Wireless internet has come a long way from the days of enduring trial and error to integrate your modem and router. Now you can find entire both devices combined into one, which makes setting up your wireless network a whole lot easier and cleaner, with fewer wires and devices in the mix. If you’re planning on upgrading your internet, or if you just want to save some money each month by buying your own modem and router, you can’t miss with a compatible cable modem/router combo unit.
Don’t overlook the word “compatible”—you need to buy a combo unit that works with your internet service provider. Luckily, most product listings will tell you what services the device works with, but you can also check directly with your provider to see what options they support. For what it’s worth, the three units on this list will work with Comcast Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum.
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2
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If you’re looking for a solid, reliable cable modem/router combo, then the ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 is an excellent choice. It can often be found on sale for under $200, making it a solid buy, too.
If you have one of the above mentioned services, the ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 offers four 1 Gbps ports that can deliver up to 800 Mbps speeds. It’s a solid little setup, and will fit nicely wherever you need it to. It can handle a lot of traffic while also offering 32 downstream channels and eight upstream channels, giving you support for multiple devices at once.
It also comes at a competitive price tag ($230 when not on sale), and will quickly pay for itself if you have been paying a monthly rental fee.
The Motorola MG7700 isn’t a high-speed router combo, but it will get the job done, especially if you aren’t on one of the super-fast plans offered by most internet providers. The setup is simple and it’s easy to go through, and the overall design of the device is unobtrusive.
There are four ethernet ports on the MG7700, giving you plenty of room to hook up devices with a physical wire. You can also take advantage of solid speeds with the wireless components built into this cable modem/router unit, and the status lights on the modem are easy to read and understand. It’s also competitively priced, and costs less than $200 even when not on sale.
Netgear Nighthawk C7800
My personal favorite on this list, and a device I’ve recommended to family and friends in the past, is the Netgear Nighthawk C7800. It’s a perfect cable modem/router combo for anyone who needs extended service range without having to invest in wifi extenders. It has four ethernet ports for physical connections, as well as DOCSIS 3.1 and two USB ports for additional connections.
The four built-in antennae extend the range of the device up to 3,000 square feet, making it more than big enough to provide a solid signal for most homes. It also offers up to 32 downstream channels and eight upstream, providing a wide highway for internet traffic to come and go. You can expect speeds up to 3,200 Mbps.
Unfortunately, all those pros come at a cost—you’ll likely be dishing out more than $400 for this combo unit. If you need the extra speed and range, though, it’s worth it.
These aren’t the only three options available if you need a new cable modem/router unit. If you’re considering other options, make sure to with your cable provider to see what brands they support—and ask for a refresher on your maximum internet speeds while you’re at it. All of this information is important to ensure you aren’t bottlenecking your connection by choosing an underpowered device.