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 Motorola, Amazon and TP-Link.
While the small monthly fee might not seem like much, it 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.
3 Spectrum routers at a glance
|TP-Link WiFi 6 Gaming Router||$$$||Gaming|
|Motorola MG8702 | DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem + Wi-Fi Router||$$||Large households|
|Amazon eero mesh WiFi router||$||Individuals|
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.
TP-Link WiFi 6 Gaming Router Archer AX10000: Best for gaming
The Archer AX10000 features a Game Accelerator that optimizes gaming streams and a Wi-Fi 6 Game Band. The 1024-QAM and 160 MHz channels work seamlessly to provide 4K/8K streaming for an immersive online gaming experience.
With 4.6 stars out of 5 in Amazon reviews, the Archer AX10000 is a hit with users: “Outperforms routers twice the price,” “Can easily cover a 2,000 sq. ft. home” and “four hours straight [of gaming] and no connection loss.”
Tech: Wi-Fi 6, triband, 2.5 Gbps WAN port and 8 Gigabit LAN ports, 2 USB 3.0 in Type A and Type C with a 1.8 GHz Quad-Core CPU and 3 coprocessors.
Motorola MG8702 Cable Modem + Wi-Fi Router: Best for larger homes
The Motorola MG8702 Cable Modem offers fast speeds up to 10 Gbps with DOCSIS 3.1. This will give you speeds like fiber even if you don’t have a fiber connection.
It also comes with a built-in high-speed AC3200 Wi-Fi router and AnyBeam Wi-Fi.
The Wi-Fi app included gives users an easy setup experience, guest network management ability, parental controls, network security alerts and more. It is compatible with any ISP plan up to 800 Mbps.
The device scored 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon reviews. One 5-star reviewer said, “I live in a 2400 square foot house and I have multiple RING security cameras around the perimeter of the house. The connection between the MG7700 and all of the RING devices is fast with no dropped connections ever.”
Tech: Wi-Fi 5, DOCSIS 3.1, 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency.
Amazon eero mesh WiFi router: Best for small households
The Amazon eero Mesh WiFi Router can provide fast Wi-Fi to a 1,500 sq. ft. space and works with Alexa. Its TrueMesh technology can route traffic to “avoid congestion, buffering and dropoffs” according to the product description.
It works best for internet speeds up to 550 Mbps and has two Ethernet ports.
Users seem pleased with the performance of the device, awarding it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. One reviewer called it an “excellent upgrade from a single router system.”
Tech: 700 MHz quad-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB flash storage.
Renting vs. buying 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.
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 Amazon eero router on our list specifically states that it’s best for internet plans up to 500 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.
- 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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