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Why you should use a separate modem and router

Keith from the Start.ca service explains the advantages of using a separate modem and a separate router to get the best from your home network.

This video features captions and descriptive transcript.

The benefits of using a separate modem and router

Other internet providers may suggest you use a router/modem combo because it can simplify installation and set up (and it takes up less space). There’s a trade off though — the router component in the combo unit can have less power and fewer features than a standalone router.

Problems with router/modem combo units

Many router/modem combo units use “G” connectivity, a slower grade of Wi-Fi connectivity. “N” or “AC” are more modern, faster grades of connectivity.

  • With combo units some functionality can be lost to make everything fit into the same “footprint”
  • These are also more prone to performance issues, which can be difficult to diagnose and fix
  • The device management software in a combo unit doesn’t usually have premium features (e.g., media prioritization, parental controls, and external printer networking)
  • The software on most cable modems can’t be updated, and this could block future updates to the router portion

Why we recommend using a separate modem and router

A separate modem and router gives your better connectivity and a better internet experience. Things like:

  • Improved signal strength
  • Faster transfer speeds
  • Plus, features that could make your network more flexible and trouble-free

Some final notes and things to keep in mind:

  • A very capable router costs about $100
  • You can buy a separate router and still use your existing combo unit in “Bridge Mode” to act as a modem
  • A separate router is yours to keep if you ever move or switch internet providers (all your passwords and sharing settings stay with you)

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