Best brand for modem--may need new one soon

Discussion in 'Compare Hardware' started by conceptualclarity, Jul 13, 2017.

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Which is the best brand for a new Modem in 2017?

Poll closed Aug 12, 2017.
  1. Motorola

    6.3%
  2. Arris

    6.3%
  3. Linksys

    15.6%
  4. Netgear

    31.3%
  5. TP-Link

    37.5%
  6. Other (Specify in Thread)

    3.1%
  1. conceptualclarity

    Content Creator Trusted

    Aug 23, 2013
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    Why I want to compare:
    I may need to buy a new modem in a matter of days.
    Locally I can buy a modem from these brands:
    1. Motorola
    2. Arris
    3. Linksys
    4. Netgear
    5. TP-Link
    Which brands would you recommend?

    If you see fit, go ahead and rank the brands.

    I already have a router, so I won't be getting a combo router/modem.
     
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  2. ispx

    ispx Level 13

    Jun 21, 2017
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    1.netgear
    2.tp-link
    3.linksys

    belkin is my personal first choice for computer / network accessories.
     
  3. Vasudev

    Vasudev Level 22

    Nov 8, 2014
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    TP-Link and Netgear is more affordable routers with latest features. Without listing specific model(s) of these above mentioned Modem/router OEM, its hard to recommend a modem w/ router. Any models you're interested or possibly 802.11 ac based wireless modems w/ routers?
     
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  4. Xsjx

    Xsjx Level 13

    Feb 21, 2017
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    1 Tp Link
    2 Netgear

    Only ones worth looking for.
    I prefer Tp Link but Netgear is about as good :)
     
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  5. Vasudev

    Vasudev Level 22

    Nov 8, 2014
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    Any specific model you can recommend because there are lot of modems for each manufacturer.
     
  6. Xsjx

    Xsjx Level 13

    Feb 21, 2017
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    Yes, whats your price range?
     
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  7. Digerati

    Digerati Level 3

    Mar 2, 2017
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    Note that Arris bought the Motorola Home division of Motorola Mobility from Google about 4 years ago. So basically, Motorola and Arris modems are the same (even using same model numbers). I generally look for Arris because if branded Motorola, it often means it has been sitting on the shelf for a long time.That said, this does not suggest a problem as these devices support on-line firmware updates.

    And I prefer my modem to be a separate device. For that reason, I go with Arris separate modem and not the integrated "residential gateway" devices (router, wireless access point, 4-port Ethernet switch, and modem in one box) so often provided by ISPs. Then I like Netgear "wireless routers".
     
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  8. Sven

    Sven Level 10

    Nov 5, 2013
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    I would only choose between :
    1. TP-Link or
    2. LinkSys

    And I'd probably go for TP-Link because has good support, their devices does what it promise, and has many positive feedbacks (incl. me). I'd also go for LinkSys, but its just slightly "meh" compared to TP.

    Oh, and I wanna recommend Zyxel too, if you have ever heard of it or if you have a chance to buy it online, have a look at it.

    Thanks. :)
     
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  9. DeepWeb

    DeepWeb Level 9

    Jul 1, 2017
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    I swear on Arris. It's the modem At&t gave me. Supports Fiber, lots of options. But, most of all. The most incredible hardware firewall. Nothing goes through. I just wish I could change the resolvers it queries to.
     
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  10. orthonovum

    orthonovum Level 3

    Jun 17, 2017
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    This thread reminds me I want to buy my own modem so I am not paying Comcast a rental fee each month for the Arris they gave me. I have heard from some people they just had to replace their Comcast modem with a new one and had no issues and I have heard from others that they got less throughput with a store bought one
     
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  11. DeepWeb

    DeepWeb Level 9

    Jul 1, 2017
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    Is that possible? I heard the modems come with a special key that allows them to communicate to the ISP's servers. I always shy away from internet providers who charge equipment fees. I think the whole concept is rude.
     
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  12. Digerati

    Digerati Level 3

    Mar 2, 2017
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    The "special key" is the MAC address. In the US, they cannot force you to use their modem. So buy your own, hook it up, call your ISP and tell them you got a new modem, provide them the MAC address and be good to go.
    Then they bought the wrong one.
     
  13. Slyguy

    Slyguy Level 21

    Jan 27, 2017
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    MAC address assignment is all this is.

    I work as an external DOCSIS Engineer/Tester for a major cable provider. (side job lol) We prefer Arris, the 6190 is the best one right now IMO because it has matured firmware. You just buy it, call the NOC for your ISP and give them the MAC and they provision it. 6190 has 32/8 so it will get you close to 1000Mbps downstream if you ever head that way. Early PUMA issues are all but gone and our error correction has plummeted on it. SB8200 has some issues right now relating to buffering and the FW isn't mature, I'd steer clear. Cisco/Linksys TG/DG are problematic and are hideous routers stacked into the mix with barely usable WiFi.
    TP-Link is better than people think, that's a cheaper option if your ISP will provision it. My 2c.
     
  14. DeepWeb

    DeepWeb Level 9

    Jul 1, 2017
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    Thank you @Slyguy and @Digerati. Now that I think about it, why was I so silly to believe customer service intimidation. :rolleyes: Of course they would try to tell me that to discourage using a 3rd party modem. But, they sent me a 5268AC for free, no equipment fees. All I have to do is make sure I don't damage it physically. My connection is DSL but 2 miles away, At&t is building out Fiber and the Gateway has a Broadband ONT slot in the back? At&t won't confirm or deny whether they will continue to build out their Fiber network but I feel like this is an omen because this gateway feels already overkill for my lousy 30 Mbps so I can't complain.
     
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  15. orthonovum

    orthonovum Level 3

    Jun 17, 2017
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    great info! thanks for this. I may pick up a 6190 and give it a shot. I am not the typical Comcast customer in that I have my broadband modem simply provide me the internet (no wifi) and terminate everything at a hardware firewall/gateway.
     
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  16. Slyguy

    Slyguy Level 21

    Jan 27, 2017
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    They always try to discourage customer use modems because they make up to $1000.00 on a modem over the life of the customer factoring average churn. The old cable modems at EOL aren't even destroyed, they are sent off to component wholesalers for a few bucks each on palettes at a time. So a modem you purchase for $75 or something is (in their mind) robbing them of $500-$800 in revenue over an 5-10 year customer account but by law they can't prevent you from using your own. The easiest thing to do is get the provisioning list for your cable company. They don't often make these easy to find but they are available. Firmware pushes are handled by your provider so the provision list is a crucial factor in what they can support - that's the reason for that - if they can't push firmware they don't want it on their network. Also remember, those people on the phone are tier 1 customer support, not the engineers so they are basically $10 an hour people that get 'spiffs' on whatever they talk you into. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Hope that helps understand the behind the scenes a little more and why they do what they do.
     
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  17. Digerati

    Digerati Level 3

    Mar 2, 2017
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    Tier 1 people typically have not been empowered to deviate from the script. They must follow a checklist even when it makes no sense. But understand their hands are tied. It is company policy, not any indication of their personal capabilities or persona.
     
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  18. Slyguy

    Slyguy Level 21

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    This also depends on the company of course. Some firms L1 is customer service, other firms (like the one I work at) L1 is one tier above CS so they do have some deviation powers and 'enhanced' technical knowledge. It's not a dig on CS or L1, folks have to start somewhere but in general at most firms - you are right - it's in the lower realms of employee empowerment. (and pay)
     
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  19. Digerati

    Digerati Level 3

    Mar 2, 2017
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    Sure, different companies have their own tech support structures. Often the first person you contact is not even a tech - but rather someone who can deal with account/billing issues, sales questions, maybe a password reset, and tech issues get elevated from there. But still, at least in larger companies, the first "technical support" level is usually staffed by the least trained and least experienced people who must follow a checklist. If deviation is then determined, it typically gets elevated to the next level where more experienced people with greater flexibility sit.

    One more point about ISPs wanting their customers to use company provided "gateway" devices (integrated modems, WAPs, routers, Ethernet switch). Most big ISPs use these devices to provide free wifi "hotspots" to their customers wherever they travel. This is a very controversial subject because many customers use and enjoy this feature but it means those users providing the hotspot are providing the electricity without compensation. There is also some worry about security with strangers accessing the Internet through your wireless network. The bandwidth is extra (they are not using your bandwidth - at least that's the claim) but they are connecting to a "public" side of your network.

    Note these are enabled by default. So if a customer does not want this, they have to opt-out - often not an easy process.

    Comcast is turning your home router into a public Wi-Fi hotspot
    Virgin Media will use home routers to provide public Wi-Fi hot spots - Following in BT’s footsteps
     
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  20. Slyguy

    Slyguy Level 21

    Jan 27, 2017
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    Again I am aware of how escalation and tiers work, this is my field.. I run the NOC for a 32,000+ endpoint MSP with 5 escalation levels. The tiering structure in support is set purposely by design, and how the technical flow works to keep the top guys from being overloaded with simple tasks or common questions - and focused on the tough stuff. At the top of our tiering structure is the IT Director/CTO, at the bottom is Customer Support. I'm one under the CTO at that tier which I share with others. If something gets to me it's usually an engineering issue that needs resolution OR the lower tier folks missed something. I'm usually working on blueprints, infrastructure, security fabric and other crap unless a ticket weasels it's way up. :D

    Many major providers indeed use your WiFi to provide a free hotspot. There is some security concern with this despite the fact they are under isolation because that router itself is still providing DHCP and routing traffic and therefore possibly vulnerable to exploits. In a corporate environment it's less of a concern because the router/modem is set to 'True Static' or bridged, and is completely segregated from the internal network. However in the corporate environment it can cause other issues such as interference, bandwidth stealing and even worse, people internally connecting to that and bypassing your security/filtration. It is possible to call in to support, get escalated to a supervisor and have their hotspot WiFi disabled via a configuration push to the router/modem. I've had my tier 1 staff do this hundreds of times for the above reasons.
     
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