We’ve had several customers ask us how to find a good Cable Modem, so I asked Chris to enlighten us:
Here in the sunny state of Colorado, the two major Internet Service Providers are Xfinity (aka Comcast) and CenturyLink (previously known as Qwest). Xfinity provides cable service, while CenturyLink provides DSL. This article will focus on Xfinity Internet and cable modems.
I’ve found them to both be reasonably reliable services, and am comfortable recommending either one of them for service. (I have occasionally had a bad phone experience with Customer Service from either company, and my personal favorite method for dealing with this is to reassess the progress of the call at the 2-3 minute mark, thank them for their time (yes, do it), then hang up – and call back about 30 seconds later. Because you will probably get someone different who is in a completely different mood or skill level, and find your call will then go swimmingly.)
We currently have CenturyLink DSL service at 12Mbps (Megabits per second). This is the fastest plan that CenturyLink tends to offer. I have seen CenturyLink provide 25Mbps once or twice, and in the past year have seen two customers who have actually received the new Gigabit internet service (one was in a new neighborhood in Commerce City, and the other was in a new neighborhood near Stapleton).
Note that there is another recently new Internet service called NextLight in Longmont which is Super Fast! They provide Fiber To The House. They are currently deployed in South Longmont, South and East of Oscar Blues. We have several customers in this area, and I have measured speeds between 250 and 800Mbps there.
Longmont’s Nextlight ServiceIn general, Xfinity (Comcast) tends to provide The Fastest internet service in the state of Colorado. I will routinely measure 50Mbps at customer locations and am seeing an increasing number of customers with 100+ Mbps service. This is good.
Xfinity Cable Modems
The newer cable modems offered by Xfinity have generally good WiFi service built into them. It’s as if Xfinity has finally gotten the concept that their customers do tend to have many tablets and notebook computers that are being simultaneously used at their home, they are surfing the internet and using Facebook and streaming movies from Netflix or Amazon, and a better built-in WiFi card and better antennas tends to make the general customer experience a good one.
The new cable modems are mostly black plastic, stand about 12″ tall and about 2″ wide, and have 5-6 vertical white lights on them which are about .5″ in diameter each.
All new Xfinity cable modems will come with 2.4Ghz WiFi.
But try to get the new cable modem which also has the 5Ghz WiFi built into it.
WiFi comes in two frequencies, 2.4Ghz, and 5Ghz. 2.4Ghz WiFi has been around a long time, and that band can be crowded. If you live in an apartment or condominium, or another high-density area, you will find that everyone and their mother has a 2.4Ghz WiFi router. However, the 5Ghz band is relatively new and unused – and therefore quiet. So if you’re having trouble connecting to your WiFi router, see if you can connect using the 5Ghz band, because that band tends to be much less congested. Note that not all WiFi-enabled devices are 5Ghz capable, such as some printers which are more than a couple of years old.
About 2 years or so ago, Xfinity began to offer their “new at the time” 105Mbps service, which was a nice improvement over their 50Mbps service. Getting the faster service required that the customer get a new cable modem because it had the newer technology to make use of the faster service.
There used to be an orange band across the back of the new Xfinity cable modems that said “105+” on it, which differentiated them from the “old style” cable modems. I haven’t been seeing this recently on the back of the new Xfinity cable modems, yet they still do provide a fast download speed of 100+ Mbps.
Here are two modems that Comcast has approved and Chris recommends:
- NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (24×8) Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router (C7000) DOCSIS 3.0 Certified for Xfinity Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, & more
- NETGEAR AC1750 (16×4) Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router (C6300) DOCSIS 3.0 Certified for Xfinity Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, & more
If you are replacing your Xfinity cable modem with another one, make sure you get a “DOCSIS 3.0” compatible cable modem. Otherwise, Comcast will nag you to death with pop-up messages. Read more in this article.
Let us know if you need help setting up your new modem, or if your printer or computer can’t “find” the new Internet signal.
Information About Geek For Hire, Inc.
Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has provided computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly. You can find more on our website, or give us a call at 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.
Here’s a link to our Covid19 Policy.
We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years. We like the free and fast shipping. With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
More Tips Here:
- Are VPNs worth it? More here.
- Are you interested in learning more about Extreme Privacy?
- We have seen a lot of Facebook hacking lately. Here’s what you should do ahead of time to keep your account safe.
- And here are the 10 Password Mistakes you don’t want to make!