11 Oct Dr. Jonathan Cartu Reports – Best DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Modems and Combos for 2020
Brace yourselves as the world continues to push further into the realm of gigabit internet at home. What once was limited to major corporations and datacenters long ago, has been growing more readily available throughout major cities, allowing you to make use of lightning-fast connections wherever they are needed.
For some, you may have already had access to gigabit packages via your local ISP(s) over the last year or two, where others have been patiently waiting for it to reach their neck of the woods, with new locations popping up every month. Meanwhile, many users who are jumping aboard are now running into having to upgrade their equipment to take advantage of these speeds. So the question is which modem is the best to go with? We’ll break it down to our favorite models out there thus far.
1) Arris SB8200 – Best All-Around DOCSIS 3.1 Modem (Link)
This is by far, our favorite DOCSIS 3.1 choice due to its durability and performance. A huge upgrade from their recent PUMA chip days where a few of their models were running into latency issues. This modem sheds itself from any of those troubles, packs a Broadcom BCM3390 chipset inside, and traverses the new in a flash.
Great for setups where you already have a routers solution setup for WiFi and are not looking for an all-in-one unit.
It offers two 1Gbps ports on the back and can reach up to 2Gbps (if you activate each one on its own IP through your ISP). Of course, it is mostly used as just a single port and gigabit internet, allowing you to fully take advantage of the resources given to you by your ISP.
You can usually find this one on sale for around $150 these days.
2) NETGEAR CM1000 – The next runner up! (Link)
This is Netgear’s answer to the Arris SB8200 and our second-favorite option to pick from when recommending modems currently. It only offers a single 1Gbps Ethernet port out the back, so no 2Gbps via this method, but again, the average person doesn’t make use of that and never will. When it comes to using it for a standard connection, this modem will also make the most out of your gigabit ISP connection.
This is also for those looking to just go with a modem since they already have their WiFi solutions handled and are not looking for an all-in-one solution. It works well with other Netgear hardware, but also works well with everything (of course).
You can usually find it on sale around the same price as the Arris modem, although this one is usually around $10-$20 more for some reason (Netgear’s brand fee).
3) NETGEAR Nighthawk Series – The Modem/Router Combo
- AC3200 Model – WiFi speeds Up to 3,200 Mbps (Link)
- AX6000 Model – WiFi speeds Up to 6,000 Mbps (Link)
Now, this one is for those looking to get their hands on an all-in-one solution. This bad boy combines both the modem and router into one handling both your connection and WiFi all at once. Like the Arris modem, it also supports packages up to 2Gbps. No need for extra IP addresses or anything. Just 2Gbps slapped right into it via the coax line. Given, no ISP offers this at the moment and it is unknown how well the unit will actually perform if you fed it 2Gbps speeds (we sure haven’t been able to test this yet), so it might be best to think of that is theoretical for now. Regardless, it can handle 1Gbps or higher for sure.
When it comes to WiFi, this is why there are to option to pick from above. The AC3200 model is what the average person would jump on who is interested in going this route. Power users and dedicated gamers will likely go the router of the AX6000 model for its faster WiFi speeds and ability to manage more devices. Both feature the “up to 2Gbps” internet spec and can handle up to 40-45 devices.
This option is more expensive since you are technically buying two devices at the same time. A high-end modem and a fancy router to go with it.
4) NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 System – The Ultimate Combo! (Link)
This option is for the most dedicated at heart who are looking for a combo system while also breaking into a powerful mesh networking approach. The best of Netgear’s Orbi mesh system combined with a Docsis 3.1 modem within the main hub of the set. The satellite allows you to extend your network as one giant fluid network, and you can buy additional satellites to extend it even further from there.
Best for incredibly large homes or offices more than anything else. Or situations where you want the internet to reach to the back of your yard and more. This package will cover up to 5,000 square feet right out of the box, and then can be extended from there.
It is not as fast as the AX6000 model in the previous option, but it still packs an AX4200 system that will deliver WiFi speeds of up to 4,200Mbps for 40 or more connected devices spread about. This is more about having a stable network where repeaters are necessary to reach your entire property.