While the top cable modem may not be something you consider often, it is one that should always be on your mind whenever you see your bill. You can save money by purchasing your cable modem and not paying a rental fee.
While equipment rental fees are ridiculously high, they aren’t cheap. You might be charged up to $14 per monthly by ISPs for their modems. That cost could also increase over time. The
“>best modems are often less expensive than $70. This means that you will pay back what you paid for a modem in half-a year via lower internet bills. From then on, you can keep all the money your internet provider would have charged to rent an aging modem.
What speed internet connection do you need? This is how much internet speed you need. Whichever modem you buy, it doesn’t really matter. Just make sure the modem is compatible with you ISP. And ensure you select a speed that matches your plan.
Which cable modem do you recommend?
For most people, the best cable modem is the Motorola MB7420. It works with a wide variety of internet providers, including Comcast, Spectrum and Cox, and it delivers speeds that will serve the greatest number of people (anyone whose internet plan tops out at 300 Mbps). Its two-year warranty is twice as long as the warranty for the Netgear CM500, which also performed reliably in our tests. It’s a great alternative for bargain-hunters, as it typically costs less than the MB7420.
Netgear’s CM600 can be a better option if your internet speed exceeds 300 Mbps.
While cable modems may not be part of Black Friday’s best deals, it doesn’t mean that you will have to pay full price for modems purchased during holidays. We noticed that many of the top cable modems in this ranking have experienced price drops. Make sure to compare prices and get the best deals.
Reasons To Avoid
We used to pick the Arris Surboard SB6183 cable modem because of its strong performance. Although this is a more difficult modem to find, it was our top choice. (As of this writing, Best Buy is selling the SB6183.) If you can track down the SB6183 at a competitive price, its two-year warranty also is a big plus.
This all-white SB6183, measuring 5.2x5x2.1inches, can be neatly tucked next to routers, cables boxes, and other hardware. For my liking, the coaxial connector is too close in proximity to the power connector. You’ll likely have to address that issue only while setting up the modem.
It features a small row of horizontal indicator lights. This makes it easy for users to find the SB6183. But, direct sunlight can make it difficult to see the yellow light. It’s easy to look at the SB6183 and see if your internet connection is down.
Best Cable Modem Vs. Best Router
Home networking equipment manufacturers seem to favour modem-router pairs over separate cable modems. You may find it tempting to purchase a hybrid router and modem instead of buying separate devices. This is because you can do two things with one device. Modem-router combination are something we wouldn’t recommend.
First, let’s talk about the background. Our modem-vs.router comparison will show that they serve different functions. The best routers bring internet connectivity to your home wirelessly. A modem connects your phone, tablet, or laptop via cable. The router you need to improve the network reach is what you should be looking for.
It makes sense to keep these two devices apart. If any part of a hybrid device fails, you’re out both a modem and a router. Additionally, upgrading individual networking devices is easier as routers offer more support for advanced networking features. The number of available older models shows that modems develop more slowly.
What We Do to Test the Best Cable Modems
Each cable modem is tested on Comcast Performance Pro’s home internet service. Following speed testing to confirm that download speeds are being delivered, we test the modems on Comcast’s Performance Pro home internet service.
In order to test each modem, we hook it up at the home of the reviewer and use it in our network setup. We can verify the modem’s compatibility with our network setup and get an idea of its dependability. We also track retail websites for the lowest prices on modems that we have tested.
(Image credit Tom’s Guide) We evaluate each modem’s indicator lights to make sure that they’re clearly visible. How easy it is to setup modems. Since the principal reason for purchasing a cablemodem is to avoid monthly rental fees from ISPs, we place a lot of importance on the length and duration of a modem’s warranty.
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Motorola MB7621 The best modem for most people Compatible with the most ISPs, the MB7621 supports internet plans up to 600 Mbps. It is well supported with a 2-year warranty. The modem can also be paid for in eight months.
Amazon $90 – Walmart $90 – Best Buy $80 – $90
Motorola MB7621 is reliable and provides the best internet speeds to Americans. Also, it works well with all non-gigabit plans from any cable provider including Comcast Xfinity or Spectrum. The MB7621 is capable of handling 600 megabits per seconds plans. This modem supports DOCSIS 3.0 and can be used with 24 downstream channels, as well eight upstream. A two-year warranty is included.
Netgear CM500 For plans up to 300 Mbps Our former top pick is still a good choice if saving money is important to you, and as long as you haven’t upgraded to a service plan faster than 300 Mbps.
America’s average internet speed measures around 180 Mbps. It all depends on what survey you take. The Netgear CM500 is recommended if your plan falls within this range, and you do not intend to increase the speed of your internet connection beyond 300 Mbps. Although the CM500 is compatible with the pricier CM600 ISP compatibility, the maximum upload and download speeds of the CM500 are significantly lower than the CM600 (300 Mbps for the CM500, 600 Mbps for the CM600), though Suddenlink certifies that it can speed up to 500 Mbps. Although the CM500 is known for its reliability, it only comes with a 1-year warranty.
We recommend the CM500 16×4 modems, even if you have a plan that would use a slower modem. 8×4 modems are being dropped by ISPs. The cost of replacing your modem would be minimal and you will end up spending a lot more money in the long-term.
$160* from Amazon $150 from Walmart $169 from Staples *At the time of publishing, the price was $150.
The Motorola MB8600 is the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem available, if your gigabit plan allows for you to purchase your own modem. A DOCSIS 3.1 router is required to ensure gigabit connections from all cable internet providers. Additionally, the Motorola MB8600 supports gigabit internet through networks still using the DOCSIS3.0 standard. Sparklight/Cable One for instance allows you to use both DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS3.0 modems in its GigaOne service.
You should not buy a gigabit-speed modem unless gigabit is already available or you are familiar with it. Even though the DOCSIS 3.1 modes are more expensive than other plans, it’s still worth it. Especially since gigabit may be offered over fibre rather than cable. And they may not even let you bring your own modem once they do roll out gigabit service.
These are the 7 best cable modems of 2021
Our experts tested the best cable modems to save you money Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our . Our chosen links could earn us commissions.
You can rent the modem from most internet service providers to use the internet. If you are looking to save money, it is possible for less than a full year to purchase your own cable router. Although you will need to get used to this type of equipment, it can save money.
This is something that you might like to test. You should buy either the ARRIS SUPRFboard SB6190, or the ARRIS SuRFboard SB8200, which will provide a faster connection. Before buying, make sure your ISP is listed on the product page (most of the ISPs are represented so you are likely good to go).
It’s small enough to be tucked away just about anywhere, and is also certified by all the major cable providers.
Netgear Nighthawk M2000 Cable Modems are the most efficient.
2021: Best Modems To Use With Gigabit Internet
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Channel bonding: DOCSIS 3.1 and 32×8 in DOCSIS 3.0
Channel bonding DOCSIS 3.1 and 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0
How many Mbps are you able to use?
The most crucial factor when choosing a modem is Mbps. It can be a huge factor that makes or breaks great internet service. Higher speeds will result in faster internet. The modem can support up to 101,000 Mbps. If you have more megabits, your modem will be able to handle more traffic. What you do with the internet and how many of them are at your home will determine how much Mbps your modem can handle.
While streaming video and games take between 5-10Mbps while large file downloads can take as much as 50Mbps. In general, you’ll want to stick with at least a 50 Mbps modem. Still, most will be able to handle much more than this to power a heavy-duty router and multiple simultaneous users.
Most modems will also have Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification or DOCSIS technology. It’s the standard preferred for cable providers. It’s fast, reliable, energy-efficient, and more efficient than fiber cable. The most current version of DOCSIS 3.1 is available, however, DOCSIS 3.0 can be used for 100 mbps speeds. While there are other means of getting internet from your ISP, DOCSIS is by far the best, and sticking with a 3.0 should be sufficient for most internet users.
Netgear Nighthawk E7100V
Consumer Score: 82% gave it 4 stars or more This two-in-one has included phone lines, voice control, and more advanced features.
Voice control can improve almost any situation. But even if it didn’t have that nifty feature, the Nighthawk C7100 would still easily rise to the top of the router-modem combos. Although it’s expensive, the package offers incredible speed and is easy to use. This modem will be a good investment as it is capable of 960Mbps. Even though you don’t likely need such speed right away, Nighthawk is able to provide it and save you the cost of buying a new modem in future tech developments. Although the Nighthawk is a dual-modem router, its unique features include two phone lines included that work on Comcast. This means the device will only work with Xfinity.
Arris Surfboard SB6183: Consumer Score 84% gave it 4 Stars or More. Compact, simple modem that is affordable.
Surfboards have a long history of being affordable and a well-respected choice. If you do manage to find one, the Surfboard is one of the most affordable options for such an affordable price. This modem is lightweight and bright, making it easy to use.
Tom’s Guide praised the two-year warranty (which is longer than most policies you’ll find on a modem) and the speeds of up to 686 Mbps features that punch well above the Surfboard’s price range.
Consumer Score: 98% of consumers gave it four stars or more. Scores are way higher than its price, and it has a clean, sophisticated look.
We don’t think your modem should be considered a work of art. However, we are concerned about it being an eyesore. Although the exterior is shiny, it has a sophisticated and sleek look. You will need to place it in cool and open areas to avoid overheating. Top Ten Reviews said that the CM500 is competitively priced with higher-quality modems despite it being a low-cost model. “[The] Netgear CM500 performed extremely well on a network stressed by running four simultaneous bandwidth-hogging applications, including three large game file downloads on a PC, XBox One, and PS4 Pro and 4K Netflix streaming,” they wrote. Although it is best at speeds of 300 Mbps or less, the team tested 400 Mbps to ensure that there were no issues.
Centurylink Compatible Modems
This page will discuss which modems perform best with CenturyLink service, and which modems have been certified CenturyLink.
CenturyLink approved modems. Modem/router FAQs
Understanding modem compatibility. Every modem works with a specific kind of internet technology. CenturyLink can use different core technologies such as fiber or DSL, depending on where you live and how fast your internet speed is.
This is why it matters. Even if you have a CenturyLink modem, it will only work if it is compatible with the specific technology and speed of your service.
How We Chose Our Favorite Cable Modems
After looking at eight popular modems, we narrowed down the list to just five using the following criteria:
We put extra weight into supported speeds and value. Instead of choosing just the best five models on the market for their needs, we offered a broad range of options.
We consider each modem the best in at least one of five major categories. These include best value overall and easiest setup, streaming and gaming, gigabit internet plans, and budget-friendly. We recommend the Arris surfboard SB6183 and the Motorola MB7420. The Motorola MB7621, Motorola MB8600, Motorola MB7621 and Netgear CM500 are our top picks.
Which Internet Modem Is Best?
- Our selection. Motorola MB7621. This modem is the best for most users. Compatible with almost all ISPs. Supports internet plans as high as 600 Mbps.
- Runner-up. Netgear CM600. Similar speeds with a shorter warranty
- Select your budget. Netgear CM500. Up to 300 Mbps plans available
- Choose upgrade. Motorola Motorola MBH8600. For gigabit internet plans.
Do Modems Really Make A Difference?
You can have a huge impact on the speed of your internet connection by what modem you are using. … If your ISP offers a slower connection or a lower-tier modem with a higher speed connection, however you can still connect to the Web.
Is A Modem Or Router Better?
Your modem will give you a reliable, wired Internet connection. If you only have one device that needs to connect to the Internet, like a PC or laptop, you can get away with just having a modem. But if you have multiple devices, or want to use your devices wirelessly (WiFi), then you will need a router, too.
What is better: To buy your own modem, or to rent one?
You have the option to buy your own cable modem, which will enable you to get upgraded speeds at your service provider. For the most performance and fastest speeds, choose DOCSIS 3.0 compatible modems.