Options for replacing standard Xfinity modem/router

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Original poster
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
I currently have the standard issue Xfinity modem/router combo provided by Comcast for my Internet service. I'm considering making a change and dumping the $10 monthly rental fee and getting my own equipment. I don't have high speed Internet, just standard service, so I don't need high end equipment.

1. Recommendations for a combo modem/router


2. Recommendations for a separate modem and separate router


3. Reasons for a combo or for separate hardware
 

kohlson

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2010
1,995
540
The main thing you need to know is phone service something you need. If so, I believe you need an EMTA modem, which are usually more expensive.

Do a google search for Comcast third party modems, and start there.

Do you need this modem to do wi-fi? You'll want to check the specs on how many channels/antennas are incorporated.

What could be an easy way is just go to your local Best Buy. They in all likelihood sell what people want to buy in your area. For me, I went to my local Frys and bought a Netgear modem. While it has has wi-fi capabilities I don't use them - I use Airports for wi-fi. I have a firewall/router downstream from the Netgear cable modem, just because.

Installation can be simple, or not. In theory it's all automated. But you may still need to call Comcast. When al is said and done, you save $120/year, minus the initial purchase. I've had this Netgear for perhaps 3 years. Works flawlessly.
 
Last edited:

lewjh

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2019
1
0
I currently have the standard issue Xfinity modem/router combo provided by Comcast for my Internet service. I'm considering making a change and dumping the $10 monthly rental fee and getting my own equipment. I don't have high speed Internet, just standard service, so I don't need high end equipment.

1. Recommendations for a combo modem/router


2. Recommendations for a separate modem and separate router


3. Reasons for a combo or for separate hardware
I've been through this and I had a terrible time for a year. I started with a TP-Link combo router/modem.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EO5A3RQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The TP-Link customer service was great but the product was not up to the task. The combo kept dropping my devices. I was unable to use a multiroom audio system and had issues with 'smart home' devices too. In the end I tested a TP link combo with different firmware (firmware updates for the TP link combo couldn't be updated over the internet), different device settings, and finally was provided with a separate modem and router that worked well.

My current set up includes the modem provided by TP link to replace my combo
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010Q29YF8/ref=emc_b_5_t

paired with a Netgear orbi router system. It now works perfectly - and it worked well with the TP Link router they provided too. I recommend a separate modem and router.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,506
367
1. I would only purchase an approved Comcast modem. They are listed at:

http://mydeviceinfo.xfinity.com/

[Ironically I can't display this page. Just had a Comcast technician out trying to figure out why I can get to every internet site but Comcast].

If you have an issue and are troubleshooting with Comcast you want to have an approved modem, otherwise they can say it's not supported.

2. I have telephone service and used

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008KRLZCW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

had absolutely no problems with it at 250 Mbps. [Can't say the same for my current 1 Gbps Comcast modem]. Did not use the wireless router. Had no problems when I called support.
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,035
1,140
St. Louis, MO
When I don't feel like doing in depth research (or am out of my element), I go by what thewirecutter.com tells me to do. I find that I'm always satisfied with what they have chosen as the best. Here's their link to the best cable modem and best router. I would do separate units as I would want to upgrade them at different times and not have them bundled together. Plus, you probably get a better version of each of them as opposed to a compromised two-in-one.
 
Last edited:

iono11200

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2012
119
16
My Apple Time Capsule serves as my router, but about a year and a half ago when I switched from DSL to Comcast I bought the Motorola MB8600 Modem from B&H. It's been fantastic.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,142
1,162
East Coast
My personal recommendation is to always separate the modem from the router. Makes it easier if you need to replace one of the features. So my advice is to go with separate devices.

Couple of questions.

1. Do you see yourself upgrading your speeds in the future?

If so, it might be best to get one of the newest modems. DOCCIS 3.1, 32x8 modem. I had originally bought the Motorola MB8600, but had to return it because I needed a modem with Voice compatibility, and this one doesn't have it. I ended up with a Netgear CM500V, which is only 16x4. You don't need phone compatiblity, so the Moto8600 would be a good buy.

2. For the router, do you need parental controls? Time Machine? Mesh? USB?

I went with Synology RT2600ac because I wanted parental controls, Time Machine support, NAS support, easy mesh capabilities, and usable USB ports.

I looked at Linksys Velop, Netgear Orbi, and the TPLink Deco. They all kinda-sorta met the bill, but had a fatal flaw here or there that drove me to the Synology.

Linksys - many reviews about signal drop out

Netgear - parental control is exclusively via Disney Circle. Didn't want that in my set-up.

TPLink - the USB ports on the device aren't activated ... therefore useless for the USB printer I wanted to plug in.

I've been pretty happy with my Synology. The set-up is straightforward, but a little confusing. There are different login and password "accounts" that aren't fully explained at the time of set-up. When you add a NAS into the picture, it get's a little more confusing. But I muddled through.
 

an-other

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2011
310
105
I recently replaced my cable modem (The network administrators sent me freaked out messages my old surfboard was too slow.) I'm a fan of the Airports, so they are the routers. So, my use case was different than yours.

I ended up getting a NetGear modem. There's evidently some issues with the "current gen" of cable modems. Lawsuits, etc. (a) I am not making any claim the issues are or are not valid (b) were eventually resolved by firmware updates. I'm just saying I chose my router in order to not be part of the potential issue. I'm the type that if I did have issues, I'd always think it was a chipset issue regardless if it were a valid explanation.

Thank you to ftaok for sharing his Synology experience. Synology would be the first company I'd look at for cable modem/router hardware to research if I were going to blow up my current system. I've been pleased with my servers, and I whilst I do obsessive research purchasing things, I do add brand loyalty in the mix if deserved.