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Buying your own Internet modem isn’t just a great way to avoid rental fees from your ISP; choosing a better model than what your cable company offers allows you to unlock better internet and network performance. And if you’re paying for blazing-fast Internet speeds, running one of the best cable modems can unlock performance you’d otherwise waste on a slower model.

Of course, you don’t need to buy the most expensive model. Some (like our beloved Motorola MG7700 ) double as routers and come with dual-band Wi-Fi 5 built right in, which is probably all the networking hardware you’ll ever need. Alternatively, for those looking for a cheap and cheerful modem to get you out of your ISP rental package, the Netgear CM500 is a very smart and popular choice.

Whatever 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 |: Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 5, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz | Phone booth. No

The best: Average households who want a quality modem/router.

The Motorola MG7700 is one of the most popular third-party modems you can buy, thanks to its combination of great features, its ability to work as both a modem and a router to simplify your Internet connection, and its relatively affordable price. While most modern modems tout their ability to provide Gigabit+ Internet speeds, it’s not something everyone has access to, and you don’t need to pay for a feature you can’t use. However, that doesn’t mean the MG7700 is slow. It can provide Internet speeds of up to 800 Mbps, and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast network data transfer and zero Internet congestion.

It also has built-in Wi-Fi 5 support, which again isn’t the fastest standard, but it’s more than fast for everyday web browsing and video streaming. It is supported by most internet service providers and has useful additional router features such as parental controls and guest network support. You can always add your own router later if you want to improve Wi-Fi performance or coverage, but for most Internet users, the Motorola MG7700 offers everything you need for the foreseeable future.

The sides.

  • 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
  • Supports fast internet speed up to 800 Mbps

Against.

  • DOCSIS 3.1 support is missing
  • Unable to configure Gigabit Internet connections


DOCSIS version: 3.1 Supported internet speed: 1 Gbit/s | Ethernet ports. 2x Gigabit |: Wi-Fi: No | Phone booth. No

The best: Enjoy Gigabit Internet speed at a reasonable 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 the hundreds of dollars that high-end models will cost. This modem does not have router functionality, so you will have to budget for a router as well. especially if you want to connect to the Internet wirelessly, since this model does not have any kind of Wi-Fi support. However, it works with most internet service providers 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 gives you future proofing and ensures you’ll be able to enjoy the fastest connection for years to come. The actual modem is compact and easy to tuck away if you don’t want it easily accessible, and setup is quick and easy.

The sides.

  • Affordable Gigabit Internet speed support
  • Future proofed with DOCSIS 3.1 support
  • Quick setup

Against.

  • You must purchase a separate router
  • Gigabit+ speed support for high-end variants is missing

DOCSIS version: 3.0 | Supported internet speed: 400 Mb/s | Ethernet ports. 1x Gigabit |: Wi-Fi: No | Phone booth. No

The best: Avoid renting a modem or upgrading your network on the cheap.

The CM500 is a great modem for anyone looking to get out 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. : Internet access. It comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port and setup is quick and easy. It’s also a small device, so you don’t have to take up a lot of space in your home for it.

However, 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 of eliminating rental fees. If you also want a little better performance, there are more expensive models that give you 500 Mbps or even 1 Gbps download speeds, which will be great for anyone upgrading to gigabit internet in the near future.

The sides.

  • Very affordable price
  • Supports up to 400 Mbps Internet
  • Built in Gigabit Ethernet

Against.

  • No gigabit internet support
  • No router features

DOCSIS version: 3.1 Supported internet speed: 1200 Mb/s | Ethernet ports. 4x Gigabit |: Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 5 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz |: Phone booth. No

The best: High speed internet with 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 itself in over a year of modem rental fees, and with that investment you get a router and modem in one, with Wi-Fi 5 support, multiple Gigabit Ethernet connections, and support for Gigabit and faster. Internet connection up to 1200 Mbps. It’s compatible with most major Internet service providers and comes with a two-year warranty to give you peace of mind.

The router’s features aren’t cutting-edge, but they’re still strong, with Wi-Fi 5 speeds, beamforming support for Wi-Fi signal strength and coverage around your home. It also includes quality of service (QoS) features to prioritize latency-sensitive traffic, such as gaming, and has parental controls so you can block what kids watch on the internet. It’s a bit more expensive than most of the other modems on this list, but its extra performance and powerful feature set make it one of the best modems you can buy today.

The sides.

  • Gigabit+ Internet speed is supported
  • Built-in Wi-Fi 5 and router function
  • A two-year warranty is included as standard

Against.

  • Unable to manage multi-gigabit internet speed
  • Expensive

DOCSIS version: 3.1 Supported internet speed: 2500 Mbps | Ethernet ports. 1x 2.5 Gb |: Wi-Fi: No | Phone booth. No

The best: Pairing with a high-speed router for the fastest possible internet.

If you live in an area with multi-gigabit Internet access and want to use it, you’ll have to pay for the privilege. Fortunately, with modems like the Netgear Nighthawk CM2000, you don’t have to pay too to get a lot. 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 be unlocking some of the world’s fastest Internet speeds. With speeds of up to 2500 Mbps (that’s 2.5 Gbps), this modem will help you download faster, stream in higher quality, and bring more people online than almost any other modem. It’s about as fast and capable as it gets.

This modem is too much for most users, but if you want to download files super fast, you want minimal latency for competitive gaming, or you 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 few modems that can match the CM2000. It also has a sleek, unique-looking design, and if you need to be able to connect a phone to a modem, there’s also a dual phone line option.

The sides.

  • Ultra fast
  • Supports 2.5 Gigabit network
  • Elegant design

Against.

  • Expensive
  • Overkill for most internet users

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