In today’s warp-speed world having a fast and reliable Internet connection is a must.
Thus choosing the best modem router combo is a key step. After countless hours of testing each single one of these devices, we were able to create this Guide to Selecting the Best Modem Router Combo device in 2017, which should help you make an informed decision.
When exploring the market for routers, you will come across dozens of options, some of which are modem router combos. These are DSL modems that incorporate the functionalities of a Wi-Fi router, which means you don't need a separate router to wirelessly configure it to your smartphone, tablet or a laptop.
There are plenty of benefits of using a device which functions as both a modem and a router, i.e. a 2 in 1. For starters, the device can connect the internet network of your home to your provider, which reduces the time and hassle required to install both devices separately.
Plus, there are never any compatibility complications and the device is quite simple to configure. A modem with a built-in router is the perfect solution for people who worry about networking configuration, not to mention the trouble of creating space for two individual devices.
Also, the routers and modems are critical components that play a crucial role in providing you a reliable and steady Internet connection. When searching for the best modem router combo, how many of you are paying attention to the small print specifications? We do and that is why we created this best modem router combo guide for you!
The best modem router combo will help you make the most of your internet connection. The devices provide fast connectivity, regardless of the number of users. Plus, modems with built-in router functionality feature powerful signal transmission technologies, which means you won't have to worry about strategically placing your modem to get good signals around the house.
The device will transmit powerful signals all around the house, irrespective of the size of your home. Plus, another reason why you should opt for a modem/router combo is that they are simple to install and configure.
Don't you hate it when you have to read technical details just to operate and configure a router? Well, a modem-router combo unit is the perfect solution for this problem. After all, we aren't all network wizards, are we?
So, you will never have to fiddle with different cables, figuring out which one goes where or navigate through a mind numbing maze of network menus, trying to make sense of everything. And thanks to advancements in network technology, the devices on the market provide you complete peace of mind.
#1 Motorola MG7550
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
#2 Zoom AC1900
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
#3 Netgear AC1750
(Best value for money)
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
#4 ARRIS SBG6580
(Low Budget Option)
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
#5 TP-Link AC1750
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Motorola MG7550 is the best modem router combo for almost any cable modem user. This model includes a built-in AC1900 3x3 WiFi Gigabit Router with four Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The MG7550 is certified by a number of leading cable service providers and it's one of the best routers for Comcast.
MG7550 offers a multitude of features which make it stand out against its competitors. Wireless high speeds, IPv4 and IPv6 networking support, the Power Booster technology, along with its two-year warranty are only some of its amazing features.
Thanks to its vertical design, the modem router combo unit minimizes the shelf space and reduces the unwieldy wires and power adapter clutter. It offers a permanent, reliable and hassle-free connection between the router and the modem.
It offers its users enhanced Internet video streaming reliability.
The set up is quite easy. The instructions offered by Quick Start are very thorough, clear and easy to follow. The installation and activation takes less than 10 minutes.
This device was designed to work both for office and home use. The embedded AC1900 Dual Band wireless router provides the range, wireless speeds and networking support needed for multimedia, internet video and high-performance networking.
Zoom 5363 has everything that you can ask from a modem router in a single device. This innovative modem router combo helps provide users with a high-speed wired and wireless cable Internet connection.
What’s the big deal about this model? How does it differ from all the others? Well, it combines a high speed cable modem and 802.11ac WiFi with Broadcom Turbo QAM compatibility which makes it one of the one of the fastest wireless modem routers combo available on the market.
The device has four Gigabit Ethernet ports with Auto Negotiation and Auto MDIX for connecting wired devices, such as desktop computers, smart phones, laptops, tablets or gaming consoles.
This model presents some of the best features in the industry.
It operates on both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands and has three internal dual-band antennas for its Wi-Fi function. When using the 2.4 band, it can reach speeds up to 600Mbps (33% over competitors without this feature), while the 5GHz band guarantees speeds up to 1300Mbps.
In addition, its 8x4 Channel bonding helps reaching faster cable Internet speeds during peak hours of usage. This feature only enables higher average download speeds than 4x4, even for service speeds below this cable modem/router's top speed of 343 Mbps. All of these features make Zoom AC1900 one of the best modem router combo devices for online gamers.
Moreover, this DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and wireless router combo is confirmed certified for both Comcast XFINITY and Time Warner Cable and Cable Labs to support DOCSIS 3.0 and IPv6, operating at 343 Mbps downstream, 123 Mbps upstream. DOCSIS 2.0 and 1.1 are also supported.In order to be functional, this gateway requires a cable broadband Internet service.
The Zoom 5363 also uses a technology called beamforming to help it focus the data streams at your wireless client devices so that you get concentrated data directed at your clients from the router.
Beam forming, dual wireless radios, and 3x3 antennas for both radios provide a significant advantage, especially in locations with interference from nearby wireless networks.
Setup is designed to be a breeze. It will not take literally more than ten minutes from unboxing to fully working.
The Zoom 5363 gateway is suitable for home users, gamers as well as for office based users.
NETGEAR AC1750 is deemed the best when it comes to fast data transfer rates. The modem router combo is designed to provide users data transfers speeds up to 1300 Mbps through its Gigabit Wi-Fi integration. This is combined with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem cable, which, by itself, is capable of providing users with support speed of up to 680 Mbps.
With the NETGEAR (16x4 ) AC1750 series, you really don't have to fret about slugging HD streaming or the inability to download heavy files while simultaneous viewing your favorite shows online.
This modem router combo unit enables users to comfortably watch and stream HD content from a variety of sources. Their online gaming experience will also be enhanced without having to worry about lagging. Users also get to enjoy fast file downloading.
You can also configure this modem router combo to share your internet connection with multiple mobile devices, connecting each device on the network simultaneously, which means if you have multiple internet users at home, you won't have to deal with slow internet speed. The signal coverage of the device is thorough and consistent throughout your house.
The cable modem router combo is built with Intel Puma 6 processor, which means the router will provide you unparalleled wireless as well as wired internet connectivity and performance.
Moreover, the efficient and effective modem/router comes with DOCSIS 3.0 technology that is renowned for ultra fast networking and internet performance, and is the best technology you can get your hands on. Here are some other features of the device:
Netgear AC 1750 is best suitable for users who want to stream HD content from a variety of sources, online gamers, and home users who want the best value for money
The best thing about this modem router combo is that it can be installed rather simplistically and without you having to bang your head against the wall. The device is installed and configured automatically, thanks to the NETGEAR Genie Application.
This application can also be utilized for a multitude of networking purposes as well. Once downloaded, the Genie application can be used for monitoring, connecting and controlling from desktop and mobile device activities as well.
The SURFboard SBG6580 is a combination DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, wireless access point, and four-port Ethernet router device. It provides ultra high-speed wireless Internet access on a home or small business network.
Motorola's Arris Surfboard SBG680 is a dual-purpose device (modem router combo). Apart from the device's primary function, which is cable connection, it also functions as a wireless router that can provide powerful and uninterrupted signals to multiple mobile devices, like smartphones, tablets, laptops and notebooks. All mobile devices can share reliable and high-speed internet connectivity simultaneously.
Being a modem and router in one single unit, it reduces wire clutter and saves space. This simple to use device which maximizes your internet speed by providing technologically advanced multimedia services, has ultra-broadband data transmission capabilities.
The Arris Surfboard SBG860 seems to be quite versatile and convenient. It is switchable 2.4/5.0 GHz, compatible with Windows, Macintosh and Unix computers. It can provide extensible networking, allowing customer to network up to 253 desktop computers, laptops and other Ethernet or wireless devices to create a full Class C network.
The Router Software/Firmware presents extensive features, including parental controls.
In terms of reliability and security, the Wi-Fi Security WPA feature helps ensure that “bandwidth thieves” aren’t robbing you. This modem router combo unit comes equipped with an advanced firewall with DoS protection and intrusion prevention.
Plug and Play type. The guide Start Guide provided offers clear and easy to follow instructions. There are two ways to install and set up a secure wireless connection on the home network: Computer wireless network on your computer and UPS Pairing Button. Video tutorials are also available online on the Arris support website.
The SBG6580 is definetely the perfect product for the high-end residential user, the small home office owner, and medium to large businesses.
This nifty piece of equipment has a better construction than other modems and routers. It has a nice slim design, good weight and seems more solid and durable compared to most of the similar light-weight plastic products.
This modern router combo unit paired up a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and AC1750 wireless router in one single device. The model offers the users a way to have more control over their Internet. An one-time fee and no more monthly renting fees towards the Internet providers
TP-Link AC1750 Docsis 3.0 comes equipped with multiple USB ports and 4 Ethernet ports in the back. It also has six internal antennas to help with connectivity range and a decent firewall.
The web interface is pretty intuitive and provides detailed information to help users configure.
As for the software, it includes a long listing of all connected devices. Some parental control options are available on certain devices. There is “guest” account option for users to connect without a password.
This model works great for non IT professionals. It is a fantastic match for the home users or basic Internet users that wish to minimize the footprint of their network gear. It will serve well all users that do not need a complicated configuration or without special networking needs.
Out-of-the-box, plug and play. Easiest setup ever!
This is a good question. First, we have to clear up some things. Most people assume routers are designed to provide convenient internet connectivity. Well, that isn't exactly true.
To get unprecedented internet connectivity, you need a modem which connects with your ISP and then transfers data to the router, which then enables you to use the internet on your devices. You can save the hassle of installing two devices by investing in the 2 in 1 best modem router combo.
Nevertheless, it is also a truism that not all third-party devices have this capability. If you opt for an older product, you will have to first connect the device to a modem and then configure it to access the internet. To keep things hassle-free and simple, you should opt for a modem with a built-in router.
Why would you want two devices for wirelessly connecting to the internet when a single modem will do the trick for you? Moreover, there are some reasons why you should buy a standalone device.
First, the built-in router modem will provide you a greater degree of flexibility in terms of your broadband connection. You may easily be able to switch your ISP without having to change or switch your device.
If you live in a big house and want fast and uninterrupted online access everywhere, you need a powerful modem. The best modem router combo devices offer sufficient security features and parental control options that you can access easily.
On top of that, the modem will also provide you the option of connecting your printers and other external devices to the router. This ways, you can use them remotely. However, devices with these features and benefits are a bit pricey.
The best modem router combo devices offer numerous benefits, including:
A modem router combo is a single device, which means you don't have to worry about making additional room for installing a separate unit.
Moreover, a wireless router and modem combo significantly minimizes the use of additional cables, which eventually lead to a clutter, Clutter can be difficult to manage. With a single device, you don't have to use too much cable for setting it up.
Moreover, if you opt for a third-party device, it is important to understand that you will require an Ethernet cable to connect your device with the router. A standalone device, such as a modem with built-in router functionality, does not require any cable.
The modem only requires a single source of power, which is its AC adapter. This means you will have an extra socket to use in any way you please.
Another great advantage of using one of the best modem router combo units is you will not have to configure two devices to remotely connect to the internet. Using a quality standalone device will allow for faster compatibility and configuration.
The process is expedited and you won't have to configure two separate devices for communicating with one another. Furthermore, a modem router combo is designed to prevent compatibility or configuration complications.
Whenever your internet stops working because of something fishy with the modem, you won't have to troubleshoot two individual devices.
Using a single combo device is easier. Traditionally, for troubleshooting a problem with a modem/router combo, all you have to do is reset the router by, pressing the on/off switch and the router will reconfigure and connect itself. It will reboot and pick up the signals, and interface with the modem.
Most of people are only interested (or aware) of the obvious specifications such as the port speeds (10,100 or 1000 bits per second) which tell you how fast the data can pass through the router in ideal conditions.
The cheap modem router combo devices available on the market or provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) have a limit of packets per second rating. Given that they are missing a Layer 3 processing hardware (which allows faster packets processing), their performance will decrease and degrade if the packet size is not the largest possible.
Keep in mind that the smallest UDP packet is 52 bytes, while TCP is 64 bytes, which is a long way from the usual maximum of 1500. Some modem router combos can only reach 10% of their peak performance with the smallest packets.
The maximum performance of a modem router combo is also affected by the amount of tasks completed by the router. For example, if a router is using NAT or recording flows, the performance will decrease considerably. When there are many short-lived connections, there is an overhead in the recording state.
A few years back when the broadband was less than 8M, the domestic users were not complaining about any of these issues. Nowadays the residential connections are reaching 30M, 50M, 100M or even faster. This speed enables users to have multiple connections in the same time such as: streaming, running a cloud backup, downloading a movie, video chatting, etc.
Routers and modems are required to work harder since speed became important for most of the users. When the performance varies, the users get annoyed and blame the Internet Service Provider (ISP) without thinking that their router or modem might be the main culprit.
The modem router combo may not be able to cope with the multiple users and the load put on it. If your connection is 500Mbps, but the router supports only 300Mbps, there is no way that you will get more than 300 Mbps! Thus the speed may be bottlenecked by the router when the device can not support high-speed connections. If you do not have a router that can keep up with the ISP, then it will take forever to do a backup or to transfer a file outside your own network. That's why it is important to buy the best modem router combo unit instead of renting it from your ISP.
You need to ensure that your router supports the 802.11n wireless standard and that it has the latest firmware installed. If the “N” standard is not supported, you need to purchase a new one.
You may opt for a newer dual-band model that supports 5GHz carrier frequency in addition to the 2.4 GHz. It provides the best possible streaming performance and handles interferences better than other models.
The modem may affect the speed of your connection and be responsible for a low performance. Addressing the connection speed requires a careful look at all the elements.
Modems are generally split into speed tiers that explains the highest speed they can reach. In case you are having an older model (low-tier) on a high-speed connection, do not expect to reach the maximum speed promised by your ISP. Contact your ISP or check on their website for the list of compatible modems.
Nowadays everything is designed to connect to the Internet, from smart phones, hand held electronic gadgets to tablets and video games consoles. If you have a high speed Internet connection, a wireless network will enable all of your devices connect simultaneously and share the Internet.
Installing correctly a wireless network can save you a lot of trouble and precious time later. The basic setup and configuration of a home network does not need to be nerve wrecking. By following some simple steps, you will see that it is a no brainer to hook up and power on the devices in proper order.
All you need are three pieces of equipment: your modem, a wireless router and your computer or laptop. Generally, the ISP provides you a modem which is connected to a jack in the wall. The modem acts as a receiver for your Internet signal.
Allow your computer one or two minutes to the Internet. Then open your browser and type google.com. It should load a Google page.
Once the physical connections are done, it is time to log in to your modem router combo and change some settings. This is an optional step, addressing those who want to customize their network by updating firmware, setting a wireless name /SSD and enhance wireless security.
In most of the cases the router comes with a unique name and password already set up. In order to run the system through the basic steps of installation, you will need to use the installation disc that came with your router. (It should have been placed within the box, along with the router and the cables.) The guide can walk you through the configuration of your router.
An unsecured wireless network is an open invitation to run into problems. Besides the fact that it leaves your data unprotected and having neighbours using it to watch silly videos on Youtube, it can get you into trouble if someone is doing fraudulent activities like downloading pirated and illegal content or transport viruses.
Not all wireless devices support all encryption types. Try to opt for WPA, if available.
After performing all the mentioned steps above, you should be able to see your Wi-Fi network on any device located in the vicinity of your connection. Disregarding the device used to connect, select your network by clicking on it and enter your password in order to connect.
While this isn't a common problem, it is important to understand there is one particular downside of using a modem router combo. If your modem stops picking up signals frequently, you might have to replace it with a newer model.
Moreover, if you decide to switch your internet provider or switch to cable internet from DSL, you might have to switch the device with one that supports Ethernet connectivity.
Note: DSL is short for Digital Subscriber Line, a modem that is designed to connect your computer to a phone line for establishing an internet connection. DSL is a term used to technically explain a modem that connects to your desktop using an Ethernet port or a USB port or it can also be installed in the PCI slot of your computer.
The DSL modem router combo is a standalone device that amalgamates the functionalities and capabilities of both a modem and a router. Nowadays, a majority of people have DSL broadband, which requires this type of device combo. Few people prefer using cable internet today.
When searching for the best modem router combo, you have to decide if you wish to buy a dual-band device. Devices with a single band function on the wireless frequency (which is the 2.4GHz frequency).
While a single band router is great for browsing and surfing the World Wide Web, it is important to understand a single frequency can result in congestion and is not recommended for people who engage or indulge in high-bandwidth activities, like HD streaming.
A modem router combo with dual band functionality will be a bit more expensive. However, you won't have to worry about increased interference and can enjoy faster streaming, connectivity and overall surfing. Dual band routers broadcast data over both frequencies, which are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
In simpler terms, using a dual band router you will be able to surf the web on the 2.4 GHz frequency while also streaming quality videos over the 5 GHz frequency without any disruption.
Modem/routers are categorized as per the wireless standard they are designed on. For instance, these routers come in two standards: 802.11b and the 802.11g. The 'b' category defines the first generation of wireless routers and modem combos and the 'g' standard represents the second generation of the devices and the 'n' is an upgraded version of the previous generations of the devices.
Each device offers different standards of speed, functionality and range. However, what you should look for is a device that can provide you all the newest updates in terms of speed and functionality.
In order to fully maximize the quality of your router, you need to purchase the best modem router combo that sufficiently supports your remote and desktop devices. The router must support the same type of technology, otherwise the wireless connection will turn back to utilizing an older version, which isn't that powerful.
Top quality and slightly expensive cable router combos are designed with increased integration, which means they have USB sockets where you can easily plug in your memory stick or external hard drive and share online connectivity with other devices across your private network.
This can come in handy for people who like to share media content, pictures or their movie collection over the network.
We live in a digital era where almost everything can be done online. That means the amount of sensitive data put out there had increased considerably. By using the Internet to communicate with others, to transfer documents or simply surf, we opened the door to possible leaks.
We all have seen movies where that hackers can easily gain access to your system. Guess what? It can happen in real life as well! What can you do in order to protect the security of your home network? You could start by improving the security of the Wi-Fi router. By doing so you can prevent unwanted access or usage of the network.
Reset the original settings of your router right after you created the network. If you worry that you may forget them, write them down right away. Please do not write them on a label that you were planning to stick on the bottom of your router device. It will be the first place to look for in case someone has access to the premises.
Choose a different name than your last name or your address for your network. Keep in mind that the service set identifier (SSID) will be publicly displayed. Try to use something that can not be easily guessed.
The new generation of routers comes equipped with encryption features that enable you to secure your wireless network. Some brands may offer different security options than others, all you have to do us navigate through the router’s settings and follow the some steps in order to select the proper option.
Since WEP turned out to be easily hacked, you should choose WPA which provides a higher level of security. Select WPA2 or WPA2- AES which is the latest and most preferred security option. While activating the encryption, set it to AES; you will be asked to type the network key password.
Ensure you disable the WPS ( Wi-Fi Protected Setup) feature. The WPS function enables you to connect other devices to the router even when the encryption feature is turned on. By simply pressing a button on the router, you can connect any device to it.
Most of the routers have a built in firewalls such as SPI (stateful or package inspection) or NAT( network address translation) which can be automatic. If it is not activated, you need to turn it on. It will provide you an additional protection against external attacks. You could also install an additional firewall on your computer as well.
Try to use it only while your guests are present and turn it off the minute they stepped out your door. Otherwise you risk having any freeloader using your network.
Once a month take the time to log into your router, navigate through the settings, and check if you need an update. You may find the firmware setting under different tab names such as “ advanced”, “tools” or “ admin”, depending on the brand of the router you are using. Ensure you are having the most recent version installed.
Your internet service provider will typically provide you a modem/router, for which they will charge you a monthly fee. Companies like AT&T and Comcast do this, which is fine and everything.
However, renting a modem and router device can cost you a lot of money in the long run. This is why it is not advisable to rent a device for your service provider and you have to realize these devices are designed to last a long time, which means you will not need to replace one but keep paying the rental for what you currently are using.
Buying the best DOCSIS 3.0 modem router combo will ensure you get the same quality and internet speed and functionality while saving money. Buying a topnotch modem router combo is a one-time investment.
Additionally, renting a modem can also cause quite complications for you down the line. When you try to alter the settings or configurations of the device or set it up for advanced capabilities and functionality, the device will cause configuration problems.
Moreover, most of the time, internet service providers stick firmware updates to your router combo, which in turn rests the compatibility and configuration settings of the device, and you will not even know it.
The firmware updates at times, also removes vital information, like data pertaining to the static IP or DMZ information, which could also cause problems.
There is only one benefit you can enjoy by renting modem, which is that whenever the device stops functioning optimally or is damaged, the company that provided you with the device will replace it. However, you will receive the same model, not an upgrade.
It is important understand that the chances of your modem malfunctioning or being damaged are slim, so renting a modem router combo isn't that beneficial at all. Most devices last for year on end. Think about all the money you can save by buying a router.
If you plan to upgrade your current networking components, you may wonder whether to go for a 2 in 1 modem router combo solution. Using a modem with built-in router functionality is a perfect solution for users who are primarily home-based. What this means is the 2 in 1 solution is better for people who want to use their internet at home, as they won't require the more advanced features on routers.
On the other hand, once you dive into more advanced networking components and activities, for example, implementing parental control, it is better to have a separate router. That is for advanced users only. Plus, if you talk about its functionality in a business environment, which involves public access, it is better to get a separate modem and router to increase and maintain network security.
Wi-Fi represents the alternative to the network cable which enable you to connect to one or many devices to a local area network (LAN). Wi-Fi is the vehicle that delivers the Internet to your computer, laptop or any other device.
The Ethernet is a fixed, wired Internet connection. It is known to be faster, more reliable and affordable. This type of connection uses a physical cable (DSL), cable line or even fiber optic line (FIOS). In addition, it has no or very high data caps.
Both of these connections have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the user's’ needs, one may be more suitable than the other.
For example, an Ethernet connection might be a better choice for online PC or console gamers.
On Wi-Fi they might experience more packet-loss, higher ping, more connection issues and more lag. If you are a gamer, then you know what I am talking about. There is nothing more annoying than experiencing ping spikes and full-blown connections during a game.
If all of the terms above are new to you, let me start by explaining what they are and what they do. A packet contains game info which travels back and forth between the computer and the game servers. Packet-loss occurs when a packet fails to reach its destination. Ping is the amount of time needed by a packet to reach its destination. Some packets travel faster than others, which creates a variation in time, called Jitter.
The newest Wi-Fi standard 802.11ac improved its performance and it can reach speeds up of 3200 Mbps. Assuming both your computer and router can support the standard, you can enjoy a faster wireless connection than you had a few years back.
Though a wireless LAN connection has certain limitations such interferences (neighbours’ network, physical walls or objects), inconsistent performance, radio frequency radiation, security issues. In a nutshell, Wi-Fi is more susceptible to environmental factors than a fixed Ethernet connection.
What a Wi-Fi connection does offer is mobility and convenience. Going wireless is the right choice for the users who need to enjoy their freedom of movement in a cable-free home environment. Some of new generation of smartphones and slim laptops no longer have Ethernet ports simply because everyone is going wireless. Most of the basic web tasks such as surfing, social media and emails, can be performed without any problem using a wireless connection.
An Ethernet connection is more suitable for users who enjoy high definition (HD) video or music streaming, transferring larger files or playing games online. These tasks require a higher bandwidth and the Ethernet can provide lower latency. Please ensure you are using a Cat-6 cable if you wish to reach (theoretically) up to 10Gb per second.
As for the network’s security, being hardwired into the router offers a higher level of security than connecting wirelessly. The data on the fixed Ethernet network can only be accessed by plugging a device into either the computer or the router.
Wi-Fi networks can be secured by using different security methods such as changing the SSID name, enable network encryption, firmware updates, filter MAC addresses, etc.
In many cases, if you are looking for enhanced connectivity and security, not to mention ease of installation and use, getting separate devices can be expensive. Plus, you will also have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to optimally configure both devices and troubleshoot problems for both devices.
A modem router combo is less expensive and hassle-free. The difference between two devices and a single device can be significant. You can actually save hundreds of dollars by investing in a best modem router combo.
It is important to realize that once you rent a modem with Wi-Fi functionality, you lose control in terms of the device's security and performance upgrades. The service provider you are renting your modem from who will decide whether your rented device needs firmware updates or not.
Therefore, now that you have a comprehensive picture of the benefits, the ease and the increased functionalities of the best modem router combo, it is time you replace your older model and get an upgrade.