It’s always fun to answer someones email when they are asking for advice on something, and sometimes the question is worth sharing with everyone else. This was one of those questions.
Jonathan P. from New York recently asked the following:
“I have been having a lot of trouble with both my modem and router forcing me to have to manually pull the plugs and reboot them frequently. This happens about 2x a week as I keep losing my connection until I do this each time. After hours on the phone and in person with my ISP, they have decided it was my equipment. Is there a good combination of devices you would recommend where I could possibly avoid this? My last modem did this as well, so I am starting to lose my lid.”
We have all recommended our share of modems and routers over the years, but were able to come to a solid agreement for an answer to this question. Keep in mind, you should always confirm with your ISP if the selected modem is supported by them. If it is, we would recommend the following combination:
Motorola’s SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem is a great choice for a modem. It is rock solid and can push a lot of bandwidth. It is Docsis 3.0 (the current standard) and offers 8 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels. In our experience, we have had very little to no (most cases) reboot troubles with this modem (as well as the SB6120).
Netgear’s WNDR4500v N900 Router is a solid router choice as it experiences the same solidity in design and reliability. It comes with almost every feature you can ask for in a home modem, and more. You should never have to reboot it and it’s WiFi reception is through the roof (literally).
This combination has been used many times among some of us here as well as people we know, or have previously recommended them to in the past. Each time with amazing results.
We would also like to point out Netgear recently launched their new Nighthawk router, which looks superb and could take you to a whole new level of wireless networking. The price tag is pretty high however, and we haven’t had a chance yet to sit down with one or educate ourselves on its deep strengths (Netgear hasn’t responded to any of our requests to communicate on the topic). So we cannot confidently recommend this router at the moment, outside of pointing out its existence.
Also, Docsis 3.1 standard is around the corner, and we should start seeing new modems hit the market by next year. The new standard will be capable of running circles around the current ones (assuming your service provider offers a plan fast enough to take advantage of it). Of course, if you are like Jonathan, you may not have the luxury of waiting that long for an upgrade. Until then, the above mentioned Surfboard should suit you well (as long as your ISP supports it…which in almost all cases, they will since Motorola is somewhat of a standard).
Thanks Jonathan for reaching out to us, and please do let us know your results if you decided to make the switch. Same goes for anyone else. Feel free to comment below with your experiences.