Best Home Modem – When you’re shopping for a new router, it’s best to start by considering the size of your coverage area and the number of clients you need to support, as well as the types of devices that you’ll be connecting.
Not everybody needs the kind of performance that you get with the latest and greatest models, and there’s no reason to pay for features that you will likely never use. If you’re looking for a lower price rather than a big bundle of bleeding-edge features, check out this list of budget routers.
- This 16x4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem provides speeds up to 686 Mbps, sixteen times faster than DOCSIS 2.0. A Full-Band Capture digital tuner ensures a faster, more reliable Internet.
- Cable modem's Ethernet port connects to a computer, HDTV, game station, or wireless router. (This Model MB7420 cable modem does NOT have a built-in wireless router and does not have a telephone adapter or phone jack. The Motorola MG7310, MG7315, MG7540 and MG7550 have a built-in wireless router.)
- Requires cable Internet service. Certified by Comcast XFINITY for residential speeds up to Extreme 300, by Comcast Business for speeds up to Deluxe 250, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter Spectrum, BrightHouse, and other leading cable service providers for modem ownership programs that typically save rental charges of 120 dollar or more per year
- Setup is fast and easy with a few quick steps set out in a Quick Start guide. Experienced USA-based customer support specialists are there to help if you need them.
The Motorola MB7420 is the best cable modem for most homes, capable of supporting speeds available to a majority of home internet plans. The MB7420 is ideal for internet plans that top out at 300 Mbps, which covers a wide swath of our household. In testing the MB7420 at my home, I enjoyed steady connectivity, and that’s with multiple people stuck inside, all trying to hit the internet at once.
The MB7420 isn’t as tall as the Netgear CM500, our previous pick for the best cable modem, though some people may prefer the more compact size of the Arris Surfboard modems. At least, the MB7420 looks stylish, with rounded corners and vented sides. Its gray color should blend in well with other networking equipment.
- Compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more. Requires Cable Internet Service
- Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
- Cable Modem only (no WiFi router).Memory: 8 MB NOR flash and 128 MB RAM
- Support Cable Internet Service plans up to 300Mbps. Recommended for all speed tiers up to 500 Mbps. Separate router required for WiFi. 24x8 channel bonding
- DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0
- Ideal for streaming 4K UHD content, fastest downloads, and high-speed online gaming
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.
3.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 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.
- Tri Band Wireless Internet Router for 4K video, streaming and gaming with incredible high speed, 1625 Mbps on both 5 GHz bands and 750 Mbps on 2. 4 GHz band
- Archer A20 V3 with Powerful 1. 8 GHz 64-bit CPU, three co-processors and 512 MB of RAM powers your home network. Works as a great gaming router.
- Eliminate buffering with MU-MIMO technology letting you connect more devices simultaneously. Multiple requests and accelerate loading Times.
- Range boost technology enables far reaching Wi Fi for long range coverage throughout the Home. Supported Operating Systems: OS Independent Up to Windows 10, Mac OS 10. 12 and Linux
- Advanced security: Protect your network and connected devices with a free lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare featuring next-level antivirus, robust parental controls, and QoS.
- Gigabit Wired Speeds-1 WAN and 4 LAN gigabit ports bring wired speeds to the maximum and Link Aggregation even doubles it to 2 Gbps.
- Works with all internet service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN, Cox, CenturyLink, Frontier, etc.( a modem is required for most internet service providers)
The Archer A20 doesn’t offer anything new in terms of design. In fact, it looks identical to the Archer C3200 router that we reviewed back in 2015. The black textured enclosure measures 1.5 by 7.9 by 7.9 inches (HWD) and uses six nonremovable external antennas that fold out from the top of the router.
There are nine small LED indicators on the front edge for power, Ethernet, internet, all three radio bands, two USB ports, and WPS activity. Also along the front edge are Wi-Fi (on/off), WPS, and LED (on/off) buttons. The rear panel holds four gigabit LAN ports, two of which support link aggregation, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, a reset button, a power button, and a power jack.
- Next gen Wi-Fi standard 802.11Ax Wi-Fi standard for better efficiency and throughput; ultrafast Wi-Fi speed 6000 Mbps Wi-Fi speed to handle even the busiest network with ease
- Certified for Humans – Smart home made easy for non-experts. Setup with Alexa is simple.
- Wider usage and more convenience 4 antennas plus 8 LAN ports to support more clients at the same time
- Commercial-grade security – AiProtection powered by Trend Micro blocks internet security threats for all your connected smart devices
- Better partner with mesh system; compatible with ASUS AiMesh Wi-Fi system for seamless whole home coverage’s support: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.7, Mac OS X 10.8
Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax or High Efficiency (HE) Wireless, is the next technology iteration for wireless routers. An evolution of 802.11ac technology, 802.11ax promises increased throughput speeds of up to 4.8 gigabits per second (Gbps).
That means less network congestion, greater client capacity, and better range performance courtesy of several new and improved wireless technologies. Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) improves overall throughput by breaking Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels. This allows up to 30 users to share a channel at the same time.
6.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
While it is certainly pricey, you get incredible speed in an easy-to-use package. Since it’s capable of up to 960 Mbps, this modem is also an investment in the future. While you likely don’t require such bandwidth now, this amount of Mbps means the Nighthawk has speed to spare and will save you from having to invest in a new modem as tech progresses.
While this Nighthawk arguably has the disadvantage of being a dual modem-router, it makes up for it with the unique feature of two included phone lines that function on the Comcast service. Unfortunately, this also means that this device is compatible only with Xfinity and not other phone services.
- 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.
The Motorola MB8600 is an easy choice. At some , it makes a gratifying upgrade for those moving from a sub-Gigabit to a Gigabit cable broadband plan.
If you’re in that situation, go for it, you won’t regret it.
I tested the Motorola SM8600 with Comcast. While the modem will work with other cable providers, the experience expressed here is that of Xfinity subscribers.
Best Home Modem – Nowadays, any router worth its salt will offer at least two radio bands, a 2.4GHz band and a 5GHz band. The 2.4GHz band operates at a lower frequency than the 5GHz band and offers better range because it is more adept at penetrating walls and other structures. However, it doesn’t offer the fat pipe and high-speed access that you get with the 5GHz band.