What Cable modem/router is everyone using?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Outkast27, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Outkast27 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I hope this is the right section.
    My uncles Motorola sb6580 cable modem and router is about to die. We bought it at bestbuy December 2012 for around $175. It hauls ass, but is having problems loosing signal. (Troubleshooted) Im helping him research a new setup, he would like another modem/router in one. I think he needs a docsis 3.0

    Just curious what are you guys here using? I personally have a Airport extreme and a Moto docsis 3.0 modem, not sure the model. I like my setup, although I think my uncles setup had faster download speeds on the same service that I have.
     
  2. tengtengvn macrumors member

    tengtengvn

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    #2
    Modem's wifi is usually very unstable. Try to disable the wifi and use a wireless router. You can get a very nice dual band router for less than 100 bucks.
     
  3. Outkast27 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    My question to that is can the modems built in wifi affect the signal coming into the modem fro the rg6 cable? Because im actually loosing the signal from the isp and not the actual wifi signal.it worked flawlessly for about a year and the setup has not changed.
     
  4. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

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    #4
    I don't use a combo but rather two discrete devices. The modem is the vanilla surfboard modem from the *!!&# cable company. The router is, of course, an Apple Time Capsule.
     
  5. Outkast27 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    How do you like your timecapsule? Im considering one. I have read some poor reviews on them though.
     
  6. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

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    #6
    I would NEVER accept the tradeoffs inherent in getting such a combo device.

    I do tech support for a VoIP company. I'd say 85% of the customers I deal with have some sort of combo gateway from their ISP and they're all garbage.

    The "best" one I've encoutered is the SBG6580.

    That said, a nice Motorola SB6121/SB6141 + Airport Extreme is the way to go, even if he doesn't have any other Apple products. By far the most stable solution I've had, also set my parents up that way and they have no troubles.

    As another poster said, bridging the SBG6580 to another wireless router would also be an option but it sounds like the modem half is the bad half from what you've said.

    Check and see if he has the latest firmware on it before you replace it.
     
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    What you write about your combo modem/router seems curious. Are you sure it is the modem that is the problem as opposed to something between your modem and the ISP?

    1) Did you substitute another modem and get better results?
    2) Did you try using any tests for speed from sites like DSLreports or their other tools?
    3) Did you check to see if there is any double NAT going on in your network?

    The reason I mention this is that the modem might of course not be the issue. If it turns out to be the issue, I too would use a dedicated modem and also add a router to the equation. While my set up is Apple, I don't find the Apple routers to be (for their costs and flexibility) the best option. You might want to check Smallnetbuilder site and see what else is out there and they also provide testing and summaries of how well the routers do.

    In my case, I opted for a modem (cable service) and retired my Apple Extremes in favor of router that provides similar wi-fi capabilities but offers ethernet ports. It has worked flawless to this day (several months now) and configuration is better (set up and also security).

    Maybe you should go to a B and B and buy a modem and test the connection with the notion you can return the modem if it doesn't suit your needs or prove to be the modem is at fault.
     
  8. tengtengvn macrumors member

    tengtengvn

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    #8
    Have them check the signal quality of your cable. They may have new customer sharing the same cable hub and that degrades your signal or simply your cable is too old..
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #9
    Cable coming into the house can be a problem. I had a problem some years ago where the original installer nicked the cable causing water to get into the cable, degrading the signal. Took the cable guy a few tests to determine the problem.
     
  10. mslide macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I use a Zoom 5341J modem (based on recommendations from a comcast forum) and some netgear router. I used to rent a Cisco modem from Comcast but it sucked. I'd constantly get disconnected. Comcast insisted it was my problem and not their wiring to my house or their modem. Ever since I bought the modem I have now, my internet's been good not to mention it's paid for itself by now. No more random disconnects.

    Personally, I would never use a combo device.
     
  11. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #11
    I use a Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 eXtreme Broadband Cable Modem that I bought from Amazon in March of 2011 and it's been a rock-solid workhorse for me. It's connected to a 2nd generation AEBS and neither have ever given me a problem.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    That's the route I'm taking. I just moved and have both devices ordered for Comcast.

    I've had FIOS for the past few years so I just used the ActionTec router they gave. I forget the model number but I know it had one antenna, not two. The connection was in the basement so it always seemed like the closer to the basement I got, the faster the internet got. It was always on my to do list to buy an Apple aiport extreme to make my signal stronger/faster around the house but I never got around to it.

    So we sold our place and have moved to a new place where FIOS isn't offered anymore. Comcast said they'll provide me with a gateway modem and wireless in one for $8 a month. But it was the guy from Comcast himself who suggested I get my own modem by searching for "comcast approved modems" on Amazon. The first one that came up was the ARRIS / Motorola SB6121 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, and I got a used one from Amazon Warehouse for $57.99.

    The Apple AirPort Extreme (ME918LL/A) I also bought used from Amazon Warehouse for $165. I would have gotten it refurbished from the Apple Store for $169 for the full warranty if I wasn't in such a hurry to get it. Apple Store would have taken up to a week to get to me. From Amazon, I got the router arriving next day for $3.99 because I'm Prime.

    I hope when the Comcast Tech comes out tomorrow, he can easily set me up using my modem and router.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #13
    What are the tradeoffs? I've done it both ways and honestly couldn't tell a difference, but I'm always interested in knowing more.
     
  14. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

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    #14
    I once worked for a small VoIP startup and what I learned from working with people all over the US with various Cable/DSL Gateways provided by ISPs is that almost always they seemed to be setup to cause problems with competitors VoIP and IP TV services as cable and satellite companies tend to provide said services themselves.

    Maybe it was just a coincidence but it always seemed like it was on purpose. The devices leased by ISPs seemed to be geared to provide a quality experience over port 80/443 (http/https) and to interfere with services on the other 65533 ports.

    Since my latest post I've actually relegated my Airport to switch/access point duty and moved on to a Smoothwall Virtual Machine for my router/firewall. But not because the Apple routers weren't stable, I just wanted more control over my firewall setup.
     
  15. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

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    #15
    Sounds like you should have a relatively painless experience. As long as the Airport is set to DHCP + NAT (default settings I believe) you should be good to go.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Good to hear. And thanks for sharing the thumbnail - I'm guessing those are the settings I need. It's easy to configure an airport express off a Mac?

    One thing I forgot to mention was that one of the reasons I went with the Airport Express versus another Router was for the bridge functionality for when I end up back with FIOS. As I mentioned earlier, I always wanted to get an Airport to extend that original signal from the combo Actiontec router/modem that FIOS provides.

    I also like that I can connect an external hard drive to the airport extreme and have it become a wireless-ly accessible. I'm sure other routers offer this bridge and hard drive sharing functionality too but I'm guessing it's easiest with an Airport.

    I know the Airport also offers printer sharing, but we have a Brother MFC-7840W which is already wireless. It even scans wireless too. The printer's been great.
     
  17. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    *sigh can't get the wifi network working with my AirPort Extreme and surfboard SB6121. When I connect laptop directly to modem with LAN cable I can get online so it's not the modem or the comcast connection.

    Did the change to DHCP + NAT and that didn't work. Something worth mentioning: I did two hard resets (holding a pin against the button) and the first time I did need to do the change from DHCP to DHCP+NAT and 2nd time I didn't have to. I wonder if even after a hard reset some settings don't change.

    There are some troubleshooting threads on this subject out there. I'll see if any of them can help me.
     
  18. Rizvi1, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014

    Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Ok, got it working now. I'm posting this off my MBP connected via wifi.

    I want to say what did it was the advice over here https://discussions.apple.com/message/22977599#22977599 . It said to plug the cable modem into the airport and power off and then on.

    I did the DHCP + NAT thing before and also changed the DHCP range to matched what apunkrockmonk had in his thumbnail. And also the blocking of IPV6 based on something I thought I saw about the airport not liking that. I don't know.

    I've attached some screenshots with my settings. Maybe they can help someone else who struggles in the near future like me. Or maybe there's something I could and should improve.

    Although I've done speed tests and I'm doing speeds at what's expected with my 25 Mbps / 5 Mbps plan w/ comcast, both off wired and wireless:

    Wired: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3455606601

    Wireless: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3455885919
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    More Thumbs from my Airport Extreme setup

    Some more thumbs....

    (Again, I cleared out any info that I thought was sensitive)
     

    Attached Files:

  20. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

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    #20
    Glad to hear you got everything working!

    And that is something to keep in mind going forward, usually if you change what device is attached to a plain cable modem that doesn't have a built in router the modem will need to be rebooted afterwards. This forces the cable ISP to assign a new public IP address to the newly attached device via DHCP.
     
  21. schwadorf macrumors newbie

    schwadorf

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    #21
    I use a Motorola SB6120E cable modem and the new Airport Extreme. Pretty happy with the setup so far.
     
  22. Montymitch macrumors regular

    Montymitch

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #22
    I'm using a Motorola Surfboard and an Apple time capsule that I've had for about 4 years now. I move from state to state and can't always use the same modem, but the time capsule has been absolutely stable.
     
  23. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #23
    Same combination here except for the E suffix, if that makes a difference. No complaints. I also had good results with the 6120 and my previous router, which was a first-gen Time Capsule.
     
  24. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    #24
  25. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #25
    I am using the Cisco Meraki MX60 Security Appliance and MR12 Wireless Access Point at home.
     

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