We rely so much on our internet in today’s world that we really need to make sure that we are getting the most out of what we pay for.
For cable internet users, this means that you need to be looking for the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo possible.
When it comes to buying the right modem router for your home, you will need to take into consideration several factors, including the size of your home, the amount of devices that will be using it, and even how many ports that you will really need.
Since there are so many great devices out on the market today, it is important to really know what you should be looking for in your DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo before you buy.
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router Combo vs. DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
You might be wondering whether it is better to go for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo or just stick with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. There are pros and cons to both options.
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router Combo Pros
- Less expensive since it is just one device
- Takes up less space
- Easier to update
- Easier to setup
Solo Unit Pros
- More choice in your router
- More custom with updating
- You can always opt for a better router
- You don’t want or need a router
For the average household, a modem router combo unit will be easier to work with than trying to get two devices set up.
8 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router Combos (2021)
1. Netgear C7800
2. Netgear CAX80
3. Arris SURFboard T25
4. Netgear Orbi CBR750
5. Motorola MG8702
6. Motorola MB8600
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
7. Arris SBG8300
8. Netgear CM1150V
For Xfinity Voice
1. Netgear Nighthawk C7800 Modem Router Combo
Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router Combo (Editor's Choice)
We have found that the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo is the Netgear Nighthawk C7800.
This is an incredibly high performance router that has everything that you should need or want in your home network.
Starting with its design, the C7800 is a large modem router combo and will not be easy to conceal if you wanted to. It also does have a risk of overheating, so do not try to hide it in a cupboard. But, as long as it is well-ventilated, you should get a good life out of your device. It also has four antennas to extend its reach.
The C7800 comes with four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports. This is great if you wanted to connect anything into the device directly, like an HDTV, gaming console, or simply get faster speeds to your computer. It also has parental controls and it supports WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols for improved safety.
Looking at the speeds for the C7800, you will see that it can reach up to 2 Gbps. While many ISP do not offer this level of speed, you can be sure that you are getting every last bit of internet that you can from your device and you will not need to replace it when your ISP finally does get better speeds.
When it comes to the built-in router, the C7800 can cover up to 3,000 square feet with wireless coverage as well as up to 45 connected devices. The wireless speeds can reach up to 3200 Mbps as well, making it an excellent choice for any home.
2. Netgear CAX80 DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router Combo
Our choice for the high performance DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo is the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80.
This modem router combo has incredible range, as well as ports that you will not find with other devices of their kind.
Let’s start off with the design of the CAX80. The device is vertical, rather than horizontal. This is nice, because you will be able to save shelf space with it. Generally, vertical modems have better longevity as well, because they are not at risk of overheating.
The CAX80 comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port. That port can be used for the devices that really need the best connection possible in your network, whether that is a television, computer, or gaming console.
The device also uses Netgear Armor, though it is only free for 30 days before you would need to pay for it long term.
Moving onto the performance of the CAX80, it is first important to note that the modem router can reach up to 3,000 square feet in coverage, which is incredible. That should be able to easily reach most households without causing any dead spots in the process.
Additionally, the CAX80 comes with 8 Wi-Fi speeds, reaching incredible speeds up to 6.0 Gbps. The average ISP will not be able to offer you these kinds of speeds, but you will at least be able to make the most of your speeds that you do pay for.
It also means that when your ISP finally gets faster speeds, your modem router combo is already good to go.
3. ARRIS SURFboard T25 DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router
Our choice for the perfect DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo that is easy on the wallet is the ARRIS SURFboard T25. While it is our budget friendly option, do not think that it is any less impressive than other devices.
The SURFboard T25 has a vertical design, so it will be easy to put into smaller spaces as its vents are down the sides of it. It comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports to allow you to plug in devices directly into it, like your gaming console or HDTV.
Something that makes the T25 different than other DOCS 3.1 modem router combos is that it supports Xfinity Voice with a digital voice adapter. It comes with two telephony ports to help provide that type of connectivity. Really, it is a two-in-one device for that reason, if you are looking for a voice modem.
When you look at the performance for the SURFboard T25, you will see that it can reach speeds up to 2 Gbps, depending on the type of internet package that you have.
The T25 is capable of true Gigabit download speeds, making it the best option if you have a Gigabit internet plan. This is ideal if you like to stream often or if you are an online gamer.
Furthermore, the T25 can even support virtual reality gaming efficiently, making good use of all of your available speeds. The system is made to allow for 4K Ultra-HD video streaming too, so it really will work for networks that really like to stream.
4. Netgear Orbi CBR750 Modem Router Combo
If you are hoping more for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo that has impressive coverage, look no further than the Netgear Orbi CBR750.
This device can work by itself or you can add on other points to turn it into a mesh system, giving you the best range possible.
The design for the Netgear Orbi is really pretty nice. It is different than other devices like it on the market, since it is white and grey rather than black.
It also sits up vertically, so it is a space saver as well. The device is easy to setup and manage as well, so you will not need to worry about a learning curve stopping you from getting it up and going.
The Orbi comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports to allow you to plug in anything that needs a secure connection. It supports the WPA2 wireless security protocols as well, and will allow guest network access, VPN, firewalls, and much more.
The performance for the Netgear Orbi CBR750 should not be disregarded. The device can cover up to 2,500 square feet by itself, but you can extend that range by adding on other points, allowing you to reach places that might have otherwise been difficult to reach.
Additionally, the device can allow more than 40 devices to be connected at a time, so it will work for smart homes that have a lot of connected devices. You can easily get 4.2 Gbps speeds from this modem router combo as well, so you really will be able to get the most out of your internet speed package with your ISP.
5. Motorola MG8702 DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router
Another DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo that you might want to take a look at is the Motorola MG8702.
This is a more familiar design and style, sticking with the more traditional elements that you can expect from a Motorola device.
Let’s look at the design for the MG8702. The device is vertical, like all Motorola modems and routers. This will keep the device much cooler and increase the overall longevity of it. It is also a nice silver casing, making it a little more interesting to look at than the standard black.
The MG8702 also uses the MotoManage app to control it, which means that you will have access to your modem router combo at all times, regardless of whether you are at home or not. The device comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well, giving you the connectivity that you need and should be able to expect.
Looking at the performance for the MG8702, it is important to note that the device is backward compatible. Even though it is the latest type of modem technology out there, it should work with older devices without a problem.
The MG8702 also uses MU-MIMO technology for streaming, making it simpler to game at the same time as streaming a moving on the same network.
It should be able to use the available speeds that you are getting with your network without a problem, ensuring that you are getting the most out of your ISP and your modem router combo. It also has intelligent traffic control to help you ensure that the devices that need the most bandwidth are able to get it.
6. Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
Our choice for the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem is the Motorola MB8600. This is not a modem router combo.
This modem is built to give you the top speeds for cable internet that you can get while still being durable, reliable, and easy to use.
The MB8600 has a tower design with a black casing. It has excellent venting throughout the device as well, so it will not overheat and have better longevity than other modems might.
It is also smaller than many other modems and because of its tower design, it is much easier to find a good sport for it. This modem does not have a built-in router, but it will work with just about any router that you might want to use with it.
The MB8600 also has a Broadcom chipset that provides security from denial of service attacks. You will also get a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port to allow you to connect a router or any other device directly to it. The modem itself has an easy setup. It connects with just three connections: coax cable, Ethernet, and the power cable.
Looking at the performance for the MB8600, it is not only a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, but it also has DOCSIS 3.0 32x8 capabilities. This will give you the highest level of internet speeds that you can get from your ISP. The modem also has AQM for lower latency which will ensure your signal is not unduly disrupted.
The maximum internet download speed with this modem is 6000 Mbps. This router will really only be able to get the job done well if you have Gigabit internet through your ISP.
It is true that even if you do not have Gigabit cable internet, this modem will still make the most of the speeds that you do have. Generally, you should not get any errors from this modem either, allowing it to keep running without any trouble.
7. ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300 Modem Router
This modem router combo uses a Surfboard Manager app on both iOS and Android devices for ease of use. That also helps with the settings on your modem.
The design of the SBG8300 is pretty great, actually. It is a tower design, but it is in the shape of a pyramid. It is easy to conceal and has a lot of excellent ventilation to keep it as cool as possible.
The device has 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well, so you can attach more devices to it as needed. The setup is quick and easy through the SURFboard app, so you will be up and going in no time.
The SMG8300 comes with a built-in, dual-band Wave 2 wireless router, so you will not have to get a separate unit for your wireless devices. Additionally, this modem has 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS channels as well as 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM channels.
This is how the modem is able to really keep up with the speeds that we have come to expect from our modems. The modem is also simple to setup, but you will need to double check with your service provider that it is compatible. This device works best for cable plans with speeds up to 4 Gbps, since it can over that level of speed.
One of the best things about this modem is that it is capable of true Gigabit download speeds, which is important if you have a Gigabit plan through your ISP.
The router is decent, offering both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands with MIMO antenna configuration. This will allow you to stream along the 5 GHz band and keep devices that you only use for browsing on the 2.4 GHz band.
8. Netgear CM1150V DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
For Xfinity Voice
If you are looking for a modem that works with Xfinity Voice, look no further than the CM1150V DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.
This modem offers amazing speeds that are sure to provide the best online experience possible. As a bonus, it is also easy to setup and can be accomplished in only 5 minutes, taking away a lot of the heavy work of getting a modem up and running.
The CM1150V has an upright tower design. This allows it to stay well-ventilated and cool. The overall design is great; however it does have a precarious stand that could tip over without much provocation. It would be best to keep this modem in a location where it is unlikely to be bumped.
The link aggregation combines two 1 Gigabit ports into a single 2Gigabit port to give you even faster speeds through that connection. It would work really well with a router, but any device that you might want to attach to it will get a great amount of speed.
The four 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports will give you the fastest wired speeds possible as well. It also has two telephone ports that will prioritize voice over internet if you are using Xfinity Voice.
If you want to see a list of the best modem router combos for Xfinity, you can find it here.
The CM1150V can easily handle online streaming, easily taking on multi-player gaming and 4K HD streaming. This is important if you have a network that streams from multiple devices regularly.
You will notice a great amount of speed capabilities from this Nighthawk modem overall, including speeds up to 2 Gbps. Additionally, the CM1150V has 32 x 8 channel bonding.
The modem is easy to setup as well, which might be surprising since it also has Voice capabilities. Essentially you connect the coax cable, connect Ethernet cable, plug in the telephone jack from the modem to your phone, and plug in the power outlet.
It’s a few cords, but easy to do. If you're interested in VoIP, don't forget to check out our guide about the best cable modems with a phone jack.
What Is DOCSIS 3.1 And Its Benefits
The term “DOCSIS” means “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.” It is the cable standard that is use to transfer data across cable television systems, so cable companies can provide you with internet.
DOCSIS 3.1 has the best technology as far as cable internet goes. It supports speeds up to 10 Gbps, which normally is a speed that you would need fiber internet to get.
You will want to have a DOCSIS 3.1 modem to get the most out of your cable internet, but just having the modem is not a guarantee of speed. That is still determined by your ISP.
DOCSIS 3.1 modems are capable of up t o10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream network capacity, which is incredibly fast.
It also has more of a usable spectrum and even support for QoS. It is also more energy efficient due to advanced energy management protocols that are built into the technology.
Factors To Consider When Getting A DOCSIS 3.1 Modem Router Combo
The first consideration that you need to make when buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo is whether it will work with your ISP. It is a great idea to have a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, but it will only work with cable internet.
You also will not get the most for your money unless you are also paying for Gigabit internet. Some ISPs cannot work with DOCSIS 3.1 yet, so check with them first to confirm compatibility.
The second consideration that you need to make when buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo is what kind of speeds it offers. It is standard for DOCSIS 3.1 to be able of at least 1 Gbps, but you should look at the speeds that are supported by your ISPs and how fast can you get your modem running.
If you know that you are going to use the modem to its limit, you will want a higher speed modem where possible.
Do not forget to look for Ethernet ports in your DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo. Most modems come with an Ethernet port already, but often it is only one.
When you have just one port, but need more, you will need to look into getting yourself a router to add ports. It would be easiest if you can just plug devices directly into the modem in order to get that uninterrupted connection. .
DOCSIS 3.1 vs. DOCSIS 3.0: What's The Difference
The two common types of DOCSIS that you will come across with modems are 3.0 and 3.1. 3.0 has been on the market since 2006.
It was introduced to allow modems to bring in more than one internet data stream at a time and increase your bandwidth. With 3.0, the modem must be able to have four channels to handle the increased flow of traffic. DOCSIS 3.1 was introduced in 2013.
This protocol uses new specs to increase the size of the channels, so that it can carry larger amounts of data at a time, resulting in much faster internet.
What ISPs Support DOCSIS 3.1 Modems & Gigabit Internet?
If you are looking to see whether your ISP can upgrade your cable internet to Gigabit internet or support DOCSIS 3.1, the best place to start would be to ask your ISP directly.
If you are just looking to see what options are out there, any of the major cable internet service providers are moving to supporting Gigabit internet. This includes:
- Comcast Xfinity
There are other cable companies out there that will also support DOCSIS 3.1. You should check with your local cable providers and see what your options are.
Outside of cable Gigabit internet, there is also fiber internet. Fiber is known to be the fastest type of internet and easily can offer Gigabit internet. Regardless, if DOCSIS 3.1 is the technology that you want, you have to verify that your ISP or the ISPs available to you even support it.
Not all cable ISPs have the ability to use a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, especially since it is the latest in cable technology.
One other consideration to think about is that even if one ISP can offer Gigabit internet in one location does not mean that it is universally available everywhere. You need to speak directly to the ISP to get some answers.
Do You Need A Gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 Modem For Fiber (FiOS) Internet?
It is natural to think that you would want the best modem option when you are getting the fastest type of internet on the market.
But when it comes to fiber, not only do you not need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, you do not need any modem. Fiber internet uses an ONT box that is placed directly in your house.
You would then attach a router, not a modem, to the ONT box to extend the coverage and connect other devices. DOCSIS modems are for cable internet only, so it will not work with either DSL or fiber internet.
Even though there are some pretty wonderful modem router combos out on the market, our choice for the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo is the Netgear Nighthawk C7800.
This device is faster, has plenty of ports to work with, and should easily work well for the average home.
Naturally, if you are opting for something a little more high performance than the Netgear Nighthawk C7800, you will want to look at the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80.
This device was built for performance and will allow you to use your available speeds right up to their limit.
In general, you will be completely satisfied by the speeds that you get with a DOCSIS 3.1 modem router combo, but still look around enough to know you have found the best choice for you.
Hey, it’s James here. I’m the founder and editor here at RiverstoneNet.com. I’m a network engineer during the day and a blogger at night. Let me know if I can help you with choosing a new modem/router or troubleshooting your Internet connection.