Comcast is one of the most prominent and longest running ISPs in America. When people sign up for Internet Service Providers such as Comcast, they usually stick to the equipment that comes with the package. But did you know that you don’t always have to use the equipment that Comcast provides?
Did you know that you can get twice as much power from your ISP by using third-party routers? If you are constantly scratching your head because of the sub-par service Comcast is giving you, then maybe it’s high time for you to start checking other options when it comes to routers.
If you are in the lookout for the best router for Comcast, then you are in the right place. In this article we will highlight the best routers to give your Comcast connection a boost, saving you a lot of time and money, moreover, saving you all the hassle from tending to a slow connection.
Of course, there are several routers you can buy, but not all of these are made with equal quality and performance. To save you all the hassle, we have narrowed down these options to this list of the best router for Comcast.
Aside from this, we will also discuss the pros and cons of buying your own router as well as talk about the things that you should look into when buying a router for Comcast.
What Are The Best Routers For Comcast In 2018?
While there are several routes to choose from, only a few of them excel in providing you the best out of your internet connection. Here are the best routers you can use with your Comcast subscription.
The first entry on our list is the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900. If you want the best all in one package that offers no frills, just straight up good value for money, then this router is for you.
One of the most compact routers out there, the Nighthawk AC1900 measures 10.8 inches x 10.2 inches x 3.6 inches and weighs only 2.8 lbs. With this, you can seamlessly place the router in a tight spot, allowing you more space for other things.
This unit can support speeds up to 960 MBps and has dual-band support (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). It is equipped with four gigabit Ethernet ports allowing you to connect more wired devices into it.
The second entry on our list is another offering by Netgear which is the Nighthawk X10. This unit boasts even a smaller size compared to the AC1900. It measures 6.6 inches in length and 2.9 inches in width. With this, you can enjoy more space to place other things on the desk.
Boasting a tri-band support (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 60 GHz), this router can support speeds up to a whopping 7.2 Gbps. This is very fast by today’s standards.
It is also equipped with seven Gigabit Ethernet ports and one 10 gigabit fiber port allowing you to enjoy an ultra-fast fiber connection. It has a futuristic design which is a huge plus to its overall value.
Other added features of the X10 are MU MIMO support, Reliable QoS as well as a powerful processor to deliver top-notch performance.
Our only gripe with the X10 is the lack of a built-in modem. With this, you still need to use the one provided by Comcast.
The next entry on our list is the Xfinity Wireless Gateway 3. Being part of Xfinity’s wide array of products, the Wireless Gateway 3, with its compact build and its “no frills” offering; deserves to be part of the list of the best routers for Comcast.
The Wireless Gateway 3 boasts a compact design measuring 5 inches in height and 10.8 inches in width. The unit weighs only 5.1 lbs which makes it very lightweight. It can support a dual-band connection (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and comes with a built-in modem for more convenience.
Aside from these, it dons four gigabit Ethernet ports to let you connect other wired devices. Perhaps the biggest downside with the unit is its limited speed support. Unfortunately, the Gateway 3 can only support speeds up to 640 Mbps. However, this speed can suffice most internet speeds.
The next entry on our list is the Motorola MG7550. Donning the Motorola brand name, this product boasts the same value and performance the company is known for.
Weighing only 2.7 lbs, it is one of the most lightweight routers you can find in the market nowadays. It can support dual-band system (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). It is also equipped with the usual four gigabit Ethernet port setup. The Motorola MG7550 measures 10.5 inches in length and 11 inches in width making it not very compact in size.
What sets the MG7550 apart from the rest are the added features. It comes with wireless power boost technology as well as Anybeam beamforming which allows better performance and range.
One of the disadvantages of this router is its limited speed. It can only support speeds up to 686 Mbps. The device, however, makes up for it by making use of the Beamforming technology. Added to that is the low price tag, making it a bang for the buck router.
This is one of the best all-in-one routers that you can find today. When purchasing this router, you get to enjoy fast speed internet and reliable connection. Moreover, the setup is pretty simple and straightforward.
With this router, you get to enjoy up to 686 Mbps in speed which is fairly normal for a modern router. However, compared to newer routers which support fiber speed connections, this is below average. With its Wireless AC technology, however, you get to enjoy Wifi speeds of up to 1900 Mbps.
It is equipped with beamforming technology that optimizes internet coverage and offers better reliability. Moreover, it has two USB 2.0 ports as well as four gigabit Ethernet ports allowing you more devices to connect.
When subscribing to an ISP, it is only fair that you get the most out of their service. While bundled up routers get the job it is extremely more convenient and useful to buy your own router.
We know how daunting it is to find the right router, especially nowadays wherein there is a wide array of products to choose from. That’s why in this article, we hope you found the right router that caters to your every browsing or internet needs.
With that being said, all of these routers give you the best value for your money. Whether you end up buying the offerings from NETGEAR or settle to the more affordable Motorola MG7750, you are sure to enjoy more out of your internet service and relish in a more reliable and stable connection.
5 Things to Consider When Buying a Wireless Router
Much like buying any other gadget, there are some things to take into consideration. You should bear this in mind so that you won’t fall victim to routers with poor quality and subpar performance.
The first thing you need to consider when buying a wireless router is its compatibility to your Internet Service Provider, in our case, Comcast. Most wireless routers you see in the market would normally just work fine with Comcast. All the wireless routers featured in this list are all compatible to Comcast. In fact, most ISPs give their consumers a list of wireless routers that are compatible with their hardware. So, how do they know if a router is compatible? Well, you just need to check if the router in question also includes a modem.
If you are not familiar with the difference between a router and a modem, let us educate you. A modem is the part of the network that allows a connection towards the lines from your ISP. The modem also translated these signals into something that can be used by your devices. This is why it is important if the router comes with a modem.
The router, on the other hand, receives the signal from the modem and then allows access to your devices. The routers are responsible for broadcasting the internal signal through radio waves so that devices can pick them up without having the need to plug them on the router.
Another important aspect of routers is the speed. It is in fact, one of the greatest improvements that set the third party routers above the ISP bundled ones. Most modern routers can support more bandwidth than most ISPs provide. But this alone does not mean that this capability is going to be useless.
The extra bandwidth means that the router can perform better despite multiple devices being connected at the same time.
However, the speed on routers is not as simple as it may seem. This is because the speed being advertised by manufacturing companies don’t always live up to the real-life speed provided by the router. As expected, since Wi-Fi is transmitted through the air, there will always be interference and other factors at play.
In fact, in some cases, the actual speeds of routers can go as low as a third of the advertised speed. But since manufacturers advertise them at ultra-high speeds, then a third of this is not that head scratch inducing.
When scouring through various routers, you’ll see a set of numbers and letter usually beginning with 802.11. Common examples include 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac.
Before you go haywire thinking it’s rocket science, relax, these series of numbers just represent the wireless standard or more commonly termed, the protocol being utilized by the router. These numbers dictate the speed and range capability of a certain router. These three are the most common protocols which you can see on routers:
11ac is probably the most common protocol you will find on new routers. Other refer to it as gigabit WI-fi as well. This standard can support speeds up to 1.3 Gbps. Another standard is 11n, which is common in older and low-end routers. It can support speeds up to 450 Mbps.
The newest addition to this list is the 11ad which can be found in higher-end routers. It can support speeds up to a whopping 4.6 Gbps which is four times the supported speed of the 11ac. However, there are only a few ISPs that can make use of this protocol since its still fairly new.
Another factor you must consider when buying a router is the degree of range it can support and whether it matches the size of your home or location. Most routers today’s should be able to cover an average sized house without any worry.
However, if you have a bigger home, then it might be better for you to invest in an extender. These devices allow certain spots in a house to gain access to the connection.
Other Advanced Features
Aside from the above-mentioned components or features, there are also some other useful additions to router features.
First of is Quality of Service or QoS. QoS helps dictate the amount of traffic your devices receive. It helps ensure a stronger signal for more important tasks despite the network being used by several devices.
MU MIMO is another feature you should look for in a router. MU MIMO stands for multiple users, multiple inputs multiple outputs. This feature allows a better communication among devices when using the routers signal. This feature is very useful if you have several people using the router simultaneously.
Beamforming is a feature that allows your router to prioritize a stronger connection to a specific device rather than just sending the same amount of speed to all devices.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Your Own Router
When deciding on buying a certain equipment or gadget, you need to weigh in on the pros and cons to know if you really get the most value of your hard earned cash. This also applies to routers. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of buying your own router.
The first advantage of buying your own router is that you get to enjoy a few more features. While the router Comcast provides gets the job done, features like beamforming and MU-MIMO simply are lacking. These features can be found consequently in other, third-party routers.
Other third-party routers also provide better range and performance. If you may have noticed, when using your connection, you find some dead spots inside your house, even in areas close to the router. In most cases, this is not due to a slow connection but because of a router that has a shorter range.
Another advantage is the faster connection. Comcast provides excellent speeds but if you want to juice out more bandwidths for tasks like streaming or gaming, then you might be better off buying your own router.
Another good thing about buying your own router is that you basically own the equipment. When you are done with your Comcast subscription and then switch to another ISP, then you’ll have to return the router back to them. However, since you own the router, you don’t have to do such, allowing you to get more flexibility when bouncing from one ISP to another.
One of the main caveats of buying your own router is that it costs more. While the price depends on what kind of router you choose, comparing it to an ISP bundled router will cost you a few more bucks.
However, if you think about it in the long run, buying your own router will be more cost-effective. Why? Simply because you can bounce from one ISP to another without having to pay for the initial charge of having a new ISP bundled router again and again.
Another disadvantage is the lack of customer support. While newly purchased routers usually come with their own warranty, it only lasts for a year or two. However, if you use the ISP bundled router, you get constant customer support as long as you have an active subscription.
Buying a gadget always has its disadvantages, however, the cons pale in comparison to the amount of boosted speed and performance you get when buying a third party router. This is considering you bought one that is of good quality.
With that being said, how do we tell the difference between a good and a bad wireless router? The next section will let you know how.