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When to replace my modem before it fails?

Hi,

I work from home full-time which requires the use of a wifi modem router combo. I purchased a used Arris N300 Surfboard Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem & Wi-Fi Router - Black (SBG6580) a year and a half ago. No problems, it works great. However, are there any telltale signs to alert me to purchase a new combo as I'm concerned my current modem will fail while at work, with no access to the internet. I'm considering purchasing another combo, but having it sit for a year or more if the current modem continues to work is something I would like to avoid.

Also, my modem, pc, etc are on a power strip which I turn off at night, from 10pm to 5 or 6 am, so the modem is not running 24/7.

Thanks for your suggestions. Jane

Janes_garden has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Janes_garden

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Are modem/router combos any good?

In reply to: When to replace my modem before it fails?

Happened to me. My old modem/router was NetGear and the wireless became a little unreliable after about ten years, and one particular device (a new notebook) refused to connect.
The provider service guy suggests I consider one that has a router built in.
Are modem/router combos any good? In doing some quick research, however, these aren't so highly recommended.
Thanks in advance for your replyHappy

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Yes

In reply to: Are modem/router combos any good?

Check your isp support list.

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Answer
Modem

In reply to: When to replace my modem before it fails?

Shop around at your local merchants to see what the availability is of a replacement.

If it does fail you can quickly get to the merchant and buy a new unit.

If that's not practical then you keep a spare unit on the shelf.

As to how long they last that's unknown, I'm over 7 years on this modem.

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Re: When to replace my modem before it fails?

In reply to: Modem

Hi Bob,

As I work from home and I'm also a walker, I donated my car a year and a half ago, so picking up a modem quickly is not an option. Hearing that your modem has lasted 7 years is impressive! Would you mind telling me what brand you own?

I may just go ahead and purchase a second one and as you advised, keep it on the shelf.

Thanks. Jane

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Brand

In reply to: Re: When to replace my modem before it fails?

No idea it has no brand name on it.
It came with my internet service.
After a few months of rental I bought it.
It's just a modem and not a router.
As for buying one for the shelf see what's on your isp approved list.

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Answer
This becomes your choice

In reply to: When to replace my modem before it fails?

and part of it depends on your ISP. If you think you can treat your modem the same way you do a light bulb, that's a mistake. They're not plug and play and would require a call to your provider should you swap them out. They generally use the MAC address as part of the way they identify you as a legitimate customer and your spare modem will have a different address. I also know of cases where and ISP will change something at their end and will attempt to upgrade the firmware in customer's modems. When this happens, an identical replacement modem may not work. I'd not do this but, if I did, I'd contact my provider for a list of modems they either provide or know that will work and ask them the same question you've asked here.

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Re: When to replace my modem before it fails?

In reply to: This becomes your choice

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the insight! I really did think I could just swap out the modem quickly, if my current one fails, and then just go back to work. I will follow your advice and contact my provider.

The reason I chose to purchase my own instead of using one provided by TWC (now Spectrum) is because the monthly rental charge would exceed the what I paid for my own modem. Presently, I could have bought 5 modems for what I would have paid to rent one over the past year and a half.

Thanks, again. Jane

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Not a bad idea

In reply to: Re: When to replace my modem before it fails?

but, since you're using TWC (Spectrum) definitely get a modem that's the same model as they would rent. Be aware that these modems can have their firmware updated by Spectrum and it can be done in such a way that you'd not be able to change providers without buying another modem. I'm aware of when this recently happened to a family member and I believe it was Spectrum who did this. They sent out an update that would allow for the internet protocol ipv6 transition and it apparently affected personally owned modems as well. All was fine until some folks tried to switch to another service and found that the firmware upgrade made their modems useless....and they couldn't/wouldn't return the customer's modem to its previous state. This is all hearsay, however.

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(NT) NT - the old MAC can be spoofed on a new modem

In reply to: This becomes your choice

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Answer
Re: When to replace my modem before it fails?

In reply to: When to replace my modem before it fails?

A wireless router should last up to at least 5 years without failing. Unless your Arris N300 Surfboard Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem & Wi-Fi Router - Black (SBG6580) starts to show signs of failing, there is no real need to replace it. Here are some of the signs you would want to look out for before considering replacing your Cable modem.

Signs of a modem reaching the end of it's life:
* Slow Internet connection
* High drop-outs
* Router/modem lights indicate a problem
* Router/modem acts flaky

Please note that for a business connection, you would want to avoid letting your Internet connection fail.

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