A cable modem is an easy thing to ignore. It might be the most forgettable component in our home online experience, but it’s also the most important. Finding and using the best cable modem for your needs can improve your online experience on all your devices.
Of the many hidden fees in your Internet/cable bill, one of them is likely an equipment rental. When you got your Internet installed, the cable company will normally bring their own modem. In most cases, they will charge you for renting it every month. An easy way to save money on your Internet is to buy your own modem. You can get better performance and it will pay for itself in no time.
But what does a modem do? Well, it's a unit that plugs into the wall. It takes a broadband Internet signal and translates it into a language that your PC, smartphone, smart TV, or other device can understand. This is still the fastest, most reliable way to get Internet in your home. The modem plays a huge role in the quality and speed of your Internet.
If you’ve never shopped around for a cable modem, you might be surprised at what modern units can do. We’ll show you some of the best modems on the market and compare them with modems that are only a few years old. Keep reading if you want to save money and have faster and reliable Internet!
Here is a list of 2018's top rated and reviewed cable modems to help you choose the best products for your home network.
Best Cable Modems | Top 7
Who Is This Review For?
This review is anyone who is tired of paying too much on his or her monthly bill for Internet. It’s for anyone who wants more reliable Wi-Fi and needs it to work in every room of the house or office. Have you recently upgraded to a faster, better Internet plan? If so, then you might need the best modem to deliver the speed that you’re paying for.
This review is also for anybody who gets confused or intimidated when shopping for a modem. We’ll go over what you need to know and which details really matter. By the end of this review, you’ll have a better idea of what cable modem is right for you.
What To Look For
There are only a few specs that you need to pay attention to when shopping for the best cable modem. We’ll go over the key specs here so you can make sense of them and shop prepared.
Modem Type - There are three different types of modem that support different standards. These standards are called “data over cable service interface specification” or DOCSIS. You have DOCSIS 1.x, DOCSIS 2.0, and DOCSIS 3.0. All of the modems on our list are DOCSIS 3.0. At this point, DOCSIS 1.x is obsolete because of the low standard for upload speeds. Uploading is when you’re putting something from your computer to the Internet. As opposed to downloading which does the opposite. The big differences between 2.0 and 3.0 is 3.0 supports multiple channels and 2.0 can only support a single channel. Speaking of channels…
Channels - Channels are different avenues within a modem. Each channel allows for uploading and downloading to and from the Internet. If you have simultaneous uploads or downloads at high speeds, you'll want multiple channels. DOCSIS 3.0 modems have four channels for uploads, and four or even eight or more channels for downloads. If you have a fast, powerful Internet plan, you could benefit from finding the best DOCSIS 3.0 modem for you.
Speed per Channel - Speed per channel is an irrelevant spec for DOCSIS 1.x and 2.0 because they’re single channel. For the best DOCSIS 3.0 modems, however, speed per channel can multiply your cap Internet speed. The speed per channel is the same as 2.0 which is 43Mbps download / 31 Mbps upload. Since 3.0 has multiple channels, it multiplies the cap speed. That makes the advantage of 3.0 clear, especially when you start doing some serious multi device tasks on it. If you’re not sure about the speed of your connection, log into your Internet provider’s website. Most of them offer a free speed test.