Internet Service Providers forum


Will changing modems improve Suddenlink's speed?

by blnicholson / February 5, 2014 1:20 PM PST

Caveat: I've read most everything here, so I understand that bandwidth is shared among the devices in my house, that the number of users in the universe at any given time can slow things down in general, etc. I get that there are issues over which the ISP has little control. Problem is, I'm paying Suddenlink for 30 Mb of download capacity and 2 Mb of upload, and I'm getting nothing even remotely resembling those numbers. I've run speed tests the past seven days in a row (using Suddenlink's feature and an independent one, Ookla) -- one morning, one afternoon, and one evening/night. At no time am I getting a download figure higher than 2 Mb or an upload figure that doesn't begin with a zero.

I'm currently leasing an Arris modem from Suddenlink with two Netgear routers, and I've added a Netgear booster/extender in the middle of the house between the two routers. Most of the recommendations I've read are to get my own modem, but here's my question: if I switch the modem, assuming I make sure it's compatible with Suddenlink's requirements (docsis 3.0), what are the odds that'll improve my download/upload speed?

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All Answers

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My bet is no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 5, 2014 1:42 PM PST

Those wireless links run at half or lower speed as they relay. And since there is only one non-overlapping channel on 802.11n 40MHz OFDM mode, interference is a sure thing.

Why is the modem and router so badly placed in the home?

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Modem's placed badly because ...
by blnicholson / February 6, 2014 12:31 PM PST
In reply to: My bet is no.

that's where Suddenlink technician #4 in four days said that's where it should be. He said technicians 1, 2 and 3 had placed it incorrectly. None of the four even mentioned placing it in a central location, which I gather would've involved relocating the cable drop from outside the house. The first three techs put the modem in the office -- the room on the far west end of the house (which is only an 1,800 sf one-level home; no upstairs, no basement ... I shouldn't need a booster/relay) -- while the fourth tech put it in the master bedroom which is the room on the far east side of the house. Tech #4 said the cable from outside actually enters the house in the bedroom and the modem should be located closest to where the cable enters the home. Said had no idea why the first three techs had acted as if the coax coming up through the floor in the office was the appropriate location for the modem. I'm not a technician, so I've no idea where it should be, although a centrally located modem would seem to be make the most sense. So if you're saying replacing the modem is unlikely to help, what do I do? Gotta say calling out the technicians wasn't all that helpful. There were literally four different techs on four different days. All seemed to work hard on the issue (were here at least a couple of hours each), but no one's actually resolved it. Any suggestions?

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Remember I can't tell what's been tried.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2014 1:37 PM PST
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How would a power-line network work?
by blnicholson / February 7, 2014 1:23 AM PST

Didn't mean to suggest you'd know what's been tried. I was just trying to explain how the modem got placed where it is. Since I'm not all that skilled at network establishment, I just let the technicians do what they're trained (?) to do, and it seems clear my lack of knowledge isn't serving me well -- that's why I'm here. Blush I did read the "Wi-Fi Tweaks for Speed Freaks" article, but I don't know that I'm competent to follow those directions. My ISP-provided Arris modem, for instance, has no visible antennas, so I don't know how/where I'd screw in an antenna cable into the input of the booster amp and don't know if I should do that with a leased modem anyway. I've no objection to buying my own, but while I managed to add the booster/extender to the existing network (which required only plugging it in and running the installation CD), that's about the extent of my competence. I can generally manage software problems and keep all of the family's devices running and relatively glitch-free, hardware installation and maintenance are kinda out of my bailiwick.

You said you can't guess if I'd "know to pull back to" -- pull back to what? And what's a power-line network?

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1. Pull back.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 7, 2014 1:37 AM PST

Since you are using WiFi it's counter intuitive to most that pulling back from 802.11n to 802.11g may yield more range and speed. The article covered many topics so I can see where you can miss the gold nuggets.

2. Powerline networking.

It's a way to connect over ethernet and all over the web. The nice part about these units is you rarely, if ever have to use any CD or adjust any setting. Plug and use devices. Here's an example.

And as you can imagine I could put a WAP (see google if you don't know terminology) on the other end to give WiFi to that area.

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So if my router's set at 802.11n ...
by blnicholson / February 7, 2014 3:43 AM PST
In reply to: 1. Pull back.

I should try setting it "back" to 802.11g? How do I do that? I really appreciate your willingness to help, but I'm afraid I'm not being a very good student. I'm following all the links you're posting, but sentences like "uses an enhanced form of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) with forward error-correction" just baffle me ....

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It's in the product manuals.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 7, 2014 3:48 AM PST

As there is no standard way to change this I have to use the vernacular or terminology of networking.

If you find a good enough manual on the WiFi router then I can see if I can find the page to change this.

The reason I noted OFDM is that in 802.11n, the 40MHz OFDM mode gives us one non-overlapping channel. See

I know this will cause heads to ache but this is partly why 802.11n repeaters sometimes won't do.

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Suddenlink Help
by Suddenlink Help / February 5, 2014 10:44 PM PST

Hi blnicholson - Shannon with Suddenlink here. I would be happy to research the trouble you are having further and assist in a resolution. Please feel free to email me at shannon-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com. Thank you!

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