What Kind of Router Do You Need for Comcast?

By Skip Shelton

Routers allow many devices to connect to a single Internet connection.
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Broadband internet connections offer high data-transfer speeds. Connecting to Comcast's network as a broadband consumer requires an account and a qualified compatible modem. Routers are connected to the installed modem to create a network of devices sharing a single Internet connection. Comcast requires modem capability, not router compatibility. Comcast's high-speed plans require routers with advanced capabilities to ensure connected devices communicate at rated speeds.

Modem Connectivity

Comcast service is provided through a compatible modem. The modem is provided with a single Internet Protocol, or IP, address. The modem connects to the Internet and provides service to devices connected to it. A true modem only has a single connection point. Modem and router devices provide both modem service and routing to multiple devices. Device support depends on the technology implemented by Comcast. For compatible modem and modem/router combinations, see the Resource Section for Comcast's latest list of supported devices.

Router Use

Connect an ethernet cable to the router and modem. Connect the PC to the router and plug in additional wired devices into the router. Wireless modems provide connectivity through radio waves. Both the router and devices must operate on the same network protocol, such as B, G or N. Most newer routers provide backward compatibility to support older devices.

Comcast High Speed

Comcast offers several high-speed services. Wireless devices connected to a router behind a modem must be capable of receiving and transmitting high speed data transfers to use the maximum bandwidth available. Routers not capable of supporting high-speed transfers, such as with the wireless "N" protocol, do not transfer data at the maximum possible speed.

Bandwidth Restrictions

Advanced router settings, such as port forwarding, port priority and QoS -- Quality of Service --, serve to ensure network traffic is both supported and prioritized. Upload and download restrictions ensure a single device is not "hogging bandwidth." Ensure the router provides the advanced functionality you require before purchase.

Firmware Upgrades

When connecting your router for the first time, be sure to check for updates to the router firmware. Updates are generally available through the web-based router interface. Updating the firmware to the latest code helps ensure optimal performance.