Best Ethernet Modem – Although most of the DOCSIS 3.1 modems are backward-compatible with DOCSIS 3.0, you should only get them if your internet provider has rolled out the technology in your area. Before choosing an internet modem, make sure that it’s compatible with your Service Provider or else it won’t connect.
To make it easy for you, we’ve added the compatible and non-compatible service providers near every modem listed below, but it’s recommended that you double-check with your internet service provider.
ROUND UPback to menu ↑
- Model MB7621 is recommended for actual cable Internet service speeds up to 650 Mbps. Wirecutter rates this “the best modem for most people.” A Full-Band Capture Digital Tuner ensures faster, more reliable Internet.
- This cable modem's 1 Gigabit Ethernet port connects to a WiFi router, computer, HDTV, game station, or streaming video device. Great for use with Whole Home WiFi or Mesh networks like eero, Google WiFi, and Orbi. (This cable modem does not have a built-in wireless router or telephone call capability. The Motorola MG7315, MG7540, MG7550, and MG7700 have a built-in wireless router.)
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.back to menu ↑
- Compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more. Requires Cable Internet Service
- Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
The Netgear CM600 is a 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem that supports the same performance levels as the Motorola MB7621, though it is slightly more expensive.
The biggest downside is that, although the CM600 has positive reviews from owners, it comes with only a one-year warranty, whereas most modems come with a two-year warranty.back to menu ↑
- 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).
America’s average internet speeds measure around 180 Mbps, depending on which survey you pick. If your plan is in that range and you don’t intend to upgrade beyond 300 Mbps anytime soon, we recommend the Netgear CM500.
The CM500 matches the ISP compatibility of the pricier CM600, but its maximum download and upload speeds are lower (300 Mbps on the CM500 versus 600 Mbps on the CM600, though Suddenlink certifies it for 500 Mbps speeds). The CM500 has a good reputation for reliability, but like the CM600 it comes with only a one-year warranty.back to menu ↑
- 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.)
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.back to menu ↑
5.ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300-RB
- 3 products in 1: DOCSIS 3 1 Cable Modem, AC2350 Dual band Wi-Fi, 4 port Gigabit Router (cable digital voice service not supported)
- Compatible with major U S Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others Cable internet service required Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers
The ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with a dual-band Wi-Fi router attached. In that respect, it’s pretty much just like NETGEAR’s Nighthawk C7800, only without the Nighthawk’s red, wavy stripe, cool antennas, or added security features.
The big bonus here is that you can save on space in your home and maybe a little money by opting for a gigabit modem router rather than having to shop for both a modem and a router.back to menu ↑
- COMPATIBLE WITH XFINITY INTERNET & VOICE SERVICE: Certified by Comcast for Xfinity. NOT compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and non Xfinity voice services
- SAVE MONTHLY RENTAL FEES: Model CM1150V replaces your cable modem saving you up to $150/yr in equipment rental fees
If your service provider has the infrastructure in place to churn out speeds of up to 2 Gbps, this modem can be quite a handful, considering the engineering, 32 x 8 channel bonding technology in place.
Although the 4096 QAM and OFDM technology, paired with channel bonding strength, allows the modem to reach download speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The ISP restrictions will allow less than this, and the speed also depends on the quality of the router in place.
In terms of ports, we were pleased to see 4 gig slots on the modem itself. Netgear also offers link aggregation support to help you combine two 1G connections into a single 2G output, provided the ISP permits this. This multi-gig modem features Active Queue Management, minimizing latency and gaming ping.back to menu ↑
- 3 products in 1: 32x8 Cable Modem, AC1750 Dual band Wi-Fi Router, 4 Port Gigabit Router
- APPROVED with major U.S. Cable Providers Xfinity and Cox. Compatible with Spectrum (Time Warner, Charter and Brighthouse). REQUIRES Cable Internet Service. Not compatible with ATT, Verizon or CenturyLink
Most smart homes today have an increasing number of devices that connect to the internet through Wi-Fi. It has become a necessity to have a modem router combo that is capable of supporting a growing number of devices.
ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300 is a three-in-one network device that works as a modem, a four-port gigabit router, and the AC2350 dual-band WiFi.
This advanced modem provides internet broadband speed over 10Gbps and a WiFi speed up to 2350 Mbps. It is capable of streaming videos in ultra-HD easily. You can play online games without buffering.back to menu ↑
Best Ethernet Modem – Did your cable internet provider roll out DOCSIS 3.1 based gigabit connections in your service area? To get gigabit internet speeds (up to 10 Gbps) and other benefits, you’ll need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
Although you can rent a modem or a modem/router combo from your ISP, we think it’s better to purchase one. But, which one?