July 2021

Modems: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Modem rankings posted by key online experts, as of July 2021.

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Modems.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Modems, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for July 2021 ranking

At a glance - July 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Modem
Lifewire
BestCovery
Wirecutter
HighSpeedInternet
Reviews.org
Tom's Guide
The Strategist
Popular Mechanics
PC Guide
BestReviews
1
+3 $41 Netgear CM500
-
-
3
-
-
2
6
5
5
2
2
- $150 Motorola MB8600
-
-
4
1
2
-
-
4
-
3
3
+4 $149 Arris SURFboard SB8200
7
-
-
2
-
-
9
-
1
4
4
-3 $78 Motorola MB7621
2
-
1
-
-
-
4
1
-
-
5
New * $150 Netgear CM1000
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
2
1
6
-3 $89 Arris SURFboard SB6190
1
1
-
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
7
-2 $80 Netgear CM600
-
-
2
-
1
3
-
-
-
-
8
-2 $59 Motorola MB7420
9
2
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
9
- $70 Arris SURFboard SB6183
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
3
4
-
10
- $250 Netgear Nighthawk C7100V
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
2
-
-

We ranked Netgear CM500 #1 in July 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

For plans up to 300 Mbps

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Tom's Guide

Best alternative cable modem

Pros
Solid performance
Good compatibility
Often cheaper than comparable modems

Cons
One-year warrant shorter than rivals
Indicator lights are hard to see

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The Strategist

Best cable modem for streaming video on multiple devices

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Popular Mechanics

Sleek design

Pros
Nice design

Cons
Can overheat

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PC Guide

Pros
Compatible with most ISPs
Recoup-able cost in a few months

Cons
Some quality-control issues

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BestReviews

Best Bang for the Buck

Pros
Affordable
Best for ISP Speeds up to 300mbps
Compatible with all major cable providers
Quick setup process
Small desktop footprint

Cons
Has only a single gigabit Ethernet port

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We ranked Motorola MB8600 #2 in July 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Motorola MB8600 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

For gigabit internet plans

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HighSpeedInternet

Best overall

Pros
Four gigabit Ethernet ports
Excellent Broadcom chipset

Cons
Bulky design
Limited compatibility with providers

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Reviews.org

Best high-speed cable modem

Pros
Ultra-fast speeds
2-year warranty
Decent compatibility

Cons
Pricier than slower models

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Popular Mechanics

Pros
Great ventilation
2-year warranty

Cons
A bit pricey

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BestReviews

Pros
Incredibly fast internet speeds up to 6Gbps
Works with all major cable internet providers
Integrated security
Easy to set up
Small desktop footprint

Cons
Has only one Ethernet port

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We ranked Arris SURFboard SB8200 #3 in July 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Arris SURFboard SB8200 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Lifewire

Best Compact

Pros
DOCSIS 3.1 Support
Compact design
Two Gigabit Ethernet ports with link aggregation

Cons
Pricey
Awkward coaxial connection placement

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HighSpeedInternet

Best value

Pros
No more Puma 6 chipset
Multiple color options

Cons
Fewer Ethernet ports
Limited compatibility with cable providers

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The Strategist

Best Docsis 3.1 cable modem

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PC Guide

Editor's Choice

Pros
Offers fastest transfer rates
Gigabit Ethernet ports

Cons
Horrible customer support

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BestReviews

Pros
Support speeds up to 2Gbps
Features 2 gigabit Ethernet ports
Simple to set up
Optimized for especially fast online speeds
Well ventilated design
Compact

Cons
A fairly pricey modem

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We ranked Motorola MB7621 #4 in July 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Motorola MB7621 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Lifewire

Best Budget

Pros
Affordable
Compact design
Easy setup

Cons
No voice capabilities

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Wirecutter

The best modem for most people

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The Strategist

Best cable modem for faster download speeds

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Popular Mechanics

High speed

Pros
Easy setup
Fast speeds

Cons
Large footprint

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We ranked Netgear CM1000 #5 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Netgear CM1000 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Best-rated cable modem

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PC Guide

Best for xfinity

Pros
More reliable than other options
Great GUI controls

Cons
Limited to Xfinity and Cox providers

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BestReviews

Best of the Best

Pros
Quick and easy setup. Compatible with major cable providers. Works with all WiFi routers. Supports different internet plans to deliver fast and reliable internet speed.

Cons
Technical support is not always reliable.

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We ranked Arris SURFboard SB6190 #6 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Arris SURFboard SB6190 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Lifewire

Best Overall

Pros
Impressive speeds
Great for HD movies and gaming
Convenient LED indicator lights

Cons
Coaxial connection placement isn't ideal

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BestCovery

Best Top Pick

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The Strategist

Best cable modem for gamers

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We ranked Netgear CM600 #7 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Netgear CM600 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

Same speeds,shorter warranty

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Reviews.org

Best for most

Pros
Compatible with all major cable providers
Fast enough for most households
Relatively affordable

Cons
Not optimal for super-fast internet connections

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Tom's Guide

Best cable modem for high-speed service

Pros
Reliable performance
Lower price than other high-speed modems
Compatible with many ISPs

Cons
One-year warranty
Tall footprint

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We ranked Motorola MB7420 #8 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Motorola MB7420 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Lifewire

Best for Voice Services

Pros
Very affordable
Compact

Cons
Not especially future-proof

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BestCovery

Best Runner Up

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Tom's Guide

The best cable modem you can buy

Pros
Two-year warranty
Reliable performance
Compatible with most internet providers

Cons
Not as compact as some modems

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We ranked Arris SURFboard SB6183 #9 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

A top cable modem if you can find it

Pros
Dependable
Two-year warranty
Compatible with most internet providers
Visible status lights

Cons
Awkward placement of coaxial cable

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Popular Mechanics

Best value

Pros
Affordable

Cons
Not attractive, if that’s a concern

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PC Guide

Pros
Top reliability
Great transfer rates vs price

Cons
Runs hot

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk C7100V #10 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Best long-range cable modem and router

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Popular Mechanics

Router-modem combo

Pros
Included phone lines

Cons
Very expensive

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