Buying your own internet modem isn’t just a great way to avoid paying rent from your ISP – choosing a better model than what your cable company offers allows you to unlock better internet and network performance. If you’re paying for super-fast internet speeds, upgrading to one of the best cable modems can unlock performance you’d lose with a slower model.
Of course, you don’t need to buy the most expensive model. Some (like our favorite Motorola MG7700) double as a router and come with dual-band Wi-Fi 5, which is probably all the networking equipment you’ll ever need. Alternatively, for those looking for a cheap and cheerful modem to get out of their ISP rental package, the Netgear CM500 is a very smart and popular choice.
No matter what 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 | WiFi: Wi-Fi 5, 2.4GHz, 5GHz | Phone jack: Nope
The best: Average household wanting a quality modem/router unit.
The Motorola MG7700 is one of the most popular third-party modems you can buy, thanks to its combination of great features, the ability to work as both a modem and a router to simplify your internet connection, and its relatively affordable price. While most modern modems boast the ability to support Gigabit+ internet speeds, it’s not something everyone can afford, and you don’t need to pay for a feature you can’t use. That’s not to say the MG7700 is slow. It can support internet speeds of up to 800 Mbps and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast network data transfer and zero internet bottlenecks.
It also has built-in Wi-Fi 5 support, which again isn’t the fastest standard, but it’s fast enough for everyday web browsing and video streaming. It is supported by most major ISPs and has useful additional router features such as parental controls and guest network support. If you want to improve Wi-Fi performance or coverage, you can always add your own router, but for most Internet users, the Motorola MG7700 offers everything you need for the foreseeable future.
- The combination of a modem and a router makes it easy to connect to the Internet
- Four Gigabit Ethernet ports and Wi-Fi 5 support
- It supports fast internet speed up to 800 Mbps
- No DOCSIS 3.1 support
- It cannot handle gigabit internet connections
DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported internet speed: 1Gbps | Ethernet ports: 2x Gigabit | WiFi: No | Phone jack: Nope
The best: Enjoy Gigabit internet speed at an affordable price.
The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is an affordable DOCSIS 3.1 router that can handle internet speeds of up to 1Gbps, making it a great choice for anyone who wants high-speed internet without spending hundreds of dollars on high-end models. This modem doesn’t have router functionality, so you’ll need to budget for a router; Especially if you want to connect to the Internet wirelessly, because this model does not have any Wi-Fi support. However, it works with most major ISPs and costs much less than the competition.
With plans to phase out DOCSIS 3.0 technology, getting yourself a DOCSIS 3.1 modem like this one gives you some measure of future proofing and ensures that you can enjoy the fastest connections for years to come. The actual modem is compact and easy to remove if you don’t want it easily accessible, and installation is quick and easy.
- Affordable Gigabit internet speed support
- Future-proof with DOCSIS 3.1 support
- Quick installation
- You must purchase a separate router
- Gigabit+ speed support is not available for higher-end options
DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Supported internet speed: 400 Mbps | Ethernet ports: 1x Gigabit | WiFi: No | Phone jack: Nope
The best: Avoid modem rental or upgrade your network on the cheap.
The CM500 is a great modem for anyone looking to get rid of rental fees because it’s affordable, supports high-speed Internet up to 400Mbps, and is easy to connect to any wireless router, so you can enjoy high-speed wired and wireless communications. internet access. It comes with a single Gigabit Ethernet port and installation is quick and easy. It’s also a small device, so you don’t need to take up a lot of space for it in your home.
The reduction in monthly costs is the real selling point of this modem. If you don’t want to keep paying monthly for your existing modem, this is a great entry-level model to replace it with. It’s especially cheap with its latest discount and will pay for itself in just a few months with the rents eliminated. If you also want a little better performance, there are more expensive models that give you download speeds of 500 Mbps or even 1 Gigabit per second – great for anyone upgrading to Gigabit speed in the near future.
- Very affordable price
- It supports internet up to 400 Mbps
- Built in Gigabit Ethernet
- No gigabit speed internet support
- No router functions
DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported internet speed: 1,200 Mbps | Ethernet ports: 4x Gigabit | WiFi: Wi-Fi 5 2.4GHz, 5Ghz | Phone jack: Nope
The best: High speed internet on wired and wireless connections.
If you want a modem packed with the latest features, the Motorola MG8702 is a great premium modem to buy. It will pay for more than a year of modem rental, and with that investment, you’ll get a router and modem with Wi-Fi 5 support, multiple Gigabit Ethernet connections, Gigabit support, and faster. Internet connection up to 1200 Mbps. It is compatible with most major internet providers and comes with a two-year warranty giving you peace of mind.
The router’s features aren’t advanced, but it’s still powerful, with Wi-Fi 5 speeds, improved Wi-Fi signal strength, and beamforming support for coverage around your home. It also includes quality of service (QoS) features to prioritize latency-sensitive traffic like gaming, and has parental controls so you can block what kids watch online. It’s a bit more expensive than most of the other modems on this list, but its added performance and solid feature set make it one of the best modems you can buy today.
- Gigabit+ internet speed is supported
- Wi-Fi 5 and built-in router functionality
- A two-year warranty is standard
- It cannot handle multi-gigabit internet speeds
DOCSIS version: 3.1 | Supported internet speed: 2500 Mbps | Ethernet ports: 1x 2.5 Gb | WiFi: No | Phone jack: Nope
The best: Pairing with a high-speed router for the fastest internet possible.
If you live in an area with multi-gigabit high-speed internet and want to take advantage of it, you’ll have to pay for the privilege. Fortunately, with modems like the Netgear Nighthawk CM2000, you won’t have to pay. too so much to buy. Priced at just under $300, this modem may be more expensive than most, and you’ll need to buy a router to go with it, but if you do, you’ll unlock some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. With bandwidth support of up to 2500 Mbps (that’s 2.5 Gigabits per second!), this modem will help you download faster, stream in higher quality, and get more people online than almost any other modem. It’s as fast and skilled as it gets.
This modem is overkill for most users, but if you want to download files very quickly, want the lowest latency for competitive gaming, or have a lot of people in your house who want to stream 4K video at the same time – and you have an internet connection. to use it—there are several modems compatible with the CM2000. It also has a sleek, unique-looking design, and there’s a dual phone line version if you need to connect the phone to a modem.
- Ultra fast
- Supports 2.5 Gigabit network
- Elegant design
- Too much for most internet users