Updating My Home Internet to 1.2Gb
I recently updated my internet and the process was just as frustrating in 2021 as it has been every other time in my life going back almost 20 years now. To save others some time I thought I’d share the shortcut steps and gear I used to achieve internet speeds close to 1Gb currently.
I live near Boston, MA in an old apartment building and there is only one cable option: Comcast. They are notoriously bad but I’m stuck with them. My 2-year plan was expiring and all the options online were terrible deals. I had planned to cancel my plan and create a new one under my wife’s maiden name–which is pretty common but would be a hassle when we didn’t have internet–but luckily that wasn’t necessary.
I filled out the online form to cancel, was forced to talk to an XFinity representative on the phone, and explained I didn’t want to pay for cable and wanted 1Gb internet. Was there anything they could do? I further wanted a 2-3 year deal since the 1 year deals have a lower price but then they jack up the rate after 12 months and I’d have to go through this whole ordeal over again.
The price for 1.2Gb download and 35Mb upload was quite a bit less than what I was paying for 400MB of internet plus some channels I never watch. So I switched.
Ok, here’s where I can save people some time. I had to update 3 pieces of gear to actually match the 1Gb speed coming into my home:
The modem must be compatible with your internet provider and I had previously used an Arris Surfboard, however it was 6 years old. I decided to future-proof and went with the Arris Surfboard S33 which was $170.
New I needed a new router to send the signal wifi around my apt. I went with the Netgear ORBI RBK752 to again future-proof myself which was $349. I had looked at the RBK 852 which was double the price at $675 but the main benefit is bandwidth which, for my home, I don’t need as I’m unlikely to have double digit devices connected. If I was buying a wifi router for an office I would have looked at the 852.
The last step was updating my ethernet cable which is I don’t know how old. No sense getting faster internet, modem, and router if it will be slowed down by the cable. This was under $8 for Cat8 which is the newest standard.
Adding it all together I decreased my annual internet bill from $145 to $90, saving $660/year. The three new pieces of gear combined were $527 which is less than that. And I now have super fast speed for the next 3 years and don’t have to think about all this until then.
A good question is, Do I really need 1.2Gb speed? The answer is probably no. The biggest benefit is the upload speed which has now gone from 10Mb to 35Mb for me which is helpful for processing audio and video files. But for an extra $20/month I’d rather just get the fastest speed and be done with all this. This past year we had 5 people using devices and often doing Zoom for school and work. The internet wasn’t always great. I also suffered through terrible computers and internet for the first 8 years of my career before moving into technology. Never again. It’s cheap in the end to have a fast computer and internet. I value my time so I’m more than happy to upgrade every few years. I’ll definitely waste more money on other stupid purchases related to my business so splurging on fast internet is a no-brainer all things considered.
Good luck on your own upgrade journey. Do call your provider and ask for a higher speed and discounted price. And if you get it, don’t forget to make sure your modem, router, ethernet cable are up to snuff too.