There’s no need to keep your router and modem relegated to separate devices. A modem router combo combines both the ability to receive internet and broadcast it to all your wireless devices in a single low form factor device, and it makes it easier to troubleshoot issues and generally manage your internet settings.
That makes a cable modem router combo a great choice for gamers and professionals, but it can also be a solid choice for just about everyone. Whether you’re looking to buy your first combo modem router or simply cut out the research process, we have you covered. We’ve identified the most serious modem router models on the market in 2020, and we’ll also offer some advice eon making the shopping process smarter.
- 10 Best Modem Router Combos
- 1. NETGEAR Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo C6250
- 2. Asus Modem Router Combo
- 3. MOTOROLA MG7550 16×4 Cable Modem Plus AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router
- 4. ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem & AC2350 Dual-Band Wi
- 5. TP-Link Archer CR1900 Wi-Fi Cable Modem
- 6. NETGEAR Orbi Built-in-Modem Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
- 7. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
- 8. NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300 (8×4) WiFi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router
- 9. TP-LINK Archer CR700 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band
- 10. MOTOROLA MG7540 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router
- Modem Router Combos Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Modem Router Combos
1. NETGEAR Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo C6250
A Reliable Standard for Home and Office
You can always count on NETGEAR to provide you with steady quality performance, and their C6250 earns a place on our best of list thanks to its workhorse performance in the mid-budget range. This router modem combo is compatible with every major internet service provider.
This modem even comes with a USB cord for connecting devices without full ethernet support built in. Scaled as it is for the needs of either homes or small businesses, NETGEAR has had the good sense to include some solid parental controls, and it uses NETGEAR's proprietary BeamForm technology for better distance.
2. Asus Modem Router Combo
Powerful Performance for Power Players
This modem router from ASUS may be a little on the expensive end of the spectrum, but it's definitely got some power to match. It promises transfer speeds of up to 2600 Mbps, making it an obvious choice for gamers. But the features here suggest a more general purpose modem router combo.
This modem router combo is built to work with practically every internet service provider in the United States, and there are a couple of USB ports packed in as well. If you're looking to build a home office, this could be one of the top modem router combos for you.
3. MOTOROLA MG7550 16×4 Cable Modem Plus AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router
Efficiently Navigates High Traffic
The Motorola MG7550 isn't the cheapest modem with WiFi capabilities. But it is an investment that will pay off for years to come. With internet speeds appropriate for small businesses, and it can even use a digital tuner to automatically find the best channels with the lowest traffic, ensuring that you get the highest level of performance even during peak usage hours. Further bulking up the potential internet speeds here is the ability to broadcast over WiFi DFS, decreasing the impact of interference from other internet signals. Rounding out the package is the presence of Beamforming technology - a choice that makes it a best choice modem router combo for a small to mid-sized office using cable internet.
4. ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem & AC2350 Dual-Band Wi
An Investment in the Future
The ARRIS SURFboard comes with a fair asking price but offers features that make it pretty well future proofed and equipped to offer you some of the best speed and performance in the here and now. But just because it's relatively sophisticated doesn't mean that it's going to be hard to configure.The SURFboard Manager app allows you to control some pretty advanced settings right through a phone or a tablet, and the fact that it uses a 16 x 4 format means that you can split your internet speeds among eight different bandwidth channels for more efficient and stable performance in larger homes or offices.
5. TP-Link Archer CR1900 Wi-Fi Cable Modem
Double Processor for Optimal Performance
The processing power of the TP-Link Archer CR1900 is some of the best around. Two separate CPUs are packed into this compact modem and router model. In practice, that means internet speeds capable of comfortably handling 4K streaming and modern multiplayer gaming without hiccups. And you'll have both 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels to work with when you're running multiple internet operations at the same time. This is a modem and router that really benefits from more complex networks too. No matter how complicated things get, you can use the compatible and free TP-Link Tether app for monitoring and configuration.
6. NETGEAR Orbi Built-in-Modem Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
A Sweeping Whole Home System
The NETGEAR Orbi doesn't come with a cheap price tag, but you won't find more thorough modems with routers built in anywhere. Together, the modem and separate extender sport a design that evokes the playfulness of Apple products and offers some of the best coverage for larger homes and offices that we've ever seen. The internet speeds here top 2 full gigabytes a second, and this modem router gives you consistent coverage for up to 4,000 square feet of space. Powering all of this is a 710MHz quad core processor and the support for tri band connection technology.
7. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
If you're looking for a modem and router best buy and don't want to worry with the hassle of figuring out compatibility with your ISP, we have nothing but glowing recommendations for the ARRIS SURFboard SB6190. Almost all of the major internet providers are certified for use with this device, and it even offers some impressive security features thanks to the onboard McAfee Secure Whole Home Internet functionality built in. Everything from security to access to internet speed testing can be evaluated using the easy to navigate and fully featured mobile app.
8. NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300 (8×4) WiFi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router
With a price tag of under a hundred dollars and a lack of support for Gigabit ethernet, it's easy to discount the NetGear N600 as just another in a sea of budget modem router combos. But at work here are some of the best features usually available only in more high end modem router combos. Network storage for the whole home or office can be implemented using the USB port, and you can also monitor traffic and created a dedicated guest network through the smartly designed web interface. And all things considered, both the speeds and the range are pretty good.
9. TP-LINK Archer CR700 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band
The Archer CR700 isn't the fastest way to get wireless internet connected to your home, but it is one of the most effective ways to set up a home network. Even with its modest max speeds, this model will seat the needs of most average consumers, and it packs in beamforming technology that significantly boosts its range in larger homes. And even if you've never set up an internet device before, you don't need to be scared here. You can mostly just plug it in and count on it to work, and it works with the automated installation of some ISPs.
10. MOTOROLA MG7540 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router
You can be confident that your private information will be a little safer with the Motorola MG7540. A dedicated firewall and Broadcom chipset provide a higher level of protection against DDoS attacks, while the ability to operate on DFS channels provides it with the means to better direct your internet than most other devices on the market can. It also supports Beamforming technology so it can be used as it should in larger spaces. The actual design here is compact and not ostentatious, and it's designed to sit out of the way without a tangle of cords.
Modem Router Combos Buyer’s Guide
Replacing the modem and the router you get from your cable internet provider is one of the best ways to save money in the long term. You earn back a lot on your investment, and quickly. And the best way to make the most of your space, budget, and sanity is to replace the cable company’s routers and modems with routers with modems built in.
But just because a combination cable modem router offers better performance than those products separately doesn’t mean that any given modem with router is going to be the best choice for you. There are a decent amount of features to consider here, and some of them will likely not even fit your lifestyle, but our guide can help translate the words that follow each review into real and actionable understanding.
Speaking of things that can get in the way of you using your best router cable modem: cable internet service providers. Modern ISPs are territorial, regional, and often tangled under different corporate umbrellas, and not every device you want to get is going to work with your provider.
Fortunately, most cable modem manufacturers get the complication and provide a certification process for cable modem router models that they don’t own. Your best option is to get a model that’s been certified by your internet provider, but even then, things can be a little complicated. Sometimes even with certification, you can’t get the best speeds or the best features like parental controls with listed providers. So if you’re worried about a product meeting the grade in your home, you’ll want to get a closer look at the fine print with your provider.
On the other hand, just because a model has been certified by an ISP doesn’t mean that it won’t work with them. Certification means stress testing products in a controlled environment, and ISPs don’t necessarily want to spend money just so customers can get internet in their home with someone else’s equipment. If you really want a model, a somewhat deeper dig online can help you understand how well the modem combo you want best will actually work at your home.
How fast can your device actually go? Fortunately, combination devices are going to be one of the best options if you want to squeeze the best performance out of your dollar. That’s because you know that the separate components are going to complement each other best.
Keep in mind that top internet speeds are rated in optimal conditions, and they’re naturally going to be restricted by your provider, your internet plan, and the other devices in your home. In other words, any download speeds you see listed are going to be apportioned out to different devices.
Downstream and Upstream Channels
Speaking of speeds, downstream and upstream channels can have just as much of an impact as the raw speed performance numbers. The first number listed tells you how many channels can be used to download data, while the latter tells you how many channels can be used to upload data. Since the former is far more common, almost all models are going to come with more downstream than upstream channels. After all, most internet users aren’t sending huge amounts of data to the internet all at once.
In any case, eight downstream channels represents a bargain basement budget model, while 32 downstream channels represents some blindingly fast performance that can keep pace even in mid-sized offices. A model with 16 downstream channels represents the middle of the road, and it’s what we’d recommend to more conventional households.
The most important ports to consider when looking to set up a wireless network is the number of ethernet ports. While most users won’t carry too much about making sure all their devices are connected directly to the device, it’s easily the best way to get the fastest internet speeds possible. For gamers and businesses, having that level of reliability can be a godsend.
USB ports aren’t quite as essential, and there are a decent amount of models that don’t even have them, but they can be incredibly useful in the right circumstances. For one, they can be attached to printers, allowing easily wireless printing, faxing, or scanning from any connected device. But even more useful is the ability to attach a hard drive using the USB port. The cloud is great, but having local access to your important documents, photos, and videos can be a huge benefit, especially when the internet goes down.
All but the most basic models are going to come with an interface that allows you to better configure your internet. What’s available will vary depending on the make and the model, but some of the more common ones can be really useful. Priority of service is great for prioritizing resource heavy tasks like gaming, while the ability to set up guest networks can be applied by both businesses and individuals in a lot of useful ways. Many even come with advanced security settings.
If more advanced features matter to you, you may want to pay closer attention to what sort of advanced functions a model offers. But you’ll also want to pay attention to what the interface actually looks like. Device and speed monitoring is something that many customers will use on a regular basis, and the navigation of some devices are simply leagues better than others. You may prefer to give the compatible app or web portal a test drive before deciding on one model in particular.
In the battle between a separate router and modem vs. router modem combo, the latter is almost always going to win. We’ve presented you with 10 of the best models and all the information you need to translate the specs into understandable English, but we aren’t done. We’ll make sure that this best of list stays updated with the best new models, and we have a ton of guides and reviews that can help you if these choices aren’t best suited to your situation.