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mhair
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Is a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem worth the upgrade? Reply with quote Back to top

I was just wondering whether anyone has had any experiences to relate, regarding upgrading from a DOCSIS 1.0 cable modem to a 2.0 modem. Did it improve anything about your Voip and/or data connection?

I'm considering grabbing a D-Link DCM-202, as it's pretty reasonably priced, and people on NewEgg seem to like it. It would replace the Motorola SB3100 that Cox included with my connection.

The SB3100 has been reasonably reliable and fast for the 30 months I've been using it, although it has dropped the connection a couple times since I got Vonage three weeks ago. That, after only dropping the connection maybe three times all year before this. I think I vaguely recall reading somewhere that Vonage likes DOCSIS 2.0, but I'd like some confirmation, and perhaps an explanation as to why.

I doublechecked Cox's support site to make sure the D-Link is compatible. While I was there, I noticed they don't even list my SB3100 as compatible, even though they are the ones who provided it to me!
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I can't relate any stories about upgrading, since I am currently running an old DOCSIS 1.0 modem, and am quite happy with the Vonage service.

Are you, by chance, using a Vonage-supplied router now? Your connection may be dropping because of that, and especially if you use connection-intensive services like P2P (Peer 2 Peer) file sharing. I use BitTorrent for Linux distros and television shows, for example, and I had to put a better router in front of my Vonage-supplied one to retain my sanity.

As to your choice, I've had mixed results with D-Link gear. I'd shell out the extra for a newer Motorola, if I were you. They seem to get the highest reviews...

You may also want to think about calling your ISP and asking which models they can push firmware upgrades to, since the DOCSIS standard states that only your ISP can upgrade your modem's firmware. For example, my modem could technically support DOCSIS 1.1, but my ISP uses AXXIS gear and they cannot push firmware upgrades to my Linksys modem.

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Darrell_G
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

If you're looking at getting a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem, then you might also want to consider the Motorola SB5120. I upgraded to the SB5120 modem from the DOCSIS 1.0 standard and it has performed very well for me. WIth my old modem, I was not getting my full download speed, but when I upgraded to the SB5120 my download speeds increased to what they should have been. Circuit City has a very good offer on the SB5120 $39.99 after a $40.00 mail in rebate.

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Motorola-SURFboard-Cable-Modem-SB5120-/sem/rpsm/oid/124990/catOid/-12990/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do
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EzCo
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Is a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem worth the upgrade? Reply with quote Back to top

mhair wrote:
I think I vaguely recall reading somewhere that Vonage likes DOCSIS 2.0, but I'd like some confirmation, and perhaps an explanation as to why.


If you read that somewhere, just forget about it. Vonage is simply an IP-based application that requires a reliable and quality broadband Internet connection to provide you with good call quality. The underlying transport type is irrelevant as long as it meets those requirements.

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munyeca
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ohhh... ok, thanks for clarifying that one...

so w/ the same Upload speed...
how can a version2.0 be of help? wat's d diff? (if it's significant)

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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS

DOCSIS 2.0 uses a broader channel, that can support higher bandwidths. It also adds the capability of S-CDMA to the DOCSIS 1.0 TDMA communications method (which just means that bandwidth is shared differently, and somewhat more efficiently, among different customers).

DOCSIS 2.0 can certainly help your Internet connection, if your ISP supports it and takes full advantage of it. So, in that manner, Vonage service might "like" it.

A lot of it depends on local factors. If you have too many cable modems on your local access point, then using the less efficient DOCSIS 1.0 or 1.1 may be affecting your efficiency. If that's the case, though, you'll also see it in the Voip speed tests on this site and www.testyourvoip.com

If your Voip tests come out OK, then there is no need to upgrade your equipment, unless of course you want or need a slightly more efficient connection to the Internet, again assuming your ISP has fully implemented DOCSIS 2.0.

_________________
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EzCo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NateHoy wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS

DOCSIS 2.0 uses a broader channel, that can support higher bandwidths. It also adds the capability of S-CDMA to the DOCSIS 1.0 TDMA communications method (which just means that bandwidth is shared differently, and somewhat more efficiently, among different customers).

DOCSIS 2.0 can certainly help your Internet connection, if your ISP supports it and takes full advantage of it. So, in that manner, Vonage service might "like" it.

A lot of it depends on local factors. If you have too many cable modems on your local access point, then using the less efficient DOCSIS 1.0 or 1.1 may be affecting your efficiency. If that's the case, though, you'll also see it in the Voip speed tests on this site and www.testyourvoip.com

If your Voip tests come out OK, then there is no need to upgrade your equipment, unless of course you want or need a slightly more efficient connection to the Internet, again assuming your ISP has fully implemented DOCSIS 2.0.


That's good info Nate, but a little bit of a stretch. Speed differences b/w 1.x and 2.0 are not very relevant to today's cable market offerings, multiplexing techniques used by both 1.x and 2.0 are both quite efficient. DSL uses completely diffent multiplexing techniques, so I can't see too much relevance there. Vonage also might "like" a DS3, but I don't have one at home.

There is no possible way to correlate data found from running a test at www.testyourvoip.com to whether DOCSIS 1.x is affecting your efficiency. If the tests do not come out OK, and you know this as well as I do, that there are a dozen things I'd look at before a DOCSIS version problem.

Now, I will say, some cable modems are much better than others. I've had Comcast supplied RCA modems, and one other PoC with which I could not sustain any quality speeds with. Both were DOCSIS 1.x/2.0. But, when I installed my Moto 5100, speeds were great.

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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I must have been unclear, that's the point I was trying to make. DOCSIS 2.0 will only be useful under a few, somewhat rare, circumstances.

1. If your cable provider's endpoint is saturated, upgrading to DOCSIS 2.0 can give you access to the higher-bandwidth S-CDMA channel, where DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 users are sharing the relatively lower-bandwidth (and less efficiently shared) TDMA channel. This assumes that you are on a cable endpoint that is oversaturated and your cable provider fully supports 2.0, of course.

2. If your provider supplies you a lot of bandwidth, and it is in excess of the DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 standard. Of course, that is FAR beyond what Vonage or even video-over-IP would need, so it's not really relevant to Vonage.

#1 does occasionally come into play. Some reviews of DOCSIS 2.0 modems say "my old modem couldn't get all my bandwidth, but my new one kicks tush!" - while some of those cases could be a squirrely or junk older modem, others could easily be caused by gaining access to the higher-bandwidth S-CDMA channel at the endpoint.

IF the cable modem company is watching their endpoints, then it should never come into play, of course. My connection regularly scores 4.1 and 4.3 MOS scores with DOCSIS 1.0 (and I'm also pummeling my cable modem with P2P uploads at the same time!), so clearly DOCSIS 1.0 is more than sufficient for Voip and just about any other app you care to run.

However, some ISP's may be throwing more resource at 2.0, or may have marginal endpoints with too many customers. In those cases, an upgrade to 2.0 might have a pretty dramatic effect, since you get access to the larger S-CDMA pipe.

_________________
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EzCo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

NateHoy wrote:
I must have been unclear, that's the point I was trying to make. DOCSIS 2.0 will only be useful under a few, somewhat rare, circumstances.

1. If your cable provider's endpoint is saturated, upgrading to DOCSIS 2.0 can give you access to the higher-bandwidth S-CDMA channel, where DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 users are sharing the relatively lower-bandwidth (and less efficiently shared) TDMA channel. This assumes that you are on a cable endpoint that is oversaturated and your cable provider fully supports 2.0, of course.

2. If your provider supplies you a lot of bandwidth, and it is in excess of the DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 standard. Of course, that is FAR beyond what Vonage or even video-over-IP would need, so it's not really relevant to Vonage.

#1 does occasionally come into play. Some reviews of DOCSIS 2.0 modems say "my old modem couldn't get all my bandwidth, but my new one kicks tush!" - while some of those cases could be a squirrely or junk older modem, others could easily be caused by gaining access to the higher-bandwidth S-CDMA channel at the endpoint.

IF the cable modem company is watching their endpoints, then it should never come into play, of course. My connection regularly scores 4.1 and 4.3 MOS scores with DOCSIS 1.0 (and I'm also pummeling my cable modem with P2P uploads at the same time!), so clearly DOCSIS 1.0 is more than sufficient for Voip and just about any other app you care to run.

However, some ISP's may be throwing more resource at 2.0, or may have marginal endpoints with too many customers. In those cases, an upgrade to 2.0 might have a pretty dramatic effect, since you get access to the larger S-CDMA pipe.


Ok, I understand your point. #2 though, I don't think there are any cable providers out there selling a 38Mbps down, 10Mbps up down service.

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OldSnipe
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:48 am    Post subject: DOCSIS 1 or 2? Reply with quote Back to top

I had a close lightning strike on 3 July this year. When the power came back my DOCSIS 1 modem refused to boot. The local cable company is pushing DOCSIS 2 and offering them to older customers for $20 bucks on a turn one in and draw one offer. Everything works fine with the new Modem but nothing works better that I can notice. The Engineer friend of mine that works for the cable company says that in 6 months they are upgrading all service and a DOCSIS modem will be required. He didn't explain what the upgrade was.

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