The 10 Best Cable Modems of 2017

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This is a very long article, so use this quick nav bar to jump to the desired section of the article.

Best Cable Modem for the Money
Best Super Fast Cable Modem
Best Cable Modem for Time Warner Cable
Best Cable Modem for Gaming
Best Cable Modem for Comcast
Best Cable Modem for Cox
Best Cable Modem Combo
Best Cable Modem with WiFi

Nowadays people are getting fed up with spending their hard earned money on monthly fees for a cable modem that’s usually terribly inefficient and won’t allow you to fully benefit from the speeds promised in your data plan. If you do the simple math, buying your own cable modem is the smarter choice as over a period of a few months it will basically pay for itself considering the total cost of the monthly fees. You might also be interested in reading my articles about the best wireless router, best wireless adapter or the best 4k projector.

If you are looking for a solution that covers your Internet service needs much more fittingly then you should only choose from the best cable modems out there. All you need to do before making a purchase is to make sure that the cable modem has compatibility with your cable provider and if your subscription plan is adequate for it. Even if some models offer ultra high-speeds, you will still have to rely on your data plan, if it’s too low, you won’t really see a benefit if you buy a more advanced cable modem. To make things easier for you, I’ve gathered the most compatible and efficient modems on the market that are extremely cost-effective and reliable in the long run.

Best Cable Modem for the Money

1. TP-Link TC7650-E DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

The TC7650-E is the more advanced version of the TC7610-E also covered in this list. This one is offering faster download speeds as it comes with more downstream channels, but the price tag is also higher. If you’re interested to find out if this cable modem might be a better solution then read on.

Getting more from your cable internet is something lots of people aspire to as they are tired of being slowed down by rented modems which also take a toll on your wallet every month. TP-Link’s cable modem is offering 24×8 channel bonding with DOCSIS 3.0 making 4K play and gaming a very viable reality. File downloads benefit too as this bonding is made for massive Gigabit speeds. The actual speeds are dependant on your data plan so keep in mind that its true potential can only be exploited for subscription plans of 500Mbps or more.

Thanks to a 2 core processor, the network runs smoothly no matter how many devices are online at the same time. No matter the activity, if you are playing games, streaming video or sharing media, the processor can handle all the data transfers in a stable and reliable manner. Owning your own equipment has great benefits in the long run and this cable modem demonstrates that.

TP-Link advises to connect this modem to any AC1900 router or above to get the maximum benefits. This way, you will be able to easily share high-speed internet with laptops, tablets, and all the other compatible devices in your home. Setting up the router is simple enough without too many hassles. All major cable providers such as Xfinity from Comcast or Spectrum play nice with this modem. Considering the latest WLAN Report, TP-Link is occupying the first spot as the provider of consumer Wi-Fi products and their technical support is unmatched in the industry.

To conclude, this is a very suitable device for those looking to own a more capable cable modem and to finally get rid of the monthly fees of the rented options. Don’t hesitate to check this one further if it piqued your interest because is a very solid option all-around offering excellent value for the money.

Specifications list:

  • Gigabit Download speeds
  • Coax RF Connector
  • Gigabit Port
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast’s Xfinity, Spectrum, and more
  • 1.0 GHz 2 core processor
  • Dual Stack IPv4 and IPv6

Best Super Fast Cable Modem

2. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 Cable Modem

In case getting the best Internet experience is something you desire, choosing a SURFboard cable modem by ARRIS is the way to go. The company has grown a lot in the industry and struggles to always deliver the fastest download speeds possible. The SB6190 is one of their best and for good reasons.

One of the best things about this cable modem is the huge downstream speed which can reach some impressive values of up to 1.4 Gbps. Almost all cable providers are supported, especially the more popular ones like TWC, Comcast, Cox, and Charter. This is only the wired mode, you will obviously need a WiFi router separately if you don’t have one already.

The thing about DOCSIS 3.0 is that it offers the highest-quality multimedia by using up to 32 down and 8 up channels. The fast speeds will depend on the service of your cable provider but it’s still a much-welcomed change of pace. Streaming HD videos, gaming or video calls should be more efficient and realistic. The SB6190 works with the latest Internet standard IPv6 as well as IPv4.

The DOCSIS standard such as is the case with this one by ARRIS is able to switch traffic among other channels much more efficiently. In case the traffic minimizes the modem shifts automatically to better channels. One small downside of the SB6190 is the unnecessarily bright LED which could annoy some people’s peripheral vision when watching TV but at this price, this is really a minor issue.

Considering the advanced technology incorporated in this modem, I think the SURFboard SB6190 is definitely worth it if you would enjoy fantastic transfer speeds. This one will be a massive improvement from a basic cable modem packaged with your cable service and because of that, it is fully recommended.

Specifications list:

  • Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to computer or Router
  • Requires cable internet service
  • Compatible with most USA Cable Providers
  • Speeds up to 1.4 Gbps down and 262 Mbps up depending on your subscription
  • 32 down & 8 up channels
  • IPv4 and IPv6 compatible

3. NETGEAR DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Picking the best cable modem out there is not an easy task but if you’re looking at a very trusted brand that’s known to make quality products like NETGEAR, then things get much simpler. The CM400-1AZNAS is a powerful model, equipped with DOCSIS 3.0 and ready to get rid of those rents of a modem provided by cable companies.

An advantage of this cable modem is the DOCSIS 3.0 which can solve any internet problems you might have especially if you live in an area where lots of people use the internet. Slower modems have trouble in such a situation and can jam up the works. A fast DOCSIS 3.0 model like this one is also helpful in case you live in a more isolated place, like a rural area where very few internet towers are present and usually most people rely on that source for their web surfing needs.

Compatibility with all the major providers is ensured by the advanced technology and the only thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t work with any cable bundled voice services. If you intend to get serious with your gaming or got very tired of slow streaming speeds than this cable modem is here to boost your internet making it faster than ever without annoying lags.

Faster speeds are guaranteed with the 8×4 channel bonding for both down and up data. Benefits don’t stop here though, this NETGEAR model has a big Ethernet port which should add an increase in the speed of wired internet so your router won’t get dragged down by the speed of your cable modem.

If we take everything about the CM400-1AZNAS by NETGEAR into account, is hard to recommend something else as this one provides great value for such a low price. In the long run, you will save a considerable amount of money while getting the speeds you deserve.

Specifications list:

  • Speeds of 343Mbps and 131Mbps for down and up
  • Supports 8 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels
  • Fast self-activation for XFINITY
  • Compatible with plenty ISPs
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink

Best Cable Modem For Time Warner Cable

4. TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 (8×4) Cable Modem (TC-7610-E)

TP-Link is getting ahead others in the cable modem industry by infusing the most advanced technology into their reliably designed products. This modem is a solid example of the high-quality we’ve come to expect from TP-Link. If owning your cable modem sounds like a good idea to you, choosing this one will be a very smart investment. It features DOCSIS 3.0 technology that supports speeds up to 343 Mbps for downloading and 142 Mbps for uploading data. The actual values you will experience vary according to the speed tier of your cable provider subscription. Something worth mentioning about DOCSIS 3.0 is how reliable it is at protecting your network as it uses multiple safeguards for it.

With the new technology, it is faster than ever. A Gigabit Ethernet port completes the overall performant image of the TC-7610-E as it allows you to game and stream HD content without any lags or connectivity issues. Besides speed, TP-Link has created the TC-7610-E with simplicity in mind concerning the ease of use. Connecting the cable modem is a breeze and then all that’s left to do is to start the online activation process. Most cable providers such are compatible.

With so many strong points, the TP-Link TC-7610-E is definitely a potent candidate in this list if you are looking for the best cable modem. It’s recommended not only for its advanced features and the quality but also because it comes with a very affordable price tag. A much smaller price considering your future savings as you abandon the slow rented cable modem.

Specifications list:

  • Only use with Internet speeds faster than 150 Mbps
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
  • IPv4 and IPv6 Dual Stack
  • Channel Bonding: 8×4

Best Cable Modem For Gaming

5. Motorola 16×4 Cable Modem, Model MB7420

Motorola has plenty of excellent value options in the cable modem department and one of their best models is the MB7420 which is offering a lot for the money. With 16 upstream channels capable of transfer speeds of 686 Mbps ( for downloading), this modem can handle high-speed internet easily. The fact that it’s equipped with a full-band tuner makes it so the modem can intelligently focus the work through the channels which have the least amount of traffic.

Compatibility is guaranteed for the main providers of cable internet. The modem has a vertical housing build which is perfect for small spaces and thanks to the multi-colored LED indicator lights placed on the front panel, it makes for a nice contrast against the black background.

An aspect where this model stands out from others on the market is the ease of use as the manufacturer provides a very detailed user manual which is also available in PDF format downloadable from Motorola’s website. The indicators on the front panel are intuitive symbols which you can learn in no time. Overall the setup process is very straightforward thanks to the color-coding of the sections on the back panel. Another useful feature is the surge and lightning protection which can come in handy especially for a cable modem as the cable lines are close to the power lines.

In the retail package of the Motorola MB7420, there’s a wrench included for tightening the coaxial connection though it’s advised not to keep the coaxial cable too tight. If you go overboard with it, the surrounding plastic can break and the connection might become unstable.
Considering what the solid quality of the MB7420, this is a fully recommended investment for those who are ready to gain more freedom and more money in the long run by giving up the rented modem from their provider. The price is slightly higher for this one but if you have the budget, then this is certainly a smart choice.

Specifications list:

  • 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 standard
  • 686 Mbps speeds
  • Digital capturing capabilities
  • No built-in wireless router or VoIP telephone adapter
  • Requires cable Internet service
  • Fast setup
  • Compact design

6. D-Link DCM-301 Cable Modem 343 Mbps

For a more budget-conscious shopper, the D-Link DCM-301 is a very suitable option. Considering the DOCSIS 3.0 capability, the 8×4 channel bonding, and the overall reliable design, this is definitely an attractive solution if you need a powerful cable modem without investing too much.

No need to worry about compatibility as the DCM-301 offers full support for the major cable providers in the U.S. In case you decide to switch to another provider, there’s no need to purchase another modem. Considering the price, the 8×4 channel bonding is not that impressive but still decent enough, with theoretical download speeds of up to 343 Mbps and 150 Mbps upload.

On the front panel, there are six indicator lights. The first one indicates if the modem is properly connected to the power source. The next ones are for downstream and upstream connections and the last ones are for indicating connectivity to the internet and to the router or computer. Buttons for power and resetting the modem are present. A small problem is the placement of the power switch, a bit too close to the coaxial cable connector but if you don’t use it too often there’s no need to worry about damaging the coaxial connection.

D-Link has a very customer-oriented attitude as they can be easily contacted for technical support by either email or phone. The user manual is also available for download on the manufacturer’s website in case you misplace the one received in your package.

The DCM-301 from D-Link is, all in all, a very good entry level cable modem. It’s decently fast, highly compatible with cable providers and very affordable. These are the kind of features that make a great cable modem and for these reasons, it’s fully recommended.

Specifications list:

  • DOCSIS compatibility
  • Integrated home services
  • Max down speed up to 320 Mbps through 8 channel bonding
  • Maximum upload: up to 160 Mbps
  • Compatible with major US cable providers, including Comcast, Time Warner and more

Best Cable Modem for Comcast

7. Linksys High-Speed CM3008 DOCSIS 3.0 8×4 Cable Modem

Coming from one of the most trusted companies in the industry, the Linksys CM3008 is a strong cable modem that will optimize your Internet service. Designed with the most high-quality standards, this reliable device has powerful features for its price tag.

The CM3008’s speeds are quite promising. It has 8 download channels and 4 reserved for upload and the maximum download speed is somewhere around 343 Mbps. The actual values you are going to reach are going to be different of course because it depends on the tier of service offered by your provider. In any case, buying your own modem is still a very smart decision.

The main cable companies should work without any issues with this modem. Its Intel Puma 5 chipset provides plenty of power to manage high-speeds and coupled with the DOCSIS 3.0 Internet standard, the CM3008 is very capable of fulfilling all your web surfing needs.

The speeds are comparable to other cable modems in this list so no complaints there. Let’s see how well has Linksys designed this model and how easy is to use. The CM3008 is small and fits easily on your shelf. Setting it up is a breeze as it only takes a few steps. The first thing you need to do is to connect it to a power supply then the coaxial cable from the modem to the wall jack and then finally attach the Ethernet cable to connect the modem to your Wi-Fi router.

Linksys offers a very valuable alternative to using a rented modem. If this looks like something fitting to your needs then you can safely go ahead and make the transition because it’s worth it. The Linksys CM3008 gives you back the freedom and the potential for your connection to reach the speeds you actually pay for.

Specifications list:

  • Wi-Fi speeds from your ISP plans up to 100 Mbps
  • Intel Puma 5 chipset for high-speed downs and ups
  • Easy setup
  • 8/4 down and up channels
  • Slim, compact design

Best Cable Modem for Cox

8. Zoom Model 5370 Cable Modem 686 Mbps

The Zoom 5370 is another strong candidate in this list because it delivers performance reliably and efficiently. But that’s not all, it has all the qualities required for a great cable modem including an affordable price.

The modem seems quite compact thanks to its vertical design and the materials are of good quality. It doesn’t stand out too much visually but that’s good because it doesn’t have to. The LED indicators on the front of the modem are responsible for showing the connection status for Power and downstream and upstream transfers as well as for Online and LAN. On the back is where you can find the ports used in connecting the Zoom 5370 to the wall jack and to the power supply.

Hardware-wise, this model makes use of a Broadcom BCM33843D chipset capable of full band capture digital tuning. Support for DOCSIS 3.0 is available and thanks to this, the speeds achieved for downloads are quite satisfying. Considering the 16×4 channel bonding, the 5370 offers some serious competition in its price bracket.

The modem is optimized to work well with all the main players in the cable Internet business such as Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner. The maximum speed is (at least in theory) 686 Mbps. After several tests, the modem seems to deliver some decent results but ultimately, it will all depend on your data plan.

Configuring the Zoom 5370 is not difficult but you will have to sort a few things out with your service provider. The interface of the modem is simple to navigate and detailed enough to set up everything properly. Overall the installation process unfolds smoothly but in the case of any issues, there is quality technical support by Zoom.

Taking everything that’s been said about this cable modem into consideration, it becomes clear that this modem is well built, it offers excellent performance and because of that, it deserves a spot in this list of the best cable modems on the market.

Specifications list:

  • 686 Mbps 16X4 cable modem
  • Compatible with many cable service providers.
  • Digital Capture capabilities
  • Works with the DOCSIS 3.0, DOCSIS 2.0 and 1.1 for older systems

Best Cable Modem Combo

9. NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem Router

Netgear has been an important player in the cable modem industry thanks to its high-quality products that focus especially on the more pretentious customers. The Nighthawk C7000 is definitely more advanced than others in this list, so if you want the absolute best modem regardless of price, you should check this one out.

This model is basically a cable modem router so you won’t need to buy the router separately. It offers superior channel bonding for high download speeds of up to 960 Mbps. Of course, to achieve the best results it would be ideal to be subscribed to the highest tiers of your Internet cable service data plan.

The fastest speeds are also maintained during peak usage hours. Thanks to its ample amount of channels, it can handle congestion to keep your connection as reliable as possible. Good performance is ensured by the powerful 1.66 GHz processor, excellent for streaming and gaming.

Something you’ll like about this device is that is very compact for a router/modem combo unit. The manufacturer managed to pack so much power into such a small frame. Adding to the compact feeling is the monolith-like design as the device is intended to be vertically oriented.
The router side of the machine offers great performance considering the WiFi (up to 1.9 Gbps) and the vast HD coverage thanks to the Beamforming capability. Besides the four Ethernet ports, the Nighthawk C7000 is also equipped with one USB 2.0 port. The modem also comes with a special app that helps with the installing process and allows you to control some features like transferring files between devices within your home network for example.

The only thing that should be considered a disadvantage of this device is the price which as I’ve mentioned in the beginning is not exactly affordable but still, considering everything about the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000, I’d say it’s completely justified. A very simple product to use, highly stable and secure and with a very sleek and practical design, therefore, it is fully recommended.

Specifications list:

  • Two-in One Cable Modem and Wireless Router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB 2.0 port
  • WiFi up to 1.9Gbps
  • Powerful 1.6GHz processor
  • 24×8 speeds up to 960Mbps download
  • Whole home coverage
  • Access & share stored media via USB port
  • Not compatible with bundled voice services.

Best Cable Modem With WIFI

10. Motorola Cable Modem with Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router 686 Mbps

The Motorola MG7550 is another cable modem that comes packaged with an integrated router, a very effective combination that some might prefer. The price might seem high but you can definitely save some serious money by opting for a device like this one.

Priding itself with 16 down channels, the MG7550 has enough resources to handle download speeds of 686 Mbps. Thanks to a handy full-band digital tuner, the modem is capable of automatically adjusting the data transfers to prioritize those channels with the least amount of traffic. As a consequence, the connection is more efficient and reliable.

The router aspect of this device has three send and three receive channels. For hard-wiring to PCs, gaming consoles and others, Motorola included four Ethernet ports on the back panels. Looking on the front panel you will find the LED indicators which take the job of alerting you of the status of both the router and modem. To get used to what they mean you can check the user manual, also available online in case it gets lost.

On the blue section found on the rear panel, there’s the coaxial connection and right below it is the power switch and power supply input. This design allows for more stability when the heavy coax connection is plugged in as it helps the device stand upright. The vertical design gives a compact impression and the machine is overall quite aesthetically pleasing.

The MG7550 cable modem is supported by most of the large providers of cable internet. Setting up the modem/router will take a few steps but if you will find yourself in need of assistance, read the manual

If you have finally decided to stop renting and get your own cable modem/router combo, the Motorola MG7550 is a very valuable choice considering what you pay for it. It’s fast, convenient and it will save you a solid amount of money in time.

Specifications list:

  • 686 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 standard
  • Integrated Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router
  • Gigabit Ethernet ports and firewall
  • Comcast XFINITY, TWC, Cox compatible
  • 2.5 GHz and 5.0 GHz
  • Vertical compact design