The 6 Best Cable Modem/Router Combos to Buy in 2017

Complete your home network with these cable modem/router combos

Some folks prefer the simplicity of having their modem and router in the same device. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement, the most significant of which have to do with upgrades, future-proofing and access to network controls, but it’s safe to say most basic Internet users will appreciate how simple combo devices can be. If you find yourself in this camp, check out our below guide to the best modem/router combos.

One of the most important considerations for selecting the best modem/router combo device is reliability. Many modem/router combos we’ve come across require you to restart them often or don’t broadcast WiFi far enough. The Motorola AC1900 is a little expensive, but it’s worth it because it means your Internet will almost always be reliable and that’s worth a lot in our age of connected smartphones, computers and wearables. On top of reliability, the AC1900 offers speeds up to 686 Mbps (16 times faster than DOCSIS 2.0), it has four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as a “Wireless Power Boost” that broadcasts as far out as it can up to the legal limit. Also, almost every major internet provider works with the AC1900, including Charter Spectrum, Comcast XFINITY, Time Warner Cable and Cox, so this is a good choice for replacing the standard modem/router device that comes with your ISP plan, if you so choose.

If you’ve decided that a modem/router combo is the best way to go, but you still plan on optimizing your Internet connection for the highest possible speeds (maybe you have a gigabit connection), you should check out the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router. While the modem is not quite optimized for gigabit speeds, it’s darn near close enough, with a modem speed of 960 Mbps, 24 downstream channels and DOCSIS 3.0 technology. As a router, you get similarly beefy specs. It delivers the latest wireless AC1900 speeds of up to up to 1.9Gbps, and features a 1.6GHz combined processor and a USB port, to boot. It’s good to go with any major U.S. cable provider and enjoys a host of solid user reviews as well. It’s not exactly cheap, but for truly high-speed gigabit Internet in a modem/router combo, this is about as good as it gets.

Whether you’re in the market for a modem, a router, or a modem/router combo, you really don’t have to spend a lot to get reliable, high-speed Internet performance. For the sub-$100 modem/router price range, Netgear N300 Modem Router (C3000) is one of the best products you’ll find. The modem delivers solid DOCSIS 3.0 connectivity, including eight downstream channels with download speeds of up to 340 Mbps, and is optimized to work with all major U.S. Internet service providers. The integrated router is equipped with single-band N300 (wireless-N) WiFi technology, which isn’t exactly next-generation, but it’s probably fast enough for most purposes. It also features Gigabit Ethernet ports if you want to bypass the WiFi and deliver super fast wired connections, and a single USB port for data from your device’s hard drive.

When it comes to sub-gigabit speeds, the TP-Link AC1750 (16x4) Modem Router probably takes the cake. It offers 16 downstream channels in the standard DOCSIS 3.0 package, delivering up to 680Mbps of throughput. The modem is compatible with cable Internet plans of up to 300 Mbps, and on the WiFi end, the AC1750 router includes speeds of up to 1750 Mbps with simultaneous 2.4GHz (up to 450Mbps) and 5GHz (up to 1300Mbps) band support. It also includes a dual-core processor; two USB ports for accessing data from clients and remote FTP devices; and something called beamforming technology, which delivers a more targeted and efficient wireless connection.

If you prefer the speed and efficiency of a dual-band router but still don’t want to pay a whole lot, check out the NETGEAR N600 Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router (C3700). It offers a lot of the same tech but with dual-band capabilities in the router. The modem features DOCSIS 3.0 tech with eight downstream channels and four upstream channels (8x4), allowing for cable Internet speeds up to 340 Mbps. The dual-band router offers N600 wireless speeds at up to 300 Mbps on each band. It’s certified to work with all major U.S. ISPs, includes Gigabit Ethernet Ports if you’d prefer to go wired for faster service and also features a USB port to wirelessly share your device’s hard drive. This is a slightly beefier version of the Netgear N300 DOCSIS 3.0 Modem Router, and is ideal if you’re likely to have more than a few clients on the same network.

If we’re still looking at sub-$100 cable modem/router combos, you can’t get much cheaper than the Actiontec 300 Mbps Wireless-N ADSL Modem Router. This thing is pretty basic, especially on the modem end, and is made for DSL (not cable) Internet connections. It is not recommended for any situation involving more than two clients. It is perhaps best for light Internet users who live alone and only need Internet to check e-mail or occasionally browse the Web. The modem is a basic ADSL 2/2+ modem, and the router is a basic wireless-N device capable of delivering up to 300 Mbps of single-band wireless throughout. That said, the Actiontec is still built to deliver reliable, consistent service given the limitations of the medium (cable is almost always faster than DSL).

Disclosure

E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page.