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Equipment required for online access will vary by user

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Q: I have a student who needs to set up wireless access in a new apartment. This would be used by two people, for school, movies and light gaming. I have two questions.

We can get a cable modem with wireless from our internet service provider. My experience (years ago) was that the wireless that comes with a cable modem was slow. So I got a medium-priced wireless router, and we look at two ugly black boxes to get wireless in the house.

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Is this still necessary? Or can my student and the roommate get by with one (modem and Wi-Fi combined)?

Second question: For that usage, can they get the lowest-speed package from Spectrum or should they choose a more-spendy package?

— Carla C., Tampa

Jeff Werner

A: As far as I know (and I assure you, I can’t possibly know all the answers) the equipment provided by an internet service provider, or ISP, works just fine. This equipment was chosen by the ISP to work with their specific service. It would not be very good for their business to provide equipment that did not do justice to the service they are providing. So, I wouldn’t worry too much about whether you’re going to get a slow connection from ISP-provided hardware.



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