I have a DSL now, and am switching to Cable modem because in my neighborhood DSL is capped at 1.5 mbps which I can no longer tolerate.

Now I have a combo DSL Modem/Wireless device. For the cable modem I am pondering whether to separate the modem from the wireless. This would give me some flexibility in upgrading each unit separately as needed.

On the other hand, I've been OK with the setup I have for 6 years and would rather not spend too much time messing with it, so a one-unit solution might be better.

What do other people have now? Any preference over one unit versus a modem and separate wireless router? Any suggestions on brand and model? I am in Boulder, CO and am getting Comcast internet.

  • You should be aware that DSL and cable have the same capping limits. Both have shared bandwidth at the trunk from their terminating equipment (DSLAM for DSL and CMTS for cable), but the ports are managed for speeds for the individual circuits off that trunk. What is probably happening is your distance from the CO is too great that you are unable to sync at a higher rate than 1.5. Your DSL company may be able to offer you VDSL as an option, which would significantly increase the speed of your circuit. If you are going to separate devices, make sure Comcast bridges the modem to avoid double NAT.
    – MaQleod
    Aug 17, 2011 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


There is nothing really terrible about either approach. For the sake of modularity, I always prefer to keep my router separate from my modem so that each piece of equipment is serving a specific purpose. Even in the cases where my ISP provides me with a modem that has all-in-one features, I typically will disable them all and set up the modem to function in a DMZ or passthrough mode to route all traffic to my router. With your own router, not only can you upgrade or switch easily if something should break, you can also use your own firmware like DD-WRT to provide additional functionality that you may not find in stock ROMs. As far as router brands go, I prefer Cisco/Linksys models of routers as they've always worked well for me and provided good reliability.

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