TechJunkie is a BOX20 Media Company
TechJunkie Expert Recommendations
TechJunkie is supported by our readers. When you make a purchase through our links, we may earn a commission. Read More.
While many people use the words “modem” and “router” interchangeably, there actually is a very different meaning between the two terms. While not everyone has both a router and a modem, both components are required for a wireless internet network, whether at home or in your office. A router’s job is to create a network between all the Internet-capable devices in your home or office, while a modem’s job is simply to connect that network to the internet. And while this may seem trivial, a surprising number of people are confused and disappointed when they purchase only a router and cannot connect to the internet.
That very same confusion plagues buyers who purchase a modem and can’t understand why their wireless devices aren’t being recognized. In recent years, many major Internet providers have sought to eliminate such needless confusion by creating cable modem/router combinations, which handle everything from setting up a home network to connecting to the internet—all in one convenient package. If you’re looking to pick up a combination modem/router for yourself, either to replace your old hardware or to avoid paying fees to the cable company—many of which have raised prices as we head into a new year—you’ll want to check out one of the routers we have listed below. Hopefully, these routers will be powerful enough to carry you through 2022 and beyond. Let’s take a look!
This is it: the classic Motorola router. When it comes to power, speed, range, and affordability, it really doesn’t get much better than this Motorola cable modem/router unit. The MG7700 has a built-in AC1900 dual-band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router, four Gigabit (GigE) Ethernet ports, power boost Wi-Fi amplifiers, security, and a firewall. It’s also certified by Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, and most other major service providers, so you can rest assured there won’t be any unwanted surprises when it comes time to set it up.
Connectivity aside, this unit is wicked fast, with speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps and the ability to focus your Wi-Fi signal at 5.0 GHz for added performance and range. Its high-performance Wi-Fi power amplifiers are even powerful enough to enhance your wireless signals until the legal limit. The router portion of this unit also provides internet access for a wide range of devices, including smartphones, computers, tablets, game stations, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, HDTVs, and more. And if you prefer to use a physical connection, four Ethernet LAN ports are also available on the back panel.
Installation was fast, easy, and intuitive, and the unit is small enough to be easily concealed. And with a name like Motorola, you can expect the highest quality products along with reliable customer service. Of course, the router isn’t the most attractive thing in the world—it looks like a router, nothing more and nothing less—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At about $169, this is a solid deal, a one-time purchase that should keep you satisfied with your router through the next several years. As you’ll soon see, there are indeed cheaper modem/router combinations on our list, which might be more suitable for buyers on a budget. However, if you have the cash to spend, it would be hard to find a better and more reliable unit than the Motorola MG7700.
Netgear is a perennial champion of networking, and they’ve been our previous top pick on this list before. Unfortunately, so many decisions come down to cost when it comes to technology. Oh, to dream of all the wonderful gadgets we’d own if money were no issue. Alas, money is an issue, and it’s the reason why this fantastic NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 AC1900 modem/router was bumped to #2 on our list.
At first glance, this unit is very similar to the Motorola MG7700 in both size and functionality. Yet subtle differences add up. This modem/router combination can cruise at speeds of up to 1,900 Mbps, and 32×8 channel bonding brings a more focused and responsive signal during peak hours. (Much like an actual highway, cable companies use data channels to deliver internet to your home. The more channels you have, the less likely you are to experience congestion. This Wi-Fi router/modem combo comes with four Gigabit Ethernet and two USB ports.
Compatible with Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more, this unit is the ideal choice for buyers who can afford it, especially buyers who require super-fast transfer speeds for gaming, high-speed downloads, and more.
The ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem & AC2350 Wi-Fi Router would be among the best options for those who are willing to splurge a little. With a price tag of $199, this attractive unit can handle download speeds of up to 2.3 Gbps and contains an AC2350 router. It’s been officially approved for use by major cable internet providers in the United States, like Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and more. It has 32 download channels alongside eight separate upload channels.
You might think that you will need professional help to get the SURFboard SBG7600AC2 set up, but you can actually do it all by yourself. All you need to do is plug the device in and download the SURFboard Central App. You will see step-by-step instructions to set everything up. You can customize your home Wi-Fi network, so you have the freedom to set a network name and password to your liking. Having the app is handy because you will also get to monitor all the devices connected to your network in real time. If you have children at home, you can also set necessary parental controls.
This modem/router would be an excellent choice for most households since it’s powerful enough to simultaneously provide internet access to several devices. SURFboard has been around for years, making this an obvious choice for any standard user. Customers will get a two-year limited warranty and access to customer support upon purchase.
This is the second NETGEAR cable modem/router on our list, which isn’t very surprising. NETGEAR has made quite a name for itself in the world of home Internet devices due to their power, reliability, and affordability. This N600 is no exception to that rule, and it brings speeds of up to 340 Mbps, along with easy installation and solid performance. On the rear panel, there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports alongside one USB 2.0 port, and the N6000 has been approved by internet providers such as Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more.
Since the NETGEAR N600 is a DOCSIS 3.0 router, you can expect it to have 8x faster download speeds compared to DOCSIS 2.0. It features four upload channels and eight channels. Users will love how this modem/router has an easy installation process, and you can schedule whenever you want the router turned on and off. We actually found this unit to be slightly better at streaming video and high-speed online gaming; however, it fell a bit short of the other similarly-priced units on our list when it came to upload speeds, which clocked in around 130 Mbps.
Calling all gamers: we have got the router for you. As covered previously, Netgear is one of the best networking companies in the game today, and they’ve poured a ton of work and attention into their C6250 modem/router combo. It used to be worth around $150, but you can now get it for about $95. It’s undoubtedly worth the investment because of its impressive speeds and—perhaps more important—its stellar connection quality, no matter what you throw at it. Built for HD streaming and gaming, Netgear has equipped the C6250 with DOCSIS 3.0 and 16×4 Channel Bonding for reliable, fast internet no matter where you are.
The C6250 can support speeds up to 300Mbps—well over the average internet speed found in the United States—while also covering up to 1500 square feet of your house with no additional equipment required. It also features an exceptional design that looks flashy and eye-catching without appearing embarrassing. The modem/router has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB port. Users can expect a safe and secure experience because it supports WPA/WPA2 and WEP wireless security, and you get access to parental controls. The NETGEAR Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo C6250 is supported out of the box by Spectrum, Cox, and Comcast, so you’re all set to begin streaming, gaming, and surfing the web as soon as you get your new router.
If you don’t see an app that should be here, let us know what it is