Question internet in central Iowa

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aforstate

Active Member
Jan 23, 2010
510
118
43
I’ve had Mediacom in Ames for about 18 years. It is currently down, and goes out often for short periods, and sometimes extended periods. I have my own router. When it works the speeds are fine.

In Des Moines I have Century Link. It is slow but way more reliable.
 
  • Agree
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MeowingCows

Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2015
23,283
19,086
113
Iowa
for someone not in the know, can you explain why you should always get your own router?
Usually the carrier-issued stuff is either intentionally-limited or just garbage to begin with. For anything greater than light use, I tend to encourage people to get their own equipment when possible. It's cheaper than renting and almost always performs better.
 

Statefan515ISU

New Member
Sep 30, 2019
17
27
3
26
I live in Johnston. I had Mediacom for 3 years before I pulled the plug and switched last year. Haven’t had an issue with Century Link. No issues with surfing internet or streaming live tv and sports. Mediacom was very spotty. I wasted plenty of time on the phone with them. I even bought a few different routers and modems and issues still occurred. After issues continued after renting their equipment I had enough. Multiple service techs came out and got it working only for it to go out the same night.
 
  • Disagree
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MeowingCows

Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2015
23,283
19,086
113
Iowa
I have a Google WiFi and I can manage everything from an app on my phone (great system too). I would safely guess that if you're buying anything made in the last 2 years they are managed the same way. I'd encourage anyone replacing their router to look into mesh systems.
Mesh systems are absolutely awesome for people that don't need wired access. Expensive, but totally worth it.
 
  • Agree
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alarson

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2006
38,753
29,180
113
Ankeny
Most of the horror stories with Mediacom internet come down to two issues- bad signal levels (which since you're in a fairly newer area iirc shouldn't be much of an issue or should be easy fixes) and Mediacom's old ****** modems.

For a modem Id recommend grabbing an arris surfboard, the sb8200, it'll handle you if you want to go gigabit at some point now or later. https://www.arris.com/surfboard/products/cable-modems/sb8200/

For a router I'd recommend getting some sort of mesh wifi system. Personally have the Netgear orbi system and it works great, have also heard good things about googles mesh wifi system.

As far as whether to go gigabit- I think your biggest concerns are probably upload speeds and data caps (if youre fine with downloads at 30mbps now you should be great at 100mbps) , depending on how much video content for the site you're uploading from home, having the additional data may be worth it to you.
 
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MeowingCows

Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2015
23,283
19,086
113
Iowa
Ok so you've all convinced me to switch to Mediacom. Now is it worth it to get the 1 gig or should I go with 100?
Purely budgetary the way I see it. If the money isn't a meaningful amount, go big. Lots of services out there won't feed you 1GB downloads anyway (although many will be in the 50-100 Mbps range). If you download lots of stuff or stream lots of stuff, and/or have many devices doing these things at one time, it becomes worth 1GB. Speed alone won't have any effect on reliability.

Being that you're on a comparatively-slow speed already, either change will be major improvement for you. Other option is to start at 100 and see how it goes...you can always call to upgrade if the need arises.
 
  • Winner
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CycloneSarah

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Aug 9, 2016
243
265
63
We use Mediacom. I had my own modem and router, but they were a few years old. Starting having problems with speed and consistency. A good day was 15.

A few weeks ago, I bought a new modem and router ($200 total). My speed went immediately to 70.

So, don't just get your own modem and router, but replace them often.

The router I got has a new feature (new to me) that targets the signal to devices that are using it rather than just spread a signal around the house.
Seconding this. The router on our 5 year old modem router combo was going bad but we were just blaming it on our ISP thinking it was cutting out and only giving up 5Mb at times until we realized the Roku which was connected with ethernet never had issues when streaming. We purchased the Google Nest Wifi with one point (extender) and our wifi speeds are now at our advertised 100Mb. Only downside is my husband had used it as an excuse to start buying lots of "smart" devices!
 
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CycloneAS93

Member
Aug 31, 2017
61
99
18
Anyone have suggestions for a new router. Have 80-100mbs but don't think my router is giving me enough of that. Was looking at the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro routers that are supposed to have good signal throughout the house.
 

MeowingCows

Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2015
23,283
19,086
113
Iowa
Anyone have suggestions for a new router. Have 80-100mbs but don't think my router is giving me enough of that. Was looking at the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro routers that are supposed to have good signal throughout the house.
If you don't need any wired connections, go mesh network if you have a big space to cover.
 

alarson

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2006
38,753
29,180
113
Ankeny
Anyone have suggestions for a new router. Have 80-100mbs but don't think my router is giving me enough of that. Was looking at the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro routers that are supposed to have good signal throughout the house.
Go mesh if whole house coverage is an issue. Google WiFi or Netgear orbi - the orbi being particularly nice if you can run a wire between two points in the house so it can handle the router-to access point data over the wire
 

MeowingCows

Well-Known Member
Jun 1, 2015
23,283
19,086
113
Iowa
Even if you need wired I think most mesh systems have at least one or two wired ports you could plug a switch into
Do the extender units have them too? I would think the benefits of being wired would be removed by it still being wireless at each end anyway...it would make sense if the main unit with WAN in also had LAN out, if the house was set up properly for it.
 

shawn_200m

Active Member
Apr 10, 2006
813
215
43
Tipton, IA
I use Mediacom...in the first few years we had multiple issues, but in the last 4-5 years, I can only remember one major outage that lasted more than 1 day. I work from home via VPN and we now stream everything including TV with YouTubeTV and we have zero issues. I have the 200 mb/2000 GB/month package and it works great.
 

Bader

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2007
5,908
1,517
113
Ankeny
Do the extender units have them too? I would think the benefits of being wired would be removed by it still being wireless at each end anyway...it would make sense if the main unit with WAN in also had LAN out, if the house was set up properly for it.
Yea the satellite nodes typically have ethernet ports on them as well. Using the wireless backhaul will be better than adding more stuff (and their cheap ****** wifi chips) wirelessly. Most of the Gen2 mesh systems have a dedicated 5Ghz backhaul radio now.

That said you will see your best results with a wired backhaul (not that most of us are setup to do that)
 

NodawayRiverClone

Active Member
May 1, 2018
199
149
43
71
Chris, I switched to Mediacom from C-link in May 2019 in a package deal. Using their internet/phone connection modem and seems to be powerful enough for my 1930 sf , 2-story house where modem is on 1st floor. However, Mediacom did just send an email ad pushing their extenders, suggesting a 1000 to 3000 sf house needs at least one extender. Their service has been reliable so far. I do a speed test occasionally. While I "buy" up to 60 mbps speed, most tests show 20 to 45 mbps in my Des Moines urban location. Some tests have been less than 20 mbps, so can be quite variable. Also depends on whether the connection is wifi or ethernet. Ethernet connection is the best if it is feasible.
 
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06_CY

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
3,722
596
113
I haven't read all this, but I have mediacom. What is this get your own router and modem business? How does that work and what should someone get? I have their 5 GHz xtream one now; what should I be looking to get?

To add on, renting their modem is $11.50 per month. I just did a speed test and got 113.2 Mbps download and 18.5 upload on my laptop in the basement over wifi (modem is on main floor in living room).

Edit: Ok, now I've read through this. So now to figure out what to buy.
 
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cyclone618

Member
Feb 2, 2011
88
21
8
Ankeny
I live in Ankeny and switched to MC about a year ago after having CL for many years. MC is definitely faster - I have the 500 mbs speed and Speedtest.net tells me that I’m running at 440 MB’s on 5G and 90 MB’s in 1G. 1G seems to be more reliable and have better range. I still rent the MC router but will purchase a new system based on this thread. An issue we have is I need to restart the router about 1-2 times a week when I briefly lose service. Restarting almost always takes care of the issue.
I will be looking at Google or Netgear mesh systems. Any advice on which one to get? I really don’t need the Google Assistant with their mesh since we already have Alexa.