Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Lights aren't as useful as with older models
on April 28, 2011
Like many others, I was in the market for a cable modem, since Comcast recently raised their rental fee. So it was either this SB5101U or the SB5101. I believe the only difference in the 2 models is that the SB5101U does not have a standby button, which lets you turn off internet access. I'm not sure what the point of the standby button is. Seems like if you press it accidentally, your internet will go down and you may spend 30 minutes on hold with Comcast before finally realizing it! Plus, if I want to disable the internet access, I can just UNPLUG the cable modem! No need for a standby button. So I got the SB5101U instead of the SB5101.
I saw a few people who said they replaced their SB5120 modem (which is the same modem I was renting) with the SB5101(U) and noticed a significant speed improvement. Not so for me - all my speed tests are yielding approximately the same speeds as with the old modem.
I am disappointed with the lights on this new SB5101U modem. First of all the PC/ACTIVITY light is constantly blinking even with no internet activity. The old modem did not do that. Also, with the old modem, it had lights that blinked whenever there was download/upload activity over the internet. I liked to look at the modem to make sure the web browser was getting stuff off the internet instead of from its cache. I also liked to know when others in the house were using the internet ;). But with the new SB5101U, all of the lights (except the PC/ACTIVITY light I mentioned earlier) are always solid green, and never blink. So I can't tell when there's upload/download activity over the internet with this modem.