Nonetheless, while it's nice to invest in technology for the future, it will be a while before you're likely to need Wi-Fi 6 in your home, or really even be able to fully take advantage of it. It receives a data signal from the cable provider via a coaxial cable running from a nearby network node to the device. You can choose to create a LAN without Internet access. However, since the 2.4GHz frequency range is also used for a lot of other things, including cordless phones, walkie-talkies, garage door openers, and baby monitors, it's a pretty crowded place. If you're considering a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem/router combo, don't be scared by the lower number of channels, however. They began writing for Lifewire in January 2018, but you can also find their work on TechRadar. Motorola MT7711 24X8 Cable Modem/Router with Two Phone Ports, DOCSIS 3.0 Modem, and AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router, for Comcast XFINITY Internet and Voice 4.4 out of 5 stars 2,548 … If the cable modem/router combo that you're renting from your ISP isn't meeting your needs in terms of Wi-Fi range or performance you'll end up needing a standalone router anyway, and if you're going to go down that road you can just as easily purchase a router that already includes a cable modem for about the same amount of money and lose the monthly rental fee in the process. It's one of the first modem/router combos to include a built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, so it not only works with all of the major cable providers right out of the box, including Xfinity by Comcast, Cox, and Spectrum, but supports the kind of broadband speeds that were once the exclusive domain of fibre connections, with download performance up to 1Gbps. While you may never have heard the name among router brands, when it comes to cable modems Arris is actually one of the oldest names in the business, with a wide array of small and unobtrusive cable modems. Our testing demonstrates that the MG7700 can handle cable services with speeds of up to 1Gbps and also includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, so you can hardwire your PC or gaming console into it if the 802.11ac speeds aren't cutting it for you. So ditch the rental cable modem and check out our collection of the best cable modem/router combos to give you the best performance for your broadband connection. However, when buying a modem/router combo, you also need to consider the router side of the equation, since you'll want to make sure that you can get the maximum speeds that your ISP and cable modem are offering you. This is why tri-band routers have higher speed ratings. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. In fact, getting the best cable modem/router combo can be a much better way to deal with high-speed cable plans—you’re guaranteed that you’ll have no problems getting maximum performance between the router and the cable modem with no bottlenecks since they’re the same device. Compatible with most major cable providers—as long as you don't need bundled voice services, that is—the C6250 is built with enough speed and coverage to more than easily handle the streaming and surfing needs of smaller families. Remember that the modem is your network’s translator, while the router is more like an air-traffic controller, communicating with the “planes,” keeping order, and making sure everyone is safe. via either an Ethernet cable or WiFi signal. A cable modem/router combo means that you only have to manage and configure a single device and there you won't have to worry about any potential compatibility issues. If you find yourself in this situation, however, we recommend checking with your ISP before purchasing a new cable modem/router combo, as not all ISPs allow you to use two cable modems on the same service. Netgear’s Nighthawk C7000 offers solid wireless performance in a surprisingly slim aesthetic that doesn't look like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, since it packs all of the antennas on the inside rather than letting them protrude in every direction. The additional 5GHz band won't double your performance for a single Wi-Fi 5 device either, as it can only use one band at a time. Since a cable modem/router will replace your actual cable modem, you'll want to pay attention to the actual cable standards it supports to make sure that it’s compatible with your provider and that you’re getting the maximum performance from your internet service plan. Plus, enjoy the most in-home coverage and the control you need for the ultimate WiFi experience. While the CAX80 doesn’t come cheap, when you consider that it could very well be the only cable modem/router combo you ever need to buy it may well be worth the higher price of admission, especially when you factor in what you’ll be saving on rental fees. So if you're looking to stop paying to rent your cable modem, and you're in the market for a new Wi-Fi router as well, a cable modem/router combo can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Keep in mind, though, that this is a second 5GHz channel, so it will do absolutely nothing for your 2.4GHz devices. The modem connects your home to the Internet, while a router creates the network inside your house. Each channel offers a fixed speed according to the DOCSIS standard that's being used. … Gig Eth (4) USB Host Port. ", "The Netgear C3700 is a sleek and affordable option that provides all the connectivity and more of a rental modem. Rent yours at checkout. "Even with our extreme 250Mbps internet connection, the modem was able to keep up during even the busiest times." ", "The first modem router combo to combine blazing fast DOCSIS 3.1 speeds with ultimate Wi-Fi 6 performance. As the name implies, a tri-band router offers a third band, in the form of a second 5GHz band, to help separate your high-performance devices to reduce congestion. To make sure that you’re ready to take advantage of these speeds, the CAX80 also features a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port that can be used to connect a single PC or gaming rig for the ultimate in performance, or better yet a downstream hub or switch to share that bandwidth across multiple devices. However, Motorola brings its strong background in radio technology to product some surprisingly solid Wi-Fi routers, especially considering that they don't sprout large antenna arrays. Perfect for an apartment, office, or even a medium-sized home, the C6250 will keep every device connected and ready for streaming without any lag or buffering. Learn about setting up and managing your CenturyLink High-Speed Internet modem and router.! Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our ... Modems and Routers Search. At this point, the very leading edge standard is DOCSIS 3.1, which can provide a theoretical maximum throughput of 10Gbps. Jesse Hollington is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing about technology and three decades of experience in information technology and networking. Just because you have a wireless router doesn't mean you necessarily want to be giving up on wired connectivity, especially if you have a fast cable ISP connection. Working with plans up to 300 Mpbs, it will give you up to 1500 square feet of wireless coverage for 25 devices. NETGEAR Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo C6250 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including X… Some ISP-supplied modem/router combos don't even let you fully disable their router features, which can make it even more of a hassle to add your own standalone router into the mix. Modem router combos conveniently combine an internet modem and Wi-Fi router into an all-in-one device, thus making it a WiFi networking essential. A modem is your gateway to the internet—a cable, fiber optic, or telephone line comes through your neighborhood, to your house, and connects to your modem.The modem translates the … Like Arris, Motorola is a household name in cable modems, and has logically extended into offer units with built-in Wi-Fi routers as well. In addition to saving money, you'll also end up with an integrated solution that's far easier than trying to figure out how to bypass the router that you ISP has already provided you with. The actual performance of a cable modem is determined by the number of channels that it supports, and this is usually expressed as the number of download channels by the number of upload channels. If you have a device that was not provided by AT&T, please refer to your … On the other hand, it doesn't include a telephone jack, so you wont be able to connect any phone services to the router, which could be a problem if your bundle includes voice. Even the most basic Wi-Fi routers will cover an apartment or smaller home without any serious challenges, but if you live in a larger home, you'll want to pick something up that offers external antennas with beamforming support, or maybe even look into a mesh Wi-Fi system. A modem connects your home network to the internet. Keep in mind, however, that these ratings represent the maximum total throughput for all of the devices on your network, which is the reason that these higher numbers are so important. ", "A powerful 24x8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and AC1900 Wi-Fi router in an unobtrusive package. A cable modem and WiFi router are the heart and brain of your home network. https://www.lifewire.com/best-cable-modem-router-combos-to-buy-4082541 On the Wi-Fi side, a cable modem/router combo works the same as any other wireless router, meaning you'll be choosing from the same Wi-Fi standards and frequencies, such as 802.11n and 802.11ac, which have recently been redesignated as Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5, respectively, in order to make it easier for consumers to understand the relationship between them. An Xfinity Internet modem + WiFi router in one, designed to deliver enhanced coverage and the benefits of xFi, our best WiFi experience.. Netgear Nighthawk C7000 X4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router, Best Design: This means that they operate on two separate frequency bands—2.4GHz and 5GHz. "A great little modem/router combo that provides what most users need without the extra frills. 20 Mbps. On the other end of the spectrum, a 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which is the fastest currently available, will give you download speeds of 1,376Mbps and upload speeds of 248Mbps, assuming your ISP supports that many DOCSIS 3.0 channels, although we noted earlier, most don't. Similarly, older Wi-Fi 4 routers offer similar ratings, starting with the letter N instead. Hence the architects of Wi-Fi decided to begin using the 5GHz frequency range in order to avoid these problems, and as an added bonus, higher frequencies also offer faster throughput. With DOCSIS 3.1 support, the CAX80 is ready to give you full gigabit speeds and beyond, with two downstream and two upstream OFDM channels offering download speeds of up to 3.78Gbps. The other thing that's important to understand is that Wi-Fi 5 routers are almost always at least dual-band routers. However, a router doesn’t need to connect to a modem to function. Set up is also a snap thanks to Netgear's easy user interface, so you don't need to be a network engineer to get up and running, although power users who want to get into the more technical settings still can. ", Get the Latest Tech News Delivered Every Day, Lifewire uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Combining the cable modem and the router in a single device gives you one less piece of equipment to worry about managing, and many can offer even tighter integration with your cable service as well as improved security and performance since you don't have to worry about whether your router will actually talk to your cable modem properly, which can especially be a challenge if your still relying on the cable modem that your ISP provides. The 2.4GHz band is the most common Wi-Fi frequency, and it's been used for over 20 years. Unfortunately, this means you'll still have to keep paying for your rental modem, but you'll get all of the other advantages of an integrated cable/modem router combo. When you connect to Wi-Fi, you’re really connecting to your router, which forwards traffic between the internet … On the Wi-Fi side, the SBG7600AC2 offers dual-band AC2350 speeds across both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands with enough range for a small-to-medium-sized home, so it's more than adequate for streaming Netflix and even gaming for single users and small families, and there are also four Gigabit Ethernet ports if Wi-Fi congestion is a problem. If you’re looking for the ultimate in future-proof cable modem and router technology, Netgear’s Nighthawk CAX80 has you covered—it’s the first modem/router combo that combines the newest and fastest DOCSIS 3.1 cable standards with advanced 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 support, giving you the most advanced technology available in both the modem and the router. Plus, it comes equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet ports for hardwiring in a PC, smart TV, or game console, plus a USB port that can be used for sharing a printer or hard drive. Setting it up is also a breeze—just unplug your old modem and plug everything into the C3700 and you're ready to go. Knowing how the blinking boxes plugged into your wall work can help you to get the Internet up and running again the next time there’s a power outage or connection disruption. There’s also support for 802.3ad link aggregation so you can combine two of the four Gigabit Ethernet ports into a single 2Gbps link, and of course the high-speed 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 performance will ensure that your wireless devices are also getting maximum throughput, even on the busiest home networks. Jesse Hollington is a tech writer with 10+ years' experience. For example, a dual-band AC1900 router often provides 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz side, and an AC5400 tri-band router will divvy that up even further, perhaps offering 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and splitting the rest between the two 5GHz channels. DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 or higher devices are required for all new Cox High Speed Internet … To get the fastest possible speeds, you'll need to invest in a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem." … Netgear Nighthawk C7800 X4S DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Router, Best for Voice Services: Don't despair if you can't find one, however, as you might be able to continue using your ISP-provided rental modem strictly as your voice gateway alongside a better cable modem/router combo for your actual internet access. In short, your router creates a network between the computers in your home, while your modem connects that network—and thus the computers on it—to the internet. 7 Mbps. It's also important to note that the AC speed ratings on dual-band and tri-band routers refer to the total speeds across all of the bands, which means that you'll definitely never see the maximum throughput from a single device. Select your modem … Once the initial connection to the internet is established, a router enables Wi-Fi access within … Motorola MT7711 Cable Modem/Router with Voice Gateway, Best for Smaller Homes: Modems function as your connection to the internet, harnessing it and bringing it into your house, and routers are the means by which you are able to connect your devices to the internet. A cable modem brings internet connectivity into your home while the best routers distribute that internet connection wirelessly, so that all your devices — laptops, phones, and smart … Actiontec Q1000. If you're looking to take your network performance up to a whole new level, Netgear's Nighthawk C7800 is worth a closer look. You may not think you need an AC1900 router if you only have a 200Mbps internet connection, but remember that if you have a dozen devices using your Wi-Fi at the same time, they're all sharing that bandwidth. So even a 1x1 DOCSIS 3.1 modem can run circles around a 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem, although when running in DOCSIS 3.0 mode, it naturally still has to use the slower channels, so you'll often see the DOCSIS 3.0 channels listed as well, although it's pretty rare to find a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that doesn't support at least 24x8 DOCSIS 3.0 channels. ", "A slim and unobtrusive router with great wireless performance. It's also worth mentioning that although DOCSIS 3.0 technically supports speeds of up to 1Gbps, very few cable ISPs offer much better than 630Mbps on DOCSIS 3.0, so if you want to take advantage of the newer 1Gbps plans, you'll likely need a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem anyway. The router connects to your modem and then to your devices (laptops, smart TVs, printers, etc.) Cable modem router combos are often provided by … However, with today’s technology, new combination modem and router units merge the two devices’ functions into one powerful gadget. Unless you have a fairly basic internet plan, this means you'll want support for relatively modern Wi-Fi standards. Talk to your Internet service provider about your options for the optimum home network connection. Arris' Surfboard SBG7600AC2 is a small but mighty little workhorse that can deliver top performance for all of the the fastest sub-gigabit internet plans of today, but if you want to make sure you're ready to handle the multi-gigabit plans of tomorrow, you'll want to look to Netgear's CAX80, which not only offers the fastest DOCSIS 3.1 speeds available, but also backs them up with advanced 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. 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