New home wireless network...need help/guidance plz


Looking for some expert opinions and guidance on an optimal home/family networking setup...the best bang at a reasonable buck. I'll outline everything with as much detail as possible below.
I'm definitely not very experienced at this, so forgive any ignorant comments.
Thanks in advance!

Current Wireless/internet Problems:
1) Wireless connections keep dropping and/or not allowing internet access when attempting to connect with more than 2-3 wireeless devices
2) Very weak, intermittent signal in far ends of the house
3) internet seemed slower than they should be, both wireless and LAN

Current devices (not including guests):
2 PC's connected via enet cable (both with gigabit LAN)
4 laptops (with 802.11 b/g/n)
3 iPhones
1 iPad
1 Blue ray DVD player

Earlier tonight I uninstalled a very complex/confusing Comcast setup, and installed a new BELKIN F9K1103 N750 DB Wireless Dual-Band Router 802.11a/b/g/n.
- the incoming Comcast coax cable had a 2-way splitter on it, and one cable ran to a Comcast Netgear Wireless cable modem gateway CG814WGv2, and one ran to an ARRIS TOUCHSTONE TELEPHONY CABLE MODEM TM402P/110 TM02AJ104
- don't think anything was plugged into the Arris modem...i assume it was for our phone system which we had disconnected as we went all cell?
- the PC enet cables were both plugged into the Netgear modem/router
- a Linksys EtherFast BEFSR41 11 Mbps 4-Port 10/100 Wireless B Router (BEFSR41) was plugged into the Netgear router
- Also, hooked up to the Linksys router was an enet dongle that had a 2-way AC adapter that plugged into the wall, and the other was an enet cable going to this wall-mounted box which I have no clue what it is...

New Belkin wireless router setup:
- the incoming Coax Comcast cable plugs into the Netgear modem/router
- Belkin wireless router plugs into the Netger modem/router
- into the Belkin router I also plugged the unknown 2-way dongle-to-enet-box
- left the Linksys router and Arris modem out of the config
- current internet plan = Xfinity Performance Internet...15Mbps (with Powerboost)

Early results of new Belkin setup:
- some intermittent disconnects out of the gate on both wireless and LAN PCs, but seemed to get more stable as I re-logged on with more devices...need more time to see if it continues.
- saw a decent visual (not measured) speed increase on both wireless and LAN internet speed
- results form Xfinity speed test... " class="img lazy">

My questions are:
1) I assume I'm right that I needed to replace the Netgear Comcast modem/router based on my # systems, range, and desired performance?

2) Should I still use the Netgear modem/router as the cable modem, with the Belkin Wireless router connected to it?
- If so, I can still also see my old wireless network from the Netgear router. Can/should I disable it...will it cause problems if someone logs onto it?
- if not should I grab a new cable modem, like a Motorola SB6120 SURFboard, to improve speed and reliability??

3) Thoughts on the Belkin Wireless router...I've seen decent but mixed reviews...would I be better off returning the Belkin and buying a little higher end wireles router like a Cisco Linksys E4200, Netgear WNDR3800, or an Asus RT-N56U?

4) What is that ethernet box (pictured above)? could it be for a security system (which is installed but not activated)???

5) Was the Arris modem just being used for our LAN line phones? Is it good for anthing else?

6) Do the gigabit capabilities of the computers or newer router have any real performance impact? If yes should I connect with cat5e or cat6 patch cables (I can get patch cables very cheap)?

7) Was planning to add my USB 2TB HDD and a printer to the Belkin router so we can all share them. Thoughts/experience/warnings on that?

8) Xfinity offers a 30Mbps option for about $15 more per month...would I benefit from this?

Any help is appreciated...Thanks!!
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More about home wireless network need help guidance
  1. Well, did some more research today. I'm just going to scrap the Comcast Netgear modem/router, save the $7 per month rental fee, buy a Motorola 6121 cable router for $83, and plug the Belkin N750 into it.
  2. Well, just an FYI for anyone who may benefit...bought the Motorola 6121 cable modem router and the Belkin N750 wireless router. Everything runs flawlessly!

    Have a printer and 2TB ext HDD hooked up to the Belkin router, and have tested 7 devices accessing the internet simultaneously (iPhones. iPad, laptops, LAN-conected PC, etc.) with no siognal degradation or dropped signals. Very easy set-up and use!
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