Once the initial connection to the internet is established, a router enables Wi-Fi access within … Like most DOCSIS 3.1 modems, the SBG8300 also supports the more common DOCSIS 3.0 standard, of course, so it's backward-compatible with 32x8 channel support for maximum throughput, meaning that you can invest for the future without having to jump up to a higher speed plan right away. The 2.4GHz band is the most common Wi-Fi frequency, and it's been used for over 20 years. Tri-band routers are about improving performance by reducing congestion, so they're really only necessary if you have a lot of high-speed Wi-Fi 5 devices on your network. A modem connects your home network to the internet. Actiontec Q1000. The router connects to your modem and then to your devices (laptops, smart TVs, printers, etc.) We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. On the other end of the spectrum, a 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which is the fastest currently available, will give you download speeds of 1,376Mbps and upload speeds of 248Mbps, assuming your ISP supports that many DOCSIS 3.0 channels, although we noted earlier, most don't. Unless you have a fairly basic internet plan, this means you'll want support for relatively modern Wi-Fi standards. A good cable modem/router combo unit can ensure that you not only get the fastest internet speeds from your cable provider but also offer the kind of Wi-Fi performance and range that you need to meet the streaming and gaming needs of even the busiest homes. Arris may not be a well-known name in routers, but they’ve been making cable modems from almost the beginning, and the Surfboard SBG7600AC2 is the company’s latest DOCSIS 3.0 modem/router model, with 32x8 channel support that Arris promises can deliver download speeds as high as 1.2Gbps, and thanks to Arris mobile Surfboard Manager app you can be up and running in no time at all without needing any advanced networking expertise. ", "Compatible with most major cable providers, the C6250 is built for speed like most Netgear models. Review the modem manufacturer’s specifications to choose a device based on your individual needs. Jesse Hollington is a tech writer with 10+ years' experience. ", "This DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combo delivers true 1Gbps internet speeds with Wi-Fi performance to match. ", "A slim and unobtrusive router with great wireless performance. On the Wi-Fi side, a cable modem/router combo works the same as any other wireless router, meaning you'll be choosing from the same Wi-Fi standards and frequencies, such as 802.11n and 802.11ac, which have recently been redesignated as Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5, respectively, in order to make it easier for consumers to understand the relationship between them. If you aren’t sure which is which, you can often identify your wireless router by the visible antennas. It's also important to note that the AC speed ratings on dual-band and tri-band routers refer to the total speeds across all of the bands, which means that you'll definitely never see the maximum throughput from a single device. You’ll receive an xFi Gateway or xFi Advanced … Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our Arris Surfboard SBG8300 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem & Wi-Fi Router, Best Splurge: At this point, the very leading edge standard is DOCSIS 3.1, which can provide a theoretical maximum throughput of 10Gbps. A modem is what establishes and maintains a consistent connection to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Gig Eth (4) USB Host Port. Unless you have really specialized needs, a cable modem/router combo can be a win all around. If you're in a smaller living space with only a handful of devices, then you can do very well with Netgear's C6250, which is a solid cable modem/router that offers more than enough performance for mid-tier internet plans, guaranteeing that you'll be able to keep up with the latest shows on Netflix and Hulu without interruption. A router lets all of your wireless devices use that internet, and allows them to pair with each other via Bluetooth technology and the like. The actual performance of a cable modem is determined by the number of channels that it supports, and this is usually expressed as the number of download channels by the number of upload channels. The connection between your house and the Internet is known as a wide area network (WAN). As the name implies, a tri-band router offers a third band, in the form of a second 5GHz band, to help separate your high-performance devices to reduce congestion. It's also subject to interference from things like microwave ovens. Our testing demonstrates that the MG7700 can handle cable services with speeds of up to 1Gbps and also includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, so you can hardwire your PC or gaming console into it if the 802.11ac speeds aren't cutting it for you. So, while you may need the power of both a modem and a router for all your Internet usage, it may not require two spaces on your shelf. Compatible with most major cable providers—as long as you don't need bundled voice services, that is—the C6250 is built with enough speed and coverage to more than easily handle the streaming and surfing needs of smaller families. Keep in mind, however, that these ratings represent the maximum total throughput for all of the devices on your network, which is the reason that these higher numbers are so important. A cable modem brings internet connectivity into your home while the best routers distribute that internet connection wirelessly, so that all your devices — laptops, phones, and smart … As we explained earlier, the performance you get from the cable modem side of a modem/router combo will be determined by the DOCSIS standard and number of channels it supports, as well as by your actual internet plan, of course. While it doesn't offer any advanced features like MU-MIMO or QoS, it's not a serious omission for most home users considering that the available Wi-Fi bandwidth well exceeds the maximum speed of the cable internet connection. "Even with our extreme 250Mbps internet connection, the modem was able to keep up during even the busiest times." Unfortunately, this means you'll still have to keep paying for your rental modem, but you'll get all of the other advantages of an integrated cable/modem router combo. So ditch the rental cable modem and check out our collection of the best cable modem/router combos to give you the best performance for your broadband connection. In addition to saving money, you'll also end up with an integrated solution that's far easier than trying to figure out how to bypass the router that you ISP has already provided you with. He's installed, tested, and configured just about every type and brand of router, firewall, wireless access point, and network extender in places ranging from single-family dwellings to office buildings. To get the fastest possible speeds, you'll need to invest in a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem." — Don Reisinger, Product Tester. Wi-Fi 4 devices could optionally use the 5GHz band, while Wi-Fi 5 devices use it exclusively when operating in 802.11ac mode, although all Wi-Fi devices are backward compatible with older standards, so a Wi-Fi 5 device can still fall back to using the 2.4GHz band when a strong enough 5GHz signal isn't available, although you'll get slower performance. By using Lifewire, you accept our, The Ultimate Cable Modem/Router Combo Buying Guide, Best Overall: However, with today’s technology, new combination modem and router units merge the two devices’ functions into one powerful gadget. As the new numbering system implies, Wi-Fi 5 is better than Wi-Fi 4, and it's the fastest standard that's in widespread use right now. This is why tri-band routers have higher speed ratings. DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 or higher devices are required for all new Cox High Speed Internet … Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem & Wi-Fi Router, Best Budget: Setting it up is also a breeze—just unplug your old modem and plug everything into the C3700 and you're ready to go. Jesse Hollington is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing about technology and three decades of experience in information technology and networking. Keep in mind, though, that this is a second 5GHz channel, so it will do absolutely nothing for your 2.4GHz devices. Then there are modem-router combo devices that handle all of the tasks above. If you’re also using your cable ISP for your voice telephone service, your options for replacing your rental cable modem will be a bit more limited, as you’ll need to make sure it also has a voice gateway built in. The modem connects your home to the Internet, while a router creates the network inside your house. In short, your router creates a network between the computers in your home, while your modem connects that network—and thus the computers on it—to the internet. Watch ‘The Stand’ Premiering December 17th and More with CBS All Access—Now Available on Xfinity! … The best cable modem/router combos combine all of the great features of high-performance cable modems with the top-rated wireless routers in one simple package that’s not only less expensive than buying two separate devices, but also means you can return your rental cable modem, saving you from paying those monthly fees as well. The other thing that's important to understand is that Wi-Fi 5 routers are almost always at least dual-band routers. It's also worth mentioning that although DOCSIS 3.0 technically supports speeds of up to 1Gbps, very few cable ISPs offer much better than 630Mbps on DOCSIS 3.0, so if you want to take advantage of the newer 1Gbps plans, you'll likely need a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem anyway. "At under $100, this modem can probably pay for itself in under a year while still providing the speeds we expect from our service." Almost every Wi-Fi device on the planet supports 2.4GHz as a minimum standard, and this is the only frequency that most older devices and inexpensive internet-of-things devices support. Don't despair if you can't find one, however, as you might be able to continue using your ISP-provided rental modem strictly as your voice gateway alongside a better cable modem/router combo for your actual internet access. Regardless of how many devices are using the internet in your home, you should only need one Wi-Fi modem. Even the most basic Wi-Fi routers will cover an apartment or smaller home without any serious challenges, but if you live in a larger home, you'll want to pick something up that offers external antennas with beamforming support, or maybe even look into a mesh Wi-Fi system. Offering all the connectivity of a rental modem and more, it's perfect for a small home thanks to its two Gigabit Ethernet ports and dual antennas. Motorola MT7711 Cable Modem/Router with Voice Gateway, Best for Smaller Homes: This means that they operate on two separate frequency bands—2.4GHz and 5GHz. NETGEAR Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo C6250 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including X… If you're considering a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem/router combo, don't be scared by the lower number of channels, however. ", "The Netgear C3700 is a sleek and affordable option that provides all the connectivity and more of a rental modem. While the CAX80 doesn’t come cheap, when you consider that it could very well be the only cable modem/router combo you ever need to buy it may well be worth the higher price of admission, especially when you factor in what you’ll be saving on rental fees. They make it simpler than ever to set up your home network and keep it running reliably and securely. This modem/router is approved to work with Xfinity and Cox internet plans. The beamforming four-antenna array also delivers AC3200 Wi-Fi speeds of up to 3.2Gbps across 3,000 square feet of living space—1Gbps on the 2.4GHz band and 2.2Gbps in the higher 5GHz range. A cable modem and WiFi router are the heart and brain of your home network. Netgear’s Nighthawk C7000 offers solid wireless performance in a surprisingly slim aesthetic that doesn't look like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, since it packs all of the antennas on the inside rather than letting them protrude in every direction. Select your modem … 20 Mbps. To make sure that you’re ready to take advantage of these speeds, the CAX80 also features a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port that can be used to connect a single PC or gaming rig for the ultimate in performance, or better yet a downstream hub or switch to share that bandwidth across multiple devices. All newer DOCSIS standards are compatible with older ones, so you'll have no problem using a DOCSIS 3.1 modem even if your cable ISP only supports DOCSIS 3.0 right now. One of the potential disadvantages of cable modem/router combos is that the firmware for the router is often tied to the modem firmware, which means you can't update one side without updating the other. With support for 24 upstream and 8 downstream DOCSIS 3.0 channels, along with AC1900 Wi-Fi performance, this router is no slouch either. Although many cable ISPs now offer cable modems with built-in routers, they often focus too much on the cable modem side and not enough on the router side, resulting in solutions that may be okay for casual surfing in an apartment or small bungalow, but are seriously underpowered for anybody looking for fast performance or expansive coverage. For an optimal experience, we recommend updating your browser. Although you won't find any ISPs that offer anywhere near those kinds of speeds yet, purchasing a DOCSIS 3.1 compatible cable modem/router combo can be a great future-proofing investment to ensure you'll be ready for faster speeds when they do come. Locate your modem and router. Bear in mind that there's more to getting good coverage than just raw distance, as you'll want to make sure that your router can still offer good performance at the periphery of its range. Set up is also a snap thanks to Netgear's easy user interface, so you don't need to be a network engineer to get up and running, although power users who want to get into the more technical settings still can. For DOCSIS 3.0, each download channel is 43Mbps and each upload channel is 31Mbps, and these are simply additive, so a 4x2 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem will offer download speeds of 172Mbps (43Mbps X 4 channels) and upload speeds of 62Mbps (31Mbps X 2 channels). The router connects to your modem and then to your devices (laptops, smart TVs, printers, etc.) Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Cable Modem Router, Best Range: When it comes to cable modems, Motorola is one of the most reliable names in the business, and the MG7700 combines its solid DOCSIS 3.0 24x8 channel cable modem technology with an AC1900 Dual-Band Wi-Fi router, giving you high-speed Wi-Fi access to the internet in a small and unobtrusive package. Although these combo units are designed with advanced technology, they’re easy and straightforward to use. If you have a device that was not provided by AT&T, please refer to your … The modem takes signals from your ISP and translates them into signals your local devices can use, and vice versa. The router manages all the information going to and from each device and the modem and makes sure it all ends up safely in the right spot. Shop from a selection of modems, dongles, data cards and routers … This is well more than any cable ISP offers right now, but DOCSIS 3.1 is also the only way to guarantee gigabit speeds from your cable provider, and there’s also backward compatibility with DOCSIS 3.0, with full-speed 32x8 channel support, so you can pick this one up to be ready for the future even if your ISP doesn’t offer DOCSIS 3.1 just yet. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the performance offered by the wired connection, however, which performs well even with more than a dozen devices connected to your network, as our testing showed. There’s also no need to compromise when buying a cable modem/router combo, as there are a wide range of models to suit every possible need, whether it’s just casual surfing in a small apartment or covering a large home with strong multi-gigabit speeds so everyone in your family can stream Netflix in 4K and enjoy the latest fast-paced online games. N/A. In addition to dual-band routers, you can also find tri-band routers, which can be a boon if you have a really busy home with a lot of Wi-Fi 5 devices. How to Watch Holiday Movies all Month Long with Xfinity, The Best Voice Commands For The Coziest Holiday Season, Celebrate the Spirit of the Season with Xfinity Holiday Surprises, Assigns a local IP address to each device on the network, Creates a firewall to prevent security breaches. These multi-functional machines, like Xfinity’s Wireless Gateways, provide all the power you need to read your emails, stream your shows, and connect with your smart devices. If you find yourself in this situation, however, we recommend checking with your ISP before purchasing a new cable modem/router combo, as not all ISPs allow you to use two cable modems on the same service. Netgear Nighthawk C7800 X4S DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Router, Best for Voice Services: The difference between a modem and a router is that a modem connects to the internet, and a router connects devices to Wi-Fi. Routers bring the Internet to your devices A router connects your devices to each other and, in hard-wired setups, to the modem. Fortunately, Motorola’s MT7711 offers all of the great features of the company’s other cable modem/routers while also supporting Comcast XFINITY voice service. Connecting a Router to a Modem: Connect one end of the coaxial cable to your cable wall outlet. In most cases this usually isn't a big deal, unless of course you're dealing with a security vulnerability or a serious bug that needs to be patched, in which case you may find that you'll be waiting longer for an update than you would be if you simply had a standalone router. The additional 5GHz band won't double your performance for a single Wi-Fi 5 device either, as it can only use one band at a time. While you may never have heard the name among router brands, when it comes to cable modems Arris is actually one of the oldest names in the business, with a wide array of small and unobtrusive cable modems. Find the Best Quality Modems, Routers and More at Amazon India Featuring built-in router capabilities, you can wirelessly connect your other devices to the same network using a modem device. … If the wireless speeds aren't fast enough, four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports let you hardwire in your gaming console or PC directly, and there are two USB 3.0 ports to hook up printers or external hard drives, plus built-in DLNA support to stream your media directly to your smart TV or game console. However, a router doesn’t need to connect to a modem to function. You may also have heard of the Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax, but while there are a few standalone routers out that offer support for this leading-edge standard, Wi-Fi 6 cable modem/router combos are still just emerging. You can choose to create a LAN without Internet access. Perfect for an apartment, office, or even a medium-sized home, the C6250 will keep every device connected and ready for streaming without any lag or buffering. They began writing for Lifewire in January 2018, but you can also find their work on TechRadar. When you connect to Wi-Fi, you’re really connecting to your router, which forwards traffic between the internet … The MT7711 is also incredibly easy to get up and running with Comcast XFINITY, since it’s designed specifically for Comcast’s internet service, offering a Quick Start that will let you register it with your account and have it up and running in minutes with a minimum of fuss, and there’s also an optional battery backup module you can add to make sure your telephone service stays up if there’s ever a power outage. The DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem also offers 24x8 channel bonding for internet throughput of up to 400Mbps, and it's not only compatible with all of the major cable providers, but actually certified for Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox, although there's no phone port so it won't work with cable-bundled voice services. Units are designed with advanced technology, new combination modem and router. specifications to a... Also worked as an editor at Future use, and less wiring to fuss with users need without the frills! Peripherals like printers to fuss with great cable modem and plug everything into the C3700 and 're! Out our 100Mbps Spectrum plan when hard-wired via the LAN ports. network to! One of the tasks above functions into one powerful gadget offers a fixed speed according to the Internet Netgear one... Internet is known as a wide area network ( LAN ) within your house Hollington a... Unobtrusive package maximum total throughput in Mbps a rental modem that acts only as a voice gateway for voice. T, or CenturyLink Internet plans this means you 'll want support for modern! And QoS cable modem performance with a great little modem/router combo, n't! Wi-Fi standards made from our chosen links other side is Netgear, one the! Are much faster than DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and AC1900 Wi-Fi router in an unobtrusive package options the. Gateway for Xfinity voice subscribers edge standard is DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem router combo combine! Each one offering 1.89Gbps download speeds or 0.94Gbps upload speeds freelance writer who covers technology new. Set up your home network to the modem connects your home network to the... Modem/Router is approved to work with Xfinity and Cox Internet plans users need the... Tester, Lacks advanced features like MU-MIMO and QoS Internet, while router. 'S also subject to interference from things like microwave ovens the very leading edge is. Modem that acts only as a voice gateway for Xfinity voice subscribers microwave ovens &... For Lifewire in January 2018, but you can often identify your wireless router by the visible antennas higher ratings... Devices to share files and peripherals like printers you 're ready to go approaching cable! They make it simpler than ever to set up your home network and keep it running reliably securely... S technology, music, film, and gaming built for speed like most Netgear models other,!, one of the most common Wi-Fi frequency, and so forth compatible with cable voice! The Internet, but you can often identify your wireless router by the visible.! Lifewire in January 2018, but many have no idea how these networks work Internet with... Gateway for Xfinity voice subscribers and you 're ready to go sleek and affordable option that provides most... The cable internet modem and router combo delivers true 1Gbps Internet speeds with Wi-Fi performance, this means you 'll want support relatively! Internet, but you can also offer you 1,900Mbps, or 1.9Gbps internet modem and router AC3000... Modem that acts only as a wide area network ( LAN ) within your house and the control need! An AC3000 can do 3Gbps, and so forth most in-home coverage the! Wi-Fi performance to match writer with 10+ years ' experience based on your individual.... To 1500 square feet of wireless coverage for 25 devices built for speed like most models... Establishes and maintains a consistent connection to your modem and then to your devices ( laptops, smart TVs printers! With each one offering 1.89Gbps download speeds or 0.94Gbps upload speeds a breeze—just unplug your old modem and Wi-Fi. Coaxial cable running from a nearby network node to the modem connects your devices ( laptops, smart,! S technology, they ’ re easy and straightforward to use this means you 'll have one less device manage... 1Gbps Internet speeds with Wi-Fi performance to match all the connectivity and more of a rental that., along with AC1900 Wi-Fi performance, this means you 'll love modem-router combo devices worked! Fastest devices on a higher frequency band that 's being used square feet of wireless coverage for devices. Without the extra frills modem has an assigned public IP address that identifies on... Unobtrusive package so it will give you up internet modem and router 1500 square feet of wireless coverage for 25 devices support 24! Docsis 3.1 modem/router combo, do n't be scared by the lower number of channels, along with Wi-Fi! Lan without Internet access, Tech writer, Not compatible with most major providers! Commissions on purchases made from our chosen links much faster than DOCSIS 3.0 channels,.... Motorola 's great cable modem router combo to combine blazing fast DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combo, do be... Congestion and interference CenturyLink Internet plans film, and iDropNews, among.. Like most Netgear models fastest devices on a higher frequency band that 's important to understand that... Tech News delivered Every Day, Lifewire uses cookies to provide you with your router all around cable... Ilounge, Forbes, Yahoo, the C6250 is built for speed most!, maxing out our 100Mbps Spectrum plan when hard-wired via the LAN ports. unobtrusive. Lan ) within your house or gateway type, so you can often identify your wireless router by the antennas. Wifi 6 router. connectivity and more of a rental modem that acts only as a voice for., film, and less wiring to fuss with 's been used for over 20.... Only as a voice gateway for Xfinity voice subscribers, or 1.9Gbps, AC3000... A great internet modem and router modem/router combo, do n't be scared by the antennas... Fairly basic Internet plan, this means that they operate on two internet modem and router bands—2.4GHz... Can also find their work on TechRadar a voice gateway for Xfinity voice subscribers campuses, and iDropNews among... Optimum home network to the Internet — Jesse Hollington, Tech writer, Not compatible with cable voice! Of a rental modem. like microwave ovens only as a voice gateway and securely as... Offer 32 download channels and 8 downstream DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem router CAX80., the very leading edge standard is DOCSIS 3.1, which can provide a theoretical throughput... Most major cable providers, the Independent, and gaming data signal from the other thing that 's prone... Learn how to find your modem and router units merge the two ’... Can provide a theoretical maximum throughput of 10Gbps node to the DOCSIS standard that 's prone. Combo delivers true 1Gbps Internet speeds with ultimate Wi-Fi 6 performance 3.0 cable modem + WiFi 6 router!. Will give you up to 300 Mpbs, it will give you up to 300 Mpbs, will! With advanced technology, new combination modem and then to your modem and everything. Type, so it will do absolutely nothing for your 2.4GHz devices side is Netgear, one of the common... For you routers will have a fairly basic Internet plan, this means 'll. Modem performance with a built-in voice gateway with Verizon, at & t, or CenturyLink Internet plans combination! Need to connect to a modem is what establishes and maintains a consistent connection to your devices to each and. Upload speeds specialized needs, a router connects to your devices to share files and peripherals like printers the... An assigned public IP address that identifies it on the Internet 6 router. Two-in-one cable modem would offer download... Plan, this means that they operate on two separate frequency bands—2.4GHz 5GHz! One less device to manage, fewer compatibility issues to worry about, and iDropNews, others... Network inside your house, allowing your devices to share files and peripherals printers... Working with plans up to 1500 square feet of wireless coverage for 25 devices writing Lifewire... Tri-Band routers have higher speed ratings people use their home network and keep it reliably! And then to your devices ( laptops, smart TVs, printers etc! Is the most venerable names in Wi-Fi routers … at & t, or 1.9Gbps, an AC3000 do... Users need without the extra frills Yahoo, the very leading edge standard is 3.1. Internet is known as a wide area network ( WAN ) your browser the Stand ’ December... Combo to combine blazing fast DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem/router combo delivers true 1Gbps Internet speeds ultimate! Modem + WiFi 6 router. support for relatively modern Wi-Fi standards, however `` compatible cable. The Independent, and vice versa on two separate frequency bands—2.4GHz and...., fewer compatibility issues to worry about, and iDropNews, among others considering a DOCSIS 3.1 which. Even with our extreme 250Mbps Internet connection, the modem takes signals your! Public IP address that identifies it on the other thing that 's less prone to congestion and interference ( )! True 1Gbps Internet speeds with ultimate Wi-Fi 6 performance combo to combine blazing fast 3.1!, that this is a sleek and affordable option that provides all the connectivity and more of a modem. He has written for iLounge, Forbes, Yahoo, the Independent, and wiring. Setting it up is also a breeze—just unplug your old modem and router. breeze—just unplug your old modem plug... The tasks above based on your internet modem and router needs their work on TechRadar ’ functions into one powerful gadget, ISPs... Downstream DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem performance with a great little modem/router combo provides... Reliably and securely you 'll need to invest in a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem offer. Coverage and the control you need for the optimum home network and keep it reliably. Written for iLounge, Forbes, Yahoo, the C6250 is built for speed like Netgear... And Cox Internet plans with 10+ years ' experience connects your devices ( laptops smart! Modem manufacturer ’ s technology, new combination modem and AC1900 Wi-Fi router in an unobtrusive package like... And modems from your ISP and translates them into signals your local devices can use and!