The Best Cable Modems for 2023

We bring you the best cable modems to help you connect the unconnected.

A modem is a device that connects your home to your Internet service provider (ISP) via a coax cable. The modem converts signals from your ISP into signals that can be used by your local devices and vice versa. A wide area network (WAN) is the term for the connection between your home and the Internet (WAN). Each modem is given a unique public IP address that serves as its online identifier.

The phrase “cable modem” suggests that it operates similarly to a standard telephone modem. That is not the situation. Internet access via a cable modem is always available. No longer do you need to dial up to connect; all you need to do is have the computer on. The majority of Ethernet users should handle a computer connected via a cable modem in the same way they would handle a computer connected to an Ethernet network. Investing in the best cable modem is a terrific way to stop overpaying your internet service provider.

How We Picked

  • Compatibility

    Make sure compatibility is your top consideration when choosing your cable modem. Consult your ISP to ensure that the modem you are considering will function with the service you are paying for.

  • Speed

    Another factor to take into account when purchasing a cable modem is speed. The speed of your cable modem determines how quickly your internet connects and starts up, so be sure to choose a wise choice that will benefit you.

  • Design/Modem Type

    Even though it's the most despised aspect, the design of your cable modem does matter. You might try keeping an eye out for models that have LED lights that will signal and shine at night.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    A cheap substitute is a good backup plan. If you need a replacement, spending more money on a model with greater features can be wise. Fortunately, there are several top-notch, affordable cable modems available.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Motorola MB7420

The best cable modem you can buy

The Motorola MB7621 offers compatibility with nearly every non-gigabit plan from every cable internet provider in the US. It is dependable and supports the fastest internet speeds available. With this device, you can connect to a computer, a smart T.V., a play station, or a wireless router. The setup takes a few minutes and the start guide will help you get this done.

Buy Now for $69.94

The MB7621 is compatible with the majority of ISPs and supports internet speeds of up to 600 Mbps.

Runner Up

Netgear CM500

Best value cable modem that has great phone tech support.

This DOCSIS® 3.0 high-speed cable modem. It offers download speeds of up to 680 Mbps for HD video streaming, quicker downloads, and high-speed gaming. With this purchase, you get to enjoy a one-year warranty on hardware.

Buy Now

The 16 x 4 modem from Netgear is widely compatible with internet service providers, and installation is simple thanks to its layout.

Most cost-effective

Netgear CM600

Best cable modem for high-speed service

Whether you're streaming or gaming, this DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed cable modem gives you plenty of speed. It is very ideal for online gaming. Although the CM600 is a tad on the tall side, it has a cool, futuristic appearance. It has a one-year warranty, just like other Netgear modems.

Buy Now for $149.95

It comes with the same one-year warranty as other Netgear modems. As a result, you may anticipate consistent performance from the Netgear CM600 without any lags.

Almost made the cut

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

This is a trusted name in the cable modem field.

A high-quality cable modem. The ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 is a member of the most effective modems' most recent generation. A high-end feel that complements the performance is provided by the matte white finish and adequate airflow. It has two GigEthernet (GigE) ports, allowing for extremely fast running of two different internet connections.

Buy Now for $144.99

This modem can handle great speeds. It is touted as having the newest technology available among cable internet providers.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Motorola MB7420

The best cable modem you can buy

$69.94

Buy Now

Runner Up

Netgear CM500

Best value cable modem that has great phone tech support.

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Netgear CM600

Best cable modem for high-speed service

$149.95

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

This is a trusted name in the cable modem field.

$144.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The modem’s main function is to give you access to the internet, therefore everyone and everyone can use one as long as they can connect their device to the internet and utilize the internet.

What is a cable modem?
A cable modem is a piece of hardware that allows your computer to connect to an internet service provider over a landline. In order to allow access to broadband Internet, it transforms an analog signal into a digital signal. A coaxial cable and subsequently a Cat 5 (Ethernet) cord are used to connect a cable modem to a computer or network router. Multiple PCs can share your Internet connection thanks to network routers. A router that may share the connection through Wi-Fi may be incorporated into more recent cable modems.

Is there a difference between 3.0 and 3.1 modems?
The key distinction between DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 is that DOCSIS 3.1 technology supports download speeds up to 10Gbps, which is a 10 times increase over DOCSIS 3.0.

What is DOCSIS
The modem interface standard technology known as DOCSIS controls how your modem receives Internet signals from your cable ISP (such as from providers like Spectrum or Xfinity) and converts them into the Internet service you use in your home to browse the web, stream TV shows, play online games, and more. Your input will be converted into information that the internet outside of your home can comprehend depending on the version of DOCSIS technology your ISP is using.

The standards have advanced with technology throughout time:

DOCSIS 2.0: ​This was the original standard.
DOCSIS 3.0: ​As the standards increased from 2.0 to 3.0, so did the Internet service plan speeds that a good cable modem could reach.
DOCSIS 3.1: ​This is the latest standard, meaning that it is the fastest. The latest DOCSIS standard, DOCSIS 3.1 is ​capable of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) download speeds and one Gbps upload speed. The most widely used DOCSIS standard, however, is DOCSIS 3.0, which supports 32 concurrent download channels and download speeds of more than 1GB.

What are MBPS and why are they important?
The measurement of network throughput and bandwidth is in megabits per second (Mbps). They’re employed to demonstrate how quickly a network or internet connection is. One million bits per second, or around one tiny photo each second, can be transferred using one megabit per second (Mbps). Mbit/s and Mb/s are other ways to express it.

Why They Are Important
A higher bandwidth allows data from the internet to download faster to your device. This means that websites will load faster, Netflix movies will stream more smoothly (with no buffering), and your files will download faster. Essentially, a higher Mbps internet speed will provide a better overall experience.

Pros and cons between renting or buying
Should you rent or buy a cable modem? Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Renting one may make sense depending on your living situation. For instance, if you are in a temporary living situation and only require internet access for a short period of time.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider before deciding whether to rent or buy:

Pros of Renting a Cable Modem
The benefits of renting a cable modem include the fact that your ISP is responsible for any problems that arise (to an extent). For example, if your device breaks or has a significant malfunction, you can exchange it for a new one.

Cons of Renting a Cable Modem
The disadvantages of renting a cable modem include the fact that it is more expensive in the long run than purchasing one. You’re also limited in terms of configurations and personalizing advanced features and security.

When to Rent:
So, should you ever rent something? Totally! This may be a better option for some (kind of like leasing versus buying a car). Renting is a good option if the following factors apply to your lifestyle and circumstances:
-You are in a temporary residence.
-You are sharing the expense with others.
-Your employer is footing the bill.
-You don’t care about changing settings and configurations.

Pros of Buying a Cable Modem
The benefits of purchasing a cable modem include lower long-term costs, the elimination of the need to purchase updated models on a regular basis, and the ease with which advanced settings can be configured and personalized.

Cons of Buying a Cable Modem
The disadvantage of purchasing a cable modem is that you are fully responsible for your device, so if it breaks or malfunctions, you must purchase a new one.

When to Buy:
If you want to have the most recent cable modem technology, purchasing is a great option for you. You want to reduce your monthly equipment rental costs.

Why You Should Trust Us

There are so many cable modems out there that claim to be the best, and buying the wrong product can cost you more than you think. But, we are the ones you can turn to because we have done all of the necessary research to ensure that you get anything worth the quality of what you buy.

How We Picked

Compatibility
Before purchasing a modem, make sure that the device or model is compatible with your current Internet Service Provider. There are cases where people buy a device without doing any research, only to discover that it is incompatible.

If you already have a modem in mind, you can cross-check it to see if there are any compatibility issues. Last but not least, most modems come with product descriptions that reveal compatibility details. However, in order for this to work, you must have your ISP information on hand.

In most cases, the majority of modems are service provider compatible. Smaller service providers, on the other hand, may have certain discretionary aspects that lead to compatibility issues.

Speed
When shopping for a modem, speed is an important factor to consider. To begin with, most of the information is available on the manufacturer’s website. It is critical to understand that the advertised speed is always the download speed, never the uploading speed.

As a result, if you see a modem with a 1Gb mark at the bottom, you can be confident that 1,000 Mbps will be drawn from the ISP. In every scenario, the upload speed is lower than the download speed, and we will go over this further when discussing streaming channels.

Design
In most cases, the modem design is overlooked when making a purchase. We must consider all of the aforementioned factors ahead of time, and the design appears to be more of a stretch when it comes to making the final decision. Individuals should, however, always look for a sleek model that takes up little space.

When it comes to the physical aspects, you must look at the functional LEDs, which determine whether or not the modem is responsive. You can diagnose the device manually if you have a lot of them. Furthermore, design is a subjective trait that should not limit you if the feature sets are adequate.

Modem Type
We also chose based on modem type, which is just as important as design. The modem type is important because some modems include features that other models do not, such as caller ID.

Price vs Quality
Since it isn’t everyone that has a large budget to buy cable modems, even though they are essential, we have chosen the best cable modem that can fit well within your spending limit. These aren’t just low-cost cable modems; they’re high-quality cable modems.

Channels
Channel bonding refers to the number of downstream (for downloading) and upstream (for uploading) channels your modem can access. Modem channels appear on the box as a number, such as 16×4, 24×8, or 32×8.

If your ISP supports more channels, your modem will operate at a faster speed with DOCSIS 3.0. This means that if the ISP offers only 16 downstream channels in your area, using a 24×8 modem won’t improve performance. The cable modem that has the appropriate number of channels for your service tier is the one you should use.

DOCSIS
Most modem manufacturers identify DOCSIS versions as DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1, depending on the model number. However, in order to simplify modem purchases, it is necessary to gain the necessary insights regarding this acronym.

DOCSIS technology enables cable internet providers to send data across coaxial cables, allowing them to provide internet access and broadband support. As a result, DOCSIS compatibility is required in order to achieve higher speeds. Versions 3.0 and 3.1 are optional and represent the number of concurrently active channels as well as the speed of operations.

Vents
Most manufacturers list the operating temperature on modems as up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite hot for any electronic device, so we’ve chosen the best that have open-air vents so that heat can easily escape.

Noise
Your modem can make a high-pitched buzzing noise at various points throughout the day, but we chose the ones that won’t cause you to wonder if getting a new one is a good idea.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Motorola MB7420

Best Pick

Motorola MB7420

The best cable modem you can buy

The Motorola MB7621 offers compatibility with nearly every non-gigabit plan from every cable internet provider in the US. It is dependable and supports the fastest internet speeds available. With this device, you can connect to a computer, a smart T.V., a play station, or a wireless router. The setup takes a few minutes and the start guide will help you get this done.

Buy Now for $69.94

Who it is for

The Motorola MB7420 is the best cable modem for the majority of homes. Capable of supporting speeds available on the majority of home internet plans, the MB7420 is ideal for internet plans with speeds up to 300 Mbps.
The MB7420's blue and green lights are bright enough to read from a distance without turning a dark room into a nighttime laser light show. We also found the modem to be simple to configure, with a coaxial connector protruding from the modem's backside at a convenient distance from its lone ethernet port.

Potential flaws

The main issue with this modem is that it can be unstable at times, and it may be difficult to use for high-speed internet subscribers.

Other features

This cable modem is well known for its internet service speeds of up to 300 Mbps, and if you are subscribed to internet speeds above 300 Mbps, a cable modem with more channels, such as the Motorola MB7621, maybe a better fit for your network; however, its efficient performance sets it apart from all other modems.

Runner Up - Netgear CM500

Runner Up

Netgear CM500

Best value cable modem that has great phone tech support.

This DOCSIS® 3.0 high-speed cable modem. It offers download speeds of up to 680 Mbps for HD video streaming, quicker downloads, and high-speed gaming. With this purchase, you get to enjoy a one-year warranty on hardware.

Buy Now

Who it is for

The Netgear CM500 is still one of the best cable modems available because it's easy to find at most retailers; it's also usually a little less expensive than the Motorola MB7420, making it a good value. Any time you can get a new CM500 for $50 or less, you're getting a good deal.
The Netgear CM500 is compatible with the largest cable providers and supports speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which should be sufficient for the vast majority of Internet users. (If you have a high-speed Internet plan, look for a faster modem.)

Potential flaws

The most obvious flaw of this cable modem is that the indicator lights are difficult to see. Additionally, a one-year warranty is included

Other features

Although it is recommended for internet packages advertising speeds of 300 Mbps or lower, this amazing cable modem has the strength to carry heavy load network stress. It also has 16 x 4 bonded channels, one for downstream and one for upstream. This modem's features set it apart from any other that appears to be a competitor.

Most cost-effective - Netgear CM600

Most cost-effective

Netgear CM600

Best cable modem for high-speed service

Whether you're streaming or gaming, this DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed cable modem gives you plenty of speed. It is very ideal for online gaming. Although the CM600 is a tad on the tall side, it has a cool, futuristic appearance. It has a one-year warranty, just like other Netgear modems.

Buy Now for $149.95

Who it is for

While most homes choose internet plans with speeds ranging from 100 to 300 Mbps, some people prefer faster service. If your plan guarantees download speeds of more than 300 Mbps, you'll need a cable modem that can take advantage of that higher performance. The Netgear CM600 is the best cable modem for those higher speeds, though it costs slightly more than the CM500.
The Intel Puma 6 chipset, which has been blamed for latency issues with some other high-speed modems, such as the Arris Surfboard SB6190, is not used by Netgear's modem. (A firmware update that resolves this issue is available, but ISPs distribute such updates on their own schedule.) As a result, you can expect consistent performance from the Netgear CM600, without the lags experienced by users of Puma-6-powered modems.

Why it is great

The flaws of this Cable Modem are mostly its one-year warranty and its tall height; this cable modem is considerably longer than regular ones.

Other features

This amazing cable modem can handle streaming, gaming, and multiple devices without a hitch. For faster and more efficient data transfers, it employs channel-bonding technology in its 24 downstream and eight upstream channels. With its beveled body and triangular ventilation cutouts, this cable modem stands out. This modem's performance and design make it less competitive.

Almost made the cut - ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

Almost made the cut

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

This is a trusted name in the cable modem field.

A high-quality cable modem. The ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 is a member of the most effective modems' most recent generation. A high-end feel that complements the performance is provided by the matte white finish and adequate airflow. It has two GigEthernet (GigE) ports, allowing for extremely fast running of two different internet connections.

Buy Now for $144.99

Who it is for

With dimensions of 5.2 x 5 x 2.1 inches, the all-white SB6183 can be tucked away next to a router, cable box, or whatever other hardware you have on hand. The SB6183 prefers a straightforward row of vertical indicator lights that are easy to spot, though the yellow lighting can be difficult to see if your modem is in direct sunlight. Still, it's simple to check the SB6183 to see if there's a problem with your internet connection.

Potential flaws

This cable modem appears to be quite expensive and also scarce in retail stores; its design appears to be a little different as it also uses a DOCSIS 3.0 which means slow internet speed and it also cannot support multiple device connections. It also lacks a telephone port and built-in wifi support, making it difficult for users to connect. This is not a good choice if you require this capability in a cable modem because it will stress you out and increase your costs.

Care and maintenance

How to care for your cable modem
You can clean its body as well as its vents with a slightly damp cloth to remove dust. Make certain that you do not cover your cable modem, that it does not overheat, and that you turn it off completely if a problem occurs. Make sure there is enough ventilation around the modem.

How do I perform a reboot?
Whenever you need to do a reboot, carry out the following steps:
1. Turn off your modem.

2. Hold for 30 seconds.

3. Reconnect the modem to the power supply. Allow up to two minutes for the modem to reconnect to your Xplore network before proceeding to the router.

4. After the two minutes have passed, restart your router and give it time to reconnect to all networked devices.

Do modems need much maintenance?
Modems typically last two to five years and can last for 10 years or more, but a 10-year-old modem will be obsolete for some time. That is, you should take good care of your modem, but make sure to reboot it every now and then and avoid allowing dust to enter through its vents.