The Best Cable Modems in 2021

the best cable modems

If your internet expenses are constantly rising and on top of that you are using an internet provider’s cable modem, for which you are paying a monthly fee, maybe it is the time for a change. It’s time to buy your own cable modem that will give you better overall performance and save money in the long run.

Of course, finding the best cable modem demands for certain knowledge, especially if you are not too sure about what you actually need. Do you need a regular cable modem or the modem router combo? What sort of features should your cable modem have, etc.

For that reason, it is advisable to consult someone that knows a bit more about the subject or to look for advice in guides like this one that will bring you all the required information in one place.

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How to choose the best cable modem

When choosing the best cable modem, you should consider the following characteristics:

Supported speed

Higher download/upload speed is always a better option. However, the fastest devices usually demand the most money and many people simply aren’t capable of paying that much.

Therefore, try to find the best ratio of speed and price and don’t forget to look a bit more into the future, and try to predict what will be your speed requirements, in a few years and in accordance with that, choose a device that will also be future-proof.


DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Services Interface Specification) is a telecommunication standard that tells you what your cable modem capabilities are and suggests what its maximum download and upload data transfer speeds are.

In theory, DOCSIS 3.0 should provide a maximum download speed of 1200Mbps and maximum upload speed of 200Mbps, while DOCSIS 3.1 should provide up to 10Gbps download and 1Gps upload speeds.

In other words, choose the device with the standard that supports your demanded speeds and try to fully benefit from every advantage that certain standard brings along.


Although it may not sound as important as speed, or DOCSIS functionality, the fact is that a lack of proper certification will make the cable modem not worth a dime. If your chosen device isn’t supported by the major cable providers, it is worthless. Even the best cable modems out there will have no purpose, if it can’t be used with Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other operators.

Best Cable Modems

MOTOROLA Cable Modem MB8600

More Than a Decent Cable Modem

motorola docsis 3.1 cable modem mb8600 2
MOTOROLA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem MB8600 is a solid and well-built device that will perfectly suit everyone using the Gigabit Ethernet plan.

The main reason for that is its built-in DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.0 feature, with their 32×8 SCQAM and two OFDM bonded channels, as well as Active Queue Management (AQM) that will keep the latency values at low levels and overall positively affect your whole user experience.

MOTOROLA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem MB8600 is compatible with both Mac and Windows and is approved by Comcast Xfinity, Cox, CableOne and many other cable operators. Moreover, it can easily work with both regular and mesh Wi-Fi routers and provide a maximum download speed of up to 6000 Mbps (at least in theory).

This cable modem is run by Broadcom BCM3390ZRKFSBG chipset, 512 MB of RAM and 128 MB of NAND storage memory and more importantly, it is very easy to set up and operate.

MOTOROLA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem MB8600 comes with a two-year warranty and very good overall performance and considering its features presents a very good deal and probably the best cable modem for Xfinity you can find on the market right now.

  • Easy setup
  • Fairly priced
  • No built-in Wi-Fi router

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NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700

A Cable Modem Built For Premium Performance

netgear cable modem cm700 2
The top-notch internet performance usually demands a lot of investment. However, there are devices such as NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 that combine both great performance and affordable price, making large bandwidth more accessible to the masses.

With this cable modem, you will get a maximum download speed of 1400Mbps and maximum upload speed of 500Mbps, as well as certification and ability to use it with numerous cable operators like Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity and many others.

Moreover, if you want to connect this modem to some of the best wireless routersbest wireless routers out there, like for instance Nighthawk X10 AD7200, guess what? You can.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 supports DOCSIS 3.0., with its 32×8 bonded channels, it comes fitted with Gigabit Ethernet port for easier connection, and more importantly, guarantees for a top-tier performance.

Its a bit aggressive design goes head to head with its nature and depicts its unwillingness for compromise in the best possible way.

All in all, if you are seeking the best cable modem for Cox, Xfinity, or some other similar operator, NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 is an ideal option for you.

  • Easy to set up
  • Premium performance
  • Reliable
  • None we can think of

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ARRIS SURFboard SB6190

An Excellent High-Performing Cable Modem

arris surfboard sb6190 1
If you are looking for a decent-quality cable modem that will save you money on modem rental fees and provides a top-class performance at the same time, ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 comes as a great option.

Although it isn’t perfect and it suffers from latency issues that are coming as a result of its buggy Intel Puma 6 chipset (bugs can allegedly be fixed with some of the recent firmware updates), this device still has plenty to offer. It can work with Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Mediacom, and other cable operators, and provides a maximum download speed of 1400Mbps, as well as maximum upload speed of up to 400Mbps.

Also, this modem offers DOCSIS 3.0 functionality, with its 32×8 bonded channels; it has a Gigabit Ethernet port for providing a reliable connection to Wi-Fi Router, or PC and comes with a highly respectable two-year warranty.

Other than the already mentioned Intel chipset, inside of ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 cable modem, there are also 3GB of RAM and 128MB of flash memory that is an additional reason for its very good performance and more importantly, these parts don’t come along with any issues.

To make a long story short, if you are willing to accept ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 downsides and are willing to cope with them, you may be sure your hard work will pay off sooner or later, and then you will realize you made a good decision and bought one of the best cable modems there are.

  • Easy setup
  • Solid design
  • Two-year warranty
  • No Wi-Fi router or VoIP telephone adapter
  • No link aggregation
  • Some latency issues

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TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 TC-7620

A Flexible and Easy to Use Cable Modem

tp-link docsis 3.0 tc-7620 1
People are attracted to different things and the same thing goes for customers. Some are looking for top-notch performance, while others are looking for good flexibility and more affordable options, and TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 TC-7620 cable modem fits perfectly into the second roll.

It offers great compatibility (it works with Windows, Linux, and Mac), DOCSIS 3.0 function, with 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels bonding channels and provides decent, but not impressive maximum download speed of 680Mbps and maximum upload speed of 143Mbps.

Equally important, TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 TC-7620 is fully certified and works with Spectrum, Cox, Xfinity, Suddenlink, Mediacom, and many other operators, and it offers ease of use that just adds to its overall great value for the money.

As such, TP-Link DOCSIS 3.0 TC-7620 is among the best cable modems out there, although it isn’t without issues, like not-that-great quality control and the more problematic tendency to overheat. However, if you are after a solid overall quality and performance, this is probably the best deal you will find anywhere.

  • Good compatibility
  • Two-year warranty
  • Simple to use
  • Runs hot
  • Not the best quality control

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Linksys CM3008

A Modest Performing, but Highly Reliable Cable Modem

linksys cm3008 2
When it appeared on the market, Linksys CM3008 was one of the more expensive and better-performing cable modems. Nowadays, however, this modem is more oriented towards the entry-level segment of the market and it offers only the basic stuff that is enough only for modest users looking for reliability and a familiar “face” rather than high-performance.

Linksys CM3008 is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, and many other providers. Nevertheless, with its maximum download speed of 343Mbps and maximum upload speed of 120Mbps, its performance is more mediocre, but there are still numerous users that would appreciate it and use its DOCSIS functionality and its 8×4 bonded channels in the best possible way.

Linksys CM3008 comes with a one-year warranty and has a bit outdated Intel Puma 5 chipset inside. However, its reliability is pretty amazing. Therefore, if a trusted connection is your major concern, Linksys CM3008 is certainly the best cable modem option you will find.

  • Affordable
  • Easy setup
  • Reliable
  • Basic
  • Modest performance

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NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500

A Perfect Mainstream Cable Modem

netgear cable modem cm500 1
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 is a decent, but not high-performing device that won’t impress you, but won’t disappoint you either.

It supports a maximum download speed of 686Mbps and maximum upload speed of 132Mbps, it offers very good compatibility and can work with both Windows and Mac machines and operate with all the major cable providers like Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and other.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 has a one-year warranty and allows for easy setup and use, but more importantly, it is a real bargain, considering its good overall quality and pretty low price. Moreover, this cable modem is fitted with one Gigabit port for connecting with a PC, or maybe a long-range Wi-Fi router, if you are into that sort of thing and it offers Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) and DOCSIS 3.0 functionality, with its 16×4 channel bonding.

Altogether, NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 has a lot to offer and although it may not be considered the best cable modem out there, it certainly presents one of the better ones that can give you good performance, flexibility and save money at the same time.

  • Easy setup
  • Decent performance
  • Good price
  • Not the greatest reliability

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After reading this guide, you should be more than ready to buy the best cable modem for your computer. We hope you’ll be happy with your choice and improve your overall performance thanks to it!

About author

Miodrag Matović is a tech geek who loves writing about everything related to computers. He’s a graduate graphic designer, but found his passion elsewhere. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family, dance with his wife, and put together new computers.
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