The Best Modems For Internet Service - Reviews + Guide

Our Score - 9.8/10

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Our Score - 9.4/10

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Our Score - 8.7/10

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Our Score - 8.2/10

Life without the internet is a nightmare. A poor internet connection can adversely affect your work. Instead of struggling with internet issues every day, why not buy your own modem?

We have listed the 10 best modems for you. These reviews include the features, pros, and cons of each cable modem and router to help you get the best internet experience in 2021.

Table of Contents

Pros:

Cons:

Our top pick for the best modem is Netgear Nighthawk C7000. It is one of the most impressive cable modems from this brand. Available in a stylish and compact built, this device will settle anywhere on your computer desk.

It is enclosed in a black plastic case and promises durability. LED lights on the edges help check the current status and work performance of Nighthawk C7000. This lightweight, 1.6 lbs device features the following:

  • Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • One USB 2.0 Port
  • A Coaxial Cable
  • Power Cable Port


With built-in antennas in its dotted body, you can find it more organized and straightforward. The setup of a modem takes longer than a router. You must have all ISP (Internet Service Provider) data such as username and password to install Netgear Nighthawk C7000.

The device is available with a user-friendly instruction manual. Thus, installation is easier. Also, you can connect with the customer support service for troubleshooting.

Its outstanding performance reaches 1.9 Gbps when you connect with the AC1900 Wi-Fi. We recommend this device to gamers for its excellent 1.6 GHz processor. Nighthawk C7000 also comprises 256 MB RAM and 128 MB Flash memory.

Also, this unit works with a trustable security system in the form of PSK, WPA, and WPA2 access. You can benefit from double firewall protection by connecting with this device.

The Nighthawk C7000 is a DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) 3.0 integrated modem with a Broadcom BCM3384 WiFi chip. Being a dual-band router, its internet speed has no competition.

What we like:

The best feature of Netgear Nighthawk C7000 is its Beamforming + Radio Wave Technology. It enhances the WiFi range of this device and improves wireless communication.

Pros:

Cons:

The next on our list is the Arris SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. This unit is compatible with almost all cable internet providers like Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Time Warner Cable, Charter, Brighthouse Networks), Cox, Mediacom, and more.

This device offers 343 Mbps download speed, and 131 Mbps upload speed. Hence, you can easily download any HD movie, videos, and games within minutes. Also, it enables online streaming without any buffer for an excellent experience.

SB6141 is a flexible DOCSIS 3.0 integrated modem. So, it supports all the latest internet updates and protocols like IPv4 and IPv6.

Besides a lightweight and compact design, this cable modem provides a wide Wi-Fi range. Hence, you can access the internet in different corners of your house.

It has a sturdy built with the ability to withstand mishandling. You can find indicator lights on the durable plastic body of the Arris SURFboard. It has three LED options to display the performance status:

  • Greenlight shows the modem is operational.
  • Blue light displays an upstream or downstream connection
  • Amber light highlights an Ethernet connection


Also, its ability to resist scratches lets you place this device anywhere on the shelf.

Because most ISPs approve SB6141, you can buy any router for enhancing the internet connection. The unit comes with a LAN port so you can connect it to your computer.

Besides offering 8 x 4 modem channels (8 downstream channels + 4 upstream channels), it provides one 1-Gigabit Ethernet Port and a two-year warranty.

What we like:

Arris SURFboard SB6141 is the best choice for cable modems for its compatibility with almost all internet service providers. It has a handy setup and excellent customer service too.

Pros:

Cons:

If you want to eliminate your rental fee, TP-Link TC-7610 is the best choice. It offers all the features of a high-end cable modem at a thrifty price. Available in a stylish black design, this compact device will settle anywhere in your home.

This unit offers a durable black plastic body and LED light indicators to display performance. TP-Link cable modem is compatible with a cable internet plan within the 150 Mbps range. It is also approved by other cable providers TCW 100M, Comcast Xfinity, Brighthouse 100, and more.

Also, it offers 8 x 4 modem channels (8 downstream + 4 upstream) along with a 343 Mbps download and 143 Mbps upload speed. Thus, you can enjoy downloading HD videos on this device and upload data too.

With a two-year warranty, it offers 24×7 customer support. This DOCSIS 3.0 integrated modem is compatible with its previous versions 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0. It performs eight times faster than DOCSIS 2.0 modem.

TC-7610 supports all the latest internet updates. Hence, you will find it compatible with IPv4 and IPv6 (Internet Protocols).

What we like:

TP-Link TC-7610 is an affordable high-tech cable modem. It offers all the features of any latest cable modem and cuts the monthly modem rental fee.

Pros:

Cons:

Netgear is one of the top internet service providers. And its CM600 model is an in-demand cable modem. Its channel-bonding technology makes it the best choice for gamers.

CM600 consists of a durable and lightweight black case that supports portability. You can place it on the ground as its flat base prevents it from falling. Besides a stylish built, this unit promises durability and longevity.

The triangular ventilation edges of Netgear CM600 prevent overheating and keep the device cool. Also, it includes LED indicators to display device performance.

Besides offering an amazing internet speed, it offers 24 x 8 channel modems (24 downstream + 8 upstream). Thus, you can downstream and upstream data signals across multiple platforms at faster speeds.

This unit consists of 128 GB RAM and 8 MB NOR Flash Memory. Also, it supports a cable internet plan within the 3000 Mbps internet range. The brand recommends it for all speed tiers that reach up to 500 Mbps.

Because it is a DOCSIS 3.0 integrated modem, CM600 is approved by other cable providers too. It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and more.

By using this modem, you can enjoy streaming 4K UHD content and high-speed online gaming. It features,

  • On/Off Button
  • Power Input Port
  • Coaxial Connection Port
  • One Gigabit Ethernet Port


To provide a secure connection, this device also works with security systems like WPA and WPA2.

What we like:

The universal compatibility of Netgear CM600 makes it stand out as a cable modem. It can support more than five devices at a time without compromising on cable internet speeds.

Pros:

Cons:

Next up, we have the Netgear Nighthawk C7800. Its dual nature makes this device our top pick. This 2-in-1 device is a WiFi cable modem and router.

Nighthawk C7800 delivers ultra-fast internet cable speed. It utilizes Active Antenna technology to boost the range all over your house.

There is no need to buy an extra router with this device. So, you can save both space and cash. This unit offers an internet speed of 3.2 Gbps for smart devices. C7800 offers fast online streaming and enhances VR gaming quality with its built-in cable labs.

Moreover, Netgear Nighthawk C7800 consists of four active antennae. These further increase signal quality and eliminate any noise in the air for better communication.

Also, you can find two USB ports on this modem router for connecting storage devices and transferring data. Its quad-stream WiFi allows downloading and streaming of multiple HD videos together. You can connect countless devices without any lag or buffering.

To provide a secure connection, free from unauthorized access, it works using security systems like WPA and WPA2. The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 also provides a limited 1-year warranty on hardware and a 90-day guarantee for basic technical support.

What we like:

The Nighthawk C7800 is a DOCSIS 3.1 integrated modem. It makes this Wi-Fi cable and router perform ten times faster than DOCSIS 3.0.

Pros:

Cons:

The Motorola MG7700 is one of the best combinations of a router and a modem. It is certainly the best cable modem for its practical design. This unit is compact enough to blend in with your room.

It has a no-frills style and a matte gray finish, along with a detachable black stand. The stand allows you to install MG7700 in a vertical position, which is the recommended position. The front of this unit has a set of LED indicators to display device performance.

You can check whether the modem router is turned on, traffic levels, and the number of devices connected to WiFi through these indicators. The modem also features:

  • On/Off Button
  • Power Input Port
  • Coaxial Connection Port
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports


While it is a 2-in-1 device, you must connect its coaxial cable with your internet service provider’s port to access the internet. Hence, try to place it nearest to the coaxial cables or use cable extensions.

Installing the MG7700 is easier than any other router modem. Choose between the Advanced Setup and Setup Wizard to install it. Also, this unit is approved by particular ISPs like Spectrum, Xfinity by Comcast, and Cox.

With its built-in Dual-Band Technology, this modem also operates as a Wi-Fi router. It consists of 24 x 8 modem channels and has a download speed of 1 Gbps and an upload speed of 240 Mbps.

Motorola MG7700 is a DOCSIS 3.0 integrated modem, which makes it fast and effective. As a Wi-Fi router, this unit works on the AC1900 Router Technology. Thus, its dual-band support makes it compatible with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz devices.

This modem router combo can offer an internet speed between 600-700 Mbps on a basic scale. You can make the most 0f its two-year warranty and stream HD videos on a Gigabit plan.

What we like:

The Motorola MG7700 modem and router offer outstanding internet speed and dual-band support. With two wireless frequency bands, you can enjoy 2.4 GHz (slower + extended range) and 5 GHz (faster + shorter range) internet speed.

Pros:

Cons:

If you are looking for high-speed cable modems, Netgear CM1000 is the right choice. The cable company offers a spectacular design that boosts performance. Its sharp and edgy build prevents overheating and keeps the Gigabit cable modem cool.

The front of CM1000 has a shiny aluminum front with an LED indicator panel. Here, green LEDs display device performance. Its rear panel features the following:

  • Power Button
  • Power Jack
  • Reset Buttons
  • Coaxial Connection Port
  • One LAN port


This Netgear device is a DOCSIS 3.1 integrated modem, making it 10 times faster than DOCSIS 3 0 cable modems. It supports a QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Moderation) of 4096 and a wider range of modem channels between 20 – 50 kHz.

CM1000 supports low and high bandwidth simultaneously. It consists of 32 x 8 modem channels, and 1.2 Gbps download speeds and 304 Mbps upload speeds. Thus, it is the best modem for Gigabit internet plans.

It is compatible with almost all internet cable companies like Xfinity, Spectrum, and Comcast COX. This unit can replace the best cable modems and eliminate equipment rental fees. You can connect it with any Wi-Fi router.

What we like:

We recommend Netgear CM1000 because it is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. It has an extensive range of modem channels and offers faster internet speed than DOCSIS 3.0 integrated models.

Pros:

Cons:

Netgear C3000 is one of the best DOCSIS 3.0 integrated cable modems on the market. It is a compact device with a tiny footprint. Hence, you can place it anywhere on the shelf for a slow N300 wireless network speed.

We recommend this unit for medium-sized homes. It supports streaming HD movies and gaming besides providing secure WiFi connections. For enhancing security, it works with WPA and WPA2.

It offers a durable black plastic case and is lighter than other modems. The front panel of C3000 consists of buttons for WPS and Wi-Fi networks. Also, it consists of seven LED indicators to display power, downstream traffic, upstream traffic, 2.4GHz WiFi, WAN, wired status, and USB 2.0 connection.

Setting up this Netgear device is extremely easy. It operates like a plug-and-play unit. Hence, you can use it minutes after connecting with an Ethernet cable. Once you activate the 250 Mbps Xfinity service, the device is ready to go.

Next, the rear panel of Netgear C3000 features the following:

  • On/Off Button
  • Power Jack
  • Two Ethernet Ports
  • Reset Button
  • Coax Connection Port
  • USB 2.0 Port


Besides, it offers a single Wi-Fi antenna offering 2.4 GHz speed internet. C3000 uses the Netgear Genie app available on Google Play and Apple Store. This app works like a personal dashboard that helps monitor, control, and repair a home network.

Also, the Genie App grants access to Live Parental Controls and ReadyNAS for controlling any drives connected to the USB 2.0 port.

It includes 8 x 4 modem channels and a limited 1-year warranty. You can find an N300 Wi-Fi modem router in the cable box, an Ethernet cable, a Quick install guide, and a power adaptor.

What we like:

Netgear C3000 is a minimal use device and offers a user-friendly setup overall. We recommend this device for its compatibility with the Netgear Genie App. It helps you get Live Parental Controls and control your network from anywhere.

Pros:

Cons:

Motorola MB8600 is the latest of all cable modems from this brand. Being a DOCSIS 3 1 cable modem, it brings new features to the table. It comes in an elliptic-cylindrical plastic case.

With its soft edges, the device has a grey matte finish on the body. But, its top and bottom display a glossy black finish to make the device attractive. It is built smartly while keeping overheating issues in consideration.

Its vent holes on the body make it durable and scratch-free. Further, its front panel features five LED indicators. These display the status and device performance:

  • Power – A green LED shows whether the device is operational
  • Downstream – A blinking green LED shows when the modem is scanning for a downstream channel. It changes to solid green when the device is connected to a channel. But, if the LED is blinking blue, it means MB8600 is negotiating with bonded channels. Only a solid blue LED shows its connection with 2+ channels.
  • Upstream – Works similar to downstream LED while focusing on upstream channels.
  • Online – A solid green LED displays a DOCSIS 3.0 connection, while solid blue LED displays a DOCSIS 3.1 connection.
  • LAN – A blinking LED displays activity, and a solid green color shows that Ethernet ports are linked without bonding. Only a solid blue LED displays the ports are connected and bonded.


The rear panel of Motorola MB8600 contains a colorful view. You will find each button divided in a separate color. It features:

  • Reset Button
  • One LAN port
  • Coaxial Connection Port
  • On/Off Button
  • Power Jack


This unit works using a Broadcom BCM3390 ZRK SBG chipset. Also, it offers 512 MB RAM and 128 MB NAND storage memory.

MB8600 can handle 32 x 8 SC-QAM (Single-Carrier QAM) modem channels for DOCSIS 3.0 (32 downstream + 8 upstream). Also, it offers two OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) modem channels for DOCSIS 3.1.

This device is compatible with multiple ISPs like Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Grande Communication. It has a simple setup and a theoretical speed of 1 Gbps.

What we like:

Motorola MB8600 makes a futuristic Gigabit modem and offers firmware updates. We recommend it for its future-related features. With the next-generation ISPs, this device will provide a speed limit of 6 Gbps.

Pros:

Cons:

The last on our list of the best modems is Arris SURFboard SB8200. It is a popular product on the market to escape from monthly rental fees. Being a DOCSIS 3 1 modem, it offers the latest technology any leading cable internet provider appreciates.

SB8200 has a solid plastic case with a white modem finish. Its design is similar to the prior models – Arris SURFboard SB6183, SB6141, and SB6190. Its casing comprises two sections where the external rectangular part wraps around a smaller one.

The upper body of Arris SB8200 displays ventilation holes that prevent overheating. Its front panel induces four LED indicators to show device status and work performance as follows:

  • Power – A green LED shows that the modem is operational.
  • Receive – A green LED shows connection with DOCSIS 3.0 channels, and a blue LED displays DOCSIS 3.1 bonded channels.
  • Send – Works similar to Recieve LED.
  • Online – A green LED shows an active internet connection.


Also, the rear panel of this unit is colorful. Each section is divided into a separate color. It features:

  • Two Ethernet ports along with two LED indicators (A green LED displays a GigE connection whereas an amber LED shows a 10/100 Mbps data connection)
  • Coaxial Connection Port
  • Power Jack


This unit offers 32 x 8 modem channels and makes a perfect choice for Gigabit plans. It can offer ultra-fast internet speeds of 2 Gbps. These include 10Gbps downloading and 1 Gbps uploading speed.

Hence, you can stream 4K Ultra-HD Videos and enjoy Virtual Reality Gaming. SURFboard SB8200 is compatible with Comcast and COX, along with many other ISPs.

Besides being a backward compatible modem, this device focuses on security protocols too. It supports internet browsing standards IPv4 and IPv6 to enhance network performance. 

Arris SB8200 consists of a Broadcom BCM3390 chipset and 3 GB RAM, 16 MiB (Mebibyte) Macronix NAND flash memory, and 128 MiB Spansion flash memory.

This device offers a quick and easy setup. By connecting a few cables and visiting your ISP’s self-activation portal, you can start using your network.

What we like:

Arris SURFboard SB8200 has an outstanding rear panel. Both its Ethernet ports consist of LED indicators to display GigE and 10/1000 Mbps Data connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.

What are the fastest modems?

The fastest cable modems are DOCSIS 3.1 integrated. On our list, the best speed cable modems are:

  • Netgear Nighthawk C7800
  • Netgear CM1000
  • Motorola MB8600
  • Arris SURFboard SB8200

Q2.

What is the best modem for home use?

Buying a modem for home use depends on your requirement. There are different factors that you can consider when buying the best modem for your home.

Types of Modem

Firstly, cable modems are divided into two types – the standard modem and the modem + router combination.

We recommend a standard modem for most houses. It is less expensive and offers more features than a modem router. Also, you may need to change only one device if a high-tech router enters the market.

But, on the downside, a modem router saves you from more wires. You can find many high-tech modem routers on the market with an easy-to-install setup. It saves space for you and supports any futuristic devices.

DOCSIS Protocols

DOCSIS, also known as the DOCSIS Protocol, is a primary standard. 

While DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest version, it offers ultra-fast internet speeds around 10Gbps. But, regular users can work perfectly with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem as it offers 1 Gbps and a faster connection.

Here, buying a DOCSIS modem is about its compatibility with Internet Service Providers. Very few ISPs offer 1Gbps speed over a DOCSIS 3 0 modem. So, it is better to use a DOCSIS 3 1 technology as it is also backward compatible, which works with ISPs responsive to DOCSIS 3.0 only.

Channels

Try to purchase compatible modems that support a minimum of eight download channels and four upload ones (8 x 4 modem channels).

But, you must know that the DOCSIS 3.1 channels are faster than those of DOCSIS 3.0. So, if you switch to the latter modem, do not focus on the number of channels you previously had.

Download Speeds

You can select downloading speeds as per your need. But, of course, more is better. On a basic scale, the average download speed in the US is 64.17 Mbps. While ISPs are switching to higher Gigabit internet speeds, consider 1Gbps as the main catch.

Compatibility

Remember – not all ISPs approve every modem. So, you must check the compatible ISPs beforehand. The best way is to contact customer service directly.

Q3.

Is it a good idea to buy your own modem?

There are two benefits of buying your own modem:

  1. You can eliminate your monthly modem rental fees. Sounds good!
  2. A modem will save you from slow internet speed. 

You can speed up your connection with the help of your service provider by using a modem.

The Bottom Line

That’s all for now. We hope our reviews will help you find the best modems for a speedy internet connection. Enjoy browsing!