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The 4 best modems & routers for Frontier

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Jun 17, 2021 — 5 min read

We take away the guesswork and show you which Frontier modem and router will work for your needs.

Best compatible modems and routers for Frontier Internet

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Frontier is an internet service provider serving 25 states in the U.S. They offer FiberOptic internet, as well as DSL. Looking for the best modem for Frontier? If you plan to go with Frontier for your home internet, you can rent a modem/router combo from the company. This modem/router is usually $10/mo., though some internet plans Frontier offers include it for free.

If you don’t have one of these plans, the rental costs can stack up fast. But you can save on monthly internet fees by buying your own equipment, instead of relying on the Frontier modem router combo. Here are reliable hardware options to use with your Frontier home internet.

How we chose the best modems & routers for Frontier 

To find the best modems and routers to use with your Frontier internet plan, we started with compatibility. Frontier is different from many internet service providers, because the company does not use cable for their internet service. Instead, Frontier internet uses a DSL connection or a fiber connection. 

Both DSL and fiber internet connections require specialized equipment. Internet modems generally won’t work with fiber. So for the fiber plans offered by Frontier, we stuck to recommendations for routers that are compatible with fiber connections. Once we found the best routers, we dug into prices and features. 

The devices below all boast the ability to handle top internet speeds that will work well with fiber and DSL connections. These routers and modem can handle multiple devices streaming HD video, as well as online gaming. We also factored in price. While some of these products are on the higher-end, we tried to balance reliability with affordability to give you the best options for your Frontier internet needs.


Best router for the FiberOptic Gigabit Frontier plan: NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX80

NETGEAR is a well-known brand in the world of internet hardware and software, and the Nighthawk RAX80 is one of the best routers on the market. This WiFi 6 router features five Ethernet ports, which are all capable of speeds up to 1 Gigabit. You’ll have enough speed for streaming movies, online gaming and video calls on multiple devices simultaneously. 

The Nighthawk RAX80 advertises easy setup and network management, so you don’t need to be an expert to use it. You’ll also get smart parental controls that allow you to schedule and pause internet access to keep kids safe online. But the price tag here will make some people wary. Even for a top-of-the-line router, $350 is a lot to spend.

Best router for the FiberOptic 500 Frontier plan: TP-LINK Archer AX6000

TP-LINK’s Archer AX6000 router offers solid connectivity for Wi-Fi and wired devices alike. This router comes with eight wired Ethernet ports, as well as router-based security for top performance. There’s also a USB 3.0 and a USB C port, so you can connect both a printer and an external hard drive. 

The Archer AX6000 has an advertised wireless speed of up to 5952 Mbps, you’ll have no trouble with Frontier’s FiberOptic 500 plan. This router is fast enough to handle streaming video in up to 8K, as well as most online gaming. At an average cost of $280, the Archer AX6000 is reasonable for a high-end router. 

Best router combo for the FiberOptic 50 Frontier plan: NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX40

The Nighthawk RAX40 from NETGEAR is one of the most affordable routers on the market capable of handling high-speed Wi-Fi. It’s a Wi-Fi 6 router compatible with internet plans up to 1 Gigabit, so the FiberOptic 50 plan from Frontier will work well with this option. You’ll be able to get Wi-Fi speeds up to 3 Gpbs. 

This model comes with four Ethernet ports and a single 3.0 USB port. Like other NETGEAR nighthawk products, the RAX40 is easy to set up and manage with the Nighthawk app. You’ll be able to stream all HD video you want, and the coverage for the RAX40 is up to 1,500 sq. ft. So this will work well for apartments and small- to medium-sized homes.

Best modem/router combo for DSL Frontier plans: Motorola MD1600

If you use Frontier for a DSL internet plan, you’ll need a specific device for DSL connections. The Motorola MD1600 router/modem combo works great for speeds up to 100 Mbps, and the model advertises compatibility with Frontier internet plans. You’ll get four Ethernet ports, as well as dual-band Wi-Fi. 

The device has a sleek design and will fit well in tight spaces. The main drawback here is the price. At around $400 per unit, this combo isn’t cheap. So some subscribers may choose to rent a device from Frontier instead of paying the steep cost. The MD1600 comes with Motorola customer support in the U.S. and a two-year warranty. If you’re looking for a good Frontier modem for DSL, this one should do the trick.


Should you rent or purchase your Frontier  equipment?

Frontier equipment rental

  • Access to Frontier customer support

  • Technician can install it for you

  • Equipment is free with some plans

  • Guaranteed service and updates

Frontier equipment purchase

  • One-time upfront cost

  • Lower internet bills every month

  • Customize equipment to your needs

  • Limited customer support

What to look for in a Frontier compatible modem 

Compatibility

Frontier doesn’t offer cable internet, so the first thing you should do is make sure your equipment is compatible with Frontier’s internet service. If you use Frontier, it will be either DSL or fiber — both of these connections require different equipment from cable.

Speed

Some of the fiber plans Frontier offers are very fast, with the highest-tier package offering speeds just under 1 Gbps. If you do want to purchase your own equipment, make sure it can handle the plan you choose. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for speeds you can’t use.

Security

Most internet equipment sold nowadays comes with good security features, but it’s never a given, so it’s smart to check and see exactly what security features are provided. If you have kids at home, check to see what parental controls are available.

Reliability

Your internet connection does you no good if it doesn’t work. To ensure you stay online, it’s important that any hardware you purchase to use with your Frontier internet plan is reliable with good customer service, just in case you need some help.

Need a faster internet plan?

Frontier may not be the only game in town. Depending on where you live, you might have access to a few different options for internet service. It’s always smart to check and see which provider has the fastest speeds and best coverage for your address. Check out all of your internet options to ensure you make the best choice.


The bottom line

If you’re looking for an easy way to make sure you buy a Frontier approved modem or a frontier compatible modem, your best bet is probably to go with the one offered by the company, at least to start out. 

The Frontier certified modem and/or Frontier router rented from the provider is guaranteed to work with your service, and you don’t need any much technical know-how to set things up. If you want to buy your own equipment, make sure you understand the hardware requirements, so you don’t end up with anything you won’t be able to use.

By Julian Dossett

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