Fed up with Modem rental fee

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mercurie, Nov 28, 2009.

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  1. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Hello All,
    A little discussion and some questions. Thanks in advance. Recently my ISP went up on their modem rental fee from $3 to $5. To much!! Quick math will tell you why. About $60, you own it. What I want to do is buy one. I only want a modem I am not really interested in a wireless. So let's not go there. I like the Mot. Surf Board with the lock out or standby for cutting off internet but am not hung up on getting that one either...Linksys looks pretty good too.

    My questions: I want to be able to get one that is ready for Win 7 yet can work with my current aging XP system too. 7 is so new no info on the box on 7 yet. Also I notice the Linksys boxes say, one call to your ISP and you are up and running. Why is a call needed at all. Perhaps since I am already a customer the phone call is not needed... any thoughts or advice? Any reason why I can't just unplug the old one and plug in my purchased one and go online? Are these modems loaded with software that needs updating.

    I have a secondary DSL service with a wireless router too. I like having two services. So I am never down but both services are very reliable now a days.
     
  2. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I have used the Motorola Surfboard for years and they work very well for a basic modem. The standby button is very handy at times also. Don't think you can go wrong with one.
    bigc

    P.S.
    your new modem will need to be registered with your ISP.
     
  3. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    It's easy enough....I've never "rented" any of the broadband modems I've had..DSL or cable, always got my own.

    Easy enough also, I just hit eBay...you can find brand new still shrink wrapped in the box modems, I usually pay 55-65 bucks for them.

    Once you receive the cable modem, you note the MAC address, you plug it in...(you will not be able to get online yet)..you call your ISP and say that "I just purchased a new modem and I need to have it provisioned". They'll ask you to read them the MAC address...once done, they find it on their network...they upload the config file (which provisions it)...the modem reboots...and BAM...you're online. Takes about 10-15 minutes from time you pickup the phone to call them..til the time it's done.

    Naturally this experience varies based on which ISP you use, as some ISPs have horrible support..but the several cable ISPs I deal with on a regular basis for my clients...and based on my own experience of doing this for myself...it's quite painless.

    I've preferred the Motorola surfboard 5120 modems...which have been disco'd, the 5101 is the immediate replacement. However..those are Docsis 2 modems, which are being phased out and replaced with Docsis 3. Again..depending on your ISP, as some may not update their systems to Doc 3 for some time to come. But overall, if you're about to go out and purchase a new cable modem...I'd say you'll be more future proof to purchase a Doc 3 modem.

    Another note...call your ISP and ask what modems they support. Far too many times I see people that have some oddball modem and they complain that they don't get the "boost" packages from their ISP..such as Comcast Powerboost. Those people that stick with more widespread modem brands...like the venerable Motorolas, they don't have this issue.

    Talk to people that work at cable ISPs..like cable techs, and they'll vote for the Motos also.

    No worries about Windows 7 on the modem, the laptop I'm typing from right here is Win7 and my modem is a Moto Surboard 5120...and...it works.
     
  4. NAMOR

    NAMOR Registered Member

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    I have a LINKSYS CM100 which has been pretty reliable but, YeOldeStonecat is right. You need to contact your ISP to see which modems they support.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    The operating system has nothing to do with it so no worries there. I personally would recommend avoiding using any setup disk that comes with a new modem. Ethernet networking has been supported and easy to setup in Windows for years. If you use the included setup disk from the modem maker or your ISP, you are likely to get a bunch of unwanted stuff foisted on your system in the process.

    As with any broadband service, I would urge you to put a router in between your computer(s) and the modem. This is a vital security asset, even if only a network of one computer.

    Note there are many integrated devices that include a cable modem and router (and 4-port switch and sometimes a WAP too) in the one box. These are cheaper than separates, but in the long run, may limit your upgrade options.

    I have a SB5120 that has been rock solid stable for years. Motorola has a SB6120 which supports Gb LANs - but of course there's no Gb Internet so that feature may be immaterial. It is a DOCSIS 3.0 device however, and is backwards compatible too. I agree, you should contact the ISP (or simply check their website) for supported modems, and to see when DOCSIS 3.0 will be implemented in your area. If soon, then a SB6120 to ensure future-proofing may be the better option.

    With a past 24 year career in secure military communications, I understand the desire for redundancy. I live in Eastern Nebraska, within Tornado Alley so I still appreciate the need for redundancy. But I don't think you need both DSL and Cable access. But I don't think putting all your outside communications in one basket is wise either, therefore despite all the cost savings, I won't bundle my phone service with my cable TV and cable Internet. And I won't go with DSL for the same reason - Internet and phone in the same phone line means a single point of failure for outside communications.

    If redundancy is important, I would recommend dumping DSL but keep your phone service with the phone company. Then use cable for Internet access. It is not likely you will lose both at once, if you need to call for emergency help (and your cell phone battery is dead too). At least with phone service, you normally can still dial-out in the event of a power outage as the power comes from the central office, not the wall plug - of course that means you must have one wired phone, and not all wireless phones too.

    And everyone uses an UPS with AVR, right? ;)
     
  6. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Thanks for the postings everyone. The information will be helpful. I'll be sure to check the ISP website.

    As for the phone part. I got an old brown plug in rotary dial phone in case of electrical failure (and no cell phone for what ever reason). It will work for phone basics and is starting to look like a museum piece. Youngsters, "whats that". :D
     
  7. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    LOL! your telco provider still supports pulse dialing? ;)
     
  8. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Yep, Amazing. I agree. ;)
     
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