28 Feb 15 Best Cable Modems in 2022
When you want to get your internet up and running, it pays to invest in a decent modem. For all you cable fans out there I’ve got the answer to all your connection speed woes. With this simple to follow user-friendly guide, you’ll have everything you need. So, who am I and why and I qualified to write about all this tech? Well, I’m a lifelong techie geek with a penchant for all things digital. I also know a thing or two about getting online and stopping annoying latency issues in their tracks.
A couple of weeks ago I put 15 of the very best to the test to show you what you can expect. I took the time to test each of them as if they were my own, and then jotted down my notes. With some careful analysis, I then turned said notes into this handy guide. And because I only tested the very best on the market, you can sleep easy knowing that you’re picking from the very best. Ideal for the peace of mind that only advice from a genuine tech lover can provide.
Best Cable Modems With WIFI
1. NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300 (8×4) WiFi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
NETGEAR is an established player in the market, so I always think up new ways to test their devic-es. Here’s how their latest entry on my list fared…
A simple way to take your cable connection and turn it into fast WiFi
Turning your cable connection into fast WiFi is easy when you have the right hardware. And this, folks, is the right device in my opinion! There was no interference between the cabled connections through the ethernet ports and the wireless connections made over WiFi. That is something I was delighted with as I’ve had similar issues before with other devices and they be a total nightmare to troubleshoot.
The Genie App is a smart little tool that should see you wave goodbye to interference
I love the Genie App because it makes it easy to optimize your network. Before small apps like this, you’d either have to resort to trial and error or pay over the odds for an engineer visit. With the app in the palm of my hand, I was able to separate a few bits into separate bands, and my weird intermittent connection issues disappeared overnight. That is a very nice little feature that I hope more manufacturers start to develop.
Compact design fits nicely on the side and runs silently in my experience
The compact design gets two thumbs up from me. The small footprint doesn’t result in it running hot which is good news for those of you who don’t want to listen to the hum of a cooling fan day and night. I think it’s compact and well designed enough that you’ll be able to put it anywhere without it overheating. Ideal, if you want to be able to hide it somewhere out of sight.
Simple to set up parental controls to keep your children safe online
The parental control options on this thing are user-friendly and password protected which is a weight off your mind no doubt. Keeping your children safe online has never been more critical. By putting the protection on the modem and not on individual devices you can make a big difference to their online safety. It’s easy to manage your different profiles so that you aren’t forever turning it on and off after they’ve gone to bed. That is great if you want to be able to set and forget the parental lock so that your children are always safe online.
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (24×8) DOCSIS 3.0 WiFi Cable Modem
With a name like that, how could I not take a closer look? Let’s get into my review and see if there’s plenty of substance to support the undoubted style, shall we?
Provides you with WiFi in both of the bands to reduce annoying interference
Interference is a pain because it can cause all manner of weird connection problems. If you love the sound of getting rid of them, then you’ll be interested in the WiFi options that this thing brings to the table. You wouldn’t normally associate dual band WiFi with something like this, but it’s there if you need it. A great option to have if you ask me my friends.
Works with Mac or Windows which is perfect for all you Apple fans
I love that they are explicit about working with every OS. That way you can sleep easy with the peace of mind that only comes from being explicit and direct. I love this approach, and it follows through into their customer service too. They know what they’re doing, and they aren’t shy about demonstrating it which is awesome in my opinion.
A stylish way to stream Netflix in HD
The great thing about this piece of tech is that it doesn’t sacrifice functionality in the name of looking good. That is awesome if what you really want is something that you can setup straight out of the box. Entering your usernames and encrypting your connection is easy. Two things I suggest you don’t gloss over in your haste to get it up and running. To be fair the way the setup is structured it won’t allow you to do that. And with good reason!
960 Mbps is a respectable speed that you will think is well worth the money
The speed it can support may not be the very highest on this list. But it’s certainly far more than you’ll need for several years to come. That makes it a great way to future-proof your setup so that you don’t have to upgrade in 18 months time. I think that given the level of firmware support these guys offer you’ll comfortably get five years or more out of it. In an industry like the modem industry where change is happening faster than ever, that can be a hard thing to come by. Well done guys, you’ve done very well with this one!
3. Motorola SBG6580 SURFboard eXtreme 3.0 Wireless Cable Modem
Closing out the Motorola near monopoly on this section of my article is the SBG6580. While the name may not tell you too much about the specs it can deliver, I’m hoping that my testing can.
Make sure you know it doesn’t work with CenturyLink before you buy
If you want to ensure that no stone is left unturned, then you’ll want to check which providers this thing supports. That’s not a negative to be fair, because it applies to every entry on this list folks. I just want to make sure that you know exactly what the deal is. If in doubt, phone up their customer support team. They were super friendly and helpful when I got in touch.
Can upload at up to 131 Mbps
The upload speed this thing can support isn’t bad, is it? That is excellent news for those of you who love to add to your YouTube channel or live stream to Facebook. The days when uploading would be something you had to leave overnight are long gone, folks! I highly recommend this for those of you that want to have everything covered. It also means you won’t have to pause your downloads which is great news for all you Netflix fans out there. By having a device that can do it all you’ll be able to stay connected at high speed no matter what you decide to do.
Can be used with a wireless router if you want to keep things nice and tidy
If you want to get a bit fancy, then you can connect your modem to a wireless router which is a neat little trick. To make things easy, they sell one that’s compatible so that you won’t have any of those headaches to contend with. I quite like this idea as it breathes new life into your modem. Definitely worth having a closer look at in my opinion guys.
4. Motorola MG7540 16×4 Cable Modem
That’s three in a row from the Motorola engineers! Let’s delve right into the specs and see if the MG7540 is a match for their previous entries on this list.
Works with XFINITY with no problems whatsoever
I love that it works with XFINITY connections with no questions asked. There are no patches or workarounds to download. Just a simple, compatible piece of hardware that you can set up straight out of the box. If you want your tech installation to be as easy as mine was then this should be a definite contender. Just be sure that it works for your chosen cable provider, and you’ll have everything covered.
The front panel is intuitive and easy to navigate
The front panel is straightforward because it’s entirely visual. That means there are no acronyms or, bits of jargon with lights flashing by them you have to Google. All you need to do is take in what the different symbols are doing, and you can get an instant picture of how your modem is operating. Ideal if you want to hide it in the corner of the living room and check it with the occasional glance every now and again.
The sleek design is easy on the eye and looked good in my entertainment cabinet
The design is elegant and timeless which is something I’m a huge fan of. For me it’s never been enough for my tech to get the job done, it has to look the part while it does it. Think about it for a second. Do you really want another faceless grey boxing humming away in your home. I thought not!
Heat dissipation has been well engineered allowing it to run nice and cool
The dissipation is impressive, especially when you consider it doesn’t require active cooling. That tells me that not only is the layout great, but that also it isn’t straining to achieve its specs. While they’re certainly impressive, the heat load tells me that they’re conservative. This is great because it indicates they’re readily achievable rather than accompanied by a whole host of caveats.
Best Cable Modem Docsis 3.0
5. TP-Link TC-7610 DOCSIS 3.0 (8×4) Cable Modem
These guys know a thing or two, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their latest offering. With a reputation that promised big things, I was excited, to say the least…
343 Mbps is certainly impressive, but how achievable was it?
The speed of this thing is very impressive, and I don’t think it will cause you any issues. I found the speed spec very achievable which is nice. In fact, I managed to obtain it on ten out of the ten days I clocked it. Perfect really if you ask me.
Works with XFINITY which is awesome!
I love that this bit of kit works with the fastest connections out there. That is ideal if you’re looking to upgrade your cable and want to find something guaranteed to be compatible. All you really have to do is check out their site or the back of the box and see if your new provider is listed. Couldn’t be easier really could it?
Ethernet cable included, so there’s no need to rush out to the shops late at night
I love that this thing comes with an ethernet cable as standard. And what’s more, it’s 6 ft long! That is perfect for getting everything set up the day you get it out of the box. If my experience is anything to go by you won’t be racing to BestBuy anytime soon folks! These guys have you covered, and that’s great to see from a customer service standpoint.
Supports IPv6 so you can browse the internet in all its glory
By supporting the very latest standards, they’ve taken care of everything from what I can tell. This is an excellent indicator that you new digital investment will stand the test of time. Something which is especially important given how fast the world of technology continues to develop. I’d recommend a closer look if you’re in the market for a modem that won’t be obsolete for years and years.
6. ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 Modem 16×4 Docsis 3.0 Cable Modem
The SURFboard is undoubtedly a cool name, so how could I resist taking a look at how this thing performed? Was it all hype and eye-catching marketing? Or was it the real deal from the moment I took it out of the box.
Works with XFINITY which will be a weight off your shoulders when you upgrade
The first thing to say is that thankfully this thing works with XFINITY. That is music to my ears because it means I can recommend something that will stand the test of time. It will be a long time before this class of cable connections is surpassed so you can expect to get plenty of bang for your buck folks!
16 download channels and four uploads channels offer plenty of flexibility
I love the ratio between the download and upload channels. There’s plenty of bandwidth if you want to stream 4K video, and there’s also more than enough to upload to your YouTube channel. This gives you flexibility, which in this day and age is something you can’t really put a price on can you?
A great way to stream video to multiple devices at the same time
I also love something else about this piece of kit. It’s more than capable of letting you stream video to multiple devices at the same time. This is ideal if the kids want to watch some Netflix upstairs and you want to watch something else downstairs. Perfect for those homes where you just need your tech to work and not add to your ever-growing to-do list! Highly recommended.
Comes with a two-year warranty as standard which I really like the sound of
The third and final thing that I love about this one is that it comes with a two-year warranty as standard. Many companies only offer 12 months, so it’s refreshing to see this level of commitment to customer service. Companies like this should really be commended for going the extra mile to help their customers get online hassle-free. You may think I’m eulogizing here, but you’d find it hard to match these guys when it comes to help and assistance.
7. NETGEAR CM700, 32×8, DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
NETGEAR is another major player in the modem market that I was excited to put to the test. Here’s how one of their latest models got on…
Can handle up to an insane 1.4 Gbps
By being able to handle such a crazy speed, you can rest assured that this thing will have zero impact on your latency. Ideal really if you’re already spending some of your hard earned money on the best line money can buy. Just remember that it’s the cable that determines the benchmark speed so make sure to test it with your old modem and this one to really appreciate the difference.
No need to pay rental fees which will save you money every single month
Loads of internet companies are out to make a few more dollars off you each month by renting you a modem. That is a bit of pain because it can feel a lot like a bolt-on or an added extra that just increases your monthly bill. By buying your own outright, you can cut off this annoying little cost while giving yourself the flexibility to choose a new device.
Doesn’t work with AT&T which is something you’ll want to be aware of
Just in case you miss the specifications on the back, you need to know this one. It’s not a major negative point against them in my opinion, but it is worth knowing about. The last thing you want is to sign up with a provider that isn’t supported because then you’ve just wasted money. A couple of quick checks is all it will take. If in doubt, phone their super-helpful customer service desk. Honestly, I thought those guys were first class in the way they handled my queries.
XFINITY compatible which is ideal for when you come to upgrade
By creating a device that works with even the fastest lines, NETGEAR has created something super flexible. That means you won’t have to click around to make sure you don’t fall foul of arcane compatibility issues. All it takes is a quick glance at the back of the box, and you’ll be good to go!
8. NETGEAR CM500-1AZNAS (16×4) DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
If you love NETGEAR products then seeing another so soon will be like Xmas come early. But se-riously, jokes aside, these guys know what they’re doing so I’m not surprised to see them again so soon.
686 Mbps download speed can more than hold its own on this list
The download speed is certainly respectable and capable of keeping up with anything similar on this list. If you want a piece of tech that will have zero impact on the raw connection speed of your cable, then this could be just what you’ve been looking for guys.
A stylish way to get out of paying those annoying monthly rental fees
I like the style of the case. It’s sleek and minimalist which ticks two boxes for me. I also like how purchasing it allows you to eliminate those annoying monthly modem rental fees. Those little extra charges really annoy me so that’s why I keep dropping in that you can get around them! If that sounds good to you, then there’s another reason to upgrade your cable modem.
Doesn’t work with Verizon so make sure you know that before you buy
Just make sure you check the box or the website to see which providers are supported. You’ll have to do this with most of the entries on this list, so I’m not going to say that it’s a negative. It just helps to be prepared if you want to get the most out of your purchase. Don’t be afraid to phone customer support either to double check things. I found them reliable and dependable, so I hope you do too.
Onboard memory provides an impressive 128 MB of RAM
The memory is like the brains inside these devices, and with 128 MB you have more than enough. This is ideal for the simple install and forget piece of tech that a modem should be. Highly recommended by me to you my friends!
9. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
The SURFboard makes a second entry on my list. Here’s what I thought of this imaginatively named piece of hardware…
The stylish white case is a great way to breathe some new life into the look of your tech
The case is super cool, both in terms of its shape and the dashing white color it comes in. If you like your tech to look the part, then this could be a great little option for you. One thing’s for sure; it certainly livens things up when the last thing you want is another humming black box.
The aesthetic look is also great if you need your modem to be easily accessible, and therefore visible in any room in the house. Personally, I think it looked good on my kitchen counter next to my white freezer.
32 download channels and an impressive eight upload channels help get the job done
The best thing about the way the channels are allocated is that you get 8 for uploading. With more and more of us indulging in content curation this is becoming an increasingly important feature. I had no issues uploading my weekly vlog to my YouTube channel which really impressed me.
A great way to stream UHD movies, but did it cause too much buffering?
There was no buffering caused by using this. That’s all I have to say on that one really folks! One thing I would suggest is that you run a series of benchmarking tests before and after you install it. That way you’ll be able to quantify the latency added by the two modems. If my experience with the SURFboard has taught me anything, it’s that I know which to bet on!
Two-year warranty comes as standard with every modem which is a nice touch
I love the length of the warranty as you can probably tell from my subheading. It’s really nice when a company gets behind their product in the name of customer service. I found their team to be not only knowledgeable, but, helpful too, but also calm and reassuring. You can just tell they’re thinking for themselves rather than reading off a script. Well done guys, thanks for your help.
10. Linksys DOCSIS 3.0 8×4 Cable Modem
Rounding off the first half dozen is the offering from the guys at Linksys. I know their brand well and always enjoy using their stuff. Was this an exception to the rule though?
XFINITY compatible so you can bet your bottom dollar it won’t slow you down!
I love that it is compatible with the very fastest cable packages. That means that no matter whether you’ve already upgraded, or you plan to wait a while, your modem will still work. Ideal, if you want the peace of mind that your latency won’t increase dramatically once you make the switch!
No phone port included so make sure that won’t cause you any issues before you buy
There’s no phone port, but that’s to be expected really. The only reason I raise it is so that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money. I’m not saying it’s a negative point, but it’s something that I want you to be aware of so you’re not left disappointed. There are however plenty of ethernet ports for you to connect other devices which is great. Just make sure you get enough to wire in everything that you need so you know whether to get an adaptor.
Intel Puma 5 chipset is an excellent piece of high-end tech that I think you’ll love
The chipset in this thing is seriously impressive. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I did a little research, and it looks to be at the very top of its class when it comes to performance. Also, if you want to be able to use it without any hassle, then that’s certainly what I was able to do. Often people think that the latest tech will be quite fiddly and hard to get to grips with. That wasn’t my experience; everything was intuitive and simple, even the initial setup!
11. Motorola 16×4 Cable Modem
Motorola is one of those companies that seem like they’ve been around forever. I wanted to see how they were getting along, so I added one of their products to my list. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.
686 Mbps certainly sounds impressive, but how achievable was it?
The speed is right up there with the very best on this list. The best thing for me is that the spec is readily achievable. There are no caveats to it which is quite pleasing. Every time I benchmarked the connection speed I was able to match or surpass it which was again, pleasing. If you want good old honest specs, then this is just what you need in your life guys!
Instant setup on the box, but just how instant was it in practice?
The setup wasn’t instant, but it only took a couple of minutes. The manual and walk through guide were really easy to follow and it was actually kind of fun. Okay so I’m a nerd, but it’s nice ticking off each step without anything going wrong for once!
Compact design is easy to hide in your home entertainment system
The design is super compact which means that you can easily hide it in your entertainment cabinet if you want to. There were also no issues with it running hot: something I always check with small units. The engineering that has gone into it is obviously very impressive, and I liked how it just quietly got on with the job. If you’re a big fan of hassle-free tech, then this could be just what you’ve been looking for.
Low power device that sits quietly in the background
Something people often overlook is the power consumption. That is a low wattage device which means there’s little onboard cooling needed. Want that in plain English? It means that it runs super quiet and won’t add an annoying background hum to the living room.
12. Zoom 8×4 Cable Modem
Zoom is a new name on my radar, so I was intrigued to put them to the test and see what they have to offer. See for yourself whether they’re what you’re looking for…
A simple way to eliminate those annoying monthly rental charges once and for all
Monthly rental fees are a real grind if you didn’t factor them into your household budget. With a reliable piece of tech like this that you own outright, you’ll never have to pay monthly again. The fact that it was so reliable during my testing means I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to you today guys. It’s built to last by a team that clearly know their stuff.
I liked the space-saving design and never noticed it overheating
The design is tight and compact which is great for me as I like to be able to hide my modems. Another thing worth noting is that despite how small it is, it doesn’t run hot. That tells me that the engineering that has gone into it is sound and well worth paying for. If you want well-designed hardware that won’t die on you, then this is undoubtedly a deserving contender for your shortlist.
Comes with a two-year warranty as standard which is excellent customer service
The two-year warranty that’s on offer is very nice as it shows that Zoom actually does value its customers. With so many companies out there offering nothing but poor service as soon as you’ve parted with your cash this was a breath of fresh air. I even invented a few technical ‘issues’ I was having so that I could test their phone and email support. The people at the other end clearly knew their stuff, and I could tell immediately that I was dealing with people thinking for themselves.
The reset button is recessed so you can’t accidentally knock it off when you’re cleaning
I like how the reset button is easy to find, but not too easy to push. By this, I mean that it is clearly marked with an embossed label, but that it’s suitably recessed. If you love to hide your modem around the back then the only time you’ll have it out will be to do some dusting. As the switch is recessed deep into the case, you won’t run the risk of accidentally knocking out your entire home network.
13. Motorola 8×4 Cable Modem
Motorola is at it again — popping up on this list in fine style. Here’s what I thought of their latest en-try…
Caters for speeds up to 343 Mbps which should be more than enough for most applications
The speed may not be the highest supported on this list, but it’s certainly more than enough for most applications. If you want real top end speed, then you might pass this one by, but I indeed wasn’t held back by it.
A reliable connection that produced very little latency
The connection is usefully robust once you take a couple of minutes to set it up. That is ideal if you have your modem in a different room and don’t want to be getting up to reset it several times a night. I also liked how well the connection held up when I connected additional devices.
Easy to set up and install straight out of the box
The connection was effortless to establish. So easy in fact that even a geek like me was able to muddle through it in less than 5 minutes. I really liked this because it showed me I was using a device I could trust. With so much that can go wrong with these types of setups, it was nice to be able to tick off everything without any headaches. The user manual, in particular, was a great help. It laid out everything in a logical step by step manner and talked me through everything I needed to do.
A stylish design that combines aesthetics and substance very nicely
The final thing to say is that this thing also looks the part. If you’re going to have something in your home for years, then it’s a bonus if it looks good too. I’m a big believer that tech should go with your interiors, and this is an excellent example of that. If you like the look of it, then I can tell you that it’s far more than style over substance.
14. Zoom 16×4 Cable Modem
Rounding off my list is another entry from the guys at Zoom. Without further ado, let’s get started…
Can handle speeds of up to 686 Mbps without complaint
The speeds that this thing can handle may not be as high as the 1.4 Gbps that one device can, but it’s more than enough. That is fantastic news for those of you who want to be able to install a future-proofed device that you can expect to get at least five years use out of. The firmware upgrades are automatic too which is a convenient little bit of customer service. Job, well done in that sense people!
16 downstream channels allow you to download content in parallel faster than before
The number of download channels has been carefully optimized to get the most out of your cable connection. Not only that but because of the protocols that automatically manage them, you’ll be able to download without loads of buffering ruining things for you. Ideal if your kids want to get into some online gaming while you and your partner stream a movie downstairs.
US technical support was perfect when I had a few questions on how to fine tune my setup
The fact that you can just phone up someone who uses these things every day was a real bonus for me. The installation and setup was, straightforward so I delved into the detail and asked them some more advanced questions. They talked me through the issue, clarified what I was seeing, and then offered timely and incisive help.
A 2-year warranty shows that they stand by their products and care about their customers
What better way to round off my guide than congratulating another company on offering an above average length warranty? Customer service is always a big thing that I look for when it comes to tech reviews. For me, it’s never enough for the device to blow everything else out of the water. The people who make it and support it need to too. If they don’t then you’ll be hard pushed to find someone to help you out when it stops working as it should.
Best Cable Modem Docsis 3.1
15. Motorola Ultra Fast DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem
Motorola helps us cross over the halfway mark with their MB8600 modem. I’d heard a lot about it, so it was time to see if there was substance behind the hype.
Works with connections that are more than 1 Gbps
The connection speeds that this thing can support are incredible. While it won’t boost your cable speed as such, it can easily be an upgrade for your old laggy modem. If you want to rule out antiquated hardware as the cause of your slow download speeds, then this is the way to do it!
Four Ethernet ports allow you to game, watch movies and download all at the same time
I love that it comes with so many ports because it gives you so much flexibility. If that’s something that you really cherish, then I say look no further guys. If you have a host of devices, then this is a great way to wire them all in with little effort.
AQM comes as standard, but does it really help you beat the dreaded latency?
I like this approach because it isn’t afraid to try something new and bold. By automating how tasks queue this new protocol allows you to ensure your modem is always optimized. Perfect, if you want to make sure that you always have the very fastest connection possible. I think you’ll find this particularly useful if you plan on installing it in a busy house with multiple people online at any given time.
Stylish design is comfortable on the eye, but is it more style than substance?
The design certainly looks the part which is great for a tech lover like me. It’s nice to have stuff that works and that looks great at the same time because it makes your interior that bit more homely. None of us crave another grey humming box with wires coming out of it. Highly recommended by yours truly if you want robust and attractive tech that you can install with no headaches.