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This review is from: Linksys CM3024 DOCSIS 3.0 (24 x 8) Cable Modem
Pros: In theory, this device is pretty easy to set up - just plug it in, then call your cable company to give them the numbers off the back to get it into their system. More on that below.
...once I went to my parent's home, I had a little more luck with their cable company (Xfinity/Comcast). The model claims on the box that it is approved to work with many of the major providers, including XFinity, Cox, and TimeWarner. And they weren't wrong, with the exception of the rep trying to tell me why using my own router is morally impure, I was able to get it up and running quite quickly. It has no problem handing their 100+ mbps service and after several weeks, has not required a single reboot or power cycle.
A series of speed tests show that their service is right on the money, with ping speeds in the 20 ms range. This may be more a measure of their service rather than their modem, but I digress.
Cons: The base isn't really made to come off. To remove it, you must take the tiny screws out. It doesn't seem to like that and there are two little nubs that remain. Further, it doesn't support wall mounting. Not a big deal for them, but it would have been had I been able to use it in my own home. Oh, and the whole nightmare that was trying to use it in my house - more on that below.
Other Thoughts: I have Buckeye Cable in Ohio. Their website lists a handful of Arris modems/modem-router combos that they support (presumably just the ones that they rent) and says that if you want to use your own, plug it in then call them. This was on a page dated in August of 2016. When I called them, their only solution was "plug it in. If it doesn't work in a half hour, it won't work". Complete and udder ineptitude from the top to the bottom of their customer service group. If I had options outside of them, I would surely be utilizing them now.
Long story short, some ISPs will refuse to support this device and more or less force you into your $4/month rental fee for the rest of eternity. I sincerely hope you have better luck than I.
This review is from: ASUS RP-AC56 AC1200 Wireless Dual-Band Repeater / Access Point/Media Bridge
Pros: Asus is in my top brands of peripherals, both inside and outside of my PC case. The Asus router I had used in the past was a let down, however, and I was excited to see if this could redeem it.
The device was generally pretty easy to set up – WPS is always a plus. For the purposes of testing, I tried using WPS, but also reset the device and manually configured it with a new SSID (so I knew where I was connected). The user interface is generally pleasant and isn’t too difficult to use. The body of the device features two large antennae, though who knows if they really have much of a positive effect on the bottom line. At least they look technical…
When placed properly, the device does extend your wireless network strength – I saw an extra 3-6 db of strength, depending on the device and what side of the wall I was on. That was on 2.4 GHz; I generally don’t bother with the 5 GHz unless I need to.
Cons: The device isn’t particularly small, and without a power pass-through, it eats up both outlets on a standard duplex. You could always get a power extender (1 foot cable) but now it is either dangling haplessly or laying on the floor, neither of which are ideal. Long story short, at this price point, it definitely should include a power pass-through.
Also, the price. There are lots of choices out there and paying this much seems like a stretch, when you could just bite the bullet and buy some Cat6 and wire yourself a jack so you can put a proper wired access point in. At the current price, my improvement is somewhere around $19-$33 per dB signal strength increased. Quite frankly, that seems a little steep to me, especially considering you are losing half of your throughput capacity in the process (see below).
Other Thoughts: The concept of a range extender is simple – it connects to your existing wifi network (somewhere well within the reach of your existing router) and pumps out essentially a matching signal, allowing you to extend your network a little further. The downside of this is that by being wireless in and out, your maximum throughput is only 50% of what it would be connected directly to the router (because the repeater has to wireless send data back to the router over the same channels). What this means that for data-intensive tasks such as streaming 4k on Netflix or downloading large files, you’re better off just moving closer to the router or wiring in.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: From the get-go, budget home network brands like TP Link and EnGenius weren’t stellar – I have purchased and reviewed more than a dozen different products from the two manufacturers. However, things have been turning around for them, and this AP is helping!
My home is two levels, plus a full basement. My router sits on the main floor in a large, open living room. I get great signal in 95% of the house, but the signal in my one mostly unused spare bedroom is essentially nil. It will connect, but with next to no speed or reliability. Enter the ECB350: an AP/repeater that has a (relatively speaking) powerful transmit rating of 29dB. Granted, I have this sitting only about 20 feet from the bedroom in question, but I get full wifi signal strength and internet speed.
Another of my all-time favorite features for any network hardware (cameras especially) is the ability to do PoE. This device allows you to run just a powered Ethernet cable to the back of it – perfect if you are putting this up high, or up in an attic where getting an extra outlet can be a challenge.
Cons: As others have pointed out, EnGenius’ budget status is still confirmed by its less-than-user-friendly interface. Networking can be very confusing, and the setup isn’t the best. For those who have some knowledge or have had to do this before it isn’t a huge deal, but again, not ideal.
Worth mentioning that even though it does support PoE, the RJ-45 included is tiny. Not a big deal for me (I make my own cables anyhow) but definitely could be for many people.
Other Thoughts: Tough to knock this product, really. It does exactly what it is designed to do and does a great job of it with powerful transmit rates that really can cut through walls and ceilings.READ FULL REVIEW