Top critical review
80 people found this helpful
As others have said, Black versions are likely to be used
on April 21, 2013
I purchased this modem without a second thought due to the overall good reviews and the relatively low price.
The modem arrived on time, in a brown Motorola box. At first glance, everything seemed fine. The box included the modem and an Ethernet cable, both wrapped in plastic bags with the standard safety warning stickers sealing the modem bag. It also came with a safety instructions book, but oddly no manual (which should have tipped me off, now that I think back).
After taking the modem out of the bag, I noticed some scratches on the front side. I attributed this to minor damage incurred during shipment and simply shrugged it off.
I plugged the modem in, gave my ISP a call and had them activate the modem for me. Everything seemed fine... until I went to do a speedtest. I was getting about 1/6th my normal download, and oddly 3x my normal upload speed... but it felt VERY sluggish. I called the company back, they ran some diagnostics and let me know that I was showing some major packet loss, and that they would send a tech to help me resolve the issue.
Long story short, the tech came by and spent about an hour and a half trying to get my modem up and running. He did everything from reducing the number of splitters in my home to boosting my signal and could not figure out why the modem would not be working correctly. In the end, he said it could only be a modem related problem.
I did a quick search online, and sure enough I'm not the only one to have had a bad experience with the black version of this modem. As other reviewers have already stated, the black versions are sold only to cable companies and the white ones are sold by retailers. Black ones will have likely been purchased by a cable company at some point, so have a high likelihood that they were used fairly extensively as rental modems.
I returned the black version, and I went back and purchased a white version. It arrived in a completely different box with a picture of the modem on it (and a manual inside!). The white one is now sitting next to me, working flawlessly. I would actually highly recommend the WHITE version, as it tripled my upload speed and boosted my download speed a bit as well. The same can't be said about this black version, unfortunately.
Due to the number of good reviews for this product, I suppose it's one of those YMMV situations. Perhaps you'll get lucky and end up with one that was more lightly used. However, there are enough negative reviews that this can't be a coincidence.
It does irk me a bit that sellers are trying to pass this off as new. I feel "lucky" that mine never worked as I can return it and suffer no monetary loss. However, I do feel for those who bought one that broke months later and will likely not be able to return theirs.
I personally wouldn't take the risk with this black version.