The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Cable modem in 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Cable modem in 2020
At least 70% of internet users today have at one time been in a heartbreaking relationship with their internet service provider involving renting the best cable modem for a ‘small’ monthly fee. 

The whole thing sucks!
It begins with promises ranging from ‘the best cable modems are manufactured by respective internet service providers’ to ‘renting your modem guarantees great service delivery’ and lots of shenanigans falling in between.

But let’s unearth some truth you may not have considered. Owning your cable modem allows you to select the one that meets your needs and in about 7 months be on the path to saving at least $120 every year.

Of course, you need to know a bit about cable modems so you can pick the one to build your home network with. You don’t want to end with a rogue in bed, do you?

That’s where we come in. In this guide, we share some in-house secrets about cable modems we have tasted and seen their goodness.

Some come as complete solutions for your home network, while others need routers to seal the deal. Don’t sweat it; we have a list of the top-performing wireless routers hidden in our vault.

For now, everything you need to know about selecting the best cable modem for your home network is in this comprehensive guide.

The Top 6 Cable Modems Guaranteeing Reliable High-Speed Internet

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 Cable Modem Router Combo

From the audacious looks to deliver outstanding performance, no doubt NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 is the winning DOCSIS 3.1 Modem router combo device in the market today.

From the audacious looks to deliver outstanding performance, no doubt NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 is the winning DOCSIS 3.1 Modem router combo device in the market today.

The sealed-deal of a device is 32x8 CableLabs DOCSIS 3.1 verified allowing you to go for internet plans of up to 2Gbps. It is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor guaranteeing unbeatable network efficiency required in every home today.

It is compatible with all major Internet Services Providers in the US; XFINITY, Cox, Spectrum among others. If you are with any bundled voice service provider, DISH, DirectTV, DSL providers, AT&T, CenturyLink, or Verizon, this device isn’t for you.

Owning this modem knocks out monthly rental fees allowing you to save at least $150 per year. Confirm with your provider if they are ok with you owning your device and if they support the C7800 before purchase.

The device has an in-built router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports allowing your wired internet-hungry devices to have their dose.

All others, up to 45 devices scattered around 3,000 square feet space can use the wireless. This eliminates the need for an extra device to supply the internet in your home, and saves you shelf-space.

It also explains the high cost of the device; about $370.
It comes with a NETGEAR limited 1-year hardware warranty and round the clock technical support for the first 90 days after purchase. But you must buy it from an authorized dealer.

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 promises and delivers hard-to-beat performance hence the best cable modem for gaming.

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 promises and delivers hard-to-beat performance hence the best cable modem for gaming.

The DOCSIS 3.1 capable modem guarantees 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels or 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 channels.

It’s best for internet plans up to 2Gbps and is compatible with XFINITY, Cox, and other leading US Internet Service Providers.

Expect it to give up to 950Mbps download and 48 Mbps upload speeds in most neighborhoods!
The modem is equipped with two 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports with link aggregation capability.

This allows linking to the router on one port while using the other for gaming if your ISP can offer an extra IP address for a small fee to run gaming without worrying about the rest of the network users.

Otherwise, allow every user to stay on the router. It doesn’t have the routing capabilities but works with any 10/100/1000 router.

Built on Broadcom BCM3390 chipset, 3GB RAM and 128MB Flash, the modem ensures uncompromised stability for your home network.

It’s easy to set up, comes with 2 years limited warranty and is a little shy of $150 in price; a combination you won’t find anywhere in the world!

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 fits in as the best cable modem for most families. It has a household name, spends just enough, and is practical; meeting various demands the entire family.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 fits in as the best cable modem for most families.

It has a household name, spends just enough, and is practical; meeting various demands the entire family.

It’s built for cable plans up to Ultimate 300 making it great for HD streaming, large file downloads, and gaming.

While it only boasts of DOCSIS 3.0 technology and delivering 16 downstream x 4 upstream unlike the first two modems in this list, it ensures zooming fast internet speeds. Its potential download speed is 680Mbps and 132Mbps for upload.

It has one gigabit Ethernet port with autosensing technology meant to either connect to your laptop if no other device in your home needs the internet or to your router.

And since it cost about $75, you are free to buy a router of your taste. It’s compatible with a whole lot of them.

The modem is compatible with XFINITY, Cox, Cablevision among other main Internet Service Providers, but doesn’t support any bundled voice services or DSL providers.

Though only offering a 1-year warranty, buying it translates to saving up to $168 per year on rental fees.

MOTOROLA MG7315 8x4 Cable Modem Plus N450 Single Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

MOTOROLA MG7315 is the best modem for beginners. The 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 CableLabs certified modem is equipped with its router making networking in a studio apartment nice and easy. 

MOTOROLA MG7315 is the best modem for beginners. The 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 CableLabs certified modem is equipped with its router making networking in a studio apartment nice and easy.

In theory, it’s capable of up to 343Mbps download and 123Mbps upload speeds though in practice the speed depends on your internet service provider’s muscles. It’s compatible with XFINITY, Cox, Spectrum among other leading Internet Service Providers.

The MG7315 modem is easy to set up, allows you to save up to $120 per year, and assures you of fast and reliable internet. It has lightning and power surge protection capability to secure your investment.

It has an onboard direct connection to its inbuilt Wi-Fi Gigabit router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The same has a Wi-Fi power boost to extend speed and range. It also has 10 status-reporting LEDs to keep you informed of the operation at hand.

It’s built on Broadcom Chipset and comes with a 2-year warranty.

MOTOROLA MB7621 Cable Modem 

The Motorola MB7621 has been voted as the best for speed modem in various arenas in the US, including here. It delivers high-speed internet hence the much-needed efficiency in HD streaming and online gaming.

The Motorola MB7621 has been voted as the best for speed modem in various arenas in the US, including here. It delivers high-speed internet hence the much-needed efficiency in HD streaming and online gaming.

It’s built with Broadcom chipset for Internet plans up to 600Mbps, uses DOCSIS 3.0 with the capability of 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels.

Theoretically, that warrants up to 1000Mbps download speed and 246Mbps for upload. The real figure depends on a myriad of factors including the provider’s ability. It supports both IPv4 and IPv6.

Unlike the MG7315 above, the MB7621 doesn’t have an inbuilt router, but it’s compatible with a wide variety of routers to provide all your home devices with the much-needed internet.

Use the Gigabit Ethernet port to connect your router of choice.

The device is compatible with major Internet Services Providers; XFINITY, Cox, Spectrum, and WOW. For DSL and Voice bundled providers, this won’t work.

Owning this modem allows you to save up to $156 every year while enjoying 2 years warranty. On average it costs less than $80.

TP-Link TC-7620 Cable Modem

TP-Link TC-7620 answers to the best cable modem for budget; the modem to go for when pressed for cash but desperate for good results.

TP-Link TC-7620 answers to the best cable modem for budget; the modem to go for when pressed for cash but desperate for good results.

This easy to setup modem is built for internet plans up to 300Mbps. Its potential download speed is 686Mbps while the upload is up to 143Mbps ensuring lag-free HD streaming and online gaming.

Your ISP has a lot to say about this though.
TP-Link TC-7620 Cable Modem runs on DOCSIS 3.0 technology with 16x4 channel bonding. It future proofs your home networking with IPv4 and IPv6 dual-stack.

The need to dispose of this modem due to a technology upgrade is rare.

The device has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port to connect to your preferred router and build a home network to connect your devices to the internet; it supports a whole lot of great routers in the market.

Keep an eye on the LED to know its status and that of your network.

It’s compatible with US’ top ISPs, comes with a 2-year warranty and free 24/7 technical support.

Basic Knowledge Before Buying a Cable Modem

Having the internet at home is no longer news. What worries most home users though is picking the right modem for the job.

And since no single user has similar needs like the next, this guide not only helps you pick the right cable modem but also understand what the whole process takes.

Let’s start with the 3 sensitive questions you must answer before even choosing the modem. Here you go.

Is there a great Cable Internet Service Provider in your region?

Internet comes to your home through 3 main ways today; Cable internet, DSL internet, or Fiber internet.

Cable internet is supplied by your Cable TV provider and connects to the cable modem using a coaxial cable before any communication can be done to your home network.

At the moment, the minimum download speed available is 10Mbps and the maximum is 2Gbps but has a potential of up to 10Gbps (more on the speed progression later).

These speeds explain cable internet’s fame for heavy internet such as providing high-definition videos, multi-player online gaming, and sharing enormous files. It also favors multiple simultaneous internet users on connected devices in your home network.

You only need a good wireless router to work with any of the best cable modem above or a cable modem router combo device to blanket your home with blazing fast and stable internet for your myriad of Wi-Fi devices; say 40 plus gadgets. All of them hogging the internet at the same time!

In 2017, cable internet accounted for almost 80% of residential internet in the USA with a larger portion of this number supported by the top 5 providers.

XFINITY by Comcast. They pride themselves in giving America’s best internet experience at a starting cost of $29.99 per month for 12 months. They deliver download speeds between 15Mbps and 2Gbps.

RCN by RCN Telecom Services that promise to offer you binge-worthy speeds all the time at a starting price of $29.99 per month for 12 months. Their download speeds range between 10Mbps and 940Mbps.

Spectrum by Spectrum Communication, a company that doesn’t mind buying you out of your current contract with its competitor as long as it is below $500. Their starting price is $49.99 per month for 12 months. Expect download speeds ranging between 100Mbps and 940Mbps.

Cox Cox Cable that promises to keep you connected to the moments that matter most. Their starting price is $29.99 per month for 12 months. Their download speeds are between 10Mbps and 1Gbps.

Suddenlink by Suddenlink Business that prides in delivering the speed you need to stay connected. Their starting price is $35 per month for 12 months. Like Spectrum, their speeds run between 100Mbps and 940Mbps.

Of course, there are many other providers such as WOW!, Cable One, and Mediacom. You only need to find the provider available in your neighborhood and meets your budgetary demands.

Also, ask a few friends of their experiences with their providers during a difficult moment to help you make the right decision.

Briefly, DSL internet comes through your telephone line and can offer download speeds between 0.2Mbps and 940Mbps, while the Fiber internet uses fiber optic cable which can match Cable speeds. Cable modems don’t support either of these services.

What Internet Plans do they offer?

This information is available in most of the internet provider’s website.
It’s however not enough to know the download speed a provider can offer because this speed is controlled by the modem’s capability among other factors.

So make sure you ask the cable internet provider to quote for you the different Internet Plans they offer before buying a modem.

Remember, some plans are limited to certain areas, make sure you tell them where you live before closing the deal.

Do they support the ‘best cable modem’ of your choice?

Most Cable internet service providers insist on giving you a cable modem on a rental basis. But here is the catch; that attracts a rental fee that you pay every month. Some figure around $12 per month until you divorce the provider.

And that comes with a pile of promises. They promise to never end the warranty of the rented modem, ensure the modem is always compatible with the Internet plan of your choice, replace a defective modem at no cost, and spare you the ‘agony’ of searching for the right cable modem.

While that tastes rather delicious, accepting a modem on a rental basis means you will forever pay a monthly fee to use the equipment.

And if the provider decides to raise the rental fees, you will have to adhere or lose services. And dare you to try to divorce them at this time, you will loath the process!

But if you choose one of the best cable modems in the list above, you only pay for it once and have a warranty after registering the device online.

Buying gives you a chance to pick a modem of your choice; one you believe will meet the needs of every user in your home network.

And if in after buying the modem you decide to divorce the cable internet provider, you can keep that great modem you once fell in love with. Forever.

So why waste money renting when you can buy one and save a whole lot?
Instead of renting, select the best cable modem for your needs then ask the cable internet service provider if they can support such. And then buy it. Don’t be anyone’s slave!

Now that you know your cable internet rights, let’s investigate the intimate details you need to know while selecting the right cable modem for you.

What Should You Look For In A Cable Modem?

Your cable modem is like the girlfriend or boyfriend you live with, so before you bring them in, let’s discuss the 4 main factors that guide you into settling for the one.

Modem’s Speed

Every modem listed above is good for a certain kind of user. The speed of a cable modem is best analyzed from the standard it’s based on.

That’s where DOCSIS comes in; Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It’s a standard developed by CableLabs to allow high-bandwidth data transfer over the coaxial cable so you can access the Internet over the existing Cable TV infrastructure.

DOCSIS dictates how fast data travels from your provider to your modem at home while downloading every website you open on your browser and other files.

It’s also in charge of the flow of data in the opposite direction; while uploading photos on social media, videos on YouTube, or files into your Google drive.

While the oldest DOCSIS standard 1.0 allowed about 42Mbps download speed, a more recent DOCSIS 3.1 is capable of up to 10Gbps.

The overall internet speed though is dependent on many other factors. (The quick story of DOCSIS’s development is covered in this document so you know how it affects you.)
Data flows to your home through channels guided by the DOCSIS standards. Think of this flow as vehicles traveling to and from the mall on a wide road with many lanes.

The more the lanes the faster they can move; especially if the vehicles can move without interfering with each other.

DOCSIS depicts the lanes leaving the mall as downstream; they are many because many people need to go home and have fun. The lanes going into the mall are fewer and people are patient while going in.

In the same way, many users download more than they upload on a daily basis.

The channels have a particular bandwidth. For example, DOCSIS 3.0 channels are 6MHz wide and each channel allows 38Mbps download throughput; 42.88Mbps in calculations.

The upload speed is 27Mbps; the figure 30.72Mbps is used instead. So by combining the channels in a process called Channel Bonding, the maximum download throughput is determined by the number of channels dedicated to download multiplied by the speed per channel.

Picture this, the Motorola MB7621 cable modem mentioned in the list of best cable modems as running on DOCSIS 3.0 has a 24x8 channel bonding; 24 channels for download and 8 for upload. That translates to 1029.12Mbps (42.88 x 24) downstream and 245.7Mbps (30.72 x 8) upstream.

But to get closer home, the modem manufacturer uses 1000Mbps downstream and 246Mbps.

DOCSIS 3.0 uses other channel bonding configurations besides the 24x8. The older modems employ 4x4 or 8x4 while newer devices use 16x4, 24x8, and 32x8 configuration; making them much faster.

Demystifying cable modem speed trick

Most cable modem internet service providers recommend using a modem with at least 16x4 channel bonding. Here is why you should never go below this setting.

Say you pick a DOCSIS 2.0 modem because it’s cheap and cute. That modem can only handle one channel upstream and one downstream because channel bonding doesn’t apply in such (more on this in the DOCSIS history section). What does that mean to you?

During peak hours when everyone in your neighborhood is streaming, gaming, and video chatting with their grandmothers; on a Saturday afternoon, your modem’s download speed slows to a painful low limiting it to the speed available in one channel.

If per channel the speed is 4Mbps, during peak hours your modem will only allow a download speed of 4Mbps. Ouch!

You will only watch, ‘Video loading …’ all afternoon.
The reason; all the modems in your neighborhood connecting to the same internet provider as yours drink from the same pot.

Solution; buy a cable modem that has a larger straw!
Get a modem using more channels, like a DOCSIS 3.0 modem using 32x8 channels bonding. When peak time comes, your modem will continue to suck in a huge number of data packets from the source.

Again, should one of the channels go down for whatever reason, you will still enjoy fast downloads because all other channels will continue to suck the data down unperturbed.

A bit of history on DOCSIS and why you should care

DOCSIS is an international telecommunication standard that allows adding of high-bandwidth data transfer to the already existing cable television infrastructure.

The standard was developed by CableLabs, a not-for-profit innovation and research and development laboratory founded in 1988 by American cable operators.

DOCSIS standards in a cable modem oversee the way data is handled by the device’s hardware and software.

So, the standard used in your modem dictates how far you can benefit from the enticing internet speeds advertised by your internet service provider.

The standards have evolved from DOCSIS 1.0 to the 4.0 rumored today, but this is how the story goes.

Long before the best cable modems in the list above were born; in March 1997 that is, DOCSIS 1.0 came dictating maximum download speeds of 40Mbps and 10Mbps for upload. After several iterations DOCSIS 2.0 was birthed in December 2001 with similar download speed but thrice the upload; 30Mbps.

The mega jump came with the introduction of DOCSIS 3.0 in August 2006 that saw the rise of cable modem’s download speed to 1.2Gbps and 200Mbps for upload.

This was a result of channel bonding; combining several downstream and upstream channels to make something close to a highway as earlier discussed in this guide.

The iteration that followed in October 2013 saw the birth of DOCSIS 3.1 that has potential for 10Gbps on the downstream and up to 2Gbps for upstream.

Most cable internet providers managed to match the speed by the year 2016 since the cable modems for the speed were already floating in the market.

The manufacturing of such modems and even better continues.
But the story doesn't end there. In October 2017, DOCSIS 4.0 was born promising improvement of its predecessor to use the full capacity of the cable plant; from 0MHz to about 1.8GHz simultaneously on downstream and upstream!

Think 10Gbps downstream and 6Gbps upstream.
In practice, the standard expects the cable modem to allow multi-gigabit symmetrical services without leaving behind devices made for the previous standards.

DOCSIS development is excruciatingly fast and sometimes worrying because the urge to change cable modems is almost unbearable.

But that shouldn't worry you because DOCSIS standards ensure that you don't have to replace your modem in a rush. At least not without consulting with your cable internet provider to see what level of service they can offer.

This is why.
If you have a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem and your internet provider's systems run on DOCSIS 3.0, the link between you and them prioritizes the weaker link, your modem. That buys you enough time to make necessary replacements!
Does the big speed break spell the end of DOCSIS development?

Absolutely not.
Around the world, multi-player gaming, large file transfer, video streaming, and conferencing have become a daily routine and the demand continues to rise. And thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for such has escalated several times over.

So while you enjoy the mushy love from your old modem, you may want to start saving now so you can ditch it for a newer shinier love.

Modem’s capability

When you’ve found the cable modem with the best speed for you, find out if it can handle the internet plan of your choice and deliver the kind of data speed you desire.

For example, though the Motorola MB7621 is built for plans up to 600Mbps, XFINITY is likely to recommend it for the 400Mbps plan.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a fast modem that future-proofs your home network should your provider upgrade your internet plan’s speed.

But buying a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem for a 50Mbps plan is a waste of resources. Instead, reserve the powerful modem for a Gigabit plan like Cox Gigablast!
The call here is ensuring that your modem of choice suits your internet plan of choice without waste.

Modem’s Warranty

Most modem manufacturers give up to 2 years in warranty. Don’t take their word for it, find out what that warranty covers so you aren’t at a loss if say lightning strikes the modem or something worse comes knocking.

A question like, ‘what does 2-year hardware warranty mean?’ shouldn’t go unanswered.

Remember, unlike renting a modem where the warranty is unlimited when you buy the best cable modem, its life is in your hands. Make sure the modem is registered to you so you can enjoy the whole deal.

Technical Support

Every electronic equipment has a knack of slowing down when needed most.

And since you aren’t renting the cable modem from your internet service provider, chances of getting any technical help from them is somewhere in the levels of zero.

The blame game goes like, ‘Maybe it’s the cable modem you bought from… Have you called them to find out?’

So now is a good time to find out if the cable modem’s manufacturer has some basic technical support in place.

Most provide free 24/7 basic technical support for the first 90 days provided the modem is purchased from a recognized dealer and is registered in the right way.

Some companies however sell technical support as a service. They ask you to subscribe for such so they are always there for you in case of failure.

But that takes you back to some kind of renting of the cable modem, something you ought not to do when you want the best cable modem in the market for your needs.

Ok, so you have the perfect cable modem for your home network, but a friend mentioned something about higher speeds.

Does DOCSIS 3.1 increase speed?

Despite DOCSIS 3.0 looking so glamorous, you now know it isn’t the highest standard. Blame that on technology’s exponential growth!

The DOCSIS 3.1 standard was released with the aim of meeting the world’s demand for high-speed internet access and network efficiency. It promises about 50% increased efficiency over its predecessor.

DOCSIS 3.1 achieves greater speeds by using narrower channels of between 20kHz and 50kHz put together into a spectrum of almost 192MHz with data rates of 1.89Gbps. That’s much faster than its predecessor DOCSIS 3.0 which, as stated earlier uses 6MHz channels with 42.88Mbps data rate.

This new standard promises a downstream throughput of up to 10Gbps with a mandatory 4096-QAM and spacing of a 25kHz subcarrier.

For upstream, expect throughput of between 1 and 2Gbps. DOCSIS 3.0 stops at 1372.16Mbps downstream and 245.76Mbps upstream.

DOCSIS 3.1’s network efficiency is by far contributed by the use of OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) which allows more data-packing per frequency spectrum than is possible with SC-QAM (Single Carrier Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) used in DOCSIS 3.0.

Data streams are split into multiple streams then transmitted at the same time on many frequency sub-carriers. This allows the transmission of a lot more data on the same frequency band, without interference.

DOCSIS 3.1 also comes with an improved packet queuing mechanism that lowers packet latency perfecting voice quality in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls. The online gaming experience is also improved to reduce the chances of lagging when you play!

But speed isn’t all that DOCSIS 3.1 offers. The standard has energy management features that allow the cable modem to switch to sleep mode when not in use to reduce power consumption.

It also has better security features; strong authentication and secure software download lowering the risk of having malicious firmware installed in your cable modem.

What makes DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems rock, even more, is their backward compatibility.

If for whatever reason your cable provider doesn’t service your area with gigabit-speed internet, holding onto your NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 cable modem router combo as you wait for the upgrade a great idea. The modem can cater for the lower speeds.

Is it better to have a modem and router separate?

While some cable modems, like the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 cable modem router combo, come with an in-built wireless router completing your home network at a push of a button, others play by the solo rules.

Such cable modems need a separate device to serve your internet-hungry wireless gadgets. And that’s where the best wireless routers come in.

As much as shoving the answer your way would come easy for us, the decision, whether or not to have the combo device is determined by several factors. Here are the 4 major factors to help you decide the way to go.

First, consider your daily data needs; what do you need the internet for.
A solo cable modem is good for data hogging habits such as those of hardcore gamers.

Such need a spare IP address for gaming, leaving all other home users to get internet from the router. If you are one, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 cable modem is your device.

But if an extra IP address is too much to ask, then match the cable modem with a great wireless router like the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 router that isn’t afraid of being hosed with data by a powerful cable modem. Heavier usage works best with 2 devices instead of one.

Second, consider the physical space available for your networking devices.
If you choose to go for a separate cable modem and then a wireless router, make sure you have enough space for the 2 devices to sit.

Remember most of the best wireless routers have external antennas that need to stretch out to flood the Wi-Fi signal around your home. They demand more space than they seem.

Third, consider how much you can spend
Do your math to help you decide the option that suits you best. Note, while in the ARRIS modem with Netgear router combination above you spend about $350, buying a NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 Cable Modem Router Combo costs $20 more.

But this is one example where 2 devices serving the purpose of a combo cost less. In other cases, it’s vice versa.

Finally, decide how easy you want the setup and management adventure to be. Managing a wireless router separately from the cable modem can be an uphill task, especially during a service outage.

You will need the help of your equipment suppliers to decode the mystery behind the failing services. If such problems aren’t your cup of tea, go for the combo device and surf away!

Does buying a new modem increase Internet speed?

Yes, would be a good answer here, but there’s a huge ‘No’ somewhere in the system.

Here is why.
If your buying decision is influenced by the understanding that your internet service provider can service a faster internet plan and hence the need to buy a new modem, go for it. Your overall home internet speed is guaranteed to increase. And in that case, knowing the specifications of your old modem comes in handy so you know what to expect.

Let’s paint a picture to drive the point home.
Say your provider is XFINITY and you’ve been using Motorola SURFboard SB5120 cable modem. The modem runs on DOCSIS 2.0 allowing 40Mbps downstream and 30Mbps upstream forcing you to stay on the 25Mbps XFINITY Performance Starter+ Internet plan.
To enjoy online gaming and HD streaming you decide to replace your modem with the Motorola MB7621 cable modem praised for just that.

But don’t stop there. You go ahead and upgrade your internet plan to XFINITY Extreme Pro+ Internet to match the new modem’s muscle. Will that purchase guarantee a higher speed?

Absolutely!
Migrating from a DOCSIS 2.0 to a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem isn’t enough to increase your home internet speed, there’s need to upgrade the internet plan too. And that’s where most users go wrong.

So before being infatuated with the looks of that new modem, call your provider to see what plan would go with it and if that plan is available in your region. Sometimes, it may not.

And after upgrading your modem, consider upgrading the wireless router too if the modem doesn’t have one built into it.

The reason being, once you taste the high speeds from the modem- through running a speed test, chances of wanting to add more devices; buying a new HD TV, gaming set, smartphone, and all such internet hungry devices, are high.

Spare the poor old wireless router the agony and give the new cable modem a new bride to marry!

So, Where Do You Go From This Best Cable Modem Guide?

If you haven’t already bought one of the best cable modems above, scroll up and do just that. Your home network depends on it.

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