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Home Networking Dilemma

Hello All,

I am a networking newbie, and have a question regarding my home's wireless network. We currently have an Arris media center provided by the cable company that includes a wireless router. I also have a LinkSys E3000 dual-band router we used prior to the cable modem being installed. We get a fair amount of buffering on streaming video, and our overall wireless performance is less than desirable. I recently paid the cable company to bump my download speed to 30mbps.

I am not sure how to test the performance of the cable-box router, but my guess would be that a stand-alone router would likely be faster.  The LinkSys router is more than five years old, and I know there have been advancements made in that time. My question is - would I be better off ditching the cable box router in favor of a stand-alone? If so, should I look to update the E3000 to something newer?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Jeff C
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Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
First, connect a computer by Ethernet to the cable modem and run speedtest.net. That will tell you how fast the cable modem is (download speed). Please let us know about this.

Second, a five year old consumer router most likely does not have the internal throughput to get good speed.

I have newish (less than 2 year old) cable modem supplied by the ISP.

I have a Cisco RV 325 VPN router with 900 Mbits/second throughput. I put a Cisco RV 220W wireless N router on this and it has 800 Mbits/second throughput. I get my full 25-30 Mbits/second download speed on either machine.

Try the first test to see where you are.
As the other expert points out, the speed test is the place to start. I suspect that if the router from the ISP is based on current technology, buying something else may not improve things any. It's also possible that you have something interfering in your home like a cordless phone system or perhaps there's too many walls between the router and the streaming device or some other type of interference.

If you do want to go to a standalone wireless router, I always suggest an Apple Airport Extreme. I've used a lot of different access points and routers in my time from the very inexpensive to the very expensive and I've not found a more solid device than the Airport.  Now the Airport probably isn't going to be any faster than something from another company, but I have had less issues with them from a stability standpoint and a longevity standpoint.
Distinguished Expert 2019
The big difference is who exactly supports it. Personally speaking, I prefer to own my own modem. and router. That said, I'd recommend getting a DOCSIS 3.0 modem that your cable company supports (they should have a list of approved equipment) and buy one of the more recent routers. I bought a Archer C7, which by no means is top of the line, but has worked quite well for me. Resolved a lot of interference and a subset of speed issues (I had to get a newer modem as well).
Distinguished Expert 2019

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