Replacing Crappy ISP Router

I want to replace my crappy ISP router since its the web interface is slow has not a lot of features and the WIFI is poor.

First of all I’m not sure if I should just replace the router or keep it and switch it to modem mode.

The reason why I think its pronely better to switch to modem mode is because the router has coaxial in meaning ill have to get a coaxial router.

The reason why I want to Replace it is because the router has a back door meaning my ISP have access to my local network, which I see as a security risk.

Here are some examples I have been shown or recommended

The two examples both use DSL or Ethernet. so the first option might be the best.

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do the above

put a pfsense box between the modem and your local network. they will no longer have access. ideally bridge the modem if possible.
if you do buy a modem(with or without router) be sure its compatible with your isp.
note the isp will always have a backdoor into the modem, as they will update it as firmware becomes available. they may not have access to a third party modem, that im not sure on.


Thanks for your reply.

The main problem is trying to find a good router which has a coaxial input. I think the best option is to get a separate coaxial modem.

In the near future I would like to pfsense router, but at the moment I want to have something which is small quiet.

If anyone knows of any good coaxial modems that would be very helpful.

Does you isp allows you to buy and use your own modem?
Or is this purely about just your router?
Because allot of isps dont exally allow people to use their own modems on the network.
In that case you can swith your current isp modem router into bridge mode,
so that it becomes just a modem.
Then you can use whatever router you prefer for your internal networking.

I'm not 100% sure, did some looking around and some say you can and others say you cannot , so I assume you cannot.

I'm looking to get a new router since the ISP one is awful. I want to see what domestic routers are available since if they are overpriced I'll just make a pfsence one.

What puts me off having a pfsens router is having a desktop PC in my livingroom. But I'm sure someone can give me 100 reason why to build a pfsense router .

Well basiclly your isp can switch your modem into bridge mode if you want.
Or lets say, if there is no possible way to do it from its web interface.
The problem however is that not all isp´s are willing to do this.
But if they can, then you could basiclly buy whatever home router you like,
and use that for your internal networking like wifi and such.
The isp modem then just functions as a dumb modem which is fine.

My ISP lets me own the hardware, so I have a coaxial modem (initially a moto surfboard but it just couldn't hang with the signal noise) > pfSense > asus ac68u in access point mode.

I highly recommend the Asus ac68u-- IMO for the money and use-case, pound for pound, its a fantastic router and they update the firmware constantly vs. netgear always in the news not fixing their issues. Now my poor ac68u is just a wifi access point, overkill. If you want to geek out, get a pfsense box and something simple for the wifi access point.

I just did this last week.

Check with your ISP, they probably will let you get a new modem but you must pick a model on their list. When you get it you must record the MAC address on the bottom of the modem and call it in to your ISP for activation.

There are tiny (raspberry pi sized) pfSense servers available from pfSense. So you don't require a full sized PC as a server. Then get a good Wi-Fi router to connect to.

I chose a TP-Link TC-W7960 modem + router and it serves my needs because my ISP is kinda slow. My Wi-Fi has a lot more range now.

the motorola/arris surfboard modems are good, and cheap if you end up replacing both.

netgear wnr2000 and cisco 871 wga k9 might be decent options too, and might not cost you as much the 2nd option (linksys wrt1900acs) at least. that said. the ones you mentioned are good to go. also, i don't think isps will have access to your modem in case of a third party router. also, i think a vpn might help you if you're that concerned about your isp.

Alright lets hold on here for a second. We might be putting the cart before the horse.

First off you do not need a new modem to be secure. The ISPs can talk to any modem you get. Trust me, I used to work as a shitty network tech for verizon, you aren't safe no matter what modem you get.

So keep your current modem and save yourself the money.

The real key here is getting a high quality router with proper security features. You could build a PFsense box, or you could simply buy a pfsense router from some 3rd party company.

I personally think PFsense is a bit overkill for home use. Just get a good quality router from a company that updates their firmware regularly and has good security features.

Trust me, the people at the ISPs can't even tie their own shoe laces. They won't mess with your stuff if you have even the tiniest hint of security setup.

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Thanks for the reply.

yes the netgate SG1000 seems to be one of the better mini pfSense routers.

since it dose not have any built in WIFI are they any standalone wireless access points that you recommend.

Looking around I seem to come across the Ubiquiti Witless access points.

Also TPlink seem to sell some too. Does anyone recommend any Wireless Access Points

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I am no network expert but I saw a few videos that said that it seemed good, but the performance under heavy load is limited because of the mini CPU. The feature I like is it costs $150 and comes with $100 of pfSense software... so that's a thing to consider.

I don't know enough about wireless routers or pfSense servers to be suggesting any solutions though.

Most router/ap combos can operate in a AP only mode. My RT-N66U does this flawlessly. I havent used the AC68U as @Token mentioned but if its anything like my N66U its a solid performer and the firmware should be relatively similar having an AP only mode.

I also have the WRT1900ACS as my primary router, I really like it as well. I think hands down though the ASUS has been my favorite just due to its lower cost and higher performance. I've heard nothing but good from Ubiquiti though I have not used any of their stuff myself.