Linksys (CM3024) 24×8 Cable Modem Review

Dealing with cable companies can be one of the most frustrating experiences American consumers have to deal with. You’ve got restrictive multi-year contracts, disappointing speeds that never seem to live up to their advertised rates, and expensive fees that you never expected to pay in the first place.

What you may not realize is that many of these problems can be solved quite efficiently. In fact, some of the most well-known manufacturers of consumer networking equipment have solutions that can be delivered right to your door.

Linksys promises to make disappointing speeds and expensive hardware rental fees a thing of the past with their impressive CM3024 cable modem. Let’s take a look and see what this modem can do for you.

First Look

The Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem is one attractive piece of technology. It might seem large to some, but once you see all the advanced hardware on the inside you’ll understand why it’s build the way it is. This modem can handle 24 simultaneous download channels and 8 upload channels, giving you a zippy 300 Mbps download speed and 100 Mbps upload speed. This is fast enough to download an entire movie in a matter of seconds. Let’s take a look and see how this is all possible.

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

Components

Underneath it’s attractive black exterior is an Intel chipset that is among the most advanced in the industry. Their Puma 6 communication processor is the brains of the operation, facilitating lightening quick connection speeds over what was once a pretty basic standard.

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

There are a lot of challenges faced with getting high download speeds over a cable network. These cables are not only responsible for providing internet service to your entire block, but also transmit digital televisions signal as well. There is often a lot of degradation in the signal quality over the distance traveled between your ISP and your home. But the Puma 6 chipset is incredibly good at error correction. If a packet (a piece of data) arrives malformed or corrupted, your modem has only a few milliseconds to correct the error and accept the packet, or request a resend. Thanks to the Intel Atom processor located inside this chipset, significantly more packets can be recovered compared to competing cable modems. This means less data loss, and higher download speeds.

Another common issue with cable modems is that they simply cannot handle the large number of connections used by file sharing software. But the Puma 6 chipset offers a very advanced QOS (quality of service) system that will handle virtually any load you can throw at it.

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

Set Up Procedure

This modem is compatible with every major cable internet provider in the United States. Comcast, Xfinity, Warner, Cox and Charter cable all work with this modem right out of the box.
For many of these providers, setting up is just a simple matter of removing the modem from the box, plugging it in, and you’re ready to go! A few of the companies require you to phone in and inform them that you’re changing your modem. If you’ve dealt with cable companies before, you know that this could be a frustrating experience. However, changing your modem is usually much more painless than you would expect. Once you get in touch with a customer service representative, all you need to do is read them a couple numbers off the back of your modem and you’re good to go! If you’re paying to rent the modem, you’ll want to call them anyway so that they can come pick up the old modem and stop charging you a rental fee. In this case, setting up the modem isn’t any additional work.

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

Multiple Data Streams

Why exactly would you need 24 download streams and 8 upload streams? Reading comments on this modem, many consumers mistakenly believe that they will not see a benefit of this technology unless they have a lot of devices using the internet at the same time. However, even if you only have a single computer you will notice a performance upgrade.

modem chart

Your computer and mobile devices are actually capable of handling hundreds of connections at the same time. Even something as simple as loading a website can involve dozens of open connections. By separating these streams, you prevent data transmissions from interfering with one another. Ever notice how if you’re downloading something your internet tends to slow down? With 24 separate streams, the effects of this problem can be reduced. You can dedicate, for example, 12 streams for file downloads and another 12 for web browsing. This all happens in the background, so you’ll notice snappier performance without any additional configuration.

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

DOCSIS 3.0

When cable internet first hit the market, there were some challenges in figuring out how to broadcast broadband internet next to the analog TV signal that was so common at the time. ISPs teamed up and came up with the DOCSIS standard. This spec has been updated a few times already, but DOCSIS 3.0 is the latest version of this standard to be in widespread use. This allows for a theoretical maximum data speed of 300 Mbits per customer. Because this modem supports the highest version of this standard, you’ll be able to continue to use this modem for many years, even when technology advances.

Security

The new DOCSIS 3.0 standard includes some advanced security protocols that are designed to protect your data. With older versions of the standard, it was possible for shady individuals to duplicate your modem. Occasionally this was only done to steal internet access, but other times individuals used it to eavesdrop on your internet connection and steal your private information. With the Linksys CM3024 modem, all of these security features are supported to keep you safe and secure online.

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

Value

This is one of the few products that will pay for itself. Most customers either had to purchase their modems outright, or pay a monthly rental fee to use their cable company’s hardware. On average, rental fees total $10 a month in the united states. That means that this modem will pay for itself in a year.

However, there is something to be said for “future proofing”. Unless you live in a major urban center, it’s unlikely that your internet speed is the 300 megabits that this modem supports. But by spending a little extra money, you’ve got a modem that can potentially last many years.

Let’s do some quick math. DOCSIS 2.0 came out in 2001. It wasn’t taken out of service until 2013 when the latest version of DOCSIS 3.0 hit the market. Technology changes all the time, but the cost for a company to replace hundreds of thousands of existing modems is prohibitively expensive. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect that the DOCSIS 3.0 standard for another 10 years. If you purchased this modem, you could save yourself $1200 ($10 per month for 10 years) in modem rental fees and still have a modem that’s fast enough to handle the latest internet speeds. So this modem won’t just pay for itself, but it could potentially pay for itself ten times over. That just might be one of the best deals we’ve ever come across!

Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem

Is The Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem Worth It?

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, it certainly might be worth it to give the Linksys CM3024 Cable Modem a quick look. Although you’d have to spend a little money up front, you’d certainly see it pay itself off in no time.

This is an especially good buy for users who like to be on the cutting edge of technology, and have the fastest internet connection possible.

However, it might not be the right purchase for all users. If you have a slower internet connection and aren’t planning to use the same modem for a long time, it might be wise to save a few dollars and pick up the mid-range model of the same modem. This modem only cuts the maximum download speed by 50 megabits, but it is a little cheaper.

If you already own your own cable modem, this would only be an upgrade if you want to take advantage of the high speeds it offers. It’s a great buy for people who like to download a lot of files, or stream HD video. But if you’re thinking of picking it up for your grandmother to check her emails, it could be a waste of money.

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