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Setting up or upgrading your smart home or smart office (selecting a modem and router)

The best place to start researching the type of modem/router needed for a smart home upgrade is your internet provider's website. So I went to the Comcast Device Info website, typed in my zip code and internet plan's speed. Becasue I am upgrading my current internet plan's speed, I selected the top speed (1000 mbps). The website then displayed a list of 6 modems and gateways that were approved for that speed.

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Gateway or Modem and Wi-Fi Router?

I have decided to go with the NETGEAR Gigabit Cable Modem (32x8) DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem which supports all cable internet speed tiers, up to Gigabit (1000 Mbps) service and is on the Comcast recommeded list. Getting the cable modem instead of a gateway will give me more flexibility in the future and I'll be able to select a Wifi router that will give me more features than the combination modem/router gateway. Before I can use my new modem, I will need to configure it to work with Comcast cable internet. Comcast allows you do it on-line and it is a relative simple process. You will need your mobile telephone number, your Xfinity login information (username and password) or your Comcast account number and the telephone number associated with your account. With your modem turned off, connect it to the coaxial cable coming out of the cable wall outlet, turn the modem on and wait for it go online, then connect a laptop or computer to the modem using an Ethernet cable. Open a browser and then go to https://register.be.xfinity.com/activate and you are done. Other ISPs have a similar activation process.

Because I chose to go with a modem instead of a Wifi gatewate, I will need a Wifi router. I selected the Netgear (R7800-100NAS) Nighthawk X4S AC2600 4x4 Dual Band Smart WiFi Router because my home is less than 1600 square feet so it should offer complete coverage and because it is a Netgear product, it should be relatively easy to configure it to work with Netgear modem I selected. To connect a wifi router to a cable modem, first turn off your modem, router and computer. Connect your modem to the WAN port of the router via an Ethernet cable; connect a computer to the router’s LAN port via an Ethernet cable. Power on your router and computer first and then the modem

You can now begin customizing the router's configuration. Most WiFi routers will use a web browser for configuration and are shipped using a default IP address, administrator account, and password. (You will find these in the router's documentation). To customize the configuration enter the router's IP address into the browser's address bar and press enter. Use the default user and password to access the configuration options.

At this point you should be able to add devices to your wireless network. The next article will explore problems that may occur during modem or router installation and how to resolve them.

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