Internet

Best cable modem 2023

Buying your own Internet modem isn’t just a great way to avoid paying rent from your ISP—by choosing a better model than what your cable company offers, you can unlock better Internet and network performance. And if you’re paying for super-fast Internet speeds, running one of the best cable modems can unlock the performance you’d otherwise waste with a slower model.

Of course, you don’t have to buy the most expensive model. Some (like our favorite, the Motorola MG7700) double as a router and come with dual-band Wi-Fi 5 built in, which is probably all the networking hardware you’ll ever need. Alternatively, for those looking for a cheap and cheerful modem to get out of your ISP rental package, the Netgear CM500 is a very smart and popular choice.

No matter what kind of modem you need, however, this list has something for you. Here are some of the best cable modems you can buy today.

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Supported Internet Speed: 800 Mbps | Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit | Wireless Internet: Wi-Fi 5, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz | Phone jack: None

Best for: Average households who want a quality modem/router device.

The Motorola MG7700 is one of the most popular third-party modems you can buy, thanks to its combination of excellent features, the ability to act as both a modem and a router to simplify your Internet connection, and its relatively affordable price. While most modern modems tout their ability to support Gigabit+ internet speeds, it’s not something everyone has access to, and there’s no reason you should pay for a feature you can’t use. However, that doesn’t mean the MG7700 is slow. It can support Internet speeds up to 800 Mbps and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast network data transfers and no Internet bottlenecks.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi 5 support, which again isn’t the fastest standard, but it’s more than fast enough for everyday web browsing and video streaming. It is supported by most major ISPs and has useful extra router features such as parental controls and guest network support. You can always add your own router later if you want to improve Wi-Fi performance or coverage, but for most Internet users, the Motorola MG7700 offers everything you’ll need for the foreseeable future.

Advantage:

  • Combination of modem and router streamlines the Internet connection
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi 5 support
  • Supports fast internet speeds up to 800 Mbps

Disadvantages:

  • Lacks DOCSIS 3.1 support
  • Can’t handle Gigabit internet connections


DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported Internet Speed: 1 Gbps | Ethernet Ports: 2x Gigabit | Wireless Internet: No | Phone jack: None

Best for: Enjoy Gigabit internet speeds at a reasonable price.

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is an affordable DOCSIS 3.1 router that can handle Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps, making it a great choice for anyone who wants high-speed Internet without spending the hundreds of dollars it usually costs for high-end models. This modem doesn’t have router functionality, so you’ll also need to budget for a router; especially if you want wireless internet connection as this model does not have any kind of Wi-Fi support. However, it works with most major ISPs and costs far less than the competition.

With plans to slowly phase out DOCSIS 3.0 technology, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem like this gives yourself some degree of future proofing and ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy some of the fastest connectivity options for years to come. The modem itself is compact and easy to store away if you don’t want it to be easily accessible, and setup is quick and easy.

Advantage:

  • Affordable Gigabit internet speed support
  • Future-proofed with DOCSIS 3.1 support
  • Quick setup

Disadvantages:

  • You must purchase a separate router
  • Lacks Gigabit+ speed support for advanced options

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Supported Internet Speed: 400 MBps | Ethernet Ports: 1x Gigabit | Wireless Internet: No | Phone jack: None

Best for: Avoid modem rental or upgrading your network for cheap.

The CM500 is a great modem for anyone looking to get out from under rental payments as it is affordable, supports high-speed internet up to 400Mbps and is easy to connect to any wireless router so you can enjoy high-speed cable and wireless Internet access. It comes with a single Gigabit Ethernet port and setup is quick and easy. It’s also a small device, so you don’t need to make a big space for it in your home.

However, cutting down on monthly costs is the real selling point of this modem. If you don’t want to continue paying a monthly fee for your existing modem, this is a great entry-level model to replace it with. It’s particularly cheap with its latest discount, and it will have paid for itself in the elimination of rental fees in a matter of months. If you also want slightly better performance, there are more expensive models that give you 500 Mbps or even 1 Gigabit per second. per second download speeds – great for anyone upgrading to Gigabit speed internet in the near future.

Advantage:

  • Very affordable price
  • Supports up to 400 Mbps internet
  • Built-in Gigabit Ethernet

Disadvantages:

  • Lacks Gigabit speed internet support
  • No router features

DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported Internet Speed: 1,200 MBps | Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit | Wireless Internet: Wi-Fi 5 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz | Phone jack: None

Best for: High speed internet on wired and wireless connections.

If you want a modem that is packed with the latest features, then the Motorola MG8702 is a great premium modem to buy. It pays for itself in just over a year with avoided modem rental fees, and with that upfront investment, you get a router and modem in one with Wi-Fi 5 support, multiple Gigabit Ethernet connections, and support for Gigabit and faster Internet connections up to 1,200 Mbps. It is compatible with most of the major ISPs and comes with a two-year warranty, giving you peace of mind.

The router features aren’t cutting edge, but they’re still strong with Wi-Fi 5 speeds, support for beamforming for improved Wi-Fi signal strength and coverage in your home. It also includes Quality of Service (QoS) features to prioritize latency-sensitive traffic, such as games, and has parental controls so you can lock down what the kids watch on the Internet. It’s a little more expensive than most of the other modems on this list, but its extra performance and robust feature set make it one of the best modems you can buy today.

Advantage:

  • Gigabit+ internet speeds supported
  • Wi-Fi 5 and router function built-in
  • Two year warranty included as standard

Disadvantages:

  • Cannot manage multi-gigabit internet speeds
  • Expensive

DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported Internet Speed: 2,500 Mbps | Ethernet Ports: 1x 2.5 Gibabit | Wireless Internet: No | Phone jack: None

Best for: Pairing with a high-speed router for the fastest internet possible.

If you live in an area where multi-gigabit speed internet is available and you want to take advantage of it, you’ll have to pay for the privilege. Fortunately, with modems like the Netgear Nighthawk CM2000, you don’t have to pay also much to get it. At just under $300, this modem may be more expensive than most, and you’ll need to buy a router for it, but if you do, you’ll unlock some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. Supporting up to 2,500 Mbps (that’s 2.5 Gigabits per second!) of bandwidth, this modem will help you download faster, stream in higher quality and get more people online than almost any other modem. That’s about as fast and capable as it gets.

This modem is overkill for most users, but if you want to download files extremely quickly, want the lowest latency for competitive gaming, or have many people in your home who want to stream 4K video at the same time – and you have the internet connection to use it – there are few modems that can match the CM2000. It also has a sleek, unique look, and if you need to be able to connect a phone to the modem, there’s also a version with two phone lines.

Advantage:

  • Ultra fast
  • Supports 2.5 Gigabit networks
  • Slim design

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Overkill for most internet users

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