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Buying cheap modem, router, and VOIP boxes

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Dennis Nicholls, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

    Oct 5, 1998
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    Boise, ID
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    Being retired I can afford to spend the time on being a hobbyist for electronic stuff.

    When Clearwire ceased operations in 2015, I had to switch to my cable supplier, CableOne, for internet access. Their original lowest tier service was 50 MBS. So I bought a used Motorola SB 6121 for $40 off Amazon. A few months later I bought a wifi TV so I bought a $20 wifi router, the TP-Link TL-WR841N, which had non-Gigabit Ethernet and only 2.4 GHz wifi. It was good enough for the TV.

    A few months later CableOne raised their lowest tier from 50 MBS to 100 MBS with the price only going from $50/mo to $55/mo. Not bad. The non-Gigabit ports were marginal but speedtest.net showed 94 MBS to my desktop.

    Then last year I bought a $100 OOMA VOIP box and plugged it in wired to the router. It worked just fine. My wired phone bill went down from $70/mo to $5/mo.

    This Thanksgiving I bought a pre-Xmas sale of a refurbished Dell e6420 laptop for $140. (This is some kind of deal.) On 2.4 GHz it was only getting around 15 - 30 MBS connection, so I knew it was time to get a better router.

    Two weeks ago Newegg had a 24-hour pre-Xmas sale of the TP-Link Archer AC1200 C5 V2 dual-band router for $29.99 shipped. So I bought one. It plugged right in and was configured with no effort. The speedtest.net tests on my laptop went from 15 - 30 MBS to 103 MBS! And on the desktop from 94 MBS to 113 MBS. So the non-Gigabit Ethernet ports really were a bottleneck.

    My point is that it's possible through cheap shopping to get household connectivity for very little money. My modem/router/VOIP total $170. And the OOMA dropped my phone bill enough to amortize all this in a couple of months. A lot of people recommend the TP-Link Archer C5 and I agree with them that it's a great budget dual-band router.

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