Having a decent internet connection has become a necessity these days. We use the internet every day to quickly find information, watch videos, listen to music, manage finances, shop from home, communicate with people around the world, and much, much more.
In order to connect different devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, etc.) to the worldwide web, you need a modem and a router.
A purchase like this can feel overwhelming, especially if tech specs aren’t your thing. In this article, we have explained everything in simple language to make the process a little easier.
A modem (short for modulator-demodulator) is a hardware device that establishes and maintains a stable connection to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). It modulates carrier wave signals to encode digital data for transmission, and demodulates signals to decode transmitted data.
The objective of a modem is to generate an electrical signal that can be easily transmitted (over telephone lines) and reliably decoded to obtain the original digital data.
When the connection is established, the router performs the traffic directing functions. It’s a networking device that accepts the incoming data packets and forwards them to your home devices (both wired and wireless).
A few years back, you need to purchase these two devices separately. Recent advances in electrical and electronic engineering have made it feasible to fit both into one machine — the modem router combo.
This combo streamlines your setup and saves some space at your workstation. If you purchase it, you will also save significant money in the long run instead of renting one from your internet provider — users report up to $180 per year in savings.
Things to consider before buying Modem Router Combo
Bandwidth: is the maximum data transfer rate of your network, and it affects how fast your internet is. The maximum bandwidth of the modem router combo (shown in Mbps or Gbps) should be more than the top speed promised by your ISP.
Range: Generally, all devices provide ample coverage for your entire home. However, if you have a large living space, pay close attention to the range offered by the model. A typical combo (operating on a 2.4 GHz band) reaches approximately 46 meters indoors and 90 meters outdoor.
Type of Bands: Routers provide multiple data bands to minimize bottlenecking and maximize efficiency in directing network traffic. A single band router utilizes the 2.4 GHz band, while a dual-band router utilizes both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band.
A tri-band router takes it one step further and provides three wireless bands to accommodate even more devices on a network. More specifically, it provides three separate networks (one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz networks), allowing you to perform heavier network tasks, such as online gaming and 4K streams, without any glitches.
Number of Ports: If you want to connect multiple desktops and printers, check out how many ports the combo has. If it contains different types of USB and Ethernet ports, you can plug in supported devices for a fast and stable network. It can run both wired and wireless devices simultaneously.
Below we have listed some of the best modem router combos that offer a unique set of features and specs. We have covered all the information you need to make the best purchase.
Note: The article is completely unbiased. We are not associated with any manufacturing company, and we don’t get any commission if you buy the product.
11. Asus CM-32 AC2600
Maximum Download Speed: 1.3 Gbps
The combo contains one DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and one AC2600 WiFi router to provide full bandwidth internet access and expansive wireless coverage. It’s an ideal choice for connected homes with various devices that are streaming, downloading, and gaming simultaneously.
The dual-band router equipped with the latest 802.11ac 32×8 channel bonding technology delivers up to 1.3 Gbps download speeds. It has four Gigabit Ethernet and two USB 2.0 ports for your wired devices such as desktops, printers, and gaming consoles.
The four antennas enhance routers’ transmission range and sensitivity. The fine-tuned AiRadar beamforming technology provides strong WiFi connectivity that other conventional modem router combos can’t compete.
AC2600 is compatible with major US cable internet providers, including Spectrum (legacy time warner cable and charter), Cox, Comcast Xfinity, and more.
10. NETGEAR AC1600
Maximum Download Speed: 680 Mbps
It’s a two-in-one AC1600 WiFi router and integrated DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, certified to work with Xfinity, Spectrum, Cablevision, Cox, and more cable internet providers.
Like most other combos listed in this article, it is not compatible with AT&T, Verizon, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DISH, and any bundled voice service.
With 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels, this device provides a decent amount of bandwidth for heavy internet use. Since it’s a dual-band router, you can switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, depending on your usage. 2.4 GHz WiFi is better for browsing, while 5 GHz is suitable for purposes that require fast internet (such as gaming and streaming 4K content) but has a shorter signal range.
AC1600 can connect up to 25 devices spread across 1,500 square feet. You can use the NETGEAR Nighthawk app to configure and get more out of your WiFi. The app shows you the traffic meter, connected devices, and allows you to pause the internet and configure guest networks.
9. NETGEAR Orbi CBK752
Maximum Download Speed: 4.2 Gbps
The Orbi CBK752 is a powerful all-in-one solution to provide high-performance WiFi coverage for 40+ devices spread across 5,000 square feet.
It comes with the WiFi 6 system, which offers 4 times more device capacity and 40% more data throughput than WiFi 5. The DOCSIS 3.1 modem supports internet plans up to 6 Gbps and compatible with major modem providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and more.
The device runs on a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor and features tri-band WiFi for less network congestion and device interference and more speed and efficiency. It supports WPA2 wireless security protocols and includes DoS, Firewall, VPN, and Guest WiFi access.
You can use the Orbi app (available for both Android and iOS) to set up your network. The app shows your connected devices and allows you to run internet speed tests and manage your NETGEAR service subscription — all from the palm of your hand.
8. Motorola MG7550
Maximum Download Speed: 686 Mbps
This device has a 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and AC1900 dual-band WiFi Gigabit router packed together in one well-designed housing. Its vertical design minimizes shelf space and increases cooling while looking great in any office or home desk.
The Motorola MG7550 features four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, Power Boost, and a firewall DFS.
- The Ethernet ports provide wired connections to Mac and Windows desktops, game stations, HDTVs, and other LAN-capable devices.
- Wireless Power Boost adds high-performance power amplifiers, which enhance the wireless signal to the legal limit, providing a substantial boost in range and speed.
- Unlike conventional routers, MG7550 can operate on WiFi Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS). Thus, it is less vulnerable to wireless network interference from neighbors.
The device supports almost all major cable service providers, including Xfinity X1, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Comcast Xfinity, CableOne, and Cox. Motorola offers a 24-month manufacturer warranty, and if you have any questions regarding the device, you can contact their U.S-based technical support via phone or email.
7. NETGEAR C7000
Maximum Download Speed: 400 Mbps
C7000 is designed to meet DOCSIS 3.0 specifications. It has a 1.6 GHz processor, 128 MB flash memory, and 256 MB RAM to boost gaming and streaming performance.
This modem router combo can provide a seamless WiFi network for up to 30 devices. It intelligently selects between dual bands to reduce interference and boost speed for your different smart wireless devices.
It supports standard 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels and the fastest cable internet speed tiers. The amplified antennas and range-boosting Beamforming+ technology make it feasible for C7000 to transfer data at 1.9 Gigabit per second.
Four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB port give you fast wired connections to your desktop, gaming console, storage drive, printer, and other devices.
6. ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2
Maximum Download Speed: 600 Mbps
The ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 merges a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and an 802.11ac WiFi router with four high-speed Ethernet ports, in a single powerful device. Its 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels make it a perfect combo for gaming and streaming 4K content.
While the front side of the device looks very usual, the backside is quite unique. It has been clearly labeled and color-coded to the point anyone should be able to easily install and troubleshoot Surfboard.
The device uses WiFi beamforming to spread the wireless network across a large area for optimal coverage. It is powerful enough to cover nearly 3,000 square feet of area. But since the actual coverage depends on the number of obstacles placed around the router, it is very difficult to estimate the coverage with precision.
SBG7600AC2 is compatible with Spectrum, Cox, Xfinity, and many other popular cable internet providers. ARRIS provides a two-year warranty with the product and certainly enough time to ensure that you didn’t receive something defective.
5. Motorola MG7700
Maximum Download Speed: 1 Gbps
Motorola MG7700 includes a fast 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and AC1900 3×3 wireless gigabit router to fulfill intensive needs for multimedia, internet video, and high-performance networking in an office or home.
It has 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels (which are lanes for handling traffic, the more, the better). This connectivity protocol is slower than 32×8 modems but a lot faster than 16×4 ones.
The device comes with a Broadcom modem chipset that offers advanced security against Denial of Service attacks. It also features built-in parental control and an advanced firewall for added security.
Overall, if you live in a modestly-sized apartment, you won’t be disappointed with the MG7700’s performance.
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1100
Maximum Download Speed: 1 Gbps
The CM1100 ultra-high speed cable modem features DOCSIS 3.1, which is up to 10 times faster than the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. DOCSIS 3.1 increases the uplink speed to the cloud for critical uploads like security camera feeds, improves stability and reliability of the internet connection, and is more energy-efficient.
It is backward compatible with previous DOCSIS standards. The technology offers two OFDMA downstream and two OFDMA upstream channels, which allow users to enjoy smooth online streaming and gaming from any corner of the home.
Netgear CM1100 is specially designed for Gigabit cable internet service plans available today and ready for future upgrades. It works with Spectrum, Xfinity, and Cox. You can easily self-activate without needing a service call.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX80
Maximum Download Speed: 2 Gbps
If you want a modem router combo with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 and WiFi technology, you must check out Nighthawk CAX80. It runs on a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, which effectively boosts wired, wireless, and WAN-to-LAN performance.
The device is packed with innovative technologies such as OFDMA (short for Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple-Access), 4×4 Multi-User MIMO, and smart scheduling. WiFi 6 delivers a significant boost in speed and total capacity. This means more devices can be connected with less congestion.
You will get blazing connection speeds of over 1 Gbps, which is more than enough for 4K/8K streaming and VR/AR gaming. There are also four Gigabit Ethernet ports to attach wired devices for faster file transfer and uninterrupted connections.
Overall, the Nighthawk CAX80 provides stronger and reliable WiFi coverage indoors and outdoors for all your devices. Its high-performance antennas (which are pre-configured to deliver the best performance) amplify WiFi signals for maximum range and reliable coverage.
2. ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300
Maximum Download Speed: 2 Gbps
The SBG8300 merges a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem and an 802.11 WiFI router equipped with four 1-gigabit Ethernet ports, which make it a space-saving and economical device.
It can bond up to 32 downstream and 8 upstream DOCSIS 3.0 channels, or 2 upstream and 2 downstream OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 channels, enabling more bandwidth for ultra-high-speed capability.
At the back of the modem, you will find a reset button, four 1-gigabit Ethernet ports for RJ-45 network cable connections, four LED indicators, a coaxial cable connector, and a power port.
This device is best for speed plans up to 4 Gbps. It is compatible with most US cable internet providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox. You will get an extended two-year warranty after registering the product on the ARRIS consumer support website.
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800
Maximum Download Speed: 2 Gbps
If you are looking for the sleekest modem router combo, check out his fine piece of plastic-encased technology. It is packed with a powerful 1.5 GHz dual-core processor to boost wired, wireless, and WAN-to-LAN networks.
The Nighthawk C7800 is a dual-band device capable of transferring 3,200 megabits per second (Mbps). It features 32×8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.0.
The router is equipped with two hi-speed USB ports and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for people who want stable wired connections to their desktops, storage drives, printers, game box, and other devices.
C7800 is compatible with most cable providers and works flawlessly with COX, Spectrum and, Xfinity by Comcast. As far as security is concerned, it supports WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless protocols and includes parental controls.