Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Callalily » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:21 am

I'm hoping to pick the brains of those more tech-savvy than I am. We currently use Comcast for internet and landline phone and rent their modem. I'd like to buy an Ooma device and get rid of the landline and just pay for Comcast internet. However, I know that I need to get a modem, and this is where I get a little confused. We have 2 laptops we'd like connected via the ethernet and 2 iPads. So I assume we need wireless connectivity and more than one ethernet connection on the modem.

I looked at Comcast's modem suggestions but am unsure which fit my purpose. Suggestions please?
Callalily
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby hlfo718 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:24 am

You can probably find the modem at amazon for less than 100 bucks. I am assuming you have wireless router already in place.
hlfo718
 
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:17 am
Location: NYC

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Callalily » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:31 am

No. So I should get a wireless router in addition? Will the router enable multiple laptop ethernet connections?
Callalily
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:42 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby hidesert » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:35 am

There are modems that have the router and wireless built in. My Motorola modem has 4 hardwire ports and broadcasts a wireless signal.
hidesert
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:03 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Nummerkins » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:25 pm

This is actually a pretty easy process. First, get pick up a Motorola SB6121 modem from Amazon for $79.99. It's fully supported by Comcast and up date for the fastest cable speeds (Docsis 3.0). You are correct, you will need a wireless router to hook up multiple PCs and get a wireless signal. Two midrange models are the Linksys EA2700 or Netgear WNR3500L. Each of these has 4 wired ethernet ports and support at least a dozen wireless devices. Once you get the devices, first swap your modem. You will probably need to call Comcast and have them activate it. Once you do this, hook the wireless router up in a chain (cable -> modem -> router internet port) and follow included directions.
Nummerkins
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:41 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Frugal Al » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:21 pm

The SB6121 is a good modem, but if there is any chance you may ever have Time Warner service in the future, you might consider getting the SB6141, which offers more channel bonding--a bit of future proofing. The SB6141 is the only one Time Warner officially supports, even though today most of their systems should work fine with the SB6121. Regarding the Ooma, I recently got one and am very happy with the device.
User avatar
Frugal Al
 
Posts: 1438
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby OAG » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:12 pm

I use a SBG 6580 Motorla 4 Eth recepticals D 3.0 and has wireless built in it, (you can Google for more). I use with Time Warner. I got mine as a free replacement under a grandfathered agreement (no rental cost or purchase fee) but it can be purchased under $100. I use it with a ROKU 2 and I am very satisfied (no drops or delayed loading).
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979.
User avatar
OAG
 
Posts: 910
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:54 pm
Location: Currently Central Ohio, USA

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby linuxuser » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:38 pm

I don't know how long Comcast was out during Hurricane Sandy since I didn't have power, but I know that my Verizon landline phone worked every day except for Wednesday.
I wouldn't trust any company completely for anything.
User avatar
linuxuser
 
Posts: 1107
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby thebogledude » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:17 pm

Hi, I have been a comcast customer for 10 years, been using the same cable modem I purchased at Best Buy (motorola surfboard).

There is also one ethernet port (this will connect to your router's WAN port).

1. You can purchase your own cable modem if you do not want to rent it. This saved me the monthly rental fee (X 10 years).

2. I use a linksys router (most popular home network) that has 5 ethernet ports. You can also purchase an additional ethernet hub and daisy chain to the router if you need more ports.

3. For wifi, there is going to be additional configuring involved for encryption.

4. Recommend purchasing the cable modem separate from the router, it will be easier to troubleshoot if a problem occurs.
thebogledude
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:40 am

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby LifeIsGood » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:24 am

One other thing to keep in mind - OOMA plugs into either your router or modem. They recommend it be wired modem->OOMA-> router but I've got mine wired modem=>router->OOMA and it works fine. The reason for bringing this up is that the OOMA unit acts as your answering machine for retrieving voice mails. You want to be able to put the OOMA where it will be easily accessible. My modem is upstairs and I had to do a bit of "customization" in order to locate my OOMA unit on the first floor.
BTW, everything works great and I sure don't miss that $55/month AT&T bill. Good luck.
LifeIsGood
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:43 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby c.Alvin » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:53 am

Another vote for the Motorola SB6121. My experience with Comcast was horrible until purchasing my own modem. I had network issues every week. You would think their rental equipment would be the best match, but that is not always the case. I have not had a single network issue since installing the Motorola SB6121. I like the Netgear wireless routers - very dependable and easy to setup.

I tried OOMA a couple of years ago, but was very disappointed with the voice quality and constant static. The audio quality was much worse than a cheap cell phone. I eventually went with another VOIP service called Vonage. I have been very pleased with the Vonage voice quality and the number of free features provided. Everyone comments on the clarity of my voice during conference calls. The audio is clearer than my old AT&T land line. If you decide to go VOIP, I highly recommend using a Panasonic handset as your telephone.


Good luck,
c.Alvin
c.Alvin
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:57 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Frugal Al » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:13 am

LifeIsGood wrote:...the OOMA unit acts as your answering machine for retrieving voice mails. You want to be able to put the OOMA where it will be easily accessible. My modem is upstairs and I had to do a bit of "customization" in order to locate my OOMA unit on the first floor.

As pointed out by others, the Ooma plays well with the Panny DECT phone system, and can utilize the Panny answering machine just fine, making placement of the Ooma more flexible. It doesn't necessarily have to be readily accessible unless using the second line or answering machine functions. I haven't touched mine since the install.
User avatar
Frugal Al
 
Posts: 1438
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby mmmodem » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:16 pm

The way you're asking the question and based on your response, I'd recommend against what you are proposing. This can be a simple process but could turn instantly into an expensive nightmare. You'll spend about $300 for a cable modem, wireless router, and the Ooma device and spend countless hours on hold with Comcast. Besides, a landline phone is safer in emergency situations because they still work in a blackout. Unless you have a technical guru to rely on, I recommend you stick with your current setup.
mmmodem
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 2:22 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby thebogledude » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:08 pm

Frugal Al wrote:As pointed out by others, the Ooma plays well with the Panny DECT phone system, and can utilize the Panny answering machine just fine, making placement of the Ooma more flexible.


Do you recommend using the ooma voicemail or the answering machine that's on the phone?
thebogledude
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:40 am

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby covertfantom » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:41 pm

Don't waste your money on the SB6121. You can pick up a used SB5101 for $20 on eBay. With a maximum download speed of 38 mbps, the only plan from my local cable company that exceeds that speed costs $100/month (Orange County, CA). By the time it gets out of date, you'll be able to pick up a new faster modem on the cheap.
covertfantom
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:42 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Sam I Am » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:10 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sam I Am
 
Posts: 2063
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:58 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby German Expat » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:54 pm

I use a SB6121 as well and works great. You will still need a wireless router. I do use google voice though since it is basically free except for the obi110 adapter I bought cheap. The problem is though you will need at least some basic technical knowledge since you deal with 3 devices (modem, router, ooma or similar device). They tend to work usually right out of the box but if something goes wrong it can be a pain to debug if you don't have at least a basic understanding.
German Expat
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:49 pm

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Frugal Al » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:48 am

thebogledude wrote:Do you recommend using the ooma voicemail or the answering machine that's on the phone?

I agree with Sam, the answering machine/voice-mail system on the Ooma works very well and has a good feature set, but unless you're also using the Ooma handset (which seems to get poor reviews) you'll want to place the Ooma unit in a readily accessible area to physically check its voicemail/answering machine. I already had the Panasonic phone system and since it provides the remote access to its answering machine, I stayed with that.
Last edited by Frugal Al on Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Frugal Al
 
Posts: 1438
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby gd » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:43 am

Slight digression- keep in mind that if your modem doesn't have a battery, it won't work in a power outage. The special modems Comcast requires for their telephony all have batteries that last about 8 hours. Of course, if all your telephones require separate AC power, that doesn't matter (I have an old ATT phone as backup that runs off the minimal power available over all phone jacks).

After trying for most of a year, I finally was able to buy and activate the correct modem for Comcast digital voice (Arris TM722, available at Best Buy for $150, must be purchased through in-store Comcast rep). They now charge $7/mo rental for an obsolete modem I figure I'd paid for after the first year or two. The higher cost of internet-only and additional services I've gotten used to through the Comcast telephone service (like email sent to me transcribing voice mail, and call logging and blocking) kept me from going the Ooma (or similar) route. Your questions are basic enough so you might consider the same, unless your home-based phone is not so important to you any more and you can put up with problems. One reason they charge rentals is to make it trouble-free for people who don't want such hassles.

I found your questions a little confusing-- if you don't have a wireless router now, I'm not clear that you need one unless you're expanding your capabilities at the same time. It might have been better to have specified how your current equipment is connected-- how you get iPad internet, and how the PCs are connected to the internet, and what you want different. The Comcast digital voice modems have minimal connection options; my old one did have a USB port the new one does not, but that's about it-- I think one LAN, one phone (two jacks, I think for 2 phone numbers).
gd
 
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:35 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Comcast, Ooma, and buying a modem

Postby Frugal Al » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:53 am

gd wrote:The higher cost of internet-only and additional services I've gotten used to through the Comcast telephone service (like email sent to me transcribing voice mail, and call logging and blocking) kept me from going the Ooma (or similar) route.

These features are part of the Ooma Premier service, which is still less expensive than most phone services from the cable providers. VoiP is a real cash cow for the cable companies, often used as a loss leader the first year of service.
User avatar
Frugal Al
 
Posts: 1438
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:09 am


Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 22twain, anonforthis, bnwest, CountryBoy, Epsilon Delta, Gill, heartwood, Raybo, stevep001, tryingmybest, UADM, Yahoo [Bot] and 78 guests