Recommended Cable Modems
There are many brands of cable modems and most of them will work fine on the Ashland Fiber Network. We highly recommend purchasing a cable modem that is on our authorized list. As a general rule of thumb, we prefer DOCSIS 3.0 modems that support a minimum of 8 channel bonding but preferably support 16 channel bonding.
Our authorized cable modem list is as follows:
- SMC D3CM1604, D3CM1604V, or D3G1604W (all support 16 channel bonding).
- Motorola SB6xxx or SBG6xxx. The SB6183 and SB6190 support 16 channel bonding.
- Arris CM820.
If you are experiencing problems and are using a modem that is not on our approved modem list, we may request that you purchase a new modem.
All wireless routers should be compatible with the Ashland Fiber Network. We prefer Netgear, Linksys, and Buffalo routers. Most routers purchasing within the last 6+ years support 802.11n on the 2.4 GHz spectrum. These routers should be able to achieve wireless speeds of 30mb and hardwired speeds of 60mb. Newer "dual-band" routers support 802.11n on the 5 GHz spectrum. With dual-band wireless routers, you should achieve speeds of at least 60mb (or faster). Finally, the latest wireless routers offer 802.11ac with gigabit ethernet connections. These routers will support wireless and hardwired speeds greater than 100mb.
There are many factors involved with wireless speeds. First, in the 2.4 GHz band, there are only three non-overlapping channels (1, 6, & 11). If you live in an area that has many wireless networks, they will probably interfere with your network and cause slowdowns. For example, if your wireless network uses channel 6, channels 2 through 10 would cause interference. Most wireless routers used to default to channels 1 or 11. Now, most wireless routers default to pick the least congested channel.
Second, the more devices you have connected the slower your overall speed will be. Your performance will degrade drastically if you have three smartphones plus a couple laptops and a smart TV streaming Netflix all using a single band 2.4 GHz 802.11n wireless router. Plus, if your neighbor is using the same wireless channel with multiple devices, that will slow your connection down even more.
Third, wireless is only half-duplex. Hardwired devices communicate at full-duplex. With full-duplex, your devices can send and receive data at the same time. Wireless devices can either send or receive, but can't do both at the same time. There are ways around the duplex problem of wireless by using multiple channels (called MIMO) but your best bet for the fastest speeds is to use a hardwired connection.
Fourth, the distance between your device and the wireless router makes a huge difference. The closer you are to the router, the faster your speeds will be. More expensive routers offer more power and are able to maintain faster speeds over greater distances.
You can help mitigate all of these problems but using a hardwired ethernet cable. The second best thing is to purchase a dual-band router. The 5 GHz spectrum supports more channels and there is a good chance your neighbors are only using a single-band 2.4 GHz router.
It is very important to verify your wireless devices support the 5 GHz band. In addition, only the most recent devices purchased in the past 3 years will support the fastest 802.11ac protocol. Finally, the 2.4 Ghz band travels further but is slower. The 5 GHz band is faster but has a shorter range compared with 2.4 GHz.
Where to buy?
We sell DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems to our direct customers that we deliver, setup and test for problems. Call (541) 552-2222 us for purchase and to schedule setup.
Many of the locally owned ISPs also sell modems to their customers. Locally you can also find these modems at retail outlets such as Best Buy, Radioshack, Costco and Walmart.