Motorola MG7700 Review – Cable Modem plus AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router

At a glance

The Motorola MG7700 is a router/modem combo and certainly earned a spot as one of the best-designed cable modems in the business due to its sleek and compact build.

The Motorola MG7700 combines an AC1900 dual-band wireless router technology with a DOCSIS 3.0 24x8 channel cable to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi access to its clients.

The performance that the Motorola MG7700 can provide and the relatively affordable price tag that comes with it makes this router/modem an excellent alternative and upgrade to the default unit that your ISP provides.

However, how does the Motorola MG7700 stack up against other routers/modem units in the same price bracket? To find out, we put the MG7700 through the wringer to fully evaluate its overall functionality and performance.

How did this particular Motorola router/modem entry fair in our tests? Read on to find out.

Main Features

1.

Cable modem (24x8 DOCSIS 3.0) with built-in Wi-Fi Gigabit router (AC1900 dual-band Wi-Fi).

2.

Comes equipped with a Broadcom modem chipset.

3.

Gigabit Ethernet ports (x4).

4.

Three internal antennas with AnyBeam beamforming technology.

5.

Supports IPv4 and IPv6.

6.

The excellent network features such as advanced firewall security and built-in parental controls.

7.

Compact and space-saving design.

Design

Simple, Convenient, and Functional

While most modern routers today incorporate eye-catching designs that aim for a futuristic appeal, the Motorola MG7700 takes a more subtle and practical approach.

The MG7700 is not designed to turn heads; instead, this unit aims to blend into the background and take up as little space as possible.

This subtle design is a 'plus' in our books, even more so if the said router performs amazingly well. The unit measures in at compact and efficient 9.1 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches.

The 'no-frills' design exudes a somewhat professional vibe with its matte gray finish. The unit also comes with a black stand for if you wish to install it vertically, which I highly recommend that you do.


Let us head on over to the front side of the MG7700. Here we find the typical LED status indicators which detail whether the unit is turned, the level of traffic that passes through your network, and whether other devices are connected to the Wi-Fi.

These LED indicators are well-placed front and center and are quite easy to see and understand at a glance.

Over at the back of the unit are the essential cable ports. You will find the power port, a coaxial port, and LAN Gigabit ports (x4).

Strangely enough, there is an open space between the power port and the LAN port. I feel this is a missed opportunity to add extra LAN ports as four does seem to be the bare minimum nowadays.

Going over the MG7700's design once again, it is as well-rounded as a router-modem combo can be. I do want to stress that place the router vertically as it is designed for that type of placement.

Placing it horizontally not only takes up an unnecessary footprint on your shelf, but it also makes the router/modem appear disorganized.

Design-wise, I give the Motorola MG7700 a passing grade.

Setup

Limited Placement Options

Keep in mind that the Motorola MG7700 is a cable modem and router combo, meaning that you will need to plug in your ISP's coaxial cable to the unit to gain access to the internet.

What this means is that the placement options for the MG7700 are incredibly limited to where the coaxial cable is located.

This can be an issue for those living in an apartment as coaxial cables are typically placed in preset areas that can be considered as "not ideal" for wireless routers.

If your coax cable does give you the freedom to place the MG7700 anywhere, always pick a location where the unit is free from large obstructions and away from corners to maximize its wireless reach.

In the instance wherein you can't seem to place the unit in an optimized location, I suggest investing in a coax cable extension to make sure you get the most out of the Motorola MG7700's Wi-Fi capabilities.

User-Friendly Setup

As for the setting up process, as with any other router/modem unit out there, the MG7700 offered no issues whatsoever. You can either choose the Advanced Setup or use the Setup Wizard for installation.

The MG7700 was as straightforward as possible in regards to setting up the network and required no prior knowledge of these types of equipment. Navigating the web portal interface was also quite user-friendly.

You should also be aware that Motorola is exclusive to specific ISPs such as Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and Comcast. Make sure that you are using these ISPs first before purchasing the Motorola MG7700.

Otherwise, you won't be able to use it to connect to the network. You can check which third-party equipment is approved by going to the cable and ISP's official website.

You can also email Motorola's customer service if you can't find any clear information about this particular issue.

Functionalities and Features

The Motorola MG7700 is primarily a modem but also acts as a Wi-Fi router thanks to the built-in dual-band technology.

The unit provides a total of 24 downstream channels that help in preventing bandwidth clogging in the network.

The more downstream channels available, the better – and 24 is a pretty good number. What this means is that the MG7700 can theoretically deliver up to 1Gbps speeds in an optimized setting.

An Excellent Cable Modem

The Motorola MG7700 features a 24x8 DOCSIS 3.0 which means it is equipped with up to eight upstream channels that can clock upload speeds of up to 240Mbps max.

A 24x8 is the current industry standard when it comes to connectivity protocols. Of course, there are 32x8 models out there who are significantly faster, but a 24x8 will suffice in most cases.

Of course, these numbers are all theoretical and based upon an optimized setting.

For example, if your ISP's plan only nets you around 100Mbps, then you can't realistically expect your internet speeds to hit that 1Gbps performance.

That said, you can expect the Motorola MG7700 to squeeze every bit of bandwidth from your ISP.

Overall, a 24x8 channel modem will be able to deliver a generally positive performance grade with most internet users.

Well-Rounded Wi-Fi Capabilities

As you can see, the cable capabilities of the Motorola MG7700 meets the required standards. As for the Wi-Fi router performance, the MG7700 utilizes AC1900 router technology which means it comes with dual-band support.

The MG7700's built-in router is compatible with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz devices, which helps eliminate signal interference and network traffic.

The difference between the two wireless frequency bands is that 2.4GHz has slower speeds but a more extended range, while 5GHz provides faster speeds at the expense of a shorter Wi-Fi range.

Modern devices are also designed to shift between the two wireless bands for optimum performance automatically.

The AC1900 represents the type of band the router offers as well as the maximum theoretical bandwidth that the router can deliver.

Of course, the keyword here is 'theoretical' so you shouldn't expect your Wi-Fi speeds to hit 1,900Mbps. In most cases, keep your expectation in the middle.

Based on our experience with the MG7700, we were able to clock speeds of around 600-670Mbps which is an excellent number overall.

Software Features Designed for Smooth Sailing

Fortunately, the Motorola MG7700 incorporates a highly customizable and user-friendly software to keep network operations and adjustments relatively straightforward.

Motorola kept things reasonably traditional in regards to the MG7700's features.

You can adjust and change key network settings by using the official web portal (which is indicated in the instruction manual).

Here you will find options that allow users to change the SSID and input a password for their Wi-Fi. You can also toggle which channels your router will be able to connect.

Head on over to the Advanced Settings page to find the router's security protocols such as the advanced firewall which can help prevent Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks and block malware and viruses from infiltrating your home network.

There is also Parental Control which restricts specific devices from accessing undesirable websites and limits bandwidth usage.

Navigating through the router's interface is quite easy, and we reckon even beginners won't have difficulty tweaking the settings.

Performance

After stress testing the Motorola MG7700, we managed to clock average wireless internet speeds at around 600Mbps.

Unsurprisingly, the wired connections managed to deliver faster and more stable performance.

Motorola also took into account the fact that the MG7700 will require a coax cable connection, so they installed beamforming technology into the unit, which allows users to direct the wireless signal to crucial areas of their residence.

Technically, Motorola calls this feature the "Wireless Power Boost" which pushes the wireless signal past the unit's limits.

The Motorola MG7700 is a beast despite its modest size and design. You will get your money's worth with this modem/router combo.

Surprisingly Good Wireless Range and Speed

As we have noted earlier, the Motorola MG7700 is explicitly designed to work with certain ISPs such as Comcast and Xfinity, to name a few.

This is why we highly advise you to make sure that your ISP is compatible with the Motorola MG7700 before purchasing this product.

In regards to the modem speeds, we were able to achieve around 100Mbps, which is the maximum bandwidth our ISP plan is allocated with using the LAN connection.

As for the wireless performance of the MG7700, expect results to vary based on a case-to-case basis.

Factors that can affect Wi-Fi performance includes the positioning of the router, the dimension of your residence, and the ISP.

We tested the MG7700's performance regarding signal range, and we are happy to note that it managed to meet basic Wi-Fi standards.

We also connected around 12 devices to the MG7700 during this test.

The performance was expectedly optimal when all devices were within the same room as the MG7700 (approximately 7 to 10 feet).

As we went further away from the MG7700, the Wi-Fi performance, as anticipated, dropped steadily.

However, the speed drop was not a steep one and was more in line with a gradual decline. At around 50-feet away, connected devices still streamed HD videos with little problem.

Best Suited for Small to Moderate Households

Moving further away and reaching 70-feet and above was where we encountered a noticeable decrease in wireless speeds.

Again, that is to be expected, and we were surprised the Motorola MG7700's wireless signal managed to hold a steady performance up to this point.

For those with exceptionally large homes, the Motorola MG7700, on its own, might not be enough.

In these cases, a Wi-Fi extender will be a recommended solution. Or, you can get a triband router instead, which is way more practical in these cases.

All things considered; we do recommend the Motorola MG7700 if you live in a moderately-sized residence.

It is a well-rounded modem/router combo that delivers on all fronts. Make sure to consider where your coaxial cable is located as well as your ISP before purchasing the MG7700.

Price

The Motorola MG7700 is currently priced at around $170, and considering the performance it delivers, I would say that this is a pretty good deal.

Of course, standard standalone modems are known to be extremely affordable, but you have to note that the MG7700 is a modem and router combo, a very good one, at that. The MG7700 is also relatively cheaper compared to other AC1900 routers in the market which can set you back a good $200.

Pros

  • Extended wireless range with the AnyBeam beamforming technology.
  • Easy setup and user-friendly interface.
  • Robust security protocol.
  • Excellent download and upload speeds.
  • Allows users to circumvent cable provider rental fees.

Cons

  • The MG7700 is only compatible with a select list of ISPs.
  • Pretty bare design.
  • Coaxial cable placement limits placement options.
  • Not suitable for larger homes.

Final Verdict

The Motorola MG7700 may look like your typical mass-produced generic modem/router, but it comes with an outstanding level of performance at a relatively reasonable price.

Once setup is completed and optimized, expect lightning-fast download and upload speeds making this a highly recommended home router.

The wireless range is also decent, and the router comes with all essential security software pre-installed.

While the coaxial cable may affect where you place this modem/router combo, once you do – expect smooth sailing from there.

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