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I'm looking to buy a new modem to replace my rental. I'm trying to decide between buying a separate modem and router, and purchasing a gateway. I'm looking at either the Netgear CM700 and Nighthawk R7000 or the Nighthawk C7000 Gateway. What's the advantage of getting a modem and router over just a gateway for both purposes?
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With a modem and router, you have full control of the router and are able to get more settings to control or to even put DD-WRT on the router if you want as long as it supports it. While gateways are more locked down by Comcast as towards what settings you would be allowed to change.
They are the ones who write the configuration that goes to your gateway. You would still have the basic settings like Wifi SSID and password and security, but you wouldnt get options like QoS. You would still have port forwarding. There are some good settings that you wouldnt have in a gateway. QoS is controlled by their configuration in a gateway.
There is always an inherent disadvantage with these. Combo gateway devices are always a compromise in both quality and performance compared to separate units. Also, only the ISP can update the firmware so you are always a prisoner of that / them. And the firmware is typically crippled by the ISP's customizing of it and they typically eliminate valuable features.
One of the biggest issues with them is that it is far more difficult to diagnose connectivity issues when it comes to troubleshooting. You can't narrow things down by using the process of elimination by removing just the router from the path. And if either segment fails / malfunctions, you have a total failure.
Get separate units and keep the control of your home network in your hands instead of theirs, you'll be much happier !