A few days ago my greedy ISP (Time Warner) decided to raise rates. But instead of being upfront about it, they introduced the fee increase as a modem rental fee. For "equipment maintenance" Despite bandwith having the most insanely high markup of any product in the world.
Anyway, I need to buy a modem now. Of course the cable company was kind enough to include a link to a list of "approved modems" All of which are in the $70-$150 range. So I went to Ebay and looked up my current modem (Cisco DPC2100 R2
I know nothing about the internet. All the tech jargon is mostly gibberish to me.
What I'm trying to figure out is what the difference is between the manufacturers, if any. Why are there so many companies producing the same model?
Secondly, I read a listing that confused me. If I get the same model I should be fine, right? Does the mac address of the modem make any difference? Assuming it's the same model.
I'm sure these are stupid questions. But I am completely out of my element.
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Thread: Questions about cable modems
Buy a cable modem on the cable company's approved list. There is firmware inside them (and different generations) and there is a higher probability that others may not work.
The MAC address is how the cable company verifies it's you logging onto the network, not somebody else who's hacked into your cable. You will have to call their support and give them the number when you set up the modem.
i'd look for a docsis 3 modem on the approved list, the dpc2100r2 is only a docsis 2. it will allow for future upgrades if time warner up your speeds. i've had good luck with motorolas.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Time Warner began doing this recently simply because they figured out they were "the only idiots leaving money on the table." Nearly every other cable company has been charging a modem rental fee since forever, and TWC management finally decided they wanted a piece of that multi multi million dollar pie.
For the immediate future, the best course of action is to sit on your hands, don't rush to buy anything, and STFU.
People need to accept the fact these cable companies are government-approved robber barons, and if you sign up for their services you agree to the reality they will turn you upside down and shake every last possible coin out of your pockets. If you can't tolerate this without losing your $hit, then cancel the service, because the situation will not ever improve in your favor and there are no cute workarounds to counterattack at the consumer level. They have us by the short hairs, impaled on a hook. Gotta deal with that carefully, so you don't screw yourself.
Time Warner may have been late to this particular ripoff party, but they are a huge company and they learn fast. Stamp your little feet in protest too quickly, and you're liable to fall thru the floorboards. For one thing, Time Warner has changed the list of approved consumer-owned modems so many times in the past six weeks no one can keep track of it anymore. I personally know of at least a dozen people here in NYC who got screwed by buying one of these outrageously overpriced modems, only to have it pulled from the "approved" list a week later with no recourse. The official approved list has finally stabilized at two modems that are reported to work consistently, Motorola SB5101 and Motorola SB6141.
Be aware there are no guarantees TWC won't change their minds yet again, and don't expect to just swap the modems seamlessly: TWC will bust your chops big-time with the process of getting the modem activated. Note also if you have a service bundle that includes both phone and internet, you may as well down an entire bottle of sleeping pills and call it a night: the procedure for avoiding the internet modem fee while retaining phone service is even more convoluted. If you received notification of the new modem fee in your last statement (October), you are in one of the final regions of the fee rollout. This policy change has caused a temporary run on the specific modems, causing supply shortages and spot price spikes well above normal. Unless you like to roll the dice repeatedly, I suggest waiting until after the holidays, or until modem prices drop back down to an average $70 (from recent highs of $140+). Monitor the good tech blogs for confirmation of continued TWC "approval" and positive feedback on the modem you're considering, and when the moment seems right, buy it. A good thread to follow can be found here.
DO NOT buy a second-hand modem that's exactly the same as the modem you currently have from TWC, or that is on the list of modems the company itself deploys: the TWC system will assume it is a leased modem and will keep billing you a rental fee regardless. Avoiding the rental fee requires one of the very few modem models TWC approves for independent consumer ownership. Consider whether you might be moving from the area within the next two years: each cable franchise handles this "consumer owned modem" issue with a different list of approved hardware. You would need to stay in the same home for two years before the cost of buying your own modem equals the total rental fees for that period of time. If you move, and end up in a different service area or city, the modem you buy may be useless in your new location. One last point: if you are clueless about setting up internet hardware, make sure you have a geek friend available to help. TWC will not send anyone out to install the modem you buy, and dealing with their phone reps to get it activated can be a stressful process.
Last edited by orsetto; 26th Nov 2012 at 18:53.
Amazon has the Motorola 5101 for $50. It's docsis 2 though.