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Cable Modem FAQs


Can I use a Zoom Cable Modem with my Cable Company’s Internet service?
Zoom cable modems are approved by CableLabs™ the official testing authority used by cable services throughout the United States. Some cable services also require additional testing for full approval on their services, and Zoom performs that testing as well.

Nearly every cable service except Time Warner and Cablevision provide significant monthly savings for subscribers who purchase rather than rent a cable modem. Time Warner and Cablevison do not provide that savings.

The Zoom Model 5341 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem is approved by every major service that rents cable modems except Charter. As of July 22, 2011, the Zoom Model 5341 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem is in the process of completing approval testing with Charter

The Zoom Model 5241 DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem is approved by every major service that rents cable modems, including Charter.

The newly-released Model 5350 Cable Modem/Router with Wireless-N is fully approved by nearly all major services that rent cable modems. Approval is pending with the following cable services as of July 22, 2011:

Charter®
Cable ONE®
RCN®
Suddenlink®

What is a Cable Modem?
A Cable Modem is a device that connects your computer or other devices to the Internet over cable television (CATV) cables. Cable Modems use special channels on these cables that are dedicated to Internet service. You need to arrange for Internet service from your cable service provider in order to connect to the Internet with your Cable Modem.

Cable Modem Internet connections are always on. Whenever your computer is on, it will connect to the Internet instantly.

Cable Modem Internet service can provide fast and reliable Internet connections for all contemporary needs, including streaming media such as videos and music, high intensity gaming, and large file transfers such as photos. Cable Modem Internet service also facilitates fast navigation of complex websites, and near instantaneous delivery of email and other messaging services.

What is the benefit of using a Zoom Cable Modem?
Zoom Cable Modems are designed to provide reliable service at the highest possible data rates supported under DOCSIS. Zoom works closely with cable service providers to make code updates available that insure the highest level of performance as the DOCSIS standard evolves. These updates are downloaded automatically by the service providers. With a Zoom Cable Modem you can be assured of superior performance for the life of the device.

Many cable service providers charge a monthly rental fee - typically adding up to about $84 per year - for Cable Modems that they provide to you. By purchasing and installing a Zoom Cable Modem, you can save this monthly rental fee. Over a relatively short period, you may be able to save many times the cost of your Zoom Cable Modem.

What are the differences between Zoom Models 5350, 5341, and 5241?
The main differences are speed and whether wireless router functionality is included. Models 5350 and 5341 have top speeds that are about 4 times higher. Model 5350 also has a built-in Wireless-N router with four Ethernet ports.

To achieve the higher speeds, Models 5350 and 5341 need to connect to a DOCSIS 3.0 service. Both models can be used with DOCSIS 2.0 and 1.1 services. The 5241 will work when connected to a network that offers DOCSIS 3.0 service, but only at DOCSIS 2.0 rates. The 5350 and 5341 can provide the fast speeds available through DOCSIS 3.0 when connected to DOCSIS 3.0 service.

What is DOCSIS and how will it benefit me?
DOCSIS - Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification - is a Cable Modem standard developed by Cable Modem vendors and cable system operators. When cable operators began offering data over cable service many years ago, there were no standards in the industry. Cable services each required proprietary Cable Modems to work with their services. This created incompatibility issues.

The cable industry worked together to define a standard that would unify equipment specifications and allow interoperability of equipment across the United States. The governing body, which certifies Cable Modem vendors, is called Cable Television Laboratories or CableLabs™. The DOCSIS standard and close derivatives have been adopted in other countries around the world.

Currently, CableLabs™is certifying DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modems. Zoom DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modems are backwards-compatible with earlier DOCSIS revisions 2.0 and 1.1.

Can I watch TV while using a Zoom Cable Modem?
Yes. Cable Modems use a separate "channel" for data.

How do I log on to a cable Internet service provider?
You don't have to "log on." A great benefit offered in Zoom Cable Modems is the "always on" feature. Once the Cable Modem is turned on and registered with the cable service provider, you will enjoy an "always on" connection with no need to dial up or hang up. The Cable Modem should be left on and connected. It will be ready to serve your needs in an instant the next time you want to access the Internet.

Can I use a Zoom Cable Modem with my existing cable service?
Yes. Please see the discussion and list of cable service providers under the first FAQ entry above, Can I use a Zoom Cable Modem with my cable company’s Internet service?

What computer operating systems and devices can a Zoom Cable Modem interface with?
Zoom Cable Modems will connect to any computer or device that has an Ethernet port, including computers running any version of Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. The Model 5350 Cable Modem, with its built-in Wireless-N router, can also connect wireless devices such as tablets, e-readers, handhelds, and phones. Models 5341 and 5241 do not have built-in router functionality but can connect to your existing router.

What ports do I need on my computer to connect to a Zoom Cable Modem?
You can connect a Zoom Cable Modem to any computer, device, or router that has an Ethernet port. The Model 5350 has a built-in four-port Ethernet router and allows connectivity of 802.11 n, g and b wireless devices. For the Model 5241, you can connect either a computer/device/router via Ethernet or a Windows XP computer via USB.

What support does Zoom offer its Cable Modem customers?
Zoom has years of experience supporting users who connect their computers to the Internet and worldwide telephony infrastructure. Our support begins with intuitive user manuals and install wizards and extends to online and live support. Live technical support specialists are available 70 hours a week.

Do I need cable TV to get High-Speed Internet Service?
No. Although there are usually discounts for customers who subscribe to both cable TV and High-Speed Internet Services, you are normally not required to purchase cable TV service to get High-speed Internet Services.

Can I use my phone at the same time?
Yes. Cable Modem service doesn’t interfere with your telephone service, including telephone service provided by your cable company.

If my house isn't wired for cable, how do I get set up?
If your home hasn't been wired for cable TV or cable modem service, you will need to arrange this with your cable company when you sign up for service. A cable technician will wire your home as needed when he or she sets up your service. There may be an additional charge.

Is there a special connection for the cable modem?
No. The cable modem can connect to the same type of coaxial cable connector that’s used for cable TV. Sometimes a splitter is used, so that a TV and cable modem can connect at the same place.

For more information, please see "Can I install a Zoom Cable Modem myself?" below.

How does the cable modem connect to my computer?
The Cable Modem typically connects to an Ethernet port on your computer or router. For the Model 5350 Cable Modem, which has a built-in Wireless-N router, you can also connect your WiFi compatible devices. Model 5241 can also connect to a Windows computer’s USB port.

Can I install a Zoom Cable Modem myself?
Zoom’s cable modems come with clear instructions, and cable modem service often provides a useful starter kit that describes installation. You will connect the cable modem to a cable jack, to a computer or router, and to power via the cable modem’s power cube.

Can I have more than one computer connected to my Cable Modem?
Yes. Connect your Cable Modem to a router, and then connect your computers to the router. The standard way to connect your computers to the router is via Ethernet cables. If you use a wireless router, you may connect your computers to the router via their wireless interfaces.

Does my computer need to be in the same room as my TV?
No. Your computer can be located almost anywhere in your home.

The CL CABLELABS CERTIFIED and Design mark, and the terms “CableLabs Certified” or “Certified by CableLabs” are certification marks of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. and cannot be used without authorization of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

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