The biggest misconception of Internet users is that they have to rent the cable modem router from their Internet Service Provider. Leasing the cable modem equipment to the customers, it’s a multi-billion dollar business. No surprise that the ISPs (Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, Wow or Cox) conveniently neglect to inform you right away that there is another option for you: purchasing your own modem/router combo for Comcast. Why they do it? Because they are trying to squeeze more money out of you!
Comcast has a plan for any type of pockets. XFINITY offers unmatchable speeds for up to 50 to 100 Mbps. Most of the people are not aware that they have the right to buy their own best router for Comcast and continue to pay the company’s rental fees for years. When they finally do the math, and see that they have been ripped off, they decide to buy their own device. They start looking online for product reviews, hoping to find the best router for Comcast.
Owning your own cable box means you ditch the Comcast recurring rental fee. Every month you lose around $10 or more by paying this fee. Given the long lifespan of a modem/router (5-10 years), buying your own box is definitely a money-saver long term. In addition, upgrading to a newer modem/router (of your choice) will bring you faster speeds.
In order to help you decide what is the best modem router for Comcast, we did a small research. We picked, tested and reviewed five best routers that we highly recommend.
When you sign up with Comcast, you are given the choice to either rent (for a monthly fee) or buy your own modem router for Comcast outright. As most of the Internet service providers, Comcast no longer provides free modems or routers to its customers. XFINITY offers an equipment leasing service for a monthly fee. Thus, the company charges its customers slightly more than the competition for leasing the modem required for the company’s cable Internet service. In the past years its modem rental fee hiked from $8 to $10, or as much as $120 per year. This price increase did not deter customers from using XFINITY’s services, but it certainly convinced most of them to purchase their own equipment.
When you are planning to stay with the same Internet provider for a longer period of time, it does make economic sense to invest in your own best modem router for Comcast. Although purchasing a modem or a gateway involves a higher upfront cost, keep in mind that it will pay off for itself in one year or less, depending on the price of the device. For example, if the initial outlay for a modem may run between $70 to $90, you will no longer pay a monthly fee. Which means you should break even on your investment in less than a year, somewhere between 7 to 9 months. In case you are going to relocate and switch to a different cable provider in less than twelve months, renting the modem might be a better option for you. You need to do the math for yourself and see what works best in your case.
Given that Comcast periodically adjusts its prices and blames it on the increases incurred in programming, business costs, new technology or any other reason, its customers are slated to pay higher fees for the modem leasing service. Buying your own equipment could save you some money over time.
Leasing equipment can get expensive over time. Comcast is currently charging its customers $10 per modem rental fee, which means the break-even point is somewhere between 10 or 15 months. How much money you will save if you own your router instead of renting it, depends on the model you choose to purchase. On Amazon you can easily find the best modem router combo for Comcast for $100 or less. Obviously, there are higher-end models which go beyond this price. In a nutshell, you start saving money after about one year. If you would opt for a $80 modem, you’d start saving after eight months!
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Motorola 8x4 Cable Modem Gateway
(Best value for money)
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Arris SURFboard SBG6900AC
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
First of all, a modem router combo is easier to set up since it has less moving parts (one piece of equipment less) to worry about when it comes to installing, configuring, updating or replacement. The set-up is generally simpler on a combo unit than on two devices.
Secondly, it makes more economic sense to purchase a standalone unit, since getting two separate devices might be slightly expensive or more. For one-time fee, you can get the best modem router combo that suits your needs and enables you to tap into the full potential of your Internet connection.
There are many models available to choose from your next best wireless router for Comcast. Just ensure that you will buy a model that supports the version of the DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) standard offered by Comcast.
Linksys AC1900 has a stylish looking, dark colored plastic with a nice matte finish. It appears to be well built and solid. Thanks to its slick design, it is not an eyesore anywhere, despite its size. This modem router combo has a great range with fantastic wireless performance. It comes equipped with a power switch which makes network cycling a lot easier when errors occur. It features two external antennas (2.4 GHz and 5GHz) which can be replaced if desired (can be connected at the back of the device).
The setup is quite simple, almost automatic and requires no special knowledge. The ease of the installation appeals to any “first-time” home network customer. Once you plug it into your computer and type in the router's web address, the simplicity of the setup begins. There is an ease in this process with the simple directions. At the end, you will be offered to set up a Smart WIFI online account that you can used to monitor and edit your settings and more.
Users are able to do the configuration within a few minutes. The GUI is easy to understand and presents a built-in speed test and network map. All of the usual basic router settings are in there. Users can perform a firmware upgrade from within the GUI without a hitch. It is configured for automatic updates by default. It configures via browser, no software needed.
In terms of speed, this model is a winner. Its speeds surpassed customers’ expectations. With the default firmware the customers have found incredible speeds. It has an intuitive web interface to customize your experience. As for the layout, it is top notch.
Like most of the Linksys products, the AC1900 model uses Beamforming Technology and offers a good reliability. This model has a huge upgrade over the Wi-Fi. Another noticeable feature is the remote administration via app (Android, iOS). It offers a nice selection of modes (DHCP, Bridge, Repeater).
If you are an IT person like me who likes to have full control of everything, this may not be the product for you. It's a great router, and well worth the money, if all you want is a rock-solid piece of equipment that works right out the box and has an amazing range and performance.
Bottom line, this router is awesome and worth the price of entry if you have a decent sized residence with numerous bandwidth hungry devices. In a nutshell,
Model MG 7315 includes a built-in N450 WiFi 3x3 wireless gigabit router. Integrating two devices in one eliminates the unwieldy wiring and power adaptor clutter. The vertical design helps minimizing its footprint and improves cooling. It also extends product life while looking neat in any home or office.
The modem router combo creates a more reliable and trouble free on-board connection between the two devices.
The WiFi Power Boost technology amplifies the wireless signal to the FCC legal limit in the U.S, for extended the speed and range.
Model MG 7315 is certified by a number of leading cable service providers including Comcast XFINITY®, Charter Spectrum®, Time Warner Cable®, Bright House®, Cox®.
It comes equipped with four 10/100/1000 Gigabit (GigE) Ethernet LAN ports which provide wired connections to computers, HDTVs, game stations, and other Ethernet-capable devices.
It can reach up to 343 Mbps downstream and 123 Mbps upstream with bonding of up to eight channels downstream and four channels upstream. (Actual downstream and upstream speeds depend on a number of factors including the speed of your cable service.)
This model works with DOCSIS 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1 services and it downloads eight times faster than DOCSIS 2.0.
The built-in Wi-Fi Gigabit router features three internal antennas, an advanced firewall for advanced security, built-in parental control capability.
The Wi-FI works with with IEEE 802.11 n, ac, g, and b devices including smartphones, computers, HDTVs, and game stations. In addition, it supports IPv4 and IPv6 for powerful, flexible network addressing.
Set up is fast and quite easy. Combining a modem and a gigabit router in a single unit, makes installation easier, since you need to do it only once. It comes with all necessary cables plus a step-by-step Quick Start manual.
Includes Configuration Manager with context-sensitive help. Compatibility and set-up with Comcast is seamless: it can be done online in less than ten minutes.
MG 7315 offers a high-performance networking for residential users and offices.
Arris Surfboard is a popular modem and one of the best sellers on Amazon. Surfboard SB6183 and SB 6190 have become most wanted cable modems in the market. With over 135 million sold, it is a market leader in modems.
This three in one device is a newer technology modem router offering you the speed you need. SBG6900-AC has integrated a high speed DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, dual-band concurrent (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11AC wireless access point and a 4-port Gigabit Ethernet router. SBG6900 is designed as single device which helps reducing the clutter on your table.
Set up is easy with the aid of Quick Start Wizard Guide.
It is a well-featured device offering an advanced setup menu with lots of options. Router Setup is not for beginners. This is not a plug-and-play unit as most of the other modem router combos. Configuration requires to have some basic router and network knowledge. As with any router, you may need to change the default login ID and password, along with the admin IP and device IP address for safety reasons. You will need also to set a secure and complex WPA2 wireless access password. You can also limit the number of connections.
ARRIS SURFboard SBG 6900 it’s the most powerful wireless modem in the SURFboard lineup. With built-in high speed DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and with the addition of high speed WiFi with total bandwidth of up to 1,900Mbps your modem router combo is ideal for the higher plan provided by your Internet service provider. With this modem/router combo you will no longer experience buffering while streaming HD videos, nor lagging while playing online games with your buddies. And no more dead spots!
Ideal for large home with multiple wifi devices for HD video streaming and online gaming.
The AC17500 WiFi router and integrated DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem has a nice design and presents many features. Web Interface is straightforward and provides flexible control. It has plenty of options and settings.
This model provides an excellent coverage. You have everything in one single device: fast wireless speeds, good range, great heat dissipation and compatibility with most major cable service providers.
The unit is quite big compared to other cable modems available on the market. The stand elevates the unit so that there's space in between, allowing ventilation at the bottom of the unit. This all-in-one unit represents the perfect combo choice for those concerned about space. One device means fewer wires laying on the floor.
This set up for this modem/router/wireless combo is a breeze. The Netgear Genie program is a huge help, saving you time. The app is easy to install, monitor and control your home network. Without it, a non-technical end-user might have trouble locating some of the settings.
You connect the coaxial cable, power cable, Ethernet cables, then call the cable company (via Comcast.com/activate) to register the cable modem to have it up and running.
The specs of the cable modem (MAC Address, Serial Number, Model #, etc.) can be found on a flexible piece of plastic that can be pulled out from inside the unit for easy reading.
The web interface to configure the router is extremely user friendly and the menus are in logical order. The C6300 has features for simple to complex setup. You can only log into the web interface using one account. The web interface has basic and advanced modes. Advanced features include address reservation, port forwarding and triggering, DMZ, simultaneous dual bands, parental control, separate MAC filtering for both primary and guest networks on both bands.
This model offers ultra-fast cable Internet speeds up to 680 Mbps. Its high-performance Intel Puma 6 processor supports 16 download & 4 upload channels simultaneously. It is compatible with the current and next generation of WiFi devices. It features WiFi Boost with high-power radio amplifiers and a memory of 128MB flash and 256 MB RAM.
The C6300 provides the best WiFi connectivity throughout your house for all your Internet-enabled devices. The simultaneous dual-band technology improves the range and reduces the interferences for better connections to more WiFi devices. The advanced QoS technology enables users to enjoy a smooth HD video streaming and low-latency online gaming.
C6300 has made file sharing seamless with ReadySHARE USB on your USB drive. It enables users to quickly display and play photos, videos and music stored on a shared USB hard drive.
It is perfect for online gaming and HD video streaming, recommended for home use.
TP-Link made the TC-W 7960 modem/router quite compact and energy efficient. You will be surprised to see how nice this model is for the price point. It averages about 8 watts in bridge mode and 11 watts in router model. The TC-W 7960 gateway is CableLabs Certified and performs great on Comcast. It is compatible with other ISPs (Internet Service Provider) .
This all in one unit has plenty of features you would not expect from a cable modem and a cable router. Wireless N technology delivers up to wireless 300 Mbps data transfer rates. It features 8 downstream, 4 upstream channels. The download speed goes up to 343 Mbps, while the upload speed reaches up to 143 Mbps, enabling you to fully utilize the Internet speeds you are paying for. It is compatible with 802.11n backward compatible with 802.11b/g and presents 2.O USB port which allow you to share files, photos, music and videos across the network. IPv6 and IPv4 dual stack keep your network up to date with the latest Internet protocol.
It has DOCSIS 3.0 technology and delivers speeds up to 8 times faster than DOCSIS 2.0. It is a well-built wireless cable modem router with a nice design and seems to be a good quality product.
The TC-W 7960 includes a four Gigabit Ethernet that give up to 1000 Mbps of stable wired connection to Smart TVs, game consoles and more. The wireless network is good and can support many devices at a single time with no issues.
The TC-W 7960 gets up and running easily. The set-up is really simple and straightforward. All you need to do is to follow the instructions online. Plug in the unit with the DC power, the coaxial connection, and the Ethernet to your computer, then power it on. Call your internet service provider (ISP) and have them activate the unit using the MAC Address shown on the bottom of the unit. Your ISP should be able to verify its connectivity. Power cycle it when they're done.
Once connected, log into the unit's interface and configure the settings to your needs. You can attain solid connection latency times (as low as 8ms) and speeds (60mb/4mb +/- 5mb/1mb). The graphical interface is easy to navigate, and there is a firmware update for those of you interested in running the latest revisions. The USB 2.0 port provides your network with direct access to storage and printing devices, however, I suggest you use devices that have either a 500mA power requirement or an external power supply.
It makes a great choice for an office or low WiFi demand household. If you don't have high demands or you have a wired home, TC-W 7960 is great for you, or if you have a wired home it works great.
When you sign up to Comcast XFINITY Internet service, you may choose either to buy a new modem or use the one provided by the ISP for a monthly fee. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable firm is charging around $10 in monthly fees for renting you their equipment. They also offer tech support for it. That means they will also offer a replacement of the unit if needed. (As long as the problem is on their end, not your’s!)
Although their customer agents may not mention it right away, Comcast customers may eliminate the rental fee from their bill by getting their own equipment. Cable operators will tell you that you’re on on your own for support with the modem /router, but you’re far more likely to have issues with your wireless router or your computer or tablet. It also means that you will be solely responsible for the upgrades. This is why you should look for a device with a two-year warranty.
If you are tired of being slapped with a never ending bogus rental equipment fee, buying your own router may be the right choice for you. Thus, you eliminate the monthly fees. Also, you won’t have to worry about failing to return the equipment and being charged couple of hundreds of dollars more.
Paying upfront might look that you are losing money in the short term, but on the long run, you will be saving more than you think. The monthly leasing fees add up and by the end of the year, the company will charge you $120 or more. A quick-one time purchase of a gateway and you can start saving. By choosing a decent model priced around $100 or even less, at the present $10 rental fee per month, you will be saving money by the end of the year. It will pay for itself in under one year. You could actually save up to hundreds of dollars over time.
At the end of the day, you own the device. You will not have to return it at the end of the contract, or when you are moving. You could still use it even if you change the Internet Service Provider, as long as it is compatible with the service you are paying for.
When you have the possibility to choose the best modem router combo for Comcast, you save yourself a lot of trouble. By purchasing the best model for you, you will not have to worry about the rented modems issues you experienced before.
Before you go out and purchase the router of your choice for use with XFINITY Internet and/or Voice service, you need to ensure that it is certified for the Comcast service you are paying for.
Note that not all modem router combos are compatible with Comcast. Only certain models are Xfinity Comcast approved. How can you tell if your model of choice is the best modem router for Comcast? You cannot rely only on the fact that it says it can support certain speeds! There are other requirements that need to be met in order to have it working with your service tier.
You can call Comcast and ask what models are compatible or simply find the needed information about the supported modems on their website. Comcast had made available online a DOCSIS Device Information Center that lists all modems compatible with their network. A quick visit to mydeviceinfo.xfinity.com. and you will find a list of all the certified retail equipment that's compatible with Comcast.
When you purchase your own equipment, it is your responsibility to ensure that the device is secure, certified and compatible. You will have to rely on your knowledge or your friends when it comes to troubleshooting issues or configuring your network’s security settings.
Comcast’s current and future customers are able to find compatible retail equipment automatically just by visiting the above mentioned website. The uncertified devices or “not supported” on Comcast network are referred to as “EOL” (End Of Life). Therefore, they will not be activated as new or replacement equipment.
Another way to do it would be looking on Amazon for a model that you like and then get back to the Comcast in order to verify its compatibility with the desired service.
Comcast has simplified this task by setting up a storefront on Amazon enabling its customer to order service and purchase approved modems. Please note this service may not be available in certain markets.
You also need to ensure that the device is DOCSIS 3.0 compatible - it will enable you to enjoy improved performance. In the next years, most of the Internet providers will upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1 and its 1000 Mbps download speeds. Until that happens, you can stick with a DOCSIS 2.0 modem.
Before rushing to buy a cable modem router as separate devices or as a single unit, you will have to take into account your existing equipment. If you already have a high-end router, then you will need only a modem to connect it to.
Whether you decide to purchase a modem router combo or a separate unit, you really need to ensure that the model you chose is compatible with the service provided by Comcast. You can either contact them by phone or look for this information on their website.
By combining the router and the modem in one single device, you are able to save space on your desk and streamline your setup. One single unit is more space efficient and easier to store than two individual pieces of equipment. Not to mention that it reduces the total number of cables and wires you need to set up the network and connect to the Internet. Just having one single unit means there will be no extra wires messing up your front room or tripping up your pet. The combo unit performs both tasks of hosting the home network and connecting to your ISP. Remember that separate modems and routers work by communicating with each other via an Ethernet cable. When you go with a combo unit, that is one less cable you need to worry for. One the same note, modem-router combination is powered by a single AC adapter, so it reduces a power cable and frees an outlet. The modem router combo is a great option for those who have space and setup complexity concerns.
The installation process is simplified. You will have to install and configure only one device as opposed to two unique devices. Thus, the connection process is performed faster since you do not have to set up and configure two devices. Additionally, a combo unit ensures that your router and modem will not have compatibility issues.
There is no need to stop the savings at buying your own modem! You can maximize your savings by buying a modem router combo as they often cheaper than buying separate products.
A modem router combo device is much easier. Instead of resetting two devices and waiting for them to reboot and regain signal in order to communicate with each other, all you have to do is reset the combo unit and it will run faster. Additionally, if you wish to reset the factory settings to fix either device, the combo unit's faster setup time will get you back up and running more quickly.
When you are ready to switch to a modem router combo, you will need to take in consideration certain factors such as: design, compatibility, performance, price, standards and the number of channels. You will need to ensure that the model you will purchase will be compatible with the Comcast service. In order to determine what are your best options, we need to look at the following factors:
The fanciest modem router combo won’t help you much if your Internet Service Provider does not support it. On Comcast’s website you will find a list of compatible models approved by the company. Keep in mind that some models who work fine at a lower-speed tiers may not be approved when opting for a faster level of service. Therefore, prior to deciding what to buy, you should first contact Comcast and confirm that your top choice is suitable for the service you are charged for. As a general rule, all devices DOCSIS 3.0-certified by industry R&D firm cablelabs should work without any problem with a DOCSIS-based Internet service.
You might want to ensure that you are getting a combo unit with DOCSIS 3.0 standard (Data Over Cable Services Interface Specification). Let’s see what exactly DOCSIS 3.0 means. DOCSIS is a telecommunications standard used by the cable TV operators to provide Internet service over the same cable. It helps adding support for multiple channels to increase speeds. Many ISPs servicing big cities, have upgraded their services to DOCSIS 3.0, enabling their customers to enjoy an improved performance. The latest upgrade is DOCSIS 3.1 (1000 Mbps download speeds) was launched in only a few test markets for the moment.
Most of the models available on the market feature the same set of indicator lights: a power light, lights that tell you the status of your send and receive channels, a light indicating whether you have internet connectivity, and a link light that shows if your modem is connected to a computer, router or other device. What you should be looking for is a model that can display all of these light in a clear way. In case there is a problem, you would like to notice it right away. An easy-to-spot display would do the trick. Also, you’ll need to ask yourself how much space are you willing to allow on your desk for this combo unit. Are you looking to save some space and reduce the footprint of the device? In that case a compact slick design would not be an eyesore and it will blend in with the rest of your network and cable equipment.
The main reason most of the people chose to purchase their own modem router combo device is to save money. Eliminating the modem rental monthly fee can help you save money on the long run. The idea is to choose a model that pays for itself within a year or less. Your break even point should be close to one year. That does not mean you should buy the cheapest model available on the market, unless your budget is really tight. You may want to purchase a new piece of equipment rather than a used or refurb. Most of the modem manufacturers provide one or two-year warranty coverage.
Most of the router modems combos feature eight download channels and four upload channels which offer more than enough performance. You can get download speeds of less than 150Mbps. For an extra $10 or $30 you may get a model featuring 16 X4 channels for high-speed. But a 8x4 may handle whatever you throw at it for less money.
The need for wireless has seen a tremendous growth in the past years. More and more people are connecting to the Internet. We are growing each day and we want our wireless capabilities to grow with us.
Wireless offers a lot of benefits, such as allowing us to work or simply enjoy using the Internet from anywhere and providing Internet access to our visiting guests.
You probably heard or read by now that there are different types of wireless routers such as Wireless-N, Wireless-G or Wireless-AC. The first two are terms referring to 802.11n and 802.11g wireless networking standards set by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The main difference between the router standards is speed and range. For example, Wireless-N increased the maximum data transmission rate more than tenfold from 54 Mbps to 600-900 Mbps.
A router’s performance varies by standard with 802.11b (the oldest standard) providing the slowest speeds at up to 11Mbps. WIreless G can deliver a maximum of speed o 54Mbps while devices based on the 802.11n standard are fastest, reaching 300Mbps.
Wireless-N also allowed wireless devices to use both frequencies 5GHz or 2.4GHz band in the same time. In Wi-Fi wireless networking, dual band refers to the capability to transmit on the 5GHz band of 802.11a and also the 2.4 GHz band used by 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. Unlike ordinary wireless equipment that only supports one signal band, dual-band routers contain two different types of wireless radios that can support connections on both frequencies. The 5GHz band is known to provide a better performance and coverage due to less interference.
Wireless-AC (AKA 802.11ac) is the new standard which offers major wireless connectivity improvement. It is a big leap from its predecessors, meaning it is the most powerful wireless network protocol currently available. Wireless-AC can send wireless at rates more than five times the best Wireless-N devices and hundred times the best Wireless-G devices.
In terms of speed, here is a breakdown of max throughput for all the three standards: Wireless-G: 56Mbps, Wireless-N: 600-900 Mbps and Wireless-AC: 1200-5300. As for the wireless range (radius), 75 ft vs up to 200-500ft, the differences between the standards are: Wireless-G: 20 MHz, Wireless-N:40MHz and Wireless-AC:20/40/80 MHz.
The best way to overcome interferences is to get a high-performing router Wireless-AC and upgrade its firmware to the powerful DDWRT or Tomato. This trick will enable you to have more control over the signal while improving signal strength and stability. Many of these routers have excellent hardware but the manufacturer’s firmware actually hinders their abilities. You will be surprised how much of a difference you will see in the gateway’s performance, once you did the DD-WRT upgrade or Tomato firmware enhancement.
If speed is what you are looking for then it might be the time to let go the Wireless-G router. You are sacrificing overall speed and security while actually hindering the wireless capabilities for newer gateways. In the age of warp speeds, Wireless-AC is not just a luxury: this is the wireless networking standard you need in order to fully enjoy your online experience.
The main reason people buy their own equipment is to eliminate the monthly fees and save some money on the hardware. Nowadays you can get the best modem router combo for an affordable price and start saving on the long run.
Some people are attracted by the simplicity of an all-in-one device. Most of them fall in love with the ease of use, high performance or excellent range. Or it could be any other of the features of these modem router combos. Others may like them for their small footprint. In any case, there is no doubt that combining two devices in one and having a standalone unit was a great idea.
Purchasing your own equipment offers you flexibility and updated technology. Most of the electronics retails store offer discounts in order to encourage sales and customer satisfaction.
In addition, a big majority of the Internet Service Providers still use outdated firmware which can be a major impediment for you. Many ISPs are still offering DOCSIS 2.0 to their customers, while the current telecommunication standard is DOCSIS 3.0.
Bottom line? There are so many options out there, all waiting to help you save money.