You’re searching for the best modem router combo to guarantee a fast internet connection for all the devices in your home. Perhaps you are into gaming or just want to do some occasional HD streaming. No matter what your internet speeds and other needs are, there are a variety of modem router combos that could be just what you’re after. In its roundup, you can learn about the best products in this category.
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What You Need to Know about Modem-Router Combos
Before we get into the actual review of the best products in this category, we should cover a few basics. You might have some questions about what modem routers do and what you should look for when picking one. These questions and more are answered here.
What’s the Difference Between a Modem and a Router?
The terms modem and router are through around a lot when discussing internet connectivity. However, for a significant portion of internet users, there is no real clarity about what specific functions each of these perform.
Modems are devices that connect the network in your home to the wider internet with a Wi-fi connection. It transforms the digital input and output of your devices to and from analog signals sent through wires to the outside world.
Routers are devices that allow all of your connected gadgets to make use of the internet connection provided by the modem. It also lets your devices talk to one another, and this need not happen over the internet.
Do You Need Both?
If you want the devices in your home to be connected to the internet, you need to get both. Very often, your internet service provider (ISP) gives you one, both, or a combination of these devices. It’s up to you whether you use them separately or opt for the cable modem router combo device.
Pros and Cons of Using a Modem Router Combo
There is a plus side to getting a modem router combo, but there are also a few disadvantages to be aware of.
Pros of using a combo product:
- It is convenient to have one box performing the functions of two devices.
- It’s the best way to save space.
- It is easier to configure and manage.
Cons of using a combo product:
- Router technology changes faster than modem technology, so part of the combo device might become outdated. This makes upgrading an issue.
- There might be some monetary savings to buying your own devices versus using the combo provided by your ISP.
What to Look for in a Modem Router Combo
Any product that you consider should be compatible with your ISP. For example, if you use Xfinity, you can look under the approved third-party device or cable modem list to see what products are compatible with the service.
You should also check that the model routers you’re looking at support the internet speed in your plan. Speeds are measured in Mbps. If your internet plan gives you a very speed, but your modem router is rated for a lower speed, you cannot make use of this perk. You then experience reduced download speeds.
The other key features and details to look into include the level of security, the range, the type and number of ethernet and USB ports to connect to, channel options, and the price point. If you have kids at home, you might also want a product with parental controls.
It’s now time to look at five of the best modem router combos and what speeds and other features they offer. Let’s get into the details of the best Wifi routers.
The Motorola MG7700 combines a fast 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and an AC1900 dual band Wi-Fi gigabit router. It weighs 1.5 pounds and has a great vertical design. The data transfer rate is 1 Gigabit per second, and the security protocol is a firewall. Modem routers like this DOCSIS 3.0 one can get connected to a variety of Wi-Fi devices like smartphones and up to four ethernet-capable devices such as your computers and laptops using the gigabit ethernet ports. A 2-year warranty covers this dual-band device. Here are the main pros and cons if you decide to get this product. The maximum internet download speeds go up to 343 Mbps.
- Compatible with Comcast, Xfinity, Cox, and Charter cable providers
- Supports fast Wifi internet speeds of 600 Mbps
- High maximum internet download speeds of 1000+ Mbps
- Wireless power boost to amplify the speeds and the range of the wireless signal to the legal limit
- 24×8 channels bonding
- Not compatible with as many cable providers as other devices from this and other brands
- No telephone jacks to support voice calls
The NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80 is a cable modem with a built-in Wi-Fi 6 router. The data transfer rate is 6 gigabits per second. The security protocol is WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, and there are three ports on this device. The NETGEAR Nighthawk also supports Bluetooth. The modem technology is DOCSIS 3.1 and 32×8 channel bonding. Here are some of the key details about the product.
- Compatible with major cable providers such as Cox, Xfinity, and Spectrum
- Supports high-speed cable provider plans of up to 6Gbps (among the highest speeds)
- Wide wireless coverage range in your home or office of up to 3,000 sq. ft.
- Comes with a 30-day free trial of the BitDefendercybersecurity service
- Number of gigabit ethernet ports, 4, and for USB ports, there is one.
- Quality issues have been reported to affect the connection
- Technical support may take some time if there are any issues
The ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 is a black DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem combined with an AC2350 dual-band Wi-Fi router. It weighs2 .59 pounds. The data transfer rate is 1400 megabits per second. Some of the pros and cons of the product and its features are below.
- Approved for use with Spectrum, Xfinity, Cox and more
- Supports cable internet speed plans of up to 600 Mbps
- Number of Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4, and for USB ports, one
- 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels, which makes it a good choice for gaming and streaming.
- Cable digital voice service not supported
- Relatively high price
Although this modem router can handle internet speeds of up to 600 Mbps, you may be limited by your ISP’s speed tiers. For example, the maximum speed recommendation for Cox is 300 Mbps.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 is a combo of a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, and Wi-Fi router. It weighs 1.6 pounds. The data transfer rate is 1.9 gigabits per second. The security protocol is WPA, WPA2-PSK. The modem is engineered with 32×8 channel bonding. This NETGEAR modem router is suitable for HD streaming and gaming. Some of the standout features of this model are given below.
- Approved by cable providers like Cox, Xfinity by Comcast, and Spectrum
- Cane support internet plans with speeds of up to 400 Mbps
- Wireless coverage of up to 1800 square feet, thanks to the range-boosting Beamforming+ technology
- 30 devices and many channels can get connected
- Wifi internet has AC1900 speed , which is up to 1900 Mbps
- Four gigabit ethernet ports and two USB 2.0 ports
- Powerful 1.6 Ghz processor
- Distinctive futuristic look that may not be everyone’s cup of tea
- In the higher price range
The Motorola MD1600 is one of the best options if you’re looking for a modem router that works with DSL service. The security protocol is WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK. The data transfer rate is 100 megabits per second. This product is made up of a VDSL2/ ADSL2+ modem. This has an AC1600 Wi-Fi gigabit router to provide high internet speeds and Wi-Fi to devices in your home. The weight of the modem router is 0.85 pounds.
- Model works well with several ADSL and VDSL services that are non-vectoring from Windstream, Frontier, TDS Telecom and Fairpoint
- Virtual Privat eNetwork (VPN) capability
- USB 2.0 host port
- Number of USB ports, 2 (two)
- 2-year warranty
- Sleek design
- Model does not work with bonded VDSL, bonded ADSL, or VDSL vectoring.
- Not compatible with AT&T services, Verizon, Cox, Comcast, Charter Spectrum, and other cable services.
- Supports only a single Wi-Fi band signal
The five modem and router combos reviewed above are some of the very best on the market. Depending on how you plan to use your home network internet , certain features may be more important to you than they are to the next person.
Our pick for the best combo device is the Motorola MG7700. It has fast speed and excellent coverage so that your network signal can be boosted to cover all the rooms in your home. This device is supported by many of the top internet service providers. You can connect it to many of your electronics to the many options for channels provided.
This allows you to download movies, documents, and other materials over your Wifi network easily. If you have DSL service, then the Motorola MD1600 is the best option. Before making a purchase, it’s always a good idea to consider all of the internet speed rating in Mbps, download speeds also in Mbps, and other related product specifications.