Buying your own internet modem isn’t just a great way to avoid paying rental fees from your ISP – choosing a better model than the one offered by your cable company allows you to get better internet and network performance. And if you’re paying for super-fast Internet speeds, using one of the best cable modems can unlock performance you’d otherwise lose with a slower model.
Of course, you don’t have to buy the most expensive model. Some (like our favorite, the Motorola MG7700) double as a router and come with built-in dual-band Wi-Fi 5, which is probably all the networking hardware you’ll need. Alternatively, for those looking for a cheap and cheerful modem to break out of your ISP’s rental package, the Netgear CM500 is a very smart and popular choice.
Whatever type of modem you need, this list has something for you. Here are some of the best cable modems you can buy today.
DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Supported Internet Speed: 800 Mbps | Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit | Wireless: Wi-Fi 5, 2.4GHz, 5GHz | Phone plug: No
Best for: Average households who want a quality modem/router.
The Motorola MG7700 is one of the most popular third-party modems you can buy, thanks to its combination of great features, its ability to function as both a modem and a router to simplify your Internet connectivity, and its relatively low price. affordable. Although most modern modems tout their ability to support Gigabit+ internet speeds, it’s not something everyone has access to and you don’t need to pay for a feature you can’t use. . That doesn’t mean the MG7700 is slow, though. It can support internet speeds of up to 800 Mbps and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast network data transfers and no internet bottlenecks.
It also has built-in Wi-Fi 5 support, which isn’t the fastest standard yet, but it’s more than fast enough for everyday web browsing and video streaming. It’s supported by most major internet service providers and has useful additional router features, such as parental controls and guest networking support. You can always add your own router later if you want to improve performance or Wi-Fi coverage, but for most internet users the Motorola MG7700 offers everything you need for the foreseeable future.
- Modem and router combination streamlines internet connectivity
- Four Gigabit Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi 5 support
- Supports fast internet speeds of up to 800 Mbps
- Lack of DOCSIS 3.1 support
- Cannot handle gigabit internet connections
DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported Internet Speed: 1Gbps | Ethernet Ports: 2x Gigabit | Wireless: No | Phone plug: No
Best for: Boasting Gigabit internet speeds at a reasonable price.
The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is an affordable DOCSIS 3.1 router that can handle internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps, making it a great choice for anyone who wants high-speed internet without spending the hundreds of dollars it tends to cost for higher end models. This modem does not have router functionality, so you will also need to budget for the purchase of a router. especially if you want wireless internet connectivity, as this model doesn’t have any kind of Wi-Fi support. However, it works with most major internet service providers and costs a lot less than the competition.
With plans to phase out DOCSIS 3.0 technology, getting yourself a DOCSIS 3.1 modem like this gives you some measure of future-proofing and ensures you can enjoy the fastest connectivity for years to come. The actual modem is compact and easy to store if you don’t want it easily accessible, and setup is quick and easy.
- Affordable Gigabit Internet Speed Support
- Future-proof with DOCSIS 3.1 support
- Quick setup
- You need to buy a separate router
- Lacks Gigabit+ speed support from high-end options
DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Supported Internet Speed: 400Mbps | Ethernet Ports: 1x gigabit | Wireless: No | Phone plug: No
Best for: Avoid modem rental or cheap network upgrades.
The CM500 is a great modem for anyone looking to get out of rental payments because it’s affordable, supports high-speed Internet up to 400 Mbps, and it’s easy to connect to any wireless router so so you can enjoy both wired and wireless broadband. Internet access. It comes with a single Gigabit Ethernet port and setup is quick and easy. It’s also a small device, so you don’t need to make a big space for it in your house.
The lower monthly costs, however, is the real selling point of this modem. If you don’t want to keep paying monthly fees for your existing modem, this is a great entry-level model to replace. It is particularly inexpensive with its latest discount and will have paid for itself by eliminating rental costs in just a few months. If you also want slightly better performance, there are more expensive models that give you download speeds of 500 Mbps or even 1 Gigabit per second, which is ideal for anyone upgrading to Gigabit broadband internet soon.
- Very affordable price
- Supports up to 400 Mbps Internet
- Built-in Gigabit Ethernet
- Lack of Gigabit speed internet support
- No router function
DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported Internet Speed: 1,200Mbps | Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit | Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 2.4GHz, 5GHz | Phone plug: No
Best for: Broadband internet on both wired and wireless connections.
If you want a modem with the latest features, the Motorola MG8702 is a great high-end modem to buy. It will pay for itself in just over a year of dodged modem rental costs, and with that initial investment, you get a router and modem in one, with Wi-Fi 5 support, multiple Gigabit Ethernet connections, and an outlet. Gigabit support and faster Internet connections up to 1200 Mbps. It’s compatible with most major internet service providers and comes with a two-year warranty to give you peace of mind.
Router features aren’t state-of-the-art, but they’re still solid, with Wi-Fi 5 speeds, support for beamforming for better Wi-Fi signal strength, and coverage in your house. It also includes Quality of Service (QoS) features to prioritize latency-sensitive traffic, like games, and has parental controls so you can lock down what kids watch on the internet. It’s a bit more expensive than most of the other modems on this list, but its extra performance and robust feature set make it one of the best modems you can buy today.
- Supported Gigabit+ Internet Speeds
- Wi-Fi 5 functionality and built-in router
- Two-year warranty included as standard
- Unable to handle multi-gigabit internet speeds
DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported Internet Speed: 2500 Mbps | Ethernet Ports: 1x 2.5 Gigabit | Wireless: No | Phone plug: No
Best for: Pairing with a broadband router for the fastest internet possible.
If you live in an area where multi-gigabit high-speed Internet is available and you want to take advantage of it, you will have to pay for this privilege. Fortunately, with modems like the Netgear Nighthawk CM2000, you won’t have to pay also a lot to get it. At just under $300, this modem might be more expensive than most, and you’ll have to buy a router to go with it, but if you do, you’ll unlock some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. . Supporting up to 2,500 Mbps (that’s 2.5 Gigabits per second!) of bandwidth, this modem will help you download faster, stream with higher quality, and connect more people than almost any other modem. That’s about as fast and capable as it gets.
This modem is overkill for most users, but if you want to download files extremely quickly, want the lowest latency for competitive gaming, or have many people in your house who want to stream 4K video at the same time and you have the Internet connection. to use it – few modems can match the CM2000. It also has an elegant and unique design, and if you need to be able to connect a telephone to the modem, there is also a version with two telephone lines.
- Ultra fast
- Supports 2.5 Gigabit networking
- Elegant design
- Exaggerated for most Internet users