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Separate router and modem vs Router/Modem combo...


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#1
axeman61

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Info about my computer (should it be relevant) is below.

Short Story: I desired a new router/modem just to see if it would improve internet consistency. However, I ended up buying just a router. I have a modem and can link them up. Should I keep this setup, or switch back to my old Router/Modem combo, while looking for another Router/Modem?

Long Story:
My internet, for the most part, is fine. However, I still experience the occasional disconnect. My internet will go off for less than a minute about 5x a week. This is fine for browsing, but sucks for gaming. My ISP is AT&T, and I have 3 Mb max DSL. Years ago, it started having a bunch of disconnects after I tried an upgrade (6 Mb max) for a year. The techs came out about 6 times. As a result, I downgraded my service back and got an AT&T 2Wire Router/Modem combo out of the deal. I know people say this device sucks a lot, but it's been at least doing its job. General browsing is fine, gaming has the disconnect problem only sometimes, and there's only one device to think about.

However, I've recently started wondering if the quality of the modem was in fact affecting the consistency of the connection. The techs tried different modems when troubleshooting everything, but none were high quality.

So, I got my eye on this:

http://www.amazon.co....words=wndr4500

I ended up buying it at Best Buy (they had it for sale). However, me being a complete dummy, I thought it would be a combo Modem/Router. It's just a router. I was gearing up to take it back, but I started wondering if maybe this could work out. I pulled out an old (but good) modem I had, linked them up, and got the internet going in almost no time.

Right now, this setup seems to offer no benefit over what I had before. I used my 2Wire to play games, surf the internet, and provide Wi-Fi to my Samsung Galaxy Player. I tested and can do all the same stuff on this setup, but it's still the same stuff. Nothing seems to be going any faster, and I haven't played around on it long enough to see any disconnects. Is there any reason to keep this separate router and modem setup, or should I just take the router back and perhaps look for another Router/Modem combo?

My comp info:
Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.1
OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 3.00GHz, x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 1
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 3062 Mb
Graphics Card: Intel® 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family, 128 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 35055 MB, Free - 6949 MB; D: Total - 476937 MB, Free - 261564 MB;
Motherboard: Dell Inc. , 0M3918, , ..CN708214B5049M.
Antivirus: Avira Desktop, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled
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#2
Wolfeymole

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In my opinion it doesn't matter if you buy a state of the art modem and router because you are still hampered by AT&T's scabby connection speed, 3mbps is something you might see in India for example, in fact they probably get a higher speed in some cases.

A router/modem combo would be the best bet but without a decent internet connection you're kind of going nowhere fast.
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#3
axeman61

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Sorry to bump this, but I had to ask:

What speed would you say is decent? My ISP only offers a max of 6 Mbps for DSL AFAIK (and that didn't turn out well when I tried it). I'm never trying UVerse, because I hear so much bad stuff about it. I'm unsure about cable, seeing as how Comcast is the only provider in my area for it, and I heard it's inconsistent.

Edited by axeman61, 20 July 2013 - 10:08 AM.

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#4
Wolfeymole

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Well obviously the faster the speed the better your surfing experience is but at the end of the day you are seriously hampered by what your ISP offers you.

I have a 30mbps connection here in the UK and it suits my needs perfectly as I get no buffering issues or slow page load times etc.

I bet AT&T isn't offering 3mbps in the cities.
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#5
axeman61

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I'm sorry to bump this back up, but there's another wrinkle here. You said my setup doesn't matter if I have crappy internet to start with. I'm thinking of switching over to Comcast (cable company here in the states), which offers 25 Megabit internet (while the best I can get with ATT in my area is 6). If this switch were to happen and things run smoothly, would this router make a difference then? I don't know what cable modem Comcast would give me.
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#6
Wolfeymole

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The thing is Axeman are you guaranteed 25mbps?

You see what any ISP can not absolutely guarantee is a constant speed as there are many things to consider.

The hardware infrastructure for one (their equipment basically in terms of overhead lines etc).

Net traffic.

Your equipment.

With the US being a vast region ADSL prevails in the main and it is only in the cities where cable may be available.

You may find this statement in Comcasts or any other US ISP that they will offer UP to X speed, UP to being the operative words but without guarantee.

Do Comcast offer a cable service where you are?

You would need a cable router also which should be supplied by Comcast should you go with them.
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#7
axeman61

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Me and my mom used to have Comcast cable in this house, but disconnected because of price. My aunt (a street over from me) has Comcast for TV and Internet, and seems to have no problems (though it's not her, but a bunch of grandkids over there using the internet). Still, I did a speed test over there this week on her computer and it got 15 Mb download (don't remember what for upload). That alarmed me a bit, because I know the next speed after 6Mbps Comcast offers is 25 (which must be what my aunt has). However, there were people playing online games at the time, so that may have skewed things. All I know is 15 is still 5 times what I'm getting now, and I'll be the only one using this internet heavily. I'm going to research the online gaming problems Comcast has, but if there doesn't seem to be much there, I may switch.

But the real issue is that after that switch, I'll be dealing with internet a speed of at least 3 times what I have now. Will a super-duper router like I have right now be better for spreading that around to the devices I use for internet? I need to know; I got this router on sale, and if I return it, I may have to settle for something lesser if Comcast's equipment isn't up to snuff and I have to get a new modem.

Edited by axeman61, 27 July 2013 - 09:23 AM.

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#8
Wolfeymole

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When you went with AT&T you should have got a modem similar to this ok.

Posted Image

On a cable modem or modem router combo you won't have an RJ11 socket on it because your incoming cable connection will be a screwed coaxial type of connection so like I say the ADSL router is no good.

Comcast should in theory send you a new one when you sign up with them again.
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#9
axeman61

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I don't know why that link expired.

http://www.amazon.co...ywords=wndr4500

If that link doesn't work, look up 'wndr4500' on amazon. The first router you see is the router in question here.

The point is, it SHOULD work with either a cable or a DSL modem. It just routes. It's supposed to be top of the line, and I'm a little concerned that if I take it back, I'll have to settle for something lesser in the future if Comcast's equipment is giving me trouble. Comcast might give me a combination router/modem that's bad, or they might just give me a modem that's bad. In either case, I'd have to get a new router, whether it's part of a router/modem combo or not.

Edited by axeman61, 27 July 2013 - 10:14 AM.

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#10
Wolfeymole

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Yes but that is just a router Axeman, what you need besides that is a cable modem if you choose to go with Comcast.

Look in your link at Amazon just below the main item where it says Frequently Bought Together and you will see this.

http://www.amazon.co...d_bxgy_e_text_y

Consider my modem/router combination that I use at home.

http://www.expertrev...media-super-hub
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#11
axeman61

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I just wanted to come back here to say thanks for your help. I knew I'd need a modem, but I wanted something to give WI-FI to my gadgets. That's where this router was coming in. It seemed like the best router for a home network. I've taken it back though.

I've decided to go to ATT UVerse to start off here. ATT offered me a non-contract, cheaper deal than what I'm at now for double the internet I'm getting now with no upfront fees. It's only a 6 meg service, but my needs aren't really that much. I was just "high" off the fact that I COULD afford Comcast Cable if I wanted it. I still do want it. However, it's expensive and I want to proceed slowly. Also, I've called Comcast to get some details about their plans, and each time I've had at LEAST a 25 minute hold before getting to someone, unlike AT&T (I'll give it that at least). I don't want that hold if something screws up. So, I'll try UVerse out, and if it works for me, I'll keep it. If not, hello Comcast.

But I just wanted to say thanks for helping.
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#12
Wolfeymole

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Here's hoping that UVerse will supply you with a wireless modem/router combo.

Thanks for letting me know Axeman and you're welcome. :thumbsup:
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