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Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO
reply to gar187er

Re: [Speed] May have to switch to Comcast

Well is the article true, or outdated?


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

1 edit

By the way, how does one watch streaming with Comcast, if we don't have their TV service?

Right now we get wireless through the DSL modem to Roku boxes ( which isn't fast enough ) but how would it be done with COmcast?

Oh, and now we use the DSL router to send wireless to 2 PC's in different rooms across the house, and of course the two Roku boxes. Can Comcast send wireless around the house from a single source that way for HSI?



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
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join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
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·Comcast Business..
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

Well is the article true, or outdated?

Did you notice the 2008 dates in that article?

Here is a speed test result I just did (I have a 12/2 mbps plan with Comcast):




As for caps and throttling for residential customers, see this currently active thread in this forum: »[BW Meter] Comcast to Replace Usage Cap

Also since you mentioned the word SOHO in your original post, you may want to consider getting Comcast Business Class service instead of residential service. A business class plan includes a free web hosting service (it does have a limited usage cap, but it can be upgraded), and if you get a static IP account, you can host your own web server (I host my own servers, and use the free hosted service as a backup). Other benefits of a business class service are no caps, higher PowerBoost, and generally better/faster response if you call support.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

My concern wasn't so much with bandwidth usage caps, but with speed caps. That was what I'd heard previously.

But come to mention it, if we watch streaming HDTV and movies, I guess we gotta start worrying about usage caps too.

As far as SOHO, we barely use any bandwidth for the business. We work about 10 hours a week and the web site gets maybe 30 visits a day.



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
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Reviews:
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

By the way, how does one watch streaming with Comcast, if we don't have their TV service?

Right now we get wireless through the DSL modem to Roku boxes ( which isn't fast enough ) but how would it be done with COmcast?

Oh, and now we use the DSL router to send wireless to 2 PC's in different rooms across the house, and of course the two Roku boxes. Can Comcast send wireless around the house from a single source that way for HSI?

You would just connect the Roku boxes to the Comcast connection instead of your DSL connection.

If you go with a Comcast residential service, you can either use one of their wireless gateway devices, or use a standard cable modem and your own wireless router. If you go with a Comcast Business Class service, you will need to supply your own wireless router or access point. In either case, if you are going to terminate your current DSL service (and if you own the DSL router), you may be able to just use that router as a wireless access point connected to your Comcast connection's LAN.
--
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
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

My concern wasn't so much with bandwidth usage caps, but with speed caps. That was what I'd heard previously.

But come to mention it, if we watch streaming HDTV and movies, I guess we gotta start worrying about usage caps too.

As far as SOHO, we barely use any bandwidth for the business. We work about 10 hours a week and the web site gets maybe 30 visits a day.

If you decide to go with Comcast residential service, the bandwidth caps are now less a problem than they used to be (read the link that I posted).

If you decide to go with Comcast Business Class service (which is what you really need to do if this service is related to a SOHO business), then there are no caps period. And with 30 visits a day on your web site, you should be able to get by just fine with the free web hosting that is part of the Business Class service.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


PeteC2
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

Well is the article true, or outdated?

Everybody hates all content providers...period. If I paid attention to this stuff, I wouldn't even have a broadband connection!

That "article" is a hit piece, dredging up every truth, semi-truth, and downright stupid rumor and making a "case" about the evils of Comcast...yawn...nothing to see here folks...I can find one of these gems on every single business in the country, pretty much.

Bottom line: If you are stuck on 3Mbps dsl...and you want to stream HD content via Roku, Comcast can offer plenty of throughput to do so. As long as you can live with the price for whichever level of service that you choose, no problem there.

What I do not recommend is letting Comcast supply you with a wireless gateway...let Comcast get you your cable connection, but buy a decent, stand-alone router and set up and maintain your own home wireless network.

Wireless gateways are the Devil's tool...well...exagerating a little maybe...but not by that much! A good wireless router will make your home networking efforts so much easier and more effective. Wireless gateways are often dodgy in quality, and even at the best of times are very limited in their flexibility.
--
Deeds, not words

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

Well can we continue to use the Actiontec PK5000 we got from Qwest? Can Comcast's line work with that?



PeteC2
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said by Melissa2009B:

Well can we continue to use the Actiontec PK5000 we got from Qwest? Can Comcast's line work with that?

Melissa, no, because the Actiontec PK500 is a DSL wireless gateway, not a cable modem (or gateway). It only works with dsl.

Now, if you decide to go with Comcast, you can opt to use your own modem, or wireless gateway (but again, don't do that! Get a modem and a stand-alone router!), versus paying Comcast the $7 per month fee to rent.

You have to use a modem or gateway that Comcast has a "build" for, and here is a list of what you can buy: »mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/

Keep in mind: Stay away from ebay/used modems...often they are stolen and blocked from registering on Comcast. However, you can nab a nice Zoom 5341J modem for $79 - $89 most anywhere, and it will quickly pay back for itself versus renting a modem, from Comcast.

PS - Match that up with a nice Linksys EA2700 router (or the EA3500 - EA4500 routers), and you will have a very nice (and easy to set up and maintain) front end for your home network! Heads and shoulders better than a wireless gatewy, be it dsl or cable.
--
Deeds, not words

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

Thanks Pete. I printed that out and will have a look. I like Amazon.com because they usually match ebay prices and you can count on the stuff being new and not black or gray market.



NetFixer
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said by Melissa2009B:

Thanks Pete. I printed that out and will have a look. I like Amazon.com because they usually match ebay prices and you can count on the stuff being new and not black or gray market.

Well, Amazon will do no questions asked returns/refunds for a defective or otherwise unusable item (and they will force their affiliates to do the same). However, you do still need to read the fine print because not everything sold from the Amazon web site is new, and even if it says it is new on the web page, look at the item very carefully as soon as you get it because it still may not be new (this is the voice of experience here, I have gotten "new" DSL routers from Amazon that came loaded with the previous owner's ISP login credentials).

It is certainly a lower risk source than eBay (I frequently use Amazon myself), but they are not a full service factory authorized distributor for everything they sell, so caveat emptor is still somewhat applicable.
--
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

Oh wow, I wasn't aware of that. I always look for "sold by amazon.com", which of course comes with free shipping.


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

4 edits

By the way, some of you mentioned getting the best possible deals at the start.

Say they need to run the cable to the house. ( this place was put on the lot in 2005 and has never had Comcast yet )

Say we want to start out with JUST the HSI goint wirelessly to the two PC's for data and two Roku boxes for watching streaming TV and movies from Netflix.

1.) Can we do it without a contract? ( especially if we buy our own 5341J )

2.) What would be considered a "good deal" like you suggested, for starters?

Oh, as far as monthly GB usage, how many GB of HDTV is usually in an hour? I'm guessing we'd probably use the web browsing plus maybe 10 hours a week or less of streaming HDTV.

Update 8:20 PM: I just tried finding a number for Comcast ( not easy ) and calling them about new service and got some guy outside the U.S. with such broken English that I could barely understand him, and finally hung up. Is there a U.S. call center I could talk to about new service?

... OK, I looked up Comcast Denver and called and talked with a native.

They say $50 install fee for just the modem, $100 if they install wireless for everything ( wireless router? ) No contracts at all anymore on this. $45 a mo for 6 months, then $80 a mo if we rent the modem, $73 if we buy our own. Sound right?

By the way, we definitely want wireless for all this, so we don't have to run ethernet all over the house. Is there a combo modem and wireless router? Is that what they'd call it?

Ok, this

»customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···y-setup/

seems to indicate that what we need is a wireless gateway. Correct?


keason
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Ann Arbor, MI
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

1 edit

1 &2 . Since you have a phone line, you might want to look into "double play" internet+ phone $70-$80 for 12 mo.

Otherwise $30 for 12/2 is the best deal for 6 mo. Sometimes there are better deals, especially in college areas. I'd start with 12/2 and see if you need higher speed based on your 10hrs/week streaming comment.

HD streams use 4-10Mb typically, depending on resolution and compression. Apple TV uses less than Roku.

If you want the option to go to business, get a Motorola SB6120, not a Zoom as it is not supported under business service.

Business has uncapped powerboost , so speed tests will look crazy fast (80/40 or 70/10 depending on upstream bonding) instead of 15/5 or so on residential despite having the same 12/2 continuous capacity. The net result is that streaming an HD movie will have zero effect on browsing, short videos, email, and everyday use. With residential, you may experience some delays.


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

So internet phone - VOIP right? I tried playing with that years ago and it broke up all the time, what a mess.

It WOULD be tempting to dump CenturyLink 100% though. (BEG)

Wonder if we can keep our home phone number?

We'd have to get some other kind of cordless phones though, for around the house, right? Or could our present cordless base just jack into that thing?

Like I said, we have a 10 hour a week part time home business, so we avoid like the plague, anyone wanting to use the word "business" for an account with them, as it always means "bend over" and the prices will double, if they do!



telcodad

join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:3

said by Melissa2009B:

So internet phone - VOIP right? I tried playing with that years ago and it broke up all the time, what a mess.

Comcast Digital Voice service is not just plain VOIP. CDV service runs on Comcast's own private digital network until it hits the PSTN switches.

See: »Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ »Is Comcast Digital Voice the same as other VoIP services?
and
»Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ »What is Comcast Digital Voice service?


NetFixer
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join:2004-06-24
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1 edit
reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

So internet phone - VOIP right? I tried playing with that years ago and it broke up all the time, what a mess.

It WOULD be tempting to dump CenturyLink 100% though. (BEG)

Wonder if we can keep our home phone number?

We'd have to get some other kind of cordless phones though, for around the house, right? Or could our present cordless base just jack into that thing?

Like I said, we have a 10 hour a week part time home business, so we avoid like the plague, anyone wanting to use the word "business" for an account with them, as it always means "bend over" and the prices will double, if they do!

Comcast runs its CDV* on a different cable channel than it uses for HSI and it stays on Comcast's network until it is passed to a CLEC** for connecting to the PSTN***, so it is not subject to the same kind of drop out that sometimes occurs with VoIP over a less than optimum connection.

You should be able to use whatever telephones (including cordless phones) that you currently use, and if you chose to port your existing phone number to Comcast, you can also use your existing in-house telephone wiring to distribute the VoIP (you just need to make sure that the current telco connection is physically disconnected).

There is no way of course, that anyone can offer you an iron clad guarantee that CDV* will be more reliable than your existing POTS****, but it sounds as if your existing POTS is already terrible, and it would not take much to be better.

* Comcast Digital Voice
** Competitive Local Exchange Carrier
*** Public Switched Telephone Network
**** Plain Old Telephone Service
--
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

Sounds interesting, thanks guys. Well we use a cordless system with 4 phones here, all jacked into the wall from a single base, so it would simplify all that.

Let's see how happy we are first, with HSI.


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO
reply to NetFixer

Thinking some more about this. I pulled the bills and we now pay $90 a mo for the home phone line and DSL from CenturyLink. So it sounds like we can replace all that with Comcast and come out ( after the 6 month into savings ) with about the same cost, BUT get the speed we need for streaming HDTV and movies. That would be WONDERFUL!

But being the greedy capitalist pig that I am, can the Comcast phone system also take the place of RingCentral? That could save us even more money. We currently shell out about $57 a month while working about 10 hours a week at our tiny home business, for Ring Central.

Why? Because we need simultaneous ring for the home and cell phones, that's the big one. If a customer calls and we don't pick up within 2-3 rings, they're gone, to someone else. We tried rolling over after 4 rings, from the home to the cell number and were losing customers, so we had to get Ring Central for simultaneous ring, and I can even go online and program the numbers it rings to. We also have an 800 number with them ( makes us look like a big company ), which we MUST keep if we leave them.

And we get fax to email, a separate 800 number for faxing that sends faxes to us in email as PDF's. But if Comcast could do all that, keep our 800 number, and bundle it for less money, maybe we could save some.

Anyone know?

Gosh, Comcast is sounding better and better as I converse with you guys here, I just hope it's real.



tshirt
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join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

Well is the article true, or outdated?

VERY outdated and highly biased. MOST people find ComCast services to be pretty good, with HSI currently leading the pack.


PeteC2
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

By the way, we definitely want wireless for all this, so we don't have to run ethernet all over the house. Is there a combo modem and wireless router? Is that what they'd call it?

Ok, this

»customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···y-setup/

seems to indicate that what we need is a wireless gateway. Correct?

Melissa: Nyet, no, uh-uh, fugggedaboutit...avoid a wireless gateway like the plague! They generally have limited range and poor flexibility. Comcast wireless gateways have a very poor track-record.

If you are not getting Comcast phone, then I'd recommend buying your own Docsis 3.0 modem...if you are getting internet and phone service, then yes, rent their eMTA modem...but not a wireless gateway eMTA!

Get a decent stand-alone router and set up your own network...it is easy, and you will have a much better experience.

PS - Nothing against Amazon, but for a very few bucks more, why not simply buy a brand-new, guaranteed unused router? Staples, Wal-Mart, heck almost any retail outlet will sell them and god-forbid if you get the rare lemon, make it good.

You want a great home network, hopefully for some time to come. Do it right, do it once, and you will be gald you did...
--
Deeds, not words

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

We have a UBC modular house ( on a foundation ) and it has insulation and plastic sheet under it, so running ethernet cables compromises that. Plus we have a cockatoo in one office, who has destroyed every ethernet cable we tried to put in there, until we finally went wireless.



NetFixer
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1 edit
reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

Thinking some more about this. I pulled the bills and we now pay $90 a mo for the home phone line and DSL from CenturyLink. So it sounds like we can replace all that with Comcast and come out ( after the 6 month into savings ) with about the same cost, BUT get the speed we need for streaming HDTV and movies. That would be WONDERFUL!

But being the greedy capitalist pig that I am, can the Comcast phone system also take the place of RingCentral? That could save us even more money. We currently shell out about $57 a month while working about 10 hours a week at our tiny home business, for Ring Central.

Why? Because we need simultaneous ring for the home and cell phones, that's the big one. If a customer calls and we don't pick up within 2-3 rings, they're gone, to someone else. We tried rolling over after 4 rings, from the home to the cell number and were losing customers, so we had to get Ring Central for simultaneous ring, and I can even go online and program the numbers it rings to. We also have an 800 number with them ( makes us look like a big company ), which we MUST keep if we leave them.

And we get fax to email, a separate 800 number for faxing that sends faxes to us in email as PDF's. But if Comcast could do all that, keep our 800 number, and bundle it for less money, maybe we could save some.

Anyone know?

Gosh, Comcast is sounding better and better as I converse with you guys here, I just hope it's real.

I think that the latest version of Comcast Digital Voice does do simultaneous ringing to multiple phones, but I don't have that service, so I can't verify that. It definitely does not have all of the other features that the RingCentral home office product provides. You can probably get an inbound toll free number assigned to CDV (from another party if Comcast doesn't do it directly), but RingCentral may not allow their number to be ported, so that might mean a new toll free number if you leave RingCentral. Several years back (when Vonage was losing copyright and patent infringement lawsuits to multiple telcos, and it seemed that they might be sued out of existence) I migrated my VoIP services to AT&T CallVantage, and I lost my toll free number and my fax number because Vonage would not allow them to be ported.

I currently use Vonage (again) for VoIP instead of CDV or RingCentral, but I do use RingCentral for faxing because I have found that the Vonage fax service is not always reliable over my Comcast connection (even though it used to work perfectly over my slower AT&T DSL connection). That reliability problem seems to be related to the firmware version in my SMCD3G gateway rather than the Comcast service itself. Test faxes that I have sent and received using Vonage with the current SMCD3G firmware seem to work OK, but I don't trust it enough to cancel my RingCentral fax service since Comcast can and does update modem firmware frequently.

Alas, life is one big compromise for most of us.
--
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

1 edit
reply to PeteC2

Can anyone else verify this about their wireless?

But ok, they charge $50 for installation without wireless and $100 with it, which is odd because I assume without it, they have to run wires in the crawl space?

But hypothetically, say we didn't get wireless. They run ethernet?

Our Roku boxes are wireless only. So how do we watch streaming without them, if they run ethernet to the TV's?



airwavz
Always the green wire

join:2011-09-11
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1

1 edit

What Pete was saying is don't get the Comcast Wireless Gateway - it is known to be less-than-stellar performance wise. Using YOUR OWN wireless router (no ethernet required) is perfectly OK; you just don't want the modem and router to be one unit. As far as the install fees, the $100 is if they install THEIR wireless gateway, which you DON'T want. They will NOT run ethernet anywhere, though they will give you 1 ethernet cable to plug in 1 computer next to the modem or to connect to your router, which will then provide the wireless signal to everything else. This isn't complicated really, but you may wind up having to learn a few things about networking you didn't have to know before - in the long run you'll have a network you can depend on, and hopefully save some bucks on your phone service as well. There are articles on basic networking and routers all over the internet you can peruse before making your final decision. If you are totally uncomfortable with this, find a computer-knowledgeable friend you can trust (or be prepared to pay a computer professional who comes highly recommended) who can hook all this up and get it running for you.

The good thing about getting a Comcast Digital Voice / Internet bundle is it will probably be cheaper if ordered together and you can try the CDV (they'll give you a new number) and see if you like it BEFORE you port your existing number and then cancel CenturyLink. (DO NOT cancel CenturyLink until your number is COMPLETELY ported - this can cause the porting to fail and you could lose your number)

You should be able to get great internet for your business AND entertainment needs, as well as far better phone service that does what you need, at some degree of savings; and you'll have a LOT more flexibility down the road when/if your needs change.


Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

1 edit

No, I set up this network here, myself. I'm just not so familiar with all the official terms. The difference between a gateway and a router, for example. They run the cable. At the cable ( if I dont want to rent ) I need a [....] and/or a [....] for wireless?

All I need to get right are the terms here ( and maybe the best models for me to buy? ), I know how to set the stuff up.

Just for some background on me, I have an ASET ( Associate in Science in Electronics Technology ), admittedly from 1969 which gives away my age and have held an advanced amateur radio license since then too.

So the big question is whether to let them set up the wireless for me first, then swap it out for better gear, or just get my own better gear to begin with.

Oh, and this house is about 80 feet from end to end, so if possible it would be nice to get a wireless unit with a little more power?

SO we need their cable run to the middle of the house ( I already have a shelf installed there, ready for this. ) Then we need one or two devices ( a [....] and/or a [....] ) to get from their cable to two of our Roku boxes wirelessly, and two of our PC's wirelessly, at full speed ahead.

And yes, I get excited about the prospect of totally dumping all services from CenturyLink ( which we refer to here, as "Banana Republic Phone Company ).

Update: I just called Comcast and added the phone service too, and the guy said that he didn't understand why people wouldn't think their wireless gizmo wouldn't be the best. he said I could google it - that it was rated #1 by PC Magazine, but he didn't know the model number. He said it's a wireless gateway modem, is the way he described it. Comments?



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
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reply to Melissa2009B

said by Melissa2009B:

Can anyone else verify this about their wireless?

But ok, they charge $50 for installation without wireless and $100 with it, which is odd because I assume without it, they have to run wires in the crawl space?

But hypothetically, say we didn't get wireless. They run ethernet?

Our Roku boxes are wireless only. So how do we watch streaming without them, if they run ethernet to the TV's?

I think the reason that Comcast charges more for a "wireless" installation is that they will also setup your connected PCs to use their wireless gateway if you use their wireless gateway. Using a Comcast supplied wireless gateway is not as versatile as using a separate wireless router, but perhaps for you it may be the best choice to have Comcast install one and setup your network to use it.

If you don't get a Comcast wireless gateway, you will need to supply your own wireless router, and it will be your responsibility to setup your connected devices.

I have never heard of a Comcast installer running ethernet wiring; they generally only run coax to modems and set top boxes. Any ethernet wiring that you require will be your responsibility, and is not very likely to be done by a Comcast installer.

EDIT: to answer your question from another post, the difference between a wireless cable gateway and a wireless router, is that the wireless cable gateway has an integrated modem, whereas a wireless router is just that (and it will require that you have a separate standard cable modem). The primary advantage of using a separate cable modem and wireless router, is that most wireless cable gateways are compromises (AKA, jack of all trades and master of none).
--
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

OK, thanks for explaining that last part. I tried googling them and was still a little confused. So the cable modem hooks up to the cable, and the router goes into that somehow ( wired or wirelessly? ) and then you route all your home devices through the router?

But doesn't that just add another speed bump or something to fail?

And does it cost double to buy both, instead of getting it all in the gateway?

When you say ; "compromises (AKA, jack of all trades and master of none)", is that something that I, as a home user, would be concerned about, or more for a sophisticated network guru in a workplace?


mrschultz02

join:2007-09-10
Media, PA

1 edit

said by Melissa2009B:

I tried googling them and was still a little confused. So the cable modem hooks up to the cable, and the router goes into that somehow ( wired or wirelessly? ) and then you route all your home devices through the router?

But doesn't that just add another speed bump or something to fail?

What everyone is saying is that an "all-in-one" modem+router+wifi unit is usually not as good as separate boxes. You already said the house might need a more powerful wireless transmitter so you would be better off renting just the modem from Comcast and getting your own wireless router.

So you would have 2 boxes sitting next to each other. The cable from the street would go to the Comcast modem, then a short Ethernet cable from the modem to the wireless router that you would buy and set up. If you get phone then there would be a phone jack on the Comcast modem.

The connection between a new modem and a new router would be minimum 100Mbps and most likely 1Gbps so no problem with it being a speed bump.

Oh, and as for another thing that might fail, the odds of one box going bad are pretty much the same as if you got an all-in-one and part of it going bad. Also you can replace or upgrade your own router as your needs change. If you get an all-in-one from Comcast your are stuck with what they give you.

Melissa2009B

join:2009-12-27
Denver, CO

2 edits

Great, thanks!

Edit: I'm looking around and see recommendations for a Docsis 3 modem and Wireless N router.

Look at this in a refurb:

»www.amazon.com/NetGear-WNR3500L-···-catcorr

Now I'm getting somewhere. Just called Comcast and they gave me:
»mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/