Best 32×8 Cable Modem – Modems and routers are both essential components for using the internet. In drastically simplified terms, modems take the incoming signal and “decipher” it while routers push that signal out across your house. You will need both a modem and a router.
Most ISPs give you a modem/router combo when they install your internet. This means that you will need to replace both if you are trying to get away from pesky equipment leasing fees.
While modem/router combos can be extremely convenient, they are also usually more prone to losing data packets or having signal issues. However, if you don’t have demanding internet needs, this will likely not be a big problem.
The Motorola MB7621 is reliable, supports the fastest internet speeds available to the vast majority of Americans, and offers compatibility with just about every non-gigabit plan from every cable internet service provider in the US—including Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (formerly Time Warner, Charter, and Bright House), Cox, Suddenlink, Sparklight/Cable One, and WOW—which gives you flexibility if you move or switch ISPs.
The MB7621 works well for plans up to 600 megabits per second, because it’s a DOCSIS 3.0 modem that can handle 24 downstream channels and eight upstream channels. It also includes a two-year warranty.
This DOCSIS 3.0 modem provides 16 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels, which is enough for most of the users. As far as the router interface is concerned, it provides four Ethernet ports along with the listed dual-band WiFi and also has other router features like Firewall.
As for the router portion of the product, we observed that the WiFi signals degraded after a few days, although this was somewhat fixed after a complete reset.
This is an impressive product overall. While it isn’t outstanding in any way (modems rarely are) it features normal transfer rates along with good router capabilities, which is exactly what you’d want.
While most homes opt for internet plans that promise speeds of around 100 to 300 Mbps, some people prefer higher-speed service. If your plan promises download speeds that top 300 Mbps, you’ll want a cable modem that can take advantage of that greater performance. Netgear’s CM600 is the best cable modem for those higher speeds, though you’ll pay a little bit more than you would for the CM500.
Netgear’s modem doesn’t use the same Intel Puma 6 chipset that’s been blamed for latency issues with some other high-speed modems, such as the Arris Surfboard SB6190. (There’s a firmware update that resolves this issue, though ISPs roll out such updates on their own schedule.) Because of that, you can expect reliable performance from the Netgear CM600 without the lags reported by users with Puma-6-powered modems.
The Netgear CM500 works with the biggest cable providers and supports speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which should be enough for the vast majority of Internet users out there. (If you’ve got a high-speed plan, look for a faster modem.)
There’s actually very little performance difference among the best cable modems in our testing, so it’s seemingly slight distinctions that separate these devices. Opt for Netgear’s CM500, and you’ll get a modem that’s just as capable as the Motorola MB7420 or the Arris SB6183. However, Netgear only offers a one-year warranty, compared with two years for those rival modems.
If you already have a gigabit internet plan and your ISP allows you to use your own modem, the Motorola MB8600 is the best of the DOCSIS 3.1 modems that are widely available right now because of its relatively low price and its two-year warranty.
You’ll need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem to guarantee gigabit speeds from most cable ISPs, and the MB8600 is also compatible with gigabit internet on networks that still use the DOCSIS 3.0 standard; for example, Sparklight/Cable One supports both DOCSIS 3.0 (32×8) and DOCSIS 3.1 modems for its GigaOne service.
6.ARRIS Surfboard SB6183-RB
The Arris Surfboard SB6183 was once our pick for the best cable modem thanks to its solid performance that will satisfy most home internet customers who don’t pay for high-speed service, though this older modem is harder to find these days. (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.
At 5.2 x 5 x 2.1 inches, the all-white SB6183 can be tucked unobtrusively next to a router, cable box and whatever other hardware you have on hand. The coaxial-cable connector is a little too close to the power connector for my taste, but you’re likely to have to deal with that only when setting up the modem.
7.ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
We are starting our list with the ARRIS Surfboard SB8200, which is one of most reliable cable modems on the consumer market. Surfboard SB8200 supports the latest DOCSIS 3.1 protocol, which is ten times faster than DOCSIS 3.0. However, apart from Comcast, the supported ISPs send the data through DOCSIS 3.0, which is why the transfer rates of this modem are only better theoretically. This makes this cable modem a future-proof product that should be useful for other ISPs once they officially support the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol.
The modem provides 32 downstream channels along with 8 upstream channels for DOCSIS 3.0 and 2 OFDM downstream channels along with 2 OFDM upstream channels for DOCSIS 3.1, with maximum download speeds of 10 Gbps and upload speed of 2 Gbps. The two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the modem makes it great for esports gaming.
Best 32×8 Cable Modem – Cable modems are required for the modulation and demodulation of the signals with Aux cables as the interface. In layman’s terms, the modem (not to be confused with the router) changes the signal so you can receive internet.