Top positive review
246 people found this helpful
TP-LINK AC1750 vs. SMC Networks D3CM1604 vs. NETGEAR AC1750 vs. Zoom 5354 vs. ARRIS SB6183 vs. TP-LINK TC-7610
on September 2, 2015
As you can see by the title, I literally tried 6 modems and router combos before finally finding one that worked for me. I bought most of them out of pocket and returned them as they each failed me, one by one. Actually, I even tried a couple of them twice. I was picking models off Timer Warner’s list, then was given a couple of TP-Links through vine that just came out. This TP-LINK AC1750 offered me the best performance by a mile, and was the only one to exceed Time Warner’s Ultimate 200 Speeds. Zoom got second place, but that’s not saying much.
The modems listed below were paired with a Linksys AC1200 Router, and I read somewhere that some users saw their speeds cut in half when incorporating a router into the mix. So I tried direct connections to my computer with all of the modems, but there was no difference in performance at all, just the same crappy speeds that degraded over time. All of my cabling is cat 6 and all my devices are capable of over 200mbs, so I know my equipment is good and the issue had always been each modem, for one reason or another. I really don’t have time to diagnose the minutia of why each model failed. I was looking for one that worked out of the box and I don’t think that’s too much to ask out of a $100+ product. It either works or it doesn’t was my benchmark. Speeds were measured with both speedtest net and Time Warner’s speed tool. Here’s the basics of how each one performed for me:
> SMC Networks D3CM1604 – was the first one I tried because I liked the price and that it was rated for 300mbs, so I had room to grow if I ever wanted to upgrade. The modem worked great, sort of, for the first couple days, but never came close to getting me the 200mbs upload my Time Warner plan provided. I got 75mbs download for about 3 days, then it degraded pretty fast and consistently gave me 35mbs or less. Upload speeds remained solid at 25mbs upload throughout my testing. At one point, I had the opportunity to test this modem a second time and it performed exactly the same as the first.
> ARRIS SB6183 – was next. It cost more than SMC but had a lot of positive reviews, so I figured I’m flow with the current. Wrong. It was actually no better than the SMC. I got 35mbs download and 10mbs upload while still subscribed to Time Warner’s Ultimate 200. Not good.
> NETGEAR AC1750 - was tried twice because I bought one new and got a used one by mistake. I tested it anyway and it just went into an endless boot loop. I figured it was defective and returned it for the new one I ordered, only the new one entered the same endless boot loop, so I was never actually able to activate either of them. Junk.
> Zoom 5354 – the second best one I tried. It got me 120mbs download and 10.1mbs upload, while still subscribed to Ultimate 200. At wits end, I decided to downgrade to Ultimate 100, and the speeds remained the same, so I figured this was the fastest possible speeds with my setup, for whatever reason. On one hand, I’m happy to at least be breaking 100mbs, but the WiFi really sucked on this Zoom modem, there’s no 5ghz, and it only has 8x4 channels. Sooo… I break out the ol’ Linksys AC1200 Router again, put it in bridge mode and use it as a WiFi extender while turning off the Zoom’s antenna. This gives me about 65-75mbs download via WiFi and about 7-8mbs upload; better than any other modem I tried so far as WiFi. At this point, I’m really not satisfied but clearly Zoom is my best bet and I figure I’m stuck with it weather I like it or not. So I force myself to make do with outdated tech, purchased at a premium, which is a scenario that always irks me.
> TP-LINK TC-7610 – Amazon Vine offers me this modem and I am foolish enough to think it might be worth reopening this can of worms and giving it all another shot. The Time Warner tech people have activated and deactivated so many modems for me by now, that I actually got to know one by name, which is good, because we waste an hour just trying to boot this dumb, crap modem up and it never once worked. *sigh* Literally tossed it in the trash.
And finally, the hands down winner and champion…
> TP-LINK AC1750 – this modem, purchased here on this page, in case you’re lost at this point with all the different models, is a dream. Literally just plugged it in, hooked up all my cables and called Time Warner…. again!! I’m holding my breath as my 6th modem is activated, and then do a speed test with the tech on the line. I’m subscribed to Ultimate 100, and instantly get 119mbs download and 9mbs upload!!! So I ask if they would upgrade me to Ultimate 200 and let me do a speed test. They agree, naturally. I get the upgrade, do the test, and - bam! – 239mbs download, 24.55 upload – my best speeds ever. And I never changed anything with my setup, just plugged in this TP-LINK AC1750 and instantly had top speeds. You know, just like a quality product should perform.
The modem’s interface is a dream compared to Zoom, which is crude and rudimentary, to be kind. The menus are pleasing to the eye, responsive and make sense at first glance without a manual. I made all my tweaks and got everything running exactly how I want, all within 15 minutes after getting the modem activated with Time Warner. I have tested the speeds over and over again, probably because I can’t believe my eyes, but my speeds are rock solid, hovering around 240 down and 25 up.
Oh, and just for good measure, at one point through all this, I had Time Warner come out to the house and check everything. It was all a-ok, and they even hooked up one of their rental modems, and it did get speeds comparable to this TP-LINK AC1750, but it’s big and ugly and looks really terrible. This TP-LINK AC1750, however, looks really cool and modern.
The WiFi is excellent and I’m even using it with a wireless security cam that’s 40 feet away and inside a garage with thick stucco walls, and a thick garage door. So excellent WiFi range and strength IMO! Incidentally, my other wireless devices are now getting around 230mbs download and 26 up.
Bottom Line – I did a lot of testing with these 6 modems – 7 counting Time Warner’s rental - and called Time Warner tech support once too often, yet they always remained kind and patient. Through all that, I finally found my best modem here and am happy I remained persistent, and glad to be offered this through Vine. I feel totally confident that this modem could handle Ultimate 300 speeds, which I’ll likely get next year. So, hands down, the single best modem I tried, by far, and I love that it’s a combination router too. This is everything I wanted, and it only took me 2 months to find it!