Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems For 2021: Comcast, Cox, Spectrum
It was the time when the lightning-fast internet speed, throughout our home, was possible through fiber optic cables. But in 2021, the same Gigabit level speed is possible via DOCSIS 3.1, or Coaxial cables. It is a technology that can provide speed up to 10Gbps; however, only best DOCSIS 3.1 modems can deliver that much speed.
Moreover, Most popular companies (ISPs) in the USA, including Cox, Spectrum, and Comcast, are providing DOCSIS 3.1 compatible modems to their customers these days. However, you have to pay an extra fee on your bill every month. Therefore, buying your own modem can save you money.
Today, I’ll let you know how you can get rid of that badass modem’s rental fee and save money every month. For that, I’ve compiled a list of three popular 3.1 DOCSIS cable modems and a buying guide. Once you go through the buying guide, you’ll be able to buy a perfect DOCSIS 3.1 compatible modem on your own.
Here are my top three best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems for 2021:
1. Netgear Nighthawk CM1000 – Best DOCSIS 3.1 For Spectrum
- DOCSIS 3.1 Compatible
- Supports up to 1Gbps internet plan
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet Port
- 32×8 Channel Bonding (OFDM 2×2)
- 5 minutes setup
The CM1000 is a DOCSIS 3.1 compatible cable modem that also delivers ultra-fast speed over existing DOCSIS 3.0 using its eight upstream and 32 downstream channels. It can provide maximum download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, whereas upload speeds up to 304mbps. It is equipped with a powerful chipset called MCM3390 (the lastest chipset on the market) along with 256Mb of RAM; thus, it supports multiple devices at once.
On the design and hardware side, CM1000 follows the same design pattern of its series (CM500, CM600, CM700, even CM1200). It is having the same polyhedron-shaped case with a black matte finish color. The overall design of the modem is quite premium and feels pretty solid. On the back panel, it houses a reset button (resets modem to factory default settings), 1x Gigabit Ethernet port, one Coaxial Cable Connector, and the Power On/Off button along with adapter input.
Pros & Cons:
- The CM1000 feels quite solid, premium, and high-quality build. It is blazingly fast without any signal drop and random reboot issues.
- It is lightweight, compact, and can be set up and installed within 5 minutes.
- 32×8 Channel bonding (OFDM 2×2) with DOCSIS 3.1 Compatibility.
- It is compatible with all major cable internet providers such as Xfinity, Comcast, and Spectrum (not bundled services).
- It handles internet plans with maximum speed up to 1Gbps, allowing multi-user gaming and Ultra-HD streaming.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t include (LAG) Link Aggregation feature. However, most ISPs don’t support the LAG feature, so it may not be that useful for you.
The CM1000 is a robust DOCSIS 3.1 modem. You can expect an extreme speed up to 1Gbps form the modem. However, the claimed speed might not be noticeable for those who are paying for an 8×4 speed internet plan, not 32×8.
Moreover, the setup and installation is quite straightforward and easy; it only takes 5 to 10 minutes using its web interface. When it comes to pricing, it is worth every penny. If you’ve subscribed to a high-speed internet plan, go for it.
2. ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 – Best DOCSIS 3.1 For Cox
- DOCSIS 3.1 compatible
- 32×8 channel bonding
- 2x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- IPv4 & IPv6 Supported
- a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
After CM1000, The second DOCSIS 3.1 modem on the list is Arris Surfboard SB8200. It features 32×8 channel bonding – 32 upstream and eight downstream channels. Despite being DOCSIS 3.1 modem, it can perform better on the existing DOCSIS 3.0 standard as well. This SB8200 is sharing the same chipset Broadcom MCM3390 and 3GB of RAM.
The design of the modem is similar to the previous arris series’s models, whether it is SB6141, SB6183, SB6190, or SB8200. Therefore, it comes in white color and plastic body (matte finish) – don’t worry! It doesn’t retain any fingerprints. Unlike Netgear Nighthawk CM1000, it is a bit lightweight and small modem.
On the front, there are some LED lights and shows the modem’s activity status, including Power, receive, send, and online. On the back of the modem, it houses two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a reset button, one cable connector, and the power port.
Pros & Cons:
- Installation and setup of the hardware is quite simple and straightforward; it takes 5 minutes.
- Unlike CM1000, it has two 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports and offers Link Aggregation feature. Meaning, it allows you to create two separate networks.
- 32×8 channel bonding and 2×2 OFDM DOCSIS channels can handle 4k Ultra-HD streaming and multi-users gaming.
- It is a very lightweight, small, and compact modem. It has better airflow too.
- Arris offers a 2-years manufacturer’s warranty on this model.
I don’t like:
- It is not suitable for Spectrum ISP as it handles a maximum 400Mbps speed plan.
The Arrish surfboard SB8200 is compatible with all major internet service providers in the US. However, I don’t recommend this modem to the Spectrum’s users, especially for those who are using high-speed internet plans.
3. MOTOROLA MB8600 Docsis 3.1 – Best DOCSIS 3.1 For Comcast Xfinity
- DOCSIS 3.1 supported
- 32×8 downstream and upstream speeds
- Maximum download speed up to 6Gbps
- up to 1Gbps internet speed plan
- 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
The third most popular DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem is Motorola MB8600. It is one of the next-generation cable modems to support DOCSIS 3.1 technology on the market. Like CM1000 and SB8200, it features the same 32 downstream(SCQAM DOCSIS 3.0) and eight upstream(OFDM DOCSIS 3.1) channel speeds. The design of the modem is better and elegant. However, it lacks wall-mount capabilities.
Inside the modem, it is equipped with a powerful Broadcom chipset (BCM3390ZRKFSBG) along with 512MB of RAM. The compatibility and performance is also top of the line, and it is certified by Comcast Xfinity, Grande Communications, and Cox.
Similarly to the Netgear Nighthawk CM1000 and Arrish Surfboard SB8200, its setup is also straightforward and easy. It can be activated manually. It only requires you to open any of your favorite browsers and enter your ISP’s web address (for example, https://www.xfinity.com/internetsetup, for Comcast Xfinity) and follow all the instructions.
Pros & Cons:
- It includes 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports the LAG (Link Aggregation feature.
- It reduces Intenet Latency using AQM (Active QUEUE Management) feature.
- It supports up to 1Gbps Comcast Internet speeds.
- Setup is simple and easy, just three connections – power, coax cable, and LAN (for a WiFi router).
- Customer support by Motorola is outstanding.
I don’t like:
- It is not mountable.
when it comes to comparing it to SB8200 and CM1000, the MB8600 suffers from a lack of features and supports from the most ISPs, primarily Spectrum service provider. That being said, I never recommend this modem to Spectrum users. There is no issues when Comcast Xfinity and Cox ISPs are concerned.
Buying Guide: How to Buy DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modems For 2021?
Now you have read my favorite DOCSIS 3.1 modems that are compatible with most ISPs in the US, including Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox. The buying guide below will help you in finding the best cable modem on the market and also lets you know what factors actually matter. In addition to the buying guide, you’ll see the most frequently asked questions which beginners often have while purchasing a modem for the first time.
It is the most crucial buying factor for you to determine whether your ISP supports your modem or not. In addition to a modem’s compatibility, you can quickly check as there are so many methods to check whether it is compatible with your ISP. For that, you just need to Google ‘[YOUR ISP] compatible modems.” Once you do that, you’ll see tons of websites, including your ISP’s official website, that must have a list of compatible modems. So before buying any modem, make sure you first check its compatibility with your ISP.
Unlike routers, the security of a modem can be a big concern for you. Thus, you need to consider this factor. There is no doubt when I say your modem is a connection between your computer and the outside world. So make sure you buy a reputed brand’s cable modem that can provide high-level security to the modem.
Upstream & Downstream Channels:
You might have seen DOCSIS 3.1 Channel bonding (ex. 4×4, 8×4, 16×4, 24×8, and 32×8) on the box of the modem. These numbers let us know about the overall maximum speeds of a modem. The letter ‘x’ in between is a separator and represents how many channels (downstream & upstream) a modem includes. However, you don’t have to think about this as DOCSIS 3.1 modem always includes atleast 32 downstream and eight upstream channels.
FAQ: Most Commonly Asked Questions | DOCSIS 3.1 Modems & DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
What is DOCSIS 3.1?
DOCSIS 3.1 stands for ‘Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.’ It is the upgraded version of DOCSIS 3.0. CableLabs introduced this ‘DOCSIS’ technology, and it uses coaxial cable in order to transfer data. Earlier, the DOCSIS technology was used for cable TV connection. But, now it has widely adopted by all the major Internet Service Providers In the USA.
Should I use DOCSIS 3.1 compatible cable modems?
The DOCSIS 3.1 compatible modems follow the four most important key features: Coax cable (comparatively, it is faster than fiber optic cable), enhanced security (it provides better protection), reduced packet latency (improved gaming experiences and better VoIP calls quality), and sleep mode (it is known for reducing power consumption).
What is the difference between DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1?
A major and a critical difference between DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 is their speeds. A DOCSIS 3.0 compatible modem can offer a maximum upstream speed of 200mbps and a maximum downstream speed of 1Gbps.
On the other hand, a DOCSIS 3.1 compatible modem can reach a maximum upstream speed of 1Gbps and a downstream speed of 10Gbps. Moreover, DOCSIS 3.1 technology features more efficient data spectrums. It means it can send an increased amount of data over your network than DOCSIS 3.0.
What is the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem For Cox, Comcast, and Spectrum?
After putting them to the test, the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem for Comcast is Netgear Nighthawk CM1000, The best DOCSIS 3.1 modem for Cox is Arris Surfboard SB8200, and the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem for Comcast is Motorola MB8600. However, all the DOCSIS 3.1 modems listed up above are compatible with Cox, Spectrum, and Comcast. So pick one that fits your requirements and budget.
All the modems that are compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 technology are future-proof and offer so many features. Therefore, DOCSIS 3.1 modems are expensive than the older DOCSIS 3.0 modems. However, I’ve shared with you a list of top DOCSIS 3.1 modems for 2021 with a buyer’s guide.
Still, you have any doubt about modems, just comment below. I would love to reply.