Best Gaming Modem In 2021

Are you looking to purchase a new gaming modem? In this article we talk you through our five top picks, focusing on connective, speed, and frequency bands.

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When it comes to gaming, owning the best modem is key. If you don’t have a great modem, this is going to lead to connection issues, lagging, and freezing. There really is nothing worse than when you are about to level up, or complete a mission, only for your internet to cut out.

You can have the best PC specs in the world, but without good internet speeds and a decent modem connection, you will never be able to use the PCs full potential. You will want to choose a modem that is not only great for general web browsing, but one that can handle the connection and speeds needed for gaming.

In this article, we are going to be chatting you through five of the best gaming modems you can purchase. We have focused on aspects such as the connection, connectivity, price, and frequency bands.

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Choice
NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200
02
Enthusiast Pick
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000
03
Mid Range Pick
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

Best Gaming Modem: First Look

01
Editor's Choice
NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200
NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 modem is similar to the CM100 model, however, it is more expensive on the whole. This is due to its increased connection speeds. This modem is capable of speeds up to 2000Mbps.

Again, the compatibility with cable internet providers is great, and it is certified with Spectrum, Cox, and Xfinity. While the connectivity is good, it does have its limitations and cannot be used with every provider.

The modem can be connected to a wireless router, or you can use an Ethernet cable if you are looking for the fastest possible connection and speeds for gaming.

02
Enthusiast Pick
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

0 /5
Editor's Rating

When it comes to the best modems, Netgear is consistently a popular choice. This is for a good reason, because their modems are fantastic for gaming, and their connection speeds are impressive.

The CM1000 is an investment, but it is a reasonably priced modem. It has good compatibility, which is reassuring, and it can even connect to Xfinity by Comcast, which not all Modems are capable of.

The 1000 Mbps download speeds are great for gaming, and it offers you both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity. While Ethernet tends to be the best option for gaming, the Wi-Fi connections are great for this modem too.

03
Mid Range Pick
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

0 /5
Editor's Rating

While Netgear is a popular choice, there are some great alternatives. Arris SURFboard is a great option. It is not too expensive, and it is a fairly compact modem.

This modem allows connections to Cox, Xfinity, and Spectrum, which is great, and the speeds it provides can reach up to 2000Mbps. While the compatibility is good, it does have some limitations.

There are two Ethernet ports featured on the modem, which is great if you need multiple connections, in a multi PC home. It does not include Wi-Fi, which is disappointing for some people.

04
Best Value
NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem Wi-Fi Router Combo C7000
Netgear Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Here we have another Netgear modem. This is a popular choice due to its compatibility. It allows you to connect with Xfinity, Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox.

When looking at the cost of the modem, it is one of the more expensive options. However, it is a durable piece of equipment. Being a Wi-Fi router combo, you can use both the Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections.

It has a dual-band frequency, and it can reach speeds of up to 1900Mbps.

05
Budget Pick
Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem
Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The Motorola MB8611 modem is a versatile option to consider if you don’t want to purchase a Netgear modem. It is one of the least expensive options. It is approved for use with the majority of US providers, including Xfinity, Cox, and Gigablast.

Furthermore, it has some of the best connections featured. It can pair to Wi-Fi routers, which is useful if you don’t want to use an Ethernet connection. However, it also features a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, which is fantastic for gaming.

How We Choose

When choosing gaming modems, there is a lot we have to take into consideration to ensure we are choosing the best possible options. The gaming modems featured in this article have been tested and researched in much detail to ensure that they are suitable.

When testing the modems, our team ensures that they meet as much of the criteria as possible, and are the best options available on the current market. In addition to their own research and benchmarking, they also take into consideration the thoughts of other users and customers too.

All the options featured are great for gaming, and will help to improve your connection and game quality. In addition to this, their connectivity is good, and there is an option suitable for most budgets.

Things To Consider

Before you purchase a gaming modem, there are a handful of aspects you will need to take into consideration.

Price

Before purchasing a gaming modem, you will want to think about your budget. While there are some less expensive modems available, these are often not the best for gaming.

Given this, the majority of gaming modems are more expensive to purchase. However, by investing in a more expensive modem, you will ensure that the connectivity, speeds, and durability are above average.

While modems are an expensive upfront cost, in the long run you will save money. This is because you will not need to pay monthly rental fees when you own your own modem.

Internet Speed

One aspect that sets a gaming modem apart from its regular counterparts is the internet speed. When thinking about gaming, the connection speeds you want to achieve should be as high as possible. This will help to ensure that your connection is not disrupted.

All the modems featured are particularly fast, and will help to improve your gameplay. Their download speeds are at least 1000Mbps, and some of these modems even reach up to 2000Mbps, which is more than suitable for gaming.

Compatibility

When purchasing a gaming modem, it is essential to ensure that it can be used with your internet provider. While all the options we have featured have great compatibility, they do have some limitations. Given this, you will want to ensure you are choosing a modem that is suitable.

Some of the most popular internet providers in the US are Xfinity by Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, Verizon, and DirecTV, to name a few. Some of the connections that are not compatible with the majority of these modems include AT&T, CenturyLink, and DSL.

While the compatibility issues can be frustrating, it is useful to know that these modems are more compatible than the average modem. This allows you the best chance of the internet provider working with the ISP. We would always recommend reaching out to your ISP to ensure compatibility before purchasing.

Durability

When choosing a suitable modem, you will want to ensure that it is durable. After all, the last thing you want to happen is to spend a lot of money on a piece of equipment that breaks easily.

Fortunately, all the modems we have featured are robust and made using great quality materials. As a result, they will withstand a certain amount of accidental damage, which will help to put your mind at ease.

Wi-Fi

The majority of modems now have built-in Wi-Fi. This is useful because it means that you do not have to worry about using a router, or connecting to the modem using an Ethernet cable.

Wi-Fi is a great option if you are unable to place your PC or laptop near the router, however, it is the slower option when compared to the Ethernet connection. The vast majority of gamers will choose to use an Ethernet cable where possible, given this.

Even so, it is useful to have a Wi-Fi option in place for connections to other devices such as mobiles and tablets. The options we have included both include and don’t include a Wi-Fi option, as this is down to personal preference.

Frequency Bands

Finally, you will want to take note of the frequency bands a modem uses. This will impact how quick the speeds are. There are three types of bands to choose from — Single-Band, Dual-Band, and Tri-Band.

While Tri-Band is the best option, not all devices are compatible with this. As a result, this is something you will need to consider before purchasing, especially if you will be connecting an older smartphone to the Wi-Fi.

The majority of gaming modems will use either a Dual-Band or a Tri-Band. While a single-band is okay, ultimately it is slower.

Best Gaming Modem In 2021

01
Editor's Choice
NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

Cable Provider Compatibility

All Major Cable Providers and Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, COX

Cable Internet Plan Speed Compatibility

Up to 2Gbps

Gigabit Ethernet Ports

4 x 1G (with multi-gig port aggregation)

Modem Technology

DOCSIS 3.1, 32x8 Channel Bonding, OFDM 2x2

02
Enthusiast Pick
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

Installed Size

256 MB

Max Transfer Rate

1 Gbps

Line Coding Format

OFDM

03
Mid Range Pick
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

Best for cable internet speed plans

Up to 2 Gbps

Downstream x Upstream Channels

32 x 8

DOCSIS 3.1 Advanced Technology

Yes

Gigabit Ethernet Ports

2

04
Best Value
Netgear Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

Downstream speed

Up to 400Mbps

Channel bonding

24x8

Range

Ideal for large houses with multiple devices

Bands

2.4 and 5GHz - dual band

LAN

4 Ethernet ports

05
Budget Pick
Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

DOCSIS Channel Bonding

DOCSIS 3.1 plus 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0

Recommended by Comcast Xfinity for Internet Service This Speed Tier or Below

1000 Mbps

Certified for These Cable Internet Services. Typically Works with Many Others.

Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, and Cox

Ethernet Port

2.5G

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Choice
NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

Cable Provider Compatibility

All Major Cable Providers and Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, COX

Cable Internet Plan Speed Compatibility

Up to 2Gbps

Gigabit Ethernet Ports

4 x 1G (with multi-gig port aggregation)

Modem Technology

DOCSIS 3.1, 32x8 Channel Bonding, OFDM 2x2

Pros

Compatible with all Wi-Fi routers

Fast connection and internet speeds

4 Gigabit Ethernet ports

Multi-gig Ethernet

Cons

This modem is not compatible with all ISPs

Our top choice for the best gaming modem is the Netgear Nighthawk CM1200. Netgear is a reliable company that produces robust modems. This particular modem is more expensive, but it is compatible with all Wi-Fi routers, and is easy to set up.

When it comes to speed, this modem is impressive. It can reach download speeds of up to 2000Mbps. The Ethernet ports are 4 Gigabits, and provide a lightning fast connection. It has 32×8 channel bonding technology, and DOCSIS 3.1. Being a multi-gig Ethernet, you can combine the 1G ports for a faster overall speed.

The CM1200 is certified for use with Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with ISPs such as Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, and DSL, which can be frustrating. However, on the whole, this is a great modem to consider.

02
Enthusiast Pick
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

Installed Size

256 MB

Max Transfer Rate

1 Gbps

Line Coding Format

OFDM

Pros

Reasonably priced

Works with any Wi-Fi Router

Good compatibility with the most well-known ISPs

1 Gigabit Ethernet port

Cons

Max download speeds are slightly slower overall

This Netgear CM1000 Modem is a great alternative to the CM1200, if you are looking for a less expensive option. While it does have fantastic specs, it is not quite as fast as the previous Netgear Modem.

What is great about this modem is that it is compatible with the most popular cable providers, such as Spectrum, Cox, and Xfinity. However, it cannot be used with CenturyLink, Verizon, and AT&T.

The data transfer rate is 300 megabits per second, and the max download speed is 1000Mbps. Overall, this modem will save you monthly rental feed, and it also works with all Wi-Fi routers, which is helpful.

There is one, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port which can be used to connect the modem directly to your PC for faster speeds overall. The CM1000 is easy to set up, and features OFDM 2×2, a 32×8 channel, and DOCSIS 3.1.

03
Mid Range Pick
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem

Best for cable internet speed plans

Up to 2 Gbps

Downstream x Upstream Channels

32 x 8

DOCSIS 3.1 Advanced Technology

Yes

Gigabit Ethernet Ports

2

Pros

Affordable option

2-year warranty

2 Ethernet ports

Dual-Channel

Cons

The Arris SURFboard modem is a great alternative if you do not want to purchase Netgear equipment. It is one of the more reasonably priced options.

It is durable in its design, and it is rather robust. With a 2-year warranty, you are covered should anything go wrong with the modem. In terms of the speeds, it can reach up to 2 Gbps, which is great, but you will need to have the second IP address approved by your ISP in order to reach these speeds.

There are 2, 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow you to connect more than one device straight into the modem. This will help to provide faster connection and download speeds. This is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, with 32×8 modem channels.

While this is compatible with many ISPs, this does not include ATT, Verizon, and CenturyLink. It is a quick and easy modem to set up.

04
Best Value
Netgear Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000

Downstream speed

Up to 400Mbps

Channel bonding

24x8

Range

Ideal for large houses with multiple devices

Bands

2.4 and 5GHz - dual band

LAN

4 Ethernet ports

Pros

Built with speed in mind

Good connectivity

2 USB ports

2 Gigabit Ethernet ports

Cons

Slower speeds in comparison to other options featured

This is the final Netgear modem included in this article. When looking at the price of the C7000, it is a fairly average price. It has a dual-band frequency, which is great for both gaming and general web browsing. The wireless type is 802.11ac.

What is great about the C700 modem is that it will save you money in the long run when it comes to your cable bills. This is because you will not have to pay the monthly rental fees. Given this, it is a worthwhile investment.

This modem may not be the fastest option, but it is built with speed in mind, which is great for gaming. It uses a 24×8 channel, and is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. It can reach speeds of up to 400 Mbps, which is reasonable for gaming.

There are 2 USB ports, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, which allow for better connection and download speeds. While this is a great option with good connectivity, it does have a lower speed in comparison to the other options featured.

05
Budget Pick
Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

Motorola MB8611 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

DOCSIS Channel Bonding

DOCSIS 3.1 plus 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0

Recommended by Comcast Xfinity for Internet Service This Speed Tier or Below

1000 Mbps

Certified for These Cable Internet Services. Typically Works with Many Others.

Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, and Cox

Ethernet Port

2.5G

Pros

Good connections

Reduced lag when gaming

Can be connected to any Wi-Fi router

A more affordable option

Cons

It is not the fastest option featured

The final option we have chosen is the Motorola MB8611. This is a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that is a fairly popular choice. We love the sleek and durable design. While it does not feature built-in Wi-Fi, it does allow Wi-Fi connection. This can be set up quickly, and easily.

The connectivity of this modem is good, as it will connect with the most popular internet service providers, such as Cox, Spectrum, Comcast, and Xfinity. In addition to this, you do not have to pay the monthly rental fees when using this modem, which will save you money in the long run.

The Motorola MB8611 features a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port that allows quick and seamless connections. The maximum speed for this modem is 6 Gbps, which is particularly good, and great for gaming.

This is one of the least expensive options we have featured, however, it is not lacking in any way. The lag is reduced when using, and your gaming will be more responsive on the whole.

Final Word

There are many fantastic modems that can be purchased for gaming. All the options featured we have tested, and can confirm that they provide faster connection speeds, and help to reduce lag overall.

While they all have great connectivity, it is important to check with your ISP before purchasing to ensure that the modem is compatible. While they are an investment to purchase, as you no longer have to pay monthly rental fees, you will save money in the long run.

All but one of these modems allow a Wi-Fi connection, which is useful if you are looking to connect multiple devices. However, when using the modem for gaming, we would always suggest using the Ethernet ports. These will provide the best possible speeds on the whole.

While the Netgear modems tend to be the most popular options, this article emphasizes that other companies, such as Motorola, and Arris are great options to consider for gaming too.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

at
WePC
Steve is obsessed with technology and the difference it makes to everyday life. having grown up with PCs since he was a kid, he was fortunate to have parents who worked in the industry, giving him access to computers when he should have been outside more! Steve loves obsessing over comparing different types of tech and working out which performs better.

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