If you subscribe to WOW internet, you know that they offer to rent equipment to their subscribers. The equipment includes internet modems for a monthly rental fee of $10. WOW (Wide Open West) modems cannot possibly accommodate all their subscribers’ requirements. It makes more sense for subscribers to buy their own WOW compatible modems, which has numerous benefits.
Benefits of Buying Your Own WOW Compatible Modems
- Saving on Rental Fees
WOW offers various tiers for modem renting, including renting a modem router combo, a beacon, and base, or an entire package with a modem and a beacon. Each tier is priced differently, with renting the modem priced at $10 per month and $120 per year. Their home package is $24.99 per month, translating to $299 annually.
Buying your own best modem for WOW eliminates these monthly rental fees. A modem is an investment. You will pay a substantial amount upfront, but this amount will have paid itself off in a year, and you will, after that save on the monthly rental fees.
- Better Performing Modem
As expected, the modem from WOW is not the best quality, and depending on your WOW internet plan, you may need a Wi fi modem device that best suits your needs. The rental modem might be too basic for your requirements; hence the need to customize and buy your own cable modem.
- Better Coverage
While WOW offers you a beacon package that allows you to extend your internet coverage, the cost of renting a modem for WOW is too high compared to buying your own device. You can easily improve your internet coverage by buying an appropriate cable modem for your needs.
Cable Modem Vs. Wifi Modem Router
A cable modem relays your internet service from the wall jack to your PC. A wifi modem router is an internet cable modem with an inbuilt router. The router gives your internet network wireless coverage, which allows your internet-enabled device to access the internet. A modem router combo is a modem with an inbuilt Wi fi router, which is a cheaper choice.
How to Install Your Own WOW Modem
- Connect your cable modem to the cable jack via a coaxial cable.
- Connect your cable modem to your PC using an Ethernet cable
- Plug the cable modem into a power outlet
- Open a browser on your PC and navigate to the address written on the packaging
- Follow the instructions on the setup wizard.
The Best WOW Compatible Modems and Routers
Now that you are ready to buy a modem and stop renting, here are the best WOW Compatible modems in the market.
1. Motorola MG7550 Cable Modem Router Combo
The Motorola MG7550 is one of the best WOW-approved modems with 16×4 channel bonding. The cable combo also works with major internet service providers like Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, etc.
The Motorola MG7550 cable modem has an inbuilt dual-band AC1900 wifi Gigabit router, ensuring you get seamless high-speed internet in your home on both the 2.5 GHz and the 5 GHz frequencies. It comes with a Broadcom chipset that secures your internet network from cyber threats.
The cable modem router also comes with PowerBoost and Beamforming features, enhancing your internet speed and extensive coverage. This modem router is among the few that operate on wifi DFS frequencies. The MG7540 works with speeds of up to 375 Mbps.
This means its internet signal is not interfered with by other wifi signals in the area. It has four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports that make sure you get a seamless connection. It also comes with parental controls that allow you to monitor the sites your children get access to.
2. Netgear Nighthawk C7000 Modem Router
The Netgear C7000 modem is a DOCSIS 3.0, three-in-one cable modem with an AC1900 inbuilt router. The Nightgear C7000 is built for speed internet and works best with internet plans of up to 400 Mbps, and the modem router has 24×8 channel bonding. The Netgear C7000 WOW-compatible cable modem has four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports. If your internet network has a high streaming capacity for 4K videos and games, the 1.9 Gbps or 1900 Mbps WOW modem will be quite useful.
It has a fast download speed and is excellent for high-speed internet gaming. It packs a powerful 1.6 GHz processor that enhances its performance, especially if you have multiple streaming devices connected to your network and can connect up to 30 devices.
The Netgear C7000 has an excellent range of coverage that spans 1800 square feet. It supports WPA/WPA2 and WAP security protocols and has parental controls for monitoring children.
3. MOTOROLA MG7540
The Motorola MG7540 is a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with an inbuilt AC1600 dual-band wifi Gigabit router. It comes with four GigE (Gigabit)Ethernet ports and 16×4 channel bonding, a security firewall, etc.
This Modem router combo is recommended for cable internet speeds of 375 Mbps. The device runs on a Broadcom chipset which protects your internet network from Denial-of-Service attacks.
The WOW compatible cable modem needs cable internet service and is approved by service providers like Cox, Comcast Infinity, RCN, BrightHouse, etc. It does not work with CenturyLink, AT&T, Verizon, and other DSL, satellite, or fiber optic services. The Motorola 7540 cannot be used for making or receiving phone calls.
The inbuilt high speed Wi fi router provides ultra-fast internet access to Wifi-enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming stations, HDTVs, Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, etc.
The Mg7540has four 10/100/1000 GigE (Gigabit Ethernet) LAN ports that provide your device or devices with wired connections to Mac or Windows PCs, game stations, HDTVs, and other devices.
The router is another of the WOW compatible modems that can work well on wifi DFS frequencies, meaning it is oblivious to other wifi interference. AnyBeam Beamforming feature works on 2.4 GHz and 5GHz frequencies to beam the internet signal to any wireless device that needs the signal most.
4. Arris SURFBoard SBG6900 Cable Modem
The Arris SBG6900 is a three-in-one cable modem with an inbuilt AC1900 Wi fi router and a wired router with four Gigabit ports. The Arris SBG6900 is among the best WOW approved modems, needs internet service to work, and works with Spectrum, Mediacom, Comcast Xfinity, and other cable internet providers.
The cable modem has 16 download and 4 upload channels with internet download speeds of 686 Mbps, depending on your WOW internet plan. The Arris SBG6900 is recommended for internet plans of up to 300 Mbps.
The Arris supports IPv4 and IPv6 internet standards, supports wifi Beamforming for maximum coverage, and sending the internet signal to the necessary devices. This Arris model is dual-band wifi and is great for online gaming and streaming HD videos on both the 2.5 GHz and the 5 GHz frequencies.
5. Arris SURFboard SBG7600AC2 Modem Router
The Arris SBG7600AC2 is a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with an inbuilt 802.11ac wireless router that allows for speeds up to 600 Mbps, depending on your Wow speed package.
The Arris SBG7600AC2 has four Gigabit Ethernet ports to allow you to hardwire your device. It is best for gaming stations or HDTVs for seamless streaming. This Arris model has 32 8 channel bonding which speeds up your internet.
6. NETGEAR CM500 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
The Netgear CM500 is a cable modem built for speed and works best with internet packages of up to 300 Mbps. It has no inbuilt router and works well with any wifi router, and you can connect it to the Netgear CM500 on its single Gigabit Ethernet port for wireless connectivity.
This Netgear CM500 modem model has 16×4 channel bonding engineering and DOCSIS 3.0 technology. This modem is excellent for HD video streaming, high speed online gaming, and a fast download speed. If you need to switch providers, these WOW approved modems also work with Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum
7. MOTOROLA Cable Modem, MB7220
The Motorola MB7220 is a dual-band DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which provides you with best speeds of up to 343 Mbps, which 8 times faster than the DOCSIS 2.0. It has a full-band capture digital tuner that ensures you get reliable and fast internet.
The cable modem has one Ethernet port to connect to your wireless wifi router, PC, game station, and HDTV. This modem does not have an inbuilt wifi router or Voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone adapter and needs cable internet. The setup is easy via a few steps that are in a Quick Start guide.
8. Netgear CM1000
The Netgear CM1000 is among the best in the list of WOW approved modems. The DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem also works with Cable one and Cox. It does not work with CenturyLink, Verizon, DirecTV, DSL providers, and bundled voice services.
The Netgear CM1000 is built to give you ultra-fast wifi speeds and is the best wifi modem for cable provider wifi plans of up to 1 Gigabit speed or 1000 Mbps. It has one Gigabit Ethernet port and works with any Wifi router.
The Netgear CM1000 is very secure and works with WPA2 protocols. It has a download speed of 6000 Mbps and has 38 8 channel bonding.
9. Motorola MB8600
The Motorola MB8600 is a dual-band DOCSIS 3.1 modem that works best for Gigabit internet plans and works with DOCSIS 3.0. Its 32 8 channel bond ensures you get fast and reliable wifi internet with zero lag.
The Motorola MB8600 offers you compatibility flexibility, and you can pair it with whichever router you choose, including Mesh routers or Whole HomeWifi like Google wifi or Orbi. The modem’s 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port allows you to connect a single device such as a router, PC, game station, or HDTV. The Motorola MB8600 does not have an inbuilt router and cannot make or receive phone calls.
This Motorola model has a Broadcom chipset that protects your network from Denial-of-Service attacks. This DOCSIS 3.1 modem uses AQM (Active Queue Management), which reduces latency on DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 modems. The AQM results in faster page loads for interactive apps like video conferencing and online gaming, and other web traffic. The modem’s full-band capture digital tuner enhances the modem’s speed and saves on energy.
10. NETGEAR CM700 Cable Modem
The Netgear CM700 is a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem on the list of approved modems with most cable internet providers such as Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity. It is not on the approved modems list of providers like AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, DirecTV, DISH, DSL providers, and bundled voice services.
The Netgear CM700 is built for speed with its 32 8 channel bond, OFDM 2×2, and works best for wifi plans of up to 500 Mbps. It works with any router on its single gigabit Ethernet port.
11. Arris SURFboard SB8200 Cable Modem
The Arris Surfboard is a high speed modem, even for DOCSIS 3.1 modem standards, for people looking for extraordinarily high performance. The Arris SB8200 has two 1 Gigabit ports that support link aggregation. The Arris SB8200 has a very fast and simple setup, and their customer service is readily available on chat if you need help.
The full download of the Arris SB8200 is 10 Gbps or 1000 Mbps. Since this speed level is not possible in cable internet-yet, your WOW speed internet cannot reach those speeds.
The Arris SB8200 has 32 8 channel bonding, allowing faster wifi connectivity with no buffering, and 2×2 OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 channels.
12. ASUS All-in-One AC2600 Modem Router Combo
The Asus AC2600 Modem router combo is a DOCSIS 3.0 combo with 32 8 bonded channels and supported internet speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps, perfect for online gaming. Asus’s data transfer rate can reach up to 1734 Mbps.
The AC2600 comes with 2 USB ports for external storage connection and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for plugging in a gaming station. The AC2600 uses MU-MIMO technology that allows multi-users to use the internet simultaneously with no lags.
When you decide to stop renting your modem for WOW and buy yours, there are things you need to consider and terminologies you need to understand.
Internet Service Provider (ISP) Compatibility
Before you rush into spending your hard-earned cash buying a wifi modem, you must be sure that it works with your ISP. If you are on WOW, make sure that the modem is on their list of the best WOW compatible modems.
Modem or Modem Router Combo?
A stand-alone modem means you have to spend more money buying a wifi router if you do not have one. A modem router combo is a modem with an inbuilt router, and while it is cheaper to buy the combo and it takes up less space, there is the issue of upgrading.
The current best standard in modems is DOCSIS 3.1, and very few combos, if at all, have the DOCSIS 3.1 standard. If you are using a modem and router as two separate units, it is possible to upgrade each. It is up to you to decide which of the two you prefer, especially if you do not intend to buy internet equipment in a hurry.
Think about your internet speed, and if your internet plan is 300 Mbps, buying an 8×4 channel bonding modem that theoretically has a speed of 343 Mbps (215 Mbps actual speed) will not optimize the full speed of your ISP plan. Theoretically, a 16×8 channel modem that has a speed of 686 Mbps (372 Mbps actual speed) would be perfect for optimizing your wifi internet plan speed.
Most wifi cable modems use the Intel Puma 6 chipsets known to be problematic on wifi network latency and jitter. Ensure the modem you choose uses a Broadcom chipset that protects your wifi network from attacks.
Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, aka DOCSIS, is a protocol that allows an ISP to provide you with wifi internet via a coaxial cable. All it means is that the modem can deliver broadband internet.
DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 are versions of the protocols, with the previous one is DOCSIS 2.0, which says the DOCSIS 3.1 is faster than 2.0 and 3.0. DOCSIS 3.1 modems are currently more expensive and 3.0 more affordable.
Downstream and Upstream Channels (Channel Bonding)
When you see a 16×4 or 32×8 channel bonding, the modem has 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels. Or 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels.
The more channels a modem has, the faster it is. An analogy is given to explain this is the lanes on a highway. The more lanes the highway has, the more vehicles that can pass through. The more channels that a modem has, the faster it is.
Price should be the last thing you look at if you want a quality wifi modem. The best modems are a bit expensive. Consider your wifi needs and remember this is a long-term investment, so you are better off buying a quality modem that will go a long way. You can check with Amazon for different prices from various vendors. If it is not on Amazon, you will probably not get it elsewhere.
Cable Modems vs. DSL Modems
DSL technology is slower and much older than cable internet technology. Most DSL providers are not keen to upgrade the telephone lines, and if you choose DSL and cable internet in your area, choose cable internet. A few cable modems can hit speeds of 1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps. DSL speeds cannot come close to cable or fiber internet speeds.
WOW Internet Tiers
Wide Open West caters to wifi subscribers in the South and Midwestern regions and offers various wifi internet packages. WOW is cheaper than most ISP providers with no data caps and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Internet 10 package costs $29.99 per month and has speeds of 10 Mbps. This is the lowest-priced wifi package for subscribers who do not need an ultra-fast internet connection or cannot afford a higher-priced plan.
This package has a monthly fee of $49.99 and speeds of up to 100 Mbps. This internet plan is ideal for small families or single individuals with one device or a few devices. You can watch movies, browse the internet, and access social media on the wifi without issues.
This package costs $59.99 monthly and has speeds of up to 500 Mbps. This plan suits medium-sized families that use the internet a lot and need a steady wifi internet connection day and night. It is also ideal for smart homes that use the internet to function.
This package costs $79.99 monthly and has speeds of up to 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps. This 1 Gbps package is for large families or subscribers who need an uninterrupted connection for online gaming or 4K video streaming.
What modem can I use with WOW?
There are numerous WOW approved modems in the market. Visit the WOW official website for a full list of all the WOW compatible modems.
Does Netgear work with WOW?
Yes, most Netgear models work with WOW, but before you purchase, confirm that the Netgear model you want is WOW compatible.
Can any modem work with any provider?
No, any modem does not work with any provider. For each modem, you have to confirm which provider it is compatible with. Look for a modem that is compatible with most cable internet providers. This helps if you want to change providers.
Are all cable modems compatible?
No, not all cable modems are compatible. Some modems work with most cable companies like Comcast and Cox. You have to do some checking before you make a decision.
How do I Reset My WOW Cable Modem?
If your WOW internet modem is not working, it could be because of various reasons. The most common problem is overheating, and for this, you need to unplug the power adapter from the modem’s back and remove the batteries. Let it cool for several minutes and re-plug it. This should reset the modem.
Does My Modem have wifi?
For you to get wifi, you need to have a router. Modems and routers are two different equipment with differing functions. However, you can get a modem router combo that integrates both a modem and a router in one device.
What is better? A separate Modem and router or a Combo?
If you are looking for flexibility, get a separate modem and router. This allows you to upgrade each hardware component with an upgrade that aligns with your ISP. You can pick a combo, but the downside is that you have to upgrade the entire product. There are no DOCSIS 3.1 combos, but you can upgrade to a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, which is faster than the DOCSIS 3.0 standard in use.
Buying the best modem may seem like rocket science if you do not know what to look for. The terminologies may confuse you, and you may end up buying the wrong modem. Before you go on a shopping spree to get the best modem, check if the modem is compatible with WOW, which is the most important.
Proceed to compare the modems’ specs. Just be sure to do your homework before you make the purchase. It makes a lot of difference in buying the best modem and eliminating the monthly rental fees.