funkyfresh computers and accessories

Best Router and Cable Modem Combination for Distance Learning and Work


For great performance at a reasonable price we like pairing TP Link routers with Motorola cable modems. For example, the TP AC Archer C90 router with the Motorola MB8600 cable modem. This is a good benchmark to consider when shopping for a router/modem combo to take advantage of 1GB/s internet service that needs to support fast wired and wifi speeds to multiple users in an average size 3/2 home. There are myriad cable modem and router combinations out there to provide both wired and wireless connectivity in your home. "Wifi" has become synonomous with the Internet but to get the most from your connection you need a quality direct wire connection to your router and cable modem. 5G may change all that but we still have limited rollout and the system has not been taxed by large number of users. So for now, cable internet seems like the fastet solution for most people.

With and average family all using the internet at the same time, on zoom calls, uploading/dowloading, streaming, gaming..etc. We recommend the fastest connection your budget will allow. Most cable companeis offer a 1GB option and will offer a cable modem/router you can lease from them. However, buy your own gear and it's one less thing you have to pay the cable company for over time.

We've had friends asking us about Orbi and other mesh style networks and we're not convinced their worth it. We'd recommend trying a simple combo similar to this Motorola / TP Link setup and see if it works for you. If it's bought and sold from Amazon you'll have an easy time with returns. It might take some testing to see what works best in your home. Typically we find our friends are happier with simpler and reasonably priced solutions that just work without any sort of additional ongoing fee.

Test your current Internet speed
Learn more about Motorola Cable Modems
Learn more about TP Link Wireless Routers

Laser Printer During Shelter in Place

HP 420 Laster printer

Laser printers are usually found in the office while inkjets are more common in the home.  However, with everyone at home these days it's nice to have a fast, networked laser printer for basic printing tasks.  We worked this HP 420 unit pretty hard and it's been great for everyday printing tasks.  It's fast, efficient with toner, quiet and a good value.  HP no longer offers this unit new but has plenty of similar offerings. 

The image, pretty much says it all.  Look for a printer that has these qualitites:
 - Wirelessis and wired LAN connectivity
- 350 Sheet input capacity or similar
- Auto 2-sided printing, you'll save on paper
- iOS and Android app friendly printing
- some kind of LCD display, so it can tell you what's up
- Fast startup and printing
- Toner from third pary suppliers.  This is important, read up on the printer and reviews of third party toner suppliers to make sure
there is nothing quirky about the printer you are considering
- budget $200-$300, you'll be able to get a decent machine


Other World Computing Dual Bay SATA Drive Dock Review

sata dock1
This USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA drive dock is one of the better made USB docks we've tested that can realize the full speed of two hard drives or SSDs connected via a USB 3.1 Type C port. Type C is that small port you see on current smart phones.

Previous docks we've tested all looked like they came from the same factory with different stickers attached for different brands. They all used an external power supply and the power buttons were flimsy on all of them. We really haven't seen a decent, well made, SATA dock until we came across the OWC units.

This dock is well made with a built in power supply and lights that indicate which drive is being accessed. We mostly tested it with 1 drive but can confirm it works with two. It also supports larger capacity drives. We tested it with the WD 12TB gold drives and achieved max published speeds of the drives while reading and writing. sata dock 2

There's no fan and the solid aluminum case keeps things running cool. The 12TB helium based Gold drives run cool and since it's a dock there's plenty of surface area exposed to keep it running cool. Working with the drive in the dock gave us pretty much the same performance as working with the drive installed inside the PC.

Our primary use for a dock is to back up large video projects. The OWC is a good solution for this because we can quickly access bare drives and swap them in and out as needed. It's also handy for 2 backups of the same content on identical drives.

Each of the drive bays that are compatible with 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives and capable of read speeds up to 698 MB/s and write speeds up to 918 MB/s, the Drive Dock allows for simultaneous drive bay operation, and it's compatible with both Mac and Windows systems. We only tested with Windows 10 workstations. We were very pleased with the seamless performance. Recommended.

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