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Need to replace Actiontec PK5000, can I use a cable modem for ADSL?

My Netflix is just downthrottling all the time on my Roku. I have worked with CenturyLink and Netflix and I am thinking this PK5000 maybe the culprit.

We had to prevent updates on PK5000 since it would stop allowing my Network extender from working. They replaced PK5000 and set it up where it didn't allow updates.

I now don't use extender and thought I would do updates but CenturyLink is telling me if I do updates no guarantee it won't mess everything up. Great! I am now wanting alternative to Actiontec and their monopoly with CenturyLink.

The reason I finally ditched the extender is because the calls got worse and I was getting disconnected too. Fortunately cell towers are now reaching my area better. But this may also explain how the modem or router was failing? The extender was not wireless to the PK5000.

I have a 7mb adsl (that is what CenturyLink told me) and it keeps downthrottling to two stars on my Roku. No I am not an over user and found out my usage for the last two months ranged from 50-80mb. But I do get letters from CenturyLink very often telling me I am an extreme user trying to get me to up my monthly plan.

We typically only use one wireless thing at a time. Small house Roku on the other side of a wall to router. Used to get 4 stars with Roku. CenturyLink tells me in last 10 days dsl line is stable. In fact I am getting more like 9mb. Netflix says no way they are throttling us down. CenturyLink is saying the same.

When I reset the PK5000 and Roku I will get 4 stars and within a short time it will throttle down to 3 stars and even to two stars depending on the channel.

It has been gradual and no matter what channel I switch to it does the same thing. It was on automatic and now I changed it to other channels like 11, 1, 9, and back to 11. Now it can't tell me which channel is the best and second best, it is stuck and saying it is searching channels!

When looking at adsl modems I see mostly Actiontec and not much else. I don't like the fact that Actiontec doesn't do updates but the utilities run the updates. The last update they did on my old PK5000 stopped me being able to use my network extender and I thought that was a bit fishy. Actiontec doesn't seem to have glowing reviews either. I see these cable modems get better reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0063K4NN6/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3C4LBZ09YDDNL&coliid=IYJ71B1JNS338

Can I use a cable modem but not use the cable port but a Cat5 to a new router?

I also see that these broadband routers also get better reviews too:

Medialink Wireless-N Broadband Router with Internal Antennas (300 Mbps) - 2.4GHz - 802.11b/g/n
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A3YN0Z0/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1DCPNQKKEISZB

I think cable is ridiculously priced and would not move to cable even though they have better equipment options.

I need a new router and modem set up recommendations that won't break the bank but will give me years of good performance. I have wireless desktop, wireless printer, wireless Roku and no smart phones : ( I am older female who has some geeky tendencies but need things explained a bit more. I would appreciate any input you have on this.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about replace actiontec pk5000 cable modem adsl
  1. Well just got off the phone with MediaLink and they are telling me this router will work for Century Link as long as I use the ethernet port. So I think I have figured out my router. Still working on modem. I told them they really need to let folks know that when it says cable it doesn't mean it is just for broadband application with coax.
  2. I am still looking for a good modem to go with the Medialink router that has adsl port in back.
  3. Almost every major vendor sells ADSL modems/routers. This is just a sample of the many dsl devices from tp-link
    http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/?categoryid=203

    Now you might be able to put the actiontec into bridge mode and make it into a modem only. You can then plug this media link device into the actiontec. You can not get rid of the actiontec because the medialink can not be plugged directly into ADSL coming into the wall.

    That media link is not the best value really. You can get many dual band routers that are faster for similar costs. Something like a tp-link wdr3500 is actually lower costs had dual band and gig ports. There are router from linksys,netgear and asus for a little more. If cost is not the primary factor then many people really like the Asus line of routers.

    Still if the actiontec device is causing a issue you will still have to keep it. You would have to buy a router that has a modem built in. These routers tend to run about $100 for dual band routers.
  4. bill001g said:
    Almost every major vendor sells ADSL modems/routers. This is just a sample of the many dsl devices from tp-link
    http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/?categoryid=203

    Now you might be able to put the actiontec into bridge mode and make it into a modem only. You can then plug this media link device into the actiontec. You can not get rid of the actiontec because the medialink can not be plugged directly into ADSL coming into the wall.

    That media link is not the best value really. You can get many dual band routers that are faster for similar costs. Something like a tp-link wdr3500 is actually lower costs had dual band and gig ports. There are router from linksys,netgear and asus for a little more. If cost is not the primary factor then many people really like the Asus line of routers.

    Still if the actiontec device is causing a issue you will still have to keep it. You would have to buy a router that has a modem built in. These routers tend to run about $100 for dual band routers.



    @Bill

    Well the problem I keep reading about is stability with all these. That got me thinking more about this. I did add in another wireless item in the last few months, perhaps it was the tipping point with this old router?
    I read with HP that the older wireless units will cause the router to downthrottle. So I looked up all the wireless stuff I have and found out this:

    Actiontec modem/router is 802.11 b/g
    HP Desktop 802.11n PCI express card lan adapter
    Roku XD/S dual band wireless n
    HP 8600 Printer is 802.11 b/g/n

    The printer must only be doing the g with the Actiontec. I always leave the printer on to avoid the wasting of testing the ink each times it reboots. The printer is always going online and offline at times. I wonder if the printer's interruptions are causing Actiontec to downthrottle?

    Or possibly the fact that the Actiontec is the only thing that isn't able to use n as all the others do? The Roku is dual band and the Actiontec is not. All the Roku says is it is n and not b/g/n. Maybe it is having a heck of a time communicating with the Actiontec now with the printer on the network.

    That is why maybe getting a router that has dual band and n series as you suggested may solve my problems?

    So many folks have this downthrottling or disconnection problem and I wonder if interruptions from the different devices and the fact that modem/router has to figure out which mode to address it in and switch over be it g or n or b is part of the problem here. In my case my Actiontec doesn't even know what n is so it has to adjust accordingly since it has no updates from factory settings of g.

    After looking at so many of these models my eyes begin to cross and just when I think I have figured it out another issue comes up. I do think at this point getting a dual band is key. Another is having it be n compatible for everything.
    Maybe figure out a way to make HP8600 printer stop with the online and offline checking it does might be a good idea.

    It is just that these units that have both the router and modem tend to not be as stable as the units where the modem and router are separate from all the reviews I have read. That is why I was trying to find two separate units. I know it would be easier to just get one of these combo units. But I don't know if it will stop all the downthrottling.

    Going to find a long enough cat 5 cable to hook up my printer to Actiontec to see if I notice any improvement with the down throttling since I can't figure out how to set a constant IP address for printer with the Actiontec. Taking printer off the wireless network might help me isolate the problem possibly.
  5. It is very hard to find a DSL modem only. Now you can on some unit disable the router part but that tends to be kinda silly.

    802.11g is not as bad as 802.11b at slowing stuff down but it does degrade the total throughput a bit.

    Lets say you finally find a modem/router combo you like. You set it to run 802.11n ONLY on both the 2.4 and 5g band. Now you take you old actiiontec device and use it as a AP on a different 2.4g channel. You now can run the G devices on the actiontec and all the N stuff on the new router.
  6. @ Bill,

    Well that's an idea. But since everything except my actiontec has n capabilities I don't think I will need to do that!

    Zoom was closed by the time I wanted to call them but I intend to call them tomorrow and ask them about their products more.

    For me no brand really stands out in all of this which is surprising. It is really a hit or miss depending on the model. Not only are the wireless connections unstable with all of this but so are the brands. Not only are the engineering part of this in question but also the production quality is unstable too from the sounds of it from reviews. Everybody and their brother is trying to do this. So many phantom issues consumers are plagued with and my guess is manufacturers know what the core problems are here with all of this but instead of making a solid unit they are racing to just get out a newer model. I can't believe how many different kinds of these cheap boxes there are. It is like they want us to begin to think of these units as very disposable. Two years and you need a replacement much like those cheapo digital converter boxes.

    Are folks changing out their adsl connections for other connections like cat5 and avoiding adsl and that explains why these adsl modems are scarce? Maybe I am asking a stupid question but can I turn my old cat3 into a cat5 with adapter? Or do I need to have phone company come out and do that if it is even possible.

    I can see why folks buy into the whole Apple thing since folks are really wanting to find a dependable well built well thought out product and spare them the agony of chasing their tails on all this stuff. The utility companies must love all this crazy making. They get folks to buy or rent their meager units just to find a quick fix not a good fix.
  7. Best answer
    The CAT of a wire is related to how the wire itself is constructed. It is related to how many twists and such the wire has. You would have to completely rerun it. In general it should not make much difference. ADSL is so slow that cat3 should be fine.

    You are correct there is not a good way to really find a product that is a lot better. Because there is so much variation in peoples houses you see good and bad about every router because its more the house than the router that is causing any issues. The vast majority of companies all use the same parts for equipment that has similar specs. This site tends to be interesting if you want to see if 2 routers are using the same chips or not
    https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Main_Page

    Generally I try to stay with equipment lots of other people have and a company that has a history of providing good software updates.
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