Modems are fundamental gadgets that interface your home to the 5G home internet. Short for MODulator-DEModulator, these flickering boxes get signals from your internet access supplier (ISP) (through a coaxial link, phone line, fibre-optic link, or radio transmissions) and interpret them to Ethernet flags that your processing gadgets can utilize, as well as the other way around. You will require a switch to impart your modem’s internet association with each of your gadgets through an Ethernet link, WiFi signals, or both.
Modems and routers used to be separate devices, but they were used together to create a home network. Today’s technology allows you to combine the functions of both router and modem into one device. Most likely, your ISP will provide you with a modem or combo unit along with your new internet connection. Some may require you to rent or buy a new modem to connect to the internet.
In this case, the fastest modem is essential. There are many options on the market, and it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. This guide will help you choose the best modem to connect to your internet.
Modem renting vs. buying
The most pressing question when you have an internet connection is buying or renting a modem. Modems can be rented from most ISPs, but they can cost between $10 and $15 per month. You can easily offset this cost by buying your equipment. Depending on which device you choose, it can be paid off in a year to two years. When you purchase your equipment, you have the option of choosing your high-speed modem.
This doesn’t mean renting a modem should be a bad idea. Renting is more sensible in certain situations. Renting is a good option if you are moving. You might not be aware of the internet options available in your new area. Renting will allow you to access all of the ISP’s support and repair services, which can be very useful for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
Different types of internet modems
There are many modems, depending on what signal is being translated. These include:
Cable modem: This modem can be used over a cable TV network. Cable modems can be external devices or embedded within set-top boxes that provide channels to your TV.
DSL modem (Digital Subscriber line): This modem connects your devices to the internet via telephone lines.
Gigabit modem (or gigabit router): This modem can handle gigabit Ethernet speeds, and it is perfect for gig plans offered by ISPs.
Satellite modem: These modems receive and send signals from a satellite transceiver.
Top 10 Modems in 2022
The best modem for 100 Mbps data plans is the CM3008 by Linksys. This small device works with the best cable internet providers like Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity. The CM3008 supports eight download channels as well as four upload channels. It can download speeds up to 100 Mbps and upload up to 122 Mbps.
The modem has been certified DOCSIS 3.0 by the industry standard. This certification allows for high-speed data transfers over existing cable lines. The modem is affordable, but it won’t work well with high-speed internet. The device does not support DSL service. This modem comes with a 1-year warranty from Linksys.
The Netgear CM500 is a high-speed internet device that offers a low price and supports fast download speeds. It supports upload speeds up to 132 Mb/s and download speeds up to 680 Mb/s. CM500 can also be used with cable internet providers such as Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity. CM500 is the best choice for your 300 Mbps internet service.
The modem conforms to DOCSIS 3.0 specifications. It features 16 downstream and four upstream channels and a gigabit Ethernet port that can be used for fibre connections.
The device is well-respected for its performance, but some Amazon reviews question its reliability. Netgear’s CM500 model has a one-year warranty that allows you to exchange the equipment if it experiences performance problems.
The DM200 is a great replacement for your rented modem. This equipment works with all major DSL ISPs, including Frontier and CenturyLink. Equipment supports speeds up to 100Mbps. You can protect your devices against cyberattacks by using various security features, such as Port Scan or DoS (Denial of Service).
This modem is ideal for 100 Mbps internet plans. However, the device doesn’t support bonded ADSL or VDSL, which means it won’t work with Verizon, AT&T, and other DSL ISPs that utilize fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology. This modem comes with a 1-year warranty from Netgear.
ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
This modem supports upload speeds up to 240 Mb/s and download speeds up to 1000 Mbps. This Gigabit modem works with the top cable and fiber ISPs, such as Cox, Spectrum Mediacom, Mediacom, and Xfinity.
This modem supports 32 download channels and eight upload channels, compliant with DOCSIS 3.0 standards. The modem is covered by a 2-year warranty and supports IPv6 internet standards. The SB6190 modem allows for seamless HD video streaming and online gaming.
This combo modem/router from TP-Link can handle download speeds up to 343 Mbps and upload speeds up to 143 Mbps. This unit is ideal for cable plans up to 150 Mb/s and will provide wireless speeds up to 300 Mb/s. Compatible with all cable ISPs including Cox, Mediacom and Spectrum, Suddenlink and Xfinity, WOW!, and Cox!
This equipment includes four gigabit Ethernet ports, a firewall, and access control features to ensure network security. This combo unit comes with a 2-year warranty from TP-Link. However, the device does not support high-speed internet plans.
The TC-7620 modem from TP-Link supports up to 300 Mbps high-speed internet connections. This equipment can handle download speeds of up to 680Mbps and upload speeds of up to 143Mbps.
The modem supports IPv6 and has 16 downstream channels and four upstream channels. This provides reliable connectivity for streaming and gaming. A 2-year warranty covers the TC-7620. It is compatible with all cable ISPs, including Cox Mediacom, Spectrum, and Suddenlink.
This powerful gigabit modem by Netgear can support download speeds up to 1Gbps. It is ideal for 1 Gbps internet plans. The CM1000 can be used with Spectrum, Cox, and Xfinity.
The device meets the new industry standard DOCSIS 3.1 specifications. This ensures lightning-fast data transfer to enable seamless HD video streaming and online gaming. One-year warranty on the equipment.
Motorola’s MB7621 modem ticks all the speed, reliability, and price boxes. The device can download and upload at speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (or 246 Mbps). This modem works with the top cable ISPs like Spectrum, Cox, and Xfinity to provide internet speeds of up to 400 Mbps. The device is not compatible with AT&T, Verizon or Century Link, and other DSL and fibre-optic internet providers.
This compact equipment has lightning and power surge circuits to protect against shorts. MB7621 supports IPv6 and conforms to DOCSIS 3.0 specifications. Motorola offers a 2-year warranty on this device.
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
The SB8200 ultimate gigabit modem offers high-speed internet support. This DOCSIS 3.1 device supports 32 download channels and eight upload channels. It can also handle downstream speeds up to 10 Gbps and upstream speeds up to 2 Gbps. This modem is compatible with Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity.
This is the best option for internet service plans starting at 300 Mbps or higher and comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
The Motorola gigabit modem is compatible with ISPs like Sparklight, Cox, and Xfinity. It supports download speeds up to 3.8 Gbps and uploads up to 1 Gbps. This device can be used with internet service plans up to 1 Gbps.
The compact unit is also compliant with DOCSIS 3.1 specifications and supports IPv6 internet standards. The warranty is limited to two years.
Consider these things when selecting a modem
Compatibility with ISPs To ensure compatibility, verify the model with your ISP. Incompatible devices might not be compatible with your service provider or may not work at all.
If your internet connection has lower speeds, you can avoid paying more for a higher-end modem. A gigabit modem is not necessary unless you want to sign up for a gig plan.
Warranty: Make sure the manufacturer provides a warranty to protect you from having to pay for repair costs or replacement. Most reliable manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty on their modems.
Speed: Make sure you check the speed of your modem before you pay.
The bottom line
To get reliable and fast internet connectivity, you need to choose the right modem for your home. The modem can be rented from your ISP, or you could opt to buy your own. This network equipment is more affordable than renting. In most cases, buying the modem will pay for itself in a year. Choosing the right modem for your internet connection is simple: comparing different models against their speed ranges, compatibility with ISPs, and price. To get the best performance for your budget, you should carefully consider these factors.