Hi - I live in Philadelphia and I have Comcast, does anyone know which router/modem combos are compatible - can you please suggest a brand and model? Or, does anyone know the cost of a router/modem combo rental through comcast? Thank you....
I'll add my voice to keep modems and routers separate.
One issue with cable modems is that you do NOT have control of the firmware. Comcast can update it at any time. If it's a gateway (combo device), then you have no control over the firmware used on the router side, since it's all the same. Worse, it's always possible for a firmware update to mangle settings, so you could lose your configuration without ever having a warning.
I agree with the other posts, stay away from combo devices like gateways, etc. You want a seperate cable modem and router. Modem rental fee from Comcast is $7/mo, they give you whatever modem they currently have that is compatible with your chosen speed tier. If you buy your own modem, you can avoid monthly rental fee.
Comcast provides a list of approved cable modems and gateways at:
Personally, I recommend the Motorola SB6120 (or 6121) as a cable modem (approx $71 on Amazon), and a decent router from Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Apple, etc. Stick with a major brand and a model that meets you needs. Be aware that if you go for the cheapest models, you will not get the same speed as the more expensive models, so you get what you pay for here.
Comcast has an offer to provide a free router to customers who rent a cable modem. Usually it's a Netgear model WNR1000 or 2000. This is a very basic low end router, but if your needs are simple and you rent your modem, you can get a working router for the $10 shipping and handling fee. Personally, I would avoid this because a) I own my own modem to save the $7/mo rental fee and am not eligable, and b) the free router doesn't have great range or speed. But if you like the idea of renting the modem instead of paying for it up front and your router needs are simple, then this may be a good deal for you.