With the huge number of options available in the market, choosing a cable modem router combo can be dizzying. Let me help shed some light on what you need to know before you purchase hardware for your home or office.

Step One: Know Your Internet

Knowing what type of internet connection you have is the first step to figuring out what hardware to buy. For cable internet, you’ll need to know what DOCSIS version your internet provider runs. For instance, older connections may have a DOCSIS 2.0 while newer connections may be running DOCSIS 3.0. DOCSIS is the system used by cable internet providers to deliver internet to your home using the preset cable TV wires.

Knowing your internet’s DOCSIS version will greatly help you purchase a new cable modem and router combo because it dictates what model of hardware you should buy. Also, cable internet companies such as Charter often have a list of hardware that is compatible with their system. Be sure to check out your ISP’s website before deciding on anything.

 Step Two: Know Your Hardware

When you apply for cable internet, you’ll be supplied with a cable modem that supports your internet connection. If you don’t know your ISP’s DOCSIS version, you can check out the model of the modem they supplied you. Models such as the Cisco 2100 and the Motorola SB5100 run a DOCSIS 2.0 system. On the other hand, if your modem is a Motorola SB6120 or a Cisco DPC3000, then your net and hardware run a DOCSIS 3.0 system. Of course, there are other modem brands such as Netgear and UBEE and a simple internet search will give you the model’s DOCSIS version.

Knowing what hardware you already have is a good step to take before getting a new cable modem wireless router combo. Aside from knowing what DOCSIS version you have, it also tells you what else you need to get.

For instance, if you already have a functioning modem supplied by your ISP, then all you’ll need to purchase is a router. In some cases, you may not even have to purchase a router anymore. Some modem models have built in router capabilities, which means you won’t have to spend on anything.

Routers are hardware that can help distribute your internet connection to various gadgets. There are two types of routers namely wired and wireless. Knowing your hardware can help you choose between these two. For example, if you have several desktop PCs such as in internet cafés, then all you need is a wired router because the computer units are not mobile. If you plan to connect your gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets to the internet, then a wireless router is the best buy because it lets you move around.

Step Three: Know Your Software

Choosing the best cable modem router combo also entails you to know your computer’s software. Some operating systems are not supported by certain modems and routers. For instance, most DOCSIS 2.0 models can only run for Windows versions of XP and older, and DOCSIS 3.0 models are for Windows XP and above. The same goes if you have an Apple product.

You’ll also have to know which drivers your computer needs in order to run the modem and router. This is especially true if your hardware has a USB connection. This means that you’ll have to get the proper USB drivers to run the hardware.

Step Four: Know Yourself

originalOnce you know everything about the proper hardware and software, the last and most important thing you need to figure out is yourself. What is your personal preference? Which brand do you trust the most? How much are you willing to spend for this? These are only some of the questions you need to ask before you buy a cable modem and wireless router combo.

For instance, if you’ve been a long term user of Cisco products and you believe in their quality, then buying hardware that can run the Linksys DOCSIS 3.0 system may be best for you. Or if you want to try something different, then you can get a Ubee, Arris or Motorola model.

Of course, your budget also plays a major factor. It’s often recommended to buy new products to avail of their warranty. But if your wallet seems to be too light, then you can try purchasing used or reconfigured modems and routers. Just be sure to test the products first before buying them.

Following these steps will surely help you the find the ideal cable modem and router combo for you. If you’re still unsure, contact your local internet guy or techie to ensure you have the best deals and better discounts.

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