No doubt we can agree that having a modem/router combo is convenient in many ways. As is the case with most things, combo devices have their pros and cons, but in this case, the benefits are quite significant. Most people who have used cable internet will appreciate the simplicity of the modem and router combination. This combination provides better network control, future-proofing, and much more. When you look at some of the best modem/router combos of 2018, you’ll quickly notice the advantages.
You might be wondering, what makes cable modem/router combos better for home networks? Well, a cable modem router is two devices in one. It’s easy to see that this is saving you space as well as money since you won’t have to buy two separate devices.
Let’s talk about our picks for the 10 best modem/router combos and the benefits they bring to the table. Keep reading to learn all there is to know about the best modem/router combo, cable internet, speeds, and why they’re all important.
It’s important that you find a modem/router combo that works with different internet providers such as XFINITY, Comcast, and Century Link. We’ve made a table to compare each of these best models, the internet provider they work with, and a few specs.
|Actiontec Wireless-N |
|300 Mbps||Century Link||WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption|
|TP-Link Cable Modem Router Bundle||Dual band 1000Mbps+2167Mbps||Comcast, Cox, Charter, Cablevision||TP-Link HomeCare antivirus|
|Netgear N600 Cable Modem Router||Dual band 300+300Mbps||Comcast, Spectrum, Cox||Guest network access, WPA/WPA2|
|Netgear N300 Cable Modem Router||Docsis 3.0||Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Cablevision||Parental controls, guest network access|
|Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router||960Mbps modem speed||Comcast, Spectrum, Cox||N/A|
|Motorola Cable Modem and router MG7550||686 Mbps||Comcast, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner||Guest network access|
|TP-Link Cable Modem TC-7610-E||343Mbps, 143Mbps||Comcast, Time Warner||Docsis 3.0 technology|
|Arris SURFboard SB6190 Cable Modem||1.4Gpbs, 262Mbps||Major US providers||Docsis 3.0 technology|
|Arris SURFboard SB6183 Cable Modem||686Mbps, 131Mbps||Major US providers||Guest access, preset Wi-Fi security|
|Netgear CM500-1AZNAS Cable Modem||Download speeds of 686Mbps||Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Cablevision||N/A|
|Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem||Max speeds of 1.0 Gbps||Comcast, Cox, Mediacom Cable||N/A|
From this table, you can see some important things to look for in a modem/router combo. Apart from the ease of use that we’ll talk about later, it’s important to pay attention to download and upload speeds.
A cable modem router has many benefits, one of which is compatibility with many US providers. More importantly, is safety and security features. A modem router can feature different ways of providing a secure network, but it’s often a matter of your preference.
Let’s continue to reviews where you’ll find the best modem router for you, and learn all about how it works.
1. Actiontec Modem Router Wireless-N ADSL – Slimmest Design
This is a Wireless-N ADSL model featuring the best slim design for tight spaces. It’s compatible with all major DSL providers, as well as ADSL Century Link. Unfortunately, the modem router isn’t compatible with cable systems like Time Warner, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, and Comcast.
This model is quite easy to use because it comes preconfigured. This means it will automatically detect certain service settings, making it simple to set up. It’s important to note that this modem router is actually three in one. You get an ADSL 2/2+ modem, 4-port switch, and a wireless-N router of 300Mbps.
When it comes to security and safety, this modem router is impressive. It features a high-grade firewall as well as parental controls. You’ll also find other ways of protecting your network. Overall, this basic modem and wireless-N router delivers reliable and consistent network quality.
The modem router isn’t compatible with several services and providers that are quite popular among customers such as AT&T U-verse and Verizon FIOS. In addition, the speeds of this modem router are only suitable for casual internet browsing. You won’t be able to do much more than checking email and reading news. It might be best not to connect more than one device to it--if there are more than two connected devices the modem router may not perform as well.
No doubt, this is a useful device if you’re one of those people who just casually check the internet. If you want to read the news or check your email, you won’t need more than this modem/router combo. It’s easy to use and provides a secure and consistent connection. It’s a good and useful device if you neglect that it doesn’t support the majority of providers. Also, its design is perfect for tight spaces.
2. TP-Link Cable Modem Router Bundle – Best Modem/Router Bundle
There isn’t a better way to upgrade to a high-quality performance than with this cable modem router bundle. You not only get better performance than the standard Wireless-N 802.11n, but you will also be able to avoid rental fees. TP-Link also offers a 2-year warranty as well as an outstanding 24/7 technical support.
The bundle includes a TC-7620 Docsis 3.0 cable modem and the Archer C3150 Version 2 router. The router features Mu-MIMO, Wave 2 Wi-Fi, VPN server, Link Aggregation and Airtime Fairness. You also get the NitroQAM, as well as the 4-stream technology, for top speeds up to 3150Mbps. The modem features 16x4 channel bonding and up to 680Mbps speeds for downloading. You might also be glad to know that this cable modem works with Cox, Xfinity from Comcast, Cablevision, Charter, and Time Warner Cable.
When it comes to security, it’s important to know that the bundle features the TP-Link HomeCare anti-virus that protects all devices that are connected. It’s powerful, featuring parental controls and providing a secure network.
The only issue that people have with this device is that it’s not a modem/router combo but a bundle. Because of this, it takes up double the space and if you might have limited options regarding where you’ll keep them.
It’s a very high-quality modem router that you should consider if you want secure and fast internet. It offers superior speeds and it’s compatible with the majority of the providers. All in all, it’s one of the best bundles you’ll find on the market. Still, keep in mind that the bundle requires more space since it features two separate devices.
3. Netgear N600 Cable Modem Router – Best for Streaming HD Videos
Now, we all know how great it feels to watch an HD stream without interruption or any kind of problems. With a device such as this, you’ll be able to stream just about anything as well as do online gaming. It features Docsis 3.0 technology that provides up to 8 times faster internet speeds.
With this combo, you get the Docsis 3.0 cable modem and the N600 Wi-Fi router. This device is certified for use with most internet providers such as Spectrum, Xfinity from Comcast, Cox, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and Optimum. It helps you avoid monthly fees and it features self-activation for Xfinity, so if you’re an Xfinity customer you’ll connect without having to make a service call.
In addition, the combo features dual-band Wi-Fi that’s 300+300Mbps, though internet speeds go up to 340Mbps. Overall, it’s reliable and provides a safe and secure connection.
Most of the time people complained because their internet provider doesn’t work with the modem/router combo. The device doesn’t work with any cable bundled voice services, AT&T, Verizon, or CenturyLink. However, this isn’t a technical problem with the product itself, it’s just how it’s made to work. We suggest you carefully read and consider the providers that are featured.
In conclusion, we think this is a pretty good device for people who require fast internet. It’s easy to use and even easier to set up for the first time. You get two devices in one which saves a lot of space for many people. You’ll also love it for streaming HD videos and playing games online. However, make sure to check which internet providers work with it and which don’t.
4. Netgear N300 Cable Modem Router – Best Under $100
If you’re on a budget but need a reliable and fast internet, this is the best product for you. This modem/router combo delivers the best performance for the money. It features the Docsis 3.0 modem that delivers great connectivity and 8 downstream channels. It’s download speeds go up to 340Mbps.
The router features single band Wireless-N technology. Of course, this isn’t latest technology, but it works nicely for most things. Furthermore, you get a USB port and a gigabit Ethernet port if you need to bypass the Wi-Fi.
The modem/router combo works with the majority of US providers. It’s a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still need a reliable and secure internet connection. It’s suitable for medium-sized houses and it’s easy to install.
Yes, the Wi-Fi speed is quite slow. Most people who have used the device said that you can’t do much with the internet speeds it provides. You’ll be able to do some internet browsing, emailing, etc. However, don’t expect to play video games, stream HD videos or anything like that.
If you want high-speed download and upload, this isn’t really the product for you. This is more for people who don’t need internet for much more than emailing and reading the news. If that’s what you need, then look no more. It works well for what it’s meant to, and it’s also a combo, so it doesn’t take up as much space. Plus, it supports most US internet providers.
5. Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router – Best for High Speeds
This device may just be the best choice for people who need high speeds and optimizing connections for high speeds as well. The modem has a speed of 960Mbps, Docsis 3.0 technology, and 24 downstream channels. The router has similar specifications as it features Wi-Fi AC1900 speeds up to 1.9Gbps. Also, it features a combined processor of 1.6GHz and a USB port. These specifications and features make it a good choice for many who want fast internet.
An important feature is that it works with almost every internet provider. It’s ideal for high-speed online gaming, HD streaming of any kind, and pretty much anything you need fast internet for. Our favorite part of this modem/router combo is that it maintains its speeds during peak hours when everyone’s connected.
The device is noisy, so if you’re easily distracted by noises, this might not be the best device for you. A static/buzzing noise happens when transferring data. If you can’t take the noise and don’t need it in the same room, you can relocate the device to resolve that issue.
It doesn’t get much better than this for people who need high speeds and reliable internet connection. Not only is it a combo device that saves space, it also works excellently even during peak usage hours. The device works with most providers and it’s easy and safe. It’s a little noisy, so consider that if you plan on keeping it in the same room where you work.
6. Motorola Cable Modem and Router MG7550 – Longest-Lasting Modem/Router
Of course, we all want a reliable and long-lasting modem router, especially since we use it every day. For that reason, we’ve included this device. Motorola not only produces some top quality devices, but they took a part in developing the cable internet standard as we know it today, so they know their stuff.
The modem here has 16 downstream and 4 downstream channels which means a max download of 686Mbps and uploading up to 131Mbps. You may think this isn’t much, but it’s actually quite enough.
One of the reasons we love this Motorola device is its full spectrum scanning. This modem router will improve your internet even if you’ve had problems with things such as the connection cutting out. The router that’s inside has a maximum of 1900Mbps and broadcasts a 3x3 MIMO signal (MIMO is a separate Wi-Fi for up to 3 different devices) which is especially great for sharing internet with family or friends.
The device features what we call a Wi-Fi boost. That means it’s increasing broadcast power to the maximum, providing a longer range. All in all, it’s impressive and delivers quite a reliable performance.
The overall performance is great, as reported by many customers. However, the cords that come with the device aren’t as popular. For instance, the Ethernet cord is quite short as well as the power cord. For this reason, you’ll either have to adapt to that or buy other cords yourself. Of course, this isn’t as big of a problem, but still, some people don’t like having to buy separate cords.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with Motorola. When it comes to the device itself, we’re impressed and would recommend it. It’s suitable for HD streaming and features high speeds. It’s safe and easy to install as well. You can also share the internet without losing any speed yourself. Note that the cables are too short for many people’s preference, so you might have to replace them. In our opinion, that’s not too much to overlook for an otherwise great product.
7. TP-Link Cable Modem TC-7610-E – Best Cable Modem
Let’s say you need a cable modem, but not a router. If that’s the case, this is one of the best options for you. It’s ideal for eliminating modem rental fees, but you’ll need a router to enable Wi-Fi. It’s ISP certified, which means it’s ideal for cable internet up to 150Mbps (using either Comcast, Spectrum, Suddenlink, Cox, WOW, or Mediacom as providers).
Its downloading capabilities are impressive thanks to channel bonding up to 8 downstream and 4 upstream channels. It provides data rates up to 143Mbps for upload and 343Mbps for download. The cable modem features Docsis 3.0 and gives 8x faster download and better performance. CableLabs certified the Docsis 3.0 technology as backward compatible with Docsis 1.0, 1.1, 2.0. This provides customers comprehensive compatibility with the network.
Furthermore, the device supports IPv6 and IPv4, both of which are the latest standard. Of course, the Docsis 3.0 technology also includes several network safeguards to provide secure internet. Finally, you get 1 gigabit Ethernet with this cable modem.
In theory, the cable modem seems to work with the majority of providers. However, in reality, this hasn’t been the case. People experienced difficulties with Xfinity, Time Warner, and BrightHouse. Normally, this wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but TP-Link claims it’s compatible. Honestly, we don’t know if this is a mistake in advertising or possibly a defective unit. Either way, you can contact the manufacturer if this happens to you as well.
Take a look at which providers it supports and make your decision based on that. In our opinion, it’s a good device if you’re looking for just a cable modem and not a combo modem router. No doubt, its speeds deliver impressive performance and reliable internet.
8. Arris SURFboard SB6190 Cable Modem – Latest Technology
Ariss SURFboard is a trusted brand that puts out high-quality products with the latest technology. This model is no exception and it definitely lives up to the name. This device is not a router but a cable modem, gigabit Ethernet port, or VOIP telephone adapter. The unit supports most US cable providers.
With this device, you’ll get speeds go up to 1.4Gbps for download and 262Mbps upload. Still, this highly depends on the cable ISP you subscribe to. The device features 32 upload and download channels. Also, it’s important to note that it supports the latest IPv6 as well as IPv4 internet technology. This modem features Docsis 3.0 for the best performance and safety features. You’ll finally be able to avoid the monthly fees and internet dead spots with this unit.
The only report we got regarding how this device works was not at all alarming. As far as the performance and speeds, the modem works well, but customers don’t like that it takes as much time to reboot. It takes a bit more than 2 minutes which seems to be a long time for some people. Understandably, if you work online and on the clock, time is probably precious to you.
If you want speed and a quality device, you’ve found one. It offers reliable and fast internet that’s also safe and secure. In addition, the latest technology backs up the device. Suitable for the most US providers, the unit is easy to set up and use. At times when you have to reboot it, it’ll take more than 2 minutes, so take that into consideration as well. Overall, we’d recommend this device to anyone who wants speed and quality.
9. Arris SURFboard SB6183 Cable Modem – Best for Use With Most Cable Providers
This device features Docsis 3.0 technology that works up to 16x faster than Docsis 2.0. In addition, people mainly choose the unit because it works with the majority of US cable providers such as Time Warner, Comcast, Bright House and Cox. Because it requires cable internet, we suggest you call your provider to check if it’s compatible.
The device’s speed goes up to 686Mbps for download and 131Mbps for upload depending on your ISP subscription. Furthermore, you’ll also get 4 gigabit Ethernet ports so you can connect the modem to router or computer. If you’re a fan of HD streaming or playing video games online, you’ll enjoy doing so with this modem. Not only that, but you can do so on more than one device at a time. The modem supports IPv6 and IPv4 for delivering internet. Finally, the unit features 4 upload channels and 16 download channels.
Thanks to its overall quality, there aren’t many complaints or negative reviews on this unit. It works well, but there’s a little something that annoys many of the customers. Its indicator light is quite bright, especially in the dark. To be honest, this doesn’t sound like a big problem, but if you’re going to sleep in that same room as you might have to cover the modem while you sleep.
Finally, if you’re looking for quality in latest technology, this is a good way to go. Precisely, it offers speed, quality, and reliability. In addition, it’s safe to use, and you can share the connection with more than one device at a time. Keep in mind not to keep it in the room you’re sleeping in because of its bright indicator light. However, if you’re not bothered by that, we can assure you that you’ll enjoy this modem.
10. Netgear CM500-1AZNAS Cable Modem – Best Cable Modem for Comcast
If you go on to read customer reviews on its compatibility with Comcast, you’ll understand why this unit is on our list. Even though it’s best for Comcast, it works very well with Spectrum, CableONE, Cox, Xfinity, and others. If your provider is Xfinity, you can expect up to 68Mbps of speeds, while other internet providers offer max speeds of up to 686Mbps. The device supports cable internet plans up to 200Mbps, but you’ll need a separate router because this isn’t a modem/router combo. We recommend you check your service provider web site in order to find out data speed tier compatibility.
This unit features Docsis 3.0 that offers up to 8x faster internet download speeds. For this reason, it’s ideal for fast downloads, HD streaming, online gaming, and more. It’s safe to use and very easy to set up and install. Also note, you can connect more than just one device at a time.
Even though most people had nothing bad to say about its performance, many had a word or two about the device overheating. According to reports, the device tends to become quite hot after being used for some time which alarmed some customers. It’s hard to tell why this happens and we suggest that you contact Netgear if you notice it. It may be a faulty product, but either way, their customer service will know how to help you.
Keep an eye on it and report if it gets hot. Otherwise, we think this is a really good choice if you want something that’s going to work well with Comcast. Other than that, it features a nice set of specifications and pros that make it a good solution. All in all, it’s worth a shot as far as we think.
11. Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem – Best Modem for UHD Streaming
No doubt, this is a great modem if you want compatibility, reliability, and safety. More precisely, it works great with Xfinity by Comcast, Mediacom Cable, Cox, and other providers. When it comes to cable internet speed tiers, it supports the majority of them up to gigabit service. However, keep in mind this is a modem only so you’ll need a router for Wi-Fi.
This unit features OFDM 2X2 as well as Docsis 3.1, together with the 32x8 channel bonding. This combination provides quality and speed that delivers superior performance. The unit is ideal for UHD 4K streaming, heavy-duty online games, and fast download.
The Netgear modem above works well with Comcast, but that isn’t the case with this model. Reportedly, many people failed to connect it to the provider even though the manufacturer claims they’re compatible. There’s not much you can do to fix this other than contact Netgear to check where the issue is.
In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with this unit, unless your provider is Comcast. For some reason, the two don’t really work well together. Still, the model is ideal for fast downloads, which is something we all want.
Things you should look for in combo routers
When it comes to cable modems, most of them feature a power light, status lights, connectivity light, and a link light. The best is to choose the device that features all these lights, all being well visible. Choosing a compact design is a good idea just so you don’t have a lot of trouble storing it.
No doubt, a warranty is important when making a purchase. The same goes for when you’re buying a modem router. Look for a model that has at least a one-year warranty just in case you need some kind of repair.
Be careful that your modem supports the speed of your internet service. Every 16x4 modem supports what most ISPs offer unless the modem is faster than 300Mbps. If your service has 100Mbps, go for an 8x4 modem. However, you can always choose a 16x4 and still have enough space if you ever want to upgrade your service.
All the features and specifications don’t matter if your internet provider doesn’t support the modem you have. Every modem we’ve reviewed above works with almost every provider unless we’ve stated otherwise. Furthermore, we suggest you check with your provider before you make the final decision of which modem you’d buy.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best cable modem/router combos, it’s easy to make to choose the best one for you. Regardless of the DSL provider, you can find a device that would work best in your case. All you have to do is check its specifications and features and see if they’re matching what you’re looking for.
Having a cable combo unit helps you save money on rental fees and provide better and faster internet. There’s nothing more important than that when choosing a modem to improve your internet experience.
What internet provider you’re using? Have you ever used a router/modem combo? Feel free to join the conversation in the comment section down below.