Review of an Arris TG862g

The Arris TG862g is a Residential Gateway providing an “all in one” approach to providing internet access and telephone service through your cable TV coax.  It has the cable modem, the router (with NAT and a Firewall), 4 RJ-45 ports and WiFi connectivity at the N level (2.4 GHz, b/g/n).

The Pro’s include all the features I listed above.  The Gui interface is not too complicated for anyone who has setup a couple of routers over the years.  And is approachable by anyone who is willing to follow the installation guide(s) available on the internet.  I like James Causian’s review of this modem and related topics.

So far this looks like a pretty good deal.  If you can find a used version that works you can get it for near $50 plus the cost (probably) of replacing the battery backup with another battery.

The Cons are large enough to be off-putting and irritating.  They are not large enough to say this is a completely unsuitable buy.

  1. First, Remember, Correlation is not causation.  Right after I installed the Arris TG862g, every couple of days, something happens that causes the chrome web browser of whatever system I am using to crash and restart.  I have talked to my local cable companies tech support about this issue since this is the same gateway they rent and/or sell to other customers.  No fix in sight.  I would like to note that this happens even with 2 different Access Points installed.  So whatever the issue is, is it part of the Arris rather than a Wifi related issue?  I contacted Arris technical support who pointed out there was “no way” a router could crash a web browser.  And after looking around I found some other errors that produced the same symptoms.  So it looks like this issue may not be the Arris gateway’s fault.  On the other hand, I wonder if information transmitted by a router could cause this kind of issue?  If so, has the firewall failed or maybe some other hardware?
  2. The Wifi signal is significantly less strong than my Belkin Wireless G router.  I have a Wifi scanner app on my android cell phone.  I setup two different Wifi connections that were well labeled so I could tell the difference.  The Arris Wifi signal was unusable at the other end of my house (master bedroom) while the Belkin Wireless G was still going strong.  Since this was a common complaint on the internet about this Arris model I have no reason to believe that I had a sub-par unit.
    • Don’t get me wrong.  It should be fine for a 1 room apartment where the Arris is either in the bedroom or the living room.
  3. You can get around #2’s problem (wifi has no range) by either getting another setup (eg other modem and router), turning off the Wifi component (it’s a single checkbox, then click the update button) and adding an external Access Point, or you can “bridge” the gateway and install an entirely new router/wifi.
    • I have experimented with 2 different Access Points both of which have addressed issue #2 (wifi has no range).
    • I have bridged other routers and used an external router/wifi.  I just bridged this residential gateway and changed my Netgear N900 from an Access Point back to a full-service router modem.    Internet research and my local Cable vendor have both confirmed that you can still have telephone service while the modem is bridged.
    • I also have on order a cable modem with telephone jacks that I will try out next.

So in conclusion, this is not the residential gateway I am likely to get and/or keep.  Why?  Because I managed to luck into a Netgear N900 router/wifi for $15 from Discount Electronics.  It listed near $200 retail about 3 years ago.  I will either use the N900 with a bridged Arris TG862g or a Linksys CM3008 that I have previously mentioned or with a not yet arrived Arris cable modem with telephone jacks.  I will review the Netgear N900 later.

Tlm

 

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Author: Tom G

A baby-boomer with a long Technology-Geek history and a even longer career in non-Technology-Geek work (I took what I could get, when I could get it). Do you remember IBM punch cards? I do. I am working, semi-retired, moderately Senior Citizen with a need to not get bored. So I am considering the possible insanity of going to graduate school. If it happens, I expect to come out with an MA in Communications Study that will allow me to write better and speak about what I know better.

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