Best Cable Modems to buy in 2020

Buying cable modems is a great way to get rid of the extra bills you have to pay as rent for the cable modem by your manufacturer. Moreover, buying something personally gives you a greater choice for the features and you can customize your internet usage greatly by using cable modems. Even with the expensive cable modems, you will be able to cover your initial expenditure within 6 to 18 months, thus providing free cable modem functionality after that period. Therefore, today we’ve gathered and compiled a list for the 5 best cable modems available as of now. Even if you’re not a tech-savvy person, connecting a modem is easy as all you have to do is hook it up with the router. So keep reading on and find the perfect fit for your networking needs.

1. NETGEAR CM1000

Great Compatibility with ISPs

  • Backwards compatibility with DOCSIS 3.0
  • Minimum throughput losses
  • Compatible with major ISPs
  • Plug and play ensures connectivity in minutes
  • No cable bundled voice services

717 Reviews

DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Maximum speed: 1200 Mbps downstream and 304 Mbps upstream | Bonded channel: 32 x 8 + OFDM 2 x 2 | Service providers: XFINITY by Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, Mediacom and more

The title for the fastest cable modem has been granted to Netgear’s CM1000. Ten times faster Docsis 3.1, speed of up to 1000Mbps and compatibility with almost every major ISP- this is the CM1000.

Netgear has a rather recognizable style of constructing their products. Users familiar with their hardware will find little out of the ordinary with the CM1000 as well. And that works in its favour since the build quality is strong and pleasing to look at. With triangular gratings all around, the front of this modem has an aluminium panel which has LEDs tucked behind it. This simplicity is uniform throughout this modem. The modem features a coaxial port, LAN port, reset button, power button and finally, power cable port.

One of the first modems ever to adopt the new and improved DOCSIS 3.1, the CM1000 can deliver speeds up to 1Gbps for high-speed gaming and HD streaming. It has 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels for DOCSIS 3.0. As for DOCSIS 3.1, the OFDM 2 x 2 channels will provide a reliable internet for any needs. The modem is plug and play, leading to quick connectivity with the compatible ISPs. The 32 downstream channels can give a total downstream bandwidth of 1.2Gbps whereas the 8 upstream channels can do 304Mbps. It is compatible with almost all of the major service providers and can quickly be activated when using Cox or XFINITY. One thing that users must be wary of is that it does not support bundled voice services provided by ISP- such as VoIP phones.

It will take some time before DOCSIS 3.1 becomes mainstream and available everywhere, which is why the CM1000 might be a bit overkill for some. However, users with at least 50 Mbps bandwidth will find great use in this cable modem. It’s advisable to check with your ISP whether they support DOCSIS 3.1 or not. Regardless, the CM1000 delivers the highest and most reliable speeds as far as cable modems go.

2. MOTOROLA MG7550

Lots Of LAN Ports

  • AC1900 router included
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Incredibly fast response time
  • Has a security loophole

1,859 Reviews

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Maximum speed: 686 Mbps downstream and 123 Mbps upstream | Bonded channel: 16 x 4 | Service providers: XFINITY by Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, CableOne and more

This second entry in our top cable modem list is a two in one package, quite ironically. Motorola MG7540 is a modem and a router, making it an ideal choice for large buildings and homes. This combo does well to serve its high bandwidth consumers and makes sure that the connection delivered is absolute and reliable.

The MG7550 sits vertically on the table, with the Motorola logo at the front of the black strip. Underneath this transparent strip, there are present multiple LEDs indicating various functionalities. The body is very neatly constructed as well, with gratings on the top and sides to allow for greater airflow. On the back, you’ll find 4 Ethernet LAN ports, WPS, WLAN and power buttons along with a coaxial port. The build quality of this cable modem simply feels great, leaving no doubts about its durability.

A modem should simply be able to get hooked up and ready to work. The MG7550 does just that. Once you’ve set it up, contact your ISP to alert them so that they can start the process on their end and let MG7550 do its magic. With the DOCSIS 3.0 technology, a dependable and reliable connection is established so that you can live your life with no worries. It has 16 downstream and 4 upstream bonded channels for 686Mbps and 123Mbps speeds respectively. Additionally, the MG7550 can work as an AC1900 router as well. This router has dual-band WiFi meaning it can handle 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz requirements. There is a bit of security loophole in the modem which lets the ISP have control over the credentials of the modem but if you are okay with that, nothing can go wrong.

Solely as a modem, the MG7550 works just as well, delivering high speeds and ensuring safe connectivity but with the advantage of an AC1900 router, things get interesting, which is why we advise using this product if you want top-notch router functionality as well.

3. ARRIS Surfboard SB6183

Balanced Approach

  • Handles congestion control very well
  • Minimum throughput losses
  • Very easy installation
  • Heats up quite a bit
  • Power cable must be removed in order to turn it off

2,017 Reviews

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Maximum speed: 686 Mbps downstream and 131 Mbps upstream | Bonded channel: 16 x 4 | Service providers: Comcast, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Cablevision and more

With over 60 years of being in service and having sold more than 300 million modems, Arris modems have built themselves a strong foundation. This modem is priced at a significantly lower cost than the previous two in the list. Despite the low cost, the SB6183 manages to perform really good as far as household requirements go.

The SB6183, in all honesty, does not really have a defining design about it. It pales in comparison to the previous two modems, however with a price this low, it’s not too bad. The white colour dominates the exterior body which has gratings on the sides to allow for air to flow. However, despite this, the SB6183 gets quite hot which raises doubts over long use. At the back, there is one Gigabit Ethernet port, one coaxial cable port, and the power connection. There is no power button which means that in order to turn it off, the cable needs to be plugged out and then back in.

The SB6183 can entertain a maximum of 686 Mbps downstream and 131 Mbps upstream. This too has DOCSIS 3.0 technology backing it up for a reliable connection. Despite the very ordinary body of this modem, it managed to perform incredibly well even under tough conditions. 4K streaming, fast uploading, lag-free online gaming and much more was made a cinch with this cheap modem. This modem is recommended for internet plans of 300 Mbps+ however, with these big packages you’re better off using a 24 x 8 channel instead.

Overall, ARRIS Surfboard SB6183 is more than enough for regular web-surfing and watching YouTube videos in UHD and if overheating and having to pull the plug every time you need to turn it off is something you can live with, you’ll find that the SB6183 quickly becomes a friendly internet buddy.

4. TP-Link TC7610

Good Price/Performance Ratio

  • Bang for buck performance
  • Very rare disconnects
  • Readily available throughout the world
  • No power button

18,356 Reviews

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Maximum speed: 343 Mbps downstream and 143 Mbps upstream | Bonded channel: 8 x 4 | Service providers: Comcast, Cox, Charter Spectrum and more

It is common knowledge that whatever networking oriented list there is, at least one of TP-Link’s products will manage to find its way there. They are one of the most popular selling brands in the market right now so you can be sure that their product will not fail you. For our fourth place, we have TP-Link TC7610, a relatively inexpensive solution to your modem requirements.

Like the Motorola modem, the TC7610 sits vertically upright on your table. It’s of black in colour and has gratings for airflow and ventilation. At the front, are icons for various status indicators which have LEDs behind them that turn on when needed. This modem has a Gigabit Ethernet port, a coaxial port and a power supply connection. That’s all there is to it. Unfortunately, this modem does not have a power button which means that direct power to it needs to be cut to turn it off. We were not alone in finding the reset button to be quite finicky. After some time, the reset button simply just stopped working.

The TC7610 is built to provide speeds of 343 Mbps for internet and 143 Mbps for uploading. It is compatible with many major internet service providers, which makes set up a walk in the park. You can connect your router to the Gigabit Ethernet port at the back to have maximum throughput.

We recommend this modem to users with a package of something down the line of 150 Mbps. The TC7610 manages to do the job it has set out to, however as we move down the line of price, change in performance becomes fairly obvious. In terms of speed and stability, it is not on par with the other contenders but, this being a cheap solution, manages to find its sweet spot of number four.

5. Linksys CM3008

For Low-end Users

  • Comes at a very cheap price
  • Compatible with lots of ISPs
  • Extra airflow must be ensured to counter heating
  • Performance is mediocre at best
  • A bit buggy functionality

766 Reviews

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Maximum speed: 343 Mbps downstream and 143 Mbps upstream | Bonded channel: 8 x 4 | Service providers: Comcast, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner, Cablevision and more

Moving further down the line, we arrive at the final spot for the top cable modems. And to sum up the list we have Linksys CM3008. Due to its compact size and weight, it’s perfect for small buildings where there is not a lot of traffic.

One of the CM3008’s selling points was its incredibly small form factor. Being measured at just 4 x 2.8 x 1 inch, this modem is able to fit nicely in enclosed places. Its entire body is covered with small holes to allow for air to flow through it. Being a small size, heating up is a problem for this modem. That’s why it is important that CM3008 not be kept in an isolated and covered place. It has a coaxial port, Gigabit Ethernet port and power supply connection at the top. This makes cable management very easy, especially when CM3008 is stuck to a wall.

Being certified for DOCSIS 3.0 technology, CM3008 can deliver speed up to 343 Mbps. As for the connection is concerned, Intel PUMA chipset is not the best but still, it is not one of the chipsets by Intel (PUMA 6) that were regarded as defected and you will not notice latency issues. While the compatibility of this modem is fabulous with the ISPs, there are some bugs in the firmware with the Comcast connection and you will have to use Comcast Tech support to sort that issue. Overall, the modem offers 8 bonded channels for downstream and 4 bonded channels for upstream, which is fairly standard.

CM3008 is an incredibly cheap piece of hardware that gets the job done well and has the majority satisfactory performance statistic to justify its place as the number five on our list.

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Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.
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