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The Xfinity xFi Advanced Gateway????

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Old Hickory, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Old Hickory

    Old Hickory Member

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    I dropped into the Xfinity store yesterday to see what was new in the Comcast world. The sales rep looked at my set-up (the Comcast billing screen) and quickly suggested that I upgrade my gateway to the new xFi Advanced Gateway. The new gateway provides gig wifi and it's the latest and greatest from Comcast at no additional cost and they would ship it to me for self-install.

    Sounds simple.

    My current set-up is a single Roamio Pro on a MoCA network with one Mini and a wifi extender. The current Xfinity gateway is there for a land-line phone. It is in pass-through mode allowing a Netgear router to provide wifi and the ethernet MoCA.

    I'm trying to remember why I have this set-up. Is it due to the Netgear providing a better wifi service? I can't remember. I know that I need the Xfinity gateway in order to provide the land-line.

    It would be nice if the new xFi Advanced Gateway would also replace the Netgear router for in-home wifi and the MoCA ethernet.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

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    I have an Xfinity modem/router and don’t use any additional equipment for my my WiFi needs and have MoCA enabled as well for my Roamio Plus and Mini. Your mileage may vary.
     
    kpeters59, Old Hickory and krkaufman like this.
  3. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    It would seem pointless to upgrade the gateway if it’s to remain in bridge mode (i.e. configured to function strictly as a modem), so I’d think it worthwhile giving the xFi’s full functionality a try.

    Note that you’d need to disconnect and/or disable your current MoCA bridge before bringing the xFi’s MoCA bridge online.
     
    Old Hickory likes this.
  4. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    Comcrap doesn't charge you a monthly rental fee for their equipment?
     
  5. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Active Member

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    The short answer is yes, it will provide those services.

    I had the xFI Advanced Gateway (also known as XB6) for a couple of weeks with my Comcast gigabit internet service back in June before replacing it with a purchased third-party modem and router (Netgear CM1000 and R7800). There are actually two models of the XB6, one manufactured by Arris (TG3482G) and the other by Technicolor (CGM4140COM). They are both DOCSIS 3.1 capable and feature built-in bonded MoCA 2.0 bridging. But they only have two external ethernet ports, so you will probably need to add a gigabit switch to your setup depending on the number of wired devices you are using.

    I preferred the Technicolor model over the Arris due to its (IMHO) superior processor (Technicolor uses a Broadcom BCM3390Z chip while Arris uses the Intel Puma 7) and because of my long-time satisfaction with my previous Technicolor gateway (DPC3941T). Both models have the same compact form factor and both tend to get quite warm, so plan to allow for plenty of ventilation. I might have stuck with the CGM4140COM but it was emitting a low hum that proved unacceptable for me given that my gateway setup is in the master bedroom.

    Unless included in a higher-tier bundle deal, the monthly rental fee for any Comcast gateway is $11.00 (plus sales tax).
     
  6. Old Hickory

    Old Hickory Member

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    No additional cost. Yes, they charge me for the equipment rental.
     
  7. Old Hickory

    Old Hickory Member

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    Thanks everyone. I've not received the equipment yet so I don't know what model is coming. The Comcast gateway is necessary to provide voice services for my land-line. Like I said earlier, I can't remember why I also have a Netgear router included but I think it had something to do with improving the wifi (maybe the 5G?). But I'll remove it to simplify the network.

    My current set-up only requires one ethernet port on the Comcast gateway for the MoCA so I should be good with that.
     
  8. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    I've haven't researched the market for a while, but last time I checked you could purchase your own Comcrap internet and voice compatible gateway and save significant dinero over the long term.

    I have Comcrap for TV only and purchased Tivo boxes and lifetime service back in 2014 and they have more than paid for themselves over renting Comcrap boxes. For internet, I use an ISP that gives me a much better deal than Comcrap but that's not really germane to your situation.
     
  9. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    ... and won’t even need that if relying on the XB6’s built-in MoCA bridge.
     
  10. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    About a year ago I finally relented and signed a two year contract for Comcast's triple-play service. We, for years, have had TV and Internet service. Going to Triple Play, and the two year contract, saved us a bit over $40 a month.

    Around the same time I cancelled my landline POTS. I set up the new Comcast gateway and purchased an inexpensive cordless phone to use. I turned off the phone's ringer...we never intended to use it since we use our smartphones for everything.

    For the first month everything was fine. Then I started noticing short outages in our Internet service. We'd lose the Internet for around 2 to 3 minutes. We'd see anywhere from 10 to 20 short outages over a day. Some research on Comcast's forums found others with the same problem.

    I replaced the Comcast gateway with the modem I owned (a Surfboard model). No more short Internet outages.

    I took the gateway back to my local Comcast office and asked that its monthly charge be removed from my bill. They refused, saying since I'd signed up for 911 service I could not return the gateway or have the charge removed from my bill. They were happy to give me a new gateway, saying I should give it a try. It's still shrink-wrapped, sitting unused on a closet shelf. My Surfboard modem has continued to function normally, I'm sticking with it.

    There's another reason I disliked the Comcast gateway. Even though I had placed it in bridge mode (since I have my own router and WiFi) the gateway created two WiFi networks with hidden SSIDs. I, for several reasons, prefer to keep the WiFi spectrum around the house as clean as possible...I sure don't need a Comcast gateway broadcasting two hidden WiFi networks against my wishes.
     
  11. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Renting is a total waste of money. If you want more than an 16x4 modem right now, you have to have a separate eMTA, modem, and router, but it's still worth it to not rent from Comcast. The TM822G is an 8x4 eMTA for $75, while the CM500v is a 16x4 eMTA for $125. I'd go with the TM822G and a separate modem so that you can get a gigabit modem for data, and leave the eMTA to be totally separate. My parents use a TM822G for voice and data, but their node has virtually no congestion, so 8x4 is OKish for 250mbps. They typically get 240-290mbps down, instead of the full ~301mbps that it would get with a 16x4 or higher modem.

    You should be able to find a promotional plan without voice that's cheaper. If not, get a TM822G for $75 and it will pay for itself in 7 months.
     
  12. Old Hickory

    Old Hickory Member

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    @Bigg So if I go with the Netgear CM500v (as a replacement for the current Comcast gateway and 6-year old Netgear router) then would my MoCA network remain the same? I have an Actiontec ECB2500C and Actiontec WCB3000N wifi extender.

    (edit) I just realized the CM500v is just a cable modem and not a replacement for the current router.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 11:54 AM
  13. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Active Member

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    Even when they have both models in stock, Comcast does not make it easy for the customer to request a specific model. Most CSR's are not even aware that there are two different models of the XB6 from different manufacturers (Arris/Technicolor). I had to go through extraordinary gyrations just to get my hands on the one Technicolor XB6 that turned out to have an unacceptable buzzing sound.

    BTW, since both models have identical exteriors, the only way I know of to determine which is which is to look at the alphanumeric product number. If it is made by Arris, the PN will probably start with TG and contain the number 3482, whereas the Technicolor's PN will have 4140 in it.

    TL;DR: For some people, it can be more practical to rent than to buy.

    IMO there is no "one size fits all" solution and there are arguments both ways regarding renting the Comcast gateway or buying your own equipment. I initially rented the Technicolor DPC3941T because I wasn't certain how long I wanted to stay with Comcast and wanted to experience the performance of their gear. If I was dissatisfied with the performance or decided to commit to the service for several years, then I would have sprung for my own gear, which I estimated would cost me around $300 for what I wanted.

    As is it, now that I have upgraded to the gigabit service from Comcast, I have invested a total of $352 in compatible gear (Netgear CM1000/R7800 plus Actiontec ECB6200 Bonded MoCA 2.0 Network Adapter), not including an additional $111 to upgrade my older Actiontec WCB3000N01 Network Extender to the WCB6200Q for MoCA 2.0. At around $140 p.a. in rental fees, it would thus take me about 2-1/2 years to amortize those acquisition costs (I still would have needed to upgrade the network extender for gigabit speeds). Granted, I now own the equipment and can possibly recoup some of the costs by reselling it if need be. But I am also responsible for any maintenance or repair on it and I suffer the loss if any of it should become unusable due to failure or newer technological requirements. It was worth it for me and I am happy I did it, but I can certainly understand why it may not be the right choice for everyone.

    There are other cogent reasons why renting the Comcast gateway could be preferable for some users or in certain circumstances (even if they did not persuade me to do so in my current situation). For one, not everyone is comfortable setting up, configuring, maintaining, and troubleshooting network gear; Comcast will provide this service for you if you rent their gear. And, of course, if you have a problem or just want to replace/upgrade your gateway, you can easily swap it out with Comcast. Also, FWIW, their user-friendly Xfinity xFi interface is not available for third-party modems.

    I am using a third-party VOIP service (Ooma), but I think that if you want VOIP from Comcast (on the DOCSIS 3.1 platform, at least), you might also be restricted to using their gateway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 12:52 PM
  14. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    In your case, the router and MoCA adapter would stay the same, since the CM500v is just a modem. If you're on the 250mbps package or lower, and your node isn't super congested, the CM500v should be fine. If you have congestion issues or are on a higher tier, I would get a TM822G for voice and a CM1000/MB8600/SB8200 for data.

    Maybe if you're a short term renter. Otherwise, it makes much more sense to buy your own eMTA, modem and router. The real problem is that many people are too technologically inept to handle setting up and securing their own router. What really annoys me is companies advertising "Wi-Fi". No, Comcast, you are responsible for delivering me an IP address and a DOCSIS QAM signal to the demarc. Inside wiring, networking, DNS, email, all that stuff is *MY* responsibility to choose the products and providers *I* want for each.

    Further, when I had TV, I had my own TiVo and TiVo Minis, the only thing Comcast owned in my apartment was their CableCard. Everything else was mine, and controlled by me.

    I'm likely going to end up with Frontier VDSL in the future, but I'll put their router contraption in pseudo-bridge mode, disable Wi-Fi, and use my own router with my own DNS, Wi-Fi, and settings. In their case, I'd have to pay the router rental since the VDSL modem is built into it, but that's much cheaper than cable even with my own modem.

    Nope. You can use a TM822G or CM500v for voice. If you have gigabit internet as well, you need a separate data modem. There is zero reason why voice needs to be on D3.1, and you can mix and match a D3.1 modem, D3 eMTA, and whatever D3 or D3.1 technology is in the X1 boxes in the same house.

    EDIT: Combine posts
     
  15. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Active Member

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    Just because you (and I and many of the most dedicated TCF followers) are comfortable purchasing and managing our own telecommunications gear does not mean that anyone who chooses otherwise is "inept." I can empathize with people who just don't want to deal with such matters on their own for whatever personal reasons and would rather pay a small monthly fee for the privilege of dedicated technical support. While I agree that in many cases buying is preferable over renting, there can be other factors in play that complicate the decision.

    I was in the same position before I moved from a DSL provider to Comcast's ISP in early 2016. While I was renting their gateway (first the DPC3941T, then the XB6) I appreciated the convenience, and now that I am back to just the CableCARD from Comcast I appreciate the independence (and absence of rental fees). I can thus see both sides of the coin for what they offer.

    Those are both DOCSIS 3.0. I was referring specifically to DOCSIS 3.1 gateways. I have not done any recent research but again AFAIK if you want a DOCSIS 3.1 gateway that will handle Comcast's VOIP service (without an external device), you are limited to their rental gear. As you point out, there are ways around this limitation; but they entail additional equipment.
     
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    If you can't handle doing SSID, wireless password, admin password, DNS, and a few other basic settings on a router, you're technically inept. It's not that hard. Unfortunately, much of the country is technically inept, and can't do or fix anything, because no one tells anyone how anything works, and no one seems to want to ask, or at least most people don't.

    There is absolutely no reason why voice needs to be handled by 3.1 gear. A 3.0 eMTA, 3.1 modem, and gigabit router will get you everything without having to rent their gateway device. If someone needs the idiot-proof gateway, then they definitely don't have a use for gigabit internet, the regular 150/5 will be fine for them. I can see why Comcast has gateways for technically inept people, but those people should not be getting gigabit internet. Of course Comcast wants to sell them gigabit internet anyway, as they are a business, but really, there is no good reason for gigabit gateways to exist. People who actually want gigabit have no issue buying a D3.1 modem and activating it, but Comcast's shareholders thank people who rent a $250 box for $11/mo.
     
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  17. kokishin

    kokishin Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     

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