Network pro?

Which is better?  Internet modem with router  combo or separate modem and wireless router?

3 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    I prefer separates.  Modems don't fail very often. Routers fail more often. 

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  • 1 month ago

    I don't think one is "better" than the other.  I'm personally a discrete components type of person.  I have a separate modem and router.  In my case I want to use a mesh Wi-Fi system, the construction of my home doesn't lend itself to having a single Wi-Fi router.  At the time I moved into the home there were no modem/router combos that supported Wi-Fi mesh.  That may have changed since?

    Also consider - at least for data over cable service the DOCSIS standard changes periodically.  It's cheaper to just replace the modem if a DOCSIS update is mandated by my service provider.  Wi-Fi standards/capabilities change even more frequently, easier and cheaper to change just the router if necessary.   With a discrete router you have more choices with respect to features.  

    I've also had multiple standalone routers fail over the years, but never had a modem fail.  I've had to replace my modem due to DOCSIS standard update though.

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  • BigE
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Mostly it is the pain when one fails.  In all of 20 years, I've never had a modem fail.  I've had 3 routers fail, plus this also allows me to upgrade wifi without getting a new combo box or contact my ISP to register.

    Separate is harder to debug.  The wiring and power is more messy, as well as laying stuff.  The router can be in a better place for wifi  instead of where the modem is installed.   You can upgrade the wifi without replacing it (although one can just plug in an Access Point and do the same thing, but that gets you back to 2 boxes).

    Combo is simpler, cleaner install.  If you use the ISP's voip, some have a integrated VOIP modem.  

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