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Get a Faster and More Reliable Internet Connection With the Best Modems

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Get a Faster and More Reliable Internet Connection With the Best Modems

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Buying Guide: Modem

High-speed internet is no longer a want or a luxury. Today, it’s a need. From online classes to work-related conferences, everything is dependent upon having a reliable internet connection. Unfortunately, many people still have to deal with the age-old problem of a poor internet connection despite paying a hefty amount of monthly payments to internet companies.In most cases this is because of a loss of bandwidth speed due to long-range data transmission. The solution? Investing in a cable modem! A modem allows you to achieve and maintain a constant high-speed internet connection without lags or delays. But if you’re not very tech-savvy, you may easily feel intimidated by internet modems. If this is the case, how will you find the right cable modem? We’ve put together a list of the most effective modems of 2023, as well as a buyer’s guide to help you buy one that’s compatible with your ISP. Let’s take a look!

So far, we’ve covered some of the most popular cable modems that have worked for many people all over the country. But what makes modem shopping so tricky is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. A modem that works wonders for one person might not even be compatible with another’s ISP. Plus, every consumer has unique preferences and internet needs.There are many types of modems, and they won’t all be compatible with your internet service provider. So, there are a lot of features to look at in order to purchase the right modem for your internet connection. Let’s briefly go over some of them.

Get the Right Modem Type

Modems come in several different types and each one is appropriate for a certain type of internet connection.You need a cable modem for cable internet, a DSL modem for DSL internet, a satellite modem for a satellite connection, an LTE model for a 3G/4G/5G connection, and a dial-up modem for a dial-up connection.As you can see, you can tell what type of modem works with which type of internet connection just by the name of it. So, be sure to purchase the right modem type!If you have fiber optic installed, you don’t need a modem, just the router is sufficient.

ISP Compatibility

Not only should the modem type match your internet connection, it should also be compatible with it. For this, you’ll have to look up your ISP specs. This includes asking them about the modems that are compatible with their internet. The answer can widely vary from ISP to ISP since everyone uses a unique infrastructure. Fortunately, most internet service providers maintain this information on their websites, including resources mentioning the modems that they have approved in the past for their internet. Visit your ISP’s site to see if you can find it, and if not, speak to a customer service representative.

Voice Support

If your cable provider also provides you with a VoIP-based telephone service along with the internet connection, you’ll need a voice support feature on the modem. For that, the modem must have an embedded multimedia terminal adapter (E-MTA). To see if a certain modem meets the description, look at the device’s model and ensure that it ends with a V. If not, it’s not what you’re looking for.Note: Some ISPs require clients to buy modems from them, or rent one directly from them for free. Before you purchase a modem of your own, you might want to speak to your ISP to make sure their policies allow customers to purchase and use third-party modems that are compatible, along with their VoIP plans.

Ethernet Ports

Here’s a somewhat simple section of the buyer’s guide — make sure your cable modem includes enough ethernet ports. That’s because ethernet ports support 1 Gbps of speed. If your current internet package doesn’t exceed that speed limit, it doesn’t matter what ethernet ports you have. In case your plan does exceed that limit, you’ll have to find ones with 2.5G ports, or ethernet aggregation. Without it, there’s often no chance of getting over 1 Gbps of speed through the modem.

Support and Warranty

Your cable modem should have a long warranty period, as well as a term where the manufacturers agree to send support staff for any issues encountered within the first few months or so of purchase. This is an area Motorola excels at. All of their products are covered by at least a two-year warranty term. Other manufacturers also offer warranties, but it’s often shorter. Netgear modems, for instance, are only insured for one year.Having at least some warranty coverage is infinitely better than having none. Steer clear of modems that expect you to take the brand’s word for their reliability. Buying a modem is a pretty significant investment and should ideally last years before you have to replace it and spend that money again. We recommend buying your modem from authorized dealers or from the official Amazon store of the brand to make sure you can easily get in touch with the brand, ask for help, and get tech support whenever you need it.

Tech Support Quality

Almost all modems are backed with some sort of tech support to help customers out when things get a bit too technical. The bigger the brand, the better their tech support help will be.


In terms of the modem’s design, there’s not much to worry about here except for the indicator lights. Ideally, the lights should be easy to spot, but they shouldn’t be too bright to the point that they disrupt your sleep at night. Carefully consider the size of your modem and try to get one that’s compact and blends into the other networking equipment you already own.


The number of download and upload channels on your modem should also be adequate as per the internet speed cap that your ISP has. A modem with 16 download channels and four upload ones (16 x 4) is generally good enough for houses that receive internet service with a hard 300 Mbps cap. For faster connections, look for modems with 32 x 8 or 24 x 8 channel combinations.

01 Motorola Modem

The Motorola Modem tops the list with its high-speed ethernet port, which is capable of delivering true high-speed internet connectivity to the fastest computers and routers. With this modem in place, you won’t have to worry about ethernet aggregation to get higher speeds.

This modem can provide downstream speeds of around 2,500 Mbps and upstream speeds of around 800 Mbps. We love that you get a two-year warranty with this product, which makes this modem our best overall choice.


  • Confidence-inspiring warranty term
  • Has a high-speed 2.5G ethernet port
  • Delivers true gigabit-plus speeds


  • Customer support could be better
Motorola Modem

02 Arris Modem

The Arris Modem brings the care of the entire setup process and modem management to your fingertips with the SURFboard Central App. 

It’s best for internet speed plans that are capped at around 400 Mbps because they have about 16 downstream channels and four upstream ones. We love that this brand has followed in the footsteps of Motorola, offering an impressive two-year warranty, which goes to show that the brand genuinely believes in the durability of their product. After all, there must be a reason why they’ve already sold a whopping 200 million Arris modems so far!


  • Can handle higher-speed plans comfortably
  • Very easy to set up and manage
  • Interactive app for control over your modem


  • Only has one 1G ethernet port

03 Netgear Modem

Do you love sleek-looking modems? Are you looking for an affordable modem that also improves your internet connection? If so, the affordable Netgear Modem is everything you’ve been looking for!

Despite its small package, this modem can handle 400 Mbps. Just connect any of your Wi-Fi routers to this modem and you’ll be good to go. It features a glossy black color on the outside that gives it a stealthy, unique appearance. At under $50, this modem is a steal!


  • Very affordable option
  • High value for money
  • Slim, visually appealing build


  • Only offers a one-year warranty
Netgear Modem

04 TP-Link Modem

The TP-Link Modem markets itself as a game-changing solution that says no to rental fees and says hello to faster performance. Thanks to the cable modem router’s cable download speed of 680 Mbps and the dual-band Wi-Fi of AC1750, this modem allows you to stream in 4K resolution and game as much as you like, without a single hiccup in internet performance.

It comes with a very clear and easy-to-understand manual, allowing users to follow step-by-step instructions to get their modem started up and working in no time.


  • Uses advanced DOCSIS 3.0 technology
  • Serves as both modem and Wi-Fi router
  • Features an increased Wi-Fi range


  • Slight lack of firmware updates
TP-Link Modem

05 Zyxel Modem

If you have a CenturyLink connection with bonded DSL, then it’s a pretty complex setup to find a modem for. But don’t worry! This Zyxel Modem is all you need. It’s specially designed to be compatible with CenturyLink systems and it also works with their ADSL service. 

Just like the Arris Modem listed above, this modem is super easy to set up using the CenturyLink phone app. It’s a plug-and-play solution to fix flakiness caused by aging modems or due to DSL internet instability.


  • Very easy to set up
  • Caters to a niche audience
  • Specifically designed for DSL


  • Some users report short-lived lifespan

People Also Asked

Does it matter what cable modem I use?

Yes, because it should be compatible with your ISP. For instance, you need a DSL modem for providers offering DSL connections like Windstream, AT&T, and CenturyLink. On the other hand, you’ll need DOCSIS cable mode for ISPs like Cox, Spectrum, or Xfinity.

How long will my new cable modem last?

Low-end cable modems last for about two to three years, while high-quality ones can last for half a decade or even longer. After that term, the modem often has to be switched out.

Can I have two cable modems in one house?

Yes, but only if you have two separate hard lines of ISP since every ISP typically allows one modem per account. You’ll have to pay extra to get a second ISP.

Denise McNamara

Oct 5, 2022

85 Articles Published

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We're not just tech junkies, but we're also tech experts. Each and every "Best of.." list on TechJunkie is curated by our content-area subject matter experts to provide a well-rounded, unbiased perspective to help and inform you, our reader. Our lists are constantly reviewed and updated, so you can be sure you're reading relevant and up to date information.

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