I recently received an Xfinity email re modem updating and am investigating the matter. I currently have an Arris Surfboard 6141 modem and a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router. Both support DOCSIS 3.0. I pay for Blast, and am getting about 235mbs down, 20mps up. The signal has weak spots in the house, and I want to strengthen it.
Some of the recommended upgrades support DOCSIS 3.1. I will be buying the equipment rather than renting.
Questions: should I opt for the DOCSIS 3.1 or is that overkill? I want the fastest, strongest wifi possible. Also—should I buy 2 pieces(a modem and a router) or get a combo unit? Thanks in advance.
Honestly, gigabit is overkill for most people. That depends on what you want to do.
I have gigabit because I do a lot of downloads and streaming, and downloading a 4.5 GB Windows 10 install ISO from Microsoft took me <2 minutes, where it would take me nearly a half hour with Blast Pro. It also helps with online backup - the Gigabit tier gives you a 35 Mbps upload speed, as opposed to 10 for Blast or Extreme, and less for the lower tiers.
For most people who want to mostly go online, do email, access social media platforms, and watch streaming video, Blast 200/10, Blast Pro 250/10 works perfectly fine, even Performance Pro 150/5 will be ok.
For your needs, however, you probably just need to either upgrade your router to a Mesh system like the Eero or Netgear Orbi, or add additional wireless nodes around the house, either by wireless extenders, or Powerline Adapters. I don't recommend extenders as they tend to cut your bandwidth in half, so I'd go either the Mesh route, or the Powerline Adapter route.
So you would not upgrade the Surfboard 6141? Also(dumb question alert), what’s the difference between a wireless extender and a power line adapter? They seem to do the same thing.