Top 10 Best Modem Router Combos (Aug. 2018): Reviews & Buyers Guide

Picture the scene: you’re trying to show your friends a hilarious video from your Facebook newsfeed. You know the ones, kids or dogs doing something silly. You’ve bigged up the video, told them it’s a must-see; it will make them cry with laughter. And then you go to show them, only to see that irritating little wheel of doom also known as the buffering icon.
Happen often? You may need to think about changing your internet router. Buffering icons should belong in the past, rather like that dreaded dial-up noise that haunted our early internet days. Perhaps you’re first thought is that you need to upgrade your internet supplier. Yet, even if your connection is super-fast, it doesn’t matter a jot unless your router is just not up to the job. Fortunately, this is where we come in. We have selected and presented here to you the best modem router combo reviews for 2018 right here in one handy guide.

The wireless router marker is full of dozens of devices of all different kinds and as a result, finding the best one for you might prove a challenge. However, our easy to follow top ten list and reviews will be all you need to get your router up to 2018 speed. That shameful buffering icon will soon be a thing of your past!

Why Should You Trust Us?

There’s nothing worse than reading online reviews and buyer’s guides when you’re not sure if the sources are true to word. You’re probably wondering why you should trust us too. Let’s have a look at the facts. Firstly, we know what we’re talking about when it comes to product research. Indeed, we have been running our methodical research for the past five years. Our sole purpose is to help you, our readers, to choose the right product for you.

Our top list has taken over 90 hours of research, including looking at user experience of those who have already tried out the products. We have had several people involved in the whole process in order to eliminate any subjective or biased reviews. Additionally, we do not promote any particular brand and have reviewed many different brands of the product. In total, we have reviewed over 100 products before we have shortlisted the best twenty. After that, we have chosen our top 10 best modem router combo units and ranked them in order. We’ve selected picks for all kinds of users, from homeowners to professionals. Whoever you might be, our best modem router combo reviews will help you decide on the best product for you.

Why Use the Best Modem Router Combo?

For those who are unsure, it is the router that connects the computer to the internet from the modem or allows other computers and devices to connect with the same network. The modem is what gets the information from your internet service provider (ISP). So, a modem is needed to be able to connect to the internet and a router effectively delivers the internet to your devices. Therefore, a modem and router combination is two devices in one with all the functionality of a router and of a modem together.

You may be wondering what the advantage is of using a modem router combo as opposed to two separate devices of a router and modem. A combined modem and router is a little cheaper than buying both devices individually. It’s also easier to set up and configure and your ISP will take care of any upgrades. There’s less wiring (meaning it’s tidier in your home if your cables are anything like mine!), and less need for troubleshooting too. In all, it provides Wi-Fi access and connection for multiple devices without the need for separate routers.

This means that it’s less hassle for ISPs and cable service providers. They usually have internet packages for modem router combos and they can therefore provide solutions easily should any problems arise. If there are separate devices, a customer could get a lot more confused and it is more complicated for ISPs to deal with queries and problems. There’s also the issue that an individual model and separate router may have compatibility issues, providing lower speed than the consumer desired. Such problems are eliminated in a modem router combo.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Modem Router Combo

When you’re looking to buy a modem and router combo, there are certain things that are worth your consideration, including the following:

Maximum Speed:

Modem Routers specify maximum download speed, maximum upload speed and maximum Wi-Fi speed that can be reached, which may vary depending on your needs and the packages available from ISPs. For example, if you have chosen an Internet Service package of 600mbps, you cannot choose a modem router that has a maximum Wi-Fi speed of 340mbs!

Number of Channels:

The higher the number of download channels the faster and better streaming capabilities! With increased channels, the modem router can cope with heavy downloading and seamless online gaming. Put simple, it means that there’s a higher data transfer and higher upload speeds to any cloud storage.

Modem Type:

The most widely used type of modem is a DOCSIS 3.0 but there are updated versions now too.

Router Type:

As the router determines the speed of the internet, this is an essential factor to consider. A dual band compatible router is much faster than a single band router and also picks up lower interference from other radio frequencies.

Wi-Fi Range:

Consider how accessible you want your Wi-Fi to be in terms of distance. A range of over 2000sq ft. coverage of Wi-Fi is considered to be a large Wi-Fi range.

Warranty:

As with any product, warranties are important. Usually a modem router is given two years’ warranty but in general they can go on for quite a long period of time without the need for repair. Make sure that your warranty includes thunderstorm protection, particularly if you’re living in a tropical state!

Cable Service Provider Regions

If your internet is provided by a cable service then you need to do some additional research into compatibility. Most modem routers in our top 10 best modem router combo reviews are compatible with the cable service providers that we have listed below. However, you may end up choosing a product that could be compatible but the service may not end up being provided to your geographical region.

You can use our handy table below to check the compatibility and your geographical region.

Cable Service Service coverage areas
Charter and Time Warner Cable 45 states; top regions served include Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York, Dallas, Austin, Saint Louis, Orlando
Xfinity 40 states; top regions served include Houston, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Jose, Denver
Cox 19 states; top regions served include Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, Oklahoma, Tucson, Omaha, Virginia Beach
Cablevision 4 states; top regions served include Brooklyn, Bronx, Newark, Yonkers, Paterson, Stamford, Bridgeport

If you’re still not sure on your compatibility, there’s also a useful website where you can check using your zip code: https://broadbandnow.com/

It should also be noted that our products are not compatible with mobile service networks such as AT&T and Verizon as they are not ADSL modems unfortunately. Make sure that before you make any purchasing decisions that your internet or cable service provider is compatible with your device and the region where you live.

Make sure that before you make any purchasing decisions that your internet or cable service provider is compatible with your device and the region where you live.

How We Picked and Tested

Coming up with our top ten picks for modem router combos was no mean feat. To determine our picks we went through over a thousand user reviews and highlighted what the most important features are that users need and look for in modem router combos. We then set out to analyze over 100 different products from various brands, coming up with a short list of 20 different candidates.

We visited the webpages of these products and studied in detail the product descriptions on different store pages as well as looking closely at critic reviews all with the top product features in mind. We then did our product research focusing on eight different brands, analyzing each in detail by doing a side-by-side comparison of their features. Finally, we had a diverse group of volunteers who provided detailed feedback after using the devices in their homes.

Once we had all of this information, we compared the final reviews of these volunteers and matched them against the research that we had accumulated from the web. In total, we have analyzed around 42 features from each product and made comparisons based on these features. We then ranked them based on the number of positive and negative feature.

A group of our testers tried out these products and shared their personal experiences with us based on their overall performance. All of the products have the modem type DOCSIS 3.0 which is the most common, hence we have chosen it as the standard cable compatible modem type. A 2-in-1 DOCSIS 3.0 modem design or 3-in-1 DOCSIS 3.0 design is not significantly different in terms of performance.

Now that we had all of this data, we were able to rank the best 10 products for you in one easy to understand consumer guide to the best modem router combo devices on the market today. We have compiled a report with all of our data. Just like one of our social media pages to gain access to it.

Our Top Ten Product List

Before we begin our top ten picks, as mentioned, we uncovered 42 important features that the best modem router combo could have. We gathered most of these positive features from product descriptions and specification sheets of each product. The rest of the features that we learned were important were taken from our product users and testers.

We have considered the price of each product too and have only picked the ones that provide the most features in an affordable price range with positive ratings combined. We also considered the frequency of the reviews that each product receives on Amazon to determine and exclude obsolete products from the list so that you can find accurate reviews for the best products for 2018 rather than older models and products that are no longer on the market.

Lastly, we have chosen some of our picks based on specific features that would be beneficial to certain consumers, such as experts or beginners.

Top Pick: ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580-2

Why is this product our Top Pick?

Super Quick

Our No.1 Pick

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580-2 Cable Modem/Wi-Fi Router

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Our No.1 Pick

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580-2

This router is really popular, with many people singing its praises! Pick this router if you are looking for a safe choice that will make surfing the internet easy and quick.

Here you have our Top Pick, the best modem router combo that we could find due to its features, rating, frequency of ratings, price and compatibility! Before we jump straight into our review, have a little read on to find out our reasons why it’s our top choice.

It’s our top choice because, in analyzing the 42 features for each of our modem router combo reviews we found that this product has the highest number of positive features in its moderately low price band (18 features). Other products with similar numbers of features, or higher, have much higher prices compared with the Arris SURFboard SBG6580-2.

If you look at its rating (being 3.9 out of 5 at the date we carried out our research), it might not seem that high compared with others. However, considering that it has a very large number of reviews (25,677 on the date of our research) and how difficult it is to score a higher average with such a high volume of reviews, this actually presents itself as a good average rating. It has received its latest 10 reviews in 4 days, the previous 10 reviews in the preceding 4 days and the previous 10 before that in just 2 days! Compared to the other products in our list, this is an excellent review frequency for this product range! It is a clear indication of how popular this product is and how much it is being sold on the market today.

The price of this product is also fairly moderate, ranging from $50 to $90, while giving the maximum number of positive features at such prices. Of all our products, the price range was between $10 to $300 dollars.

As for cable services, this product is compatible with all of the major cable services: Xfinity, Charter, Cox, and Time Warner Cable. It can work at dual band frequencies and at both Ipv4 and Ipv6. Finally, it has a 2-year warranty and has both a firewall and parental control set-up. The Wi-Fi square feet range is large (up to 2500 sq. ft.), good Wi-Fi speed (300mbp) and a strong router (N600) as well as 4 Ethernet ports.

In sum, this product has pretty much everything that you could want or need from a modem router combo. Your skippy little videos, jumpy streaming and that buffering icon of doom will be a thing of the past! Let’s have a closer look at its features.

Detailed Review

best modem router combo: The Best Modem Router combo you can get

Physical Specifications:

The ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580-2 is a two-in-one cable modem and Wi-Fi N600 router (5Ghz N300 + 2.4Ghz N300) with DOCSIS 3.0 and dual band Omni-directional antenna. It is available in both black and white colors and measures 6.77x 1.97x 6.58 inches in size. It weighs 0.5lb unpackaged.

Compatibility:

This modem router combo is compatible with many of the leading cable companies such as Charter, Cox, Cablevision, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner and many more besides. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with AT&T, Verizon or Century link. It supports both IPv6 and IPv4 and has Dual-band switchable between 2.4 or 5.0 GHz.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

In terms of data transfer, this best modem router combo has 4 upload and 8 download channels. It works at its best on plans of below 100Mbs. It has a cable download speed of a maximum of 343 Mbps and as for the Wi-Fi speeds, it can cope with up to 300Mbps for each band. It is best for homes that are under 2,500 sq. ft.

Additional Hardware:

This ARRIS SURFboard has 4 gigabit Ethernet ports.

Installation Requirements:

As mentioned, this device is best on plans for Cable Internet of 100Mbps or below. An RF splitter is required (bought separately) if you wish to connect it to some HD devices. It has in-built security features too so that you don’t need to worry about safety! It comes with both a firewall and parental control settings too.

Other Factors:

As mentioned in our reasons, we really can’t find any major faults with this device. In terms of price, it is fantastic for the great number of positive features that you get (18!). It is popular among consumers, with a rapid turnover of reviews and whilst at first glance, a rating of 3.9 starts out of 5 may not look to good, when you consider the amount of ratings that this product has received then it’s considered a really good rating! It has a good two-year warranty to boot! At the time of publication, this device cost just $51!

Pros:

  • Approved by most US cable providers
  • Fast upload and download speeds
  • Security features
  • Two year warranty
  • Reasonable cost

Cons:

  • Heat up issue, requiring good airflow

Verdict:

This certainly ticks a lot of boxes in terms of what you are probably looking for in a modem router combination. If, after reading all about routers and you’re still unsure which one to pick, this one is our top choice for a reason and you can’t go far wrong with it. Its reviews and popularity speak for themselves. It really is a top choice and the best modem router combo choice from our list.

Runner Up Pick: NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300 (8×4)

Why is this product our Runner Up Pick?

Popular Pick

Highly rated router

NETGEAR N300 WiFi Cable Modem Router

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Highly rated router

NETGEAR N300

This router is really popular amongst customers, and it won’t disappoint you. It is a cheap option, with loads of great features making it a really reliable choice.

This product almost took our top spot given its slightly lower price than our Top Pick. However, it failed to measure up in terms of the number of positive features in comparison. Our runner up pick has 13 positive features and fewer reviews; hence, its slight demotion in our top 10 best modem router combo units.

So, what makes it our second pick? It has over 8000 reviews and a good frequency of reviews too, meaning that it clearly has popularity amongst consumers. Its ratings are similar to our top choice and the reviews are similar too.

It has an N300 router, which is not as strong as our top pick’s N600 router and furthermore it has two fewer Ethernet pots and a medium-range in terms of Wi-Fi, compared with the ARRIS SURFboard. However, it does have a USB port but its warranty it only for one year.

Detailed Review

best modem router combo: the 2nd best choice in our list

Physical Specifications:

In terms of its physical properties, this modem router combination measures 9.13 x 10.83 x 3.15 inches and weighs 1.96 lbs., making it slightly heavier than our previous modem router. It is a three-in-one Cable Modem with DOCSIS 3.0 and a N300 router. It also has a two gigabit wired switch.

Compatibility:

It is compatible with most of the main cable companies such as Comcast’s Xfinity, Spectrum, CableONE, Cox and others too. It also allows any iPhone or iPad to print directly, allowing any printer to become AirPrint compatible.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

It has smooth running N300 Wi-Fi for faster downloads and is therefore also capable of HD streaming and internet gaming too. The fact it is Gigabit wired also enhances its HD video and gaming possibilities. Additionally it will allow you to find and play your media easily across your network on DLNA games consoles and TVs. The ReadySHARE technology allows you to access and share hard drives through the USB port wirelessly too! Furthermore, Turbo-Transfer allows you to transfer any file quickly throughout your home network to various devices. This is 40% quicker than normal file transfers. It is perfect for small-medium sized homes.

Additional Hardware:

This modem-router has two Ethernet ports with auto-sensing too. It also has 2 LAN ports.

Installation Requirements:

The device is approved for Cable plans of up to 100Mbps. It also has security in-built with DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack prevention at the highest level with WPA/WPA2. You can choose to limit the IP addresses by setting up IP restrictions too. The NETGEAR Genie App and the parental control filters means that you can manage the network easily from your mobile and provide safer web browsing for all the devices connected to your network. This is ideal especially if you have children using tablets or smartphones in your home. You can also use the app to repair the network should any faults appear. You can also create guest access separately too.

There’s easy connectivity for mobiles with EZ connect – simply scan a QR code and you’re online! With Push ‘N’ Connect, you can connect simply from any device too.

Other Factors:

This Netgear C300 device is one of our cheaper options, coming in at under $50, making it a really reasonable choice for those who are on a tighter budget. As mentioned in our reasons, it has 13 of our identified positive features and its rating is 3.8 out of 5 on Amazon. For a product with over 8500 reviews, this is not too bad at all. Disappointingly, it does only have one year’s warranty as opposed to some of the lengthier ones of some of our other picks. Remember, you can always check out our report for all the little details in an easy to compare format (like one of our social media pages to gain access).

Pros:

  • Excellent Wi-Fi range as well as strength
  • Low cost – under $50
  • No restart problems
  • Simple set up and user-friendly

Cons:

  • Only one year’s warranty
  • Only supports up to 300Mbps

Verdict:

This relatively low cost option is a great second choice if our top pick is not for you.  It has a load of extra features, like the Genie App, that might just make it the one for you.  With over 8500 reviews and coming in at under $50, it really is a great buy.

Advanced Pick: NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi Cable Modem Router Combo (24×8) AC1900 DOCSIS 3.0

Why is this product our Advanced Pick?

High-tech Choice

A modem for the future

NETGEAR Nighthawk WiFi Cable Modem Router

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A modem for the future

NETGEAR Nighthawk

This modem is bursting with new, advanced features, including its 4k streaming technology. If you want a router that you can show off, and make sure you have one of the latest models, then this is the pick for you.

Now we come to our Advanced Pick and it’s another Netgear product, this time the Nighthawk Cable Modem Router Combo. This product’s unique feature, which sets it apart from our others, is that it has 4k quality streaming capabilities. With online HD gaming, 4k viewing and with an AC1900 router capable of producing 960mbs Wi-Fi speed, this product is highly sought after, especially by gamers and techies. None of our other reviewed products has this 4k streaming feature, which is why we’ve chosen it as our advanced pick.

This product also has 10 reviews on average each day, which means that it is extremely popular on Amazon. It has 16 positive features and has the second best average rating of 4.3 stars, beating both of our first two picks hands down. It has a large Wi-Fi range and an impressive 24 download and 8 upload channels. This makes it a great tool if data transfer is what you’re after. However, all of these features evidently come at a premium and this product retails between $170-200 and comes with only a 1-year warranty.

Detailed Review

best modem router combo: Best option for a gamer

Physical Specifications:

This is a three-in-one Cable Modem with DOCSIS 3.0 and a fast AC1900 Wi-Fi router with a 4 gigabit wired switch. It measures 11.65 x 11.02 x 3.94 inches and weighs 3.47 pounds. Its powerful processor provides not only faster Wi-Fi speeds but also faster wired and faster USB access speeds too. There’s also increased speed from WAN to LAN which means that your overall network speeds will be faster than ever before. It’s certainly a powerful bit of kit.

Compatibility:

It is certified compatible with all of the main internet cable providers, including Xfinity from Comcast, Cox, Cable ONE and Spectrum as well as others. Of course, you should always contact your provider to make sure that yours is compatible before you buy! It is compatible with 4k streaming as mentioned in our reasons above, making it a super choice for techies and gamers! None of that skipping and buffering with this little piece of powerful kit!

Data Transfer Capabilities:

This product has a modem speed of up to 960Mbps with Dual-Band AC1900 Wi-Fi speed (2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band). As mentioned in our reasons, there are an impressive 24 download channels and 8 upload channels. This number of channels means that your channels will not get congested like the lanes of a highway at rush hour but rather will operate smoothly, even at peak times! The more channels, the faster the ride! In fact, this product is the industry’s first modem router combo with 24×8 channels, therefore, your HD video streaming is seamlessly uninterrupted at all times.

The Netgear Beamforming also extends your Wi-Fi coverage and reduces the occurrence of Wi-Fi dead spots. Therefore your Wi-Fi connection is stable for both voice connections and HD Videos on your devices. With the Netgear Genie App, everything can also be controlled via your smartphone! It couldn’t be simpler to control your network!

Additional Hardware:

There’s also the possibility of connecting your games console or Personal Computer with the Gigabit Ethernet points which will provide you with internet speed that’s 10x faster than the standard. You can also access your USB storage and the ReadySHARE allows you to steam any media via your Wi-Fi network.

Installation Requirements:

The Netgear Nighthawk is approved for cable internet plans of up to 500Mbps and requires Mac OS, UNIX, Linux or Microsoft Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP or 2000. It is ideal for cable services of 200Mbps or above. Additionally, parental controls ensure your web content is filtered appropriately, preventing your children from accessing any inappropriate material. Furthermore, it is easy to create an additional secure Wi-Fi network for your guests or visitors.

Other Factors:

As mentioned in our reasons, the Netgear Nighthawk has, on average, about 10 reviews each day, making it a very popular choice amongst consumers. And they’re not disappointed! With a rating of 4.3 stars, it’s in our second place in terms of average rating. The 16 positive features also make it on the higher end of the list. It does, however, come with a larger price tag, hence why it’s our advanced pick. Its price comes it at under $200 dollars, but not by much. Furthermore, for such an expensive product, a one-year warranty does seem a little bit disappointing.

Pros:

  • Dual-band router
  • Fast peak throughput
  • Nice design with front-mounted USB port
  • Outstanding security and easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Complicated process for parental control access

Verdict:

If you’re after something a bit more advanced or are a gamer, then this is the one for you. It is a little more expensive but if you value the power of your technology (as us techies and gamers tend to do!) then you will see that it is worth its price tag! On the downside, there’s just a year’s warranty.

Expert’s Pick: ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC 32×8

Why is this product our Expert’s Pick?

Expert’s Favorite

A super-fast pick

ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC Cable Modem & Wi-Fi Router

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A super-fast pick

ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC

This is the router for you if you are looking for some of the quickest download & upload speeds on the market. It is packed full of features, and is a bit pricey to reflect its ability.

If you’re a step up from an advanced user, welcome to our review for our expert’s choice! It has almost all the advanced positive features listed (20 out of 40) which is the highest number of positive features of any of our modem router reviews. The 1.4 Gigabit per second download speed, 343 mbps upload speed and 1750 mbps overall Wi-Fi speed makes this product a favorite of heavy download consumers and tech experts who want all of the best features of a modem and router in one product. This product is clearly a favorite among expert users. Generally, homeowner users and general users do not need so many features. For example, a general user even with extremely heavy data usage and downloads would not need 32 download channels. Sixteen channels would be more than enough for the whole home network.

We haven’t really mentioned the RAM of our other picks as general users don’t usually care too much about how much RAM a modem has. Yet, experts want a product with good RAM for a seamless internet experience, like with this product. It also comes backed up by a 2-year warranty and is great for HD gaming and HD streaming as well as having additional McAfee home internet security. For all of these expert features, it does have an expensive price tag, ranging between $158 and $190. Nevertheless, it has great reviews, ratings and review frequencies.

Detailed Review

best modem router combo: It has everything that an expert would want in a modem and router

Physical Specifications:

This modem router measures 2.25 x 7.69 x 9.5 inches and weighs 2.95lbs. It has a good internal RAM of 128-258mb. It is an AC1750 Dual Band Router (Concurrent 802.11ac) with a DOCSIS 3.0 Cable modem.

Compatibility:

This product supports both IPv4 and IPv6, which is the latest Internet standard, and is compatible with many major cable providers such as Cox, XFINITY and Charter. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with CenturyLink, ATT or Verizon.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

With 32 download and 8 upload channels, it maximizes your cable internet offerings. For home owners, this is rather an excessive number of channels that simply are not needed, hence why this is our expert’s choice. With so many channels, it is able to operate download speeds of 1.4Gbps with Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1750Mbps. It’s ideal for the hard core streamers and gamers among you. The network is powered with the reliability and speed needed for many high-bandwidth applications and ensure that there are no Wi-Fi dead spots!

Additional Hardware:

This product has one additional USB port and has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports too!

Installation Requirements:

An internet cable plan is required for this device and it is approved for cable plans of at least 300Mbps and above. It also comes with its own McAfee security software so you don’t need to worry about your safety online.

Other Factors:

Pleasingly, this product comes with a 2-year warranty, which is the most of all of our reviewed modems and routers. There’s also US Technical Support should you have any difficulties, which is a nice little touch although not unexpected with a product that is aimed towards the experts!
As mentioned, it is one of our pricier products, retailing at about $179 currently, but this is not unexpected for an expert recommendation. It has very positive reviews with an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 and a great turnover of reviews too!

Pros:

  • Work as a NAS web server and OpenVPN server
  • Super-fast downloading and upload speeds
  • 32×8 channels
  • 2 year warranty with Technical support

Cons:

  • Feels a little bulky

Verdict:

If you’re an expert, a hardcore techie or a gamer then this is certainly the modem router combo for you. It has unrivaled channels in terms of number and speed. With security from McAfee and technical support in the US, this is everything that an expert would want in a modem and router.

Homeowner’s choice: ARRIS SURFboard SBG6950AC2 16×4 DOCSIS

Why is this product Homeowner’s choice?

Safe Bet

For the security-conscious

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6950AC2 Cable Modem & Wi-Fi Router

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For the security-conscious

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6950AC2

This Arris router is the best when it comes to security packages. It is great for anyone that is worried about keeping safe online, and also comes with great download speeds and loads of cool features.

Although there are other products on the list with similar and more features, this product is one of the two that come with the McAfee home security software. The only other product that comes with this feature is our Expert’s Pick. However, that product comes at a higher price. Thus this product can be the perfect choice for homeowners and consumers who want a secured and reliable internet connection at a lower price, without having to know much about the products and specs.

This product has a good number of reviews and also a rating of 4.3 (on the date of research). Although it is a bit costly ($150 to $170), it comes with good Wi-Fi speed (300 mbps), a powerful router and compatibility with all major cable service providers. But with a higher price tag than our top picks and lower features than our Expert’s Pick, this product made it into the fifth position on our list.

Detailed Review

best modem router combo: The best homeowner's choice

Physical Specifications:

This cable modem router combo measures 7.7 x 2.2 x 9.5 inches and weighs 2.64 pounds. It is an AC1900 Wi-Fi Dual-Band Concurrent Router (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) with a DOCSIS 3.0 16×4 cable modem. The Wi-Fi is beam-forming ensuring you have maximum coverage and performance.

Compatibility:

This modem router is approved for most major cable providers such as Cox and Xfinity. It’s also compatible with Time Warner, Brighthouse, Charter and Spectrum as well as many more. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with Verizon, CenturyLink or ATT. It also can be used with IVPv4 and IVPv6 too.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

This modem is ideal for streamers and hardcore gamers as it has the reliability and speed that’s required for high-bandwidth uses like online gaming and HD video streaming. As mentioned, it has an impressive 16 download channels and 4 upload channels which will maximize your ISP service offerings. It has a data transfer speed of 1900 Mbps and a Wi-Fi speed of 300 Mbps. The maximum download speed reaches 686 Mbps.

Additional Hardware:

This router has 4 gigabit Ethernet ports but unfortunately does not have any USB ports.

Installation Requirements:

This one is impressive in terms of security! It comes with McAfee Secure Home Internet software with an app to configure and monitor it. It keeps all devices safe when connected to your network. Everything is kept safe from threats such as phishing scams and malware. This software is free for the first three years, which is impressive. The app is easy to use on your smartphone and you’ll be able to set parental controls by different user profiles (keeping your three year old and teen’s settings different should you choose to!) and you will receive instant alerts of any suspicious activity and be able to manage your network wherever you are – even if that’s not in the country!

Other Factors:

Coming in at around $159.99 it is one of our pricier options; however, it’s super-fast for the home with fantastic in-built security software. Coupled with 17 positive features and a rating of 4.3, it’s actually in our top three! However, we have had to move its position due to its cost as this could prove prohibitive for some. It does have a pleasing 2-year warranty, which is great!

Pros:

  • Fast download speeds due to its 16 download channels
  • Excellent security software from McAfee with smartphone app
  • Approved by major US cable providers
  • 2 year warranty

Cons:

  • One of our most expensive options

Verdict:

If it’s a high security yet fast home network you’re after then look no further than this ARRIS SURFboard! It has 14 positive features, 16×8 channels and really positive ratings. It’s much more expensive than our top pick and with fewer features hence its position in our top ten. But the security cannot be faulted so if you’re worried about malware of phishing scams, then this is the one for you.

A List of 5 Other Products We Tested

No. 6: NETGEAR N450 (8×4) Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router (N450) Review

Cheap Choice

If you’re strapped for cash

NETGEAR N450 Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router

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If you’re strapped for cash

NETGEAR N450

This router is a solid choice for anyone who is looking to save some money and buy a modem on a tight budget. It isn’t the most popular router but has everything you need for surfing the web.

Physical Specifications:

Our next product in our top ten is another Netgear, the Netgear N450, a two-in-one 8×4 cable modem with DOCSIS 3.0 and N450 Wi-Fi router. In size, it’s 11.5 x 9.2 x 3.9 inches and weighs 2.56 points.

Compatibility:

This Netgear product is compatible with Comcast’s Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum and other cable packages. It is, unfortunately, not able to be used with bundle voice services. Furthermore, there’s quick activation for Xfinity customers and you can simply get connected without even needing to make a service call.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

This wireless router and modem combo has internet download speeds of up and including 340 Mbps meaning you can stream HD videos and take part in high-speed online gaming. It also has faster Wi-Fi, with speeds up to 450Mbps at 2.4GHz. It has 8 download channels and 4 upload channels, the same as our top pick and runner-up.

Additional Hardware:

This device has 4 gigabit Ethernet ports ensuring you can have faster wired speeds if connected directly to the modem router. It has 2 USB 2.0 ports which means you can access and share files or external hard drives wirelessly. It also has 4 LAN ports.

Installation Requirements:

To use this device you will need a cable broadband service and a computer that operates with Microsoft Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP, 2000 or MAC OS (or any other that uses a TCP or IP network). The internet service requirements should be either Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, Safari 1.4, Firefox 2.0, Google Chrome 11.0 or higher browsers.

For your tablets, iPads, computers and smartphones, there’s the Easy Install function and ‘Push ‘n’ Connect. The connections are also secure with WPA/WPA2.

Other Factors:

Unfortunately, this product comes with just a one year warranty. However, when you see the price, you’ll see that this is indeed rather reasonable! The unit retails for around $23. It does have lower ratings than most of our other products at 3.4 out of 5 and its review frequency is a little slower than some of our other choices.

Pros:

  • Cheapest price at $23
  • 8 channels for downloading, 4 for uploading – the same as our top pick
  • Fast Wi-Fi Speed (up to 450Mbps)
  • Self-activation for XFINITY users

Cons:

  • One year warranty

Verdict:

This is really worth your consideration if money is tight as this modem router is only around $23 in price, which is cheaper than all of our other modem router combo reviews and almost half the price of our top pick! If you’re on a budget, then this certainly is a budget pick. It may not have the ratings or frequency of ratings than some of our other choices but in terms of value for money, this really is a bargain!

No. 7: TP-Link TC-W7960 DOCSIS3.0 300Mbps Wireless WiFi Cable Modem Router Review

Great Pick

Cheap & cheerful

TP-Link TC-W7960 Wireless Router

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Cheap & cheerful

TP-Link TC-W7960

This router lacks speedy download speeds, and isn’t amazingly popular amongst consumers, but it is really cheap to buy and is a great router for basic use of the internet.

Physical Specifications:

This CableLabs-certified TP-Link Modem router operates on DOCSIS 3.0 and has 2 internal antennas. It uses N300 Wi-Fi enabling you to connect more of your devices simultaneously with all of the connections operating smoothly. The 8×4 channel bonding means faster speeds overall for all devices connected. It measures 4.5 x 5.6 x 2.3 in and weighs 1.7lb.

Compatibility:

This is one of the best modem router combo for Cox but is also certified for XFINITY from Comcast, A range of Spectrum networks (Including Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Bright House Networks), Suddenlink, Mediacom, and WOW. It’s also compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

This device offers up to 300 Mbps on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and has 8 download channels and 4 upload channels. As for download speeds, it can reach 343Mbps and 143Mbps when uploading but, of course, this depends on your cable provider’s service. You can easily stream and game using this modem router.

Additional Hardware:

The TP-Link TC-W7960 has one USB 2.0 port (which, although not as fast as 3.0 USB ports, is still pretty fast!) and 4 Gigabit LAN ports. The USB port ensures that you can connect external drives easily directly to the router allowing you to share media and files across your network. The Gigabit Ethernet ports mean you can create fast and reliable connections, especially for high-performing devices.

Installation Requirements:

This TC device is able to get up and running with little fuss. The instructions are simple and available online or feel free to give your Internet Service Provider a call and they will help you with the installation process. It is ideal for Cable plans that are up to 150Mbps. It also has parental controls which allow you to manage how connected devices can connect to the internet, not to mention when they can connect. There’s also the option of a Guest Network feature if you would like to provide visitors with separate Wi-Fi access apart from your personal network.

Other Factors:

This device is industry leading in its 2-year warranty which also includes unlimited technical support no matter the time of day. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! This is excellent considering it is one of our cheaper options (third in terms of cost!) as it retails for around $49.99. Unfortunately, its rating is one of the lowest with just 3 out of 5 stars. It does have a good review frequency and a good number of reviews though so is clearly a popular product.

Pros:

  • Easy setup and reliable speed
  • Lifetime technical support
  • Long 2 year Warranty
  • Strong reception in large houses

Cons:

  • The wireless internet system could go off unexpectedly

Verdict:

Overall, this popular product comes with a few bonus features that some other modem router combos lack – its 2-year warranty and 24/7 support. If these features are important to you then it’s a great pick! Its speeds are slightly on the slower end but if you’re not a techie or heavy downloader then this is more than adequate for your home usage. It is also one of the cheaper options in our top ten so is well worth your consideration.

No. 8: : ARRIS SURFboard SBG6900AC Docsis 3.0 16×4 Cable Modem Review

Fab Features

A great specification

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6900AC Cable Modem Router

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A great specification

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6900AC

This router boasts some great speeds and a load of good features. You get the reliability of the Arris brand with this modem, so you can be sure it will work well for you.

Physical Specifications:

We have another ARRIS SURFboard in our No. 8 spot. This one measures 11.61 x 3.9 x 10.51 inches, weighs 3.5 lbs. and comes in white. It is an AC1900 Wi-Fi router with a 16×4 channel DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem.

Compatibility:

Like the other ARRIS SURFboard models, this one is also compatible with most major cable providers such as Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Time Warner, Charter, and Brighthouse Networks), Cox, Mediacom and lots of others. It has a dual-band Wi-Fi access point (concurrent 802.11ac) and supports the latest IPv4 and IPv6 standards.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

ARRIS boast that this is most powerful of their Wi-Fi modems in their SURFboard lineup. It claims that there’s no more of that annoying buffering; no lag during gaming and above all, there are no dead spots! Its Wi-Fi download speeds are up to 686 Mbps with the Wi-Fi speed operating up to 1900 Mbps. There are 16 download channels and 4 upload channels. The Wi-Fi is beam forming and provides maximum coverage as well as performance.

Additional Hardware:

The 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports make this a great choice for internet gaming and it’s also ideal for streaming any videos in HD too via coaxial cables. It also comes with two USB ports.

Installation Requirements:

There’s an installation video which will help you get set up as well as a Quick Start Guide so you’ll be surfing the web in no time on this SURFboard. It also comes with a basic in-built firewall.

Other Factors:

This one also has a 2-year warranty and comes with customer service based in the US. In terms of rating, it is one of our lowest, hence its position in our top ten. Ratings average at around 3.7 out of 5 stars but it doesn’t have as many reviews as our other products, which could be to do with its price in comparison to the other SURFboards. This one retails for about $89.99 and has 16 positive features. Also, it is the lowest in terms of rating frequency of all of our products.

Pros:

  • 1900 Mbps Wi-Fi speed
  • Internal security system provided
  • 2 year warranty
  • US-based customer services

Cons:

  • Very less upload speed

Verdict:

This ARRIS Surfboard has a great Wi-Fi Speed and 16 positive features. Coupled with its 2-year warranty and US-based customer services, it makes for an attractive choice. Yet, it is not as popular on Amazon as our other products and has the lowest star rating of all of them. Still, we think that due to its excellent features, it still makes our top ten modem router combos!

No. 9: Motorola MG7540 16×4 Cable Modem plus AC1600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router Review

Reliable Router

Surf the web in style

Motorola MG7540 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

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Surf the web in style

Motorola MG7540

This modem router has some awesome extras like its added security & AnyBeam technology, but be prepared it is a little more expensive than our other options.

Physical Specifications:

This Motorola MG7540 Cable modem router makes it into our number 9 sport. It is a 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a Dual Band (2.4GHz & 5GHz) AC1600 Wi-Fi Router. It weighs 2.55 pounds and measures 11 x 10.2 x 2.8 inches.

Compatibility:

This modem router is compatible with most major cable providers, including Cox, Comcast Xfinity, Charter, Spectrum, BrightHouse, Time Warner Cable, WOW, RCN, Mediacom, CableOne and others too. It is not compatible with fiber optic, satellite or DSL services such as those provided from AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink and others.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

Its high-speed router provides AC1600 Wi-Fi for your devices such as notebooks, smartphones, games consoles, HDTVs, Amazon Echo, Chromecast, Google Home, tablets, Amazon Fire TV as well as Apple TV.

The device also possesses an AnyBeam feature which focuses the signal onto wireless users at 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz frequencies to enhance the range and performance even further. It has 16 download channels and 4 upload channels with a Wi-Fi speed of 686Mbps.

Additional Hardware:

The unit houses four GigE Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports which provide wired connections to Mac and Windows computers as well as HDTVs, game consoles, TV streaming devices, as well as any other Ethernet-compatible devices.

Installation Requirements:

This modem router combo is recommended for Internet services with speeds up to 375Mbps. It also has a Broadcom modem chipset which provides safety and security from Denial of Service attacks. The router also has an enhanced firewall as well as a web browser configuration system and parental controls. There’s the option to set up a guest network should you have any visitors and want to protect the privacy of your network. It is fairly easy and quick to set up too. The reporting LEDs on the device allow you to monitor what’s going on (there are 7 LEDs!).

Other Factors:

This product is very well rated, scoring 4.3 out of 5 on Amazon, taking it to joint second place in that respect. It does, however, have the second lowest number of reviews, at around 680 at the time of writing. However, with ratings so high, it is still a very good buy. It is towards the higher end of the price bracket, hence its location in our top ten. For your money, you get a reassuring 2-year warranty as well which is the longest warranty that any cable router modem combo comes with. Finally, there are the US-based customer support specialists who are ready and waiting if you do need any help or troubleshooting. At the time of writing, this modem router will set up back around $129.99.

Pros:

  • 2 year warranty
  • Incredible range and reception
  • AnyBeam feature
  • Comes with added security

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

Verdict:

If you’re after something with a high rating, customer support and added security, then this is up there with the best of them. It does have a higher price tag than many of our modem router combos but it is by no means the most expensive!

No. 10: Motorola MG7550 16×4 Cable Modem plus AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

Pricier Pick

Well-reviewed router

Motorola MG7550 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

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Well-reviewed router

Motorola MG7550

Although this choice is more expensive, it makes up for this with the fact so many people really love this modem! If you’re looking for a tried & tested model that people love, then this is the one for you.

Physical Specifications:

This vertical tower modem router combo allows you to maximize your space and improves the cooling of it too. Therefore its lifespan is extended further as overheating is prevented. It would look good in any office or home. It measures 10.2 x 10.9 x 2.8 in and weighs 2.6 lbs. Inside its body, there’s a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a Dual Band (both 2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi AC1900 router.

Compatibility:

This model, the MG7550, is compatible with many major cable service providers such as Comcast Xfinity and even Extreme 250’s top speeds. It’s also compatible with Time Warner Cable and the Ultimate package from Cox. Finally, it’s approved for Charter Spectrum too. It will work with other providers including BrightHouse, WOW, RCN, CableOne, and Mediacom. As with all cable modems, it is not able to work with DSL, Fiber optic or satellite services such as those from AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon and Frontier.

Data Transfer Capabilities:

This Wi-Fi router has AC1900 Wi-Fi with a power boost. This provides access to the internet for all Wi-Fi devices including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, games consoles, Amazon Echo, HDTVs, Chromecast, Google Home, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV. There’s also a Wireless Power Boost which increases the performance of the Wi-Fi power and as such the wireless signals are booster up to the legal limit, which adds to the range and boots the speed. Like the previous pick, this too has AnyBeam technology which seeks out the wireless clients at bot 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies in order to enhance their range and performance even further.

There are 16 downloading channels and 4 uploading channels making it a brilliant choice for almost all cable modem users.

Additional Hardware:

Four Gigabit Ethernet ports offer wired connections to Macs and Windows computers as well as HDTV connections, streaming devices, games consoles and any other device with Ethernet capabilities. Unfortunately, there aren’t any USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports on this device.

Installation Requirements:

Setting up this device is incredibly easy and quick. It’s recommended for cable service speeds of up to 375Mbps. There’s also a firewall setup built in which is advanced and includes parental controls, all managed through a browser-based configuration system. With the option of creating a Guest Network, you can protect your own private network information whilst still allowing your visitors or guests to use the Wi-Fi. The seven LED lights report the status of the connections in an easy to see manner.

Other Factors:

Like the previous product, this one also has a 2-year warranty and specialists to support you on a customer services line should you get into difficulties with installation or usage.
This product has the highest rating of all of our reviewed product with a rating of 4.4 out of 5. It has 16 positive features but is the second most expensive at around $174 and has fewer ratings than some of our others (1112 at the time of writing). These factors are what has made it occupy our number 10 spot.

Pros:

  • Suitable for small to medium houses
  • Easy to set up with easy-to-follow instructions
  • 2 year warranty & customer service
  • Extra features to boost speed of connections

Cons:

  • No USB port

Verdict:

This product is second to none in terms of its rating! So if you want a well-reviewed product which is loved by consumers more than any other in our list then this is the one for you. Of course, you should take into consideration that this product has fewer reviews than other but it is a newer product than most and its review frequency is good and so it will be racking up the reviews in no time. Of course, please see our attached report for further information (just like one of our social media pages first!).

Glossary:

DOCSIS: Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification – This term is an international standard in the telecommunications industry which permits the transfer of data through high bandwidth. Most modem router combos operate on DOCSIS 3.0 now, which is much faster than the previous DOCSIS 2.0.
N600/N300/N450: Determines the maximum router speed, for example, N400 means maximum data transfer speed the router can provide is 400 mbps.
AC1900/AC1750/AC1600: AC means router supports 802.11 ac networking standard, the number after represents maximum bandwidth. The higher the number, the faster the internet speed.
IPv4/IPv6: Internet protocol version 4 or 6. IPv4 is the most frequently used protocol that devices use to connect to the internet.
Ethernet: these ports and LAN ports are needed to create connections with multiple devices. These are where you will plug in your wired devices such as HDTVs for a faster and more reliable connection than Wi-Fi usually allows.
2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz: radio frequencies of Wi-Fi internet. Any device emitting radio frequencies in these two bands can cause the internet to slow down.
RF Splitter: consumers must buy RF splitter separately if they want their modem routers to connect to certain HD devices.
RAM: Random Access Memory. Having a larger RAM increases modem router performance.
ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines. These modems can use Verizon, Fion, Centurylink and AT&T networks to deliver internet.

A Thought on ADSL Modem Routers

ADSL is an abbreviation of asymmetric digital subscriber line – this means that it is the internet that runs alongside a telephone line, as opposed to the cable. The difference in ADSL is that the data flow is much greater in one direction, hence why it is given the name ‘asymmetric’. The download speeds, therefore, are much faster than the upload speeds. ADSL is an ideal internet source if you use the internet passively, who download things but don’t tend to do much uploading.

ADSL modems and routers work differently to cable routers and as a result, they are not compatible with any cable services, such as Cox or Xfinity. However, if you are unable to subscribe to cable, you can choose to buy an ADSL modem router. We did have 3 ADSL modem routers on our shortlist which are compatible with Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink. See the links below for our short list:

  1. Netgear CG3000D Wi-Fi Modem Router (Charter, TWC, Cox Version) DOCSIS 3.0
  2. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 VDSL/ADSL Modem Router Certified with CenturyLink – Non-bonded, DSL Internet Only (D7000)
  3. NETGEAR N600 Dual Band Wi-Fi ADSL (Non-Cable) Modem Router ADSL2+ Gigabit Ethernet (DGND3700)

Wrapping it Up

So, there you have it! Our top 10 best modem router combo units in one easy to follow list. Now you have got no excuses for having skipping, buffering videos or streaming services! If you still are undecided about which one is best for you then never fear – you can’t go wrong with our top pick here at Stuffoholics! Of course, if you are more of a techie or a gadget geek then you will know enough about these modem routers to be able to see the benefits of either our advanced or expert picks!

So the next time you want to show your friends or significant other a funny clip of a dog doing tricks or a child saying something funny, your best modem router combo won’t let you down like some of the older or separate devices can do. Even better: you can play your online games without getting that dreaded circling buffering icon with you not being able to keep up with your friends.

I grew up with computers, literally obsessed with these magical devices. Once I came to age, I began to grasp the nature of its “magic” and learned how to call it “technology” instead. Then came the age of smartphones, opening up even a larger field for me to explore. Read More