DOCSIS 3.1 Modem

Best DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

Modems have seen a huge jump in updates as technology improves. A big factor in improved network performance lies in the DOCSIS standard of your modem. Short for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, DOCSIS is the standard that allows high bandwidth data transfers to take place on your existing cable TV connection.

With this, you can access the internet via the HFC structure. The first version, DOCSIS 1.0 was released in 1997, with the most popular and common version DOCSIS 3.0 being released in 2006. However, in October 2013, DOCSIS 3.1 was released and this version did away with the 6MHz and 8MHz wide channel spacing, instead opting to use the narrow OFDM subcarriers, which can be bonded to make a super massive block spectrum that could be as wide as 200MHz.

DOCSIS 3.1, being the industry’s new standard, also aims to help reduce your cable company’s energy usage and also helps to reduce blufferbloat via its DOCSIS-PIE algorithm.

Who Should Get a DOCSIS 3.1 Modem

If you are looking to up your online experience and want to future proof your home, getting the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem is the way to go. Many people rely on the internet for their work or to remain connected with loved ones. Video conferencing, heavy data transfers, online gaming and more use up a lot of bandwidth, and if your speeds are less than optimal, you may want to consider going in and getting the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Cable Modem DOCSIS 3.1 Standard
Cable Modem DOCSIS 3.1 Standard

If you want to tap into gigabit speeds, for many, the only option was to get a fiber connection. If you’ve ever looked into getting a fiber connection, you’ll know that not only do you need to be within a certain radius of your IPS fiber network, but you also have to shell out a huge amount just as installation fees.

If you are looking to upgrade without going broke, the easiest option is to buy the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem. This way, you don’t have to relocate just to be closer to your ISP, there are no limitations on distance, no extra wiring installations required, no heavy installation fees that will make your eyes pop out, and best of all, you can do it all yourself!

Benefits of DOCSIS 3.1 modems

  • Save on Expensive installation fees – It can get pretty frustrating waiting for the technician to come by your place to simply install a cable or wiring to get high speed internet. You can install a DOCSIS 3.1 modem by yourself. Save time, save money.
  • Increased Speed and Data capacity – It has been proven that having a DOCSIS 3.1 modem can help boost your capacity over the same spectrum by over 50%.
  • Active Queue Management – Reduces network delay significantly, even though you may have many connected devices that may drain your bandwidth. This means that your HD videos will load faster and your graphics on your online games will be clearer and sharper than ever, using higher resolutions.
  • Accessible high Speed Internet – As it uses your ISPs existing HFC network, they don’t have to go through a complete overhaul and can provide higher speeds and improved performance easily, with only minor upgrades, which will result in cable speeds rivaling the super fast fiber speeds.
  • Will make true HD a reality – Ultra HD 4k TV and gaming experiences will be taken to a whole new level.
  • Improved Wireless speeds – When your network itself is tapping into Gigabit speeds, your wireless network will also translate to a higher speed tier for your mobile devices. As of now, wireless performance vs wired is far behind, but with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, we may find that the gap is getting bridged.

Best DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modems

Device Name

Max Speed

Lan Ports

Editor's Rating

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1. Motorola MB8600

(Editor's Choice)

1 Gbps

4  Ethernet Ports

99%

2. Arris SB8200

1 Gbps

2  Ethernet Ports

96%

3. Netgear CM1000

1 Gbps

1  Ethernet Port

92%

4. Netgear X4S

(Modem Router Combo)

6 Gbps

4  Ethernet Ports

97%

What is DOCSIS 3.1

If you thought your internet was fast, think again. With the introduction of DOCSIS 3.1, internet just got a whole lot faster. While earlier, the only option to get Gigabit speeds was to get a fiber connection which is still not as widespread as cable, now with DOCSIS 3.1, you can use your existing cable wiring in your home to receive super fast speed internet that really gives competition to fiber connections.

Imagine accessing gigabit speeds – DOCSIS 3.1 supports super fast speeds reaching up to 10 Gigabits per second, a speed that we could only dream of reaching with the help of a fiber connection. To be honest, just because you buy a modem which is DOCSIS 3.1, you will not automatically receive speeds of 10Gbps. Your ISP should also support DOCSIS .1 at its end, which could then lead to awesome speeds. But more often than not, the bottleneck in our speed lies in the speeds your ISP actually delivers.

To give you another idea of just how beneficial a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is, a DOCSIS 1.0 modem only allowed a max download speed of 40Mbps and a max upload speed of 10Mbps. Fast forward to today, where the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem allows you to have a max download speed of 10Gbps and a max 1Gbps. Anyone having second thoughts about this upgrade?

1. Motorola Ultra Fast DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem MB8600

Best DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem (Editor's Choice)

Newly released in 2017, the Motorola Ultra Fast DOCSIS 3.1 MB8600 is built to deliver Gigabit speeds, provided your ISP can handle it. We appreciate that it is backwards compatible to accommodate the type of ISP you have, so you won’t face any problems if your ISP hasn’t updated its end to accommodate DOCSIS 3.1.

This modem is considered to be our Editor’s choice and our best DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem because you usually buy the best modem because you want better speeds. The deciding factor in selecting nay modem should be the total bandwidth provided, and the Motorola MB8600 is a beast in the modem arena.

Gigabit Ethernet connections is considered to be the best way to channel the internet in your home, due to lower pings, lower packet loss and stable bandwidth, but the MB8600 is too much for just one Gigabit Ethernet port to handle – in fact, you may have to use 4 to really max out your download bandwidth because one won’t be able to handle it. If this is not future proofing your home, what is?

Performance

Even though you are still heavily reliant on your ISP to fully take advantage of the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem has AQM feature which helps to prioritize important data and helps to really improve performance significantly. Now our websites didn’t take any time to load, and gaming and doing any online activities that was HD4k was pure bliss. Honestly. If anyone has ever played GoW on their laptops and watched the graphics load frame by frame, will appreciate the smooth transition from scene to scene, without interruptions.

Features

  • AQM – provides lower latency and better performance in online interactive applications
  • 4 GigE ports – Not for connecting devices, but for your router that can bond more than one Ethernet port to double speeds.
  • 32 x 8 channels – Ensures no clogging up of your network
  • Broadcom chipset – for better security from DoS threats

Speeds

We did notice a bump up in speeds, with our devices registering speeds up to 872Mbps in multiple speed tests. This is at close proximity, as we went further away, the speed dropped marginally, but not enough to give us palpitations.

Motorola MB8600 Pros

  • DOCSIS 3.1 and backwards compatible
  • Future proofing your home
  • Reliable connectivity
  • Stylish compact design
  • Very well priced
  • Simple installation and set up process
  • Boosts speed and performance
  • Impressive throughput

Motorola MB8600 Cons

  • No Competition right now

2. ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1

Arris is a well known brand in the world of internet equipment, and we knew this list would be incomplete without the Arris SB8200 being featured on it. From being compatible with all major ISPs, to having two Gigabit Ethernet ports so that you can create two separate networks, the SB8200 is considered to be one of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modems.

Performance

The home of today has many demands of its modem – from demanding better and faster speeds to improved reliability; the new tech generation has lost patience with slow gadgets and poor connectivity. Time and tide wait for no man, and an electrical gadget can get obsolete very quickly, which is why Arris released the SB8200, in an effort to keep homes future proofed, without compromising on performance.

This definitely gets high recommendations from the BlueGadgetTooth team for the sheer user friendliness of the self activation and set up process. Coming from someone who constantly needs to ask questions, this is high praise indeed.

Transferring heavy data files was a breeze and we noticed that the latency issues we were facing had reduced considerably. Even though we tried to put a lot of load onto the network, we faced no networks. Of course, it’s not all rosy and we did find that the SB8200 got considerably hot. You would be well advised to place this in a well ventilated area to be on the safe side.

Features

  • DOCSIS 3.1 – Ensuring that you are prepared for super fast speeds and that the only thing that may slow you down is your ISP. Your performance will get a much needed boost, even if your ISPs don’t offer Gigabit speeds as yet.
  • 32 x 8 channels – It is important to have multiple channels for downstream ad upstream so that data doesn’t clog up one channel and no bottlenecks are created. This ensures that your online experience is as problem free as possible, even if you do a lot of activities involving 4k HD streaming.
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports – This allows you to create two separate networks, which would be great if you have many visitors, or work from home.

Speeds

From the minute we plugged in the SB8200, we saw our speeds doubling. This is always a good thing and we have no complaints when it comes to speed.

Arris SURFboard SB8200 Pros

  • Compatible with most major ISPs, but it is better to double check before purchasing
  • Delivers excellent speeds
  • Very easy installation and set up process
  • Attractive price
  • Superb performance

Arris SURFboard SB8200 Cons

  • Can get quite hot
  • Not compatible with voice bundled programs

3. Netgear CM1000 DOCSIS 3.1 Ultra-High Speed Cable Modem

Netgear has and still continues to create top of the line internet equipment that we can rely on. The CM1000 is no different, instead taking your internet online experience to the next level with its DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Although it is compatible with a select few ISPs like Cox, Comcast, Mediacom Cable, if you are a subscriber to any of those companies, you should seriously consider buying the CM1000.

Performance

When we started testing this modem, we weren’t too sure about it because we knew about the firmware issues the CM1000 faced when it was first released. Updates were released, but we still had that in the back of our minds. However, when it came to performance, there were no glitches. There were no sudden shut downs, or unresolved issues and the speeds were what we expected.

If you are looking to give your network a boost we recommend you buy this router, invest in some good Cat6 cables and simply factory reset your router.

Features

  • 32 x 8 channels - You need multiple channels to minimalise any network problems so that your data doesn’t travel through one channel only, reducing the load and spreading it out so that your data travels faster.
  • DOCSIS 3.1 - It not only supports the latest update, but it is also backwards compatible, which is only good news for those who want the most out of the modem.
  • Gigabit Ethernet port – For faster speeds, hardwire your device directly to the modem.

Speed

We are not joking; this modem did boost our speeds. It’s not so Earth shattering as doubling our speeds – no way, but enough to make us appreciate that this is a pretty sweet deal. Our speeds went up by at least 100Mbps, and that is good news for us considering we were getting decent speeds in the first place.

Netgear CM1000 Pros

  • Fast self activation process
  • Multiple SC-QAM channels which means less congestion
  • Lowers latency issues and minimalizes pings which is awesome for gamers
  • Boosts speeds

Netgear CM1000 Cons

  • More ports would be appreciated

4. Netgear Nighthawk X4S – C7800

Best 3.1 Cable Modem Router Combo

There is nothing better than getting the best money saving deal you can possibly get. With the C7800, launched by Netgear as part of its Nighthawk series, you get something legendary, very cool looking and something that gets the job done, without the hassle of shopping around for a second device to get your devices connected.

This is a huge time saver in so many ways – we appreciate the fact that it is a modem router combo, saving us the time in looking for something that would be compatible with the modem, and one that would complement the DOCSIS 3.1 standard as well as the features the C7800 has.

The days of renting our modem from our ISP was over, and we could happily say goodbye to those rental fees that juts added up over time, with nothing spectacular to show for it. The C7800 and X4S modem router combo feature son our list of best DOCSIS 3.1 modem because it firstly, supports the latest standard, and secondly, is a modem router combo. Need we say more?

Performance

The set up process was fairly simple and probably took us about fifteen minutes, which included a few minutes of just goofing around. When it came to wireless performance, we weren’t too sure as modem router combos usually don’t have the same level of awesomeness as a separate modem and router. But we have to admit, this is a pretty sweet deal, and the connection as well as range delivered with this gadget is excellent.

Features

  • DOCSIS 3.1 - You are preparing for super fats speeds which may just around the corner, while ensuring that your network’s performance is as optimal as it can be
  • 32 x 8 channels – This channel bonding ensure that you get awesome cable internet speeds
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports – Is perfect for those who want to hardwire their devices for HD gaming and streaming HD video
  • USB 3.0 port
  • 4 x External high performance antennas – For improved wireless range
  • Turbo Transfer – For easy file sharing between devices

Speeds

It is built to deliver speeds that could theoretically reach 3.2Gbps. This is still a ways away as your ISP probably needs to catch up. However, we found that our speeds had increased to what our old router and modem used to deliver, so that’s good news. It’s still not blazingly fast but we suspect it could have something to do with our ISP, and not the limitations of the product.

Netgear Nighthawk X4S Pros

  • Simple set up process
  • Lag free wireless experience
  • Perfect for users who game or stream HD quality online
  • Backwards compatible with DOCSIS 3.0
  • ​Two in one device – one stop shop for getting connected
  • ​Theoretical speeds reach up to 3.2Gbps
  • Great for medium to large homes
  • Offers great network stability

Netgear Nighthawk X4S Cons

  • Is not as competitively priced as many other modem router combos in the market, but as it is recently launched, the prices could drop considerably. You should stay tuned.

Final Words

When it comes down to it, and you are on the hunt for a new modem, it may be a good idea to simply get the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem that you can get – so that your one purchase this time negates the need to buy another one down the not-so-distant future.

When it comes to speeds, all of us want the best, but most of us are not willing to break the bank in doing that. That is understandable, and the BlueGadgetTooth team firmly believes in value for money, but also at the same time, getting the best out of your purchase.

This is why we have an Editor’s Choice with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that does all it’s supposed to, while being attractively priced. What more could we ask for.

For those who don’t want to go through the hassle of hunting for both a separate modem and router can opt for the combo option we have listed in this guide.

In the end, you should be looking to stay relevant, up to date, and prepared for the fast speeds to come. Fiber still has to permeate throughout the country and cable still remains the most popular choice of accessing the internet. So why not use the existing cable lines, and simply upgrade your modem to something way cooler.

That makes sense to us. How about you?

About the Author tomas

Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.

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