Hardware

Best Modem Router Combo for You

The best cable modem and router combo give you the best of both worlds. Instead of investing in a cable modem and a router separately, you get both in the same device. Thus it simplifies your home network configuration. At the same time, it saves you a handsome amount every month if you are renting a cable modem from your internet provider.

So, if you are looking for a new wireless router, don’t! Get the best modem router combo instead. These devices give you top-of-the-line DOCSIS cable’s internet speed along with the latest WiFi 6 support. This way, you can take full advantage of all performance your internet connection has to offer without cutting corners.

Below are our hand-picked devices that keep your networking needs all in a single place.

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR is famous for its powerful routers, and this router-modem combo is no exception. Despite a compact (and dare we say futuristic-looking) design, the Nighthawk C7000 packs a punch. Its excellent performance earned it a top spot on our best modem router combo list.

Thanks to 3 internal beamforming antennas and dual-band AC1900 WiFi support; the C7000 can deliver up to 1.3 Gbps on a 5GHz channel throughout a 2500 sqft home. That’s some impressive coverage, to say the least.

Technically, the C7000 is capable of 960 Mbps due to 24 downstream DOCSIS 3.0 channels. But, most ISPs won’t allow going that fast unless you upgrade your modem to DOC SIS 3.1. Even then, the C7000 comes with XFINITY certification for 600 Mbps & Spectrum’s certification for 400 Mbps plans. Therefore, it should be enough to deliver strong performance for all of your needs – including video gaming, streaming, and zoom calls.

What’s more, four Ethernet ports give you plenty of options to plug-in devices that don’t come with WiFi support or in case you need the best possible speed.

However, there are no Mu-MIMO or QoS features. So, if you use a lot of active WiFi devices simultaneously, the performance may get finicky. In that case, check out the fifth option on this list – Netgear Orbi CBK752. It’s much more expensive, though.

Buy Here: Amazon

2. ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2

Arris is a brand that has an excellent reputation for making solid cable modems. Its Surfboard SBG SBG7600AC2 combines with best-in-class WiFi Speed, offering an excellent value modem router combo for the price.

So, what do you get?

It’s a 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem that masterfully handles sub-gigabit internet speeds without dropping speed on any of the connected devices. And not just that, it can handle dual-band WiFi speeds of up to 2350 Mbps across the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

Theoretically, with the SBG7600AC2, you should be able to download a 1.2 GB file within a second. However, as most cable providers don’t offer that high a speed over DOCSIS 3.0, you will get only 650Mbps. The good thing is, you can take full advantage of this speed for browsing, 4k streaming, and 4K gaming, even when multiple devices are sharing the bandwidth.

You can also wire in up to 4 devices that don’t support a WiFi connection. Besides, a USB 2.0 port at the front lets you share files with multiple devices conveniently.

And you can easily get it started with the help of Arris Surfboard Manager software. It offers several parental control options along with McAfee Secure Home Internet for secure networking.

Buy Here: Amazon

3. Motorola MG7700

Motorolla is known for reliable cable modems. This time, the manufacturer has combined the same with an AC1900 dual-band WiFi router, giving you a solid modem router combo for home.

Despite a small and slim design, the MG7700 can deliver a robust wireless performance of 650Mbps throughout a 2000 sqft radius. That’s surprising because there are no external antennas.

In theory, the 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem should be able to hit up to 1 Gbps speed, but most cable providers don’t offer such high bandwidth. Even then, with speeds up to 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 1.3 Gbps on the 5 GHz bands, the MG7700 has enough bandwidth for 4K streaming, multiplayer online gaming, and online calling over Zoom and Facetime at the same time.

There are also 4 ethernet ports at the back to hardwire your gaming consoles or PC for better speed. Unlike the Netgear modem router combos on our list, there is no USB 2.0 port at the front, though. This leaves little room to share files between multiple devices.

Overall, it’s a great modem router combo, but with some caveats. If you are looking for voice support, we recommend its upgraded telephony-enabled model, the MG7000, instead.

Buy Here: Amazon

4. Netgear C6220

If you are looking for a cheap router-modem combo, then the Netgear C6220 is right up your alley. For spending less than the yearly fee of a cable ISP, the Netgear C6220 provides enough coverage to meet the everyday needs of a small home or apartment.

Its dual-band AC1200 WiFi and DOCSIS 3.0 modem offer to speed up to 340 Mbps.

Moreover, it can handle up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz side of the spectrum. Sure, it’s not much, but it’s more than enough for 4K streaming and video, if not more than 3 devices share the bandwidth resources.

Look elsewhere if you want more coverage as the Netgear C6220 covers only 1200 sqft.

Perhaps the biggest compromise comes in the form of limited wired connectivity options. There are only 2 Ethernet ports at the back. Therefore, if you use more than two wired connections, you have to invest in a network switch.

On the plus side, it has XFINITY and Spectrum certification for internet plans of up to 200Mbps. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about any compatibility issues when using different devices simultaneously.

Buy Here: Amazon

5. Netgear Orbi CBK752

Got money to splurge and want to get the best modem router combo for large homes?

The Orbi mesh systems are considered the best WiFi routers for delivering reliable coverage across penthouses, bungalows, or large housing spaces. So, Netgear has come up with a premium version of their router lineup for cable internet users – the Orbi CBK752. It’s a no-nonsense modem router combo that takes all the cherished features of the Orbi routers and combines them with a high-performance DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Because of its WiFi 6 and multi-Gb support, the Orbi CBK752 can deliver the fastest speeds throughout the busiest of living spaces. To get more specific, two of the Orbi units provide up to 5000 sqft coverage. Add more satellite units, and you can even extend its range to 7500 sqft. Impressive, right?

And that’s not all.

The dedicated backhaul WiFi 6 channel ensures your connection remains stable and superfast irrespective of your location within that radius. You also get 4 Ethernet ports to hardwire other devices.

And if you are worried about network security, the Netgear’s Armor suite holds you back with its malware and anti-virus protection. But you have to pay a recurring fee to take full advantage of the software once the free trial expires.

Buy Here: Amazon

Best Modem Router Combo – Buyer’s Guide

When shopping for the router-modem combo, here’s what you should keep in mind to get the most value out of your purchase.

Compatibility
The first thing to check is its compatibility with your internet services provider. While most modem/router combos available in the market work with cable internet providers such as Spectrum, Xfinity, and Cox, only a few work with Frontier or CenturyLink. Usually, every ISP has a list of compatible modem router combos on their website. If not, you can always google and check compatibility from third-party websites or user forums.

Internet Speed
Do you use a gigabit plan? Make sure the modem router combo you are going for supports the super fast speed. In this case, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem will be fine, which provides up to 1Gbps downstream. However, if you want to get an even better modem, go for the DOCSIS 3.1 modem, which provides a theoretical max throughput of 10Gbps. Many modern router-modem combos can handle fast speed, inexpensive or outdated devices may not have the necessary protocols to support your requirements. Sure, you can still use such a device, but the extra bandwidth your plan provides will just go to waste.

Available Channels and Speed
The actual performance of a modem router combo is gauged by the number of channels it supports and the speed each channel offers (downstream as well as upstream). For instance, a 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 combo means there are 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels. Moreover, as it’s a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, each download channel has a max capacity of 43 Mbps. Each upstream channel is capable of 31 Mbps. But, if you are going for a DOCSIS 3.1 combo, don’t worry about the fewer available channels, as each of these channels is capable of handling even faster data speeds.

WiFi Coverage
Get a combination that provides reliable coverage throughout your living space. If you live in a small house, don’t purchase a long-range WiFi combo. It will obviously be expensive. Of course, if you think you will be moving to a bigger place or already live in a bigger home, then get a better unit. Preferably a device with external antennas and beamforming support will suffice. It would be best to look into mesh WiFi Systems like the Netgear Orbi CBK752 to get solid coverage throughout your area.

Final Thoughts

Thankfully, because of the advancements in technology, opting for the best modem router combo doesn’t mean compromising on either the router or the modem. Big router manufacturers like Motorolla and Netgear have already started installing the latest DOCSIS cable modems into the top of their line routers. Therefore, a router-modem combo is the best way to get a new router as well as a modem. It will cut your yearly cable modem budget and leave you with fewer devices to manage. That’s all for now. Thank you for reading, and good luck with your purchase.

About the author

Syed Asad

Asad is passionate about all things tech. He brings you reviews of the latest gadgets, devices, and computers