Best Computer Modem – Although modems are straightforward devices, picking out the right one can be a little tricky because you need to find one that’s compatible with your ISP and fast enough to deliver the download speeds you pay for.
But buying your own cable modem is always a smart decision: you’ll save on monthly rental fees and, in some cases, you can even get models with added functionality, such as a built-in wireless router for WiFi.
1.NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900
- Compatible with Xfinity Cable & Voice Plans up to 800Mbps speed.
- Three-in-one DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + AC1900 WiFi Router+ Xfinity Voice and 2 USB ports
- DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 24x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0
- Ideal for streaming 4K HD videos, faster downloads, and high-speed online gaming.Optional battery backup for power outages with up to 8 hours of standby and 5 hours of talk time
- 2 Voice over IP (VoIP) Ports and 4 Gagabit Ethernet Port.System Requirements:Microsoft Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP, 2000, Mac OS, UNIX, or Linux.Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0, Safari 1.4 or Google Chrome 11.0 browsers or higher
“I’m very happy and impressed on how drastically this improved my speed,” they write. “Plugged in everything, set up everything, then I tested my speed. And Jesus. I was getting 235 Mbps download and 12 Upload 10 ping.” Other reviewers mention the simple setup process: “The new modem was up and running in less than ten minutes.
Holy smokes! What a difference this made,” one says. According to another, it “changed my internet from bullet speed to light speed. I’m paying for 250 mbps but this thing keeps clocking in close to 600 mbps. So … yeah … pretty damn satisfied!!”
2.ARRIS Surfboard SB6183-RB
- APPROVED with Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse), Cox and more. If not sure call your cable provider to find out if approved to use. REQUIRES Cable Internet Service. Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
- Cable Modem only (no WiFi router). NO support for Cable TELCO options
- Internet speeds up to 686 Mbps on 16 Download Channels and 131 Mbps on 4 Upload Channels, based on your cable ISP subscription. Approved for plans up to 400Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to computer or router
- Great for streaming HD Video and gaming on multiple devices at a time
- 90 Day Warranty. ARRIS Certified Refurbished. US Technical support. ARRIS Certified Refurbished products will ALWAYS be branded ARRIS, Never Motorola! If you get Motorola branded product they are illegitimate, need to be returned to Seller and Reported to Amazon
The Surfboard is a popular, affordable choice—and it shows since it’s frequently sold out on retailer sites. However, when you can find one, it’s one of the best available for such a low cost.
The modem is compact, and the lights are bright and easy to read. 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.
- Top Internet Speeds for all Multi-gigabit Speed Tiers - Wirecutter recommends this model as the best cable modem for people using Gigabit Internet plans. Built-in DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.0 32x8 capabilities give top Internet speeds for all cable Internet services.
- Save Money - Eliminate up to 168 dollars per year in cable modem rental fees (Savings are shown for Comcast Xfinity and vary by cable service provider.) Approved by Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1, Cox, and CableOne for all speeds including Comcast Gigabit services and Cox Gigablast. Not compatible with RCN. No cable modem is compatible with fiber optic, DSL, or satellite services, available from Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and others.)
- Flexible Compatibility - Pair with any Wi-Fi router you’d like, including Whole Home Wi-Fi or Mesh routers like eero, Google Wi-Fi, and Orbi. A 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port allows connection of any SINGLE device with an Ethernet port including a router, Windows or Mac computer, HDTV, or game station. This cable modem does not have a built-in wireless router or telephone call capability.
- Proactive Network Security - A broadcom chipset provides advanced security from denial-of service attacks.
- Active Queue Management (AQM) - AQM significantly reduces Internet latency on both DOCSIS 3.1 and 3.0 services, resulting in faster page loads for all Web traffic and enhanced interactive applications like online gaming and video conferencing. The MB8600 also includes a full-band capture digital tuner to enhance speed and save energy.
When buying a modem, it’s imperative that you make sure it will work with either your current router or the router you plan to purchase. The Motorola MB8600 relieves you of that stress—it’s capable of connecting to any Wi-Fi router and, on top of that, has a two-year warranty.
The design is functional, if not particularly attractive, and it has good ventilation to prevent it from overheating. There’s also built-in protection against service attacks and power surges. Reviewers noted that the MB8600 was easy to set up and connect, and confirmed that it worked well with multiple ISPs.
- Save monthly rental fees: Model CM500 replaces your cable modem, saving you up to $168/yr in equipment rental fees.
- Speeds by carrier: Spectrum (up to 400Mbps), Xfinity (up to 200Mbps), Cox (up to 150Mbps).
- Works with any wifi router: Connect any WiFi router to this modem's Ethernet port to support all your wireless devices.
- Ethernet connections: 1 Gigabit Ethernet port connects to your computer or separate WiFi router.
- Modem technology: Engineered with 16x4 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.0.
While we don’t expect your modem to function as a piece of art, many people are still concerned that it will be an eyesore. This particular model has a sleek and sophisticated look, though the shiny exterior can easily smudge. It also doesn’t have the best ventilation, so you will want to keep it in a cool, open area to prevent overheating.
Overall, however, reviewers at Top Ten Reviews found that despite the CM500’s low price, it’s competitive with top-tier modems. “[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. While it’s best running at only 300 Mbps or lower, they tested up to 400 Mbps and didn’t have issues.
- Supports internet speed up to 2Gbps. Certified with Xfinity Internet & Voice Plans up to 800Mbps speed. Future speed with Xfinity is subject to change
- Works with any WiFi router. Connect any WiFi router to this modem’s Ethernet port to support all your wireless devices
- Save monthly rental fees. Model CM1150V replaces your cable modem saving you up to $150/yr in equipment rental fees
- Four (4) Gigabit Ethernet ports give you fast wired connections to your computer, separate WiFi router, printer, game box, and other devices
- For use with Xfinity Voice service and up to 2 telephone lines with enhanced call features including caller ID, 3 way conference calling, call forwarding and more
- Modem technology: Engineered with 32x8 channel bonding, OFDM 2x2, and DOCSIS 3.1
- Multi-gig Ethernet: Link aggregation combines two 1G ports into one 2G port for faster wired ethernet speed
This is the modem to get if you are also using landline telephone service from your ISP. It’s an expensive modem, but you are likely already paying a fair bit of money for a lot of service, so you can’t use any regular modem.
The good news is this modem does voice, high-speed connections, and allows you to have two independent networks. For what you get, it’s a lot. But you need this only if you are doing telephone service.
6.ARRIS Surfboard S33
- MULTI-GIG NETWORKING: The SURFboard S33 features a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port plus an additional 1 Gbps Ethernet port for a 2nd network
- Cable internet service required. Does NOT include Wi-Fi and does not support cable digital voice service.
- DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem approved for cable internet speed plans up to 1.2 Gbps
- 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels, 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3 1 channels
- Connects to any existing Wi-Fi router for blazing-fast internet.
- Compatible with major U.S. Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others.ice.
- Stop renting your modem and save on monthly modem rental fees!
- Sleek new, modern design fits nicely into home or office
- Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers
There’s a lot of brains behind this beauty: Not only is this a fast modem, not only is this a modem you don’t need to hide in a closet (although we still would), this modem also allows you to have two separate networks from your single connection.
That’s pretty neat, although we don’t know anyone who might need such a feature. The price of the Arris Surfboard S33 is also quite good, considering its bevy of features.
7.ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
- Compatible with major U.S. Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others. Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers.
- DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 800 Mbps. Easily setup your modem with the SURFboard Central app
- 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port for connecting to a Wi-Fi router or other device.
- Cable internet service required. Does not inlcude Wi-Fi and does not support cable digital voice service.
A successor to Arris’ extremely popular SB6183, the SB6190 continues the company’s reputation for making some of the most reliable cable modems available. If you have a regular internet connection less than 1Gbps (which is what most of us have), the Arris Surfboard SB6190 will fit your needs just fine. There’s a really good chance you’ll take this out of the box, swap it with the modem from your cable company and not even think about the modem ever again.
It’s small enough to be tucked away just about anywhere, and is also certified by all the major cable providers, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting it running with your internet service provider of choice.
Best Computer Modem – Cable modems – the devices that bring the internet to our homes – are easy to forget about because once they’re set up, they don’t need much care and feeding.
That’s probably why so many people rent their modems from their internet service provider (ISP). But if you’ve rented a modem for more than a year, you’ve already spent more than the cost of owning one outright, so you can definitely save money by buying one.