Best modem router combo for gaming & more in 2022
A closer look at the best modem router combos for home and gaming scenarios
Thanks to the increasing speed of today’s broadband, we can sometimes forget that choosing the best router is sometimes as important as the speed of your internet.
But speed is only one factor when it comes to a decent connection. You also have to consider signal strength/range, channel bonding, upload speeds, and how many devices it can effectively handle at once. What we’re trying to say is, there’s more to buying a router than what meets the eye.
If you currently own an old/stock router and you find yourself constantly experiencing a ton of issues, there is a good chance that you may have to upgrade. Assuming, of course, that the technicians didn’t find any issues with your connection in the first place.
So, with all that said, let’s check out some of the best modem router combos!
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Things to Consider
As we mentioned above, choosing any hardware within the technology sector requires knowledge, experience, and research. Since we’re the ones who do the research and have the experience, all that remains for you is to use a bit of knowledge in order to choose whatever fits you best.
After all, there is no such thing as a modem router that works for everyone. Sure, the most expensive option may often be the best, but, if you can’t utilize it, you’re just wasting money for no reason.
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider – pretty self-explanatory. So, the very first thing that you need to do before buying a modem router is to make sure that it’s compatible with your ISP.
Thankfully, most routers can work with most ISPs. But, there are always a few exceptions – which is why we’d recommend checking out each modem’s description page where they mention what ISPs are supported – just to be safe.
There are multiple factors that affect speed. First of all, you need to know the speeds that your ISP provides. 50Mbps is what most people have nowadays – but it can go as high as 1000 (for the lucky few who can get it and are willing to pay for it anyway).
After that, you need a modem router that can match or exceed your connection’s speed. If you plan on upgrading to a faster internet connection in the future, definitely get a router that can handle these speeds in the first place to save some money.
At the moment of writing this article, we mainly use 2 bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Each one has its own pros and cons.
2.4GHz is much slower but it also offers much better penetration and overall signal. 5GHz, on the other hand, is more than twice as fast – but it offers much less range and penetration.
That said, 2.4GHz can technically go as high as 600Mbps – which is still much higher than what most of us can get. But, if you’re someone who can achieve more than that, you’ll first need a device that can connect to such a router – after which you’ll also need to make sure that you’re as close as possible to the modem router. Ideally, in the same room.
Keep in mind that usually, even mid-range routers use dual-band connectivity. This means that they work in both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz at the same time and you can connect to whatever band fits you best.
A router’s range is very important as it theoretically tells us how far away from the router you can be and still connect wirelessly. If you can’t get a signal, then your super-fast internet connection and expensive router will instantly become useless.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that we can do to find the range of a router just by looking at various specifications on paper. Sure, more antennae may be better – but that doesn’t tell us much about real-life results.
So, the best thing that we can do is trust in what reviewers say and share our personal experiences with you. Always keep in mind how large your house is before buying and what we mentioned about bands above.
Routers don’t just download and upload everything in one batch. Instead, they split it into multiple channels for better overall results. If there’s more data entering than what the router can handle, you’ll start experiencing network congestion which leads to packet loss and other unpleasant things.
16×4, which is what you generally get with mid-range offerings, means that there are 16 channels for downstream and 4 for upstream. That’s generally more than enough for most of us – but enthusiasts and people who share their connection with other users may want to consider 24×8!
The Best Modem Router Combo
- Superb range
- 24x8 channel bonding
- Lots of Ethernet ports
- Dual Band
If money isn’t a concern and your connection is pretty much as fast as it gets for consumers, this is quite possibly your best bet.
It has the whole package. Lots of channels, support for up to 1000Mbps of download speeds, dual-band support, great range, and it also works with almost every popular ISP.
As far as downsides are concerned, the only thing that we need to mention is probably the price which is obviously a bit high. Other than that, there have also been a few reports about TP-Link’s customer support. But, the router itself is good.
- Probably offers the best range on this list
- 24x8 channel bonding
- Lots of Ethernet ports
- Dual Band
- Not suitable for those who want ultra-high speeds
This is another great option that focuses a bit more on range rather than speed. Still, with that being said, most of us can’t even reach half of the download speeds that this modem router offers.
So, all things considered, this is a suberb high-end option with the only downside being that it’s a bit on the expensive side. And the situation gets even worse for those who want higher with the AC2200 or 3200.
Of course, if you can get your hands on a gigabit connection, then we can only assume that spending an extra 100 or 200 bucks isn’t going to be a big deal.
- Relatively cheap
- 16x4 channel bonding
- Dual Band
- Good value
- Range could be better (Can’t complain at this price, though)
- 2 Ethernet ports are not enough for some
If you’re more interested in a budget to mid-range offering, the Surfboard is one of the first options that you should look at. It’s significantly cheaper compared to the rest of our options without sacrificing too much.
Sure, it has a lower amount of channels, it misses a couple of Ethernet ports, and its range is not as great either. But, then again, this is not targeted towards those who need that kind of stuff. This is more suitable for a small family with a decent connection – or a single enthusiast – we won’t judge.
If there’s one downside at this price point, then that’s probably going to be the fact that the router only comes with 2 Ethernet ports. So, if you need something that comes with 4 LAN ports for as cheap as possible, check out our next option.
- 16x4 channel bonding
- Dual Band
- Decent range
- 4 Ethernet ports without having to pay a premium
- A bit too expensive for the 16x4 channels that it offers
Many modem routers that come with 4 Ethernet ports (Decent routers) can easily surpass the $200 mark. Not this one, though.
For a bit less than $150, you get 4 Ethernet ports, up to 375Mbps of download speeds, decent range, and dual-band connectivity. Not a bad bargain.
Some may find the 16×4 channel configuration a little lacking in the value department. Having said that, that’s probably the price to pay for additional LAN connectivity and decent network speeds.
- Good speeds for the money
- Decent value
- All-around weaker compared to the rest of our options
Cheap doesn’t always equal bad – and this modem router is the perfect example of that. Sure, $85 (Depending on the time of purchase) isn’t exactly a small amount to pay. But, when compared to routers that can easily surpass $200? That’s as cheap as we’d go.
The good thing about the C3000 is that the maximum supported speed is at 300Mbps. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is no dual-band support and that you’re bound to an 8×4 channel setup.
Still, with these speeds and somewhat limited range, you should be fine just by leaving it at 2.4 GHz. If there’s one downside, then that’s possibly the bad technical support (According to all the buyers, at least).
That’s all for now. We hope that this guide helped you out in making a better decision. If you’ve got any questions or want to talk about anything at all, feel free to reach out to us and everyone else in the comments down below!
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