Using my own cable modem - Giving it one more try

Well, I’ve gone through 2 cable modems so far. The first one was NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200. Speeds were great but about every other day I would “hang” so I would have to turn it off and on to get it to work again. This isn’t really a sustainable option since my wife has bad knees and if I am not home, she cannot reset the modem.

I then bought a ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem. Never lost the connection BUT according to my son who is a big gamer, the Ping rates fluctuation widely up to 300. This was not a good choice for his situation.

So, I am now using Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Multi-Gig Cable Modem. Hooked it up last night. After a few initial cycles/resets, it seemed to be working but two hours later, in the middle of the Suns game, it hung. I immediately restarted it. So far, no more issues but it has only be about 12 hours.

My question is…how do I know if the issue is with Cox or my modem? Or to be exact, how to I definitively tell Cox it is on their end if the connection goes out again? What data can I give them? I check with their support and they can send a person out to check the line but IF they determine it is not their issue, they will charge me $75. (There goes the savings of buying your own modem!)

On the modem, I can see an Event Log and also a Connections log. I know enough to be dangerous about tech, but no way can I definitely speak to it.

This was my biggest concern of buying my own modem…if it doesn’t work, no way for me to make my case that it’s Cox. Yes, I could tell them about the issue I had with the first modem going out, but if I am to be honest, I have to tell them the second one worked but Pings were high. Is that even enough for them to wave the $75 charge?

All suggestions appreciated.

  • Are you buying modems that Cox has listed as compatible?
  • Are you sure the problem is with the modem and not your router?
  • Have you contacted Cox tech support?
  • Re $75 dollar fee, sign up for the Cox “insurance” which is $10/mth and then cancel.
  • Are you getting power for all these modems from the same outlet? Maybe a power issue with it?
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Yes. I don’t have a choice.

Again, with these kinds of hassles, still wondering if is worth using your own modem.

It sounds like you need to use the cox modem for support based on your answer about router vs modem.
Do you know if this is a router/modem combined unit?
If separate devices…

  • how do you know which device you are logging on to (router vs modem)?
  • Have you updated the router firmware?

How was your son connected when he was seeing that latency? Could have been a Wi-Fi issue rather than the modem.

Given the state of most cable infrastructure, I’m biased towards your ISP being the root of the issue. Do you have splitters installed between the provider demarc and the modem? I haven’t had a cable connection since the mid 2000s and I’m not sure if modems even still show this info, but is there any interface showing signal strength in your modem? If you can go to Cox with poor signal strength numbers they might be able to help more.

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I checked our utility box and the co-ax does not have any splitters.

Not exactly sure how to check the strength. I think this is something Cox would do if they visit my home for $75.

Yes. That happens automatically when you connect the modem for the first time.

Whether they will do it for free or not, it is something that tech support can remotely query directly from your modem. (Or at least my cable ISP has done so in the past.)

So I’m guess they can do that if they come out and do a test of the line, right?

Now, let’s say it’s too weak, do they boost the signal remotely or at the box where the cable stuff is at my home? (I saw a video about DYI amplifiers but don’t trust myself to hook it up. )

Well in my case, it was bad/noisy, and they replaced my “line card” (the part of their equipment that is on the other side of the wire that ties it into their fibre loop back to the main office.) That fixed my problem mostly… the only time I have serious weirdness is during rainy weather. The box in the neighbourhood is in/on the ground and I suspect that rain can somehow affect the operation in a negative way. (Although these wires are buried in the ground, and wet soil may allow the soil to have different electrical characteristics which may impact the signal. (I am not an electrical engineer, I am just speculating.)

Since they are a business, and they hold all the cards, you can assume they will take the least expensive action as a “fix” and hope you’ll just stop complaining. If you keep complaining, they may eventually escalate the effort. I think I had to complain about 8 times before they admitted they knew my line was noisy and replaced the card.

I’m with you but my biggest concern is how to truly tell them is them, not me. I don’t have the technical chops to persuade them. Only thing I can say is that I tested 2 high quality modems and they are both losing the connection?