Does my modem/ router need an update?
February 25, 2016 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Modem / Router question

I own Zoom 5341 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem 5341J and Netgear WNDR3400 N600 wireless N router., I have problem with range and I lose network every time i go up the stairs from basement to my bedroom and living room. Is my modem and router okay? I want to get a 2 in 1 modem /router to avoid clutter and perhaps make an update is these are too old. My speed is 50mbps from Xfinity. I have around 6 to 10 devices connected o my router at any given point. I am happy with the speed of internet.
posted by samcivic to Technology (4 answers total)
Your modem makes no difference to your wireless range. Depending on the construction of your house and the wireless environment where you are (e.g. how many other people have wireless networks in range, what other sources of interferences are there, etc.) a new wireless router may help, moving the existing one to a better location may solve the problem, or you may need more than one wireless access point to adequately cover the area. It's hard to know without a lot more information. But if the router is in the basement, it wouldn't be surprising to me if it doesn't work upstairs. Try to get it as centrally-located (with respect to where you use wireless) as possible. The more walls it has to pass through, the weaker the signal will be.

FWIW, my experience is that combined modem/routers are worse at both jobs. I wouldn't recommend going down that path if you can avoid it.
posted by primethyme at 2:01 PM on February 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to follow up , I got these a while back around 6 years ago and a friend got a latest router that he boasted has great speed. So, I was wondering if I can use an update? Yes, the setup is in basement and i prefer to keep it that way. My biggest gripe is I lose the signal and it goes automatically to xfinity free wifi. And also that some of the devices won't connect even though they are right next to router. It's like there is a cap on number of devices assigned.
posted by samcivic at 2:44 PM on February 25, 2016

I use a wireless range extender to boost the signal through my concrete walls so I get a strong signal in my home office.
posted by essexjan at 3:49 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding the above. I think you'd be best served looking for a range extender over just replacing the router. While a newer wireless AC router might have better speed than your N router, having your router in the basement is probably the thing that's really killing your speed.

Though, if you don't mind running some ethernet cable upstairs, you'll get even better results than with a repeater if you wire up a wireless access point that is directly connected to your router.

I can't speak to devices not connecting if they're right next to the router though. Maybe your router is broadcasting on a crowded channel?
posted by Aleyn at 9:34 PM on February 25, 2016

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