Modem For Gaming

Best Modem for Gaming

No matter which game you’re into, the need for speed remains constant. As any gamer will tell you, speed is what counts when it’s a matter of life and death in an MMORPG. The better your connection, the better chances you have of actually making through that tough level, or staying alive so that your team isn’t at a disadvantage, whether you’re playing Call of Duty or League of Legends. And having the best modem for gaming can significantly help you with that.

These are all games which need a high level of concentration, a test of your skills and an innate leadership role which can propel your team to great heights, victory and prestige. But as Spiderman said, “With great power, come great responsibility” and keeping this in mind, we compiled a list of the best modems for gaming so that you only need to rely on your skill instead of worrying about your connection.

When it comes down to it, you speed is largely affected by your ISP. To really enjoy the best of what your game can offer, you have to subscribe to a plan that gives you the best you can get or what you need. Depending upon your game, you should ideally get high internet speeds of 50 Mbps and above. While many games work perfectly well on speeds far below that, it doesn’t hurt to get faster speeds – your game will thank you for it.

You’ve heard about the best routers for gaming, and while they are important for the performance of your game, your modem plays a HUGE part in the success of your performance as a player. What's why we picked and tested 5 best modems for gaming!

Why Is Having a Fast Modem For Gaming So Important?

Fast Cable Gaming Modem

Living in the twentieth century has given rise to high internet speeds, but many people still use their old modems which although may be as reliable as your trusty shoe, it is also that out-of-date. Older models tend to run on DOCSIS 2.0 and cannot handle the awesome speeds that your ISP can provide you. As a gamer, there is no point in ignoring the state of your internet equipment and trying to compete with players from all over the world. Your frustration will just drive you mad.

A fast gaming modem can make a world of difference for your gaming needs. Knowing that you have a reliable modem which can transfer the high data transfer speeds will allow you to focus on upping your game so that you can rule in whichever kingdom you choose or be the winning team against what will seem like a bunch of noobs.

How to choose the best modem for gaming?

There are a variety of specifications you should keep an eye out for when considering which modem is the best modem for gaming. They should:

  • Be DOCSIS 3.0 and above
  • Have multiple upstream and downstream channels
  • ​Have a Gigabit Ethernet port (or you could get a switch to be able to have multiplayer gaming sessions)
  • ​Support the latest Internet standard of IPv4 and IPv6
  • Have a 2 year warranty should anything go wrong

To make your life easier, we tested out the five best gaming modems so that shopping around for a modem is not so confusing. There are a number of modems available, and it is important to narrow down your selection so you get exactly what you are looking for. And gamers, you know what you need. Here are our top picks.

Best Modem For Gaming Ultimate Guide

Device Name

Max Speed

Channels

Editor's Rating

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#1. Arris SB6190

(Editor's Choice)

1.4 Gbps

32x8 channels

98%

#2. Arris SB8200

(High Performance)

2 Gbps

32x8 channels

96%

#3. Motorola MB7420

(Best value for money)

686 Mbps

16x4 channels

92%

#4. Netgear CM1000

1 Gbps

32x8 channels

89%

#5. Netgear AC1900

(Modem Router Combo)

960 Mbps

24x8 channels

94%

1. Arris SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem For Gaming

Best Modem For Gaming Overall (Editor's Choice)

When it comes to gaming, nothing beats the ARRIS SB6190. Built to be the best in its field, it really does blow the competition out of the water. The ARRIS brand has proven to be market leaders time and again in the internet tech world and they definitely do not disappoint with the SB6190. With download speeds reaching 1.4Gbps and a total of 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels, it will feel like you’ve taken a step into the future.

Now your best modem for gaming can actually deliver the fast speeds you pay for so that it can continue to be smooth sailing for you in your virtual world.

PERFORMANCE

The SB6190 got all kinks worked out in the previous models and you’ll find that the newest launch from ARRIS really enhances your personal media experience. While for most people, the SB6190 would be too much power, for gamers it’s absolutely perfect gaming modem. Being true gamers, we hooked this up and soon there was our pro League of Legends team in action. For once, we didn’t have to pause or take a break due to a laggy connection. Bring on the multiplayer games; this modem for gaming can handle it all.

FEATURES

Having 32 download channels made this an ideal choice when we were considering the best modem for gaming because gaming has no time or place. When you’re in the middle of a God of War session with your buddies over the weekend, you really don’t want to pause to sleep. Pausing to let your internet stream properly is equally unacceptable. It supports the latest internet standard which is IPv4 and IPv6 so you know you’re in safe hands. Being DOCSIS 3.0 is a huge plus as well.

SPEED

At first our old modem was only giving us 140Mbps down, but when we plugged in the SB6190, to our happy surprise, our speed test showed us that it was now nearly 300Mbps. Of course, speed depends upon what plan you are subscribing to your ISP, but the ARRIS SB6190 can reach speeds up to 1.4 Gbps. That is surely future proofing your home for any internet advancements.

Arris SURFboard SB6190 Gaming Modem Pros

  • Handle speeds up to 1.4 Gbps
  • 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream
  • Easy configuration and set up process
  • ​DOCSIS 3.0
  • ​2 year warranty
  • Updated internet security with IPv4 and IPv6

Arris SURFboard SB6190 Gaming Modem Cons

  • Initial investment
  • Need to buy a wireless router separately
  • Bright LED light

2. Arris SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem For Gaming

High Performance Gaming Modem

Arris continues to cater to individuals who really know their stuff in the internet tech world with the ARRIS SB8200. Boasting the newest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, the ARRIs SB8200 is widely considered to be one of the best gaming modems available. It comes as no surprise that after rigorous testing and research, it has been favoured as our pick for a ‘High Performance Modem For Gaming’. This modem can deliver on your expectations and more. Capable of gigabit speeds, it has a combination of 40 channels, is compatible with major ISPs and more. We were amazed by the performance of this modem.

PERFORMANCE

Here is the truth of the matter. The ARRIS SB8200 is really built to make every other modem pale in comparison. Firstly, the self activation made our lives so much easier. We didn’t have to make any calls to our ISP for any help as everything was running great on its own. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist with the ARRIS SB8200, but it certainly gives you the speeds of it.

We knew 1GB internet was coming soon to our area and in anticipation of it, we bought this modem for gaming. Upgrading from our previous modem bumped up our speed to 350 down and 40 up and also gave us a consistent sub 8-10ms ping via a speed test. In terms of performance, we couldn’t find fault at all. We even ran a ton of PUMA 6 tests on it, with very good results.

As an online gamer, prompt real-time responsiveness is required and thanks to the multiple Ethernet ports, we could now also get high resolution graphics running smoothly.

FEATURES

The high speeds and multiple channels make it ideal for Virtual Reality Gaming. You can even make two home networks thanks to the two gigabit Ethernet ports which will give you equal gigabit speeds.

SPEEDS

Featuring 32 downstream and 8 upstream SC-QAM channels, along with 2 OFDM download and 2 OFDMA upload channels, the ARRIS SB8200 is built for performance. It can reach theoretical speeds of 10Gbps with the DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade but the two gigabit Ethernet ports will give you only 2Gbps for now. As Google fiber will take its own sweet time to permeate through the entire country, getting the SB8200 is your best bet to get those insane speeds faster.

Arris SURFboard SB8200 Gaming Modem Pros

  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream
  • Super fast cable internet speeds reaching speeds up to 10Gbps
  • ​DOCSIS 3.0
  • ​2 year warranty
  • Multiple Ethernet ports

Arris SURFboard SB8200 Gaming Modem Cons

  • Price
  • Overkill for many people

3. Motorola MB7420 Cable Gaming Modem

Best (Value For Money) Modem For Gaming

Motorola is a name synonymous with quality and they have continued to dazzle with the MB7420. Available at an affordable price, the MB7420 was released in 2016 and boasts of many features that will surely enhance the performance of your internet. Being backward compatible, you can still work with all gadgets that run on the earlier standard and we have to admit, the sleek design makes it great to be visible instead of getting hidden behind a shelf.

PERFORMANCE

Gamers need the best modem for gaming, but often our budgets don’t allow for expensive models. This is where the MB7420 comes in. Although it is priced attractively, it does not have vital features missing that you would need for enhanced gameplay. Just to see whether performance was compromised by the lower price, we ran some extra tests on it and it did pretty well. Firstly, we received a higher download speed that what we were previously receiving and we also measured the idle power consumption which averaged out at 7.7 Watts.

Upgrading to a higher internet speed plan was useless when we had our old modem which couldn’t handle the speeds. But when we upgraded to MB7420, we found that playing Call of Duty wasn’t so frustrating. Earlier we would face problems in the game loading, but now the game was smooth and was lag free. Lag comp was a big issue earlier which we felt got resolved after we upgraded to the MB7420, even the ping test was lower with barely any packet loss.

FEATURES

The MB7420 has a feature that did make a difference. The Full-Band Capture digital tuner helps in providing a reliable and stable internet connection and faster speeds. Working with DOCSIS 3.0, it is also backwards compatible with 2.0 and 1.1. The Quick Start feature allows users to set up their modem easily and quickly without hassles with power surge protection so that your internet equipment doesn’t go out with a bang.

SPEED

It has 16 download channels and 4 upload channels which can offer speeds up to 686 Mbps and 123 Mbps respectively. You can even use the modem’s 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port to connect your computer, gaming device or router directly. While we did find our speeds were higher from an older modem we had, we found being wired gave the best results, especially when you’re playing Black Ops III and you’ve customized your weaponry with the paintshop feature, you don’t want the game to get laggy.

Motorola MB7420 Gaming Modem Pros

  • Quick Start easy set up
  • Affordable price
  • 2 year warranty
  • USA based customer support
  • ​2 year warranty
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6
  • ​16 x 4 channels
  • Full band capture digital tuner

Motorola MB7420 Gaming Modem Cons

  • ​Can get a little warm
  • Need to buy a wireless router separately

4. Netgear CM1000 DOCSIS 3.1 Ultra-High Speed Cable Modem For Gaming

Best Gaming Modem From Netgear

High speed online gaming is now here with the Netgear CM1000. Taking the next step into the future, the DOCSIS 3.1 is an unbelievable 10x faster than the previous 3.0 which means that you have faster speeds unleashed so that you can unleash your wrath on your opponents. No matter how many devices you have connected, the gigabit speeds will ensure that all your devices have access to lightening fast speeds, meaning more game time for everyone without having to compromise on who plays what and when.

PERFORMANCE

Netgear is known for its internet equipment and the CM1000 really does deliver. The DOCSIS 3.1 is also backwards compatible so that you can enjoy your current speeds until speeds are upgraded in your area. We did our research and the earlier firmware of 2.01.14 had issues but the latest update of 2.01.15 has proven to provide better stability. We did not face any drops in our connectivity as well. Ping tests were between 7 – 9 ms which was great news to me.

Having ten devices connected, all streaming HD videos or playing online games with heavy graphics did not make a dent in the smooth internet flow and this made us very happy.

Being a gamer, I had to test this gaming modem out and that’s when I connected my computer via the gigabit Ethernet port and I lost track of time. When earlier I would know to take a break when my connectivity dropped, now I just kept going. The virtual world depended on me.

FEATURES

It is ideal for large data transfers, heavy downloads and high speed enhanced online gaming. You end up saving quite a lot in monthly rental fees with the CM1000. The DOCSIS 3.1 future proofs your internet while offering you fast speeds presently. The Gigabit Ethernet port will allow you to game away to your heart’s content.

SPEEDS

Speeds exceeded that of what we were subscribing to our ISP. When we tested the CM1000, we found that our speeds were significantly higher than what our ISP was actually giving us! The 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels allow you to enjoy the fast speeds even during peak hours. We even ran the speed test several times to double and triple check and the results were the same.

Netgear CM1000 Gaming Modem Pros

  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels reaching speeds up to 1 Gbps
  • Easy installation process and self activation
  • Fast wired speeds via the Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Auto sensing technology
  • IPv6 support
  • ​16 x 4 channels
  • Full band capture digital tuner

Netgear CM1000 Gaming Modem Cons

  • Not compatible with bundled voice services
  • Initial investment
  • Need to buy a separate router
  • Not compatible with many ISPs

5. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 DOCSIS 3.) WiFI Cable Modem Router For Gaming

Best Modem Router Combo For Gaming

Netgear has built a reputation in the internet world for being a reliable company that provides quality products and the Netgear C7000 comes well equipped to handle all your gaming needs. Whether you need certain graphics to stream faster or you want to have a lag free gaming session, this two-in-one modem router combo can be a huge money saver. By investing in the C7000, you get two products essential to access the internet in one shot without compromising on any feature vital for an enhanced online gaming session.

PERFORMANCE

While before we would face lags or dropped connections frequently during peak hours, the Netgear C7000 continued to sail through all that we could throw at it. The Dual band probably helped make gaming sessions easier, especially keeping in mind the number of people that were connected, all trying their best to stay alive in CoD. The gaming world needs a connection that can handle heavy graphics, fast HD streaming as well as have multiple devices connected. We are happy to report that the performance never faltered. The testing area was a rather large living space and the property size did not faze the C7000 at any point of time.

The wifi connection did become weaker between the wired Ethernet port and playing on my laptop a few rooms away.

FEATURES

The modem router combo is one of the important features that should be mentioned. Having to buy just one device instead of only 2 can really leave your pockets just nearly as heavy as you think they are. It goes without saying that the multiple downstream and 8 upstream channels make your gaming life easier. The C7000 has 4 gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a 1.6 GHz, a 1.6GHz processor which significantly improves the speed received. The Netgear Genie App is also another feature that makes Netgear modems a popular buy. You can now monitor your home network remotely.

SPEED

The speed and strength of the signal was strong in the three storied house and a whole bunch of us played CoD without facing any glitches. You can reach theoretical speeds of 1.9 Gbps on the dual band and the Beamforming feature can help you stay connected as well as improve your range. Being a modem router combo made it easier to really put it to the test. We spread out on our testing site, and even though we were all apart, it made no difference to our team. The 24x8 channels also helped make the connection speed stable, along with the three dual band internal antennas.

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Modem Router Pros

  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports
  • 1.6 GHz processor
  • 24x8 channel bonding
  • Netgear Genie App
  • Readyshare USB
  • Gigabit wired
  • DOCSIS 3.0

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Modem Router Cons

  • Package does not include coax cable
  • Large size
  • 90 days warranty
  • USB speeds only at 2.0 and not 3.0
  • Cost

What To consider While Choosing The Best Modem For Gaming?

To answer this, you need some background info. When you simply surf the net or check your mail, you don’t need high powered gaming modems that offer high speed internet and are geared to maximising and enhancing your internet’s performance. However, as gamers will attest, the gaming world works on a fast pace, and having a laggy connection can cost you the game.

There are many times that my game character would die because there was a lag, causing players from another team to shoot me down. This is unacceptable. This is why I really looked into each modem while compiling the list of best modems for gaming. Although everyone writes about routers, the type of modem you have can really make a difference.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when considering which is the best modem for gaming for you.

Gaming Modem Back Side Ports

1) How serious a gamer are you? If you barely put in any hours, then you’re not an intense gamer, and you will be able to manage with most modems in the market.

2) What games do you play? If you only go online to play a game like online Sudoku or even try out the Google doodle games like Google Pacman, then you shouldn’t be in a rush to purchase a high performance modem for gaming which could set you back hundreds of dollars. But if you’re a player who prefers Call of Duty, Wolfenstein, League of Legends, God of War and more, and you can’t get up for a break until a mission or level has been completed, then you need to upgrade.

3) What plan do you subscribe from your ISP? Your ISP makes a huge difference in your internet performance. If you subscribe to a lower plan which allows you to perform basic tasks, then you need to upgrade. And when you do, you need to make sure that the modem for gaming you are considering is compatible with your ISP.

4) What is your budget? There is something for everyone. The list mentioned above shows a high performance gaming modems which will really enhance your online gaming sessions, to one which will leave your pocket still feeling heavy.

5) How large is your area? Do you live in a small apartment or sprawling house? Do you reside in a heavily populated area of the city or in a quiet suburb? These questions will help you determine if you need a modem for gaming with multiple channel bonding and more and help you narrow down your selection.

Final Words

When it comes to spending the whole weekend going through the new Call of Duty release, you don’t want your internet to perform miserably with high pings and high packet losses. No matter if you’re playing an intense game or chilling with a mobile game, each has its own requirements and nobody, least of all a gamer, will have the patience to wait while the game loads and streams.

The most frustrating thing a gamer could face is for their character to die in the game, bringing their stats down just because there was a drop in their internet connection or for them to restart a level because of the same reason. Gaming is serious business and that’s one huge reason why you should make sure that your online gaming sessions run as smooth as possible. Hopefully the list of bets gaming modems listed above will help you narrow your choice down to something that works for you. As hard core gamers, we know what to look for, and we’ve got your best interests at heart.

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.