Router Swap Out A Downgrade?

Discussion created by konesky on Oct 14, 2016
Latest reply on Oct 14, 2016 by shaw-phil

Hello, this is my first post on the forums and I don't follow router technology much these days so looking for some help/advice/input/opinions...


I opened an account with Shaw about a year and a half ago at my current address and at the time, the installer provided a shiny new Arris SBG6782 brand new in the box. I didn't give it much though since I no longer spend the time keeping up with technology, I don't need bridging, I don't know what DOCSIS is etc. All I know is the router has been rock solid for the last year and a half, I've never noticed a single drop, the signal coverage has been good throughout the entire house and the speeds are decent on my Internet 30 package.


Recently I've had a number of messages on my phone from a Shaw installer looking to "upgrade" my current router. We couldn't seem to arrange a convenient time so I met him in a parking lot while out running errands between his other calls so I could at least get the equipment and hook it up myself at my convenience. I was surprised when he handed me a well-used and rather basic looking Cisco DPC3825 and a tangled cord. I asked the reason for the 'upgrade' and he said it was required for compatibility to upcoming network upgrades... Naturally I was suspicious why I would receive an old looking used router to replace my shiny new one for upcoming upgrades.


The following day, I plugged the Cisco in to my connection and I had to do the hardware reset to remove the previous subscribers login information. I accessed the device settings to begin the process of setting it up and I was disappointed to find an interface reminiscent of one of my old Netgear routers from the 90's. The interface was painful and with every small change it would either time out, drop or I would have to re-log in. In all fairness I attempted the setup over Wifi but it was still painful. I spent an hour and 15 minutes fighting with the device to make it through all of the menus and save my changes. By the time I got to the final settings tab the modem dropped again and I couldn't call the settings up at and the signal kept dropping and reconnecting. No, I didn't change something material that caused this issue and I verified with my cell phone that the wifi signal from the router was dropping and reconnecting repeatedly even standing in the same room where signal should have been fine.


After I finally got back in (I didn't change anything), I finished going through the menus and exited. The device was not connected to the net, I suspect because the account hadn't been switched over to the new router but that didn't prevent it from dropping and re-connecting numerous times to both my phone in the same room and my laptop in the adjacent room. Naturally I was left feeling the 'new' router was a POS and so I did a search to find out what I could...


A quick google search: "Arris SBG6782 VS Cisco DPC3825" brought me here. I was looking to compare the specs on the two devices to see if I was really getting an upgrade or just getting shafted. Again, I'm no tech wiz nor do I claim to know what future upgrades Shaw plans to do, and maybe an older router is required to comply with new changes...


What I found in my search was actually people switching the OPPOSITE direction! Existing subscribers back in 2014 with the Cisco's were complaining they couldn't get the new Arris routers because it was only available to new customers at the time (like myself) and they had a limited supply. Everything I read suggests the Arris is a newer better box.


Further reading revealed several people complaining about signal, dropping, connection issues with the Cisco which is similar to what I experienced. Regardless of whether the box was added to my account, there is no reason it should have been dropping and reconnecting. The signal strength is also significantly lower on the Cisco. In the end I just plugged the Arris box back in so I could continue working from home.


So what gives? Am I being duped here into getting a crappier older box? Do I have the option of just keeping my existing box that has served me flawlessly for the last year and a half and just give them their beat up POS back? 


Looking for answers from someone in the know. Thanks very much in advance!


Edit: I also notice the Arris broadcasts both at 2.4 & 5Ghz while the Cisco is 2.4 only. Am I wrong in perceiving this as a downgrade?