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  1. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I want to replace my rented Xfinity gateway with hardware of my own. New products and tech have made me unsure of what to choose. Should I get a modem and a router or just buy a better gateway? And what brand /model do you suggest. My home network consists of two Roku tvs, 2 laptops, 3 phones, 3 tablets, and 1 Amazon firestick. As of now nothing is hardwired via ethernet but I may choose to run ethernet to the two tvs sometime soon. Thanks for any advice.

     

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  2. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations! Moderator

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    I would recommend getting the fastest Netgear router for your current bandwidth. I have 60MB/S coming in on cable internet, and a Netgear Nighthawk AC3250 router that absolutely screams. We have YET to buffer anything. Plus it has great features like guest account, timers, controls and even a smartphone app.
     
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  3. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Does it require a separate modem?
     
  4. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder VIP Member VIP Member

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    The Netgear router is just a router, you would need a separate cable modem (gateway).
    Although it may be convenient to have one box that does both functions, it limits your ability to upgrade economically and also is more of a headache if it fails.
    You would have to check the Xfinity website or call their customer support to verify what modems are compatible with their system, cable providers vary as to how liberal they are with customer-provided equipment.
    If you're looking to future-proof your setup as much as possible you'll want a router with dual-band wifi and the highest bandwith (AC is currently the fastest available) and gigabit wired ethernet, and a DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 modem with the maximum number of available bonded channels.
    Of course all this depends on a few things like your budget, the current and expected future capabilities of your cable system, and as mentioned what modems they will allow.
    I've been very happy with Netgear routers, I've had a few of them and they have been very reliable. Never need reboots and the user interface is very easy to use.
    I recently upgraded my modem to a Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 16x4 (that's the # of available downstream and upstream channels) with a max download capability of 686 Mb. I think it will suit my needs for some time to come, my cable system doesn't currently provide those speeds and probably won't for a while (and I don't need their fastest service anyway). There are plenty of similar modems on the market from Motorola, Arris (basically the same thing) and others so you shouldn't have trouble finding one that works for you unless Xfinity is really picky.
    One note about the DOCSIS 3 modems, even if you don't have the fastest service the bonded channels give you a bigger pipe for more stable downloading and streaming.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
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  5. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Best Answer
    Now THAT'S what I call an answer! Thanks
     
  6. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    would i be able to install a vpn using your suggested equipment?
     
  7. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Well-Known Member

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    using a VPN is totally independent of how you access the Internet.

    and it is highly suggested that you always use a VPN service anytime you are:

    1. away from home using WiFi

    2. not using your own carrier's DATA signal: which is fairly secure, only extremely hard fanatic hackers can hack a telephone signal over the air. that requires test equipment equal to what the cell site maintenance folks use.

    the technical reasons are way too deep to get into here. Look up "Spread Spectrum" digital technology
     
  8. svim

    svim Well-Known Member

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    To get the most efficient, optimal bandwidth out of that Comcast connection feeding your home you'll want to get your own modem and your own router. The modem/router box they provide you (and that you pay a monthly fee to use) is a good enough solution for most and if you have one of those all-in-one packages for Internet, cable TV, phone service you need to be a lot choosier about which modem you buy as not all will support the phone service. In that instance you could just continue to use Comcast's modem/router, disable all router functions, and then add in your own wireless router. In any case a good, third-party wireless router will be much more robust and configurable, and often providing a wider range of coverage. Of course avoid those budget $35 wireless routers that are unfortunately too common, invest in a good, well-rated, brand name wireless router. Those cheap routers have limited capacity and just create their own complications. Think of spending at the very least $150 if not $250 or more and save yourself the hassle of having to reboot your router every week just to solve some random WiFi issue. Take the time to configure it properly up front and just have your router do its thing without having to interact with more than a couple of times a year.
    Anyway, this Wirecutter article has some really good info on cable modems. It's recommending the Arris SB6141 as its top pick but there's lots of reading on about the topic cable modems in general too:
    http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-cable-modem/
    Also, just for reference:
    http://lifehacker.com/find-out-which-modems-are-compatible-with-your-cable-co-1527346861
     
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  9. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    My question was actually aimed at whether or not I could install a VPN directly to the router (I can't do that with Xfinity's hardware. I need vpn service for my Roku tvs and I can't install vpn directly to them.)
     
  10. svim

    svim Well-Known Member

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    So just as an example, here's a nice, base-level wireless router that might take care of your needs. Something like this Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 will allow you a lot more freedom to do what you want in your home than that Comcast box:
    https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC17...ded_use_browse-bin:9647499011,p_36:1253506011
    Turn off any WiFi and routing functionality in your Xfinity modem/router and then set up your wireless router to be the focal point of your home network. At that point the Xfinity modem/router is just functioning as a cable modem, supplying your wireless router with an IP address. You'll do most managing of your home network through your wireless router. A big mistake a lot of people make is to rely on a wireless router's default settings. Don't do that. Take the time to read up on how your home network be set up, and then invest in the time up front to get it working and stable so you don't have to waste time later always trying to fix random, unnecessary glitches. If you have to reboot your modem every week to keep things working than something isn't configured properly. Read through this multi-part set up guide for some basic info:
    http://lifehacker.com/5833254/know-your-network-the-complete-guide
    Once you get your home network all set up, here's a nice, expansive guide on VPNs. Lots of tips on how to choose the best one to meet your needs, plus different spreadsheets with details on various VPN services. There are issues tied to privacy, regional regulations, and even personal social stance that all the different VPN services vary on.
    https://thatoneprivacysite.net/
    After you pick a VPN service, (again just as an example following the same AC1750 router) you'll need to set it up in your router (as detailed in chapter 12):
    http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/R6700/R6700_UM_22July2014.pdf
    Then you should be able to re-point your Roku to the VPN set up on your wireless router.
     
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  11. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

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    What @svim said. Srsly, don't. At the very least change the default admin password to something unique; the various manufacturers' default settings are all-too-easily found on the 'net.
     
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  12. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Does anyone know if having the VPN directly on the router will interfere with my son's xbox online experience
     
  13. svim

    svim Well-Known Member

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    So this does add in some interesting factors. Maybe a good solution is for you to leave your Comcast modem/router as is so your son and any other applicable connections can remain unaltered, and for your VPN add in your own wireless router. The additional wireless router (using only one of the regular Ethernet ports, not the WAN port) will be fed off of a Ethernet patch cable from your Comcast router. Set up the router with its own separate SSID and using a different channel than your Comcast router and then implement the VPN service on it. At that point you'll have two separate WiFi networks, one for regular use and the other through your VPN.
     
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  14. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've read a lot of info saying two wireless networks in your house interfere with each other.
     
  15. svim

    svim Well-Known Member

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    Not true, as long as they're both set up properly. Separate names and separate channels result in two distinct, different WiFi networks. Maybe you're not aware but a lot of businesses have at least two networks running concurrently, one isolated for staff-only, another or others for general or public use. Typically there are lot of details like subnets that are also implemented for more separation but even in a home network you can have two different networks in place pretty easily and without conflicts by just making minor changes in your router or routers. Most people just use the default settings on their home networking equipment, and that's fine for most situations but once you want to do anything more extensive you need to manually customize your setup.
     
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  16. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Update : so I bought the netgear X4s (R7800) and I'm extremely happy with stability and speed (@234 Mbps down on 5ghz).
    Question : upon researching how to Install vpn on router, the manual (DLed online) states that openvpn must be installed on each device that wants to use the VPN function. Am I interpreting this correctly? This accomplishes nothing for me, as I need to route my traffic to my Roku tv (actual Roku tv, not set top box) through the VPN. Do I have to flash my router to get VPN for all traffic without installing something on each device?
     
  17. svim

    svim Well-Known Member

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    Good choice on that Netgear X4s (R7800), I'm jealous.
    http://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/R7800/R7800_UM_EN.pdf?cid=wmt_netgear_organic
    The manual details using OpenVPN but that's just a suggestion for a VPN. You might want to go with a commercial VPN service as either way you'll be either paying for a static IP (with a service like DynDNS or No-IP) to use OpenVPN, or for a commercial VPN (and using their supplied IP). Once that's set up in your router then you'll re-point your Roku TV to your now new VPN-enabled SSID, similar to:
    https://www.expressvpn.com/support/vpn-setup/stream-on-roku-with-virtual-router-or-router/
     
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  18. PrinceCorwin

    PrinceCorwin Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Everything I've read says that I need to flash tomato or dd-wrt to my router to give vpn access to all devices without having to install anything on said devices. Anyone with a similar netgear router able to chime in would be greatly appreciated
     

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