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Modem Purchase Xfinity


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#1 pcpunk

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 10:56 AM

I need to buy a Modem for a Xfinity hookup at my home.  I will probably be getting the "Economy Plus" you see on this list, and you can click on it to get an appropriate list of Modems.  Although, I would like to get a decent Modem, not to expensive but not to cheap, I guess, don't really know much about them.  I really only need a Modem for now - but will at some point also get a Wifi Router.  I just want to surf the web, youtube, email, and some Linux OS downloads.  I should probably go with something inexpensive but hate to get something that will only last a year, any advice will be appreciated.  There will only be one user on it at a time for the most part, so don't know if I need anything Dual Channel etc.

 

http://mydeviceinfo.xfinity.com/

 

I think maybe something in this price range, or the newer one listed below it.

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Motorola-SurfBoard-SB6121-DOCSIS/dp/B004XC6GJ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1428344585&sr=1-1&keywords=sb6121

 

pcpunk


Edited by pcpunk, 10 March 2016 - 11:03 AM.

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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:16 AM

Go with the Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 modems. I believe they are still around the 80 - 90 range. Should last you a good while. Got mine a bit more than a year ago now I think, and it works great. Better than renting as well. Also works with Comcast just fine.

 

This is the 8X speed one ~$70

This is the 16X speed one ~$90

 

The one you linked should be good as well. All depends on the speed of the connection you are getting. I would think a normal 45 - 50 down connection from Comcast you should be fine with the 4X one you linked.

 

*edit

 

Also, a local electronics store should have them (e.g. Best Buy). I got mine from Best Buy and it was the same price as Amazon - also they will price match Amazon now as long as it is sold by Amazon (not a third party person).


Edited by DeimosChaos, 10 March 2016 - 11:17 AM.

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#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:20 AM

The page you linked to shows ALL Xfinity modems. Some of them are not available for retail sale.
 
What you need to be looking at is the RETAIL MODEM page. Only Retail devices (filtered for Economy Plus) is checked on the page I linked to. It is not checked on the page you linked to.
 
If you do not want a gateway unit (combo modem and router) you can take those out of the equation when you research the modems. These are identified in the list a]Cable Modem And Wireless Router, Cable Modem And Wi-Fi Router, Wireless Cable Gateway or other terms that include the word wireless/Wi-Fi.
 
Do you have Xfinity telephone service? If you do, a telephony modem will have to be used and those cost more than a non-telephony modem. Currently there are only 2 retail modems for use with Comcast phone service.

I suggest you post in the Comcast Help Forums.

Those Forums are provided to Comcast customers, and are a great resource for vendor specific issues. There are Forums for computer issues, email issues, security, internet, cable tv, CDV, billing, and customer service.
Many times we, the users there, can provide answers tech support and customer service can't.

Click the link below. The forum landing page will open. Click Sign In. Log in with your Comcast user ID (the part before .net) and your password. You will next see a first time forum users page, asking you to choose a screen name for use in the Forums. Once you set that up, you'll be taken back to the landing page. PLEASE DO NOT USE YOUR COMCAST EMAIL NAME FOR YOUR FORUM USER NAME.

http://forums.comcast.com/

Before posting, take a moment to read the Posting Guidelines.

Post your questions in Basic Internet Connectivity And Modem Help which you will find by clicking the arrow next to Xfinity Internet on the main forum page.

If you have Comcast phone service, mention that in your post.

Asking there will allow you to get suggestions and opinions from Comcast customers who have purchased their modems. They can tell you which ones to consider and which ones (if any) to avoid.

One thing to be aware of: By default you will be notified via email every time someone replies to a topic you have started or replied in. If you do not wish to receive the notifications you can disable them by clicking My Settings/Subscriptions & Bookmarks tab. Uncheck the box next to Automatically subscribe me to topics I participate in. Scroll down and click Save.

DO NOT USE THE UNSUBSCRIBE LINK IN THE REPLY NOTIFICATION EMAIL. Due to a quirk with Lithium, the forum provider, if you use the link it severs the connection between your forum user name and the email address you sign in with.

Result: your forum account no longer exists in the database and it tells you that you are banned.

(Once you get to the forum, save the page to your favorites/bookmarks. If you want to get to it from the Comcast home page, you have to jump through hoops to reach it)

If you have any questions about the Comcast Help Forum, you can ask me here or there, where my user name is the same as the one here.


Edited by Queen-Evie, 10 March 2016 - 11:27 AM.


#4 pcpunk

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:32 AM

Thanks guys that helps a lot.  I will go to Xfinity Forums Queen-Evie!

 

I see DC likes Motorola, any thoughts on Netgear etc.  Think I will try and get a 16x, and looks like spending 50.00 is not going to be the route, more like 80-90.00 u.s.  Read some of the articles and the SB61621 has some issues connecting to Comcast for some.


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#5 DeimosChaos

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:41 AM

I believe I have the 16X one. I haven't had any issues on Comcast with it. I just moved, and in my previous location I got 200 down on it. I now don't get that much ( :( ) at my new place, so it handles the 85ish perfectly fine.

 

*edit

 

I would just go Motorola. Netgear routers always failed on me after a couple years.


Edited by DeimosChaos, 10 March 2016 - 11:42 AM.

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#6 Queen-Evie

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:46 AM

I forgot to say

1) NEVER buy re-furbished / second hand cable modems.

Purchase brand new modems in the original packaging from reputable retailers only if you order online. Make sure the descriptions says Retail Packaging. If you purchase it from a local store such as Best Buy or Office Depot, you know it will be a NEW retail version.

Re-furbished / second hand cable modems may have been rental units reported to Comcast as lost or stolen or simply not returned to Comcast. They will not be activated by Comcast.

2) SAVE the purchase receipt/proof of purchase/box the modem came in and keep them until the middle of the next century.
Comcast has been known to suddenly start charging a rental fee for customer owned equipment and claiming it is a Comcast modem. You will need proof that you bought and paid for it.

 

edit to add: pm me here if you post at the Comcast forum. Let me know your user name there and link to your post. I will make sure it doesn't fall through the cracks and go unanswered. I can prod a connection expert or 2 to reply.


Edited by Queen-Evie, 10 March 2016 - 11:49 AM.


#7 pcpunk

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 11:59 AM

@Queen-Evie, Agreed!

 

@DC, Thanks for the follow up, I'm a nut when it comes to buying decent products.  Hate the waste that inferior products cause the environment, and me!


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#8 mjd420nova

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 06:55 PM

I found the Netgear  CM 400 to be a good buy.  Used Motorola SurfBoards (SB) before  but they don't seem to last, I guess because they were the cable providers.  I had the same trouble with AT&Ts provided DSL modem, didn't last a year and I bought my own.



#9 cat1092

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 04:16 AM

I found the Netgear  CM 400 to be a good buy.  Used Motorola SurfBoards (SB) before  but they don't seem to last, I guess because they were the cable providers.  I had the same trouble with AT&Ts provided DSL modem, didn't last a year and I bought my own.

 

Actually the Motorola (now Arris) Surfboards can be a great modem with just one mod. Read about it a long time ago on another forum that has since folded. The trouble is that though there's a place in the housing for one, doesn't include a heatsink by default, which for those spending 8-12 hours on their computers per day will often lead to a hot running modem. A couple of members learned of the heatsink option elsewhere, used to be included, that's why the place is there for one. Maybe by now, that's not the case, yet when it was pure Motorola, was so. 

 

One could order the heatsink & install it themselves, extending it's life for years, just like with a CPU install, use a drop of thermal paste, and were better than new. 

 

Kind of coincidental timing, the RCA DCM425 modem, a DOCSIS 2.0 model, suddenly gave up after 6 faithful years of service, brand new out of the box. I was there when the Time Warner tech installed it, and he left the box & documentation behind, so knew that it was new (or 'old new' stock). Plus new items has a new smell or feel & the modem did, unlike the one I received in return below. 

 

Though the one that I returned was in a shrink wrap package, after opening, quickly seen that it wasn't new, in fact didn't spend much effort cleaning up. It's a Ubee model, but with DOCSIS 3.0, downloads holds their speed better than with the older modem, though have doubts that it'll hold up for as long as the RCA. It's well reviewed, yet not in a factory sealed box. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/DDM3521-Ubee-DOCSIS-Cable-Modem/dp/B00BOVH42G#Ask

 

And the reason why I didn't 'qualify' for a brand new one (a Motorola Arris, as the latest Amazon reviewer said that TWC is pushing)? Because I have the EarthLink Internet package, which is plenty fast & costs less than Time Warner's Roadrunner, but that's the key. Rather than me paying the same price year after year with EarthLink (other than modem fee), one had to threaten to cut off service every 12 months to 'negotiate' a deal that'll keep pricing the same, yet they'll still try to up it $10 or so. All one has to do is get a quote from AT&T, tell them you're cutting service off on a certain date, within hours, one of their 'retention center' staff members will give an outstanding deal. Yet may or may not tell one it's for 12 months only, and the last one was the end for me with TWC. 

 

But guess what? EarthLink buys & resells service through local ISP's (the BrightHouse network), so my bill & service still comes from Time Warner. And the speeds has never been greater since I made the switch in 2010. Only difference is that I'm a TWC customer in billing & service only, don't get the perks like wireless hotspots & WiMax connections, that's otherwise no charge to their Standard or higher subscribers. 

 

And while I may be getting the runaround, for the first 4 years, EarthLink absorbed the modem rental fee, but it got so high that they couldn't. What I'm being told is that I have to contact EarthLink about modems, and they in turn tell me that it's up to the local ISP. Should I have to go one again with the modem (or modem/router combo) dance, like the first year to 18 months I lived here, before the new RCA in 2010, went through 4 total, two of which was brand new Netgear modem/router combos. The last one that was brought out looked as though pulled from the trash can, and performed as such. On the last call during that stretch, I met the tech coming out of the van & asked for a modem only, and he obliged, with the RCA that until this past Sunday, ran great. I purchased my own router, and have upgraded that component 3 times, though only one 'went out' on me, the rest were upgrades. 

 

So please do your homework, Queen-Evie provided the approved list for your tier, check out reviews for modem before pulling the trigger. Newegg also carries these, I've seen the Motorola Arris 6141 model for as low as $59.99 on promo, and a free USB wireless card was included. Sometimes it'll be $10 more & a free router tossed in, usually a TP-Link model. Here's links for both the 6121 & 6141 models on Amazon. The 6121 is well reviewed by over 10,000 customers, not to count at least that many more who didn't bother writing one & at the moment, $35 higher on Newegg. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/SURFboard-SB6121-DOCSIS-Retail-Packaging/dp/B004XC6GJ0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1457685180&sr=8-2&keywords=arris+surfboard+6121

 

http://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-SURFboard-SB6141-DOCSIS-Cable/dp/B00AJHDZSI

 

Should I have to go through the merry-go-round of modems with TWC, will get to the bottom of my rights for a new modem of my choice, even if I have to contact the FTC, though will give them the chance by letting them know my intentions first. Usually once they know the customer knows who to contact for rights, they'll furnish the list. And if it's the Ubee for my service level, that's fine by me, as long as this one continues to run as it has, and furthermore, it's truly new as described. Like Queen-Evie was saying, don't bother with purchasing used/refurbished modems & you should be OK. :)

 

One last thing & I'm out, combo modem/routers tends to run hotter than a standalone of each, sometimes very much so. The problem will show & fast, if downloading a huge Linux ISO, it'll heat up & speeds will come to a crawl, even with a download manager. Continual usage of this type will burn these units up, so I cannot in good faith recommend this type of purchase, no matter how sweet the deal may be. That's why most consumers has separate units, especially those with cable based ISP's. AT&T U-verse customers may have less of a choice, or at least in this area. A close relative has their combo router/modem & it runs good, feeds strong signal to two Roku devices as well as two smart TV's & 3 computers & is only warm to the touch, which is fantastic, considering all of the connected devices. The bad is they can't get into the interface to change the password, it's just 8 numbers. I advised her to call Customer Service & ask to choose her own unique one. Or get the modem's model number & download the manual for the information that may be helpful. I doubt that AT&T would object to a password change for WPA2-PSK access, but may have to leave the rest alone. 

 

Had it been me, I'd had demanded it through the tech during setup, I guess she wasn't thinking........

 

Yet the speed is great, and there's always two users online, I ran a speedtest & still came up with over 30Mbps down & 5Mbps up while one was viewing content through Roku & the other had two browsers open with several pages on each & connected to Skype also. :)

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 11 March 2016 - 04:18 AM.

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#10 Queen-Evie

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 12:32 PM

cat1092 mentioned combo units. IF you decide to purchase one of those, the best thing you can do is purchase a router if you do not have one, put the gateway unit in bridge mode, hook up your router and use it for wireless. Gateway units (modem/router combo) are problematic. Range of wifi signal may not be very good.

A year ago, when I had a change of my Comcast service, I ended up with a gateway unit. The first thing I did was disable the public Xfinity wifi hot spot.

The second thing I did was install my router and put the gateway in bridge mode.

When I had to use my gateway for a few days in July due to my router going bad, I had a horrible experience with the gateway.

While the signal was good every where in the house, my speeds went down and were slower than a turtle.

A 30 second download took an hour.

Another one that should have taken less than a minute took all night and it still had not finished downloading by the next morning.

I got a new router a lot sooner than I had planned on getting it.

Each person has a different experience using the gateway unit. You will have to see what it does for you.

#11 pcpunk

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 01:37 PM

Learning a lot here guys thanks!  Will report back, my time is very limited right now.


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#12 MadmanRB

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 05:05 PM

Go for the arris models, for me they are the most reliable out of the Comcast lot

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#13 cat1092

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 02:03 AM

Go for the arris models, for me they are the most reliable out of the Comcast lot

 

They're supposed to be good, among the best, as long as one doesn't use certain types of VoIP service, such as NetTalk Duo, which costs less for a whole year than many pays monthly. 

 

While many folks complain about NetTalk Duo, it's usually their choice of router causing their issues. Linksys routers works best with the service, with my old one that gave one, a TrendNet, a strong 2nd choice option. However, this was before Motorola became Arris, now some says the model pushed by Time Warner causes disruptions in service. 

 

So, in a way, am glad that I got the Ubee, though a bit pricey at $10/month that TWC charges. They hiked up the modem fees to that price when Comcast backed out of the merger deal, which I & many more consumers signed petitions against. This is one example of what the grassroots community working together can do. As a result, the FTC threatened up to two possible legal charges against Comcast, and they swiftly announced their merger plans were being abandoned. Many of us, including TWC staff, were happy about the deal. 

 

Comcast wanted to pull a Ma Bell type of deal (industry monopolization) like they were doing through the 70's & early 80's, which caused the massive Bell (now AT&T) breakup in Federal Court. This is a direct violation of the American Sherman Antitrust Act 1890, a felony, as well as the Clayton Antitrust Act, passed in 1914, another felony, not to count any civil litigation, no wonder Comcast under pressure by the FTC & the US Dept of Justice backed out. There may had been a 3rd charge as well, a violation of the Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, stuffed down Comcast's throats. Three felony offenses each to the top dogs of Comcast was plenty enough to make them run, the Feds don't play around. :P

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopolization

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act

 

Hopefully the next one who thinks they can walk in & take over, reducing competition will think twice before a takeover attempt in this area. :)

 

Since Verizon offers the FIOS service, rather than cable, they coming into the area wouldn't be the same & may bring price reductions to retain subscribers. Don't know why they haven't, the infrastructure was laid in the ground back in the late Clinton era, even throughout the country areas. 

 

pcpunk, Good Luck in finding yourself a nice modem at an affordable price to you. Sometimes during a promo, one may get a free router bundled in the deal, depending on where purchased, and the on hand inventory is running out of their ears. Newegg frequently offers both the SB6121 & 6141 on promo, as low as $54.99 for the 6121, often with free or 99 cent shipping. :)

 

I still suggest that you check into EarthLink pricing, the first 6 months is $29.99 (plus taxes), and only $41.99 thereafter, assuming you purchase your own modem. Comcast would still be the ones proving the service, EarthLink buys in bulk from them in the areas where service is offered, and resells for less than the local ISP does. Often at a better than 'basic' or 'economy' package. I'm not complaining, can download Linux Mint ISO's, and many others, in 7-8 minutes. Their download speeds has been increased to 20Mbps download & up to 2Mbps upload, at no extra charge to the subscriber.

 

The only thing you have to lose is a few minutes of time & the worst is that they don't offer service in your region, or more expensive than what you're paying. :thumbup2:

 

http://www.earthlink.net/access/cable.faces

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 13 March 2016 - 02:21 AM.

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#14 MadmanRB

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 02:14 AM

The ubee models were the best about four years ago on the Comcast front, but the arris models have kind of phased them out. Just avoid the Motorola's they are crap. The only bad part about the arris models is the router bits, they are total rubbish

Edited by MadmanRB, 13 March 2016 - 02:20 AM.

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#15 pcpunk

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 05:15 PM

 

Go for the arris models, for me they are the most reliable out of the Comcast lot

 

pcpunk, Good Luck in finding yourself a nice modem at an affordable price to you. Sometimes during a promo, one may get a free router bundled in the deal, depending on where purchased, and the on hand inventory is running out of their ears. Newegg frequently offers both the SB6121 & 6141 on promo, as low as $54.99 for the 6121, often with free or 99 cent shipping. :)

Cat

 

Thanks guys, got the Arris SB6121 on sale at O. Depot for only 39.95 before tax.  Some buy all there stuff online but I'm finding O. Depot to be very good when they have sales, and, I'm still not to keen at buying stuff online when I don't have to.  I know it's more efficient to shop this way but have not embraced it yet completely.  Probably because I only have one Debit Card and don't want to use it too much this way.

 

The SB setup very quickly as I hoped.

 

Got a Belkin N150 Router also donated by a friend, so feel very fortunate I'm all up and running.

 

Thanks to all, Queen-Evie, MadmanRB, cat1092, mjd420nova, D.C. and all else that I might be leaving out.

 

pcpunk


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