Steven asked: “I’m currently with Cox communications for Internet and am currently renting a modem from them. It’s a 2-in-1 modem/router. I want to buy my own. Would you suggest a get a 2-in-1 modem/router or separate dual band modem and router?”
Generally speaking, a standalone router is usually better. You can get away with a combo unit for home use, though.
A standalone router will usually have better security settings, and often times more QoS (quality of service) and other options than combo units.
Having a standalone router would also make it easier to upgrade if you’re interested in the higher speeds of a future generation, since modems evolve more slowly than routers do. Having said that, most people just set up a router once and forget it exists unless it stops working, so if you’re one of those people, you may be able to save some money by using a combo unit instead.
Our in-house gaming nerd has a second home in Cox territory and Mark reports good success with the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 24×8 WiFi Cable Modem and Router. The Netgear model number is C7000-NAS100. It’s fully supported by Cox Communications, installation was nearly painless, requiring one short online chat with the Cox support people, and the performance is blazing fast.
If you’re wondering about the online chat before the modem was installed, Mark explained that he used his smartphone as a hot spot to chat from his laptop while setting up the modem.
That particular Netgear model runs around $220, so be sure to figure out how long it will take you to recoup your investment, but we’re confident you’d be happy with how it worked.