Can I/should I replace my Comcast wifi gateway with my own?

Hey guys,

The time has come for me to finally ditch cable. I am getting ready to move and, frankly, I don’t need it coming with me. My question is, while I do need Comcast cable (my only other option is Verizon Fios and… Screw Verizon) I have been consistently unhappy with the quality of their wifi service.

First, can I ditch their gateway for my own privately owned one, maybe installing one of those fancy mesh systems I read about, in my new house? Second, will this actually be a good idea?

If so, does anyone have suggestions for what I should look into for a new gateway and or separate modem/router?

You should use your own device for savings if nothing else, I think Comcast charges $5 or so per month for modem/router rental. You’ll need to buy one that works with Comcast of course, this page might be a good start:

If wifi range is a problem you should be able to buy a wifi range extender to reach far corners of your house. Or if possible, put the modem/router in a better more central location.

I’ve been using my own modem and router for a while. I’d recommend getting a separate modem and router, as you can update your router without having to buy an entirely new modem.

I also do the modem and router thing. Save money and more control.

I know it’s not for everyone but it isn’t rocket science either.

Yeah totally. I’ve always used my own router and modem, except for when I switched to VOIP from my cable provider and went with their modem just so I had expected service. Having your own router is a must - you get to dictate the speed and power and have all sorts of great control. And no rental fees.

If and when your router misbehaves you are on the hook for troubleshooting it yourself (although you can call the router manufacturer) so always remember when you’re having problems to first connect a machine directly to the modem to rule out the ISP.

Yes. I think you can get a much better system, with much more control. What Comcast provides is middle of the road at best.

Not to mention they just pull the next one off the shelf–and you get the last person’s problem…

Good to know. The issues we have been having with our wifi has been, I think, down to our gateway. We frequently have unexpected slowdowns and outages in our internet service. And though nothing has changed in the last year, we suddenly started getting dramatically reduced wifi reception upstairs in our house. Occasionally a single device will, seemingly at random, no longer be able to locate the wifi signal. Rebooting the gateway always fixes this which is what got me thinking simply getting my own was a good idea, but Comcast makes it sound like that’s not necessarily an option. It’s good to know that it is.

It’s been about 5 years since I have gone shopping for a router and modem, is there anything I should know about the market today?

Because that’s better for them. Your breakeven point for buying vs. renting is roughly a year or a little more, depending upon what you buy.

$60/year for years 2 thru ___ times millions of customers would be real money if everyone bought their own.