Is $79.99 expensive for a router/modem combo?

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,493
8,709
Honestly I’m not sure what I’m speaking of, that’s why I’m here. I linked the combo I bought in my OP.
That's a good modem/router. But if you run into connectivity issues, you'll want to disable the N protocol under 2.4Ghz in the router settings. Just keep b/g enabled.

Like everyone else mentioned. An AC router would be the better choice, but will only make a real difference with 5Ghz compatible devices.
 
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brucemr

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2019
140
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Firestick 1st gen. is N WiFi. 2nd gen. is AC. But, both support 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi bands. Whether you keep the N600, or go for an AC router, you are better off connecting w the Firestick on 5GHz, especially since router is close.

Netgear routers, and many others, are setup by default with both frequency bands with same network name (SSID). You are then at the mercy of WiFi card in your devices to decide which to connect to. And it is very difficult to determine which they have selected. And some devices may switch back and forth.

To eliminate all this uncertainty, set up different SSID names for each band in the router settings. Can use same password for both. Then you can manually select the band you want to connect each device to. Firestick and iPhone. On your iPhone, you can then download free app and measure actual speed of the two bands.
 
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TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,070
116
Firestick 1st gen. is N WiFi. 2nd gen. is AC. But, both support 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi bands. Whether you keep the N600, or go for an AC router, you are better off connecting w the Firestick on 5GHz, especially since router is close.

Netgear routers, and many others, are setup by default with both frequency bands with same network name (SSID). You are then at the mercy of WiFi card in your devices to decide which to connect to. And it is very difficult to determine which they have selected. And some devices may switch back and forth.

To eliminate all this uncertainty, set up different SSID names for each band in the router settings. Can use same password for both. Then you can manually select the band you want to connect each device to. Firestick and iPhone. On your iPhone, you can then download free app and measure actual speed of the two bands.
Cool, thanks. Got it all hooked up and running, the only issue I’m having is that Netflix shows/movies seem to be loading quite a bit more slowly than they were at my old place. Do you think this is related to the change in modem/router (old router was an AC I’m pretty sure) or is it more likely related to my new ISP?
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,903
475
Nobody has asked the important questions:

1. What speed of service have you purchased from your cable company?
2. What speed of service did you have at your old place?
3. What type of connection did you have at your old place? I GUESS it was not cable? Otherwise, why are you purchasing a new cable modem? Maybe you were renting from the carrier?
4. Do you REALLY mean you will only use it for Netflix using your Firestick? So, you won't be using an iPhone, iPad, Android device, Nest thermostat, other iOT devices, etc. etc. etc.

Based on your stated requirement and reading between the lines, you over-paid. Your cost could have been $0, or very close to that.

Cable modem speeds have been increasing, with many companies now offering gigabit service or even more. Consumers need to buy new modems to take advantage of these speeds. You should be able to get something adequate for your needs very cheaply on resale sites, or on "buy nothing" sites, or in a local resale shop.

When I dumped the cable and switched to WebPass (gigabit service delivered to building by radio, now owned by Google Fiber - no modem needed it's an Ethernet jack) I took my cable modem to a recycling center. Since it was working, they probably put it in their store for sale. You could have gone (for example - sure there are local examples) to the University of San Diego Electronics Resale Store and picked it up for I'd guess $10 or less.

If you've purchased a low-end speed tier, you don't need the latest cable modems with a gazillion bonded channels. It won't make it any faster.

As well, you've stated that your Firestick is "right next to the router". N, AC, 2gHz, 5gHz, AX, none of this matters to you. So, ditto, (assuming you've purchased a low-end speed tier) none of these are going to make it any faster.

Netflix recommends 5mbit/sec for HD quality.

ANY WiFi router will provide this speed easily, especially with the Firestick right next to the router.

If you do have an iOS device or Mac or PC on your WiFi, we can suggest some speed test utilities to try. It's also likely you can download some speed test app on your Firestick (sorry I'm unfamiliar with the details of Firestick...)
- - Post merged: - -

the only issue I’m having is that Netflix shows/movies seem to be loading quite a bit more slowly than they were at my old place.
"Loading"? Explain what you mean. Does Firestick download the whole show before it starts showing? Doesn't it stream, like most/all similar devices? Do you have interruptions once it starts playing?
- - Post merged: - -

You’ll find it hard to cross 50 Mbps with your current modem.
50 Mbps is 10X more bandwidth than they need for their stated requirement.
 
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TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,070
116
Nobody has asked the important questions:

1. What speed of service have you purchased from your cable company?
2. What speed of service did you have at your old place?
3. What type of connection did you have at your old place? I GUESS it was not cable? Otherwise, why are you purchasing a new cable modem? Maybe you were renting from the carrier?
4. Do you REALLY mean you will only use it for Netflix using your Firestick? So, you won't be using an iPhone, iPad, Android device, Nest thermostat, other iOT devices, etc. etc. etc.

Based on your stated requirement and reading between the lines, you over-paid. Your cost could have been $0, or very close to that.

Cable modem speeds have been increasing, with many companies now offering gigabit service or even more. Consumers need to buy new modems to take advantage of these speeds. You should be able to get something adequate for your needs very cheaply on resale sites, or on "buy nothing" sites, or in a local resale shop.

When I dumped the cable and switched to WebPass (gigabit service delivered to building by radio, now owned by Google Fiber - no modem needed it's an Ethernet jack) I took my cable modem to a recycling center. Since it was working, they probably put it in their store for sale. You could have gone (for example - sure there are local examples) to the University of San Diego Electronics Resale Store and picked it up for I'd guess $10 or less.

If you've purchased a low-end speed tier, you don't need the latest cable modems with a gazillion bonded channels. It won't make it any faster.

As well, you've stated that your Firestick is "right next to the router". N, AC, 2gHz, 5gHz, AX, none of this matters to you. So, ditto, (assuming you've purchased a low-end speed tier) none of these are going to make it any faster.

Netflix recommends 5mbit/sec for HD quality.

ANY WiFi router will provide this speed easily, especially with the Firestick right next to the router.

If you do have an iOS device or Mac or PC on your WiFi, we can suggest some speed test utilities to try. It's also likely you can download some speed test app on your Firestick (sorry I'm unfamiliar with the details of Firestick...)
- - Post merged: - -



"Loading"? Explain what you mean. Does Firestick download the whole show before it starts showing? Doesn't it stream, like most/all similar devices? Do you have interruptions once it starts playing?
- - Post merged: - -



50 Mbps is 10X more bandwidth than they need for their stated requirement.
Thanks. By loading I mean buffering, it didn’t seem to take as long at the old place. No interruptions once it starts playing now or before.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,903
475
It would be helpful if you can answer the questions I posed. Otherwise, we can only take wild guesses.

My wild guess is you had a much higher speed internet service at your old place.

Since your streaming isn’t interrupted, you have sufficient bandwidth for you needs. However, initial buffering time when you start watching a show has increased.

if this bothers you enough, you might upgrade your service, which will come at increased cost.

Again, a wild guess, since you haven’t given any useful information that would help pin it down.
 
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TH55

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
3,070
116
It would be helpful if you can answer the questions I posed. Otherwise, we can only take wild guesses.

My wild guess is you had a much higher speed internet service at your old place.

Since your streaming isn’t interrupted, you have sufficient bandwidth for you needs. However, initial buffering time when you start watching a show has increased.

if this bothers you enough, you might upgrade your service, which will come at increased cost.

Again, a wild guess, since you haven’t given any useful information that would help pin it down.
I don’t know the exact speed of my old service or new but I pay the same $50, it shouldn’t be that much different.
 

jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,903
475
don’t know the exact speed of my old service or new but I pay the same $50, it shouldn’t be that much different.
Speeds can vary widely at the same price point, particularly between countries, states, cities, rural/urban, depending on availability of competitive carriers, etc. etc. etc. As well as between different technologies, such as cable/DSL/fiber/wireless.

For example, my HOA pays $30/month for my 1gbps (1000mbps down/up) connection. (I pay $0, it's included, but of course we are all paying for it.) If the HOA hadn't subscribed the entire building, I could get the same service for $60/month. I was previously paying $90/month for 300mbps down/50mbps up service through a cable provider. Many here have reported paying $50 and more for MUCH slower service.

So, what you pay tells us nothing. The connection speed that the advertise (and they all advertise it HEAVILY!) gives us some useful information.

If you name the carriers and locations, we could look up what speed they offer for $50/month...

IF you DO connect an iPhone or iPad to your WiFi, I'd suggest using a speed test program, best would be one that can independently test both local and Internet throughput. I like one called CloudCheck. It's SpeedTest feature is a traditional speed check that tests between your device and servers on the Internet. It's Wi-Fi SweetSpots feature tests only the local connection between your device and your router. This can help narrow things down.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,563
2,628
Perth, Western Australia
Definitely not expensive. But it depends on the feature set and what you want. I just recently turfed a $500 wireless AP/router combo (for example) that was 6 months old because it drove me insane.

But i'm a network nerd used to enterprise hardware, and needing to reboot the device every time you make a change was infuriating.