10 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems in 2020 [For Gigabit Internet]

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The DOCSIS 3.1 is a technology introduced by CableLabs that uses a cable interface for providing speeds up to 10 Gbps. Such high gigabit level speeds were previously possible only using fiber optic cables. But by implementing it, your cable internet provider can provide blazing speeds even on the coaxial cables.

While a few cable internet providers are switching to fiber optic cables, many of them still prefer using the coaxial cable based infrastructure (to save costs.) However, to maintain with the future-speed and bandwidth expectations, they’ll have to upgrade their infrastructure to the latest DOCSIS versions. Many service providers have started offering DOCSIS 3.1 in different locations. If your cable provider has started offering them in your area, you should consider getting a new DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Whether you are a professional who works from home, or have too many tabs open, or play games online, you understand how essential it is to have a good internet connection. If your computers are often starved of the internet, and you have decided to invest in a modem, you should consider purchasing a modem instead of renting one from your ISP (as buying offers a better ROI.)

The best of the DOCSIS 3.1 modems can ensure that there is never any lag in your online game, online classes, business meetings, and you can stream 4K videos on the go. Besides, basic use, it is also essential for people who work from home and don’t want to compromise their work because of the slow internet.

Before getting it, you should make sure that your internet provider supports the DOCSIS 3.1 technology in your area and the modem as well. While we can’t help you with the location specific information, but to make it easier for you, we’ve added the compatible ISPs and non-compatible ISPs near every modem we’ve listed. Thereby, you can consider the one that works with your service provider.

10 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems in 2020

ImageNameFeaturesCheck Price
ARRIS SB8200

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 2

  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, Time Warner, Brighthouse, and Spectrum.

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Motorola MB8600

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 1Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 1

  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cable One, and Cox.

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ARRIS SBG8300

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 4Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 4

  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and other Cable Services.

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Netgear CM1150V

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 4

  • Modem/Router Combo: No

  • Compatibility: Xfinity and Voice Services.

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Netgear C7800

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 4

  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

  • Compatibility: Xfinity and Cox.

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Netgear CM1200

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 4

  • Modem/Router Combo: No

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum.

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Netgear CM1100

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 2

  • Modem/Router Combo: No

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum.

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Netgear CAX80

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 5

  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum.

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Netgear CM1000

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 1Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports: 1

  • Modem/Router Combo: No

  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum.

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ARRIS SBT25

  • Channels: 32 x 8

  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps

  • Ethernet Ports:

  • Modem/Router Combo: No

  • Compatibility: Xfinity and Voice Services.

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As mentioned, DOCSIS 3.1 technology is a stepping-stone for the new-age modems that allows you to achieve higher speeds, provided your ISP rolls out compatible plans. Considering the internet service provider has the requisite firepower to accommodate ‘Gigabit’ speeds, DOCSIS 3.1 modems come across as excellent choices.

In the subsequent sections, our experts have enlisted 10 of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modems in the retail arena after testing each for real-time speeds, router compatibility, VoIP support, channel bonding support, number of Ethernet ports, Gig LAN support, Channel Bonding technology, and other attributes.

Besides, we have also accommodated modem combos with integrated routers and voice adapters, devices with dedicated gaming hardware, and budget-entities for smaller setups.

1. Best Overall: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity, Cox Internet, Time Warner, Brighthouse, and Spectrum
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, AT&T, and Fiber-based service providers
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 2
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

The ARRIS SB8200 is one of our favorite modems for cable ISPs, considering the extremely reasonable price tag and a respectable compatibility catalog. Much like any other DOCSIS 3.1 modem, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 is also capable of reaching download speeds of up to 2Gbps.

However, for this to work, the concerned ISP must offer gig internet plans or even multi-gig packages in the future. With this modem in play, it is easier to future-proof your internet setup at an affordable rate.

However, you need to know that this device also supports 32 x 8 channel bonding technology with OFDM enhancement. These technologies make way for reduced latency, active queue management for transmitting network traffic as per priority, and reduced interference and gaming ping.

As far as port arrangement is concerned, there are two Ethernet ports to rely on. Link aggregation for reaching wired speeds of up to 2Gbps, in theory, is possible only when you update the firmware as per the patch provided by ARRIS.

In terms of processing power, this modem includes the efficient Broadcom BCM3390 chipset. When networking logic monitoring, link aggregation, and network prioritization is concerned, the existing CPU is expected to work a lot better than the buggy PUMA 6 from Intel.

Moreover, you require no additional help to set this modem up. Once the modem is up and running, monitoring the same is easy, courtesy of the featured LED display with resourceful indicators. Despite the aesthetic layout, our experts did experience a bit of heat generation. Therefore, we would advise you to keep the same on an elevated surface for facilitating better heat dissipation.

With ARRIS SB8200 on-board, internet autonomy is easier to achieve without having to rely on rentals. Besides, the technologies are top-notch and allow you to stay prepared for the faster internet speeds in the future.

Pros
  • Exceptional processor
  • Easy to set up
  • Comes with DOCSIS 3.1 and OFDM support
  • Two gig Ethernet ports
  • Compatible with several ISPs
Cons
  • Heats up a bit more
  • Link aggregation isn’t activated, out of the box

2. Best Runner Up: Motorola MB8600

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity, Sparklight (CableOne), and Cox
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, AT&T, and Fiber-based service providers
  • Speed: Up to 1Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 1
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

Internet service providers like Comcast and Cox have high-speed plans in place. Be it the Gigabit Xfinity from Comcast or the Cox Gigablast, the Motorola MB8600 can help you reach the highest possible speeds, without connection drops or latency.

For starters, the Motorola MB8600 is one of the more equipped cable modems with DOCSIS 3.1 technology at the helm. While the modem is capable of reaching speeds of up to 6gbps, provided the ISP hardware is capable of accommodating the same, the existing plans can only allow you to experience Gig speeds.

What stands out is the 32 x 8 channel bonding support, which sits atop the OFDM technology. The networking conglomerate allows you to reach exceptional data speeds as the packets are sent across wider data channels with minimal latency and faster throughputs. Besides, the modem is also accommodative of the AQM or Active Queue Management support for ensuring minimal gaming ping, faster page appearances, and better online gaming experiences.

Motorola only accommodates a high-speed Gig Ethernet port, which might be restrictive for larger setups. However, the networking logic and performances are hardly compromised courtesy of the powerful and dependable Broadcom chipset. In addition to that, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology ensures better built-in security specs, capable of keeping DDoS, DNS tunneling, and other threats at bay. 

As far as wireless compatibility is concerned, the MB8600 connects with almost every router via the single Ethernet port on offer. Besides, this modem from Motorola assumes an aesthetic vertical layout and doesn’t require an extensive learning curve to set up.

Overall, if you want a dependable DOCSIS 3.1 modem for future-proofing your home and office setup, the Motorola MB8600 is the perfect gadget to invest in.

Pros
  • 5 status-reporting, indicative LEDs
  • Comes with surge protection
  • Max speeds of up to 6gbps
  • Comes with an integrated spectrum analyzer
  • Compatible with almost every mesh and standalone router
  • Broadcom chipset efficiently manages network logic
Cons
  • Only one Ethernet port
  • Encountered signal drops while reviewing

3. Best Modem/Router Combo: ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and other Cable Internet Services
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, AT&T, and Fiber provides
  • Speed: Up to 4Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 4
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

The ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300 is one of the more powerful modems in plain sight, capable of reaching speeds of up to 4gbps, provided the ISP has the requisite hardware to handle the same. As far as compatibility is concerned, almost every cable service provider is covered, including the likes of Comcast Xfinity, Cox internet, preferably the Gigablast plan, and Spectrum.

The DOCSIS 3.1 protocol ensures that the modem can even reach 10gbps of download and 1gbps of upload speeds, theoretically. This changes in real-time as ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300 is restricted by the limitations of the ISP. However, the speeds are still exemplary as this modem-router combo is capable of reaching 1.7 Gbps with ease, considering the channel bonding technology at the helm.

This DOCSIS 3.1 modem offers 32 x 8 simultaneously functioning streams that work in cohesion with the OFDM technology for accommodating a lot of data packets for the same frequency as the DOCSIS 3.0. However, our experts are still awaiting the introduction of a 10G network to experience the complete potential of this combo.

The Wi-Fi setup is nothing less than revolutionary with dual-band Wi-Fi 5 standard to work with. However, the Wave 2 technology stands out, offering a 160MHz data channel that contributes towards offering blazing fast wireless speeds with minimal latency. As far as ports are concerned, you get access to 4 Gig slots for establishing faster connections, directly with the legacy devices and laptops.

Other innovative specs associated with this 2-in-1 device include the exceptional power efficiency, courtesy of the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol, and the high-end security features. Overall, this is probably the most powerful modem on our list, which also doubles down as a powerful router. Although it misses out on Wi-Fi 6 standard, ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300 completely justifies the affordable price tag.

Pros
  • 32 x 8 Channel Bonding technology
  • Excellent router coverage
  • Wave 2 wireless support for faster speeds
  • 4 Gig Ethernet ports
  • Supports OFDM technology
Cons
  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Restricted compatibility

4. Best with Voice: Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity and Voice Services
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, and AT&T
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 4
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

The Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V is strictly a standalone modem, best characterized by voice support via phone lines (upto 2 lines) and link aggregation for strengthening wired connections.

As far as modem compatibility is concerned, the Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V works well with Comcast’s voice-compatible Xfinity services. Therefore, if you are looking for a device to connect your VoIP and telephones with, it is probably the best one to invest in. Besides, the voice calling support is further bolstered by additional attributes, including but not limited to 3-way calling, call forwarding and caller ID.

If your service provider has the requisite infrastructure in place to churn out speeds of up to 2 Gbps, this modem can be quite a handful, considering the engineering, 32 x 8 channel bonding technology in place. Although the 4096 QAM and OFDM technology, paired with channel bonding strength, allows the modem to reach download speeds of up to 10 Gbps, the ISP restrictions are limiting enough, and the speeds also depend on the quality of the router in place.

In terms of ports, our experts were pleased to see 4 gig slots on the modem itself. However, Netgear offers link aggregation support to help you combine two 1G connections into a single 2G output, provided the ISP permits of the same. Nevertheless, this multi-gig modem also features the Active Queue Management courtesy of the DOCSIS 3.1 tech, thereby minimizing latency and gaming ping.

When it comes to design, the Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V flaunts a vertical structure and weighs a respectable 1.33 pounds. However, the competitive pricing makes it one of the best modems to consider, provided you want to future-proof your existing internet setup.

Pros
  • Supports link aggregation
  • Four Gig Ethernet ports
  • Accommodates voice calling
  • Can reach multi-GIG speeds, if and when necessary
  • 32 x 8 channel bonding technology
  • Supports OFDM technology
  • Auto prioritization of voice traffic
Cons
  • Strictly Comcast compatible
  • Doesn’t accommodate DSL connections

5. Best for High-Speed Internet: Netgear Nighthawk C7800

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast, Spectrum and Cox
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, and AT&T
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 4
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

If you are still looking for a modem-router combo but not willing to compromise the budget for Wi-Fi 6 support, the Netgear Nighthawk C7800 is the perfect device to invest in.

When compatibility is concerned, this modem is compatible with the services offered by Cox internet and Comcast. Although the restricted compatibility might be an issue, cable internet providers like Spectrum are trying to include the requisite standards for getting ahead of this bottleneck.

As far as attainable speeds are concerned, this device is perfect for ISPs that can support connections up to 2Gbps. However, it is the channel bonding technology, i.e. 32 x 8 channels that can help you reach download speeds close to 1.7Gbps, in theory, with the router tapping the same as per the constraints, restrictive pathways, and other transmission issues.

While the highest download speeds of 10Gbps seem vague at the moment despite the OFDM and 4096 QAM technologies, the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol does offer a lot of scope for data transmission over the 192MHz channel. What stands out is this modem’s ability to transmit data across HFC networks, with reduced latency.

Despite being backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 protocols and supported devices, it is the Active Queue Management feature that works in favor of gaming enthusiasts. This attribute minimizes latency and takes care of pixilation and gaming ping. As a router, we get coverage of up to 3000 sqft, followed by dual-band Wi-Fi 5 connectivity standard. Despite missing out on Wi-Fi 6, the speeds aren’t compromised, and you still churn out theoretical speeds of up to 3.2Gbps.

The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 also helps you establish faster wired connections courtesy of the 4 gig Ethernet ports. Due to the integrated modem-router setup, wired connections are expected to yield faster throughputs. In case you want to connect printers and legacy devices to this combo, Netgear offers two USB 3.0 ports to rely on.

As a DOCSIS 3.1 equipment, you get advanced security features integrated with the futuristic firmware. Hardware configuration also deserves a special mention with Netgear, including a dual-core processor to handle the networking logic with surgical precision.

In conclusion, the Nighthawk C7800 is one of the more reliable and budget-centric modem-router combos in the retail space, best characterized by excellent wireless routing setup, courtesy of the 4 external antennas.

Pros
  • Future-proof modem
  • Supports OFDM technology
  • Features four Gig Ports
  • The router supports Beamforming+
  • Dual-core processor
  • 128MB of flash memory for better processing
Cons
  • Heavy at 3.15 pounds
  • No Wi-Fi 6 support for the router

6. Best Value For Money: Netgear Nighthawk CM1200

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity, Cox Internet, and Spectrum
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, and AT&T
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 4
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

The Nighthawk CM1200 is an impactful standalone modem that is competitively priced and comes with decent support for wired connections. Besides, the compatibility with more than one service provider in Cox, Comcast Xfinity, and Spectrum is extremely encouraging for the users.

Netgear itself is an extremely reliable brand, best known for manufacturing modems with DOCSIS 3.1 protocol. The Nighthawk CM1200 justifies the quality with four gig Ethernet ports and a maximum 2Gbps speed limit to rely on. However, the limitations of the ISP ensure that the speeds are majorly capped at 1Gbps.

Despite the four gig ports, link aggregation isn’t supported across each slot, and you can only use one connection at a time or one of the two dedicated aggregated ports. However, this seems to be a small tradeoff for a smaller establishment where you are also considering getting a router for setting a wireless network.

Leaving aside the hits and misses, it is the 2 x 2 OFDM technology that makes a difference, making it easier for you to indulge in online gaming, file sharing, and HD streaming. The OFDM support ensures minimal signal interference and lower latency in compatible modems. Assisting the same is the 32 x 8 channel bonding support and 4096 QAM, which further adds to the size of data channels and improves voluminous packet transmissions.

Setting up the modem is easier than expected as it is more of a plug-and-play resource. Besides, the perfectly ventilated structure doesn’t allow the device to heat up despite hours of continued usage. Apart from that, the Nighthawk CM1200 is also a power-efficient gadget with DOCSIS 3.1 protocol supporting the light sleep and idle mode.

Overall, this is a sub-$200 standalone modem, best characterized by the higher speeds and plug-and-play functionality. Not just that, this modem is less prone to security threats, owing to the highly secure firmware.

Pros
  • Extensive compatibility
  • Heat dissipating structure
  • Plug-and-play functionality
  • Support OFDM technology
Cons
  • Two Gig ports are dedicated to link aggregation
  • Doesn’t come with voice or routing add-ons

7. Best for Office Use: Netgear Nighthawk CM1100

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity, Cox Internet, and Spectrum
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, AT&T, and Fiber-based service providers
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 2
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

The Netgear Nighthawk CM1100 is one of the more affordable DOCSIS 3.1 modems to purchase, provided you want to accommodate speeds of up to 2Gbps, as supported by Cox Internet, Spectrum, and Comcast Xfinity.

Although DOCSIS 3.1 modems with OFDM technology at the helm are capable of supporting download speeds of up to 10Gbps, this is more of a future-proof arrangement, provided the cable ISP someday has the infrastructure to accommodate the same.

For now, it is possible to reach speeds higher than 1Gbps with each, courtesy of the 32 x 8 channel bonding technology. Channel bonding clubbed with 4096 QAM and OFDM support ensures the faster transfer of data packets over the 192MHz band. Moreover, the Nighthawk CM1100 is also backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 supported plans by the concerned service providers.

As far as the feature sets go, this modem comes with link aggregation support, best exhibited by the inclusion of two Gig Ethernet ports. Therefore, if you are only concerned about establishing wired connections, you can reach speeds of up to 2Gbps, provided the ISP accounts for the same.

In case you want to set up a wireless network, almost every Wi-Fi AC and Wi-Fi AX router are compatible with the Nighthawk CM1100. As far as setup and installations go, this is an easy modem to work with.

Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk CM1100 is more of a standard, standalone router that allows you to future-proof your home and office network at an affordable price. However, the upright structure lends aesthetic suppleness to the modem and even minimizes the footprint significantly.

Pros
  • DOCSIS 3.1 protocol supports power-efficiency
  • Accommodates the active queue management technology for minimal latency
  • Lower gaming ping
  • 2 Gig Ethernet ports
  • Supports link aggregation
  • Enhanced, built-in security specs
Cons
  • Standalone modem
  • No Voice support

8. Best WiFi 6 Router/Modem Combo: Netgear Nighthawk CAX80

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast, Cox, and Spectrum
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, and AT&T
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 5
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: Yes

The Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 is a premium modem that doubles down as a powerful AX-standard router, based on requirements. While the DOCSIS 3.1 technology ensures faster speeds and future-proof usage, the real-time throughput readily depends on the cable providers in play.

Considering the ISP speeds and the existing Gig internet hierarchy, the Nighthawk CAX80 from Netgear is best suited for Cox Gigablast plan. Besides, this device is also suitable for Comcast Xfinity services and the Spectrum ISP.

With DOCSIS 3.1 protocol and existing support for 4096 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, this router is capable of reaching excellent real-time speeds of close to 2Gbps, provided the ISP is accommodative enough. While the theoretical download and upload speeds of 10Gbps and 1Gbps aren’t realizable at the moment, DOCSIS 3.1 renders this device future-proof.

As far as channel bonding for the concerned modem + router combo is concerned, you get 32 upstream and 8 downstream channels to work with. The channel bonding support increases the width of data channels, thereby minimizing any form of system lag and latency.

Besides the modem like characteristics, the featured router is efficient enough and supports Wi-Fi AX technology in addition to 3000sqft coverage. The 4 channel ‘MU-MIMO’ enhancement allows you to connect more than 45 devices at once, sans quality compromises. Furthermore, the Nighthawk CAX80 is a dual-band modem that can reach theoretical speeds of 6Gbps on its own, provided the ISP permits.

When it comes to ports, this combo features four Gig Ethernet slots followed by one 2.5 Gig+ output. While the Gig ports ensure faster-wired connections, the dedicated multi-gig port is all about handling more targeted requirements like gaming and streaming. There is a USB 3.0 port at the helm, allowing you to connect a game box, printer, or other legacy devices, at will.

In addition to the mentioned specifications, this combo also makes room for OFDM technology. This enhancement empowers the modem to pack in more data in each channel, even for the same frequency. Furthermore, this isn’t the lightest gadget in the market and weighs close to 2.60 pounds, making it heftier than usual.

Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 is one of the best modem + router combos on our list that lives up to the expectations, courtesy of the higher speed range, minimized packet latency, and improved power efficiency.

Pros
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 standard
  • DOCSIS 3.1 protocol is future-proof
  • 5 Gig and Gig+ Ethernet ports
  • Minimal latency
  • Router coverage of up to 3000sqft
Cons
  • Heavy Modem
  • Not compatible with Verizon and AT&T service providers

9. Best for Home Use: Netgear CM1000

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity, Cox Internet, and Spectrum
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, AT&T, and Fiber-based service providers
  • Speed: Up to 1Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 1
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

Nothing works better than a DOCSIS 3.1 modem if you want to experience multi-gig Internet speeds, both as wired and wireless connections. Although there are quite a few high-end modems supporting speed limits of up to 2Gbps, the CM1000 from Netgear is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, strictly manufactured for accommodating ISPs that support Gig plans or speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Unlike the Nighthawk CM1000, the vanilla version comes equipped with one Gig Ethernet port. Therefore, you can only establish one wired or wireless connection using the concerned modem. Although you can always purchase DOCSIS 3.0 modem to reach comparable speeds with higher channel bonding support, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology is specifically handy for 4K streaming, video conferencing, and handling MMORPG games, and Twitch streaming.

This conventional, standalone modem sends across data packets over the HFC networks with minimal latency from a more technical standpoint. The increased width of data channels, bolstered by the 32 x 8 channel bonding technology, ensures exceptional speeds and throughput. Besides, the single Ethernet port allows you to establish one wired Gig connection. Our experts used the Cox Gigablast plan and were able to reach wired speeds of almost 990mbps with ease.

To sum it up, this is one of the more affordable modems on our list with universal router compatibility. However, for the best results, we would recommend using the Netgear Nighthawk AX router.

Pros
  • Supports OFDM 2 x 2 technology
  • One high-speed Gig Port
  • A vertical layout that saves space
  • 32 x 8 channel bonding reduces latency
  • Integrated security enhancements
Cons
  • One Ethernet port doesn’t allow for link aggregation
  • Not meant for larger wireless setups regardless of router strength

10. Best with Telephony Support: ARRIS SURFboard T25

  • Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity Internet and Voice Services
  • Non-Compatible ISPs: Verizon, DISH, DirecTV, CenturyLink, DSL Service providers, and AT&T
  • Speed: Up to 2Gbps
  • Ethernet Ports: 2
  • Channel Bonding: 32 x 8
  • Modem/Router Combo: No

Standalone modems are exceptional resources when it comes to future-proofing your existing setup without having to rely on the ISP. The ARRIS SURFboard T25 is one such device, featuring high-end hardware, exceptional upstream and downstream speeds, and extended support for voice services, via dedicated slots.

This DOCSIS 3.1 modem from ARRIS lacks extensive compatibility and works best with the Comcast Xfinity Internet and even voice services. While the apathy towards other cable internet service providers is uncalled for, its Comcast-specific speeds and throughput deserve all the accolades. However, to explore the entire potential of the ARRIS SURFboard T25, it is necessary to opt for a minimum Gig data plan from Comcast.

As per the technological inclusions, this modem is way faster than any DOCSIS 3.0 modem courtesy of the 2 x 2 OFDM technology, with each channel of 192MHz capable of carrying additional data packets as compared to the Single Carrier Quadrature Amplitude Modulation. The existing technology readily makes way for VoIP traffic without impacting the gig speeds offered by the ISP.

Put simply, this is also a 2-in-1 device where the mode doubles down as the voice adapter for telephony. Besides, setting up the same is as easy as it gets via the web interface. When channel bonding engineering is concerned, the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol ensures 32 x 8 channels to work with. This flexibility allows the modem to carry more packets at a faster rate, via active queue management.

Then again, the Intel hardware ensures that transmission and networking logics are handled and supplemented with surgical precision. As far as ports are concerned, you get two Ethernet slots with gig capabilities. ARRIS also accommodates two ports for telephony that are compatible with the Xfinity voice plan.

In conclusion, the ARRIS SURFboard T25 is a resourceful modem that is compatible with almost every wireless router in the market. While a majority of ISPs aren’t covered, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology ensures excellent Comcast Xfinity coverage, regardless of the service plan.

Pros
  • Minimal gaming latency
  • Future-proof device
  • Dedicated ports for voice services
  • Upright structure
Cons
  • Lack of extensive compatibility
  • Overwhelming for non-voice users
  • Puma Chipset is known to be buggy

What is DOCSIS 3.1?

The abbreviation stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. In order to make your cable system to work with a cable modem, this protocol is required. The Docsis 3.1 is the international standard used for transferring data over a cable TV system.

It is based on the latest digital technologies like LDPC encoding, QoS support, low latencies, high modulation orders, and over 1 GHz of usable spectrum. The Docsis 3.1 technology has the ability to maintain backward compatibility and deploy it on an HFC network. Therefore, you don’t have to upgrade the plants. Isn’t it revolutionary?

With DOCSIS 3.1, you can get blazing speeds of up to 10 GBPS that was previously possible only using a fiber-optic connection. It is understandable why residential households prefer fiber optic connections, but all this is about to change with the introduction of DOCSIS 3.1.

With the introduction of this technology, cable service operators can meet the demand for high-speed connections and even rival the fiber optic market. Just using a DOCSIS 3.1 modem on one end cannot deliver high speeds, but if both ends of the connection are supported by the technology, it is completely possible to meet the standard set by fiber-optic companies.

DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1 Comparison: The Difference

When buying modems, DOCSIS is one of the most important features to consider. 3.0 and 3.1 are actually version numbers of protocols used by modems. The main difference between them comes down to the speed and number of channels you can use at the same time.

Some of the advantages of a DOCSIS 3.1 over 3.0 are highlighted as follows:

  1. Speed: as mentioned before, it is one of the major and perhaps, the only important features that consumers care about. When it comes to downloading speeds, there is nothing that can counter DOCSIS 3.1, because it offers to speed up to 10 GB per second and upload network capacity of 1 GB per second.
  2. AQM: Active queue management ensures that there is very little network delay because data traffic is handled at home network level. The result? No lag when playing games online, fast responses when engaging with other players, faster movie downloads, faster streaming, and graphics display at an even higher resolution.
  3. Increased capacity on existing networks: DOCSIS 3.1 also offers an increase in network capacity because it can transmit 50 percent more data over the same spectrum compared to 3.0 technology.
  4. Less energy wastage: The active queue management also ensures that there is very little wastage of energy because of increased cable modem efficiency.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what your service provider can give you. If your ISP offers internet speed of more than 1 GB, you should invest in 3.1 modems. But if the average speed offers if less, DOCSIS 3.0 will do just fine. Since these devices tend to cost upwards of $100, and a 3.0 modem only costs $50 – you should only invest in such devices if you are in need of speed like that.

Gigabit Internet Providers in the US

1. Comcast XFINITY

The network is one of the most versatile ISPs in the US, as it provides cable television, internet, and wireless services. XFINITY offers various packages and allows the user to choose according to their requirements. Therefore, it is very user-oriented and easy to customize.

There are XFINITY bundles you can choose from that combine both TV and the internet. Internet speed is 150 Mbps in almost all of the bundles, which is sufficient for the average person. You can stream 4K videos on the go, and all the internet speed tiers are suitable for online gaming. Latency is not an issue when you game via this provider.

In 2017, it was also rated as the fastest internet provider by SpeedTest and Netflix. Advanced xFi gateways can give you the speed up to 1 Gigabit per second with XFINITY.

2. Spectrum

Spectrum Gig has offered gigabit speed to large enterprises for years and now it has offers for small and medium-sized firms. Spectrum Business Internet Gig delivers you a constant IP, remote network access to ensure you uninterrupted service even on the road.

In some regions, the plans of this ISP provide you a speed up to 940 MB per second. If you do not live in such an area, rest assured – Spectrum internet speeds starting at 60 Mbps which is more than enough for a fast internet experience. It is one of the best ISPs for large homes with multiple connections who enjoy heavy internet activities.

3. COX

It is the third-largest cable provider in the US delivering internet over coaxial cables. COX communications give you high-speed internet across 18 states. Cable and internet from COX are cost-effective for the average consumer as compared to other companies.

The ISP is a good option if you have a tight budget and need a reliable internet along with a decent cable TV. For small businesses, Cox offers a variety of plans ranging from an internet speed of 25 Mbps to 300 Mbps. Each of these plans includes static IP addresses, online backups up to 25 GB, branded email addresses, along with security suite licenses that protect your computer from viruses, and online threats.

4. Mediacom

Mediacom promotes TV and internet services starting as low as 40$. This bundle unlocks 60 Mbps of speed and 100+ channels. However, as mentioned in one of our posts, modems provided by Mediacom are mediocre, and most of the dropouts of service are a result of poor maintenance. Therefore, if you are on this plan, we highly recommend getting a brand-new modem.

A plan of 100/500 MB per second will provide you with the mentioned speed very consistently. There are slowdowns here and there but these only reduce speed by 20-25%. In certain cases, downloading speed has been reported to be excellent but it is not very consistent for a prolonged time. Mediacom also offers a Wifi mesh which helps to remove dead zones from the house.

5. WOW! Internet

WOW! Internet gives cheap internet plans in the south and the Midwest US. Internet packages go from 30$ to 80$ per month. Compared to other top ISPs, Wow is relatively cheap. Wow came 8th out of 67 ISPs in May 2018 as part of a survey conducted by Netflix. Uncapped data is the biggest perk of WOW!

The maximum speed of WOW! internet plans tend to fall above-average range. To take advantage of its great prices, customers need to stick around for at least one or two years of service. Among current customers, the reviews are up and down.

The quality of service largely depends on the consumer’s area, but if you don’t like it, you can cancel the contract during the first 30-day testing period without paying any extra charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are DOCSIS 3.1 modems worth the investment?

For now, DOCSIS 3.1 modems are smarting under the compatibility issues as a majority of ISPs do not have the requisite plans for justifying the newest breed of technology. Moreover, if an increased number of channels is your priority during network congestion, the DOCSIS 3.0 modems with 32 x 8 channels are better options if the ISP is only offering a Gig internet plan.

How the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol improves modem security?

Modems featuring DOCSIS 3.1 protocols have upgraded firmware in place, based on certified security standards. The security perks are mostly encountered when modem-centric software downloads and authentication are concerned. Therefore, the security enhancements keep DDoS and other relevant threats at a fair distance.

What is the relevance of channel bonding in DOCSIS 3.1 modems?

As per the DOCSIS 3 standards, channel bonding ensures aggregation of several 6MHz channels with a per-channel downstream, upstream speed of 38Mbps, and 27Mbps, respectively. The general case scenario for the 32 x 8 channel in DOCSIS ensures maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 1.37Gbps and upload speeds of up to 245Mbps. DOCSIS 3.1 uses thicker channels and, therefore, the maximum permissible speed limit is 10Gbps, as a part of the ideal scenario.

What is the significance of OFDM in DOCSIS 3.1 modems?

The concept of OFDM or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing in DOCSIS 3.1 concerns a larger chunk of traffic that can be transmitted over a single channel. OFDM allows modems to use the same frequency but segregate the data streams for being carried forward using sub-carriers. Therefore, OFDM ensures that even for the same frequency, larger datasets can be transported with ease.

What are the diverse benefits of DOCSIS 3.1 modems?

DOCSIS 3.1 modems support multi-gig speeds and also feature power-efficiency. Despite the higher deployment costs, they are better choices for the next few years to come as they are stacked with innovative security specs and exceptionally high downstream and upstream speed limits.

The Verdict

Each of the mentioned DOCSIS 3.1 has been reviewed, keeping the future trends and expected ISP speed improvements in mind. However, if you want us to recommend the perfect device based on budget, functionality, and added resourcefulness, it would be necessary for us to ascertain every internet-centric preference.

  • If you are in the market for a standalone, budget modem with DOCSIS 3.1 support, voice support, and backward compatibility for DOCSIS 3.0 networks, the ARRIS SURFboard T25 is a commendable addition.
  • If you want to get a combo that works both as a modem and a router, nothing works better than the ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300 and Nighthawk CAX80 (comes with Wi-Fi 6 support.)
  • In case you are only interested in a gadget for Comcast packages, both voice, and the internet, the Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V comes into the scheme of things.
  • If you are strictly a budget user and only looking to connect a device or router to the modem, for reaching speeds up to 1Gbps, the Netgear CM1100 is the modem to consider.

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4 thoughts on “10 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems in 2020 [For Gigabit Internet]”

    • Yeah, I was looking for a decent DOCSIS 3.1 modem, not only did this guide help me find it, but it also helped me understand about the technology and how it is faster than DOCSIS 3.0, I really appreciate the way they explain it.

      I still wish there were some more graphics so that I didn’t have to read so much text, but I understand that the website’s focus is on putting out information in an understandable way. I really appreciate the efforts and the way they explain stuff.

      Reply
  1. Do all the DOCSIS 3.1 modems have backward compatibility for DOCSIS 3.0 or previous versions?

    I’m asking this because, currently my cable internet provider only supports 3.0, but will get a network upgrade and start supporting 3.1 in the coming months. I’m supposed to buy a modem right now because my current modem/router combo stopped working.

    If all the modems provided backward compatibility, then I could buy the one based on the performance, else I’ll might have to limit my choice and only get the one that provides backward compatibility.

    Reply
  2. I got the Arris SurfBoard SB8200 after reading this review, it has been a 2 months now and I must say that it’s among the best one, the previous one which I received from the cable internet provider had a lot of issues but with this cable modem all of them are sorted. There’s no internet throttling even when 4 of them are connected at our place, I can surf the web at the same time allow my kids to watch YouTube kids!

    I’m looking for a Mesh WiFi setup for a new workplace soon, I know giving personal attention isn’t possible, but your advice has really helped me make a good purchase decision, would really appreciate for your help!

    Reply

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