6 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems For Gigabit ISPs [Latest Recommendations]
The DOCSIS 3.1 is a technology introduced by Cablelabs that uses a cable interface for providing speeds up to 10 Gbps. Such gigabit level speeds were previously possible only using fiber optic cables. But by implementing this, your cable internet provider can provide blazing speeds even on the coaxial cables that are used by majority of the ISPs even now!
If you are a professional who works from home, or have too many tabs open, or play games online, you understand how essential it is to have a good internet connection. If your computers are often starved of the internet, and you have decided to invest in a modem instead of wasting money renting one from your ISP, we suggest buying the modem that comes with DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
Don’t want to learn about the DOCSIS 3.1 modem? → Jump straight to the list.
The Best DOCSIS 3.1 modems can ensure that there is never any lag in your online game and you can stream 4K videos on the go. It is also essential for people who work from home and don’t want to compromise their work because of slow internet.
Of course, you can always rent a modem from your ISP but that will cost you over the years and won’t be a high-quality one too. The best course is to simply get one for yourself.
Before getting it, you should make sure that your ISP supports the DOCSIS 3.1 technology in your area and the modem itself. While we can’t help you with the area related information, but to make it easier for you, while checking out the top models in our list, you’ll find the compatible ISPs and if the modem has been approved by them. Furthermore, we’ve highlighted the non-compatible ISPs to avoid you from buying the modem that won’t work!
To help you understand the technology better, we have provided a brief overview below in the article.
ARRIS Surfboard Gigabit Docsis 3.1 Cable Modem
Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
Netgear CM1150V (Certified for Xfinity)
What is DOCSIS 3.1?
The abbreviation stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. In order to make your cable system to work with a cable modem, this protocol is required. The Docsis 3.1 is the international standard used for transferring data over a cable TV system.
It is based on the latest digital technologies like LDPC encoding, QoS support, low latencies, high modulation orders, and over 1 GHz of usable spectrum. The Docsis 3.1 technology has the ability to maintain backward compatibility and deploy it on an HFC network. Therefore, you don’t have to upgrade the plants. Isn’t it revolutionary?
With DOCSIS 3.1, you can get blazing speeds of up to 10 GBPS that was previously possible only using a fiber-optic connection. It is understandable why residential households prefer fiber optic connections, but all this is about to change with the introduction of DOCSIS 3.1.
With the introduction of this technology, cable service operators can meet the demand for high-speed connections and even rival the fiber optic market. Just using a DOCSIS 3.1 modem on one end cannot deliver high speeds, but if both ends of the connection are supported by the technology, it is completely possible to meet the standard set by fiber-optic companies.
The Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems [With Compatible ISPs]
No matter what we want to buy, we humans always look value for money! While creating this list, not only did we just find out the compatible modems, but we placed ourselves in your place and did the research. Not only have we listed the top rated DOCSIS 3.1 modems, but we’ve also added a review about each of the modems, compatible ISPs, non-compatible ISPs, pros & cons, etc.
Check out the list carefully to find out the best modem that will work for you. Each of them has a unique set of features and you should look for one that is tailor-made for your condition.
1. Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modem: ARRIS Surfboard Gigabit Docsis 3.1 Cable Modem
- Compatible with Comcast Xfinity and Cox Cable
- Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink. Not compatible with bundled voice services. No Telephone Port
- 32 download and 8 upload channels.
- Up to 10+ GB per second DOCSIS 3.1 download speeds
- Gigabit Ethernet ports
One of the most popular DOCSIS 3.1 modems in the market, ARRIS is a leading brand producing excellent devices for nearly 60 years that embody the innovative spirit of the company. It was one of the first companies to introduce the concept of digital TV and introduced the internet with a cable modem.
The Surfboard SB8200 is the first DOCSIS 3.1 modem that is crafted with the newest technology by cable service providers. It has 32 download and 8 upload channels, and it allows streaming of Ultra-HD 4K videos. Moreover, you can also try virtual reality games with this device.
It also has 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports which allow the user to create separate home networks from just one modem. Now you can create separate channels for connections of every family member. Getting high-speed internet has never been this easy.
If you don’t have DOCSIS 3.1 in your area, you don’t have to worry. The modem also has backward compatibility which allows it to work with DOCSIS 3.0 as well as 3.1 technology. It also supports IPv4 and IPv6 browsing standards.
The device is quite small compared to standard modem sizes. Since it comes with a Broadcom chipset, it runs fast and shows stable performance even with its small size. I used the device for nearly 3 months and it did not show a single drop.
There are some packet loss and heating issue with the device. When running for a long time, the modem can get hot enough to throttle download and upload speeds. In fact, the latency issues and packet loss are directly connecting to the overheating of the chipset.
To counter the problem, I ended up installing a small fan to keep the device running at room temperatures. Some users have also complained about the poor customer service and warranty replacement services offered by Arris. Since my unit worked perfectly, I didn’t get to check that claim, but I would keep that in mind when committing to the device.
Please note that the modem does not work with Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink.
- Affordable modem
- Very easy to set up
- Works with all routers
- Connections drop sometimes
- Overheating may throttle speed
2. Best For Compatibility: Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
- Built-in DOCSIS 3.1 and 32×8 3.0 capabilities
- Model MB8600 works with any Ethernet-capable PC or WiFi router
- Approved by Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1, Cox, and CableOne for all speeds including Comcast Gigabit services and Cox Gigablast.
- Broadcom modem chipset and 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port
- Full-band capture digital tuner and Active Queue Management (AQM)
The Motorola MB8600 works with almost every kind of Ethernet-enabled PC or WiFi router. Whether it is Whole Home WiFi or a Mesh router, simply connect and get going. However, users should note that this modem does not come with a built-in wireless router or have the ability to make phone calls.
This Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 offers blazing fast internet speeds for all cable internet services. Whether your operator offers slows internet or fast, this modem is here to optimize and improve the service. Every kind of internet user, from those of you who love streaming 4K HD videos to online gamers – Motorola is ready to meet your demands.
As it is approved for use with Comcast Xfinity, along with Xfinity X1, Cox and CableOne for all speeds – the modem can save you your hard-earned cash over the year as well. Moreover, you can also use Comcast Gigabit services as well as Cox Gigabit with this modem. You should also know that the modem is not compatible with several other services.
The MB8600 uses a Broadcom modem chipset that secures you from Denial of Service attacks. It also comes with a full band capture digital turner which further enhances the speed of download as well as saves energy.
What’s more, the modem comes with AQM, or Active Queue Management, which single-handedly reduces latency on Docsis 3.1. as a result, you experience faster loading of web pages, and enhancement in interactive sessions during online gaming and video conferencing. This makes the MB8600 one of the best cable modems in the market.
When it comes to the design of the product, the attractive vertical engineering makes it look extremely sophisticated and modern. It also occupies very little space compared to other modems. The modem remains cool and there is no threat of throttling of speed due to overheating. This is because there is a grid pattern on the side which helps in ventilation.
The modem can handle up to 4 bound ethernet ports and shell out 4 GB per second, if you have heavy requirements. It is also much cheaper than other modems on this list, making it an all-round performer for the regular user. The technical support of the company is based in the US and is extremely prompt and fast as well.
- DDoS protection
- Compact and sophisticated design
- Warranty of 2 years
- Integrated with Active Queue Management
- Connection drops sometimes
3. Best Docsis 3.1 Modem for Comcast (Xfinity): Netgear CM1150V (Certified for Xfinity)
- Certified by Comcast for Xfinity
- Not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH, and non-Xfinity voice services.
- Up to 2 Gigabits speed and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Engineered with 32×8 channel bonding, OFDM 2×2, and DOCSIS 3.1.
- Can connect to any WiFi router to support all wireless devices.
- Can be connected to 2 telephone lines with enhanced call features including caller ID, 3-way conference calling, call forwarding and more.
The Netgear CM1150V is an easy to use gigabit modem based on the Docsis 3.1 technology that is crafted keeping in mind the needs of the modern-day user. It is intended to be used by novices and people who are not so tech-savvy. So, if you were thinking of getting a modem for your parents or grandparents, this is the one for you.
However, if you are an advanced user, you can access the deep customization options. The modem is every bit as easy to set up as you need and is also one of the smoothest technologies I have ever used. Once you install it, you can forget all about it – that’s how low maintenance it is.
The device offers gigabit speeds with excellent voice quality from Xfinity. In fact, it also provides a pair of phone line ports with which you can use the voice services offered by Comcast. For people who are looking for a quick way to connect to the internet without any of the hassles, this is the best service in the market.
The DOCSIS 3.1 device allows fastest speeds available with Comcast network. In fact, the 3.1 offers speeds 10 times faster than 3.0. Moreover, since the device is backward compatible, you can use it with the previous technology as well without any issues.
One of my favorite features of this modem is that it comes with network expanding features. MU-MIMO support and native mesh support are integrated. However, if you are thinking of supporting more than 12 connections with this modem, it is better to invest in a device that comes with specialized support for such connections.
This Netgear modem is a great looking device, there is no doubt about that. It is shaped like a hexagon, and it looks pretty different and neat, even if the external design does nothing for the connectivity of the modem. However, without the stand, the modem struggles to stand upright.
It is highly recommended that you use the modem in its upright position. Of it is laid horizontally, it is highly likely that you will reduce airflow and may cause throttling of speed due to overheating.
The company provides this modem with 1 year of warranty and 3 months of tech support. After that, you will have to work with their web-based services for any issues you may be encountering. Although that is not a bad deal per se, it is also not a great one.
- Great looks
- MU-MIMO support and native mesh support
- Can support more than 12 connections
- Backward compatible
- Overheating causes speed throttling
- Certification by Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, and COX
- Not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH, and any bundled voice service.
- Up to 2 Gigabits speed. Engineered with 32×8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.1.
- Best for Large Areas: Up to 3000 square ft wireless coverage and 45 devices connected with AC3200 speed.
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 hi-speed USB 3.0 ports.
- Includes parental controls, and supports WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols.
Netgear C7800 was one of the first modems that came out when Broadcom’s Docsis 3.1 chipset was launched. It doesn’t have all the futuristic features of other Netgear products – but it is a reliable device that will meet all your Internet needs.
The cable modem router offers blazing fast internet speed which claims to rival the speed offered by optical fiber networks. You can enjoy streaming HD videos as well as play Virtual Reality games on multiple devices with the network.
The modem provides speeds up to 3.2 GBPS and is 10 times faster than Docsis 3.0 it also comes with a powerful 1.5 GHz processor which has dual cores. As a result, your wired and wireless speed is boosted.
Since it is a two-in-one device, you can use it like a cable modem as well as a WiFi router. There is no need to get a separate router when you upgrade to this combo. This versatile device will meet all your internet needs for streaming and video gaming on the go.
One of the factors that differentiate this device from others in the market is its active antennae which amplify power from the main-board. This helps in the reduction of interference as well as simplification of the design of the board. As a result, the modem cum WIFI router delivers much better and smoother performance than its other competitors.
The C7800 has another advantage – it comes integrated with features like Netgear Genie app, ReadySHARE USB, and ReadySHARE Vault. The result? You can use your modem to act as a central backup destination. Just attach a USB drive and you are good to go.
For people who live in apartment units and smaller houses, this mesh kit fits the needs perfectly. It is a compact system that can decrease the overall cost of discrete units, as well as help with reduction in the overall cost of renting modems from service providers.
- Combo of router and modem
- Fast speed
- 1.5 GHz processor
- Ideal for small houses
- Comes with USB support and can be used as a backup
- No cons recorded so far
- Certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Spectrum.
- Up to 1 Gigabit speed.
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port connects to a computer or separate Wi-Fi router.
- Engineered with 32×8 channel bonding, OFDM 2×2, and DOCSIS 3.1.
With twice the channel bonding capacity of other modems, this Netgear device is a highly recommended modem when it comes to Docsis 3.1 capacities. The company was the first to create modems that work with this technology, and clearly, it is still number one in this regard.
The Netgear CM1000 is one of the oldest and best products put forth by the company. It offers download speeds of 1.2 GB per second and upload speeds of 304 MB per second. If you are working with a 8 x 4 modem at the moment, you will notice a massive change in your browsing and streaming speeds if you get this device.
The back panel of this modem has a very simple and user-oriented design such that there is one Gigabit ethernet connection, one coaxial connection, a reset button, power input socket and the power switch. The intuitive design is brilliantly thought-out.
On the front, there are five indicator LEDs, along with an aluminium strip. As a result, the device looks extremely elegant and sophisticated. My only complaint with the device is that the indicator lights are very difficult to see from across the room.
The five LEDs are for power, downstream, upstream, internet, and ethernet. You should keep an eye on the power light – a red light indicates that the device is too hot and throttling of speed may occur due to the heat. If the downstream light is blinking, it means that the modem is looking for a downstream channel.
Upstream blinking is again, indicative of the modem’s search for a channel. If your internet light is blinking, the modem is syncing with the provider’s cable modem termination system (CMTS). A blinking green or amber ethernet light indicates that the Ethernet port is processing traffic.
Another thing to be noted is that unlike Arris, Netgear only offers one year warranty for its devices. You can connect with the support team using phone or email. You can also use live chat for getting information quickly. In my experience, working with the team was extremely easy and they resolved all my issues smoothly.
Hey bear CM1000 is one of those devices that will stay with you for a couple of years and save you several hundreds on a rental modem. It also ensures that you can use the latest Docsis 3.1 technology if it is available in your area, and if it is not – there is no harm is staying up to date.
- All cable internet speed tiers supported
- Meets specifications of docsis 3.1
- Can stream 4K content
- Approved by Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Spectrum.
- Not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and any bundled voice service.
- Up to 2 Gigabits speed. Supports IPv6 – Internet standard.
- Engineered with 32×8 channel bonding, OFDM 2×2, and DOCSIS 3.1.
- Link aggregation combines two 1G ports into one 2G port for faster wired ethernet speed.
Another exclusive addition to the Netgear collection, the Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 is defined as the future of cable internet with its excellent docsis 3.1 support and blazing fast internet speeds.
This device is able to use 2 OFDM and 2 OFDMA channels up to 32×8 QAM channels in DOCSIS 3.0 mode. The CM1200 also supports 2 GB per second transfer if you have enabled link aggregation and at least two Gigabit Ethernet ports are in use. It is one of the few modems in the market that comes with link aggregation technology.
As a result, you get a beast of a device which ensures blazing fast speeds that will stream 4K videos on the go. You can play online games seamlessly and even play games in VR. You just have to pair it with a compatible Nighthawk router and you are good to go. Ultimate streaming and gaming are just a click away now.
This modem is able to connect with the fastest internet service providers in the market because of its latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology. Get up to speed with the latest tech and experience 10 times faster download speeds.
One of my favorite features of the device is that it provides backward compatibility which ensures that you can use it with DOCSIS 3.0 technology as well. It also has 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels. It also supports separate IP addresses from the same service provider.
Another user-compatible feature of this device is that it comes with support for all WiFi routers. Just pair it with your current router and then it’s smooth sailing. You can use it right out of the box. Simple plug the coax cable in the modem and connect it your computer via an Ethernet cable.
- Link aggregation
- 10 times faster speed
- Backwards compatibility
- No cons have been observed
DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1 Comparison: The Difference
When buying modems, DOCSIS is one of the most important features to consider. 3.0 and 3.1 are actually version numbers of protocols used by modems. The main difference between them comes down to the speed and number of channels you can use at the same time.
Some of the advantages of a DOCSIS 3.1 over 3.0 are highlighted as follows:
- Speed: as mentioned before, it is one of the major and perhaps, the only important features that consumers care about. When it comes to downloading speeds, there is nothing that can counter DOCSIS 3.1, because it offers to speed up to 10 GB per second and upload network capacity of 1 GB per second.
- AQM: Active queue management ensures that there is very little network delay because data traffic is handled at home network level. The result? No lag when playing games online, fast responses when engaging with other players, faster movie downloads, faster streaming, and graphics display at an even higher resolution.
- Increased capacity on existing networks: Docsis 3.1 also offers an increase in network capacity because it can transmit 50 percent more data over the same spectrum compared to 3.0 technology.
- Less energy wastage: The active queue management also ensures that there is very little wastage of energy because of increased cable modem efficiency.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what your service provider can give you. If your ISP offers internet speed of more than 1 GB, you should invest in 3.1 modems. But if the average speed offers if less, DOCSIS 3.0 will do just fine.
Since these devices tend to cost upwards of $100, and a 3.0 modem only costs $50 – you should only invest in such devices if you are in need of speed like that.
Major Gigabit ISPs in the US
The network is one of the most versatile ISPs in the US, as it provides cable television, internet, and wireless services. XFINITY offers various packages and allows the user to choose according to their requirements. Therefore, it is very user-oriented and easy to customize.
There are XFINITY bundles you can choose from that combine both TV and internet. Internet speed is 150 Mbps in almost all of the bundles, which is sufficient for the average person. You can stream 4K videos on the go, and all the internet speed tiers are suitable for online gaming. Latency is not an issue when you game via this provider.
In 2017, it was also rated as the fastest internet provider by SpeedTest and Netflix. Advanced XFi gateways can give you the speed up to 1 Gigabit per second with XFINITY.
Spectrum Gig has offered gigabit speed to large enterprises for years and now it has offers for small and medium-sized firms. Spectrum Business Internet Gig delivers you a constant IP, remote network access to ensure you uninterrupted service even on the road.
In some regions, the plans of this ISP provide you a speed up to 940 MB per second. If you do not live in such area, rest assured – Spectrum internet speeds starting at 60 Mbps which is more than enough for a fast internet experience. It is one of the best ISPs for large homes with multiple connections who enjoy heavy internet activities.
It is the third-largest cable provider in the US delivering internet over coaxial cables. COX communications give you high-speed internet across 18 states. Cable and internet from COX are cost-effective for the average consumer as compared to other companies.
The ISP is a good option if you have a tight budget and need a reliable internet along with a decent cable TV. For small businesses, Cox offers a variety of plans ranging from internet speed of 25 Mbps to 300 Mbps. Each of these plans includes static IP addresses, online backups up to 25 GB, branded email addresses, along with security suite licenses which protect your computer from viruses and online threats.
Mediacom promotes TV and internet services starting as low as 40$. This bundle unlocks 60 Mbps of speed and 100+ channels. However, as mentioned in one of our posts, modems provided by Mediacom are mediocre, and most of the dropouts of service are a result of poor maintenance. Therefore, if you are on this plan, we highly recommend getting a brand-new modem.
A plan of 100/500 MB per second will provide you with the mentioned speed very consistently. There are slowdowns here and there but these only reduce speed 20-25%. In certain cases, downloading speed has been reported to be excellent but it is not very consistent for a prolonged time. Medicom also offers a Wifi mesh which helps to remove dead zones from the house.
5. WOW! Internet
WOW! Internet gives cheap internet plans in the south and the Midwest US. Internet packages go from 30$ to 80$ per month. Compared to other top ISPs, Wow is relatively cheap. Wow came 8th out of 67 ISPs in May 2018 as part of a survey conducted by Netflix. Uncapped data is the biggest perk of WOW!
The maximum speed of WOW! internet plans tends to fall above-average range. To take advantage of its great prices, customers need to stick around for at least one or two years of service. Among current customers, the reviews are up and down.
The quality of service largely depends on the consumer’s area, but if you don’t like it, you can cancel the contract during the first 30-day testing period without paying any extra charges.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what your needs are when you think of buying a modem. The quality of experience with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is definitely unparalleled. With over 10 GB per second speed, you will get to experience the smoothest internet experience of your lifetime.
All six models featured here are the best in their category. Arris has proved over and over again that the company has products that are reliable and worthy of trust. You can rest assured that this device will earn its hefty price tag with its unbeatable performance and easy to use set up.
The Motorola modem offers stable internet at a cheap price. Not only does it come with protection from DDoS or Denial of Service attacks, but it also has Active Queue Management which prioritizes and improves your internet activity. If security is your major concern, this is the one for you.
All the devices offered by Netgear are excellent. The Nighthawk model is ideal for people who want to reduce the number of cables and only use one box for everything. It can connect to 45 wireless devices at the same time and is a good device for a large family.
On the other hand, Netgear CM1000 is perfect for people who love gaming. It offers speed of up to 1 GB per second without any lag, so you can indulge in gameplay with multiple players without missing a beat. It is also useful for anyone who needs a premium device with high-speed access. Whether it is streaming, downloading, uploading, or handling other high bandwidth application, this is one of the best.
Netgear CM1150V and C7800 are also best in-line modems that support 3.1 technology. The latter offers a combo of router and modem and supports fast speed. It also has a 1.5 GHz processor and if you use it with a USB, it can be used as a backup. CM1150V, on the other hand, is easy to use a piece of technology that is crafted keeping in mind the needs of the modern-day user. It is intended to be used by novices and people who are not so tech-savvy.
Whatever device you choose, the ultimate end goal is to get faster internet. All of these devices ensure that. The rest of the details are up to you.