Keith from the Start.ca service explains the advantages of using a separate modem and router to get the best from your home network.
This video features captions and descriptive transcript.
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)