Cable companies have a good thing going. They rent you a modem and router that you pay into perpetuity, and if you want to get out of the deal, you have to navigate a wide range of different routers just to find one that will work with your provider. But everyone has the right to get their own router and modem, and there are plenty of options that offer the best service around – with a level of reliability that goes beyond what you’d find from an ISP.
We’re here to dispel the myths, to help you understand the specs and features you can expect to find in a modem, and present you with 10 contenders for the best router for Xfinity. Unshackle yourself from Comcast’s rentals and surf with confidence.
- 1. NETGEAR C6250 Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo
- 2. NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream Wifi 6 Router
- 3. Linksys EA7500 Dual-Band Wifi Router
- 4. Arris SURFboard AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router
- 5. MOTOROLA MG7550 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router
- 6. GRYPHON AC3000 Tri-Band WiFi Router
- 7. NETGEAR N600 Cable Modem Router (C3700)
- 8. MOTOROLA MT7711 24X8 Cable Modem/Router
- 9. ARRIS Surfboard SBG10 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router
- 10. TP-Link Archer CR1900 Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router
- Router for Xfinity Buyer’s Guide
For When You Aren't Sold on Xfinity
The C6250 isn't exactly a looker, but there's a lot of great functionality going on beneath the surface. It retails for just over a hundred dollars and offers a pretty decent amount of utility to boot. Two antennas help improve your signal and are further boosted by the inclusion of beamforming technology for larger homes and offices. All told, up to 25 devices can be connected at once, and you can count on a transmission range of up to 1500 square feet.
In case you couldn't tell, the benefits to small businesses are obvious, and they're only further bolstered by some solid security protocol built in. WEP and WPA/WPA2 protocol are both supported, and there are even in depth parental controls for keeping your family safe. And with certification from three of the biggest internet service providers, it will even work if you make the switch from Xfinity.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
A Router for the Elite
It may sound silly to call anything the "fighter jet of routers", but with a design resembling a Star Wars fighter ship, an exorbitant price tag, and blindingly fast speeds, the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 is the most likely contender for that position (at least as far as Netgear's catalog is concerned). The central attraction here is the fact that it supports over 10 gigabyte download speeds - putting it among the top router models available for speed.
A pair of USB ports are also packed in to the Netgear Nighthawk, and they make use of the latest 3.0 protocol for faster and more reliable connectivity with devices like printers and external hard drives. And the security protection of the Netgear Nighthawk is just as beefy as everything else. The Neatgear Armor software provides you with very robust antivirus protection, and you can also create guest networks and make use of VPN services. Parental controls are also included in the Netgear Nighthawk.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
Workhorse Performance in a Surprising Package
At a glance, the Linksys EA7500 doesn't look like a whole lot. But the generally run of the mill design contains some of the best specs you'll find for under $150. It can transmit an internet speed of up to 1900 Mbps and offers support for over 15 wireless devices, so it's one of the top budget priced choices you can pick for a household filled with gamers or whole families who love to stream all at once.
Getting everything up and running is simple too. While it's not exactly plug and play, there is an app that makes setup a breeze, and it can be further used to handle more advanced configuration options. It's a sleek and well designed platform with one of the most impressive monitoring dashboards we've seen in a router. Beamforming technology and a wide selection of Gigabit ethernet ports give you both range and device capacity.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
A Boon to Small Businesses
With 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels and a max download speed of 1900 Mbps, the Arris SURFBoard offers just about everything most residential and even small business customers should need in terms of performance at a price point that's more than fair. This modem router combo has everything you need to get your network up and running without being tied to a loan for an Xfinity modem and router.
The fact that this is a modem router combo obviously raises its utility significantly, but it also benefits from a generous four Gigabit ethernet ports for connectivity. If you're looking for an anchor hub for your media center or office command headquarters, it's a reasonable choice, even if it doesn't have the best, top of the line internet speeds to promise. Both a web portal and a dedicated app can be used for configuration and monitoring purposes as well.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
Cheap But Not Cheaply Made
The Motorola MG7550 is a strong entry into the modem router combo market if you want an easy and affordable way to ditch the rental fees of Xfinity internet without having to configure multiple complicated devices. This router is small enough to fit just about anywhere, but the lights are bright and very legible, making it easy to figure out how to troubleshoot issues at just a glance.
The AC1900 internet speeds are about average for the price range, but the features in here are more than worth the cost of admission. A full firewall is built in to prevent intrusions from outside. But this modem router combo really goes the distance in terms of, well, distance. Power Boost technology is packed into the small frame of this router to extend both your range and your speed, and it supports beamforming tech on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
Looks and Performance Yet Unmatched
With a design resembling modernist sculpture, Gryphon's router obviously wants to give off a strong sense of identity. And while it is maybe the best looking router we've seen compatible with Xfinity internet, its real showcases are the security features. 24/7 protection means you don't need to worry about intruders even when you're sleeping or away, and the parental controls at work here cover all of the essentials capably.
The hardware at work underneath here places this easily among the best options for Xfinity internet too. The quad core Arm Cortex A7 processor is a beast as far as router hardware is concerned, and it can provide Xfinity internet customers with speeds of up to 3 Gbps. Just as impressive is the range coverage. Gryphon boasts that their router can broadcast to a distance of up to 3000 square feet - easily among the best in its class.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
If you visit Reddit or Facebook groups looking for recommendations on cheap gaming routers for competitive play, chances are that you'll see the N600 router listed at least once. Netgear's router offers some of the best value for the price around, and it offers speeds that can keep pace with all but the best and most powerful internet plans. A dual channel device is also in place so your roommates can connect to the internet without ruining your connection.
But it's a decent workhorse for the office as well. Wireless file sharing is fully supported throughout an established network, and the parental monitoring here is good, albeit not one of the top implementations we've seen. As for deeper configurations, all of that can be handled through the proprietary Netgear Genie mobile app created by the manufacturer.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
Need a serious router equipped to keep up with the demands of the modern office? Netgear has an option you might love. MT7711. With two phone ports, this is a router that's optimized for business plans that include internet voice capabilities. AnyBeam tech broadcasts signals across both the 2.4Ghz and 5GHz radio channels, cutting out significantly more noise in the process and delivering stronger connectivity even at long distances.
Xfinity customers will be happy to know that this device has been specifically optimized for Comcast's networks. You'll get the best performance running this model on Xfinity, and the integration with more advanced features like Xfinity voice support are clearly targeted at the needs of entrepreneurs. It's certainly not equipped for the telephony traffic of giant businesses, but it serves as a perfect transition for smaller businesses in need of more customer service without sacrificing professionalism or your budget.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
The SURFboard gives you a router and modem in one single package. That's not that unusual, but it's a valuable asset in a device that already comes packed with value. And since it has 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels, it will be appropriate for more crowded homes with more internet heavy habit. Setup is easy too - and handled completely through the smoothly functioning SURFboard Manager app from Arris.
In terms of available ports, this is one of the lighter models, but that just makes it more specialized. There's still space for both a wireless extender and a single directly connected device, and the speeds more than make up for the lack of convenience that more ports would provide. While it may get lost in the middle of the pack, this is going to be the perfect router for a lot of customers just because of the union of price and functionality.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE Read Amazon Reviews →
The Archer by TP-Link is all about doing more with less. The ultra thin design has some power beneath its chassis, but overheating isn't a big issue thanks to the smartly perforated surface of the body. That's a good thing too. The Archer sits among the top of the top in terms of internet - promising users up to two gigabyte speeds with the appropriate plan.
You don't need to worry about a bevy of devices crowding out your surfing or streaming either. The presence of 24 downstreaming channels should accommodate just about any group, and there's even channel bonding to further funnel your bandwidth towards a single device. Powering this hefty little router is a pair of central processors that prevent data from clogging up the information superhighway.CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Router for Xfinity Buyer’s Guide
So you’ve decided to ditch your modem router provided by Xfinity and buy your own modem router combo. In terms of saving money, this is a sort of no lose situation. You’ll keep the same internet service, pay off your investment in two years or less on average, and often get better and more reliable service than you’d find with the modem router combo that Xfinity typically provides.
But while getting a modem router you don’t rent from Xfinity is the best choice, you won’t get the best value with every modem. We’re here to show you what to pay attention to when seeking out the best wireless router (or the best Xfinity enabled cable modem router) for your home or office.
Will your modem even work with your Comcast Xfinity internet service? That’s absolutely the first question you need to be asking yourself. Because while the methodologies that different cable internet providers are basically the same, they can vary in terms of execution, and that means that not all modem router models will work on the Xfinity internet service network. Fortunately, Comcast Xfinity maintains a convenient resource that will let you know which wireless router models work on Comcast Xfinity and which don’t.
But just because Comcast Xfinity doesn’t have your wireless router listed as being compatible doesn’t mean that your new router won’t work with the Comcast Xfinity internet service throughout your home. If you have your heart set on a particular modem router and Comcast Xfinity hasn’t yet certified, that doesn’t mean it won’t necessarily work. It just means it hasn’t been through the Comcast Xfinity certification process yet. Digging a little deeper online can definitely help in this regard, but keep in mind that buyer beware. Some features might not work on Comcast Xfinity.
Finally, it can’t hurt to check compatibility with other service providers. The best modem router for Xfinity might not be the best in the future. The longer you can hold onto a single modem router, the more money you’ll save on your long term investment, and if you don’t plan on sticking with Xfinity past your existing contract, it might be worth it to aim for wider compatibility with your local providers.
Standalone Router vs. Modem Router Combo
If you just signed up for Xfinity service and asked to have a rental delivered, it’s almost certain that you’ll be receiving a modem router combo. The downsides here are practically non-existent. A modem router combo takes up less space than separate modems and routers, and bundling them together actually leads to lower costs. Best of all, combining these two devices doesn’t sacrifice speed and range and diagnosing and solving problems is much easier when you have a single modem router combo to deal with.
But we’ve still included standalone Xfinity router models on our list. That’s because there are a couple of cases where separate modem and router are actually preferable to a single modem router combo. If you already have a reliable cable modem you like, there’s not necessarily a need to invest in a modem router combo. And if you’re serious about having the features and specifications you want exactly without having to make compromises,
There are two questions to ask when looking at download and upload speeds.
- Is it powerful enough for my Xfinity internet plan?
- Is it too powerful for my Xfinity internet plan?
The trick here is that you want to get the most of the money you pay for your Xfinity service, but you also don’t want to invest in a router that offers power you don’t need. A router like the Gryphon – with its 3 Gbps download speeds – will have value to some power users, but it’s going to be too much router for the average consumer. But leaving some wiggle room when shopping for the best Xfinity router is a good idea too. Otherwise, if you make an upgrade to your plan, you may find yourself having to buy a whole new router.
Before you ever look at investing in a new Xfinity router, we suggest that you cruise through the plans Xfinity offers so you can figure out one with a speed that’s going to work for both your budget and the demands of your household. The simple truth is that most of the router models on this list will offer speeds able to keep up with the average consumer. A download speed of 100 Mbps is more than capable for serious, competitive online gaming, and a speed of half that can comfortably handle a few devices streaming content.
The one thing we can’t stress enough is that listed download and upload speeds include all connected devices. If you have a 300 Mbps router, all of that data needs to be shared by whichever devices, although it doesn’t need to be shared equally, and any modern router and modem models should be able to navigate that with too much of an impact on speeds. For the most part, manufacturers will list the recommended plan speeds, and that can help you better understand what actual speeds you can expect per device.
With very few exceptions, the majority of users are going to spend the majority of their time downloading information and very little uploading it. That’s why we’ve paid relatively little attention to upload speeds in our reviews and guide. For the most part, you can expect upload speeds that reach a quarter of the listed download speeds. 99 times out of 100, a quarter will be more than generous in day to day or even specialized activities.
One last consideration that can help you squeeze out the top speeds possible is channel bonding. With channel bonding, you combine the bandwidth of two separate channels together to produce higher speeds than a single channel could. Channel bonding is a particularly popular choice among gamers, but it can also be useful for streaming 4K movies or live video games.
Wireless Transmission Range
When you get a router or modem from Xfinity, you can be pretty confident that it’s going to be designed to support the speeds that are appropriate for your Xfinity plan. The wireless transmission range is another ball game entirely. As a way of saving money, Xfinity and many other internet providers use router and cable modem models with weaker signals. This might not be a problem if you live in a dorm of an apartment, but it’s definitely an issue if you need coverage throughout a small office or full house.
That said, figuring out the transmission range for a router is an imprecise science. Walls, ceilings, and less dramatic obstructions can have an impact on how far a signal will travel, and that’s one reason why many manufacturers don’t even list a wireless transmission range. That’s not to say that companies are outright lying. Just keep in mind that they may be using different variables for how they measure that length, so assume some give in take in terms of your actual results.
But just because a router can’t spread your Xfinity network to a whole Beverly Hills mansion doesn’t mean that you have to spend an exorbitant amount of money or make sacrifices on features such as security for the sake of coverage. We’ve already talked at length about the advantages of a WiFi extender as well as what the top models you can get today are.
If you really want to get a strong wireless signal without sacrificing speeds or stability, there’s a special form of technology that’s becoming incredibly popular in router design. Beamforming tech uses electromagnetic resistance to drown out noise in the noise to sound ratio and broadcast one more focused signal directly to a single device rather than using the scattershot approach that’s available when you get a more basic Xfinity router.
When a router tells you how many devices it can support concurrently, that’s usually something of a misnomer. You don’t need to buy the best modem router combination to get support with 250 wireless internet devices. That’s just a standard for practically every modem or router available. If you need more than 250 wireless devices connected, chances are you need to take a step up to a more serious cable plan and a more serious router than most of the models we’re covering here.
Despite that, many router manufacturers will still tell you how many devices they can support. This is a more practical benchmark than a literal one, and it’s artificial in a similar way to that of wireless transmission range. There’s no distinct variable for determining when there are too many devices for your wireless speeds to keep pace.
But many manufacturers will list the factory tested conditions for the number of supported devices that will cause noticeable speed lag and performance issues. Just treat it hard and fast, and only worry about it if you’re running a small office or a household that goes exceedingly heavy in their internet usage.
Tell the average consumer that their router runs on DOCSIS 3.0 and you’re likely to just get blank stares. That’s perfectly fine. The short story is that a router that supports DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 is going to offer better speeds for your internet than what you’d find in an internet cable modem that runs on earlier DOCSIS protocol.
For the most part, you don’t need to concern yourself with whether or not your router runs on DOCSIS 3.0 vs. 2.0 or 3.1. After all, download and upload speeds are already listed clearly on our best Xfinity router spec list. But more experienced users and gamers will appreciate advanced features like more advanced online gaming and sophisticated data encryption that comes with DOCSIS 3.0.
If you’re shopping for a router, a majority of your options are going to come with three or four ports. Some come with more and some with less, but that’s the distinct average right now. For a lot of customers, that will be enough.
Being able to connect a device directly to your modem or router only really matters when you want the absolute best speed possible. If all you want is to create a reliable wireless signal, you’ll just need the one port to connect to your modem. But if you have gaming consoles or other devices where the fastest speed really does matter, plan a little more carefully.
More worthy your attention is whether or not the Wi-Fi router you’re looking at has Gigabit ethernet ports. What’s a Gigabit ethernet port? It simply specifies one that can get speeds of at least 1000 Mbps (or one Gbps). Today, gigabit ethernet ports are the standard, and you’d really have to search far (or scrape the bottom of the barrel) to find one without gigabit ethernet support.
Given that speeds up to 300 Mbps are still pretty respectable for the majority of customers, it’s not a big deal, but getting one will future proof your cable connectivity and speeds without costing you more. You might not need Gigabit ethernet speed, but it will be a boon when the best wireless technology advances and you have access to more serious plans as they become affordable.
Every router is going to come with at least one ethernet port. Not all of them are going to have USB ports. But they could be a make or break decision for some customers. Why? Because USB ports allow you to connect printers, external hard drives, flash drives, and a variety of other devices and accessories directly to your internet connection. There isn’t a more reliable connection effort than USB, and even one port can help make sure that everyone in the office has access to the resources and services that they need.
If USB ports are going to be on your must have checklist, we recommend that you look specifically for USB 3.0 or 3.1 ports. They’re just as easy to use as the earlier formats, and they’re completely backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices. They also offer pretty incredible speeds and some quality of life features that make them a step up from the earlier USB protocol. And since 3.0 is increasingly becoming the new standard, you’re smarter investing in this technology sooner rather than later.
There’s no doubt that our list includes some router models that are all about getting to the fundamentals at a low price, but advanced features have a tendency to creep up even in more budget priced models. The best modem or router for Xfinity will carefully thread the needle between providing you with the speed you want while also coming with advanced features that can help control the flow of your wireless cable internet connection. These are especially useful for gamers and system administrators, but plenty of them have application for more average internet users.
No matter what advanced features you’re looking for, you’re also going to want to get a feeling for how they’re implemented. An administrative console is pretty common for the best modem or router models Xfinity is compatible with, but the quality of these interfaces can vary pretty wildly. The best modem or router models offer high speed navigation along with a feature set that’s thorough but laid out in such a way as to be easy to reach.
- Parental controls are going to be a make or break feature for a whole lot of router shoppers, but just because a router promises “parental controls” doesn’t mean it will rank with the best modem/router combos. The most basic parental controls allow you to turn off the internet for periods or deny access from specific wireless devices. But the best modem/router models come with more comprehensive controls that let you place restrictions on certain sites and track and limit the amount of allowable access from your kids’ wireless devices.
- Having guests over but not quite ready to fork over your personal password yet? That’s where guest network controls can be a huge asset. While the sophistication of these controls can vary, the basic idea is to allow you to create a child network for your existing home network. By boxing guests into a separate sub-network, you can keep your private information safe and create specific rules for request management and speeds.
- We talked earlier about how even the best modem or router can see speeds and performance throttled when there are multiple devices connected. It’s less about how much information you’re downloading and more about how the modem has to navigate the various requests and channels. MU-MIMO technology is an elegant solution that helps with the management of crowded networks and is ideal for more crowded homes and offices of any size.
- MU-MIMO handles the automated processes necessary when multiple devices interact with the underlying hardware of your router. Quality of Service refers to how the user themselves can adjust the accessibility of different devices. If you have a home office that needs priority over other devices during the 9 to 5 or a PS4 that needs a stable connection for streaming Playstation Now, Quality of Service offers some robust but pretty easy to grasp solutions.
Ease of Use
Most routers are easy to install, but that’s not the only other factor in ease of use. Are they backed up by a strong customer service team? That can be to your benefit, especially if you’re looking to scale up your network to more advanced needs. And what does the company offer in terms of assurance? A warranty can go a long way towards making a run of the mill router look like an all star.
Shopping for a Xfinity router isn’t that much different than shopping for any other router, but we think our guide will provide you with everything you need to know. Whether you want a run of the mill model that’s easy to install or a top of the line productivity titan, we’ve covered all your bases. And if you want a good modem to match it with, we suggest you check out our guide to the top modems of 2020.