Do you ever need to upgrade your modem or wireless router?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by TheGoodTexan, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    We've had the current wifi setup for about 6 years.

    An Arris cable modem that we "lease" from the cable company, and a Cisco WRT160N router.

    They worked great for years, up until about 3 months ago, when we began losing internet signal altogether. After a few unsuccessful resets of the modem, I broke down and called the cable company. Service tech comes out and discovers the problem - a line amplifier on the cable coming into the house. "Curious," I said to him. "I bought that from the last cable tech that came out when we were building out house. He told me I had to have it for our purposes." The tech removed it from the line and voila... internet restored and faster than ever, with no negative effects.

    Because I used my loud voice with him, there was no charge for the service call.

    Here we are three months later, and our internet speed is dragging down to a crawl again. It's just my wife and I, and we've added no new devices.

    The desk top computer with the wired access seems to have adequate speed. But all the mobile devices and laptop run very slow on the wifi.

    Thoughts? Ideas? I don't know how to run a speed test, but I can follow instructions. I don't mind buying something new/better if I need to.

    This is the modem we have:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. jaimed

    jaimed Poster Extraordinaire

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    Linksys WRT160 Tech Info

    Linksys Knowledge Base

    Have an older wireless Linksys WRT150.

    Whenever my connectivity starts to crawl or stop, I cycle power on the router.

    Restores my connectivity. Needless to say I'm also in the market for a new one.

    Linksys Home Networking


    BTW, I turned off the "broadcast" of the router's ID.

    Still can connect to the WI-FI, but need to remember and input the name and password on my mobile devices.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  3. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Only for distance or speed to your local devices. Past that resetting will often get you on another server which is less cluttered.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/routers/cisco-linksys-e4200-maximum/4505-3319_7-34473222-2.html

    Some of the newer cable modems are also wireless and are much faster. All the newer stuff is past 802.g now. I have the wireless cable modem and a wireless router. One for my internal network and one for wireless devices like phones and tablets.
     
  4. 6Shotsdown

    6Shotsdown Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, we get a new one every 6-12 months.
     
  5. KenH

    KenH Tele-Holic

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    A lot of improvements (and lower prices) have occurred in the last 6 years. I had a top of the line Linksys modem and router around the same age and they were forever dropping the connection recently. New modem and wireless-n router and connection has been rock solid for the past 6 months. The modem is certified for the cable company (Comcast) and the wireless is the cheapest Belkin n-router. Together they cost $120. My old Linksys router and modem were around $340 6 years ago. I think it has a lot to do with cable company upgrades and improvements.
     
  6. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

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    Not sure. I've been running the same one that Verizon FIOS gave me (I'll bet it's as cheap as any one you can get) for about five years. I haven't noticed any trouble. Granted I don't do any video gaming, DVD downloading, don't have three teenagers hogging it (yet), etc. so I am probably on the low end of internet usage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  7. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    We have to cycle our router and modem pretty much every day. We've only had them one year.

    I was assuming the problem was with our internet provider, but maybe I should ask them to send us a new router and modem...
     
  8. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    By "cycle", you mean... a soft reset...aka, turn-off, wait a few minutes, turn-back-on ??

    (As opposed to a "hard reset"...aka, hold the reset button down and clear everything, then re-establish all the settings.)
     
  9. Mr_Mer

    Mr_Mer Tele-Holic

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    Need to? No. But know there are new standards that allow for better connectivity/speed/throughput. If you are into online gaming (and I don't mean playing Hearts or Facebook games), a new modem/router could improve your latency and speeds.
     
  10. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Tele-Holic

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    You may be experiencing congestion on the WiFi. The more folks nearby who have WiFi, the more interference. If your mobile devices list a bunch of other access points, this could be the problem.

    Also, 2.4 GHz cordless phones can raise havoc with WiFi throughput.

    There's not a lot you can do save to set a different WiFi channel on the access point and hope for the best.
     
  11. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    loaded question!

    All electronic equipment will need to be replaced.
    Generally, 4 years is a good measure for most equipment that is on every day, all day.
    It is true that wireless connectivity has improved and increased and security has improved over the past 4 years.

    Do you need the extra speed? If you have a G router it maxes at 54mbps. You get about half that. If your connection is a 10mb connection (or less) and you just have a couple of devices hanging off your wireless and most of your traffic either doesn't need encrypting or is encrypted through the transmission protocol, you don't need to upgrade.

    If you have a gig connection, in spring, the inexpensive AC stuff will be out, it will be worth it!

    Your slowness… turning your router off once in awhile and letting it reboot can be a good thing and you may get some improvement.

    More likely either your network is insecure and some netflix loving hipster near your house has been using your network. Secure your wireless to be sure. Choose WPA2 if you can.

    OR… some bucktooth mutant installer has put all the local wireless access points on the same channel.

    Download something like this to determine what channels all the networks are that your wireless machine can 'see'. If they are all set to 6, set yours to either 1 or 11. You will need admin rights to your router to do this.

    the three channels that in home settings (at least) to be used are 1, 6, 11.

    My guess is that one or more folks are sitting on your channel and 'squashing' the signal.
     
  12. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    getbent has good advice, and i'd echo his suggestions. i live in an apt complex, so i had to play around with the channels on my wifi router until i found the fastest one (least interference from the neighbors.)

    as far as your cable modem goes, you can buy them outright for about $60 on Amazon (your ISP will charge way too much to purchase one), so it ends up being way cheaper than leasing. you want one that supports DOCSIS 3.0. btw, Motorola makes most of the common cable modems and internet providers just slap their name on it. you should be able to check your ISP's website for a list of compatible cable modems...and then buy one from somewhere much cheaper.

    if you want to test your speed, go to http://www.speedtest.net. that'll give you a pretty good idea of the actual speed you're getting (as opposed to the speed your ISP claims. sometimes it's the same, sometimes it's not.)

    depending on your connection speed, getting a faster/newer wifi router may not change anything. just because a router can transmit at 300Mbps doesn't mean a whole lot of your internet package is only 20Mbps; you can't go faster than your internet speed maxes out at. playing around with different router broadcast channels is free and is worth trying before you spend any money on new stuff.
     
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