5 Best Gaming Modems 2020| Reviews, Tips & Buying Guide
If you are a gamer and want to buy the best gaming modem, then I am 100% sure that you might have asked Google something like the following queries:
(Note: All the included queries are taken from Google Trends and Keyword Planner)
1. Best modem for gaming and streaming (67% people asked)
2. Best Modem for online gaming (13% people asked)
3. Best gaming modem/router combo (11% people asked)
4. Best gaming modems for Comcast, Cox, TWC, Centurylink, ETC. (9% people asked)
If you are one of them, then you are in the right place as I am going to share my top gaming modems with such qualities. Before that, Let me introduce myself to you. Plus, I would also like to thank pickmyrouter.com, which allowed me to share my list of modems and my own gaming experience with them.
Well, This is Peter from USA. I am a 26-years old gamer who loves playing all sort of games whether it is PUBG, GTA V, Call of Duty, Resident Evil 2, or many others. But, I don’t like any internet interruption while playing game or streaming at the same time.
Therefore, I also tried lots of different modems or modem/router combos and spent/waste lots of money during this process.
But, I won’t let you waste your money as I’ll share my top five picks of gaming modems for 2020 with their unbiased reviews. But, if you are someone who doesn’t have much time to read this entire post, then please read the following paragraph.
What is the best modem for gaming? The NETGEAR CM1000 is my first choice for gaming in 2020. However, it is an expensive modem because of being DOCSIS 3.1, but it is worth the money. Now, if you want a budget-friendly gaming modem, then Netgear’s CM700 would be the best option.
Here Are My Top 5 Best Modems For Gaming 2020:
Why Didn’t You Include DOCSIS 3.1 Modems On Rour List?
At this point, I know you are wondering why my picks for gaming modems and 4/5 of the total cable modems I have compiled feature the older Docsis 3.0 rather than, the newer Docsis 3.1.
Sure, Docsis 3.1 is the latest and fastest technology but at what cost?
Cable modems fitted with this new technology cost up to three times more than modems equipped with the regular DOCSIS 3.0 technology.
Therefore, before committing yourself to a specific modem, you need to ask yourself a few questions;
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of Docsis 3.0 and 3.1 technologies?.
- According to my internet usage, will I experience any difference between the two versions of Docsis?
- Is there anything Docsis 3.1 can do that version 3.0 cannot?.
- Which is more suitable for me?
If you answer those questions, you will be in a much better position to determine the sort of cable modem you need.
That said, you will not go wrong with any of the following top five choices.
Note: As a link to the internet, the modem you choose to use is vital for your online gaming needs. If you want interrupted gaming experiences, your internet connection needs to be fast and lag free.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it and see what my five best gaming modems for 2020 are?
The very first modem on our list is Netgear CM700. This cable modem offers 32×8 channel bonding. When it comes to gaming, channel bonding become a crucial thing to notice. I took this modem as it is overall best, from beginners to intermediate gamers can use this modem.
As its name suggests, the Netgear CM700 is a Docsis 3.0 high-speed cable modem. It provides maximum data transfer speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps through its Gigabit Ethernet port. With those data transfer speeds, the Netgear CM700 is up to 32 times faster than cable modems that use DOCSIS 2.0 technology.
Whether you are a Windows, Apple, Android, or Linux person, this high-speed modem is compatible with all system types as long as your device is running on a TCP/IP network. What’s more, is that the Netgear CM700 is compatible with all kinds of gaming consoles as well. Along with the modem, you also get a power adapter, an Ethernet cable and a quick-install guide in the packaging.
Pros & Cons:
- It is compatible with all major Internet service providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and many more.
- With this modem, I enjoyed 4k UHD streaming and gaming with ease.
- 32×8 Channel bonding (32 Downstream & 8 Upstream) ensures reliable and stronger internet.
- It works with any cable Internet plans up to 500Mbps and works excellent with any WiFi Router.
- It is straightforward to set up. We need a computer in order to set up this modem.
I don’t like:
- It is not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, and CenturyLink.
The best thing about this Netgear CM700 is that you can connect it directly to your laptop, desktop computer or gaming console. With this cable modem, you don’t need to purchase a router to connect your device to the internet. However, it still gives you the option of connecting a router separately if you want Wi-Fi.
The ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 is the second modem on our list. I didn’t include this router in 2018’s gaming modems list. But, in 2020, I have to take one DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Without any doubt, any gamers from Intermediate to advanced can use it for 4K streaming and gaming at the same time. So, it deserves the second position on our list. If it is out of budget, then you other choices too.
Through SURFboard range of products, Arris has over 60-years’ worth of experience in connecting millions of people to the internet. The ArrisSURFboard SB8200 is one of the latest developments from Arris and is fitted with the latest technology in the form of Docsis 3.1.
Docsis 3.1 is the latest cable technology fitted on cable modems. With this technology, the SURFboard SB8200 is ideal for playing games online with people halfway across the world. This is because it provides faster network capacities since Docsis 3.1 allows more high-speed data transfer channels than its preceding DOCSIS versions.
That said, the slight upgrade in performance costs significantly more, and in our books, the upgraded performance level is not significant enough to warrant such a steep price. The value proposition for the Netgear CM700 is higher and hence why it takes first place. However, that should not deter you from buying this device if you like having the latest devices with the latest technology.
Pros & Cons:
- It is Comcast Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum approved.
- With SB8200, we can expect maximum download speeds of up to 10Gbps.
- Like Netgear CM700, it also offers 32×8 (32 Download & 8 Upload channels).
- It supports both Internet protocols or standards: IPv4 and IPv6.
- It has two Gigabit Ethernet Lan ports with energy efficient Ethernet for wired connections.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t support bundled voice services.
Note: Specs-wise, the ArrisSURFboard SB8200 is very similar to the Netgear CM700 featured above. However, the new DOCSIS 3.1 technology gives the SURFboard SB8200 a slight edge in terms of performance.
If you are a data/internet junkie, the SURFboard SB8200 is the perfect high-speed cable modem for you as you can fully capitalize on the fast cable packages offered by your ISP. This device guarantees the fastest and most reliable internet speeds. You can stream 4K HD videos as well as engage in online gaming the whole day.
Another modem from ARRIS, but this time it is DOCSIS 3.0. If compared to SB8200, it is going to a better option for those who don’t use the latest devices or faster (DOCSIS 3.1) internet connection. That’s why SB6190 is in the third position of our list. Comparatively, it is cheaper than SB8200, which is obvious.
The SURFboard SB6190 is the second Arris to feature on our review and for a good reason. If you are new to cable modems and wireless routers and want to connect your laptop, computer or gaming console to the internet, the SURFboard SB6190 is the perfect mid-entry level device to buy. It is cheap, reliable and has all the features you need in a cable modem.
Surprisingly, it offers 40 high-speed channels through its DOCSIS 3.0 technology while most of the competing brands offer only 32 high-speed channels on the same version of Docsis. When combined, the 40 high-speed channels can reach data transfer speeds of up to 1.7 Gbps.
Pros & Cons:
- It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and many other.
- It has 32×8 Channel bonding ( 32 Download & 8 Upload channels).
- It is can easily handle multiple devices, UHD movie streaming, and gaming with ease.
- Like SB8200, it also supports Internet standards or protocols: IPv4 and IPv6.
- Arris provides two years of warranty with US-based customer services. ( you can read Quick Start Guide for it).
I don’t like:
- It is not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, and CenturyLink.
If you are an avid gamer or an intense video streamer like myself, the SURFboard SB6190 is one of the cable modems for you. Also, if you are operating on a tight budget, then this device is without a doubt one for you. You can acquire at a very decent price and will let you do data-intensive activities such as online gaming.
The fourth modem on my list is TP-Link TC7650. Tp-Link is also a well-known brand for networking devices. TC7650 is a budget-friendly modem; it comes under $60. However, it is an inexpensive modem but can handle multiple devices with heavy gaming and streaming.
This robust cable modem is a product of a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor and DOCSIS 3.0 technology. The dual-core processor ensures that the high-speed data transfer channels on the Docsis 3.0 platform transmit data fast and efficiently to allow seamless flow of data when gaming online.
It provides 24 high-speed channels for downloading as well as eight high-speed channels for uploading. What this means is that the TP-Link TC7650 is most suitable with ISPs that offer cable internet speeds of more than 500 Mbps.
Pros & Cons:
- It offers 24×8 (24 Downstream & 8 Upstream) and easily handle High Internet plans of up to 500Mbps and above.
- It is equipped with a powerful 1GHz dual-core processor for smooth and uninterrupted internet.
- We can connect this modem with any WiFi router. I also tried and paired it with AC1900 WiFi router and results were great.
- It is compatible with all major internet service providers such as Cox, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, WOW, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and other.
- The setup of the modem is very simple, hassle free and straightforward.
- Free Lifetime 24/7 customer support.
I don’t like:
- I didn’t find any issues so far.
If you want a cable modem that will help you play your favorite games online without any drama, look no further than the TP-Link TC7650. It is perhaps the most well-rounded and best value for money gaming cable modem you can buy. What’s more, the TP-Link TC7650 comes with a 2-year warranty. What more could you ask for?
The last router on our list is Motorola MG7540. It is a modem/router combo. I wanted to complete my list of gaming modems with a combo device. Motorola has done a great job with this modem as it is approved by all US major ISPs.
Motorola might not be the once powerful giant; it was a few decades back, but even so, everyone is well-conversant with the Motorola brand. When it comes to cable modems, the Motorola MG7540 is one of the best in the business.
What makes the Motorola MG7540 special is that it is conveniently a cable modem and a wireless router in one. You can stream videos on your laptop or computer using the wireless connection and play Call of Duty or any of your favorite games online using an Ethernet connection.
This class-leading innovation has made it popular with the people who want both wired and wireless internet connections without having to spend extra buying the two devices separately.
Due to the increased vulnerability of wireless networks, Motorola took it upon themselves to fit the MG7540 modem with cutting-edge security firewalls and encryption. These security measures are meant to prevent hackers from accessing your private network and files.
Pros & Cons:
- It offers 16×4 channel bonding with an in-built AC1600 dual-band router.
- It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, TWC, WOW, Mediacom, and many other.
- It has four Ethernet Gigabit LAN ports for wired connections.
- Anybeam beamforming technology is excellent when it comes to focus on the signal. It improves the performance and range of the WiFI.
- It can deliver a maximum WiFi speeds of up 1600Mbps using both bands ( 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz).
I don’t like:
- It is not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, and Centurylink.
The Motorola MG7540 has so much going for itMG7540. For starters, it is the only modem/router combo in our review. If you want a cable modem that doubles as a router, this Motorola should be high on your list. With this device, you won’t have to dip into your pockets to buy a separate wireless router for Wi-Fi.
Still Confused? Follow this Guide to Buy the Best one Around.
When picking the best modem for gaming, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. If you take online gaming as seriously as I do, you are in luck. In this section, we look at some of the essential features you need to check off your list before selecting your gaming modem. Here they are;
1. ISP Support
The first and most important thing you need to confirm is if the modem you want to buy is compatible with your ISP. This is because it would be completely useless to buy a modem that does not support your ISP’s network.
Luckily, most modems are compatible with all ISPs, but it does not hurt to double check. You don’t want to find unwanted surprises after investing in the wrong modem.
2. Check Modem Speed
The data transfer speeds of modems vary. As you can imagine, some of the most expensive models out there offer the fastest data transfer speeds. Still, on this subject,
One thing to keep in mind is that wired connections (Ethernet) are much faster than wireless connections (Wi-Fi.)
The latest wireless AC connections produce speeds that range between 1.7 and 2.5 Gbps, which in all honesty, is more than sufficient for online gaming. But in comparison, Cat6 Ethernet connections offer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
3. Docsis 3.0
If you’re using cable internet, be sure to select Docsis 3.0. This is because it allows more high-bandwidth data transfer channels and therefore, provides faster data transfer speeds than the latter.
4. Connection Reliability
A fast, uninterrupted internet connection is reliable and therefore ideal for online gaming. Wired (Ethernet) internet connections are more reliable than wireless internet connections as they don’t experience the common Wi-Fi problems.
Things such as over-congestion and network interference from obstacles such as walls and microwaves affect the reliability of Wi-Fi signals. These factors cause a slowdown in data transfer speeds, and when the network’s speed slows down, it becomes more prone to dropping signals.
5. Additional features
When looking for the best modem for gaming, there are some features you would ideally like your modem to have. However, like most computing devices nowadays, some features are mostly gimmicks and their only purpose is to drive the price of the modem up. Avoid modems with gimmick features.
That said, some of the more useful modem features include, Ethernet ports and USB ports. Both of these features are useful as they enhance a modem’s connectivity. Keep an eye out for a modem that has more than one of each of those ports. You might fail to see the importance of having multiple Ethernet and USB ports until you’ve hosted data-hungry guests in your house.
6. Buy Modem Router Combo if Required
When setting up your gaming network, you can opt to buy a modem/router combo or buy a modem and router separately. While both methods are effective, they each have their ups and downs. Ultimately, you should decide which method works for you.
For instance, if you want the simplest solution, you should buy a modem/router combo. This is because you don’t need to do much research and will spend less money than when buying them separately. Also, both devices will work seamlessly since both devices come from the same manufacturer and are designed to operate in tandem.
The downside of buying a modem/router combo is that these devices share the same internal components/resources since they are enclosed in the same casing. Lastly, when it comes to upgrading your modem/router combo two years down the line, you will have to upgrade both devices, which will end up costing you more money.
On the other hand, if you are a techie and want the absolute best gaming conditions, you should buy a modem and router separately. This will allow you to pick the best-specked devices that meet your standards.
Also owed to the fact that these devices will not be sharing the same internal resources, buying a modem and a router separately will guarantee you better gaming performances.
The only negatives are that you might end up using more cash with this method and worst case scenario is that you will need to go through the extra trouble of installing drivers to the devices if they are not compatible with each other.
Let’s wrap it up in a funny way!
Whether it is FIFA, Call of Duty, GTA V or NFL, imagine for an instance that you are playing your favorite game online. If it’s FIFA or the NFL, you are about to score or take a penalty, and if it’s GTA V or Call of Duty, you are about to make a break-through on a level that’s frustrated you for weeks.
Then all of a sudden, after all the struggle you went through, your internet connection breaks down. Having been in such a situation, nothing is more frustrating than that. That is why I compiled a review and buying guide featuring five of the most reliable modems for smooth gaming.