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What is the relations between modems and routers for speed/range?

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  3. What is the relations between modems and routers for speed/range?
2 years ago#1
I know a little bit about routers but I am totally ignorant on modems. I am trying to boost the internet speed/range in my house (as it SUCKS right now making internet on my gaming consoles unviable). My current set up is an Arris tm602g telephony modem and a Linksys E1500 router. I'm living with my grandmother during college so I have limited control over what modem she uses or what internet provider she uses. I want to replace my E1500 router with a Linksys EA4500 router OR an Asus RT-N66U Router. I know my current router isn't the best ever. And I know those 2 routers will increase my speed from 300 mbps to 450 mbps along with a boost in range (which despite the router being in the next room over is a huge problem for me) as well as providing me with dual band networking with a 5 ghz network in addition to 2.4 ghz.

The problem is I am totally ignorant about modems. How do you tell how fast and effective a modem is. What specs do you look out for? Is the Arris tm602g telephony modem a good modem? If you have a crappy modem but a good router, will you still have internet problems? Could my modem be part of my problem (in addition to crappy router) or even all my problem (as in the router is fine, the modem is horrible). If I can only replace one and replacing a router is easier, should I upgrade the modem or the router? I just dont want to buy a 120 dollar router and find out it doesn't improve my situation because the modem is crappy.
Convictioniist "Sigs: Serious Business"
2 years ago#2
My advice, before replacing any hardware:

1. Know the speed you're paying for
2. Test to see if you're actually getting those speeds

If you are getting the speed you're paying for, then replacing a modem or router will not help.

If you're not getting the speed you're paying for, narrow down the issue:

Can you get the full speed if you're wired? Is it a wireless signal issue?

The usual bottleneck with internet speed is the provider, current modems and routers have plenty of transfer speeds for most internet service providers. Having a router that can transfer 300mbps with a 2 mile radius will not help if your internet service provider only allows for 1mbps download and 512kbps upload.
Xbox Live / PSN / Steam: Smakkyoface
i7 4770k @ 4ghz | 32GB DDR3 1866 (20GB RamDisk) | SLI Evga Gtx 780ti | lots of hdd storage
2 years ago#3
Just a little more information, the router is one room over from my room separated by a wall and a small closet. My laptop and my ipod touch get decent connection in my room. My consoles (wii u and xbox 360) get abysmal connections to the point its difficult to download an update. I moved my wii u to the room with the router once and it performed decent indicating an issue of range despite being just 1 room and 1 wall over. Thats why I thought upgrading my router my help as router=range.

As far as speed goes, Im a bit limited on that info. I asked my grandma what kind of plan she was on earlier and he response was the "good one". Im going to research further so I can what her upload and download speeds are capped at. I dont have access to test out a wired connection unfortunately. Unless I bought an ethernet cable and connected my laptop to one of the ethernet ports of the router? Would that work? I dont want to buy an ethernet cable though lol. Wireless speed according to speed test while in my room on my laptop. Was 15 mbps download. The first test I did the internet spasmed out and it was 8 mbps download.
Convictioniist "Sigs: Serious Business"
2 years ago#4
Oh I have been wondering about the speed issue. My internet provider is Comcast xfinity. And here is a list of their speeds depending on your plan.

bttm tier is 25 mbps download and 5 mbps upload. mid tier is 50 mbps download and upload at 10 mbps. top tier is 105 mbps download and 20 mbps upload. I wouldn't be surprised if we were bottom tier. Which by the way, my current router is advertised at doing 300 mbps. The routers I was looking at are advertised at doing 450 mbps. Is that there download speeds or upload speeds. Or whats the deal. Because even if you are on comcast's high tier plan, 105 mbps download and 20 mbps upload; you are nowhere near the 300 mbps that my current router can handle. Am I reading that right? If so I can see your point in buying a higher speed router would be a waste. Maybe its just range that needs to be worked on.
Convictioniist "Sigs: Serious Business"
2 years ago#5
Your router is already pretty nice. It's the range that's the issue. You could save a few bucks by just moving the router around till you get a decent connection. If you go to network settings on the xbox are u getting full bars for network signal?

If you're comfortable, you can go into the router settings and change the channel until you find the clearest signal.
Xbox Live / PSN / Steam: Smakkyoface
i7 4770k @ 4ghz | 32GB DDR3 1866 (20GB RamDisk) | SLI Evga Gtx 780ti | lots of hdd storage
2 years ago#6
Im not able to move the router around. Again I actually have quite a bit of limitations on this all. Ive tried troubleshooting the 360 or more specifically the wii u playing around with channels and settings and no avail. I think the modem is an issue. My internet provider has speed plans lower then 25 mbps download and 5 mbps. Im talking around 6-10 mbps upload. I have been able to get 12-15 mbps on my comp though with a peak of 18. And after 6-10 it goes to 20 or 25 mbps. I was looking at the approved modems for those plans and it recommended a doscis 3 modem for all of them. The modem my grandma uses is no a doscis 3. So in other words I dont think she has the hardware to fully receive benefit of the speed capabilities (again I suspect she is somewhere around 20-25).

The modem and the hampered speed might just be part of the problem though, It could still be range. If it is range, you say I have a pretty nice router. Im not sure if I believe that if it cant even pick up in the next room over. But then again, Im just trying to figure out how my laptop and ipod get good decent connection but my xbox and wii u cant.
Convictioniist "Sigs: Serious Business"
2 years ago#7
Can you run an Ethernet cable.between the two rooms?
"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke
GT - Mad Mike86
2 years ago#8
That would be very impractical. And I would have to see if my grandma is ok with a cable being on the floor with her 2 dogs always running around. I prefer not to do that. And again if the modem is not living up to the potential to give her the best speed, the ethernet cable wont fix that unfortunately :(

Im going to give things a rest right now and talk to her later when I get a chance to find out A. what exactly her plan is and B. how much would it cost her to upgrade her modem (if she is renting her current one) and if I am even right that the modem needs to be upgraded.

This is what makes me think her modem needs to be upgraded: She has the tm602G which according to that list is only good for Economy plus and Performance Starter plans. According to this website here:

Those plans give 3-6 mbps download speeds. I tested out 12-15 mbps download speeds on my laptop a room away from the router. My grandmother uses a triple play bundle package with HD channels. All the lowest internet plans I saw on comcast's bundle selection on their website that matches that criteria has at least 20-25 mbps download speed. So using that base research and deductive reasoning, I believe she is on a 20-25 mbps plan and she does not have suitable docsis 3 modem to give her the benefits of it according to the website of the first link.

Would hampered speed affect range though? and range on specific devices? Because fixing the speed might not fix my xbox 360/wii u not performing well. Both sense the router btw. But they download so slowly they are impractical to use or they time out cancelling the download. So it might not be range. I guess maybe I should investigate replacing the modem first and if that does not work then replacing the router.
Convictioniist "Sigs: Serious Business"
2 years ago#9
Docsis 2.0 can still transfer 38 mbps downstream and upstream. So even your modem wouldn't be the issue.

Does the internet go down at all when you're doing these speed tests? Does the modem reset itself a lot? If not, then you're not capping your modem speed limits. Also, when i say move the router I dont mean move it in a different room, you could move it a few feet in any direction and see if you get better signals, even getting it out of the bookshelf or something.

You could upgrade to a docsis 3 modem if you like. it might be time to do it anyway, but it's hard to believe that it's the issue.
Xbox Live / PSN / Steam: Smakkyoface
i7 4770k @ 4ghz | 32GB DDR3 1866 (20GB RamDisk) | SLI Evga Gtx 780ti | lots of hdd storage
2 years ago#10
On her plan you shouldn't need a DOCSIS 3.0 modem to max out the speeds. Motorola makes good modems. For a router I would get a Buffalo N300. The 300mpbs/450mpbs is the LAN speed, not the internet speed. Try setting a static IP address for your devices.
Rumble Roses. Someone enters the room.
Them: O_O Me: What?! I always play games without my pants on!- Inmate 922335
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