A new connection..

Published on: Author: Mike Hall Leave a comment

I have traded in my old Scientific Atlanta DPC2100 cable modem.  Rogers have a new modem which will allow for a nominal 18mb download on their cable networks, and my old modem  can’t do that apparently. although I have seen it reach that level on a good day. It will also have wireless capability. Trouble is that I don’t get the10gb extra download if I don’t take the new modem/router. and it only costs me an extra $3 per week..

On the back of the DPC2100, I had a D-Link DIR 628 running at 2.4mhz delivering Internet to two wireless machines and my production machine which is always hard wired. So, what do I have now?

Ta-da… a Cisco DPC3825 8×4 DOCSIS 3.0 Wireless Residential Gateway. Sounds impressive, I know, but it is one cheap looking piece of kit.

The next noticeable features are the lack of external antennas and the provision of ‘feet’ on the side such that it can stand up on end. It doesn’t work so well in portrait mode which is probably why the only easily readable text on the front is in landscape.DPC3825

The LEDs are super small, a green colour, and are all labelled but not such that you can easily read what each LED signifies. LED labelling is al portrait because there is more front panel real estate for it to fit in.

If you like the look of US auto interiors, you are going to love having this modem/router on your desk.

Aesthetic appeal = 1   

Performance is ok but wireless signal is a little weak compared to the DIR 628. I do like the 1000/100/10 ports on the back. If only the two wireless connected computers had more that 54mb capacity, they might be of value. The Toshiba can manage 160mb but the RTL8191SE is broken and the laptop is presently running on a D-Link G132 USB adapter. The other desktop has DWL G520, the PCI version of the G132, both nominally 108mbps but only 54mbps for Vista and Windows 7.

Performance = 5

Setting it up was easy enough, but I wish that the function to change the main password,  which Cisco insist that you should do, would have some way of telling you that the confirmation password was NOT the same as the one directly above. It will quite happily save the changes and lock you out. I had to use the reset button FOUR times to be able to get back in.

Once there, main headings are obvious in their meanings and everything is easier to find than in the D-Link DIR 628 setup. There is an online manual which can be downloaded and saved in PDF format which is ok, if a little long winded. It explains as much as Cisco consider that the average home user would understand

Administration = 8

One thing I did notice about it.. setting up the network printer  (hosted by the main machine) was very quick. I was surprised at how quickly it appeared , and within seconds, each of the wireless computers had produced a test sheet. I will write more on this at a later date.

Will I be keeping it? I don’t know. If I do not see an improvement in overall speed fairly soon, I will take it back and exchange it for my old DPC2100. I have to admit to never really liking Cisco products, so I am giving it some time to prove itself.

For now, the DIR 628 will be put into cold storage and I will not let it go just yet. While it only has 100/10 mbps Ethernet ports, It broadcasts a signal way better and it has 5Ghz capability. I am still toying with the idea of putting a dual band wireless adapter in the laptop when I get around to fixing it proper, and upgrading the desktop to dual band too

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