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View Full Version : Do I need to replace my cable modem?


Thump553
11-03-2010, 09:20 AM
Comcast sent me a form letter yesterday that the cable modem I'm using "is an older device and may not be able to receive the full range of speeds available with Comcast High-Speed Internet." The letter goes on to say they are going to send me a replacement modem at no cost but regular lease fees continue to apply.

I own my modem and bought it maybe 5-8 years ago. It is a Linksys model BEFCMU10, version 1 I think (no version number stated on modem). My Comcast bill doesn't say which speed I have, merely lists it as Xfinity Internet for $44.95 month after multi-product discount (cable TV also).

My question is do I need to upgrade my cable modem, and if so, what cable modem should I buy? I'd rather not lease-had a multi-year battle with prior cable provider to get them to stop charging for a TV cable box a few years ago and don't care to redo that. I'm perfectly happy with my present cable speeds and have no plans to upgrade, but would like to get all the speed I'm paying for.

Crusty
11-03-2010, 10:43 AM
Everything I can find on that version(1) says it is a DOCSIS 1.1 modem, Comcast most likely wants you to upgrade to a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. You very well could be missing out on some speed by using a modem that old.

Thump553
11-03-2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks Crusty. I hate throwing out something that still works fine, but I guess I got my money out of it anyway (versus the rental fees).

gsaldivar
11-03-2010, 12:04 PM
Why rent outdated equipment, when the latest tech can be rented at the same price.......................?

FoxFifth
11-03-2010, 04:59 PM
My owned modem ended up on Comcast's End of Life list and I replaced it about with a Motorola SB6120. After I hooked it up I called into Comcast with the new MAC id (or whatever it was they needed to recognize the switch). I happened to mention that I was replacing my previous modem due to the fact that they had added it to the EOL list. Comcast's support rep then said he would reduce my $42.95 per month internet portion of the bill to $24.99 for 6 months. That more than paid for the new modem. Doubt that this is policy but might not hurt to politely mention why you are doing the change when you call in to set up the new modem. Might get a rep in a good mood!

ImDonly1
11-03-2010, 07:59 PM
Here is a list of modems from comcast
http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/

Docsis 1 modems are being end of lifed. You can buy a motorola sb5101 or sb5120 for cheap online or eBay. $25-35. They are working ok and docsis 2.0.

The newest is docsis 3.0 like the motorola sb6120, but they cost about $80. You won't get any faster speeds from a docsis 3.0 modem unless you upgrade you plan, but docsis 3.0 will be more "future-proof."

Summary: buy a sb5101 or sb5120 if you want something inexpensive but good. Or a sb6120 if you have the money and want the latest.

Also it might tell you the version of the modem if you go to http://192.168.100.1 check the tabs.

Thump553
11-03-2010, 09:33 PM
Thanks for all the additional info. According to the 192.168.100.1 link, mine is DOCSIS 1.1 with hardware version 3.0. No version number is on the outside of the modem, per Cisco that means it's version one. The Comcast chart lists versions 2, 3 and 4 as approved and none of them are End Of Life'd yet.

I'll probably go for a DOCSIS 2 on Ebay. I'm a little leery though, that I'll end up buying a stolen rental unit and Comcast won't connect it-I think they keep track of the serial numbers.

oldsmoboat
12-02-2010, 09:04 AM
I get home from vacation and there is a box here from Comcast with a modem in it. Same issue as the OP. Comcast says I have to replace my 1.1 modem that I have owned for about 8 years. I am going to send it back and buy the SB6120. If that lasts another 8 years it will be cheaper than renting Comcast's.

Emulex
12-02-2010, 09:28 AM
do not want D3 - trust me. comcast doesn't have its head on right with channel bonding.

unless you need over 42/7 bandwidth - stick with D2 single stream.

trust me on this one. you want reliable - not fast. Fast is useless if its retraining every hour on a good day with 60s-240s outage times. <-D3 - bad days quadruple that.

oldsmoboat
12-02-2010, 09:44 AM
do not want D3 - trust me. comcast doesn't have its head on right with channel bonding.

unless you need over 42/7 bandwidth - stick with D2 single stream.

trust me on this one. you want reliable - not fast. Fast is useless if its retraining every hour on a good day with 60s-240s outage times. <-D3 - bad days quadruple that.
Hadn't heard that, thanks.

JackMDS
12-02-2010, 11:37 AM
Technology is Not philosophy 101.

I guess you think that Comcast just ""forgot"" to mention the "Speed". :\

What is your current Download speed?

I have a very "smart" idea. :hmm:

Find someone in your neighborhood that already thinks that giving his money to Comcast is the 11th commandment and compare the "Speed".

Who knows, may be you have a winner. :thumbsup:


:cool:

oldsmoboat
12-02-2010, 05:56 PM
I am paying for 6 down/1.5 up.
I installed their modem:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1054848155.png

porksmoker
01-03-2011, 09:39 PM
I got the same letter from Comcast and a new modem after I called them and told them don't send me one 'cause if I want a new one I'll buy it myself...anyway @ $44.95/month your paying for the "Performance" package with advertised speeds of up to 6 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload. They claim you will able to acheive 12 Mbps download/2 Mbps upload...I liked the letter that came with the modem I asked them not to send saying I wouldn't be able to access the internet...of course their website also says after June 2009 the DOCSIS 1.1 modems won't work...marketing schemers...I too find my "slow" speed works just fine...at least for my uses...see Comcast link below to confirm Performance Tier speeds as mentioned....

http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQViewer.aspx?seoid=What-are-the-new-speeds-with-Docsis-3-0

Texashiker
01-05-2011, 09:07 AM
I own my modem and bought it maybe 5-8 years ago. It is a Linksys model BEFCMU10, version 1 I think (no version number stated on modem). .

If your still using a docsis 1 modem, its time to upgrade. Your using technology that is 10+ years old.

The newer modems are probably going to have a higher signal to noise ratio tolerance. Meaning the will work when noise gets into the line. The newer modems will probably have better reporting tools built into the modem - like a built in signal to noise ratio meter and signal strength meter.

I used to work for a cable modem provider in Houston, Texas back around 2001, 2002 and 2003. When docsis 2 was released, we jumped on the bandwwagon and started replacing hardware in the headend and the modems.

After we swapped out the modems, man you could really tell the difference, not only in speed but in the reporting tools that the modem had built in. If a customer had problems, we just logged into the tools module, and checked the signal level, signal to noise ratio and transmit levels. The tech was able to trouble shoot the problem before he went to the customers house. This saved us a lot of time.

jlazzaro
01-05-2011, 09:42 AM
I am paying for 6 down/1.5 up.
I installed their modem:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1054848155.png

welcome to comcast temporary speed boost

Dark Shroud
01-05-2011, 12:08 PM
I have the MOTOROLA SB6120 and it's worth it. I paird $99 for it when it first came out as my old Linksys modem wasn't blacklisted yet but it was DOCSIS 1.1 & soon would be. While I had Comcast it was a great little champ. These things pay for themselves in 14-16 months and are worth it.

My only complain is that it doesn't have DHCP let alone a firewall. But then how could they sell us a marked up MOTOROLA SBG6580.

Modular
01-11-2011, 10:21 PM
My only complain is that it doesn't have DHCP let alone a firewall. But then how could they sell us a marked up MOTOROLA SBG6580.

That's what your router's for ;)

GTaudiophile
01-12-2011, 08:57 AM
I pay around $60/month and have no friggin clue what plan/tier I am on...logging into "my account" indicates nothing.

oldsmoboat
01-12-2011, 09:30 AM
I am paying for 6 down/1.5 up.
I installed their modem:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1054848155.png

welcome to comcast temporary speed boost
Ya, I've been using it a month and it seems no faster than it was before.

oldsmoboat
01-17-2011, 07:15 PM
I am paying for 6 down/1.5 up.
I installed their modem:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1054848155.png

welcome to comcast temporary speed boost

Blazing!

http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/oldsmoboat/dlspeed.jpg

killster1
01-18-2011, 10:37 AM
nice 2 and a half hours to download a 900mb file, with my 6mbit dsl i get it in about 30mins of course i dont do torrents (looks like u doing torrents hehe) so thats not a good judge on what your speed reallly is.. get some usenet or download a big file from M$ and tell us the speed. I know my friend had comcast and unlocked his dsl and had 100mbit. I had attbi cable internet and would pull 12+mbit (1300k vs my 630k 6mbit now)

Id say they prob just want more control over you with newer hardware id hold off long time on upgrade but thats just me.

JackMDS
01-18-2011, 12:11 PM
As a frame of reference, I have the TWC RR Cable Internet, Aka Turbo.

The SpeedTest.Net is similar.

However their system is probably configured to do the following.

Short burst of traffic and small files that takes few seconds to download works at about 2MB/sec. which is the functional Speed that one should expect from the "Speed" as measured above.

When I download a large file (like a 1GB files from a fast server it starts at a "Speed" of 2MB/sec., and then after short period of time goes down and provides sustained download of about 1MB/sec. which is what would be the speed expected from my 10Mb/sec. contract.

This is Not done by the Modem, it is probably the way there server is tuned when providing the connection with the customer.

James Bond
01-18-2011, 01:32 PM
Selling my brand new Motorola SB6120 DOCSYS 3 modem. Not compatible with my terrible ISP.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16825122009 (http://detonator.dynamitedata.com/cgi-bin/redirect.pl?user=u00000687&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newegg.com%2FProduct%2FProduc t.aspx%3FItem%3DN82E16825122009)

ygpm