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Which Docsis 3.1 modems are best?

If you are tired of renting a cable modem from your internet service provider, there is no reason to keep wasting your money. If you divide out the cost of renting over time, a year of renting your modem is more than enough to buy your own instead.

For one of the all-around best Docsis 3.1 modems available, the Netgear Docsis 3.1 is the top choice. It supports all internet service speed tiers, so if you have yet to upgrade, this one can help you make the switch.

What to know before you buy a Docsis 3.1 modem

What kind of modem do you need?

Depending on the speed of internet service you have, you may need a different type of modem. Docsis 3.0 models can handle high-speed internet, but you need a Docsis 3.1 modem if you use a gigabit service. This new generation of internet speed is great for downloading large files, streaming high-quality videos and playing online video games. 

Is the modem compatible with your network?

Most cable modems will be able to function when connected to your internet service provider’s network. It is not usually a big concern, but you should still check with your ISP for the list of supported modems and devices. There is no guarantee that all modems will work with every provider, so check before you buy anything.

Will you need a Wi-Fi connection?

Chances are you want to connect wirelessly to your modem. For that, you need a wireless router in addition to the modem. For the sake of convenience, you may consider picking out a unit that serves double duty as a modem and a wireless router. But keep in mind that wireless router technology generally updates faster than the tech for modems. It is likely that you will need an updated wireless router before a new modem.

What to look for in a quality Docsis 3.1 modem


Some modems can operate as a standalone, all-in-one unit for delivering your internet connection. A modem with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity can be a fast solution for your internet needs. By placing your modem/wireless router in a spot that can provide good coverage, you will have your Wi-Fi ready to use very quickly.


The best modems will last a long time. Statistically, it is more likely that you would be upgrading a modem before you would have the need to repair the device. Low-quality modems can have problems quickly, while the best options will probably last until the newest generation of technology is released.


The best modems are not designed to work with specific internet providers. The problem with most internet services is that they will not work with every type of modem. Service providers generally have a list of compatible devices, so check it out before making any purchases.

How much you can expect to spend on a Docsis 3.1 modem

You can get a basic internet modem for under $100, but if you want better speeds and additional features, expect to spend around $100 to $350.

Docsis 3.1 modem FAQ

How do you install your modem?

A. It is not very difficult to get your new modem installed, but you may need to call your service provider. After you plug in the modem to the port in your home, you can connect it to a stable power outlet. Your ISP can register the modem to your account so that it will be able to provide an internet connection. After you get that settled, which usually only takes one quick phone call, it should be ready to use.

Is a Docsis 3.1 modem backward compatible?

A. The 3.1 models are designed to handle gigabit-speed internet connections. However, that does not stop them from working at slower speeds too. If you have a slower speed right now and plan to upgrade in the future, check that your modem will be able to handle those faster speeds. The adaptable compatibility of the 3.1 modems is part of what makes it a good choice.

What’s the best Docsis 3.1 modem to buy?

Top Docsis 3.1 modem

Netgear Docsis 3.1

Netgear Docsis 3.1

What you need to know: This 3.1 modem delivers reliably fast connections for many popular service providers.

What you’ll love: It should work with Optimum, Xfinity, Comcast, Mediacom Cable, Cox and Spectrum internet. Docsis 3.1 offers download speeds that are 10 times faster than the previous generation of 3.0 models. Its maximum download speed is 6.0 Gbps. 

What you should consider: It is not compatible with any bundled voice services or Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink. A separate wireless router is required for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Docsis 3.1 modem for the money

Arris Touchstone CM8200A Docsis 3.1

Arris Touchstone CM8200A Docsis 3.1

What you need to know: This affordable 3.1 modem is flexible and comes with a 90-day guarantee.

What you’ll love: It is designed to work with Spectrum services. It can connect through WAN and Ethernet ports. It allows for custom design setups to monitor end users more efficiently. It is a compact design but has two ethernet ports. 

What you should consider: To use Wi-Fi, you’ll also need a wireless router. Some users have reported receiving incorrect parts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Motorola MG8702 Docsis 3.1

Motorola MG8702 Docsis 3.1

What you need to know: This ultra-fast 3.1 modem includes a Wi-Fi router and pairs with a mobile application for testing and monitoring.

What you’ll love: It is approved for Comcast, Xfinity, Cox and Charter Spectrum. The built-in Wi-Fi 5 router allows for seamless management of multiple devices connected at the same time. It significantly reduces connection lag, making gaming experiences more responsive and video conferencing smooth.

What you should consider: It is a fairly expensive investment, but you are also getting the built-in Wi-Fi router.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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