Top Best Modems of 2019

A modem is one of the basic necessities of our digital lives. Mostly everyone in the world is connected today through social networking sites and it’s hard to imagine a single day without the internet. Most internet service providers offer their users, rented modems and a lot of people end up renting different modems as they switch from one internet service provider to another. This ultimately leads to a substantial loss of money in the long run. Given below is a list and a brief description of some of the best modems available for purchase today. You can choose the one that best suits your needs while saving some money as well.

See also: Best laptops for school and gaming

Best modems

One of the Best Affordable Modems with Great Internet Service Provider Compatibility

NETGEAR CM400

NETGEAR CM400

The NETGEAR CM400 comes with various max download options, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, DOCSIS 3.0, 8×4 channel bonding, support up to 100 Mbps speed and is compatible with requirements of a wide range of cable internet service providers. The CM400 is 9.46 x 7.17 x 2.05 inches in size and weighs about 14.4 ounces. Design-wise it looks like a normal modem and certainly won’t win any prizes in that regard. It comes with a wide variety of max download options ranging from 100 Mbps max download to 2000 Mbps.

Where the modem really shines is its compatibility with a large number of cable internet service providers. You get plenty of amazing modems out there but if they aren’t compatible with the internet service provider you have, then it doesn’t serve the purpose at all. The NETGEAR CM400, however, is compatible with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox or Charter, Bright House Networks, RCN, Cable One and many more. Some of the internet service providers it is not compatible with are AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and those with bundled voice services.

Although the CM400, in theory, can support a download speed of 343 Mbps, it actually falls in the range of 100 Mbps. This is because there are so many variables that can inhibit the speed such as account network overhead, congestion, etc. Another great aspect of this product is that it has one of the lowest housing temperatures. No matter how long it runs, it will always be relatively cooler than most of its competitors. This also helps in increasing its longevity as heat is one of the worst enemies of electronic gadgets. It’s great for streaming online content and playing games. All in all, this is a great affordable modem that is not only compatible with a wide variety of internet service providers but also supports very fast download speeds.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s perfect for those who are looking for an affordable cable modem.
  • It’s ideal for an environment that requires the modem to stay at ambient temperature while running.
  • It’s a great choice for those looking for a modem that can provide reliable fast internet speeds.

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One of the Best Modems for Lower Speed Caps

TP-Link TC-7610

TP-Link TC-7610

The TP-Link TC-7610 comes with DOCSIS 3.0, channel bonding of up to 8 downstream and 4 upstream channels, two-years warranty, IPV4 and IPV6 support and 24/7 technical support. It is quite small and compact at 8.5 x 7.68 x 2.62 inches. The TP-Link TC-7610 is more of a low-end modem and therefore does look the part. However, do not let its look misguide you. It is probably one of the best modems at its price point. Very few brands have the same value that TP-Link has as time and time again they have managed to release affordable, reliable and competitive products in the market.

The TC-7610 is easily the best modem to have if your service plan is capped at 100-150 Mbps. The DOCSIS 3.0 allows for more secure and faster speeds when compared to DOCSIS 2.0. Moreover, it also comes with 8×4 channel bonding which substantially boosts its performance. It is also compatible with major internet service providers such as XFINITY from Comcast, Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Bright House Networks, Suddenlink, Mediacom and WOW.

The two-year warranty is also pretty good to have as it eliminates a certain degree of worry when it comes to buying modems, unlike renting them. As far as performance goes, you get reliable connection almost all the time and pretty great uninterrupted speeds. All in all, if you are looking for an affordable modem for your low cap internet service plan, then the TP-Link TC-7610 is undoubtedly the best option to go for.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s a great choice for those who are looking for an easy-to-set-up affordable cable modem.
  • It’s ideal for people who love to stream movies and play online games.
  • It’s a great choice for those looking for a small, lightweight modem for their home.

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One of the Best Modems providing Overall Value

ARRIS Surfboard SB6183

ARRIS Surfboard SB6183

The ARRIS Surfboard SB6183 comes with 16 download and 4 upload channels, max download speeds of 686 Mbps, a max upload speed of 131 Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet port, IPV4 and IPV6 support, and a two-year warranty. Design-wise it looks a little outdated, but, do not judge this one by its look for you will surely regret it later on. It’s also quite compact at 8.5 x 2.5 x 7.8 inches. Since it’s an upright model, you don’t need much space when placing it somewhere.

Performance-wise you get very impressive speeds with its 16×4 channel bonding. While it is compatible with several internet service providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Bright House), Cox and many others, it won’t work with Verizon, AT&T or CenturyLink. One of the best features of this device is that it can really support very high internet speeds. So, if you have an internet service provider who has high tiers of allotted speeds, then you can really make use of it.

It is simply great in every area of performance ranging from download and upload speeds to even time taken for powering up. In less than 30 seconds this modem can go from unpowered to fully functional. In short, if your internet service provider can give you very high speeds, then the ARRIS surfboard SB6183 is the best modem to go for, especially if you have a tight budget.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s suitable for those who have high-speed internet service providers.
  • Those looking for great value at a very affordable price.
  • It’s a great choice when you have limited space as it is a small and upright modem just suited for homes.

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One of the Best Modem/Router Combos

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

The NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 comes with 24×8 channel bonding, parental controls, WEP, WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocol support, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1800 square feet wireless coverage, download speeds up to 400 Mbps and can support up to 30 devices. Looks-wise the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 is one of the better-looking ones available in the market today. It has a modern and aesthetic design that will surely appeal to most people. At 11.55 x 11.02 x 3.94 inches in size and weighing 1.6 pounds, it isn’t the most compact but it does look very sleek and streamlined. One cool aspect of the design is that the antennae are contained within the device so that you don’t have to worry about seeing those two projections jutting out of the modem.

Performance-wise the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 does a really good job especially considering the fact that it is a modem/router combo device. Most all-in-one modems suffer from performance issues due to their dual functionalities and the design/hardware restrictions that arise from it. The C7000 surprisingly does a very good job of holding up though. The range is pretty good and you get decent speeds even at the end of its range.

It is also compatible with a lot of internet service providers such as Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, etc. However, if you are a subscriber of Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DirectTV, DISH or any bundled voice services, you will have to look for a different modem. All in all, this is a really good modem/router combo that gives you good performance and value in the long term.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s perfect for those who want a modem with modern aesthetics.
  • It’s for those who are looking for a high-performance modem.
  • It’s a great choice for those looking for a modem/Wi-Fi router combo with a good range.

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One of the Best Compact Low-End Modems

Motorola MB7420

Motorola MB7420

The Motorola MB7420 comes with 16×4 channel bonding, DOCSIS 3.0, full-band capture digital tuner, IPV4 and IPV6 support, Ethernet port, two-years warranty, and a compact body. Design-wise it looks decent with textured grated side panels and a smooth front with LEDs. It’s not innovative or unique but it’s certainly way better looking than a lot of the other modems found online. It also has color-coded slots behind to help you know where each wire goes. At 4.9 x 2 x 6.1 inches in size, it’s one of the smallest modems out there that can perform better than some its larger competitors.

The 16×4 channel bonding allows you to get up to 400 Mbps if your internet service provider gives you high download speeds. According to Motorola, you can get speeds of up to 686 Mbps. Theoretically yes, but in reality, you can expect somewhere between 300 to 400 Mbps if you have a great connection and no interruptions as far as signal is concerned.

As far as internet service provider compatibility is concerned, the Motorola MB7420 can be used with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Bright House, etc. The modem is also protected against unexpected lightning and power surges but it’s always safer to be cautious and turn the modem off during rainstorms and voltage fluctuations. In short, if you are looking for a compact, good performance modem at an affordable price, then the Motorola MB7420 is a great option to go for.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s ideal for those who want a compact modem for their home or workplace.
  • It’s a good choice for people who are looking for an affordable but high-value modem.
  • It’s the right choice for those who aren’t well versed with technology as it has color-coded ports to help them know where the different wires go.

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One of the Best Value Modem/Router Combo for Homes and Offices

ARRIS Surfboard SBG6900AC

ARRIS Surfboard SBG6900AC

The ARRIS Surfboard SBG6900AC comes with 16 download and 4 upload bonded channels, speeds of up to 686 Mbps, IPV4 and IPV6 support, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and a 2-years warranty. In appearance, it is pretty much the same as others in the surfboard series. Looks isn’t the only reason why you get an ARRIS modem after all. Over the years they have steadily built a sterling reputation as one of the finest modem manufacturers and the SBG6900AC is no different. At 11.61 x 3.9 x 10.51 inches in size and weighing only 1.75 pounds, it is compact enough to fit pretty much anywhere.

This particular modem is one of the best as far as reliability goes. It is basically 3 products in 1 with a 16×4 cable modem, AC1900 Wi-Fi router, and a Gigabit 4 port wired router. Its high-end hardware components make it stand out from its competitors especially at its price point. The 16 x 4 channel bonding allows you to really utilize your internet connection to the max. However, it is important to note that it is capped at around 686 Mbps and so, having a faster connection does not help. This modem is perfect for mid-range internet connections as far as download speeds are concerned.

It also comes with internal security which makes it possible for you to do enhanced network diagnostics and management. This also makes it quite perfect for not only home use but also for office purposes. It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Network, Mediacom and a few others. In case you aren’t sure if your internet service provider is supported by the modem, you can contact ARRIS to get more details the details are available on the ARRIS website. This is a great modem with excellent performance for mid-range internet connections and it comes at a very attractive affordable price that just cannot be beaten.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s a good choice for those who want a compact modem for their small business office.
  • It’s suitable for people who are looking for an affordable but great performance modem/router combo.
  • It’s ideal for those who are on the lookout for a reliable modem that gives consistent high internet speeds for gaming or streaming purposes.

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One of the Best Modem/Router Combos for 2 Gigabits Plans

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800

The NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 comes with 32 x 8 channel bonding, parental controls, WEP, WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocol support, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, DOCSIS 3.1 and wireless coverage of 3000 square feet. Visually the Nighthawk C7800 certainly looks unique as it blends a traditional look and feel with the abstract. Some people will love it whereas others will hate it as the design is somewhat controversial. At 10.4 x 7.5 x 12.4 inches in size and 3.15 pounds in weight, the C7800 is slightly bigger compared to other modems but the design makes it look pretty compact for its dimensions.

Performance-wise, this modem is a complete beast which it better be for its price. It is designed for internet plans that provide up to 2 Gigabits speed and so this modem is certainly not for casual use at home. With the 4 Ethernet ports and 2 hi-speed USB 3.0 ports, you can connect to your computer, game box and other devices with zero hassles. The 32×8 channel bonding allows you to enjoy blinding fast internet speeds as long as your internet service provider gives high internet gigabit speeds. The 4 antennae reduce interference so that you can get the most out of your fast internet connection.

As it is an expensive device, the parental controls really come into great use. It is compatible with all major internet service providers such as Xfinity by Comcast, and Cox. However, it doesn’t support Spectrum Cable, Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirectTV, DISH, and bundled voice services. The Wi-Fi router has an impressive range of 3000 square feet thanks to its range-boosting and Beamforming technology. All in all, if you have money to splurge, a super-fast internet connection and want a modem/router combo that will allow you to fully utilize the insane speed, the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 is a great option to go for.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s for the serious user looking for high-end gaming purposes that require lightning fast internet speeds.
  • It’s for people who require a high-end modem/router for any demanding tasks that require very high internet speeds.
  • It’s a great choice for those who like to stream heavy duty 4k content with zero interruptions.

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One of the Best Affordable Modems for 1 Gigabit Plans

Motorola MB7621

Motorola MB7621

The MB7621 modem from Motorola comes with DOCSIS 3.0, 24 downstream and 8 upstream channel bonding, download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps, one Gigabit Ethernet port, two-years warranty as well as IPV4 and IPV6 protocol support. The design looks somewhat unique with a grated grey matte finished body and LEDs on the front side. The rear of the modem has colored partitions for better clarity on where to connect the cables. At 7.25 x 2.25 x 7.88 inches in size and weighing 1.12 ounces, it is also quite compact.

The MB7621 comes with the Broadcom chip which helps to eliminate a lot of the latency issues that plagued its competitors which had the more inexpensive Puma chipset. The full band capture digital tuner that comes with the Broadcom chip allows you to get better and more reliable speeds. The small holes on the sides aren’t just a design aspect as it is a kind of ventilation that allows the heat buildup inside the device to escape. This allows it to remain somewhat cool even if you keep it on for several hours continuously. However, it would be wiser to place this modem in an open area to ensure better longevity.

The device is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Xfinity X1, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Bright House, CableOne, SuddenLink, RCN, etc. But do keep in mind that this modem is useful only if you have an internet connection plan of up to 1000 Mbps. As far as safety is concerned you get rugged lightning and power surge circuits for more effective protection. All in all, this is another one of the best and affordable cable modems for high-speed internet plans.

Who should buy this?

  • For customers who have a 1000 Mbps internet plan.
  • Ideal for people who are looking for a great performance modem that can support very fast speeds at an affordable rate.
  • It’s a great choice for those who like to stream content or play online games effortlessly.

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One of the Best Performing Mid-Range Modem/Router Combos

TP-Link Archer CR500

TP-Link Archer CR500

The TP-Link Archer CR500 comes with DOCSIS 3.0, AC1200 wireless router (dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), 16 x 4 channel bonding, download speeds up to 680 Mbps, 24/7 technical support, dual USB ports, beamforming technology for better wireless range and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. As far as design is concerned this is one of the few modems out there at this price point that looks pretty cool. It’s reminiscent of the Moai stone faces on Easter Island which is pretty cool. At 9.7 x 7.62 x 2.48 inches in size and weighing 1.4 pounds, it is a tall but slim modem that you can place comfortably almost anywhere.

It features a single coax input that allows you to connect it directly to your cable line. With the dual USB ports, you can plug in thumb drives or external hard drives and share files through the network or you can do it over FTP. The 16×4 channel bonding along with DOCSIS 3.0 allows it to give you a max internet speed of 680 Mbps. This modem is made for mid-tier internet connections but it does an excellent job of delivering its maximum capabilities. With the beamforming technology, you will get a very reliable and strong Wi-Fi range within its radius.

It also comes with a dual-core processor that can efficiently smoothen and balance out the demands of your devices as far as fast and uninterrupted internet connections are concerned. It’s compatible with several top Internet service providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, SuddenLink, Mediacom, WOW, etc. In short, this is a great value, gorgeous looking modem perfect for mid-tier internet connections.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s perfect for those who are looking for a modem with a great unique design.
  • It’s ideal for people who are looking for a great value modem for mid-tier internet connections.
  • It’s the right choice for those who want a modem that is very easy to set up.

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One of the Best Affordable Modems for Light to Medium Gaming Needs

ARRIS Surfboard SB6190

ARRIS Surfboard SB6190

The ARRIS Surfboard SB6190 comes with DOCSIS 3.0, download speed of up to 1.4 Gbps, 32 download and 8 upload bonded channels, 2-years warranty and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Unlike most ARRIS Surfboard modems, this one comes in black which is refreshing. These modems are not known for their looks but for their performance and this one is no different. At 7.2 x 4.5 x 6.11 inches in size and weighing 1 pound, the SB6190 is a medium-sized upright modem.

When it was released, it was one of the first modems that supported 1.4 Gbps speeds in the consumer market. Although many years have since passed, it still remains a solid modem with great performance capability. With 32 x 8 channel bonding along with DOCSIS 3.0, it can support fast internet speeds with no hassles whatsoever. However, it does use the Puma 6 chipset which is pretty old now. No modem can deliver the maximum speed that they talk about because there are a lot of variables when it comes to utilizing the full potential of an internet connection. With the SB6190 you will realistically be able to attain somewhere between 300 – 400 Mbps which is still a very good number.

Thanks to its performance, about 2 to 3 users can comfortably utilize the speed it offers with zero interruptions or lagging. This makes it a great candidate for online gamers who like to play in groups from the comfort of their own home. Though it is an old model, it can handle itself pretty well and beat some of the newer competitors with ease when it comes to internet speeds. If you often download large files, watch tons of movies online, or play online games every day, then the SB6190 is a great affordable choice for you.

Who should buy this?

  • Gamers who are looking for a modem that can handle online gaming needs pretty smoothly and without any interruptions
  • It’s ideal for people who are looking for a beast of a modem at an affordable price.
  • It’s a good choice for those who want to utilize their 1-1.4Gbps internet connection to the maximum.

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One of the Best Versatile Modem/ Router Combos

ARRIS Surfboard SBG7600 AC2

ARRIS Surfboard SBG7600 AC2

The ARRIS Surfboard SBG7600 AC2 comes with an AC2350 dual-band Wi-Fi, McAfee whole-home security, 32 downloads and 8 upload channel bonding, Wave 2 AC2350 2.4 GHz/5 GHz dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi, 2-years limited warranty and 4 Ethernet ports. The SBG7600 is one of the better looking ARRIS modems with its black matte finish and sleek lower ridges at the bottom sides. At 9.72 x 4.06 x 9.5 inches in size and weighing 2.64 pounds, it is a medium-sized modem with colored partitions behind for clearer user experience. The different colors really help in communicating where each type of wire goes.

When it comes to network speed, the 32 download and 8 upload channels bonding along with DOCSIS 3.0 allow it to deliver blazingly fast internet speeds while consistently providing connectivity to multiple devices. As far as range is concerned, you get about 3,000 square feet connectivity which is good. One great aspect of this modem is its security. You get a MacAfee app that can monitor your network anywhere you go. The security support will only end after three years which is a pretty long time. Using the parental controls, you can blacklist or whitelist websites if you have kids at home.

It is compatible with the top cable providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Affinity, Cox and spectrum. However, it is not compatible with ATT, CenturyLink or Verizon. New service providers will be added to the compatibility list after they pass the approval process and so you can expect things to only get better for the SBG7600. All in all, the ARRIS Surfboard SBG7600 AC2 is an exceptional modem/router that has enough features, performance capability and technology to weather the winds of change for many years to come.

Who should buy this?

  • Those who are looking for a reliable and long-lasting modem/router combo that can efficiently provide great, reliable speeds.
  • It really suits people who are looking for a really versatile modem.
  • It’s an ideal choice for those who require additional security with their modems.

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One of the Best Modem/Mesh Routers

NETGEAR Orbi CBK40

NETGEAR Orbi CBK40

The NETGEAR Orbi CBK40 comes with voice control capability, mesh Wi-Fi functionality, wireless range of 4,000 square feet, download speeds of up to 2.2 Gbps, 32 x 8 channel bonding, DOCSIS 3.0, parental controls, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports on modem/router and 2 on satellite. Design-wise it looks absolutely gorgeous. The simple, elegant, minimalistic style really blends well with any indoor environment and adds to the ambience. This isn’t your traditional looking modem/router by any chance. At 9.92 x 9.55 x 7.51 inches in size and weighing about 2.79 pounds, it is a bit on the larger side but with really good looks, it shouldn’t be a concern for most people.

The Orbi CBK40 is pretty unique as it was the first Wi-Fi system in the world to feature a built-in cable modem. It comes in two units, namely the cable modem/router and a satellite extender unit. You basically set up the modem/router and then place the satellite some distance away to expand the wireless range. It is important to note that the CBK40 won’t work with DSL or fiber-optic internet services. Realistically, you can expect a max speed of nearly 500 Mbps which is incredibly fast. It is compatible with all major Internet Service Providers such as Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more.

One great aspect of this set is that it has voice control compatibility. You can use Google Assistant or Alexa according to your convenience. Another great aspect is its excellent range. Even if you put the satellite 75 feet away you will still only see a slight dip in Wi-Fi signal connectivity. All in all, it is an amazing but expensive cable modem/router with plenty of cool features and amazing performance capability. If your goal is to fill your entire home with uninterrupted, reliable high internet speed, then the NETGEAR Orbi CBK40 is the best product to go for.

Who should buy this?

  • It’s ideal for those who are looking for a Wi-Fi system with a built-in cable modem/router.
  • It’s perfect for people who are looking for a modem with phenomenal performance.
  • It’s a great choice for those who want great Wi-Fi coverage in their homes.

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Conclusion

There are many important aspects to keep in mind when buying a modem. The first one is reliability. No matter how much high speed a modem can provide, it becomes useless if it’s inconsistent. You also need to look for a modem that can last for anywhere between 1 to 3 years to get the best value out of it. Other important things to look out for in a modem are versatility, ease of use and finally compatibility. Make sure that you pick one that qualifies in each of the above categories while at the same time meeting your specific requirements. Time and a bit of market research are needed for finding the best modems.

 

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