Best DOCSIS 3.1 modems 2022
If you're interested in Gigabit internet speeds from your ISP, then you'll need a compatible modem. The DOCSIS 3.1 (data over cable service interface specification) standard supports up to a super-fast 10Gbps, with actual speeds depending on the modem hardware and your internet package. Check out our collection of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modems to avoid rental fees from your ISP and keep your hardware forever.
Simply the best deal available today for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, the SB8200 can deliver maximum speeds of 2Gbps. Two Gigabit LAN ports can work in tandem using LAG (link aggregation) or individually to support 1Gbps speeds for Gigabit packages. The cheapest modem with fantastic hardware.
Pushing its maximum potential speed up to 2.5Gbps, the MB8611 modem from Motorola features one 2.5G LAN port, and that's all it needs. Just be sure your router has a 2.5G port to match (look for "Multi-Gig") if you're planning to sign up for any speeds faster than 1Gbps.
Netgear's entry-level modem comes loaded with a single Gigabit LAN port, supporting maximum speeds of 1Gbps. Perfect if you're springing for a Gigabit internet package and don't plan to go any higher. Not the cheapest, but still a reasonable price for speeds up to 10 times faster than DOCSIS 3.0.
Best for link aggregation
The Nighthawk CM1200 supports up to 2Gbps internet with its four Gigabit LAN ports supporting LAG (link aggregation), suitable for routers with Multi-Gig WAN ports. The CM1200 is aimed at network enthusiasts but without an enthusiastically high price. Great for packages exceeding Gigabit speeds.
Best for voice plans
If your ISP offers a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) package, then you'll need a modem with at least one RJ11 port to use it. The SURFboard T25 from ARRIS luckily has two, along with two Gigabit ports supporting LAG. It's slim pickings for VoIP modems, and the T25 stands out as a great deal.
Choosing the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem
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Gigabit packages can reach speeds beyond 1Gbps, meaning connecting your new modem to a router requires some careful consideration. Some of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers offer 2.5G WAN ports and support link aggregation. Be sure to match your modem to a compatible router like the TP-Link Archer GX90 to take full advantage of the fastest Gigabit speeds.
As the best overall modem, the SURFboard SB8200 is compatible with speeds up to 2Gbps using two Ethernet cables in tandem via aggregation or 1Gbps with just one. If you're signing up for a voice package using VoIP, you'll need a modem with RJ11 telephone ports like the ARRIS SURFboard T25 to connect your phone line. Whatever you decide, these modems are yours to keep forever, circumventing hardware rental fees.
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Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or share opinions.