When it comes to getting your internet up and running on your home network, you really have to start with the type of device that you want to be using.
Ideally, you will be using the best modem router combo possible, ensuring that you will get the best speeds possible.
Knowing what to look for in a modem router combo is incredibly important if you are hoping to get reliable coverage.
This means looking at the DOCSIS protocol, the downstream speeds, and even the security features that come with the device. We have reviewed the best cable modem router combos on the market right now to help you out.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Modem Router Combo
Your downstream speed is the speed that your modem router combo can download data from the internet at.
Most of the speeds that are listed on a unit will be a combination of both the upstream and downstream speeds, but if you are streaming, you really care about the downstream speeds.
This is how fast your system will be able to download new content, which is important for not just streaming, but gaming as well.
Channel bonding is the combination of multiple channels or lanes in order to increase the amount of traffic that your modem can handle. Most modems will have either 16 x 4 channel bonding or 32 x 8 channel bonding.
32 x 8 is better, because it offers more lanes for traffic. They are both great ways to bring the highest amount of data into your network quickly. Your combo unit should report its channel bonding ability up front.
It is incredibly important that your modem router combo is compatible with your ISP. If it is not, it will never be able to work. You cannot make an incompatible device work with an ISP.
The combo units we have reviewed here are for cable internet, so they will not work if you have DSL, satellite, or even fibre. Make sure that whatever device that you are getting lists out that it can work with your ISP to begin with.
10 Best Modem Router Combos (2020)
1. Motorola MG7550
2. Netgear C7000
3. Motorola MG7315
4. Netgear C7800
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
5. Asus Modem Router
6. Motorola MT7711
For Xfinity Voice
7. Arris SBG7600
8. TP-Link CR1900
9. Motorola MG7700
10. Netgear CM500
1. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router
Best Modem Router Combo (Editor's Choice)
The best modem router combo that you can get is the Motorola MG7550. Motorola devices generally are intelligently designed with excellent performance and the MG7550 is the perfect example of that.
The MG7550 has a vertical design, which can be a big space saver as well as a built-in way to keep the unit cool. The longevity of tower designs is also typically longer since the components are kept in better shape and are not subjected to the same level of heat as other devices.
The MG7550 also has 4 x 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, so that you can plug in any device that needs a wired connection for the best speeds possible. This applies to an HDTV, gaming system, or any other device that really needs stability and cannot rely on WiFi.
The MG7550 has great performance, which is why it was our choice for the best overall combo unit. It is a dual-band router, so you get both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands to use.
The MG7550 comes with the Motorola Power Boost feature as well, which increases the overall coverage of the network and with speeds up to 650 Mbps. This should give you enough power to effortlessly maintain signal throughout your network.
The router uses AnyBeam Beamforming to focus your signal strength onto the wireless clients to further enhance the router’s performance.
The modem part of the device is a DOCSIS 3.0, which is about average for a cable modem. It also includes actual cable speeds up to 375 Mbps, while using the Broadcom cable modem chipset. This chipset provides extra security for Denial of Service attacks.
2. Netgear C7000 Modem Router Combo
If you are looking for a modem/router combo that provides a higher level of performance, we suggest the Netgear Nighthawk C7000. Just about any Netgear Nighthawk device is going to be a win, and the C7000 is one of them
The Netgear Nighthawk C7000 has a vertical design, which will help keep the device cool while also ensuring that it does not take up much space. The base of the combo unit is not as sturdy as other units, so it is not advised that you put this in any place where it might get knocked into.
You also get 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as 2 USB ports that will help give you the best wired connections possible. It does have built-in parental controls and other security features, such as WEP support and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols.
The C7000 is a great example of performance. It provides up to 1,800 square feet in wireless coverage, which should be able to handle most home networks without any trouble. It allows you to connect up to 30 devices at the same time, which is ideal for the average smart home. The wireless speeds are up to 1900 Mbps, which is exactly what you want for HD streaming.
This device works best for cable speeds up to 400 Mbps, which is enough to handle HD streaming devices or gaming devices. It is also a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which is reliable and has been around for a long time, so you know that the C7000 unit is not going to glitch on you.
3. Motorola MG7315 Modem Router
Sometimes we need to take our budget into consideration when it comes to buying our devices. Just because you are on a budget does not mean that you have to settle for a poor quality modem/router combo. The best router modem combo unit when you are working within a budget is the Motorola MG7315.
This device has the standard device appearance that Motorola is known for. That means that it is black and vertical with an excellent amount of vents. It also reduces the amount of shelf space that it will take up.
The modem/router combo also has four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, which means that you can wire in whatever devices need a more stable connection. It also comes with a Broadcom cable modem chipset to prevent any Denial of Service attacks. It does come with a built-in firewall as well to increase the overall security of your network.
The MG7315 has a built-in DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which is the most commonly found type of modem in a combo unit. It provides actual cable speeds up to 145 Mbps, which might not be as fast as other units, but it does the jobs well.
The router in this unit is a single-band router, which is the 2.4 GHz radio band. Most routers are dual-band, so this router will not have the same amount of bandwidth that you can get from other devices, but it should work well if you are only trying to stream one device at a time or are not otherwise overloading the router. It does have Anybeam Beamforming through so it will get great range.
4. Netgear C7800 Modem Router Combo
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router
Getting a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is a great investment for the future. A perfect modem router combo unit with the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol is the Netgear Nighthawk C7800.
The design of the C7800 is a little bit bulky, kind of like a brick. It is flat and will not be easy to conceal if you wanted to. It has four high-gain antennas that can help boost your wireless signal throughout your network, though they are also a little on the bulky side.
The unit comes with four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as two high-speed USB 3.0 ports. This will give you incredible and reliable connected speeds, whether you want to plug in an HDTV, gaming console, or simply get a fast speed to your computer. It also has parental controls and it supports WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols for improved safety.
Being a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, you are going to get better overall performance than you can get from a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. It can handle speeds up to 2 Gbps, as long as your cable provider allows them.
Looking at the router, the C7800 can cover up to 3,000 square feet with wireless coverage as well as up to 45 connected devices. The wireless speeds can reach up to 3200 Mbps as well, which is incredible.
The best thing about a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is that it is future-safe. When internet technology advances and speeds continue to improve, you will not need to replace your modem, since it is already built for speeds that are not even available yet.
5. Asus AC2600 Modem Router Combo
It is natural to want the fastest modem router combo if you are a gamer. Any kind of packet latency or interruptions can ruin an entire campaign if you’re not careful. For that reason, we recommend the Asus AC2600 for gaming.
The design of the Asus AC2600 is large and a little bit awkward. It will be impossible to hide without sacrificing speed. The casing is still futurist-looking and is not an eyesore, despite its size. It also has four high-gain antennas to help boost your wireless signal as far as possible.
To plug in your gaming console, the Asus AC2600 has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and two USB 2.0 ports. The USB 2.0 is great for external storage and other non-wireless devices, like printers or scanners.
You can even access the USB 2.0 ports through AiCloud, which means that remote devices will also have an opportunity to get to the external storage that might have plugged in there.
This device is perfect for streaming and gaming in HD. The router is dual-band, so it has both the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz bands available. It also has the latest 802.11ac 32x8 channel bonding technology, which will give you an impressive 1.3 Gbps download speeds and a data rate up to 1734 Mbps.
The Asus AC2600 also has MU-MIMO technology to improve its WiFi speed. You do not need to set up the WiFi from scratch either, since it comes preconfigured with a unique network name and an individual password printed on the bottom of the device. The Intel 1.6GHz combined processor will also give the device solid longevity.
6. Motorola MT7711 Modem Router
For Xfinity Voice
If you are looking for the best modem router combo that works with Xfinity Voice, we suggest that you take a look at the Motorola MT7711.
The MT7711 is a powerful router that should have everything you need to have good coverage and still be able to use Xfinity Voice. This specific device has been approved by Comcast to work with Xfinity Voice especially.
To begin with, it is a tower design, which means that it will always keep cooler than routers that are stuck being horizontal. The airflow is generally better with it and it is an appealing grey and black as well. The design of the MT7711 is more appealing than a lot of other routers on the market.
The MT7711 also comes with four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, which will allow for a wired connection for the devices that need one. It has two Xfinity Voice compatible phone ports to let you wire the voice function in directly.
Looking at this device’s performance, the modem is a DOCSIS 3.0, which is exactly what you should expect. The MT7711 offers speeds up to 400 Mbps, which might not be the fastest speeds on the market, but still should be enough for most Xfinity service packages.
It has a dual-band router with AnyBeam Beamforming. This means that the reach of both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands will extend even further than they would have otherwise. The router has 24x8 channel bonding and the Wireless Power Boost is there for amplify the wireless signal.
7. Arris SURFboard SBG7600AC2
Another great choice for a modem router combo is the Arris SURFboard SBG7600AC2. This is a little bit different from some of the other devices that we have looked at, but it still does an excellent job bringing internet to your network.
The Arris SURFboard SBG7600AC2 is a vertical design, but it is larger than most vertical designs on the market. It might be big, but it also looks very sturdy, like it would be able to hold up against a lot of severe wear and tear.
The unit also comes with four 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN Ethernet ports so you can hardwire in whatever device you really want to. It is ideal for HDTVs or gaming consoles, where you are going to be streaming a lot and do not want to be interrupted. As a bonus, it comes with McAfee secure home internet security, increasing your peace of mind.
The modem inside of the SURFboard SBG7600AC2 is a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, so it should be able to handle the speeds that you get from your ISP. It also has an 802.11ac built-in wireless router. It can allow for speeds up to 600 Mbps, depending on which cable service provider that you use and the speeds that you pay for.
Because it has 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels, it is a great device for gaming, streaming, or anything else that you want to do online. Since you can hardwire in any of the devices, you can ensure that you get the uninterrupted coverage that you want. It is also simple to set up, so you should be up and going with your new device in a matter of minutes.
8. TP-Link Archer CR1900 Modem Router
The TP-Link Archer CR1900 is another great modem router combo that you should take a look at. With its sleek design and excellent coverage, you will not be disappointed with the CR1900.
Let’s start by looking at the design of the TP-Link Archer CR1900. It has a tower design that is sleek and attractive. It will not take up much room at all on whichever shelf that you put it on. It also has more aesthetically pleasing vents, so it will stay cool and not be an eyesore in the process.
The device does have three internal antennas with high-powered amplifiers that will help to boost the signal strength for the device. It also is simple to set up, regardless of which ISP that you are using, so you will be up and going in no time.
The performance for the Archer CR1900 is excellent. It comes with lightning-fast speeds with up to 1900 Mbps in WiFi speeds across the dual-bands. The 2.4 GHz band can reach speeds up to 600 Mbps and the 5 GHz band can reach speeds up to 1300 Mbps. It also has channel bonding of up to 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels.
This combo unit is a great choice if you are looking for 4K streaming or gaming. It also comes with Beamforming technology so you really will be able to get the boosted signals that you want in order to reach all of your devices. It also has two dedicated CPUs for powerful processing and a 1 GHz dual-core processor to balance out the demands placed upon your device.
9. Motorola MG7700 Modem Router
Another modem router combo unit from Motorola is the Motorola MG7700. This is like the other Motorola devices in appearance and quality, but it does have some differences as well.
The design of the MG7700 is very similar to all of the other Motorola units we have looked at. It is a tower design with excellent venting to keep the device cool. That means the components will also stay cool and have a much longer lifespan than it might have had with a different design.
The MG7700 has four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, which means that you will be able to plug in up to four devices directly to it. That can be helpful if you are planning on using a HDTV or a gaming console and plugging them both in directly.
The MG7700 has a dual-band built-in router, so it has both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands. The maximum modem speed is 1000 Mbps while the supporting service speeds can reach up to 650 Mbps. It does have built-in AnyBeam WiFi Beamforming that will improve the reach of your signal and really hone in on the area that you need the strongest wireless signal. Depending on the layout of your home, you can easily get 1,500 square feet in coverage.
The MG7700 also has wireless power boost which will give you better speed and range. It also has high performance WiFi power amplifiers that will boost the wireless signals to the legal limit, giving you a huge boost in both the speed and the range of the device.
10. Netgear CM500 Modem Router Combo
Finally, we are going to look at the Netgear CM500, which is another unit from Netgear. It is unlike the other model we reviewed above, and there are some distinct differences.
The design of the CM500 is a vertical device that is slim, so it does not take up too much room on your counter. It does have the same odd base that you see with the Netgear Nighthawk C7000, which is not the most stable base out there.
This combo unit comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port to hardwire in a device, such as a HDTV or a gaming console, but you would not have another port to wire in a computer, which might be a deal breaker for you. If you want to attach a router to this device, it will take up the only port, but the router should come with its own ports as well.
Performance-wise, this is a more basic unit than some others that we have looked at. It does offer cable speeds up to 300 Mbps, which should be about right for the cable plan that you pay for. It is a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with 16 x 4 channel bonding, so it is a little less than most of the devices here in our list.
It is important to note that this device is not a combo unit, but is instead just a modem. If you still would like to have a router, you will need to purchase one separately, which is a great option if you would like to be able to choose features more specific to your needs.
Modem Router Combo vs. Separate Modem & Router
There are pros to both combo units and separate units, but it is still better to go with a modem router combo unit if you can.
Separate Modem & Router Devices Have A Few Pros
- Choose your own router
- Better to update
Whereas Modem Router Combo Units Are Better Overall
- Cheaper to buy one unit
- Takes up less room
- Much easier to install
What Features Should A Modem Router Combo Have
Beamforming technology is a type of signal processing that will help you position the direction that you would like your wireless signal to go. This is especially important if you have devices in a set location and you want to make sure that the router is broadcasting right to them.
Most combo units will come with Beamforming technology built-in, but you need to confirm that it comes with the router that you are looking at.
DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1
Your modem router combo needs to have either DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 protocols. DOCSIS 2.0 is simply insufficient for the needs of the modern network. DOCSIS 3.1 is the better choice, since it allows for higher speeds than are currently available.
That is why DOCSIS 3.1 is considered “future proof.” That said, DOCSIS 3.0 is also excellent and although it might be obsolete one day, it has not happened yet.
The amount of security that you need from your modem router combo will depend on your situation, but you need to make sure that there are some security features in place, such as a built-in firewall, parental controls, or even a guest network.
It will depend on how many users you have on your network and how much you need to lock it down from outside intruders. All devices should come with some level of security, however.
You should also make sure that the router in your combo unit is a dual-band router. Single-band routers still exist, but they are not as common.
The single band is a 2.4 GHz band, which has the best range, but it also has the most traffic, making it much slower than the 5 GHz band that you get with a dual-band router. If you are planning on streaming anything over WiFi, you absolutely want a dual-band router.
To put it simply, the best modem router combo overall is the Motorola MG7550. This combo unit has good, reliable performance, does not come at a price that will break the bank, and has all of the features that you would really need from a combo device. It will not let you down.
Our choice for the high performance modem router combo is the Netgear Nighthawk C7000. This is a great device if you are doing any amount of heavy streaming or putting a lot of activity along the network that might cause latency or other frustrations.
Keep in mind that when you are shopping for a modem router combo, you should be looking for the features specific to your network’s needs, which will vary from other networks.
You might need high speeds or maybe you only browse online. Think about what you need and then you can find the right device for you.