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It’s easy to find a compatible modem and router for your Spectrum internet services.
When you sign up for your next internet plan, you’ll have the option to either buy or rent your equipment. Spectrum’s internet plans come with the option of a variety of routers, modems and modem/router combos from brands like Cisco, Motorola, Netgear and Arris.
While the small monthly fee might not seem like much, they can add up quickly, and over the long run, it’s more cost-effective to buy your own internet modem and router. We’ve rounded up a list of the best modems and routers to buy for your Spectrum internet plan.
Pro Tip: Check out our Spectrum internet guide to find out if Spectrum is right for you!
Top 3 best modems & routers for Spectrum at a glance
If you decide you want to use your own Spectrum modem, router or gateway (a modem and router combo), make sure whatever you pick is compatible with your Spectrum internet service.
|Netgear C6220||$||Best for plans up to 200 Mbps||Any Spectrum Internet|
|Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2||$$||Best for plans up to 400 Mbps||Spectrum Internet Ultra|
|Netgear Nighthawk C7800||$$$||Best for plans with speeds up to 2 Gbps||Spectrum Internet Gig|
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How we chose the best modem/router for Spectrum
When searching for the best Spectrum modems and routers, our goal was to find those with excellent value. We compared eight devices by using the criteria of supported speeds, price, features, customer reviews and what plan it’s best for.
Each of the devices we chose is a modem/router combo that is best-suited for a particular one of Spectrum’s internet plans. The modem/routers we chose come at varying price points, so there’s one for every budget.
Best modem/router combo for Spectrum internet: Netgear C6220
The Netgear C6220 is a great choice for an internet modem/router on a budget. The device supports internet plans with up to 200 Mbps, making it a great choice for the base Spectrum internet plan. Keep in mind that because of the relatively low speed, this device wouldn’t be suitable for any other Spectrum plans.
This device is clearly a popular choice with customers. It has more than 18,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like that the device is easy to use and easy to install. The product comes with a one-year warranty and 90 days of technical support.
As far as technical specifications, the Netgear C6220 comes with DOCSIS of 3.0, which meets the industry standard. It also has 802.11ac Wi-Fi and 8×4 channel bonding. Finally, it includes two gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB port.
Best modem/router combo for Spectrum Internet Ultra: Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2
The Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2 is one of the most popular internet modem/router combos on the market, and for good reasons. First, the device has excellent value for what you get. It comes in at less than $200, which is a better price point than many similar devices. Additionally, the Arris device has more than 2,100 Amazon reviews, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the user interface, that it’s easy to install and that it has a strong Wi-Fi signal.
The Arris Surfboard modem/router is best-suited for Spectrum internet plans with 400 Mbps. As a result, it’s perfect for the Spectrum Internet Ultra plan and could also work for the base Spectrum Internet plan. This modem/router would not be suitable for the Spectrum Internet Gig plan. The Arris device combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router. It also comes with 32×8 channel bonding and four Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Arris has excellent customer support. Your device purchase comes with two years of warranty and customer support at no additional cost. After your warranty has expired, you can still get one-on-one support for an additional fee.
Best modem/router combo for Spectrum Internet Gig: Netgear Nighthawk C7800
The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 is an industry favorite for modem/router combos. This device is designed for high-speed internet plans and is particularly well-suited for the Spectrum Internet Gig plan. Keep in mind that the high speeds come at a cost — this device has the highest price tag of those on our list.
This Netgear device has solid online reviews. It has more than 2,900 Amazon reviews, with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5. Customers especially like the user interface and the fact that it’s easy to install. The product comes with a one-year warranty from Netgear and 90 days of free technical support.
As far as technical specifications, the Nightgear Nighthawk C7800 combines a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router. It can provide a connection for up to 45 devices at once over 3,000 square feet. It includes four gigabit Ethernet ports and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports for a fast wired connection for gaming and other online activities.
Should you rent or purchase your Spectrum equipment?
When you sign up for your Spectrum internet plan, you’ll have the option to either buy or rent equipment. Many customers choose to rent equipment because of the lower upfront cost. Before deciding whether to buy or rent, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Rent vs. buy Spectrum equipment
Pros of renting
Lower upfront cost
Spectrum customer service
Spectrum responsible for repairing/replacing equipment
Guaranteed compatibility with internet plan
Cons of renting
Larger monthly payment
Larger long-term cost
Never pay off your equipment
Pros of buying
Lower internet bill
Choose your own equipment
Cons of buying
Responsible for repairing/replacing equipment
Larger upfront cost
Limited customer support
What to look for in a Spectrum compatible modem and router
When you rent your equipment from Spectrum, you’re guaranteed to get an internet modem and router that’s compatible with the company’s internet plans. But when you purchase your own equipment, you have to do a bit more research to ensure the modem and router you choose has the best features and is compatible with Spectrum internet plans. Here are a few things to look for when choosing your internet modem and router:
- Speed compatibility: Each internet device is designed to be compatible with certain internet speeds. For example, the Netgear C6200 on our list specifically states that it’s best for internet plans up to 200 Mbps. Ultimately, it’s important to make sure the modem/router you choose enables you to use the maximum internet speed available with your Spectrum internet plan.
- Channel bonding: Channel bonding is a way to maximize your internet speed by combining two adjacent internet channels. The more channel bonding your device has, the more traffic it can handle without interruption or slowdown. The Arris Surfboard and Netgear Nighthawk on our list each have 32×8 channel bonding, meaning there are 32 dedicated downloading channels and eight dedicated uploading channels.
- DOCSIS technology: DOCSIS stands for “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.” DOCSIS is the industry standard for cable modems that allows for high-bandwidth data transfer over existing coaxial cable systems. The modem/routers on our list have either DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1
- Security: It’s critical that you make sure your internet connection is fully secure. The best way to do that is to find a device with a password with at least WPA2 or WPA3 encryption.
Need a faster internet plan?
One of the best ways to improve your internet speed is to shop around for a faster internet plan. In some cases, that might mean upgrading to a better plan with your existing internet service provider. On the other hand, you might decide to choose a different internet service provider (ISP) altogether. You can use Allconnect’s search tool to find the best internet plans in your area.
The bottom line
Having the right modem and router can make a significant difference in improving your internet speeds. While many people choose to rent devices from their ISPs, there are actually many benefits to buying. Not only is there a long-term financial benefit, but you also have the ability to shop around and find the best device for your needs.
Written by:Lisa Iscrupe
Writer, Broadband & Data Content
Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. In Lisa’s Words: Ever… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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