Modems and Routers FAQ

Where to rant about a bad modem
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e38BimmerFN
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Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:15 pm

Modems and Routers FAQ

Post by e38BimmerFN » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:43 pm

Some basic facts and information regarding modems and routers and what works best and some information on some ISP cable modems that have issues. Most modems and routers work well without issues, however there are many factors that can contribute to home Internet systems not working well. Users are encouraged to read ALL the information, review and research to help find what works best for their ISP services and network routers for desired network needs and gain a good experience. Hope this helps new users and advanced users as well.

:arrow: Cable Modem ISP Speed Tiers and Channelization
Cable ISP network systems are based on DOCSIS. These cable systems use a means of channels, both downstream and upstream to get data to and from the services to cable modems. Early model modems, channels were only 4x4, meaning 4 channels downstream and 4 channels up stream. As DOCSIS development and ISP speeds tiers increase, more channels are needed. The following is a table of channels vs speeds that are provided and in use by ISP network systems:
Image

Users need to take this into account when they are using modems with their ISPs and ensure what works best for their speed tiers and their ISP service and home network needs. Cable modem manufactures have many different models that support different channels and features. Also as DOCSIS development progresses and speeds increase, older channels may no longer be supported by ISPs, thus rendering older modems unusable and obsolete or not supported on ISP cable networks. Modems that are 4x4 or 8x4 may become out dated in the future. Check with your ISPs on what is supported currently on there networks. Users should always check with their ISPs to see what modems are supported on their networks. Some ISPs allow for user to buy their own modems (BYOM) or rent modems from the ISP. Buy your own modem helps avoid some rental fees however some ISPs may not allow BYOM modem on their network. Contact the ISP first before you buy.


:arrow: Modem Manufacturers
There are many modem and router manufacturers. Users can review modem and router spec and feature information with the Manufacturer support sites or from various support sites, like this one which has a list of broadband equipment which includes modems and network routers:
Broadband Manufacturer List
Most commonly used modem manufactures by most ISPs are Arris, Motorola, Netgear, Technicolor, TP-Link and Zoom.
Users should review, research and due diligence before making a modem or network router purchase. Contact your ISP to make sure they fully support the modem you're interested in using.

:arrow: Intel vs Broadcom chipset-based Cable modems list (The Good and the Bad)
The following links are a current updated list of Broadcom and Intel base Manufactured cable modems:
Intel: Intel Model List
This list also reports the current vulnerabilities and problems with current Intel Puma 6 and 7 chip-set based cable modems. These are considered bad modems and cannot be recommended for use, if at all possible. Intel modems can be used however users may experience various network and ISP related problems. If users have an Intel Puma 6 or 7 based modem, users are encouraged to fully read through www.badmodems.com information regarding this, and contact their ISP services or the modem manufacturer to find out when these problems will be resolved and or replace the modem with a non-Intel chip-set based modem. Intel and modem manufacturers are aware of the problems currently and are working to resolve the problems at hand. When and if the current standing problems are fixed and verified fixed, then the current status will change for Intel chip-set based modems.

(DSL modems maybe effect as well if the chip-set is Intel Puma 6 or 7 based.)

:arrow: Broadcom: Broadcom Modem List
In short, any model not seen on the Intel list, would be Broadcom or other non-Intel chip-set based. These would be good and preferred modems to use. Some Broadcom based cable modems have a Spectrum Analyzer onboard. Typing in "192.168.100.1:8080 will bring you to a user/password page which opens to this tool. Chrome or Safari supported only according to the page. Microsoft Edge also works.

Test your modem out using this tool:
Intel Puma 6 Test Tool
This tool is mostly for Intel chip-set based cable modems, however it tests other non-Intel chip-set based modems as well.
Intel (Puma 6) SB-6190: Red is bad.
Image

You should see Green results for any Broadcom based cable modems.
This test result is with a Arris SB 6183 (Broadcom) cable modem:
Image

:arrow: ISP Service and Line Signal Quality
First off, ensure your ISP services and line signal is of good quality and optimal. Its recommend that you have your ISP check the cabling going to the ISP modem, check signal levels going to the ISP modem. For DSL or Fiber service lines, ensure that the ISP is using good working phone or cable lines to the DSL modem and that the phone lines are filtered correctly. Link> What kind of signal levels do I want on my cable modem?

For cable Internet, RG-6 coaxial cable is needed, not RG-59. Check for t.v. line splitters and remove them as they can introduce noise on the line and lower the signal going to the ISP modem. It's recommended having the ISP service physically check the lines going from the outside to the ISP modem. Connecting to the ISP modem could result in a false positive as the signal to the modem could be just enough to that point then adding on a router, could see problems. The router operation is dependent upon getting good data flow from the ISP modem and the modem is dependent upon getting good signal from the ISP Service.

Check and use good quality LAN cables between Modem and Router, swap out to be sure. Link> Cat6 is recommended. Shortest cable length possible between modem and router recommended.

:arrow: ISP Modem and Router Speed Testing
Always speed test with an Ethernet cable connected computer first. Wireless testing can be performed later on. Wireless has many variables and factors that contribute to inaccurate test results. Wired Ethernet cable is always preferred and recommended.

Test the speeds before and after adding a network router to the modem. Make sure the modem is speed testing to your ISPs specs and speed tier that you're paying for. Speed test using your ISP service speed test sites. Speedtest.net offers different server test sites. Choose different server test sites as other site maybe busier than others. Use additional support tools to test modems and routers out. DSLReports.com has a speed test tool and Intel Puma test tool.
Link> https://www.dslreports.com/tools
Link> Intel Puma 6 Test Tool
The Puma6 test should be performed with a wired Ethernet cable computer connected directly to the ISP Modem.

There is a ping plotter tool as well for more advanced user to test their modems out if they want to see what really going on. Link> Ping Plotter Usage

Disable any computer security software, browser add-ons and any router QoS temporarily before testing as they can interfere with getting accurate testing results
Speed test with different web browsers.

I've seen differences in test results between IE11, FireFox, Opera and Chrome. Try each one to compare results if you're in doubt.

:arrow: Modems and Routers
In general, if the above information is reviewed and testing is performed, avoiding use of an Intel Puma 6 and 7 based modems if possible, any modem will work well with any external network router. There are modem/router combo units. However, this information is directed towards a stand-alone cable modems and a separate external connected network router configuration. This information is of personal experience as well as I encourage users reviewing this to give feedback to their experiences and what they use that works for them. Additional testing information may be asked to confirm user's posted information.

:arrow: Current Tested Modem and Routers (The Good)
Motorola/Arris Modems
Motorola SB 6121 4x4 (Intel Puma 5)
Motorola 6180 8x4 (Intel Puma 5)
Arris SB 6183 16x4 and Motorola MB7420 16x4 (Both Broadcom)

TP-Link - TC-7610 8x4 (Broadcom)

Routers what work with zero issues with the above cable modems list in my current collection:
Asus - RT-AC66U and GT-AC5300 (OEM and Merlin FW)
D-Link - Many model routers tested.
Linksys - WRT1900AC v1 and WRTx32v1
NetDuma - R1 Current firmware version (1.03.6i)
Netgear - Orbi AC2200, R7800 and XR500

Forum User Modem and Router Experiences - I'm still out on how to collect and display this. Should I add it with user post input or just let users post about it in the forums?
Arris - SB 6141 8x4 (Intel Puma 5) and D-Link DIR-890L and ASUS RT-AC5300
Arris - SB 6141 8x4 (Intel Puma 5) and Asus RT-AC66U
Arris - SB 6183 16x4 (Broadcom) and Linksys WRT1900ACM and WRT32x and NetGear XR500
Arris - SB 6183 16x4 (Broadcom) and NetGear XR500
Cisco - DPQ3212 (Broadcom) and Asus RT-AC66r, D-Link DGL-4500, NetDumaR1 and NetGear R7000
Motorola - MB 7220 (Broadcom) and Asus RT-AC66r, D-Link DGL-4500, NetDumaR1 and NetGear R7000
TP-Link - TC-7610 8x4 (Broadcom) and NetDuma R1

These modems are routers are good for general internet, gaming and video streaming use. This list is dynamic and can change at any time. As time goes on, modem and router manufacture will come out with new products. I'll endeavor to keep the list up to date as much as possible to keep users well informed with up to date and accurate information along with user valued posted experiences.

For more advanced gaming users and multiple gaming console environment's, please review this linked information:
:arrow: Link> Gaming with Full Cone vs Symmetric NAT Routers

This is a tool to test your routers WAN speed handling and capabilities:
Router WAN Speed Test Tool
Does your router handle 900Mb +- speeds on it's WAN side? Not all are designed too. :think:

Some router manufacturer user support forum information may have inaccuracies based on inaccurate and incorrect user testing and false biased user information. This gives current and or new prospective modem or router product users, false, inaccurate, misleading, and incorrect information about modem specifics, what may or may not work with their modem and router products. This modem and router post information will help clarify and depose any false, inaccurate, misleading and incorrect biased user information regarding what modems specifics and what modems work well with networking routers.
:violence-smack:

There's good community forums and online help to help users with networking problems as well. If users are experiencing problems, or have questions, users are encouraged to post here or in their equipment manufactures support forums, as well as contact official equipment manufacturer phone support for answering questions, getting help and information on resolving their problems.
:confusion-helpsos:

Over all, this information should be helpful in gaining best and optimal user experiences with there home Internet networking systems.

Good Luck.

crawlgsx
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:00 am

Re: Modems and Routers FAQ

Post by crawlgsx » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:42 pm

Great write up!! Thank you for compiling all of this and providing it in an easy to understand format.

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