Best Modem for Gigabit Internet – Networking is vital to the modern home and your source of connection shouldn’t be hampered by poor buying choices. The best routers for multiple devices and the best modem/router combos are vastly different things to take into consideration.
But what if you’re someone who’s always moving between rooms or even struggling to get a connection in the bedroom? Well, we’ve got a handy buyer’s guide on some great extenders and mesh Wi-Fi nodes for the home. If you’re in America, I feel sorry for you and your weird ISP rules about modems and gateways, but for those on AT&T, here’s how to use your own router with their gateway!
ROUND UPback to menu ↑
- Compatible with all major cable internet providers with internet speed up to 1Gbps. Currently certified with Spectrum and Cox (up to 1Gbps), Xfinity (up to 800Mbps). Not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and any bundled voice service.
- Save monthly rental fees: Model CM1000 replaces your cable modem saving you up to dollar 168/year in equipment rental fees.
Of course, the overall choice here is the Netgear CM1000. While there are combination routers out there, this is going to be the mainstay in your home for a few years and you might as well buy the router separately, so you’re not tied to one device in the event of a failure.
We’ve got some great buying recommendations for routers, but knowing that your source of connection to the world wide web is going to be reliable and out the way, is probably the best you can do.back to menu ↑
2.ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
- DOCSIS 3 1 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 1 Gbps. Note, a 2nd IP address is required from your cable internet provider to reach 1 Gbps.
- 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3 0 bonded channels, 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3 1 channels
If you don’t need the Wi-Fi router that comes with the ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300, check out the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200.
This is one of the most affordable options on this list and a great entry point into DOCSIS 3.1 speeds. This cable modem is compatible with Cox, Xfinity and other major cable internet providers in the U.S.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.)
Flipping out of nowhere – seriously I haven’t thought about Motorola in years – the mb8600 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that is very similar in scope to the prior mentioned Netgear. It supports 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 in the event of your high-speed connection not supporting the 3.1 standards just yet, with support for pretty much any router or device being plugged in.
Again, this is coax, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you’re on a fiber connection, but Motorola does tout their easy setup with their QuickStart.back to menu ↑
4.NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable
- COMPATIBLE WITH MAJOR CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS: Including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and more. NOT compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and any bundled voice service
- BUILT FOR ULTIMATE SPEED: Best for cable provider plans up to 6Gbps
This is a massive boon, as if Comcast and its competitors actually manage to bring their experiments to the network, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the 10-gigabit speeds in the next couple of years or so.
Because it’s intended to replace all parts of the connection, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, with a singular 2.5GBs port, so you can connect whatever into it, compared to the othersback to menu ↑
- Ultra-fast DOCSIS 3.1 performance - Delivers true Gigabit-plus speeds. Supports fast internet plans with Comcast Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum. Backward compatible with 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0.
- Pairs with any WiFi router - Seamlessly compatible with any WiFi router to connect all your devices. This cable modem does NOT have a built-in wireless router or telephone call capability.
The Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 multi-gig cable modem is one of the most popular options on this list. It’s affordable, easy to set up and offers plenty of features you might be looking for when switching to a DOCSIS 3.1-enabled modem, such as a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port.
This model pairs with any Wi-Fi router and has been approved to work with many top internet providers. If you’re looking for an easy experience with getting out of paying equipment rental fees from your provider, we suggest looking into the Motorola MB8611.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, another highly regarded 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, promises the same performance levels on the same speed tiers as the MB7621—it just costs a bit more and has a shorter, one-year warranty.
The Netgear CM600’s user manual (PDF) also claims compatibility with Optimum, but if you have Optimum service, you should call your local Optimum customer support number to check before you buy any modem. Owners like it; Amazon reviews are consistently positive.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).
A former top pick, the Netgear CM500 is still a good choice for the budget-minded internet user. It shares many of the same features as our top pick, including wide ISP approval, at a lower purchase price. The trade-off is that ISP support for the CM500 usually tops off at about 300 Mbps instead of the 600 Mbps the MB7621 and CM600 are capable of.
It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity (up to 250 Mbps), Spectrum (up to 300 Mbps), Cox (Ultimate plan), Suddenlink (up to 500 Mbps), and Sparklight/Cable One (up to 300 Mbps), as well as with WOW’s 500 Mbps plan. On the plus side, you will be fine for a while, because DOCSIS 3.1 is backward-compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 modems. It’s a great pick if you don’t need your cable company’s fastest plans, or if they are unavailable where you live.back to menu ↑
Best Modem for Gigabit Internet – Your gigabit modem will come with one or more gigabit Ethernet ports. These ports support speeds up to either 1 Gbps or 2.5 Gbps.
While most gigabit internet plans top out at 1 Gbps, some go even faster, like Xfinity’s Gigabit plan. If you have a plan with download speeds over 1 Gbps, you’ll need a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port to get all the internet speeds you’re paying for.
Once you’ve got a modem with the correct ports, you’ll use them to connect your modem to a wireless router and blanket your home in Wi-Fi. (Unless you get a modem/router combo—then your Wi-Fi router comes built into the device.)