone has any personal experience.

My guess is that they were referring to something on the Comcast web site which is incompatible with Chrome. Which could be. Some form that doesn't work or something trivial. But I've used Chrome without a problem on Comcast's site and it works just fine with the service on other sites.

Buy your own wireless router. Most wifi routers these days are configured almost identically right out of the box and take only a few minutes to setup - you just enter an SSID (network name) and a wireless password. Researching which one to buy will take you longer than setting it up.

Robyn5

join:2012-03-09
reply to gar187er

said by gar187er:

gateways suck....period.....they dont have the necessary power to run as effectively as a separate modem/router does...the new comcast DORYs (gateway) also lack the wireless coverage needed for a decent size house, or smaller house, depending on construction...

also web browsers have no bearing on access.....chrome, FF, opera, ie, etc all work....

Which ones have you used? I've been quite happy with the ones I've used (3-4 generations). Robyn


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4

netgear, linksys, moto....ive been quite displeased with the dozens of them ive pulled from customers houses due to issues....

and there are no generations of gateways, as they are all the same build....its like saying i have a 3rd generation tv/vcr combo....
--
I'm better than you!


Robyn5

join:2012-03-09

Well - I had always assumed the gateways I have in my closet that are 10 years old are different than those that are 2 years old - but I've never looked at them in any detail.

Anyway - I have time to go shopping today (on line and/or bricks and mortar). Any particular router(s) on the market today that you recommend? Note that the distance between the modem/router and the computer that is farthest from the router is about 100 feet give or take. The interior walls of our house are drywall with metal studs. Have never had a problem using any wireless device inside (gateways - cordless phones - cell phones - Kindles - remotes - etc.). The exterior walls are concrete block - but the only wireless devices we ever use outside are Kindles - and we've never had a problem with them. Suggestions would be much appreciated - since I've never bought a router before. Thanks, Robyn



EG
The wings of love
Premium
join:2006-11-18
Union, NJ
kudos:9
reply to Robyn5

Excellent site for researching all things router;

»www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/r···rts/view

Look around at all the other pages there.


Robyn5

join:2012-03-09
reply to Robyn5

Thanks EG - Took a look at that website today. I think that JJJJohnson was correct in saying that it will take me longer to research which modem/router to buy than to install it.

For now - I am going to let a Comcast tech come in and set up a Comcast wireless router. Just to make sure that I can get a Comcast system to work in the house. If something will work in the house - then I will explore if there are better ways to make the system work by buying something. At the same time - I will run the AT&T DSL parallel with Comcast (at least on the wireless end). See how they compare in terms of stability - reliability - etc. For at least 4-5 months - through hurricane/tropical storm season.

Note that most of my computer stuff is somewhat business oriented - and it is very important to me that I have a stable reliable connection - as opposed to the fastest connection in the world. Any connection - which is why I still have dial-up access (through AT&T) as a back-up. If I decide to ditch AT&T - I'll find another cheaper dial-up provider for a back-up connection (there are still a few of them out there).

It will be interesting to see how Comcast works out the second time around. I was still happy with it when I "fired" it about a decade ago - and I fired it simply because - at the time - it didn't support home networking at all. Robyn



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

1 recommendation

reply to EG

said by EG:

Excellent site for researching all things router;

»www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/r···rts/view

Look around at all the other pages there.

Yep, that site often dissects the routers that it reviews and provides information that the vendor neglects to mention (or deliberately hides).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
reply to Robyn5

said by Robyn5:

It will be interesting to see how Comcast works out the second time around. I was still happy with it when I "fired" it about a decade ago - and I fired it simply because - at the time - it didn't support home networking at all. Robyn

Are you sure that was Comcast, and not @home?. I seem to remember that when Comcast took over the franchises in this area and started replacing the individual static IP addresses for each connected device with DHCP assignments, that was when I was able to setup home/soho networks using NAT routers for local customers without having to clone the MAC address of a local PC. But probably like most things with Comcast, that practice varied from area to area.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Robyn5

join:2012-03-09
reply to Robyn5

Yup - it was Comcast (I am in NE Florida and was an old Mediaone customer).

IIRC - it wasn't that you couldn't do a home network with Comcast - it's just that the company wouldn't "support" it. If my internet/network isn't working - I like to be able to blame only one company - and not to have companies pointing fingers at one another.

Of course - there are exceptions when you start to tear your hair out. This year - Turbotax had terrible installation issues dealing with Windows XP. And after 3 hours on the phone with Intuit - I paid for a service call to MSFT (about $50). Where a very delightful fellow in Manila took control of my computer and managed to install TT for me. I rarely let anyone take control of my computer - but I sat there watching and this guy was great. In addition - we had some very interesting conversations over the course of 2 hours.

BTW - although my OS is old - my computer is new. I can't run some important business apps I use on Windows 7 (only thing I have in common with gamers - some can't run their games on Windows 7 either). Robyn



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

said by Robyn5:

Yup - it was Comcast (I am in NE Florida and was an old Mediaone customer).

IIRC - it wasn't that you couldn't do a home network with Comcast - it's just that the company wouldn't "support" it.

Ahh, thanks for the clarification. I had assumed you were referring to the bad old days when many ISPs would refuse to accept a connection from a device whose MAC address identified it as a NAT router. That is the primary reason that residential/soho NAT routers allow cloning the router's WAN MAC address. In those days (much before the current IPv4 address shortage), it was a common practice to require each connected device to be directly connected to the modem, and each device would be assigned a public IP address by the ISP (although some used their own NAT routers and supplied private IP addresses). And there would be an extra fee for each connected device, so if you used a NAT router, you were "cheating" the ISP. Kind of like the bad old days when you had to pay a connection fee to the telco for each phone in your home/business (and many people would disconnect the bells on most of their phones to avoid detection by the telco, who would periodically send test rings to each account and measure the current draw).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Robyn5

join:2012-03-09
reply to Robyn5

Bad old days. Like when all telephones were hard wired and you had to rent them from the phone company .

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to this stuff - because I am not a big techie or tech investor. But - if I had to guess - in the next 2-5-10 years - we will start to see the tide turning in terms of the amount of money people will have to pay for things like "being connected" - to anything - on the upside. Because the companies that "connect" us won't settle for meager (if any) profits while companies like Apple make gazillions of dollars. After all - of what use is an iPhone without a network where it works?

Also - it was interesting when I read here that AT&T had finished rolling out U-Verse - at least for now (and maybe forever). And that it might sell off its existing non-U-Verse customers to various small carriers. I live in an upper middle class suburb of a metro area - and U-Verse didn't reach us. And I don't want to deal with any 3rd tier provider. So - for us here - that makes Comcast the only 1st tier provider. And - quasi-monopoly = more pricing power. Will be interesting to see what happens. Robyn



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT Free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage

said by Robyn5:

Also - it was interesting when I read here that AT&T had finished rolling out U-Verse - at least for now (and maybe forever). And that it might sell off its existing non-U-Verse customers to various small carriers. I live in an upper middle class suburb of a metro area - and U-Verse didn't reach us. And I don't want to deal with any 3rd tier provider. So - for us here - that makes Comcast the only 1st tier provider. And - quasi-monopoly = more pricing power. Will be interesting to see what happens. Robyn

Actually, U-verse doesn't reach most of AT&T's customers. When AT&T talks about U-verse passing XX million customers, that is exactly what it does, it passes by, but is not really available. If U-verse is available to a small hand picked cluster of customers in a county, that county is considered to be served by U-verse. Wireless is really the only service that AT&T is interested in keeping. When they get LTE up and running in their major markets, the "last half mile" delivery (you can't use the traditional "last mile" phrase because U-verse over copper wire pairs can't travel that far) for U-verse will be via fixed LTE. Their ultimate goal is to be relieved of all responsibility for copper wire maintenance.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

nikeherc

join:2004-09-30
Tucson, AZ
reply to Robyn5

Be aware that the gateway that comcast provides has a limited range and often looses the wireless connection. It is not supported by comcast, but by the paid Xfinity Signiture Support Service for any wireless issues.


Robyn5

join:2012-03-09
reply to Robyn5

Interesting. IOW - what you're saying is that Comcast is exactly where it has been for quite a while. Except that now it is willing to rent me a cheap wireless gateway and charge me a monthly fee for "support". Yes? If so - I'll have to keep that in mind in terms of deciding how to proceed.

Those dropped connections are very annoying. I never had them with my old AT&T gateways (one a Netopia - the other a Versalink - Westell 327W). But neither of these modems seems to work with the DSL as of last week (I had been using the Versalink). So I switched to my newest AT&T modem - one I had in the closet - a Westell 7550. Managed to get a hard-wired connection to work - but it is dropping wireless connections as if they were hot potatoes. Robyn