I just signed up for Charter Spectrum TV Choice streaming again.

david_jr

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Well 2 months turned into 7 months, but the Spectrum salesman stopped at the house yesterday and spoke to my wife about signing up for service. She told him he would have to talk to me so he left his card. Probably just going to do internet. Wife does not want to leave DISH Network after 23 years and recent upgrade to H3, along with her previous experiences at the in-laws with cable equipment. Anyway probably going to sign up for their 400 MB service and take whatever deal they offer for 1 or 2 years. Will be a giant leap from our current 15 MB DSL.
 

theBruce

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Well 2 months turned into 7 months, but the Spectrum salesman stopped at the house yesterday and spoke to my wife about signing up for service. She told him he would have to talk to me so he left his card. Probably just going to do internet. Wife does not want to leave DISH Network after 23 years and recent upgrade to H3, along with her previous experiences at the in-laws with cable equipment. Anyway probably going to sign up for their 400 MB service and take whatever deal they offer for 1 or 2 years. Will be a giant leap from our current 15 MB DSL.

I just did a recent move to Florida, Charter/Spectrum was the only option, been very happy with the service, only 1G broadband, have YTTV and also very happy with it (Translation-wife is used to it and does not want to figure out a new/different service).
 
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david_jr

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Pretty sure I'm going to sign up for 400 MB tier. I have been doing a little research and am wondering what folks here think about renting the modem/router from Spectrum of purchasing your own. Looks like you need a special router for anything over 300 MB from what I have been reading. Tom's Hardware recommends a Netgear CM 600 I think was the model number. Would love to hear recommendations from actual users.
 

EarDemon

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Pretty sure I'm going to sign up for 400 MB tier. I have been doing a little research and am wondering what folks here think about renting the modem/router from Spectrum of purchasing your own. Looks like you need a special router for anything over 300 MB from what I have been reading. Tom's Hardware recommends a Netgear CM 600 I think was the model number. Would love to hear recommendations from actual users.

Charter does not charge a lease fee for their modems. You can buy your own if you are so inclined as long as it’s on their approved list, but there is no advantage of doing so.

If you take theirs, you will mostly likely get a Spectrum branded modem. These are DOCSIS 3.1 modems that support voice service that can bond up to 32 QAMs and 2 OFDMAs downstream and 8 QAMs and 2 OFDMAs upstream. In most areas Charter is 32 + 1 down and 4 up.

There are two versions that are made by three different OEMs. These are eMTA modems only, they are not all in one gateways/routers. All models look physically identical.

Original modem is model# E31_2V1
New modem is model# E_2251

Where the _ is you will have the letters N, T or U. Those represent the manufacture.
N - Hitron / T – Technicolor / U – Ubee

The E31_2V1s have a 1.0 Gb ethernet port, the E_2251s have a 2.5 Gb ethernet port, that’s the main difference between the two generations.

The Hitron’s seem to have some weird issues that pop up, and they use the Intel Puma 7 chipset, which there’s some stigma around because of the issues surrounding the Puma 6. The Ubee and Technicolor use Broadcom chipsets.

Spectrum branded wireless routers are available. They are free for Gig subscribers and a $5 rental charge for Standard and Ultra subscribers. Again, they branded Spectrum, all look identical but are manufactured by Arris/Commscope, Askey and Sagemcom. They are Wireless AC wave 2 with the standard integrated four port ethernet switch.

You do not need a special router for 400 Mbps Ultra service, you just need one that is halfway decent and can support faster WLAN speeds if you are primarily going to be on wifi. I have a Wireless AC access point and an AX card in my laptop and on 5 GHz while not to far away from the AP WAN speeds max out at 560 Mbps. 2.4 GHz will not get you anywhere close to 400 Mbps. For hardwired connections you want to make sure all routers/switches/NICs are gigabit not 10/100. If you have a hardwired device, do a speed test and it comes back in the 90s, that means you have 10/100 hardware in the mix somewhere.

Like most ISPs, Charter overprovisions connections by 20%. On Ultra you should max out at around or just under 480 Mb Down/22 Mb Up.

For recommendations, I cannot make any specific ones because I am not your average bear. But I would use a Charter provided D3.1 modem and get your own router. I would NOT use a Netgear CM600. It's only D3 and only 24 channels. More channels being bonded means less chance of you experiencing slow downs during times of high node utilization.

I’ve been Gig subscriber since day 1 and used both the E31U2V1 (original Ubee) and E31T2V1 (original Technicolor) modems in the past and have no bad experiences with either. Currently using a ET2251 (new Technicolor) in order to max out my gig connection at around 1170 Mbps. I am primary hardwired, I hate wifi. I use a Cisco SMB WIRED router in conjunction with a Cisco SMB wireless access point. The router is my bottle neck as my desktop PC has a 10 Gb NIC, but the router only has 1 Gb ports so the only time I see speeds in excess of a gigabit is when I hook the modem directly to my PC. I'm awaiting a somewhat affordable 10 Gb router that can meet my needs of hosting my own VPN, dual WAN failover, gateway to gateway tunnel support and VLAN support.
 
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david_jr

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Thank you EarDemon for that informative post. Best Buy has the Nighthawk AX5200 on sale for half price at $150. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-nighthawk-ax5200-dual-band-wi-fi-router/6428135.p?skuId=6428135. Reviews are mixed. Some love it and some hate it. I have always had good experiences with Netgear routers and switches so I am leaning in that direction. Thanks for the recommendation on taking the Spectrum modem. Sounds like good advice. I am leaning toward the 400 service but a work buddy is telling me it is overkill. Have 3 adult sons in the house, 1 with us full time, 1 when he is not travelling with work and 1 when he is not away at school. All like to game online and watch Netflix etc.
 

EarDemon

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100 Mbps should be fine for the average user. People think they need these ultra fast connections when in reality, aside for specific use cases they do not. People think this now more than ever with working from home. Truth is these video conferencing services only use like 2 Mbps, 1080p Netflix is under 7 Mbps, for gaming latency is more important than speed. Unless you are constantly downloading large files, have many, many simultaneous 1080p and 4K video streams going on, etc you will be wasting your money. If you are working from home and connected to the office via VPN and need to access files, you will be limited by your employers upstream bandwidth and any QoS that may be on it.

100 Mbps is still a very fast connection. Just four years ago I was rocking Time Warner's fastest speed at 50 Mbps, now I'm at upward of 1200 Mbps.

I don't stream any video at all besides an occasional YouTube video. But when I need to download multiple large files at a time, I need the extra bandwidth. I have a somewhat unique setup for the average home user and I don't feel like I need gigabit other than to show off on speed tests, it's nice to have, and I love the geek factor but if my employer didn't pay for most of it, I don't know if I'd have it.
 
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