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  #1  
Old 10-19-2021, 09:44 PM
BradleyS BradleyS is offline
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Default Modem/Router Recommendation

We are finally about to move into our "Tiny" home.
The only ISP available in our rural area is Xfinity (Comcast) cable service. We chose a plan with 200mbps.
The modem/router furnished by Xfinity adds $15 rental fee to the monthly bill.
Recommendations on a modem/router would be most appreciated or would it be more beneficial to rent ?
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2021, 11:41 PM
Leekg Leekg is offline
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This last go-around I decided to rent from Comcast. There's money to be saved owning but I got tired of messing with updates and shopping for replacements.

Their provided unit works very well and gets updated without my intervention.

One less thing to mess with!
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2021, 04:40 AM
AX17609 AX17609 is offline
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I rent Comcast’s modem/router and have been happy to do so after bad results using products from other suppliers. I also have a bunch of their xFi pods, which work beautifully.

Last edited by AX17609; 10-20-2021 at 10:40 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2021, 04:45 AM
Shinbone Shinbone is offline
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I use an Arris Surfboard (this model) It's been working well for me. It's few years old now so there are probably updated models.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2021, 05:09 AM
buddyhu buddyhu is offline
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There are many things that I dislike about Comcast (the company), their business model, and their modems. But if you will be in a tiny home and are not too close to your neighbors, the Comcast modem is probably OK.

Our house is about 1800 sq ft on one level, and while there is at least 50 ft separating our house from our nearest neighbor (and probably 100+ ft of distance from our neighbors’ modems), we had problems with our Comcast WiFi in some rooms because the signal from our modem would be in competition with the signals from Comcast modems used by our neighbors (which are also constructed to provide hotspots that can be used by any Comcast customer in the area). We had problems using our computer printer wirelessly, had problems with intermittent connectivity when streaming music from devices to wireless speakers, had problems getting a stable connection when using tablets in bedrooms, etc. etc.).

Several people recommended changing to a mesh network, and we made the change about a month ago. While our Google mesh network is a bit slower than what Comcast could offer, it works MUCH better for us Comcast ever has. We also looked at Eero mesh networks, which are reportedly better for streaming games, but which dont do as good a job streaming music to wireless speakers.

For all the convenience that WiFi and wireless networks offer, i really miss the simplicity and reliability and straightforwardness of simply plugging in speakers and computers and printers.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2021, 06:05 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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I'm in a circle of networking and IT pros who are all fans of Ubiquiti and their SOHO like called Amplifi. This was underscored in recent times when some of us helped c suite and vital staff with work from home setups.

Radio performance was really great when I looked at reviews now a while ago. The SOHO Amplifi line seems to get patched faster or when other stuff using generic chipsets and radios doesn't get patched.

If you want quality and good life cycle it might be time to go with something that's WiFi 6. Something else about the radios is in all the past near 2 years of work from home support is noticing some popular stuff did not or does not have band steering where you can mix devices with 2.4 GHz radios with 5 GHz and suffer if your main device has 5 GHz.

The absolute best you can do is get a small Meraki MX but you'll have licensing most do not do for home office. That licensing can also get your network-based security with AMP and content filtering. My fellow pros are not doing that expense at home but use Cisco's technology via the free was OpenDNS now Umbrella.

The was top dog Amplifi models are still sold and now they have a new WiFi 6 model. My house is a neighborhood WiFi blasting island with the Amplif 3-pack, and it helps keep the stuff out of site. I have the base unit downstairs and the 2 "meshpoints" towards ends or sides in top floor so 3 floors of amazing coverage.

Associates who've bought the new WiFi 6 model are finding 1 unit is great for a good sized home where they had repeaters in the past or other mesh setups.

Amplifi also has a great VPN schema. You can VPN to your home and use it's Internet connection as well as access things there.

If you have a DIY spirit, the PF Sense firewall with a separate switch and WiFi bridge is also popular. HP makes a small managed switch you can also find used, and Ubiquiti makes PoE switches more affordable than Meraki if you want to power and control lighting too. That HP switch family has an AC power cord in it vs the wall warts most low cost items have.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2021, 06:17 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyhu View Post
There are many things that I dislike about Comcast (the company), their business model, and their modems. But if you will be in a tiny home and are not too close to your neighbors, the Comcast modem is probably OK.

Our house is about 1800 sq ft on one level, and while there is at least 50 ft separating our house from our nearest neighbor (and probably 100+ ft of distance from our neighbors’ modems), we had problems with our Comcast WiFi in some rooms because the signal from our modem would be in competition with the signals from Comcast modems used by our neighbors (which are also constructed to provide hotspots that can be used by any Comcast customer in the area). We had problems using our computer printer wirelessly, had problems with intermittent connectivity when streaming music from devices to wireless speakers, had problems getting a stable connection when using tablets in bedrooms, etc. etc.).

Several people recommended changing to a mesh network, and we made the change about a month ago. While our Google mesh network is a bit slower than what Comcast could offer, it works MUCH better for us Comcast ever has. We also looked at Eero mesh networks, which are reportedly better for streaming games, but which dont do as good a job streaming music to wireless speakers.

For all the convenience that WiFi and wireless networks offer, i really miss the simplicity and reliability and straightforwardness of simply plugging in speakers and computers and printers.
The Amplifi (Ubiquiti) simplifies their traffic shaping as "streaming" and "gaming" vs standard and it works compared to much of the crap I've had to deal with in all the work from home in past 18 months.

Everything works where we have Meraki (Cisco) but so far I've found everything works with my having Ubiquiti in my home.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2021, 08:45 AM
Chipotle Chipotle is online now
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You can save money if you get your own router, assuming you know how to configure and manage it. I've worked with Ubiquiti and Xirrus commercial stuff at work, but if you really have a tiny home (i.e. don't need much range) and only 200Mbps service--and aren't a serious online gamer or streamer--you don't need the high-powered stuff.

You could go WiFi 6 if you wanted to future-proof, but there are plenty of less expensive (sub $200) Wifi 5 routers that would handle your 200Mbps bandwidth just fine. At less than $200, your own router would pay for itself within a year.

I wouldn't recommend a specific router without knowing more about your usage. What the max distance you'll need from the router? How many devices tend to be connected at once? What kind of tasks are you typically doing that use the network, from checking email to streaming to gaming?
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:28 PM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
You can save money if you get your own router, assuming you know how to configure and manage it. I've worked with Ubiquiti and Xirrus commercial stuff at work, but if you really have a tiny home (i.e. don't need much range) and only 200Mbps service--and aren't a serious online gamer or streamer--you don't need the high-powered stuff.

You could go WiFi 6 if you wanted to future-proof, but there are plenty of less expensive (sub $200) Wifi 5 routers that would handle your 200Mbps bandwidth just fine. At less than $200, your own router would pay for itself within a year.

I wouldn't recommend a specific router without knowing more about your usage. What the max distance you'll need from the router? How many devices tend to be connected at once? What kind of tasks are you typically doing that use the network, from checking email to streaming to gaming?
A good point on how many devices. With all the home user support we end up doing I see people don't realize the way computers, phones, smart watches, TV streaming devices, speakers and more add up. It's really bad when they're limited to 2.4 Ghz, and are in a place with others' WiFi using the limited number of channels available.

Something else many should know is ISPs advertise speed home users will never see in a real world sense. They might get that 200 Mpbs from their home to the ISP's next hop, but they won't get that across the Internet without paying for some soft of QoS (quality of service). Some giants and business do that along with their edge computing but not small sites and players.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2021, 02:52 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imwjl View Post
Something else many should know is ISPs advertise speed home users will never see in a real world sense.
I figure if you run a speed test and get 80% of your advertised speed, that's pretty good. You'll never get the full bandwidth. But if your real-world connection runs at, say, 160Mbps, spending the $$ on a blazing fast Wifi 6 router is overkill. Especially if you are at fairly close range (e.g. tiny house) where the throughput is greatest.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2021, 05:23 PM
Leekg Leekg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
I figure if you run a speed test and get 80% of your advertised speed, that's pretty good. You'll never get the full bandwidth. But if your real-world connection runs at, say, 160Mbps, spending the $$ on a blazing fast Wifi 6 router is overkill. Especially if you are at fairly close range (e.g. tiny house) where the throughput is greatest.
I've no love for any ISP but Comcast is delivering 450-460 reliably on our 400 plan over the past 6 months. That's with the rental XB6-A modem/router.

Nope, no affiliation, and this comment may jinx me!

Theoretically there are economic gains from buying, but I don't carry the expertise of some posting. My time today is worth more than any savings, but 10 years ago I was running my own stuff. Choose accordingly.
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2021, 09:33 PM
BradleyS BradleyS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post

I wouldn't recommend a specific router without knowing more about your usage. What the max distance you'll need from the router? How many devices tend to be connected at once? What kind of tasks are you typically doing that use the network, from checking email to streaming to gaming?
I appreciate everyone taking time out to respond to my post.
Our new home is only 720 sq ft. in size. At present, we have a total of five devices (two laptops, two cell phones and one Ipad), with only two devices connected at one time. I do plan on installing five Ring outdoor flood light and camera combinations in the near future.
We peruse the net, check email and stream movies via Netflix, Hulu etc., but do not engage in gaming.
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2021, 07:59 AM
seannx seannx is offline
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If you use the Comcast router make sure to disable the automatic hot spot they piggyback on your service.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2021, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyS View Post
I appreciate everyone taking time out to respond to my post.
Our new home is only 720 sq ft. in size. At present, we have a total of five devices (two laptops, two cell phones and one Ipad), with only two devices connected at one time. I do plan on installing five Ring outdoor flood light and camera combinations in the near future.
We peruse the net, check email and stream movies via Netflix, Hulu etc., but do not engage in gaming.
For your basic needs, a decent WiFi 5 router would probably serve your needs, and you can find one for around $100. Certainly a cost savings if you want to manage it yourself. You need decent throughput, don't need mesh, and Something like a TP-Link Archer C2300 or Linksys EA6350 would fit the bill.

It gets a little more complicated if your outdoor lights and cameras are spread around your property. Now you have more range to worry about, and if you are signing up to save video on the net in your Ring account you'll need the bandwidth. Your exact setup, again would determine your best choice.
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyhu View Post
There are many things that I dislike about Comcast (the company), their business model,


I also have little but distain for Comcast , stemming from an incident years ago when we owned a mobile home park and they tried to intimidate us into granting easements for their cabling to a number of our renters ..
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