The 5 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems Reviewed

docsis 3.1 modem

For online gamers and streamers, looking for big gigabit internet data plans can sometimes be very expensive. However, the exceptionally high speeds they offer make your search and the cost you incur worthwhile.

There is still a better way though. One way of going around the high prices of these modems is by getting rid of the equipment rented from your network and purchasing your gigabit modem router. This way, not only will you be able to save a lot of money, but you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of very high-speed internet service.

Now the question is, which modem do you buy for an affordable price that gives you the experience you want?

Here is a list of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modems currently available on the market.

Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems

1. Motorola MB8600

Motorola MB8600

An excellent place to begin our review is with the Motorola MB8600, although the Motorola brand may not be the first name to pop-up in your mind when considering networking equipment. However, this represents the company’s first attempt to enter the networking space, and this modem competes closely with the topmost brands.

By offering one of the highest potentials in download speed, this product stands on its own. You can take advantage of its four different ethernet ports to provide you with the link aggregation you need. When you connect this modem to a router, you can expect to do about 3.8 Gbps downstream. Unfortunately, there is a flip side; the bad news is that it may still take a while before any ISP adopts this new technology. For now, users can expect to get 1 Gbps up and down, and this is more than enough to support very demanding internet tasks.

The MB8600 offers close to flawless streaming for videos, web browsing, and gaming over wireless – although you cannot use the array of ports to send gigabit signals to other devices. The modem also comes with an Active Queue Management system, which improves internet usability and reduces latency. It also features five status-reporting LEDs representing each of the ports and offers elementary reading and troubleshooting.

Find more Motorola MB8600 information and reviews here.

2. ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600


Arris has many options to choose from, but the ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600 has many advantages. It only falls short by one port than the Motorola MB8600, as it only has four ports, but those are more than enough. However, with its four-port gigabit feature, you cannot expect to receive cable digital voice service.

This modem is compatible with almost all the major cable internet providers in the US, which is a considerable advantage – these include Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and others, but you will require a capable internet service. The downside is that this modem is not compatible with Fibre internet provider, DSL, CenturyLink, Verizon, or ATT. But it should not be much of a problem as you can expect to receive 8 upstream channels and 32 downstream channels. The modem is ideal for cable internet speed plans of up to 600 MBPS, which means that it should be more than enough to handle all your everyday gaming, surfing, and streaming tasks.

As we mentioned earlier, the ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600 is also a Wave 2 AC2350 double or dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi router which features four gigabits of Ethernet ports. You can expect to eliminate all your monthly device rental fees from your service provider while enjoying some of the best speeds the internet can offer. This modem also makes it easy to set up and manage your network using the SURFboard Manager app. You may even notice a few similarities with the Motorola modem, and this should not come as a surprise as the Aris Group partly owns the Motorola brand.

Find more ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600 information and reviews here.



Up next on our list is the NETGEAR CM1000 modem. Just like Aris, NETGEAR has a variety of options to choose from, but the NETGEAR CM1000 is one of the first gigabit modems that the company made commercially available. Plus, you stand a chance to save quite an amount on this one compared to the other options from the same company. If you are an average gamer, you will not need a dual-link aggregated port system to enjoy 4k streaming and gaming without lags.

This modem also has 32 x 8 channel bonding and comes with the same compatibility as some newer models. It also has 2 OFDM technology, which offers a useful data encoding feature that reduces the slag in DOCSIS 3.2 devices. It supports all cable internet speed tiers, and you can expect up to 1000 Mbps gigabit service. However, you will require a separate router for Wi-Fi connections.

This NETGEAR modem is compatible with Mediacom cable, Cox, Xfinity from Comcast, and more. However, it is not compatible with CenturyLink, AT&T, or Verizon. It is also not compatible with bundled voice services. The modem is effortless to set up, as it is designed to be mostly plugged and played on most networks. Considering the limitations of DOCSIS 3.1 modems, this device works as perfectly as the other similar devices already reviewed on this list. But if NETGEAR chooses to drop the price of this device even further, it will quickly become the modem device for the next generation. In the meantime, you can expect to save some money by eliminating your monthly cable modem rental expenses by purchasing this modem. The company assures that you can save up to $120 per year, 8 upstream channels, and 32 downstream channels for DOCSIS 3.1 connection.

Find more NETGEAR CM1000 information and reviews here.

4. ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

Next, we have yet another DOCSIS 3.1 modem from Arris- the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200. Like most Arris networking gear, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 comes pretty much recommended by most IPS out there. This makes the brand the most sought after or default picks when it comes to most setups. With maximum upload and download speeds of up to 2 Gbps each, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 is more than capable of handling any of the top-notch internet plans currently available and in the future. Unfortunately, one downside is the fact that the able internet structure may end up hampering your performance even before this device does. Therefore, most of the exciting features merely serve as futureproofing.

This device packs some of the latest hardware, including the Broadcom BCM3390 chipset, that can easily outperform the SB6190 Intel Puma 6 chipset. The SB8200 also comes with two ethernet ports, and these can be used to offer gigabit speeds to two different networks. The modem supports link aggregation, which allows you to connect the two ethernet ports to one source, which makes it possible to achieve the already mentioned 2 Gbps transfer speeds. Unfortunately, link aggregation is currently not supported by any of the ISPs available – but we cannot blame it on the modem. Hopefully, future hardware upgrades will make it possible, but users will have to make do with the 1 Gbps until such time.

In terms of compatibility, this device connects with the following internet service providers – Brighthouse, Time Warner, Charter, Spectrum, Cox, and Xfinity. It does not, however, connect with AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, or other Fibre internet service providers. Again, it is straightforward to set up this modem as the device comes with an LED that indicates the power, internet, and “Send and Receive” options. One caution when using the device is to place it on a surface with enough aeration, as the modem can heat up when in use. But once you compare this device with a gigabit router, you can be assured of one of the fastest internet speeds currently available.

Find more ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 information and reviews here.

5. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

Last but not least, we have the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000. NETGEAR makes another entry with this modem – a router combo that is compatible with almost all the cable internet service providers. These include Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox. It is however not compatible with AT&T, Verizon, DirectTV, DSL providers, DISH, or any of the bundled voice service providers.

Using the NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 means that you will be able to save quite some cash from your monthly rental expenses from utilizing the device that your service provider offers. You can use the model C7000 to replace your Wi-Fi router and cable modem to save you as much as $168 every year in equipment rental fees.

This modem is built for breakneck speed, as it operates at 400 Mbps speed. That makes this device ideal for cable provider plans that fall within the same rate. Unlike the previous Netgear device reviewed, this modem comes with 24 x 8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.0.
The modem also offers speedy Wi-Fi performance, with up to 1800 square feet of wireless coverage in addition to the ability to connect up to 30 devices with AC 1900 speed. The device features 4 gigabits Ethernet ports and 2 USB ports that offer versatility in options. That means you can connect it to your storage drive, game box, printer, computer, as well as other devices at the same time.

The modem technology is engineered with 32 x 8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.1. In addition, there is no problem when it comes to setting up the modem as the manual is well written and easy to read and understand. The modem also features light indicators that help with troubleshooting.

Find more NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 information and reviews here.

DOCSIS 3.1 Explained

Modem technology can seem confusing. This video breaks down Docsis 3.1 technology, and explains why you need it:

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