Cox wants to turn your home WiFi into a public hotspot.

bman212121

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Honestly, I don't know why people are upset over this. The public network is isolated from your own. As far as I know it doesn't cause slowdowns on your network as the infrastructure supports much higher speed than what plans they offer. And you can opt out. Xfinity has been doing this for a while and it's one of my favorite features. Having access to high speed (25mbps at least) internet on the go is a huge benefit for me. If and when there are privacy or speed concerns, I'll complain. Until then, it's a feature. And I'm not a Comcast or cox fan, but when fios isn't offered, it's what's left.

It's probably been said 10 times over by now, but here are several issues:

1. You're paying for the device
2. You're paying to power the device
3. You are not receiving a discount for the two things above
4. It adds another SSID, which even if it's not being used can cause negative effects on wifi
5. If someone does use it, it could interfere with your own wireless and cause you performance problems
6. It can cause unwanted visitors to your house

Imagine if you were near a park, and you didn't have the option to disable this public wifi. All of the sudden you start having people congregating in your back yard, front yard, parking in front of your driveway to make use of the wireless from your device. That would get very old very fast, and it would be difficult to keep people away because of it's convenient location to the area. You weren't asked to offer this service, and you might not even know about it. Just all of the sudden you have people cutting through your back yard, leaving trash, lingering around, etc. You'd probably be quite upset and want this disabled ASAP once you finally figured out why it was happening.
 

mnewxcv

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It's probably been said 10 times over by now, but here are several issues:

1. You're paying for the device
2. You're paying to power the device
3. You are not receiving a discount for the two things above
4. It adds another SSID, which even if it's not being used can cause negative effects on wifi
5. If someone does use it, it could interfere with your own wireless and cause you performance problems
6. It can cause unwanted visitors to your house

Imagine if you were near a park, and you didn't have the option to disable this public wifi. All of the sudden you start having people congregating in your back yard, front yard, parking in front of your driveway to make use of the wireless from your device. That would get very old very fast, and it would be difficult to keep people away because of it's convenient location to the area. You weren't asked to offer this service, and you might not even know about it. Just all of the sudden you have people cutting through your back yard, leaving trash, lingering around, etc. You'd probably be quite upset and want this disabled ASAP once you finally figured out why it was happening.
To answer 1-6: turn it off then.

I understand being opt out is preferred to opt out but the network wouldn't work because no one knows it exists unless they have a use for it, and therefore no one would opt in. If there are negative effects, call Comcast or cox to fix it if you don't know how. I have yet to have anyone tell me they've had an issue with their network due to this feature.
 

AceGoober

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My modem, not theirs.

My router, not theirs.

I am responsible for what happens on my network and damn if I'm going to allow someone else to connect without my explicit authorization.
 

mnewxcv

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My modem, not theirs.

My router, not theirs.

I am responsible for what happens on my network and damn if I'm going to allow someone else to connect without my explicit authorization.
as long as you buy your own modem/router, sure.
 

lcpiper

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Honestly, I don't know why people are upset over this. The public network is isolated from your own. As far as I know it doesn't cause slowdowns on your network as the infrastructure supports much higher speed than what plans they offer. And you can opt out. Xfinity has been doing this for a while and it's one of my favorite features. Having access to high speed (25mbps at least) internet on the go is a huge benefit for me. If and when there are privacy or speed concerns, I'll complain. Until then, it's a feature. And I'm not a Comcast or cox fan, but when fios isn't offered, it's what's left.

Do you pay for access service?

If so, Do you pay them for their equipment?

If so, Do you not see an issue with them configuring the equipment you pay for to service other people at your cost?

I suppose it's up to the individual. I suppose that people who are not out and about frequently looking for a wifi connection would see it differently.
 

vegeta535

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Smart, because on to of everything else you want to make sure your equipment supports improved transmission and data protocols. Why pay $80+ a month for access and use dated equipment that doesn't make the most of your service fees.
Cause these companies send you out a new modem/router voluntarily everytime they up grade. The only time you would get a new one of you called and bitched or the old one stopped working.
 

mnewxcv

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Do you pay for access service?

If so, Do you pay them for their equipment?

If so, Do you not see an issue with them configuring the equipment you pay for to service other people at your cost?

I suppose it's up to the individual. I suppose that people who are not out and about frequently looking for a wifi connection would see it differently.
Im not saying anyone with your opinion is wrong and I'm not saying im right. But the equipment rental fee is the same as it was before this feature, and the feature doesn't negatively affect my use, so to me, it's a freebie. If I was upset over it, I'd turn the feature off. If it wasn't my dad's isp in question, I'd tell him to get his own modem, but God forbid he have internet issues, most isps will not offer much support if using your own equipment. Personally I have fios (with my own router) and I wish they had this feature.
 

lcpiper

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Cause these companies send you out a new modem/router voluntarily everytime they up grade. The only time you would get a new one of you called and bitched or the old one stopped working.

I do not believe that every time a new improved protocol is adopted that these companies jump right on it. I do believe that when that protocol becomes standard for the new equipment that they are deploying that it's what they go with, and that old equipment in service that doesn't support current protocols are also replaced at that time. Nobody does complete 100% tech refresh unless it's required.
 

lcpiper

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Im not saying anyone with your opinion is wrong and I'm not saying im right. But the equipment rental fee is the same as it was before this feature, and the feature doesn't negatively affect my use, so to me, it's a freebie. If I was upset over it, I'd turn the feature off. If it wasn't my dad's isp in question, I'd tell him to get his own modem, but God forbid he have internet issues, most isps will not offer much support if using your own equipment. Personally I have fios (with my own router) and I wish they had this feature.

Well, as in all things, we all have our own opinions. I have mine, I don't expect that you can't have your own.
 

Ebernanut

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ISPs using the modem as a Public WiFi(for account holders) is fairly common. AT&T fiber, at least in OKC, does this. even if you disable the customer side WiFi in the modem, the ISP side radio stays active. Pretty sure OKC Cox does the same thing, at least if you use their modem. This is one of the reasons residential WiFi is turning into a cesspool of conflicting signals. The average ISP modem has two transmitters, one for the ISP side and a 2nd for the Customer side. This was sort of OK when only a few folks had broadband Internet. Now that it is becoming more universal, at least urban,suburban areas, each house has at least 2 AP radios and 1 to many device radios. There just aren't enough usable channels to go around.

I can imagine the horror of signal overlap and conflicts in an apartment complex.

Just before I moved from my OKC location, a scan for AP showed 5 or 6 AT&T SSID and several more other AP. And that was inside a stone sided house.

It might vary by company but when comcast was forcing me to use their modem for awhile the trick to getting it all disabled was to call support and ask for the modem to be put in bridged mode to completely bypass all router capabilities which is good if you're using your own router anyway since you don't want to be double NAT'ed. Obviously that doesn't help with the congestion from neighbor's wifi though.

It was also annoying because they often put it back in unbridged mode when they pushed updates and I'd have to call again, sometimes two calls if the first tech didn't understand what bridged mode was.

Ok some of you have better ISPs than me, as neither AT&T nor Comcast has ever upgraded my speed by any significant amount, after they restructured their tiers, at least not automatically I always had to call, threaten to leave, etc.

I've gone from 1.5Mbps(many, many years ago) to 500Mbps and with most of the bumps I was just sent an email saying that they had increased speeds for my tier. A few did come when it came time to renegotiate my package and I got bumped up a tier, internet prices have stayed in the $45-50 range but overall package prices have gone up.

My gripes are customer service, the whole packages and having to renegotiate thing, and being charged for rental equipment I don't have(complaint 1 often compounded this).
 

d3athf1sh

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Actually COX upgraded me from 50mb to something like 70mb and remained in the same price bracket. then they restructured the bracket offering and now I get something like 100mb for the same price. They are trying to remain competitive with AT&T in the area.
yep we had the same package w/ our own modem/router for years and had to upgrade modem last year because of lightning. same speed then we just upgraded our router here recently to a wifi 6 / 802.11 ax router and before we were getting ~30 down 7 up to now we are getting 170 down / 12 up but still paying same price as we have been for last 10-12 years. that's with cox.
 

Fifliffl

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Hmm.

What is the rental fee per month for an ISP router these days? I kinda doubt I wound up saving any money with the pfSense box I built, but you never know :p

The rental fee for Cox modems is 7.99 to 10.99.

It is possible to change the dns if you logon to the admin page of the modem instead of using the provided app.

I have my own Nighthawk right now, but it is starting to have a lot of issues. I am considering switching to the panoramic to get access to the wireless 4k boxes. Those are pretty slick.

Full disclosure I have worked for Cox for 10 years. Happy to help if anyone has any issues.
 

/dev/null

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I use my own, have since the beginning.

No self-respecting gamer would trust his ping to ISP provided equipment.
Agreed but Comcast Biz doesn't let you change it (rumours are it uses RIP to advertise my static ip subnet....ugh...)
 

Jim Kim

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Put the Comcast spyware router in a faraday cage, use your own device along with pfsense and a good vpn.
 

sirmonkey1985

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I have had wifi service in other towns/states that uses COX as they have a universal wifi login/password tied to your account. It was odd connecting to it. Althought I use my own modem/wifi...would never let someone outside of my control go through my network.

technically it's not going through your network.. yes it's using the same router/modem and connection but it has zero effect on you nor can anything that users doing over it be held against you since it's a separate IP address. neither can they even attempt to log into your router. comcast has been using it for a few years now and works quite well. that being said i use my own hardware because i'm an asshole. why would i pay 15 bucks a month to use comcasts crap just so some one can get hotspot access. if they offered the rental shit for free by leaving that enabled then i'd consider it.
 

Nimisys

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For what it's worth, I question the validity of this. The gateways might be capable of it (Cox buys hardware from larger providers, like Comcast), but someone quite familiar with support and field Ops for Cox isn't aware of them having it enabled.
 

Fifliffl

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For what it's worth, I question the validity of this. The gateways might be capable of it (Cox buys hardware from larger providers, like Comcast), but someone quite familiar with support and field Ops for Cox isn't aware of them having it enabled.

This is correct. This is not currently enabled.
 

Spidey329

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So if you use Cox Panoramic WiFi (probably no one here does) it will soon open your WiFi up to other cox users by default. The tradeoff is you get access to these hotspots. You will have the option to manual disable it. Although I had a client with one of these Panoramic all in ones where the password didn't work so I couldn't access it. We ended up returning it for another unit.

Link:


I'm surprised to hear they don't already do this. It's common these days for companies that lease you the hardware to have this sort of stuff enabled. I see "COX wifi" at businesses all the time. It's usually alongside that businesses WiFi .. always figured this is what is going on. It's not so bad as a Cox customer because I can access the wifi in tons of places, but you know that they likely aren't contributing back to their business customers for that value.

My dad had to get a Verizon cell tower IP device for my house for when he visited. I asked the rep if A) I could lock it to his phone (no) and B) if anyone was going to be able to access it (yes). Turns out, they want me to extend their network for them and *I* have to pay for the hardware.
 

Sycraft

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My dad had to get a Verizon cell tower IP device for my house for when he visited. I asked the rep if A) I could lock it to his phone (no) and B) if anyone was going to be able to access it (yes). Turns out, they want me to extend their network for them and *I* have to pay for the hardware.

That's what annoys me about shit like this is that they want YOU to pay but they want to benefit. I don't have a problem with the idea of distributed WiFi, pico cells, and all that, but the companies should pick up the tab. Like if Cox said "Hey, out panoramic WiFi modem is free to lease, however we are going to use it to provide a WiFi hotspot to customers," I'd say that is pretty reasonable. But no, they want rental fees AND to get to use it for their own ends.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I have my own Nighthawk right now, but it is starting to have a lot of issues. I am considering switching to the panoramic to get access to the wireless 4k boxes. Those are pretty slick.

I'm no ignoramus when it comes to network hardware, but I don't have a clue what any of this is.
 

Fifliffl

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I'm no ignoramus when it comes to network hardware, but I don't have a clue what any of this is.
I'm assuming you mean the last part. With the Panoramic modem you can get Wireless 4k cable boxes for the tv to replace the traditional coax cable box. The wireless boxes are IP based and way more responsive than the wired boxes, plus they upscale the 1080p feed from the networks to 4k. Eventually they will have channels that are starting to go 4k like NBC sports network.

So I'm excited for all that. I am kinda wanting to wait until cox releases the newer better Panoramic modem.. I'm assuming Comcast already has it.


If you meant the nighthawk part.. I have an Arris 8200 docsis 3.1 modem with a 802.11ax nighthawk currently. However I am having massive wifi issues .. might as well just grab the rental instead of buying one with the extra perks it provides now.

The panoramic modem can also be used for the home security router if you have the cox security, it is much stronger wifi for the cameras.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'm assuming you mean the last part. With the Panoramic modem you can get Wireless 4k cable boxes for the tv to replace the traditional coax cable box. The wireless boxes are IP based and way more responsive than the wired boxes, plus they upscale the 1080p feed from the networks to 4k. Eventually they will have channels that are starting to go 4k like NBC sports network.

So I'm excited for all that. I am kinda wanting to wait until cox releases the newer better Panoramic modem.. I'm assuming Comcast already has it.


If you meant the nighthawk part.. I have an Arris 8200 docsis 3.1 modem with a 802.11ax nighthawk currently. However I am having massive wifi issues .. might as well just grab the rental instead of buying one with the extra perks it provides now.

The panoramic modem can also be used for the home security router if you have the cox security, it is much stronger wifi for the cameras.

Ahh. Ok.

I haven't used Cable for internet since FiOS came to our area in 2009. I'm not up to speed on the DOCSIS standards and hardware that support them.

I don't care for wireless. Not reliable enough for me. I figure the less stuff I have on Wifi the better. I want to wire everything, but not via Coax/Moca. I prefer regular Ethernet cabling, sometimes fiber. I also prefer to avoid company set top boxes if at all possible.

I currently have couple of HD Homerun network tuners with cable cards, hooked up to a MythTV backend running on my server in the basement. I have a LibreElec Kodi box with the MythTV plugin on every TV.

I haven't gone 4k yet, I don't feel like I have nay reason to, 1080p is just fine, but what is the benefit of having a cable box upscale to 4k when the TV can just do it?
 

Fifliffl

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I agree on wireless vs wired. If/when I go that route I will likely wire atleast one of the boxes via ethernet.

The benefit of the box upscaling just seems to look crisper and smoother on large tvs. I have an 82inch in the living room and things definitely look ugly on the coax cable box , especially sports, even when the tv upscales it. For some reason on the 75 inch tvs I've seen with the wireless boxes next to the wired box they just look better. I assume they have newer/better hardware. I dont have a real technical answer on it, just from experience of it being far better looking to my eye.
 

d3athf1sh

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The rental fee for Cox modems is 7.99 to 10.99.

It is possible to change the dns if you logon to the admin page of the modem instead of using the provided app.

I have my own Nighthawk right now, but it is starting to have a lot of issues. I am considering switching to the panoramic to get access to the wireless 4k boxes. Those are pretty slick.

Full disclosure I have worked for Cox for 10 years. Happy to help if anyone has any issues.
dude our last modem and routers both had lasted for 15 years before we upgraded them and so that's 180 months times $10/month is $1800 why you wouldn't just by your own more secure equipment is beyond me. I just got my TP-Link AX50 (802.11ax) router for $129.00 and the Motorola modem was like half that.
 

mnewxcv

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Agreed but Comcast Biz doesn't let you change it (rumours are it uses RIP to advertise my static ip subnet....ugh...)
Well the only real reason to have Comcast business for its insane pricing is for the support, and they won't offer support on third party equipment for obvious reasons. In this case, by support I mean troubleshooting.
 

/dev/null

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Well the only real reason to have Comcast business for its insane pricing is for the support, and they won't offer support on third party equipment for obvious reasons. In this case, by support I mean troubleshooting.
I have it for static ips & running servers....
 

mnewxcv

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I have it for static ips & running servers....
You can't do that without business? Didn't know that. Makes sense though, I have a client with a business account. I just don't see it being worth the extra money. By that I mean, yes there are people who benefit from it, but it shouldn't cost so damn much!
 

sirmonkey1985

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You can't do that without business? Didn't know that. Makes sense though, I have a client with a business account. I just don't see it being worth the extra money. By that I mean, yes there are people who benefit from it, but it shouldn't cost so damn much!
the other benefit is unmetered which is an extra 50 bucks on a consumer line so might as well just have the business connection. another benefit at least for me when i had a business plan was that instead of being routed through seattle like i am on a normal plan i was routed through the data center here which lowered my ping by about 20-30ms connecting to chicago or new york servers.
 
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/dev/null

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You can't do that without business? Didn't know that. Makes sense though, I have a client with a business account. I just don't see it being worth the extra money. By that I mean, yes there are people who benefit from it, but it shouldn't cost so damn much!
I have one ISP that give me over 25Mbit/s. They block ports on consumer connections. I think I pay $140/month for a /29 and 150 down, 20 up.
Maybe I could get 300 down/10 up or something for $90. But then to get no caps would be +$50...so why bother?

Also, FWIW:
I have a "test" cable modem back when my ISP was rolling out IPV6. They sent me a kit if I tested equipment & reported my results/configs.

To VPN to my work on the test/consumer cable modem, it's 30-45ms. On my business one it's 12ms. It's WAY better in responsiveness, packet loss, etc.
 

mnewxcv

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I have one ISP that give me over 25Mbit/s. They block ports on consumer connections. I think I pay $140/month for a /29 and 150 down, 20 up.
Maybe I could get 300 down/10 up or something for $90. But then to get no caps would be +$50...so why bother?
Data caps in this age is insanity. Anyway, sorry to derail the thread.
 

Sycraft

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Data caps in this age is insanity. Anyway, sorry to derail the thread.

Well yes and no. Data caps as they are implemented is greedy insanity, but some kind of cap in general can be needed. The thing is to have cheap fast Internet, you have to share. It is just not possible to get everyone dedicated bandwidth. I mean think if you wanted to offer everyone 1gbit dedicated. So say you have 128 people on a node, you'd need to have 128gbit up from that to a headend. If you then have 32 nodes connected to that it would need 4tbits back to its central office. That is more bandwidth than we can push down a fiber even using every channel of DWDM, and beyond the capabilities of all but the most massive routers. That of course then just gets worse at the CO and so on. So we don't do dedicated bandwidth, we share bandwidth. Works good as most people don't use all their bandwidth all the time, in fact in general people use almost nothing, with just bursts of activity. That's why in an office you can have 40+ people on a gig switch with just a gig or two of uplink, yet still when you go and copy a file it copies very fast because most of the time most connections sit near idle.

In fact you can measure and do average use calculations and figure out how much you can oversubscribe lines. ISPs, corporate IT, all have been doing this for decades. You look at the usage, figure out what you need to support the speeds you want, and go for that plus some growth headroom. At work we have 2gbit to our building despite having a few hundred people and it is working fine, though needs have been growing and we will have to upgrade it in the future, but we are watching that.

However if you get users that go crazy, torrent heads usually, that want to max their bandwidth all the time this can be a problem. They use waaaaay more than a normal user, and to accommodate them you'd need to spend more money, or else have degraded performance for other users. So ISPs need to do something about that. You don't want to charge everyone more to build out infrastructure they don't need just because a few people want to go crazy, and likewise you don't want their speeds to be slow because you won't deal with it. So you have to have some kind of rule to deal with that.

The right answer isn't something as simple or ham-handed as just a data cap, but rather something like QoS depending on time of usage. If you are a heavy continuous user, you get deprioritized so that your speeds drop when others need the network. It wouldn't be how much you use in total, but how much you use at a given time, and for how long. That is far more useful, and fair, to keeping things fast. Also whatever kind of cap/priority you have would be based on the cost of the connection you get. The more you pay, the higher it should be as they can afford to provide faster service when you pay more.

Of course that isn't what they do, they decided to be greedy bastards and set it low and use it as a way to try and soak money from people who are in no way using too much network.
 

Fifliffl

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dude our last modem and routers both had lasted for 15 years before we upgraded them and so that's 180 months times $10/month is $1800 why you wouldn't just by your own more secure equipment is beyond me. I just got my TP-Link AX50 (802.11ax) router for $129.00 and the Motorola modem was like half that.
I agree 100% and I am still in that camp. The only tempting thing for me on the rental is all the extra benefits that now exist that I outlined above
 
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Anyone know of any deals on a DOCSIS 3.1 modem right now? Just upgraded to Comcast gigabit and want to move away from their hardware.
 

lcpiper

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Agreed but Comcast Biz doesn't let you change it (rumours are it uses RIP to advertise my static ip subnet....ugh...)

I can only commiserate, perhaps life will offer solutions. But until then ..... "All Your Bases Belongs To US !" hahahahaha

FRAG WELL Brother
 

TheToE!

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I fight with Cox on a weekly basis (work for an MSP). They are a terrible company. Cox will let you bring your own gear and I advise you do. Fuck paying rent for a modem/router only to have them turn on a guest ssid. I heard this news weeks ago and I couldn't believe it. I'm not sure how this isn't illegal. What if someone connected to your shit, and downloaded a bunch of illegal stuff?
 

vegeta535

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Anyone know of any deals on a DOCSIS 3.1 modem right now? Just upgraded to Comcast gigabit and want to move away from their hardware.
Cheapest modem I seen was the NG cm1000 for $125 on Amazon. I wish the modems were as cheap as the FiOS ones. I got my version FiOS modem/router combo for $40 on eBay.
 

sirmonkey1985

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Anyone know of any deals on a DOCSIS 3.1 modem right now? Just upgraded to Comcast gigabit and want to move away from their hardware.

i went with the motorola MB8600.. haven't had a single issue with it. kinda pricey but realistically only needs to survive 11 months to pay for it's self at comcasts ridiculous rental prices.
 

mnewxcv

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I fight with Cox on a weekly basis (work for an MSP). They are a terrible company. Cox will let you bring your own gear and I advise you do. Fuck paying rent for a modem/router only to have them turn on a guest ssid. I heard this news weeks ago and I couldn't believe it. I'm not sure how this isn't illegal. What if someone connected to your shit, and downloaded a bunch of illegal stuff?
it is not as simple as a guest SSID. The 'guests' must login with their credentials (cox username/pw) and I believe receive a unique IP address when compared to the main SSID.
 
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