How to Move a Comcast Modem to Another Computer

by Dan Stone

You can move a Comcast or Xfinity cable modem from one computer to another, but the process varies depending on if the Internet connection account changes as well. Comcast controls which cable modem can access the Internet through each account by using the device's Media Access Control address. The configuration process is easier if the new computer is in the same building as the old one and uses the same Internet access account.

Same Internet Connection

If you're changing only the computer and keeping the Comcast cable modem connected to the same Internet connection, moving the device to the new computer only involves disconnecting the modem from the old system and connecting it to the new system. Depending on the model, the Comcast cable modem will connect to the old computer through an Ethernet connection or a USB connection. Remove the cable from the old computer and plug it into the same type of port on the new computer. Windows will handle the network configuration automatically. However, if the device uses a USB adapter, you may have to install special drivers on the computer to use the adapter.

Adding a Network Router

Connecting the cable modem directly to a computer prevents you from sharing Internet access with multiple devices. Connecting the cable modem to a router -- including one with Wi-Fi capabilities -- enables multiple devices to use the same Internet connection and gets rid of the need to manually disconnect and reconnect different computers to the cable modem to change which computer has access. The cable modem can be connected via Ethernet cable to the router's Internet port and each of the computers can be plugged into the router's LAN ports instead of the cable modem's LAN port.

Different Internet Connection

Moving a cable modem to a computer or computer network that uses a different Internet connection account requires contacting Comcast support to notify them of the switch and have support enable connectivity on the modem. To setup the modem, you'll need to check for the device's MAC address, which will be printed somewhere on the device: It's a sequence of six hexadecimal character couples separated by colons. Before calling Comcast to setup the device, connect the modem to the computer by either Ethernet or USB; connect the coaxial cable to the modem and plug in the modem's AC adapter. Windows will automatically configure the network settings for the modem, but it will be unable to access the Internet. Once the hardware is setup, call Comcast's support number and give the technician the modem's MAC address.

DOCSIS Standard Compatibility

Newer cable modem models support a more modern Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification than older devices. DOCSIS is a communication standard for cable modems and the newer versions enable faster connections. Depending on the area, the network may support different DOCSIS standards. If you move a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem to a computer that's running a connection on a part of Comcast's network that supports only DOCSIS 3.0 or later, the modem won't work.

About the Author

Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.

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