Best Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo 2020 Detailed Review.
Best Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo: For the modern household, high-speed internet is practically a necessity. If you want to enjoy streaming media, answer emails, or use smart home devices, you need a high-speed connection.
But your internet connection is only as good as your home networking hardware. While it’s standard practice to provide your own router, most service providers will outfit you with a modem.
Of course, a modem also takes up space on your desk or shelf. And it needs to be connected to your router, which means more wires that can get tangled. Oftentimes, a better solution is to use a cable modem-WiFi router combo.
This frees up space and eliminates wires. To that end, we’ve reviewed three of the best cable modem-WiFi router combo units available. Here’s what we learned.
ARRIS Surfboard SBG7600AC2
The ARRIS Surfboard SBG7600AC2 is a modem/router combo unit with an unassuming rectangular shape. It’s 8.7 inches high, 6.4 inches deep, and 2 inches wide, and tips the scales at just over 1 pound. The case is constructed from glossy black ABS plastic, with vented sides.
On the front of the case, you’ll find the same standard LED indicators as most routers. There’s also a button for easy WPS connections and a USB port for updating the firmware.
Speed and Connection Quality
The SGB7600AC2 utilizes the DOCSIS 3.0 communication standard. This is a newer, faster standard than the older DOCSIS 2.0 standard. It’s capable of handling speeds up to 680 Mbps per channel. And with 32 download channels and 8 upload channels, you’re looking at a lot of total speed.
Even if you’ve got a house full of relatives and everyone is streaming something, the signal will be good. Now, 8 upload channels may sound excessive. But it’s important for supporting smart home devices, which frequently need to send data as well as receive it.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800
The NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 is designed to look less like a modem and more like a traditional router. It’s fairly large, measuring 12.4 inches in width, 10.4 inches in depth, and 7.5 inches high.
That height includes the four antennas, which can be swiveled down. So you can theoretically fit the C7800 in a 2-inch space, but you won’t be able to swivel the antennas.
Three buttons on the front of the unit allow for easy control. The left side button can be used to turn the LED indicator lights on and off.
This can be a convenient feature if your modem/router is located in your bedroom since it will keep your room darker. The second button is used for WPS pairing, and the third is used to turn the WiFi network on and off.
Speed and Connection Quality
The C7800 is exceptionally fast. It supports up to 3.2 Gbps WiFi connections, which is absolutely insane. This is possible due to the built-in 1.5 GHz dual processor, which quickly processes even the most demanding packet handling. This router/modem combo unit also has 128MB of flash memory and 512MB of RAM. It’s basically a mini PC!
Like most modern routers, the C7800 operates on 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz channels. The 2.4 GHz channel delivers 1,000 Mbps speeds, while the 5.0 GHz channel delivers 2,200 Mbps of speed. It utilizes the 802.11ac wireless protocol, which is compatible with almost all current WiFi devices.
ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300
Similar to the previous Surfboard combo unit on our list, the ARRIS BG8300 has a boxy, modem-style design. It’s 10 inches tall and 8 inches deep, and 3.7 inches wide at the bottom. It tapers down from there, which keeps it stable on your desk. The case is black ABS plastic, with ventilation on both sides. This ensures cool, quiet operation, even in a relatively warm room.
On the front of the device, two LED lights make it easy to perform a quick check on your network. The top light indicates that you’re connected to the internet, and the bottom light tells you when WiFi is active. This is a big plus if you value simplicity. If you need more advanced diagnostics, you’ll still be able to do that. You’ll just have to use the companion app.