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am I ridiculous for thinking about buying a DOCSIS 3.1 for a 75/15 connection?  



I'm having a double nat problem with my comcast business SMC cable modem. Their tech support guy basically said it is a pain to get & keep the SMC in bridge mode. He recommended that I just buy my own modem. I'm not going to get a discount since the voice goes through a different modem & they are charged as one fee. I have a staples credit & can get the $110 off the Netgear CM1000. This will connect to an Orbi (two satelites - on wireless backhaul, because, you know...) which then connects to a netgear GS724Tv4 switch. I have four workstations, two printers, a ReadyNAS business pro & an Apple TV hard wired. It's a home business so then there is all of the wireless traffic of a typical home with teen+ kids. 

Should I just save the extra money & get a CM600 or CM700 instead of the CM1000?

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3 Answers

Yes, unless you plan on getting a 1-gigabit connection in the next few months.


You can get a DOCSIS 3.0 for around $65 (maybe less if you do not need VoIP telephone support; this is what I just got for my Comcast connection).


By the time you are ready for gigabit speeds, the cost of a DOCSIS 3.1 will have come down a lot.


The ONLY benefit I can think of for a DOCSIS 3.1 for your network speeds, is buffer bloat protection.  And you can get that from a good router, such as an eero which might benefit you more today, than a modem that is over spec'ed for your needs.


Thanks for the reply. I already have invested in the Orbi, so hopefully it can take care of the buffer bloat. The price of business gigabit is too high & I'm stuck in a contract for another year & a half.

In my tests Orbi's QoS (aka Buffer Bloat protection) is wonky, at best. Eero's is good, for sure, and speaks to just how much they over-engineered their hardware to begin with.


@jbruce I think everyone should buy a DOCSIS 3.1 modem right now for one simple reason: Buffer Bloat protection. Cable Labs mandated that all DOCSIS 3.1 modems use the new DOCSIS PIE queuing algorithm which almost completely resolves the Buffer Bloat issues that existed in all prior DOCSIS modems.

And, it doesn't only apply to 3.1 connections. All connections made by a DOCSIS 3.1 modem will use the new queuing.


Would I be better off having the cable modem doing the routing instead of the Orbi? I've always meant to put this question to MGG. Which device is best to route the network traffic? My cable modem, wifi access point, switch or NAS? They all have the ability to act as the DHCP Server from what I can see. I'm also just assuming that the device that does the IP address assigning is doing the "routing". Is that correct?

Well, routing and Buffer Bloat management are two different things.

A router is always going to be doing the routing. Some cable modems have routers built into them, some are standalone. My preference is for a standalone cable modem with separate router, but that's because I like to be very particular about _which_ router I choose, and the options for those bundled inside cable modems are generally limited.

But there's nothing inherently wrong with an all-in-one type device. You just don't get to pick your separate options, is all.


Maybe the quesiton is, whether buffer bloat will affect you.  We all know Dave has a family that slurps data in both directions as if it is unlimited, and based on his internet connections, it is.

I'm sure Dave will correct me if I'm wrong, but Buffer Bloat is where lots of data being uploaded, clogs the up-link channel so that things like ACK's for downloaded packets cannot be sent so the next chunk can be downloaded.

If you are not in the habit of uploading lots of stuff, such as vacation pictures from 4 family members while you are in the middle of recording a podcast, I'm not sure Buffer Bloat is going to affect you, especailly if it has not been something that has annoyed you to date. 

Basically look at the cost of the DOCSIS 3.1 vs the DOCSIS 3.0 modem and figure in 2 or 3 years the price of the DOCSIS 3.1 will drop to the current prices 3.0 modem and ask youself if you will save money overall by buying a 3.0 today and a 3.1 in 2 or 3 years.

A) I have an eero, so I cannot complain about Buffer Bloat, but in truth, I never really noticed it before either (I mostly worried about as an academic issue, but not because it was an issue).

B) The Arris DOCSYS 3.0 VoIP based modem cost me $65 vs a Netgear DOCSIS 3.1 VoIP modem cost $230 on Amazon.   Because I needed VoIP support, the DOCSIS 3.1 was 3 1/2 times as expensive.  It was worth it to me to wait a few years before getting a 3.1

The prices for non-VoIP DOCSIS 3.1 modems is less, so your math may come out different.