Do I need a router?

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  #1  
Old 02-19-2020, 05:24 PM
HIgolfers HIgolfers is offline
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Default Do I need a router?

Have had Century Link for home WIFI for 2 1/2 years and fed up with the slow speed. Paying $45 for 25 MBPS but not getting anywhere near that (some days slow as 3 MBPS). We live south of 466a and N of 44. Looking at switching to Spectrum. Spectrum offers one year deal for $45 per month for 100 MBPS and modem is free. A router is $5 extra per month. Do I need a router?

Obviously I am a novice when it comes to tech stuff. With Century Link all we have is a modem (which CL provided) - we are not renting the modem as it does not appear on our Century Link bill but I presume I will have to return it when I cancel service with CL. Or perhaps the CL modem is a combined modem/router?

I know I can buy a router or rent the one SPectrum offers but just wondering if I need it all. We use WIFI to for 3 televisions (all 3 use Amazon firestick and YOUTUBE TV) and for smartphones and MACBOOK, and Alexa. We also have a NETGEAR extender.

TIA for any guidance.
  #2  
Old 02-19-2020, 05:33 PM
Tom53 Tom53 is offline
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The modem will provide internet service via ethernet. The router will connect to the ethernet and provide wireless and usually additional ethernet connections.

If you want wireless, you need a router or router/modem combo unit. You can buy your own router and skip the monthly fee, if you so choose.
  #3  
Old 02-19-2020, 08:14 PM
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When we had Spectrum (formerly Brighthouse) in Pinellas County we bought our own router (a Netgear) rather than pay them to rent one. Your choice.

I wish Spectrum serviced our area now. We loved Brighthouse and only liked Spectrum a tad less. Would give anything to not have to give money to Comcast. (We have multiple Tivo units so streaming tv is not an option for us.)

kathy
  #4  
Old 02-19-2020, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIgolfers View Post
With Century Link all we have is a modem (which CL provided) - we are not renting the modem as it does not appear on our Century Link bill but I presume I will have to return it when I cancel service with CL.
You are paying $10 per month for that modem. My bill is $35 a month. I bought the modem from Century Link.
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2020, 11:48 PM
tuccillo tuccillo is online now
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Since you live south of 466A, I am going to assume you have CenturyLink service via fiber optic cable to the house. If you see a box on the outside of your house then you have fiber optic to the house. If that is indeed the case, what you have inside your house is a router and not a modem or a modem/router. The router provides WiFi service as well as several RJ-45 ethernet ports for wired connectivity. The "modem" functionality is provided by the ONT box on the outside of your house. The significance of this is that you can actually plug a device (such as a computer) into the RJ-45 wall jack where your router is currently connected (via ethernet cable). If you are experiencing slow performance such as 3 megabits per second (via WiFi, I assume) then you probably have a WiFi issue and not a CenturyLink bandwidth issue. To check for sure, plug a computer directly into the RJ-45 wall jack (where your router is connected currently) and point your browser at speedtest.net and see what sort of bandwidth you are getting. If you don't see something close to the 25 megabits per second that you are suppose to be seeing then you should call CenturyLink and open a ticket. To repeat, you need to run the test with a wired connection to rule out a WiFi issue.

If you do see download bandwidth of close to 25 megabits per second with a wired connection to the RJ-45 wall jack but continue to see slow WiFi performance then you might want to consider replacing the CenturyLink provided router with a "mesh router". You can google "mesh routers" to learn more about them. They will provide you with more uniform WiFi performance across your house with a single naming construct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIgolfers View Post
Have had Century Link for home WIFI for 2 1/2 years and fed up with the slow speed. Paying $45 for 25 MBPS but not getting anywhere near that (some days slow as 3 MBPS). We live south of 466a and N of 44. Looking at switching to Spectrum. Spectrum offers one year deal for $45 per month for 100 MBPS and modem is free. A router is $5 extra per month. Do I need a router?

Obviously I am a novice when it comes to tech stuff. With Century Link all we have is a modem (which CL provided) - we are not renting the modem as it does not appear on our Century Link bill but I presume I will have to return it when I cancel service with CL. Or perhaps the CL modem is a combined modem/router?

I know I can buy a router or rent the one SPectrum offers but just wondering if I need it all. We use WIFI to for 3 televisions (all 3 use Amazon firestick and YOUTUBE TV) and for smartphones and MACBOOK, and Alexa. We also have a NETGEAR extender.

TIA for any guidance.

Last edited by tuccillo; 02-19-2020 at 11:56 PM.
  #6  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:55 AM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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I would go with a modem/router combo unit. It is sometimes called a gateway device, and provides internet access and wifi service throughout the house with a single device. This is what most people have in their houses. I don't see the advantage to having two separate devices, a modem and a router.
  #7  
Old 02-20-2020, 07:56 AM
Tom53 Tom53 is offline
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Home prices and routers have 3 things in common;
Location
Location
and Location!

For best results, the router should be centrally located, and unobstructed. If that is undesirable due to esthetics, the mesh system (as previously mentioned) will work. I had an Eero system is my prior home that resolved many issues that extenders could not.
  #8  
Old 02-20-2020, 08:13 PM
CoachKandSportsguy CoachKandSportsguy is offline
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if you only go with a modem, and not a router, you will need a nat router, as the modem will only allow for one computer signed on at a time. So if you want multiple computers on the network at once, it is best to go with a modem and a router. The easiest route is using a wireless router, but it is less secure and slower than hard wire, but not many houses are hard wired yet in the villages. I designed and installed the house network after Galaxy hard wired the outlets with ethernet instead of phone for streaming, and still have wireless overhead in the center of the house.
  #9  
Old 02-21-2020, 06:39 AM
Dilligas Dilligas is offline
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Have you called CL? They have always been responsive. You can have 100 meg for a price less than $50. Router is $10 per month extra or buy it for $100 or your own. CL had fiber main router issues that was corrected this past week. My 80 gig was down to 10 gig, but now is back to 80 (@ &45/mon). Your router may be old and in need of new one. Have the latest plug in extensions ( maybe two if your main computer is in the far corner of the house), they are about $75 each.
  #10  
Old 02-21-2020, 06:59 AM
Sparky25 Sparky25 is offline
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If you find out you need a router or a modem. I have both that I am willing to sell together for $50 or I will sell them separately. Give me a call at 631-873-7600 George Virginia trace
  #11  
Old 02-21-2020, 07:32 AM
Woolyg Woolyg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIgolfers View Post
Have had Century Link for home WIFI for 2 1/2 years and fed up with the slow speed. Paying $45 for 25 MBPS but not getting anywhere near that (some days slow as 3 MBPS). We live south of 466a and N of 44. Looking at switching to Spectrum. Spectrum offers one year deal for $45 per month for 100 MBPS and modem is free. A router is $5 extra per month. Do I need a router?

Obviously I am a novice when it comes to tech stuff. With Century Link all we have is a modem (which CL provided) - we are not renting the modem as it does not appear on our Century Link bill but I presume I will have to return it when I cancel service with CL. Or perhaps the CL modem is a combined modem/router?

I know I can buy a router or rent the one SPectrum offers but just wondering if I need it all. We use WIFI to for 3 televisions (all 3 use Amazon firestick and YOUTUBE TV) and for smartphones and MACBOOK, and Alexa. We also have a NETGEAR extender.

TIA for any guidance.
Being that you are a novice I would go with Spectrum's one device that does both. If you have any problems they will trouble shoot it making your life easier. I just moved here and had Spectrum installed and am getting 117MB download on my 100 MB internet. Happy about that, as the actual is usually lower then the quoted. I am just north of 44.

Based on what you described you may want to consider having an Cat 5/6 Ethernet cable run from each of your TV locations back to where the modem/router is located. The router will have several direct Ethernet connections on the back of it. By direct wiring your TV's back to the router you don't have to worry about your WiFi range/strength for your TV's as you will not be using it for streaming to your TV. A direct Ethernet connection is always faster then a WiFi connection and not dependent on WiFi signal strength.

Then your WiFi will only be used for your other devices besides streaming to your TV's. You still might need an extender for your WiFi depending on the location of the actual modem/router in your home. The more central you can put it the better WiFi coverage you will have.
  #12  
Old 02-21-2020, 07:53 AM
CoachKandSportsguy CoachKandSportsguy is offline
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@woolyg ah, the first technology generation is starting to retire and move to TV! well typed, and what @woolyg typed is exactly correct, what I tried to type, but he is much more elegant.
  #13  
Old 02-21-2020, 08:49 AM
jedalton jedalton is online now
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Default Router

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIgolfers View Post
Have had Century Link for home WIFI for 2 1/2 years and fed up with the slow speed. Paying $45 for 25 MBPS but not getting anywhere near that (some days slow as 3 MBPS). We live south of 466a and N of 44. Looking at switching to Spectrum. Spectrum offers one year deal for $45 per month for 100 MBPS and modem is free. A router is $5 extra per month. Do I need a router?

Obviously I am a novice when it comes to tech stuff. With Century Link all we have is a modem (which CL provided) - we are not renting the modem as it does not appear on our Century Link bill but I presume I will have to return it when I cancel service with CL. Or perhaps the CL modem is a combined modem/router?

I know I can buy a router or rent the one SPectrum offers but just wondering if I need it all. We use WIFI to for 3 televisions (all 3 use Amazon firestick and YOUTUBE TV) and for smartphones and MACBOOK, and Alexa. We also have a NETGEAR extender.

TIA for any guidance.
Better off buying the router. Look at Netgear C 7000 @ best buy or Walmart, Around $149.Eddie Dalton
The Villages Firestick guy
  #14  
Old 02-21-2020, 08:59 AM
theruizs
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We have Spectrum and use a dual band modem/router combo we purchased ourselves. Our service is 200Mbs and we use mostly the 5g band. We have a smart TV, AppleTV, two iPads, two iPhones, a desktop, and 4 Reolink WiFi cameras all on it. We have no speed issues with any of it. Of course, we are not using all of them at the same time, but the cameras are always on and when we watch TV we mostly use AppleTV and are messing around on our iPads at the same time. I think all of the other ISPs offer at least 100Mbs as their basic plan. With the way most of use the internet today, and the devices we have, you would want 100Mbs minimum.
  #15  
Old 02-21-2020, 09:40 AM
tuccillo tuccillo is online now
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The WiFi cameras don't consume any internet bandwidth unless you are accessing them remotely. They may impact your overall network performance if you are running a high frame rate and high resolution but the current 802.11ac routers support a lot of network traffic. Streaming 1080p video consumes about 5 megabits of internet bandwidth. 4K consumes about 20 megabits per second per internet bandwidth. Web surfing, e-mail, etc. are pretty light on bandwidth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theruizs View Post
We have Spectrum and use a dual band modem/router combo we purchased ourselves. Our service is 200Mbs and we use mostly the 5g band. We have a smart TV, AppleTV, two iPads, two iPhones, a desktop, and 4 Reolink WiFi cameras all on it. We have no speed issues with any of it. Of course, we are not using all of them at the same time, but the cameras are always on and when we watch TV we mostly use AppleTV and are messing around on our iPads at the same time. I think all of the other ISPs offer at least 100Mbs as their basic plan. With the way most of use the internet today, and the devices we have, you would want 100Mbs minimum.
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