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Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

spagory
Initiate

Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

Hey all - I'm posting to share an optimal configuration that required a lot of trial and error to achieve, in hopes that someone else will benefit from my labor. I searched this forum extensively and while I found some useful posts, none were specific enough to really help. Perhaps this post will help someone else, so I'm paying it forward.

 

I have a Nighthawk R7000 I bought in 2015 that's been connected to my Comcast Model for 2+ years and has been distributing the ~250mbps internet throughout my house. However, at best I was able to get wifi downloads of 25mbps via 2.4Ghz and 40mbps via 5.0ghz.

 

I recently upgraded my internet service with Comcast Xfinity to receive their 1GB download speed. My pre-purchase research suggested their new modem/router might be able to replace my Nighthawk, which I was interested in doing to simply minimize the number of devices and points of networking failure in my house. The technician arrived and was extremely knowledgeable and knew about the nighthawk and spoke favorably. He configured the modem and when I asked if I should continue using the R7000 he said I probably won't need it, that the Xfinity router should be sufficient. He didn't state this definitively, but suggested I try it without the R7000 to see.

 

Sure enough, the Xfinity device was able to get 900+mbps download via LAN and 300+ download via 5.0ghz. Very nice! Except the device couldn't reach the furthest rooms in my house, even the 2.4ghz signal was too weak Smiley Sad. So I began tinkering.

 

The first thing I did was to put the modem in bridge mode and use the R7000 as my router. That was easy and worked pretty well, especially because the R7000 has a far better wifi signal throughout the house but I noticed my LAN speed dropped to a max of 250mbps and my wifi was 150mbps max on the 5.0ghz. That's a huge drop from 900/300+ speeds I was getting so I wasn't satisfied.

 

Knowing I was capable of getting these speeds drove me to tinker and test until I found the best solution. Rather than bore you with the failures, I will simply share the optimal configuration.

 

  1. Don't put the modem in Bridge mode. For whatever reason, doing this cuts all speed in half. I can't answer why, but I couldn't find any way around this.
  2. Instead, put your R7000 in AP mode and use the wifi from the Xfinity modem.

As soon as I put the R7000 in AP mode and restarted everything, BOOM! I'm getting 900+mbps downloads on my LAN machine and 350+ mbps downloads on my 5.0ghz wifi (when in the same room) and 150+mbps downloads even at the furthest point of my house. I consider this a huge success and I'm very pleased with it. Everything I need to stream works perfectly and with minimal latency.

 

I'm now constantly walking into rooms and running a speedtest on various devices to see if there are dips or problem areas but after a few days of this, so far, so good!

Model: R7000|Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router
Message 1 of 8
antinode
Guru

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

   Curiosity:

> [...] He configured the modem and when I asked if I should continue
> using the R7000 he said I probably won't need it, that the Xfinity
> router should be sufficient.

   Does your new "the Xfinity router" have a model number?

>    2. Instead, put your R7000 in AP mode and use the wifi from the
>       Xfinity modem.

   Is "the Xfinity modem" the same thing as "the Xfinity router"?

   Did you configure the R7000 wireless stuff (SSID, passphrase) to
match that of the Xfinity modem+router?

Message 2 of 8
spagory
Initiate

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

The Xfinity device is the XB6 wireless gateway. https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/wireless-gateway-compare

It's a model and a router.

Message 3 of 8
elcondor
Aspirant

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

I've been doing this for quite a while now so I haven't experienced the 2.4 dropping issues that everyone else has mentioned. Comcast Arris cable modem/router, Nighthawk in AP mode, my house is covered.

Message 4 of 8
Veger70
Aspirant

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

 
Model: R7800|Nighthawk X4S AC2600 WiFi Router
Message 5 of 8
MyDogAteMyCouch
Aspirant

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

Do happen to have steps how to configure both the XB6 and X4S so it works as an AP?

 

Do you turn off DCHP in the X4S when set up as an AP?

 

I cannot get this XB6 to work at all with my X4S

Model: R7800|Nighthawk X4S AC2600 WiFi Router
Message 6 of 8
antinode
Guru

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

> Do happen to have steps how to configure both the XB6 and X4S so it
> works as an AP?

   "X4S" = "R7800"?  There's no particular need to change anything on
the main router when adding a wireless access point.  For instructions
on how to configure an R7800 as a wireless access point, visit
http://netgear.com/support , put in your (actual) model number, and look
for Documentation.  Get the User Manual.  Look for something like "Use
the Router as a WiFi Access Point".

> Do you turn off DCHP in the X4S when set up as an AP?

   That should happen when you "Enable AP Mode", without any additional
action by you.

> I cannot get this XB6 to work at all with my X4S

   "cannot" is not a useful problem description.  It does not say what
you did.  It does not say what happened when you did it.  As usual,
showing actual actions with their actual results (error messages, ...)
can be more helpful than vague descriptions or interpretations.

   Note that if you want to find your R7800-as-WAP later, then you might
want to reserve a dynamic address for it on your main router.  I have no
idea how to do that on an "XB6 Wireless Gateway", and my quick look at
xfinity.com didn't help.  Perhaps you can do better.

Message 7 of 8
MyDogAteMyCouch
Aspirant

Re: Comcast Xfinity and Nighthawk R7000

Back story, the X4S worked perfectly until Comcast blessed me with the new XB6.

 

I think the real issue here like you stated Antinode, is the lack of any technical documentation or support from Comcast on this new fancy XB6.  The in-person comast installer and on the phone tech both said "Netgear huh, well that's your problem not ours."

 

Here is what cannot means from my other post.

 

Setup XB6 as a modem only and use the X4S as Router.

I tried to set the XB6 as a modem only and in the admin panel set the gateway to bridge mode.  (X4S Router is plugged into XB6, port #1, via Cat6.) "Bridge mode" refused to pass an ip/subnet/dns or anything at all to my X4S.  In the Comcast admin panel, I clicked "attached devices" and it refused to even detect the the X4S or a Asus desktop via lan but for some reason assigned an IP to my Macbook via LAN. 

 

I then manually added my MAC address of the X4S into the Comcast attached devices admin panel and was returned with known "offline devices".  I then double checked the MAC address printed on the bottom of my X4S router and it was correct.  Thinking I'm Larry David, I verified what the X4S returns in the Netgear admin panel and noticed the MAC address was off by one digit to what it printed on it.  Sigh....  honestly no big deal though right?  I addressed the digit issue in the Comcast Admin panel and still no luck.  It stated both MAC addresses were "offline" when plugged into port #1.  Yes the Cat6 cable is plugged into Port #1 on the XB6 and then plugged into the yellow socket on the X4S.  I power cycled both the XB6 and the X4S a few times and still could not get the router to talk, find, say hello, with the XB6.

 

Setup XB6 as a Wifi Gateway and use the X4S as AP.

I then tried to turn off bridge mode in the Comcast admin panel, and said lets try to let the XB6 handle the DCHP and utlize the X4S as a AP.  In the Netgear admin panel, I set the X4S as an AP, and again the XB6 would not pick up the router in the attached devices.  I did notice it only picked it up the X4S in the parental controls as an unknown device and tried to block the MAC...  Are you kidding me?  No way to add this but you'll block it?  I tried to set the X4S manually to 10.0.0.2 (XB6 is 10.0.0.1) and nada. 

 

Curse thing bloody POS to hell at this point.

 

As a last resort, I thought maybe the installer messed with my brand new CAT6 lines that run through the wall.   I moved the router right next to the XB6 and verified with 3 known working shorter LAN cables.  The same problem persists and it gets worse—the XB6 won't assign an IP to my Asus VivoMini and only will assign an IP to my macbook via LAN.

 

When setting the X4S as a AP, I matched the 2.5g and 5g SSID networks to the same SSID networks found in the Comcast admin panel.  This called for a hard reset on the back of the XB6 and guess what now it won't broadcast it's own SSID.

 

So here I am, fancy nice expensive X4S sitting on the shelf doing nothing.  My NEST cameras are struggling for bandwidth with this silly like XB6..... so I'd like to figure something out.

 

To say Comcast gave me an upgrade is beyond frustrating—this was a fix to their internet yo-yoing that would constantly drop my NEST cameras non-stop.

 

Sounds like this XB6 needs to go in the trash can.

 

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