Finding the best wireless router for Charter Spectrum does not have to be complicated. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” WiFi router out there, there are enough options to find the best router for Spectrum.
Despite Charter Spectrum continually encouraging customers to rent a wireless modem router from them, you are better off buying your own router, because you will:
Better performance means that your router will actually have the capacity to handle the internet speed and capacity that you need for your household. An ideal router will be able to fully utilize the speeds you are getting from Spectrum.
Rental modems and routers are simply a scam. The monthly cost of renting a router will, in many cases, exceed what you would have spent buying a router within a year.
Lastly, you need to be the one who decides the level of security and privacy that you need from your router. That being said, here’s what you need to know to find the perfect Spectrum compatible routers.
Choosing The Best Router For Spectrum
To start looking for the right Spectrum router for you, there are several considerations that you have to keep in mind.
Every modem or router is going to have its own specs, including its WiFi standards, real-life speed, whether it is dual-band, and its range. Deciding which features matter the most to you can be the hard part.
After the 802.11ac standard came out in 2013, it has held the crown for the fastest theoretical speeds that you can get from a wireless router, boasting at least three times the speed of the 802.11n.
Even though the speed is theoretical and you might not achieve it, still best router for Spectrum should be 802.11ac. In addition, having the ability for it is the best idea in order to future proof your home network. Also, the router should be on the list of Spectrum compatible routers.
The real speed that you will get from a 802.11ac standard can depend on your router’s antennae as well as the amount of interference that you will have between the router and the device it is connected to, as well as the amount of neighbours you have on the same signal.
Your Router Should Be Dual-Band Or More:
Some routers offer dual-band or tri-band connections. Dual-band means you can connect to either the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band, giving the router the ability to handle more devices.
Tri-band has an extra 5GHz band. If you can, you should at least get a dual-band router to get the best speeds and least traffic.
Router vs Modem Router Combo For Spectrum
Why You Should Get A Separate Spectrum Router:
- More Customization and control is possible, with less dealings with your ISP
- Not out of action if one gadget conks off and better performance
- Cheaper to upgrade one gadget
Why You Should Get A Modem Router Combo:
- Cheaper than buying separate modem and router
- Easier Setup
- Fewer worries of updates as ISP will directly control the firmware and software
8 Best Routers For Spectrum 2020
1. Linksys EA7500
Router - Editor's Choice
2. Motorola MG7550
Modem Router Combo - Editor's Choice
3. Netgear C7500
4. Netgear R6700
5. Netgear R7000
6. Motorola MR2600
7. Google Mesh WiFi
8. Netgear XR700
Charter Spectrum WiFi Fee
Something that Spectrum customers should be wary of is the additional Charter Spectrum WiFi fee. Charter had advertised that they would no longer be charging monthly rental fees and instead they would send customers a modem for free. But, there’s a catch.
If you agree to use their “free” modem, you will then be charged a $5 monthly “WiFi fee” for using their service as well as a $9.99 setup fee. There are a couple of deceptions in there, the first being that you could just use your own modem with WiFi capabilities to bypass the whole thing. The second is that they do not disclose the fees prior to you agreeing to it.
When you compare the actual cost vs. the monthly charges, you will find that it works out cheaper to just get your own brand new wireless router for Charter Spectrum Internet.
1. Linksys EA7500 Wireless Router
Best Router For Spectrum (Editor's Choice)
With a really attractive price range and a huge range of features that are designed to make being connected online a breeze, the Linksys EA7500 is our Editor’s pick for the best router for Spectrum.
This is Linksys’ second push into MU-MIMO enabled routers space. This means that you can get multiple devices connected without facing loss of bandwidth.
This is our Editor’s Pick for a variety of reasons – the dual band is great for those who need both older and newer devices connected, and the 1.4GHz dual core processor only helps to power it so you can enjoy constant fast speeds.
The set up process was relatively simple – easy enough for any person to be able to manage on their own.
But the performance of the Linksys EA7500 is what really blew our minds. For a mid range router – we weren’t expecting that much, but in close range, the throughput on the 2.4GHz band revealed speeds of 95Mbps.
Of course, that speed dropped as the distance was increased, dropping to 40Mbps at a distance of 35 feet. The 5GHz band gave us speeds nearly touching the 500Mbps mark at close range, which was pretty impressive. The speeds dropped to 346Mbps at a distance of 35 feet.
Even when it comes to file transfers, the Linksys EA7500 doesn’t let you down. The read speed was 68.2Mbps, faster than many other routers in its price range.
The amazing MU-MIMO throughput tests, excellent performance as well as up to date technology makes this a great choice for any person who wants to be connected, enjoy great speeds, without creating a huge hole in their pocket.
2. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router
Best Modem Router Combo For Spectrum
This is the perfect option if you are looking to save space in your home and save money in the long run as well.
Being a modem router combo means that you only have to shop around for one gadget instead of two, which makes it a huge money and time saver.
With the many unique features installed in the MG7550, this Motorola modem router remains as one of the best WiFi routers for Spectrum in 2020.
The easy installation, simple set up and ready to use features makes this a favorite at BlueGadgetTooth.
If you think that being a two-in-one means that some features have to sacrificed, or that it won’t perform as well as many routers on the market, think again.
Having 16x4 channels really helped in increasing our internet speeds and we noticed we were getting more than what we paid Charter Spectrum for. Streaming HD videos while transferring heavy data files were no longer a problem!
This is great for people who want to ‘unclutter’ their living space. Being ‘All-in-one’ helps in saving space and also makes it easier for those who are undecided on what modem or router to buy.
This does come with all the features you would want in a modem or router, so you can set your mind at ease. Whether you are browsing the internet, watching HD videos on Netflix, transferring heavy data or even playing an online game - this can handle it all and more. This is a product built for today and designed for tomorrow.
3. Netgear Nighthawk X4 (C7500)
High Performance Modem Router Combo
Netgear has always been known to be on top of their game when it comes to internet equipment, and the Netgear Nighthawk X4 (C7500) is no exception.
In fact, it almost feels like you’re stepping into another dimension, with super fast speeds and is power packed with a punch load of key performance features that will make being online a hassle free dream.
Touted to be one of the fastest modem router combos on the market, the Nighthawk X4 C7500 allows you to finally access the full bandwidth you actually pay your ISP for.
To begin with, installation was not as complicated as we thought it would be. In fact, if you have basic knowledge of what routers are – you should be able to navigate your way through the installation process.
The range and speed the Nighthawk X4 delivers is absolutely phenomenal. Almost touching 1 Gbps, this DOCSIS 3.0 with 24 x 8 channel bonding and Quad stream WiFi ensures that the amazing speeds are not just a one time thing. It definitely outshines other triple stream routers that promise fast speeds.
Perhaps one point in its favour (apart from its awesome set of features), is that the design has not really moved away from its predecessor, which makes navigating through it familiar territory for Netgear users.
Of course, there have been a few prominent additions, like an additional antenna, and the antennas are also spread over the modem router – to give better coverage.
The four 5GHz 802.11ac streams make sure that you always enjoy fast speeds – even in peak hours and the Bluegadgettooth team attests to that. After a long time, we could actually enjoy movie nights during peak hours – with no worries of lags, buffering or dropped connections. The 1.4GHz processor certainly helps boost the product.
To shed some light, we got speeds reaching nearly 1gbps at close range, with the speeds dropping to 874Mbps at a distance of 35 feet on the 5GHz band. What more could you want?
Due to the super fast speeds, this modem router combo is great for any user – whether you love to chill with Netflix or are an avid gamer with HD graphics, to large families that reside in a large home or even need to constantly upload and download data – the Netgear Nighthawk X4 (C7500) is built to meet all challenges.
4. Netgear Nighthawk R6700 Dual-Band
Budget Friendly Router For Spectrum
The Netgear R6700 Nighthawk is proof that you do not have to spend a fortune to get the best wireless router for Spectrum internet.
This router is high performing, has dual bands, and will ensure that the devices that need priority get it. This is a great choice for anyone who uses Charter Spectrum, but is restricted by budget.
The Nighthawk AC1750 is a dual-band wireless router so it does offer the option to use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands. The AC1750 boasts up to 1750 Mbps of theoretical speed, making it very fast.
It has a long range for larger homes, ensuring that no one will be in a dead spot. This router also has Beamforming, which boosts and improves WiFi speeds and range across your mobile devices.
The Nighthawk AC1750 is best used for gamers who need online gaming speed and reliability.
There is also Advanced QoS which allows for prioritization, meaning you can make sure that the system you are gaming on gets the best uninterrupted connection to enjoy lag-free gaming.
Because of its reliable capabilities for gaming, you will also get reliable streaming abilities. Larger households will also enjoy this router as its antennae are specifically made for long range and its power will allow multiple devices to stream at the same time.
5. Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Router
The Netgear R7000 is another strong contender because it really does offer the ultimate internet experience.
From an incredible Wifi coverage to the high speeds, a powerful processor that delivers on performance combined with the Dual band system, you know you get more than what you pay for. If you’ve got game, you’ll love the R7000!
Not only was the Netgear R7000 easy to set up, but the performance absolutely impressed our Bluegadgettooth team! Tested in a 3200 sq. foot house, we found that the entire house was fairly well covered, and the range even extended to the garden.
Connecting multiple devices was not a problem, in fact, at last count we had around 18 devices all connected and working perfectly. Streaming on Netflix, browsing or playing online HD games did not cause any lags in the amazing speeds we now received.
Gamers, you now have hope. This is one of the best that we tested because the TurboQAM technology boosted our speeds, especially on the 2.4GHz.
Although this is perfect for streaming HD videos, browsing or more, the gamers in our team specifically loved the R7000.
6. Motorola MR2600 Wireless Router
For Multiple Devices
Released in 2018, the Motorola MR2600 is a well built, high-speed intelligent router that can handle WiFi noise from your neighbours as well as increased signal strength, even when your device is far away from the router.
We’ll be honest. The MR2600 doesn’t reach the advertised speeds of a combined 2600Mbps, but it does a pretty darn good job! We loved the budget friendly price point as well as the design. The no nonsense design, practical black colour and features all combine to make this seem more of a high end router than what you get it for.
The set up process for this router was fairly simple, and it took the bluegadgettooth team all of three minutes to get it running with the Basic Setup tool. This is a router that has all the features you would expect from a model released this year.
If you are confused on the purpose and functions of certain features, the advanced router settings bring up a small information bubble when you hover your cursor over the options.
The range on this Motorola router far outperforms our old router. The 2.4GHz band could reach far beyond what our old routers could reach, and our team could successfully connect to the network even from the back yard.
The 5GHz band could cover our entire 200 sq. ft house with no dead spots, and the speeds reached close to what we were paying our ISP for.
We connected 37 devices to the network and didn’t see any drops in the speed at all. It has many features that really boost your network’s strength – from the Beamforming Technology, the 4 external large antennas, MU-MIMO and Smart QoS – that ensure you have better w=WiFi distribution through your home.
The menu functions on the MR2600 are not as advanced as we would like, but it is great for users who don’t want too complicated settings. We love the WiFi on-off switch for people who want the option to switch it off when they travel.
This is a great router for a large household or for a family with multiple devices that need to be connected to the network. It can handle WiFi noise and interference from various household gadgets as well.
7. Google Mesh Router System
The best extended coverage router for Charter Spectrum internet is the Google Mesh WiFi System. You will not be disappointed by this system at all.
To begin with, the design of the Google WiFi System has no external antennas, so it is easier to conceal, especially since it has white casings rather than black.
It is also physically smaller than a regular router and can be placed in nooks and smaller locations. This can be really beneficial if you would like to add on points to extend your coverage further.
The system comes with three separate WiFi points, which are there to eliminate dead spots throughout your network.
You can always purchase additional points if you need to extend your coverage even further, making this ideal for large spaces or awkward spaces, but the three that you start out with will already have a pretty good reach. If you are concerned whether this can reach multiple stories, remember that the reach is extended with multiple access points.
Using the points that come with the Google WiFi system, you can get a minimum coverage of 1,500 square feet per point without dead spots.
The reach can be extended even further if the points are all configured correctly, giving you coverage up to 4,500 square feet. It will need to be configured right to get across more than one story.
Since each of the three points has its own LAN port as well as being a WiFi point, so you gain two Gigabit Ethernet ports in each point. The Google router system has network assist technology giving you a strong signal from point to point, which will extend when you add more points.
There is also a simple app that can help you set up your system and adjust the settings. You can also do it to prioritize your devices and see what is connected.
8. Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700 Router
For the gamers out there who have Spectrum internet, you should take a look at the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700. This router is amazing sine it is literally made for gaming. It should be able to meet all of your needs.
Looking at the design of the XR700, you will find four high-gain antennas, which will help you extend the reach of your router throughout your network.
It is a little bulky for a router and it takes up a lot of space, making it difficult to put on a desk. You will need to have a dedicated location to accommodate it, but the payout from the router in performance is worth it.
The best part about the design of the XR700 is that it was designed by gamers for gamers, so all of the important features that you would dream of in a router can be found here. That includes the red accents that set it apart from the other more basic looking routers.
This router will not disappoint you. The XR700 can reach speeds up to 7.2 Gbps, using its 1.7GHz quad-core processor, which is amazingly powerful. This is provided that your Spectrum package supports those speeds, but regardless, it will allow for the best speeds possible.
This router has the lowest ping that you can get, which is important for any online game that you might be playing. As you already know, every millisecond counts. The XR700 is built to help you come out on top with connectivity.
This router also has geo-filtering to help your router connect to the closest servers and players, giving you efficient response time and allowing you to dominate on the battlefield. You also can monitor your network and game ping in real time.
Combine this fact with the advanced QoS and you are able to see what is hogging your bandwidth and adjust accordingly to put the best bandwidth toward your gaming console.
Benefits Of Having Your Own Spectrum Compatible Router
Better Performance & Faster WiFi Speed
Getting your own Spectrum compatible router means that you will be able to find a router that actually accommodates the performance that you require.
The basic rental router from Spectrum cannot take into account what your network needs for performance. It has no idea how much you game online or stream.
When you buy your own router, you can look for the high speeds, going over a Gig, which will help you do anything that you want to online.
Eliminate Rental Fees
We don’t know anyone who likes paying monthly fees for anything, let alone the internet. Spectrum offers you a rental router for $5 a month.
For most people, this is about the cost of a cup of coffee. But $5 a month turns into $60 a year. Why would you pay $60 for a router that you still don’t get to own and that only has mediocre features? You should not have to.
Extended Wireless Coverage
Think about the size of your network in physical dimensions. Maybe you live in an apartment or a one-story house with a basic layout and the router that you can get from Spectrum is adequate.
But for a lot of people, a rental router does not provide the level of coverage that you truly need. Instead, you can buy a router that is made to take on your home network’s size and dimensions, eliminating the risk of dead spots.
Better Network Security & More Features
A rental router might come with some features, but chances are that they will not be the features that you truly need. If you need more security, such as a VPN or firewall, you will want a router that comes equipped with them.
You also might want more efficient features, such as MU-MIMO or 4K streaming, neither of which you will find with a basic router. When you buy your own, you can get one that meets your network’s needs.
Spectrum Compatible Routers For 2020
Buying your own router that is not what is sold or given to you by Charter Spectrum is the way to go without a doubt. But committing to buying your own router is only half the battle. There is still the question as to whether your router is on the list of Spectrum approved routers.
The Commonly Spectrum Approved Routers Include:
There are plenty of other types of routers on the market that will claim to be universal, but you cannot always be certain if you cannot verify it elsewhere.
We reviewed these routers to give you a jumping off point that can help you find a router that not only works for you, but will work with your internet.
The last thing that you would want to do is go and accept the “free” router that is given to you by Charter.
Not only will it not have all of the capabilities that you would like to get from your router, including security and prioritization, but you will be charged a monthly fee because you accepted it.
Instead, choose from one of the reliable routers that we have reviewed for you and you will have more control over your internet use while still dodging excessive fees.
Factors To Consider When Buying A New Spectrum Router
Number Of Connected Devices
When you are looking at buying a new Spectrum router, you will need to first consider how many devices that you have connected to your network.
Take into account computers, televisions, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles. Some routers can really only handle one streaming device at a time.
You should get one that can handle all of your devices. Smart homes especially have a high quantity of devices and will need a router that can accommodate them.
Your Internet Speed Package
You might be looking at a router that claims to reach speeds up to 7 Gbps. But if your Spectrum speed package is only 100 Mbps, you are never going to get the speeds your router can handle.
There is no reason to spend the extra money for a router that has extra speeds that your internet can’t get close to. Likewise, don’t get a low speed router if your internet package is high speed.
What You Do Online
Probably the most important factor to consider when looking for a router for Spectrum is to think about what you are doing online. I
f your network is mostly made up of users who browse social media, you do not need a high performance router.
Meanwhile, if you have several devices streaming content at the same time, you will want a router that knows how to manage multiple streaming devices across your bandwidth.
How to Install a Spectrum Router
Step 1: Disconnect any Ethernet cables that connect your computer to the modem before installing your Spectrum router. Unplug your modem and then plug it back until it turns on.
Step 2: Connect your router to your modem via an Ethernet cable, with one end connected to your modem and the other to the internet port located at the back of your router.
Step 3: Use the power cable to connect your WiFi router to the electrical outlet.
Step 4: Check that your router is fully powered on. The light should flash green to show that the router is ready to use. Ensure that your router’s Power on button is on the ‘ON’ position.
Step 5: Connect a device to your wireless network by going to the Settings on your device. Locate your networks’ name (SSID) – this is also located at the back of your router.
Step 6: Enter the password which is also given at the back of your router.
You are now ready to connect to your wireless network. After activating it, we recommend changing the name and password to something more familiar to you.
Alternatively, you can directly connect your computer to the router via an Ethernet cable for a more secure wired connection. You can then change the login name and password to something more suitable for you.
How To Install a Spectrum Modem Router Combo
Step 1: Connect the power cable to your Spectrum modem router combo and plug it in to a power outlet.
Step 2: Using a coax cable, attach one end to the ‘CABLE IN’ port of your gateway and the other to a cable outlet and ensure that the connection is secure.
Step 3: Wait for your gateway to be activated. It could take up to 10 minutes.
Step 4: The led lights on your combo unit should light up to signal that all is well.
Step 5: Connect to your wireless network from any device. Search for your network (SSID) name – the name and password should be given at the back of your combo unit. You can also connect your device via an Ethernet cable. Plug in one end to the Ethernet port of your device and the other into an open port on your modem router combo unit. The port should light up once the connection is successful.
Step 6: Your temporary internet connection should be established and you can now change your network details.
Don't End Up With An Outdated Charter Spectrum Router
Not only this, but no ISP, least of all Charter Spectrum, will invest a huge chunk of their capital in the latest wireless routers for your home.
More often than not, consumers end up with old routers that cannot deliver on the speeds you pay for, and they do have limitations set on them. When you buy a new wireless router for Charter Spectrum Internet, you get one that suits your needs exactly, and if not, you can always tweak it a little to suit your family’s specific internet needs.
If you’re paying for a Charter wireless router, you may as well get one that fits your internet requirements best.
Get What You Are Paying For
Another reason for buying your own router unit is the several allegations that Charter Spectrum blocks certain routers’ MAC addresses.
This is not new news, especially with major ISPs, and there are ways to circumvent that, but if you’re not tech savvy, you may find yourself at a disadvantage.
The average user will have more than one device and it is not feasible to connect your device directly to the modem to get the speeds you pay for. This does push users to purchase or rent sanctioned routers which will probably do the same job an old router lying about your house can do.
The Linksys EA7500 is our Editor’s Choice for best router for Spectrum because it has a simple set up process, attractive price range as well as a variety of features that make being connected a breeze.
However, if you’re not too keen on dealing with two separate devices, you can opt for a modem router combo that could save space and money for your home. BlueGadgetTooth recommends the Motorola MG7550, which comes neatly packaged with all the features you could want for your home.
Choosing the best wireless router for Charter Spectrum should not be a hassle – but we understand that it can get confusing, as new models are released constantly.
There are various factors on which you should base your selection process – like your household internet usage, the size of your home, the area you live in, the amount of connected devices and your budget.