Questions before I switch
I'm seriously considering switching to Comcast from our AT&T 6Mbit DSL service. While the DSL service has been rock-solid through the years, the speeds and caps are getting harder to live with.
But before I switch, I have a question. In my current DSL setup, I'm running a SpeedStream 5100 modem. It's old. And very basic. It's just a modem. No built-in web configuration. All the PPPoE negotiation is handled by my Linksys gateway router connected to it. My Linky's WAN side sees a dynamic public IP. It's nice. It's simple. And it means that (through custom firmware) I'm able to run OpenVPN on my router to connect to my home network from work.
If I make the switch to Comcast, do I still have the ability to have the Linky do the login to the Comcast network? Will my Linky's WAN side still see a public IP. Or do cable modems nowadays insist on using DHCP to connect to any device hooked up to the ethernet jack. Do the modems themselves handle connecting to Comcast with a built-in web configuration where you enter your account info? If so, can ports be forwarded so I could still connect to my home network via the VPN server running in my Linksys gateway?
I'm considering purchasing a Motorola SB6121. Naturally that is subject to change based on what I learn here. I'd love the faster speeds but I don't want to lose my VPN functionality.
Thanks to everyone for your help in this.
NetFixerFrom my cold dead handsPremiumReviews:
You should be able to continue to use your current Linksys router with no problems on a Comcast connection. If you get a standard cable modem, you won't have to worry about doing port forwarding in the modem, because a cable modem acts as a bridge, not a router. Comcast does not do any kind of login (the MAC address of the cable modem is used as the authentication) so just simply using DHCP on the router's WAN interface is all you need to do to get the Comcast public IP assigned to the router's WAN interface. I have (when I used a Linksys VPN router) had no problems connecting to the Linksys VPN through a Comcast connection.
The only "problem" I can think of that you might have with using an older Linksys router, is that older routers sometimes can't take advantage of the higher throughput that Comcast can deliver. However, I think that almost any Linksys VPN router will be able to at least handle all but the 100+ mbps Comcast services (and the newer ones should be able to handle that speed too).
As for the reliability of the SB6121, I have had absolutely no problems with the SB6121 that I purchased to replace the SMCD3G gateway that Comcast provided. Of course, that endorsement must be viewed under the terms of the YMMV disclaimer.
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This is great info. Thank you.
I was concerned myself about my old "blue-box" Linky. It's a WRT54G Hardware Vers. 3. Very old. I doubt it could handle much more than 15-20Mbit throughput. I may have to upgrade. That is life.
I actually was using DD-WRT firmware to get my VPN functionality. Even if I get newer hardware, the DD-WRT option should still be available to me.
Thanks for clarifying how the modem passes data through to the customer's gear.
Now I just have to make the plunge...
... dont cancel dsl until comcast is up and running .. just in case ! .. better having 2 working connections than 0 !
Also look at zoom 5341j ... i used a SB6121 for a couple of weeks but the Zoom for me has worked out better..... ymmv.
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The Zoom has the added bonus of offering 8 multiple bonded downstream channels capability (providing that the local system actually offers them) rather than only the four downstream channel capability that the 6121 offers.
This is great info. Thank you very much. As a newbie to the cable ISP world, I appreciate it.
NormanSI gave her time to steal my mind awayPremium,MVMReviews:
San Jose, CA
|reply to editweb |
said by editweb:There is no PPPoE with DOCSIS systems, so no login. In fact, it is due to PPPoE that routers need MTU set to 1492 to avoid packet fragmentation. Cable doesn't have that issue (neither does DHCP ADSL/ADSL2+), so the MTU setting in your router can be upped to 1500.
But before I switch, I have a question. ... If I make the switch to Comcast, do I still have the ability to have the Linky do the login to the Comcast network? Will my Linky's WAN side still see a public IP.
Comcast network authentication is accomplished by registering the modem MAC address with Comcast. I will have to leave the detailed explanation to the Comcast folks because I have no direct experience.
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|reply to editweb |
Under normal use, that router may go a bit higher than that. With VPN factored in, probably not.
If you're looking at a new router that specifically can run DD-WRT, I personally use and recommend the Netgear WNDR-3700. There are 3 versions of it; 1 and 2 are supported, but 3 isn't. From my testing, it'll do over 100 Mbps with DD-WRT installed (500+ with stock firmware), and has dual-band 802.11n capabilities.
If you do decide to get that, it'll probably be best to look for it in a local store (Staples, Best Buy, etc.), so you can verify the version on the box. Here is the specific firmware build I'm using, all of the newer ones I've tried so far resulted in a soft brick.
At some point I probably will replace the Linky with something that can handle the higher bandwidth better. I'm hesitant to change both the ISP and my gateway in one go. I like to limit the number of variables I'm introducing into a system. I'm sure you understand.
But once the Comcast service is in and reliable, the blue-box will be retired for something more modern. Thanks for the Netgear recommendation. I've never used their gear so it's nice to hear from someone with first-hand knowledge.
I guess it's time to pull the trigger.
I'll keep you posted.
How bad you need to upgrade the router will depend on which package you will be subscribing to. If you go for the Performance package, it will be close as to whether or not the 54G will be a limiting factor (shouldn't be, but not much overhead left there)...any higher tier will certainly be performance-compromised by the 54G.
I have always liked the Motorola modems, however, the Zoom 5341J (make sure you get the "J" version) not only offers more bonded channels, it also has a better reputation working with Comcast.
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