The 9 Best Cable Modem/Router Combos of 2020

Complete your home network with these cable modem/router combos

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Overall: Netgear Orbi at Amazon

"The clear choice for anyone looking to upgrade their modem/router setup."

Best for Gigabit Internet: Netgear Nighthawk C7800 at Amazon

"This DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combo delivers 1 Gbps internet speeds with Wi-Fi performance to match."

Best for Spectrum: Motorola MG7550 at Amazon

"While the upfront price is fairly steep, it will pay for itself with its reliable connectivity and support for all your devices."

Best Modem: Netgear C3700 at Amazon

"The Netgear C3700 is a sleek and affordable option that provides all the connectivity and more of a rental modem."

Best for Streaming: Netgear C6250 at Amazon

"Compatible with most major cable providers, the C6250 is built for speed like most Netgear models."

Best for Xfinity/Optimum: Netgear CM500 at Amazon

"For those working with Xfinity/Optimum as their internet and cable providers, the Netgear CM500 is an ideal modem."

Best Setup: Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC at Amazon

"A great little modem/router combo that provides what most users need without the extra frills."

Best for Large Homes: Netgear R6700 at Amazon

"This powerful modem will make your streaming, browsing, and gaming smooth and lag-free, and it can connect to up to 25 devices."

Best for Smaller Spaces: Netgear Nighthawk C7000 at Amazon

"A slim and unobtrusive router with great wireless performance."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Netgear Orbi

4.5
What We Like
  • AC3000 Speed rating

  • Extensive coverage

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

As one of the fastest, most reliable routers out on the market, the Netgear Orbi is the clear choice for anyone looking to upgrade their modem/router setup. Able to handle large spaces, including offices or homes, the Orbi is ready to satisfy all your needs with ease. Even if you don’t need its complete 5,000 square foot coverage, it’s still well worth the price tag to get that reliable connection and excellent MU-MIMO support. Plus, you can control all your setup and settings through the very user-friendly app.

With the AC3000 speed rating, numerous ethernet ports, and the Tri-Band wireless connections, you’ll have no problems connecting to all your devices. While it may struggle with older models, you can find a way to connect everything — it may just take a bit of research. 

Don’t let the price tag scare you; though the Orbi will set you back a fair amount, it's well worth it. You can’t beat the fast connectivity and reliability the Netgear Orbi will bring to your home or office. 

Best for Gigabit Internet: Netgear Nighthawk C7800

What We Like
  • DOCSIS 3.1

  • Xfinity-certified

  • Easy to set up

What We Don't Like
  • Reported problems with Cox/Spectrum

  • Poor customer support

  • Expensive

If you're looking to take your network performance up to a whole new level, Netgear's Nighthawk C7800 is worth a closer look. It's one of the first modem/router combos to include a built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, so it not only works with all of the major cable providers right out of the box, including Xfinity by Comcast, Cox, and Spectrum, but supports the kind of broadband speeds that were once the exclusive domain of fibre connections, with download performance up to 1 Gbps.

The beamforming four-antenna array also delivers AC3200 Wi-Fi speeds of up to 3,200 Mbps across 3,000 square feet of living space — 1,000 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2,200 Mbps in the higher 5 Ghz range. If the wireless speeds aren't fast enough, there are also four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports that let you hardwire in your gaming console or PC directly, plus two USB 3.0 ports for connecting shared printers or external hard drives, with built-in DLNA support to stream your media directly to your smart TV or game console. 

To be clear, this is exclusively a cable modem/router, so it won't work with DSL, fibre, or satellite providers like AT&T, Verizon, or DISH, and it also lacks support for cable-bundled voice services. On the upside, however, setup is ridiculously easy, and if you're an Xfinity customer, it supports web self-activation so you don't even need to make a service call. 

Best for Spectrum: Motorola MG7550

Motorola AC1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router and Modem
Courtesy of Amazon.com
What We Like
  • Compatible with most providers

What We Don't Like
  • No telephone jack

If you’re working with Gigabit internet, then you need a modem made for your needs. The Motorola AC1900 is just that. Compatible with most cable providers—except for fiber optic, DSL, or satellite services from Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and others—the Motorola AC1900 is built for high-speed internet and has a wireless power boost to provide you with a fast connection for all your Wi-Fi and wired devices.

It’s built for cable service speeds up to 375 Mbps and includes four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, making it perfect for wired devices unable to connect to Wi-Fi, or if you’re looking for a clear, lag-free connection.  

It doesn't include a telephone jack, so you can't connect any phone services to the router, which could be a problem if your bundle includes voice. But, if you’re ready to stop paying a monthly rental fee on what could be an out-of-date modem, then it’s time to get the Motorola AC1900.

While the upfront price is fairly steep, it will pay for itself with its reliable connectivity and support for all your devices.

Best Modem: Netgear C3700

3.4
What We Like
  • Compact design

  • Affordable

  • Solid wired performance

What We Don't Like
  • Antiquated wireless standard

If you’re getting tired of paying a monthly fee for your modem, it’s time to take the plunge and get the Netgear C3700. It’s a sleek and affordable option that provides all the connectivity and more of a rental modem. 

Perfect for a small home, the C3700 comes equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and dual antennas, which makes this a dual-band device (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz).

However, the C3700's one weak point is with the wireless connection. Rated for N600 speeds, things may lag when you’re going wireless, but when set up with the wired connection, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the speed—even with multiple devices. And set up is a breeze—just unplug your old modem and plug everything into the C3700.

Affordable and definitely worth replacing that rental, the Netgear C3700 is perfect for small homes those who can work with a wired set up.

Best for Streaming: Netgear C6250

What We Like
  • Fast performance

  • Easy setup

What We Don't Like
  • Limited to just 2 ethernet ports

If there’s one thing that’s a must for internet connections, it’s the ability to keep up with streaming; the last thing anyone wants is for Netflix or Hulu to stop mid-episode. And when you’re relying on your internet service provider’s rental modem, that could be a serious concern. So, when you’re ready to drop the rental, it’s time to check out the Netgear C6250.

Compatible with most major cable providers—except Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH, and any bundled voice service—the C6250 is built for speed like most Netgear models. Working with plans up to 300 Mpbs, it will give you up to 1500 square feet of wireless coverage for 25 devices.

Perfect for an apartment, office, or even a large home, and every device will be connected and ready for streaming without any lag or buffering. Plus, it comes equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB port for any wired needs you may have. It also boasts great durability.

Best for Xfinity/Optimum: Netgear CM500

What We Like
  • Excellent performance

  • Simple setup

What We Don't Like
  • Limited carrier compatibility

For those working with Xfinity/Optimum as their internet and cable providers, the Netgear CM500 is an ideal modem when looking to replace the rental, however, it's not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH, or any bundled voice service.

Beyond that, the Netgear CM500 is just like other Netgear products in that it’s built for speed. It can support internet plans with speeds up to 300Mbps and gives you a reliable connection as you use all your devices, It even includes one Gigabit Ethernet port and is compatible with any Wi-Fi router.

Set up is as simple as plugging in your coax cable, following the instructions, then connecting to your Wi-Fi router. Plus, with its sleek design, you’ll have no trouble finding a place for it around your home.

Best Setup: Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Good Wi-Fi coverage

  • Simple to set up

What We Don't Like
  • No advanced features

  • Reports of reliability issues

  • Doesn’t reach advertised speeds

Arris may not be a well-known name in routers, but they’ve been making cable modems from almost the beginning, and the Surfboard SBG7580AC is the company’s latest modem/router model, a DOCSIS 3.0 32x8 version that Arris says can deliver downloads speeds as high as 1.4 Gbps, although in reality you’ll only get around 600 Mbps from your cable provider without a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

The SBG7580AC won’t break any speed records on the Wi-Fi side, but still offers good coverage for a small-to-medium sized home and dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz support with speeds of up to 1,750 Mbps, making it more than adequate for streaming Netflix and even gaming for single users and small families, but there are also four Gigabit Ethernet ports if Wi-Fi congestion is a problem.

This is a basic little workhorse modem/router combo — you won’t find any advanced features on here like QoS, so if you’re a power user you’ll definitely want to look elsewhere, and it also doesn’t offer support for cable-bundled voice services, but otherwise the SBG7580AC is a solid choice for a non-technical home internet user who wants something simple that just works.

Best for Large Homes: Netgear R6700

What We Like
  • Simple setup

  • Extensive coverage

  • Solid network security

What We Don't Like
  • Below average throughput speeds

  • Ugly

Covering a 1500 square foot home can be a problem for most cable internet provider rental modems, and the last things you want are slow internet speeds and an unreliable connection. When you want to forget the rental fees and bring home a reliable modem, the Netgear AC1750 is the right choice. 

The Netgear AC1750 comes with the promise of speed like most Netgear products and will give you that powerful internet connection with dual-band up to 450 + 1300 Mbps. This powerful modem will make your streaming, browsing, and gaming smooth and lag-free, and it can connect to up to 25 devices.

Just plug in your Ethernet cable, then follow the steps in the app. It’s simple and includes a ton of advanced settings for those who know a bit more about wireless networking. It also comes with strong network security and the added option of Armor Cyber-threat protection, though this service will cost extra if you decide to use it. That said, you may find the firmware frustrating and could notice slow performance, but this can be fixed with new firmware updates. 

Don’t let the size of your home suffer from a weak modem, drop your rental and bring home the Netgear AC1750.

Best for Smaller Spaces: Netgear Nighthawk C7000

What We Like
  • Slim design

  • Xfinity-certified

  • Easy to set up

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks advanced features like MU-MIMO and QoS

  • Poor customer support

  • Expensive

Netgear’s Nighthawk C7000 offers solid wireless performance in a surprisingly slim aesthetic that doesn't look like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, since it packs all of the antennas on the inside rather than letting them protrude in every direction. Even without the external antennas, however, it can cover 1,800 square feet at speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps over the 5 GHz band or 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz side.

The DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem also offers 24x8 channel bonding for internet throughput of up to 400 Mbps, and it's not only compatible with all of the major cable providers, but actually certified for Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox, although there's no phone port so it won't work with cable-bundled voice services. Set up is also a snap thanks to Netgear's easy user interface, so you won't need to be a network engineer to get up and running, although power users who want to get into the more technical settings still can. 

Not only are the Wi-Fi speeds blazingly fast, even in a large home, but the C7000 also provides four Gigabit Ethernet ports for those times when only a wired connection will do. While it doesn't offer any advanced features like MU-MIMO or QoS, it's not a serious omission for most home users considering that the available Wi-Fi bandwidth well exceeds the maximum speed of the cable internet connection.

What to Look for in a Cable Modem/Router Combo

Speed - Depending on your daily usage, you’ll need a modem/router combo that can keep up. Most modem/router combos have a max upload speed of 1 Gbps and a minimum download speed of 500 Mbps, which should be more than enough for most households.

Security - Security standards are always evolving, but the most recent ones are DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1. Buy a combo device that supports this to keep your data safe from hackers.

Price - If affordability is a factor, you’ve already made a smart choice by opting for a combo device as they tend to be cheaper than buying a dedicated router and modem. However, the price will peak as the features and speeds improve, so weigh their importance in your home.