December 2022

Modems: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Modem rankings posted by key online experts, as of December 2022.

Summary

As of 1 Dec 2022, Netgear CM500 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed modem with 8 expert endorsements. It is followed by Motorola MB8600 and Arris SURFboard SB8200 , with 6 and 7 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - December 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Modem
approvedmodems.org
Popular Mechanics
PC Guide
BestReviews
HighSpeedInternet
Wirecutter
Networks Hardware
Tom's Guide
The Strategist
Lifewire
1
- $70
Netgear CM500
8
2
5
2
-
2
3
2
6
-
2
- $149
Motorola MB8600
5
4
-
3
1
3
1
-
-
-
3
- $145
Arris SURFboard SB8200
3
-
1
4
2
-
5
-
9
5
4
- $139
Netgear CM1000
6
-
2
1
-
-
-
-
1
-
5
- $75
Motorola MB7621
-
1
-
-
-
1
4
-
4
-
6
- $300
Netgear Nighthawk CM2000
-
5
-
-
3
-
2
-
-
2
7
- $65
Motorola MB7420
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
7
8
- $85
Arris SURFboard SB6183
-
3
4
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
9
- $147
Arris Surfboard S33
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
10
- $67
Arris SURFboard SB6190
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
7
1
11
- $110
Motorola MG7540
-
-
3
-
-
-
8
-
-
-
12
- Check price
Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
6

We ranked Netgear CM500 #1 in December 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
approvedmodems.org

Best For 400 Mbps

Pros
Competitively priced
Great design
Easy setup
Comes with 8 NOR flash

Cons
No major cons

Go to ranking

Popular Mechanics

Best budget

Pros
Affordable
Performs well on the vast majority of US ISP plans.

Cons
One-year warranty
Dim indicator lights

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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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Wirecutter

For plans up to 300 Mbps

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Networks Hardware

Budget-Friendly – Cable Modem

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Tom's Guide

Best value 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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We ranked Motorola MB8600 #2 in December 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Motorola MB8600 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
approvedmodems.org

Best For Gaming

Pros
Future-proof with DOCSIS 3.1
Works for plans up to 2000 Mbps
Approved by many ISPs
AQM for low latency browsing
2-year warranty

Cons
Fewer ports
Lights are too bright

Go to ranking

Popular Mechanics

Best Docsis 3.1

Pros
DOCSIS 3.1
Robust 32x8 stream channels
Two-year warranty

Cons
Power users might find firmware lacking

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BestReviews

Long Lasting

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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HighSpeedInternet

Best overall

Pros
Four gigabit Ethernet ports
Excellent Broadcom chipset

Cons
Bulky design
Limited compatibility with providers

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Wirecutter

For gigabit internet plans

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Networks Hardware

Best Overall / Editors Choice’s

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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 December 2022 ranking

We ranked Arris SURFboard SB8200 #3 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Value for Money

Pros
Link aggregation support
32 x 8 channel bonding support
Backward compatibility
Two Ethernet ports
Excellent speeds & processing setup

Cons
Needs a separate router to connect with multiple devices

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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

Customer Favorite

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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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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Networks Hardware

Runner Up – Cable Modem

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The Strategist

Best Docsis 3.1 cable modem

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Lifewire

Best Value

Pros
High speed support (known as DOCSIS 3.1 Support)
Compact design
Two Gigabit Ethernet ports with link aggregation

Cons
Pricey
Awkward coaxial connection placement

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We ranked Netgear CM1000 #4 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Gigabit Modem

Pros
DOCSIS 3.1 technology
Comes with built-in QoS
Supports 1 Gbps plans of most ISPs
AQM support
Reasonable price

Cons
Only one LAN port

Go to ranking

PC Guide

Best for xfinity

Pros
More reliable than other options
Great GUI controls

Cons
Limited to Xfinity and Cox providers

Go to ranking

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.

Go to ranking

The Strategist

Best-rated cable modem

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We ranked Motorola MB7621 #5 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Overall

Pros
Speedy 24x8 channel connectivity
Easy setup
Two-year warranty

Cons
Power users might find firmware lacking

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Wirecutter

The best modem for most people

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Networks Hardware

Best Value – Cable Modem

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The Strategist

Best cable modem for faster download speeds

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk CM2000 #6 in December 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Popular Mechanics

Best Premium

Pros
Multigig downstream speeds
Singular ethernet connectivity

Cons
Two-year limited warranty

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HighSpeedInternet

Best for gaming

Pros
Fast 2.5 Gbps port
Compatibility with all major cable internet providers

Cons
Just one Ethernet port

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Networks Hardware

Best Performer – Cable Modem

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Lifewire

Best Performance

Pros
2.5Gbps Ethernet Port
Fast DOCSIS 3.1 Speeds
Sleek design

Cons
Pricey
No voice features
Requires compatible router for best speeds

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We ranked Motorola MB7420 #7 in December 2022 because:

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

Best For 250 Mbps

Pros
Easy to set up
Compatible with most dual-band routers
Multi-ISP compatibility
Uses reliable DOCSIS 3.0
Compatible with most ISPs

Cons
Only one LAN port

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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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Lifewire

Best for Basic Internet Plans

Pros
Very affordable
Compact

Cons
Not especially future-proof

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We ranked Arris SURFboard SB6183 #8 in December 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Popular Mechanics

Top-rated

Pros
Small form factor
Reliable connection

Cons
Lacks power or reset button
LEDs are extraordinarily bright

Go to ranking

PC Guide

Pros
Top reliability
Great transfer rates vs price

Cons
Runs hot

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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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We ranked Arris Surfboard S33 #9 in December 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Modems” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Arris Surfboard S33 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
approvedmodems.org

Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modem

Pros
Supports latest technologies
High throughput capacity
Fast & reliable performance
Excellent design
Easy to set up
Compatible with most ISPs

Cons
Expensive

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Lifewire

Best Design

Pros
Stylish design
2.5Gbps Ethernet Port
Extra Gigabit Ethernet Port

Cons
No voice capabilities
Use of second port isn't supported by all ISPs

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We ranked Arris SURFboard SB6190 #10 in December 2022 because:

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

Best cable modem for gamers

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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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We ranked Motorola MG7540 #11 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Combo

Pros
Good overall modem
Useful features

Cons
Inconsistent WiFi performance

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Networks Hardware

Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk CM1150V #12 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Cable Modem with Voice

Pros
Has multiple ports
Multiple calling features
Faster connectivity
Backward compatibility

Cons
Lacks voice support for other ISPs

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Lifewire

Best for Voice Services

Pros
High speed support
Up to 2Gbps Download Speeds
Supports Xfinity Voice service

Cons
Expensive
Lacks a built-in router
Not compatible with other cable voice services

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