Spectrum is one of the most well-known modem brands you can find in the market. However, there are a number of models that you can choose from. That said, it’s best to find the one with features that suit your needs best.
So how exactly do you know which one is the best for you? First, you need to know about the modems. You also need to have a list of the possible Spectrum modems to buy. We have all of that in our guide below.
Benefits of Having Your Own Spectrum Cable Modem
The rental fee for Spectrum modems is more affordable compared to other internet providers. You will not need to pay to use their modem, but you need to pay $5 every month to use the built-in router. It may not seem too much. However, when you total that for a year, you need to pay $60 every year or $120 in 2 years without having ownership of the modem. What you need to remember is you should be able to own a device if you are paying for it.
All rental modems have limitations in performance because these are not equipped with the features that people now need. You need the best cable modem from Spectrum if you are planning to play games online or stream heavily. It can handle these connection demands better. Therefore, if you want a performing cable modem, you ought to purchase one instead of using mediocre modems from Spectrum.
If you plan to use your network to browse online, it does not require much efficiency. Therefore, a cable modem from Spectrum might be enough. You are better off getting your own modem if you want better packet latency, better security, and overall better features. Having one can meet your requirements. A generic modem might not have the features you need.
How Are Cable Modem and Modem Router Different from Each Other?
It is not a surprise if you are torn between purchasing a cable modem or a modem router combo. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It is hard to determine which is better because it all depends on your needs and how you want your modem to function.
The advantages of a cable modem alone are that you can customize it according to your needs, update the firmware more easily, and you do not need to replace the modem and router at the same time if one of them becomes out-of-date. For modem routers, combo modems are easier to install, more affordable, and saves space.
The Best Spectrum Approved Modems in 2021
MB7621 Cable Modem by Motorola
Many Spectrum users will agree that the best modem for Spectrum internet is this modem from Motorola. This cable modem does not only work with Spectrum but also with other cable providers. Moreover, it has a very good design and is efficient.
This Motorola modem has the classic Motorola look because of its upright tower structure. Therefore, it has good venting preventing the unit from becoming hot. It is also compact, so it is easy to hide and will not eat up a lot of space.
It comes with a 1 Gigabit Ethernet port to connect your wireless router, computer, or television. If you plan to use it for audio calls, you have to keep in mind that it does not have a telephone jack. The speed can reach up to 650 Mbps, which means it has good speed.
This is ideal for networks that have heavy streaming, such as playing games or streaming for movies on the Internet. You can even do more than one streaming at once. This is beneficial if you have one device or person that needs good speeds at the same time.
You will not have any problem installing it since setting it up is very efficient and fast. The instruction guide is easy to follow as well. It has a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. You may think that a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is better, but the latter can complete the job. You should not worry about security since it has a Broadcom chip instead of the Puma chipset.
- Powered with an integrated digital tuner
- The DOCSIS 3.0 modem is fast
- Compatibility is great
- Equipped with 5 indicative LEDs
- Has 24×8 channel feature to reach a speed limit
- It has a single Ethernet port
- Not recommended for those who have Gig ISP plans
CM-32 Cable Modem wi-fi Router by Asus
Are you still paying a rental fee for your cable modem from your cable service provider? YIf yes, you should consider this cable modem wi-fi router from Asus. It is compatible with many cable network providers in the US, which includes Spectrum and Comcast XFINITY, among many others.
This cable modem has 32×8 channel bonding. Moreover, it can support any cable internet service provider. The download and upload speeds are 1.3 Gbps for download and 1 Gbps steady upload. You also get fast cable internet and wi-fi in one box. Therefore, this is great if you like watching videos, downloading, or playing games.
Its DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem router is also reliable because it has a decent range and is very sensitive. The antenna design is 4-transmit and 4-receive. It gives a better experience because of its AiRadar beamforming feature. This is great if there are many devices in your house because it has a MIMO feature. It is your perfect cloud in your house.
You will also get it pre-configured with a special SSID and password, which you can see at the bottom. It is a smart device with an easy user interface and manages traffic well. If you have kids, you will be happy to know that it has parental controls.
- Hassle-free set up with Spectrum
- Good signal
- Extremely fast
- Reset is needed every hour
- No wall-mounting holes
- Disconnections may happen from time to time
Surfboard SB6190 Cable Modem by Arris
This modem from Arris is one of the best cable modems. Why? That is because of its great speed, so you can save more. The cable modem utilizes DOCSIS 3.0, making it ideal for high-speed internet packages. The download is steady at 1.4 Gbps and more than 250 Mbps for upload. Setting it up is easy. You simply need to log in your credentials to the portal of your internet service provider and activate. In minutes, you will see your modem up and running.
This Arris modem-only device is compatible with many service providers in the US, such as Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, and Cox. It comes with a single Gigabit Ethernet port that you can use to connect easily to your wi-fi router. Therefore, even if you do not have a gigabit plan, it will not be a problem.
Moreover, you can watch all the TV shows you want and play high-definition games on your laptop without any connection problem because of its 32×8 channel feature. Aside from playing VR games and streaming 4k Ultra HD videos, you can also do many things at once. You will also get a 2-year warranty with this modem. Another benefit it has is you can manage it by downloading the mobile app. Because it has a wi-fi manager, parental control, and setup wizard, you have complete control of your modem.
- Great with high-speed Internet
- Hardware expenses are lessened
- Dependable and consistent
- Setting up is easy
- 2-3 users can use at the same time
- Because it uses Puma 6 chip, it could cause latency
- Can lag while playing online games
Surfboard SBG6900AC wi-fi Cable Modem by Arris
This DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and wi-fi router device is one of the most recent products from Arris. Other features you can enjoy are 4-port Gigabit Ethernet ports and a 1900 Mbps wi-fi router. This cable modem is versatile. It is equipped with the most powerful channel modem in the Surfboard line with 16×4 channel bonding. Therefore, you can save up on your monthly bills because you have the latest technology in your home network.
Major cable internet service providers such as Charter Bright House and Xfinity. are compatible with this Arris cable modem. You can enjoy watching videos with less buffering and no interruptions. When you play with your friends, you will not experience any lag.
It has the best speeds, with 686 Mbps for a download and 131 Mbps for an upload. You can save a lot with its various functions. You also just need to plug it, and then you can start using it. It has a 1-year limited period warranty on labor and parts and compatible with many OS.
- Wonderful wi-fi coverage
- Great speeds
- Dependable when you play or stream
- Reliable customer support
- Easy to install
- Poor DNS
- Restarting is needed regularly
- Continuously buffers
- Not user–friendly interface
- Settings are hidden
AC1600 Cable Modem by Netgear
This modem from Netgear is a modern cable modem and wi-fi router in one. It works with big cable services in the US, such as Spectrum, Comcast, and Cox. It is great to play videos on streaming platforms such as Twitch, playing games with huge bandwidth online, and downloading large files from the Internet.
You can use the Netgear cable modem with a 2-Gigabit Ethernet port for a wired switch and an AC1600 wi-fi router. Moreover, you will get to enjoy dusk-band wi-fi speeds, a 680 Mbps download speed and an upload speed of 122 Mbps. Therefore, if you gave a plan of up to 300 Mbps, this Netgear modem is great for you. Because it almost has the same latest DOCSIS 3.0 platform, you get 16 times faster internet.
You will be able to access Netgear Genie App, content filtering functions, and parental controls with this modem. Managing the cable modem is made easier through your smartphone. It is best to experience having your own modem and router to see how different it is compared to renting one.
Another feature that you will enjoy is the guest network. When you have visitors, you can entertain them more with a good connection yet still be able to monitor what they surf or download and how much speed they use. Using Gigabit Ethernet, you can connect your computer or gaming devices and enjoy much faster internet speed making it ideal for medium to large areas.
- Reputable brand
- Amazing coverage range
- Easy installation
- Ideal for rural areas
- Tends to be unresponsive frequently
- Wi-fi signals often drop
N300 Modem and Router Combo by TP-Link
Anyone, including beginners, can easily install this modem and router combo from TP-Link. TP-Link’s modem router package has easy-to-understand instructions, so all you need to do is to plug it. This is one of the best user-friendly modem router combos you will find. That is because of its decent interface.
You can have a separate network for your visitors because of the modem. You can also limit the amount of data your visitors can use. Lagging will not be an issue because of its 8×4 channel bonding.
On the website, you can see the open pathways, DCIM numbers, and others. The TP-Link modem router has a download speed of 342 Mbps and 143 Mbps upload speed which is good.
The TP-Link modem router combo works well even when you are watching on Netflix, watching videos on YouTube, and uploading large files. You just need to keep in mind that this still depends on your internet service provider. One problem you might encounter is that you can be disconnected from the wi-fi after a few days.
- Installation is easy because of the user interface
- Has a different network for visitors
- Has no external antennas included
- You need to reset the modem often
- Internet speed is slower in wi-fi compared to a wired connection
- Can only be positioned vertically
C3000 N300 wi-fi Cable Modem by Netgear
You will get the most out of your wireless network when you have a modem with a dual-band feature. There are options for 2 signals. For each of the signals, you can have a password. This Netgear cable modem has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band connection options.
The 2.4 GHz is a bit slower because this is the more commonly used signal. The 5Ghz band connection is faster, but the range is more limited. Moreover, the data flow is smooth because of the 8×4 channel bonding.
This Docsis 3.0 modem has an upload speed of 340 Mbps and 300 Mbps download, which is considerably fast. If the wi-fi connection is overloaded, there can be a long disconnection that can last for 5 minutes.
Setting it up on the website is quite easy. You also get parental control and a separate network for visitors. However, one thing you might not like about it is that you cannot connect this modem to a VPN.
- Great speed
- The range is acceptable
- Installation is a breeze
- Only comes with 2 LAN ports
- Wi-fi can get overloaded fast
- A little pricier
Surfboard SBG6580 N600 Cable Modem by Arris
This Docsis 3.0 modem cable from Arris is another great option if you want to play videos, browse the Internet, and stream videos. The setup and installation of this Docsis 3.0 modem can be easily done. You will not have a problem running many devices with its 8×4 channel feature. It is sturdy and long-lasting because of the quality of the material.
The download and upload speeds are consistent. The modem router combo has 342 Mbps download and 131 Mbps upload. You can also save a lot when you opt for this modem from Arris.
However, this modem for Spectrum has a lot of websites blocked by default. When browsing, you have to adjust the default security to low so that the modem can recognize it. It can be a little complicated, and you might need to contact Arris.
Another problem is the connection range. It can be a bit limited, and the signal constantly becomes weak. Even though it becomes slow, it is still decent when used at home. You might also need to restart it when the page takes some time to load.
- Installation is easy
- The interface is user-friendly
- Durable and long-lasting
- The range can be limited
- Restart is needed from time to time
Key Things To Look For When Buying Spectrum Modem
Before you research the specifications of the modem you want, you should check if the modem is compatible with Spectrum. It will be a problem if the modem you get is not compatible since it will be impossible to make it work. Routers are more versatile than modems in terms of compatibility. Therefore, it is best to choose a cable modem for Spectrum.
Ideally, you get a modem that states that it works with Spectrum. In case you got a modem that should be compatible with Spectrum but not working, you can call Spectrum to check what the problem is.
Upload and Download
The speeds indicated can be enticing. However, you have to keep in mind that this can be a combined speed than the speed you need to know. When you play games or stream videos, what you need to check is the download speed and not the combined speed.
Normally, if the download speeds are good, the upload speeds will be satisfactory as well. In checking the speed of a modem, it is recommended to look if the speed is a combined one or download speed only.
When looking at Spectrum compatible cable modems, security is one of the important considerations. A virus, an attack, or anything malicious can easily get into your network because of the various types of malware that exist all over the world. Your modem can be the first line of defense.
One factor you can look at is the chipset you are using. You may want to veer away from Puma chipsets since it has been reported that these chipsets have serious security problems. You can also check the kind of firewall the modem has to ensure that your network is protected.
When it comes to picking the ideal Spectrum modem, the number of Ethernet ports is also important. Many modems only have a single Ethernet port. This is enough if you only want to connect your modem to your router or computer. If you have 2 Ethernet ports, you can connect your router and connect your gaming console, computer, or television all at once. The number of ports might not be that important if you do not plan to stream many videos in your network.
The Difference between DOCSIS 3.0 vs. DOCSIS 3.1 Modems
When you read about cable modems, you will normally see them labeled either as DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1. However, if you see a modem lower than this, you better not consider it. The DOCSIS 3.0 mode has a minimum of 4 channels so that there will be better traffic flow in your network.
DOCSIS 3.1 modems have their channel size increased. Therefore, you can easily have a large data amount at once. Moreover, DOCSIS 3.1 modems are made for the future. You can expect it to handle better internet speed development in the future.
The problem with DOCSIS 3.0 is that they are limited to the available speed now. If speeds become more developed in the future, they can become obsolete. DOCSIS 3.1 modems will now have this problem. However, DOCSIS 3.0 modems are still ideal for the internet speed needs today.
DOCSIS 3.1 modems also have better security, better utilization of power, and lesser packet latency compared to DOCSIS 3.0 modems. Packet latency is an important consideration if you need good voice quality during VoIP calls and play games.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Spectrum modems affect Internet speed?
The Spectrum modem you use can greatly affect the overall Spectrum internet speed. For instance, if you use an old or low-tier modem with high-speed internet, you can still browse the Internet. However, you will not enjoy the best connection speed that Spectrum promises.
Do I have to buy a modem router combo or a modem alone is okay?
Technically, you do not need a router if you have a modem. If you are asking about practicality, then you need a modem and a router. You can only connect a modem to a single device. If you have a router, your Internet can be accessed from many devices at once.
Is a Spectrum modem with 200 Mbps enough?
If you plan to use it for browsing the web, checking your social media accounts, and other basic tasks online, an internet speed of 200 Mbps will be enough. However, a 400 Mbps speed is recommended for data-related tasks such as downloading photos and videos.
Finally, you have a better understanding of Spectrum modems and the different modems suited for them. When buying one, you could consider the factors given from the buying. Depending on what you want, the expenses can be high.
Nevertheless, paying for a modem one time is better than paying a yearly rental fee. Another problem with renting a modem is contacting a service provider. Please keep in mind that you choose the right modem based on your needs and would allow you to browse more easily. There are a lot of modems in the market, but the modems listed here are some of the best.