I have had this router for over a week and have still never managed to get one of our five computers - the G-4 - to find the wireless signal.
It also seems to be really weak and periodically simply kicks the laptops off if they are used upstairs.
We don't have any gaming needs, or phones, or networked printers; what we need is reliable computer access for two mac powerbooks, one G-4, and a Dell laptop.
I've been reading in the forum and found people with similar issues advised to reprogram the router, but I also see others who have done so successfully but then find themselves needing to do this repeatedly.
I'm not really all that technically savvy, and can't cope with having a set-up where I am constantly resetting things.
Is this router simply too buggy for me to live with, or is there some magical whammy that will fix it.
I can't be throwing money at overseas tech support, or setting up multiple service calls here.
I am wondering whether the best fix for me would be to give Comcast back this router and instead get a modem?
Could I then plug my old 2-wire Gateway router into the modem.
If so, what kind of cord? - do I use an ethernet cord or do I need something else?
Would my Gateway router then use its old user name/password, or will the modem have its own?
I am about two more frustrations away from just giving up on Comcast entirely, since my previous local provider is really easy, and has local walk-in help, but I really can't justify the cost.
The main issue with the 862s and the 852 counterpart is the lack of an external radio antenna. You are going to get most of your signal gain from a good external antenna and unfortunately they are all internal. You may just be better off purchasing your own modem and the models you listed would work fine (the SB6121 actually is the current model replacing the 6120). If you get your own router I would highly suggest finding a model that is 802.11N and has external antennas. I've always had good luck with D-link products but just read the reviews of other people and see what kind of experiences they had with them.
Getting your own modem is as simple as returning the Comcast provided one and hooking up the new one to the cable. Just make sure you have a tight connection and give them a call once it's fully loaded up and have them put the new serial number on your account and make sure to let them know you aren't renting one any longer.
First, yes, wireless gateways and particularly Comcast wireless gateways just do not perform router functionality very well, sad, but true.
I do recommend buying your own modem, since you do not have Comcast phone services and you will save money over the long haul.
Hands-down recommendation is to buy the Zoom 5341J (make sure it is the "J" model!). It has a very strong reputation, is a modern 8x4 downstream/upstream D3 modem, and can be had for around $79. Do not buy one off of ebay! There is much stolen equipment out there, and if the modem you buy happened to be used, you may well not get Comcast to provision it. $79 for a quality modem at retail cost is a fair enough deal.
Use your own, stand-alone router, and you should be in good shape! Not to knock Ronny's suggestion, but there is no real advantage/disadvantage as to whether the antenna are internal or external, and in fact, external antenna routers are becomming increasingly rare. The quality of the design and processor used will be the determining factors. What I do recommend is buy at least a mid-grade or higher model from whichever manufacturer you prefer. You should at a minimum be getting something with gigabit ports, and dual channel capability.