Best Cable Modem Reviews 2018

When it comes to shopping for modems, there are typically two reasons people need one: they have existing internet that is connected directly to a single computer and they want internet for other computers or devices (which requires a Wi-Fi/Wireless Modem) or they don’t want to rent or use the one that has been provided by their internet service provider. For the purpose of this review, we are focusing on the second option. We have done extensive research and come up with a short list of five of the best cable modem brands, featuring a great Ethernet modem from each one. We hope that you will find a product that rings true to you from those featured below. If it turns out you were looking for a Wi-FI modem, we have a review for those too.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Download
Upload
Ports
Size
Warranty
Our Top Choice
Arris SURFboard® DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Arris, the industry standard in the global cable modem industry, delivers reliable, superior performance with Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in computer networking modems.
Easy to install. More realistic HD video streaming experience. IPv4 and IPv6 support. US-based customer service. Two color options – black or white.
Modem only -no Wi-Fi and not compatible with Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse (but can purchase accessories for both).
Up to 343 Mbps
Up to 131 Mbps
1 port
6.4 x 2 x 8.7 inches
2 year warranty
Best Value
Netgear CM400 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Netgear makes “smart” networking devices that are designed to make your life easier. Enjoy top data transfers with this cable modem.
Gigabit Ethernet port with auto-sensing technology. Compatible with major ISPs. Simple, no-disc installation. Backward compatibility with DOCSIS 2.0 networks.
Requires router for Wi-Fi. Slow web interface. Not a big issue since you won’t have to use it again once you’ve completed setup.
Up to 340 Mbps
Up to 122 Mbps
1 port
9.5 x 7.2 x 2 inches
1 year limited warranty
Zoom 343 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Zoom delivers top quality products. Meet one of its no-nonsense solutions in a reliable cable modem that gives you super-fast Internet connectivity.
Easy to set up. Channel bonding gives you faster data transfer speeds. Future-proof with IPv4 and IPv6. Modem stand and slim build give you more placement options.
Activation process may be difficult.
Up to 343 Mbps
Up to 123 Mbps
1 port
4.9 x 1.3 x 6.3 inches
2 year warranty
Linksys DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Linksys builds great network devices. Enjoy fast Internet connectivity with this modem, thanks to the impressive technologies incorporated in it.
Easy plug-and-play setup. No CD required. Broad router compatibility - compatible with all wired or wireless routers. 8x4 bonded channels for high-speed data transfers.
Wi-Fi router NOT included.
Up to 343 Mbps
Up to 120 Mbps
1 port
1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches
1-year limited warranty
TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem
TP-Link has consistently made reliable network devices which has earned them a trustworthy reputation. Enjoy quick, easy setup with this solid cable modem.
Easy setup. Solid build. Compatible with major ISPs. Superior channel bonding gives faster throughput.
Cable modem only so no Wi-Fi connectivity. Gives off more heat than some other modems.
Up to 343 Mbps
Up to 143 Mbps
1 port
5.6 x 4.5 x 2.3 inches
2 year warranty

(Updated )
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Watch Our Cable Modem Review

How Do I Choose the Best Cable Modem?

The internet is arguably man’s greatest invention since Thomas Edison’s incandescent electric bulb. It is virtually impossible to lead a productive life today without unfettered access to the internet. From shopping on Amazon to watching movies on your computer, to booking an appointment online, the internet has made life simple.

However, you cannot enjoy these benefits without first establishing access to the Internet, and not just any access, but a steady and robust one. You don’t want a simple search on Google to take you 5 minutes or for your favorite online shop to load in 10 minutes. Assuming your ISP has enough bandwidth to distribute to its customers, the kind of internet modem you have will go a long way to determine how good your internet experience will be.

Modems enable you to access the internet and they can be Ethernet cable modems or Wi-Fi Modems. A Wi-Fi modem bypasses telephone systems and connects directly to a wireless network. Through this, it directly accesses the internet provided by your ISP and can be used to connect multiple devices without the use of wires and cables. Note that for your desktop computer or device to be able to access the internet wirelessly, it must have a wireless network card. Most computers these days, especially laptops and tablets have this by default. A cable modem, on the other hand, permits your computer to communicate with an ISP over a landline connection. It does this by converting an analog signal to a digital signal in order to grant you access to broadband internet.

You might discover that although you have access to the internet in your workplace or home, some people in certain locations are unable to access it at all or they have a poor connection. In this case, you may also need a Wi-Fi extender. Wi-Fi extenders enable internet service to get to places that are ordinarily outside the coverage of your LAN.

Now that we understand the two types of modems, let’s turn our attention to some specific things you should look for when shopping for the best Ethernet modem for your location. If you were looking for a wireless modem, you may want to check out our Wi-Fi Modem buying guide.
Price
The type of cable modem you buy and its price is determined by a few factors. While it’s important that you don’t exceed your budget, you should also ensure you buy what you really need. Yes, you can find lots of cheap cable modems out there however in many cases this means sacrificing quality not only of the physical product, but of the connection too. We came across many of these during our research but didn’t add them to our top five reviews because we want to present to you only products and brands that offer you value for money (along with durability and peace of mind).

That said; here are a number of things that affect a cable modem’s price: The speed of download from or upload to the internet, how many ports it has, the warranty on it, its Wi-Fi capability and the brand you are buying from.

Products from popular brands tend to cost more even if they offer similar value with less popular brands. But as a general observation, the prices of very functional and versatile cable modems range from $60 to about $110 and the greatest determinants of price are the warranty and the brand of the modem. Apart from these, most of them have basically the same specs. For the products we have reviewed, you will be making a great a buy irrespective of whichever you go with
Features
Buying the right modem can be a herculean task but once you know the key features to look out for, then your selection process becomes a bit easier. These features determine, to a great extent, the kind of internet experience you will have with your modem.

You will want to pay attention to things such as:
  • Compatibility with major ISP cable providers
  • Broad router compatibility
  • High-speed Internet connectivity
  • IPv4 and IPv6 dual stack support
  • Upload and download speeds
  • Modulation
  • Frequency range (downstream)
  • Easy plug-and-play setup
Construction and Design
Good cable modems (and indeed all high quality modems) are built to be strong. You don’t want a modem that breaks or shatters just falling once. So, ensure that the modem you want to buy is made from high quality materials. Also, you need to ensure that the heat output is minimal, especially if you are using it in a non-air conditioned place for prolonged periods.

There are some modem brands that come in different colors - predominantly black or white. This may be an important consideration if you are not the only one who has access to this modem. Too many hands touching the modem could make a white colored modem dirty in no time. In this case, consider buying a black or dark colored cable modem to save you the stress of always cleaning the modem.
Performance and Ease of Use
Modems should be easy to install and use in any laptop or desktop computer. So, its plug and play feature is key in determining which modem to go for. For the ultimate in simplicity, the modem choose for shouldn’t require a CD for installation. It should be plug and play.

Ensure also that the download and upload speeds really meet your needs depending on the kind of activity you carry out on the internet. If you all you do is check your emails and do some Google searches, you will do just fine with just about any download/upload speed (but we really doubt this is the case or else you wouldn’t be on this page). Heavy video streaming, gaming and using online apps demand that you pay serious attention to your download and upload speeds; the higher, the better.

Some modems come with stands and some don’t. If a modem comes with a stand, then you have more placement options. A good modem should be easily placed wherever you want it, especially if internet reception is better at one location than the other.

If you’re on a budget and need to move a single modem from one place to the other then portability will be a serious consideration when choosing the best Ethernet modem for your needs. If you use the same modem between work and home, then you don’t want moving the modem to be a hard task. Again, this is where a modem with plug and play features make a lot of sense, or you might decide to go with a Wi-Fi modem so you don’t have to keep undoing and re-connecting the cables.

What is the Best Cable Modem?

From modest browsing use to Mbps-intensive smooth, stutter-free HD video live streaming, everyone has different modem needs. But having gone through our buying guide, you should know the features that matter most to you. So take a look at our reviews below to determine which product and/or brand offers you those. Let’s get started with the first on our list…
Our Top Choice
Arris is part of the company that gave us the first cable modem gateway, bringing wireless Internet connectivity into our homes. With the Arris Motorola SURFboard SB6141 eXtreme Cable Modem, you have a reliable unit from a brand you can trust. If you need more than 343Mbps (up to 686 Mbps), we recommend the SB6183 SURFboard® Cable Modem.
Arris SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 eXtreme Cable Modem with Channel Bonding and Download Speed up to 343 Mbps - Available in Black or White

Arris Cable Modem SB6141 - White


Features
With over 175 million modems sold, Arris is still at the forefront of cable modem innovation. Arris is the global industry standard, developing better models that deliver the fastest download speeds available to cable users. There is a reason the world’s leading ISPs choose Arris modems: they deliver unparalleled Internet experience at a price that’s affordable.

The Arris SURFboard SB6141 sells for $69.95 (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). This modem is easy to install and bonds up to channels (8 downstream; 4 upstream) using the power of DOCSIS 3.0 technology, resulting in data rates of up to 343Mbps. Now peer-to-peer networking applications, video conferencing, gaming, downloading, HD video streaming and work are more efficient, faster and more realistic. Here’s an overview of what you get.
  • One of Amazon’s #1 Best Sellers in Computer Networking Modems
  • Compatibility with major U.S. cable providers
  • Utilizes DOCSIS 3.0 technology which is 8X faster than DOCSIS 2.0
  • Support for IPv4 and IPv6 – the latest Internet standard
  • 2-year warranty with U.S. based customer service.
This model is part of the Motorola SURFboard eXtreme Cable Modem series. Each model differs in number of ports, download speeds and wifi capability. You also have two color options to pick from: white or black.

This model does not come with a WIFI Router or VOIP telephone adapter; however there are bundles on Amazon which allow you to purchase as a package if you need one.
Best Value
Netgear has delivered a cable modem that’s simply designed to handle the needs of the average home user. If this Netgear DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem isn’t fast enough for your needs (340 Mbps), you can transfer data at up to 680Mbps with the AC1750 WiFi Cable Modem Router Model: C6300.
Netgear DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with Gigabit Ethernet Port, Auto-Sensing Technology and Download Speed up to 340 Mbps

Netgear Cable Modem CM400-1AZNAS


Features
Netgear makes networking devices that are “easy to use, powerful, smart and designed just for you.” It is committed to ensuring that your home has the speed you like and the range of performance you need whenever you need it.

Sit down, relax and enjoy superior HD streaming with this Netgear DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. You can now do all you ever wanted with your Internet connection with this modem. At a cost of $69.99 (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), it comes affordably priced, especially since when we did our research we found it for even less on Amazon.

Here’s a list of features included.
  • Gigabit Ethernet port with auto-sensing technology
  • DOCSIS 3.0 and backward compatible with DOCSIS 2.0 networks
  • Channel bonding for fast download and upload speeds - (8 x 4) 343Mbps (download); 122Mbps (upload)
  • IPv6 next generation Internet addressing support
  • IPv6 support (Internet Protocol Version 6)
  • Works with major U.S. cable Internet providers
  • Memory: 8MB flash and 64MB DDR
  • Simple installation – No CD needed
Models in this series differ in speed (Mbps) and general design.
Zoom is committed to making products that users find truly valuable. This experience is assured with its Model 5341J Ethernet cable modem. If 343 Mbps is too much for your needs, its Cable Modem Model 5341H offers top performance with similar features, but with a lower data transfer speed of up to 172 Mbps.
Zoom DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 Cable Modem with Gigabit Ethernet and Download Speed up to 343 Mbps

Zoom Cable Modem 5341-00-00J


Features
With Zoom, you are dealing with a company that is focused on giving its customers value. Zoom is committed to producing high-performance networking devices that are easy to use. Its DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 Cable Modem delivers on this promise of high performance and ease of use.

It doesn’t matter whether you are using it with a Mac or Windows computer, HomePlug adapter, wireless access point, router or any other Ethernet-enabled device, you get fast Internet connectivity: up to 343 Mbps download and 143 Mbps upload speeds. You can stand this small attractive modem up using the provided stand, or lie it flat. This is important if you want to avoid clutter on your desk.

Here are some of the main features of this modem.
  • Support for all popular DOCSIS cable modem standards - 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1
  • Advanced networking capability
  • IPv4 and IPv6 for powerful, flexible network addressing
  • Tested and certified by CableLabs ® to work with nearly all U.S. cable service providers -- Cable ONE, Bright House, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Comcast
  • Advanced Broadcom integrated circuit technology
  • Flexible cable modem orientation with included stand
  • Energy-saving switching power cube
  • Includes modem stand, Ethernet cable and Quick Start flyer
Note: This is a modem ONLY. It does NOT come with a router and other accessories.
With the CM3008, Linksys has delivered a modem that gives you high-speed data transfer thanks to its 8x4 bonded channels and Intel Puma Chipset. If your Internet service plan is up to 300 Mbps, you will enjoy even faster data transfers with the Linksys CM3024 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem (24x8 Bonded Channels).
Linksys DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem with Intel Puma Chipset, 8x4 Bonded Channels and Download Speed up to 343 Mbps

Linksys Cable Modem CM3008


Features
Linksys (part of Belkin International) is committed to enhancing technologies that connect us to the experiences, activities and people we love. You can count on its products if you are looking for top performance, simplicity and ease of use.

The CM3008 Cable Modem comes with eight download and four upload bonded channels. Large amounts of data are transferred simultaneously across these channels. This makes it possible for you to enjoy faster data transfer speeds with your current cable broadband connection. With its slim compact design, you don’t have to worry about having a cluttered desk, as it can fit it right beside your router.

Check out some of its features.
  • Intel Puma chipset -- Powers high speed
  • Gigabit Ethernet transfers data 10x faster than Fast Ethernet. This ensures high-speed connectivity for your wired devices
  • Works with all major cable providers
  • Broad router compatibility -- works with any wired or wireless router
  • DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 for high-speed Internet connectivity – applies to Internet service plans between 3 to 100Mbps
  • Maximized Internet speeds to your Wi-Fi router
  • Optimal upload and download speeds of up to 343Mbps
  • Easy plug-and-play setup. No CD required
TP-Link makes reliable but affordable networking devices. That’s what you get in the TC-7610. However, if you need data transfer rates up to 680 Mbps, we recommend the DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem TC-7620, also from TP-Link.
TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 (8x4) Cable Modem with Quick and Easy Setup and Download Speed up to 343 Mbps

TP-Link Cable Modem TC-7610


Features
For 20 years, TP-Link has provided reliable network devices and accessories that we’ve come to rely on in our day-to-day activities. Serving hundreds of millions of users in over 120 countries worldwide, it has maintained a leading position as a provider of CPE and WLAN devices that meet users’ needs today and exceed their expectations tomorrow.

TP-Link captures its core values in the DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem TC-7610 which sells for $59.99 (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). It gives you quick and easy setup. You get faster uploads and downloads because it uses the CableLabs-certified DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which delivers speeds 8x faster than DOCSIS 2.0. It also comes with other useful features such as:
  • Compatibility with major cable ISPs – works with Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, Time Warner Cable and XFINITY from Comcast
  • Channel Width (downstream) -- 48 MHz (8 channels) / 6 MHz (single channel); 200KHz / 400KHz / 800KHz / 1.6MHz / 3.2MHz / 6.4MHz (upstream)
  • Channel Bonding -- Up to 8 (downstream); Up to 4 (upstream) – Gives faster throughput
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6 dual stack
  • Maximum Data Rate -- Up to 343 Mbps (downstream); Up to 143Mbps (upstream)
This series of modems comes in different download speeds and packaging (frustration-free and retail packaging) and has a two year warranty.

Get the Best Cable Modem of 2018!

Knowledge is power. We hope you are now in a position to make an informed choice on the right cable modem for you. If it turns out that the products we showcased are not the right match, we know that these are brands that you can trust so feel free to click a link and shop around to see what else they offer.

Our Top Choice
Arris SURFboard® DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Best Value
Netgear CM400 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Zoom 343 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Linksys DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem