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Netgear CG3000Dv2 N450
on February 21, 2014
I read all of the reviews, talked to my very techy son, and decided to get this modem/router despite all the problems posted by others regarding Comcast.
I read everything that came with the unit, and then downloaded the user manual (you can get it off the web by searching for CG3000Dv2 user manual or going to the Netgear site). I'm not particularly tech-savvy, and found the user manual to be somewhat less than user friendly since they wrote it as if you knew what they were talking about. In the end, I found that you really only need it to change your passwords (both to the gateway and for your wifi) to something a bit more memorable and provide a network name (SSIP) so you can identify it easily when trying to connect wireless devices (neither of these are mandatory changes, but I like my own network name and passwords). I'm sure others who are more techy than I am will find the user manual helpful for other things, too.
Having read everything I thought I could reasonably understand, I decided to go ahead and try to get it up and running. I really didn't want to call Comcast because of what many other reviewers complained about. One reviewer noted I could just get it activated using the internet, so I figured I'd do it that way. I followed the instructions in the quick installation guide, connected all the wires/cables, and turned it on. I had no problems connecting to the gateway as instructed, I then named my network and changed the password. Then came the time to get it activated so I could use the internet. Great idea to do that via the internet, but I had no internet connection on my computer because the modem/router wasn't activated yet (backwards logic here, I suppose). Went out on the net on my 4G device to the Comcast activation site. I put in my account number and then tried to put in my phone number so they could locate/verify my account, but the screen would freeze up every time and I'd eventually get an error page that said to call Comcast. This happened 3 times, at which point I decided to bite the bullet and call them.
When the rep answered, I said I needed a new modem/router provisioned. She verified my account information, and asked me for the MAC address. For those who are non-techy like me, that's the CM MAC number on the unit (not the cable MAC address or device MAC address that you see on the modem status screen when you log into the gateway). I gave that to her and the she asked how many lights were lit on the unit. I thought that was an odd question, but I told her there were 6 lights on and then she did what she needed to do. She never asked me for a make or model - just the MAC address. It took a couple minutes, with the lights on the unit giving the impression that it was rebooting, but it eventually took. About 2 minutes after it went thru the provisioning process, I had internet access and was able to connect wifi devices easily.
As far as performance, the unit appears to be working quite nicely. The range covers my entire (~2000 sq.ft.) condo. The speed is VERY FAST. There is a noticeable improvement in the amount of time it takes web pages load and I am able connect to VPN networks for work very quickly. I tested it on our smart TV and had no problems with buffering or pauses when streaming TV shows/movies (buffering/pausing and lost wifi signals were definitely problems we experienced quite frequently with the Comcast modem/router). If I had one wish, it would be that it would be nice to take it off the built-in stand and put it in a less conspicuous space/position (e.g., to lay it flat). Otherwise, no complaints. Good router/modem that wasn't too painful to install. Even better, I won't have to pay rental fees to Comcast for their less-than-wonderful equipment.