If you have Optimum internet, you will want to have the best modem for Optimum possible. But, as you look through all of the Optimum compatible modems out on the market, how can you know which one is the best?
When looking for a modem, you will need to think about what your network’s needs are, including the amount of people who are online, the kind of activity that you do online, and what find of features you need to have the best level of performance possible.
Remember that what is best for one network might not be best for all networks. This is how you can decide.
Benefits Of Having Your Own Optimum Compatible Modem
Save On Rental Fees
One of the biggest benefits of having your own Optimum compatible modem is that you won’t have to pay rental fees.
On the surface, paying $9.95 a month for a rental router doesn’t seem like a big deal. Some quick math will tell you that it adds up to $119.40 a year. You are spending over a hundred dollars a year on a router that you do not even get to own.
Having your own modem will also give you better performance. This is because when you rent a modem, you are limited to whatever kind of modem that Optimum will give you.
It might have decent performance, but chances are good that they will save themselves money and give you a modem with less than adequate performance. When you buy your own, you can look for a modem that has the level of performance that you need.
The final benefit of having your own Optimum approved modem is that you will get a lot more features than you would with a rental modem. These features can include security protections, improvement with multiple users online at once, and even automatic updates.
When you get your own modem, you can look at all of the available features and decide what features would make your network operate as well as you want it to.
The Difference Between Cable Modem vs. Modem Router Combo
The primary difference between a modem and modem router combo is that a cable modem will not have a built-in router. There are pros and cons to having a standalone modem versus a combo unit.
Solo Modems Have A Few Pros:
- Choose your own router
- Better to update
Modem Router Combo Units Have More Pros:
- Cheaper to buy one unit
- Takes up less room
- Much easier to install
Unless you have a reason to need a solo modem, you should stick with a combo unit.
5 Best Modems For Optimum (2020)
1. Netgear CM700
2. Motorola MG7550
Modem Router Combo
3. Motorola MB7621
4. Arris SB6190
5. Netgear CM500
1. Netgear Cable Modem CM700
Best Modem For Optimum (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best modem for Optimum is the Netgear CM700. This is a reliable modem that has great features to work with. It is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem that does not come with a built-in router.
Starting with its design, the CM700 is a little on the bulky side compared to other devices. Unfortunately, its size means that it also has a big risk of overheating if you do not keep it properly ventilated. The base of the modem is less sturdy and top-heavy, so there is a real risk of it tipping over if it is knocked into.
Also with the CM700, you will get one Gigabit Ethernet port to allow you to connect a router or other device to it. There is no built-in router with this modem, so if you want a router, you will need to buy one separately and then use the Ethernet port to connect it. Get a router with more ports if you do decide to go that direction.
Moving onto its performance, CM700 is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 32x8 channel bonding to give you even more speed capabilities. The setup for the modem should only take up to 5 minutes, since you only need to plug it in and either go through your computer and contact Optimum directly in order to complete your setup.
The CM700 has a 500 Mbps max download speed, which is good for a modem. It can handle high-speed cable internet with speeds up to 1.4 Gbps as well, so really it all depends on the kind of speed package that you have set up with Optimum.
2. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router Combo
Best Modem Router Combo for Optimum (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best modem router combo for Optimum internet is the Motorola MG7550. This is a reliable device that comes with a built-in high-speed router and has a lot of great performance features to help your network be as efficient as possible.
Starting with the design, the MG7550 has a tower design, which means that there is a lot of venting so that the device will stay cool without any trouble. Tower designs will not breakdown like horizontal devices do, giving you a better lifespan.
Furthermore, the MG7550 also has four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports to provide you with wired connections to your computers, HDTVs, gaming consoles, or any other Ethernet compatible device that you would like to have hard-wired to your modem.
Being able to plug in devices will give you the best connectivity possible, ensuring you won’t have interruptions or be kicked off the network.
Looking at the MG7550’s performance, it comes with Motorola’s Power Boost which is designed to increase the strength and range of the wireless signal. It also has Beamforming technology which can really help you hone in on specific devices by extending the reach of the router to where you need it the most.
The MG7550 also has a built-in dual-band router, so you will get both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands to work with, so you can put your streaming devices on the 5 GHz band and your browsing devices on the 2.4 GHz band. The maximum download speed is 686 Mbps and Xfinity recommends this device for speed plans that are 300 Mbps or lower to get the most out of it.
3. Motorola MB7621 Cable Modem
Another great Optimum modem that is high performance is the Motorola MB7621. This cable modem is a DOCSIS 3.0 and has excellent speeds and features that should work excellently for any network.
Looking at its design, the Motorola MB7621 is a tower design with a lot of venting down the sides. This will help to keep it as cool as possible, preventing your modem from overheating. Do not put it up against a wall, however, because then it still could overheat.
The MB7621 comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port to connect your modem a router. Most routers come with additional ports, so if you want to wire in a gaming console or HDTV and were already planning on getting a router, you can look at the ports that come with it. Otherwise, you can use the port to connect to your computer.
Since the MB7621 is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, it is fast enough for most networks. It can reach speeds up to 650 Mbps. 650 Mbps is a perfect speed if you have anyone within your network who streams a lot and often.
The max download speeds it can reach is 1000 Mbps, but it really depends on the kind of speed package that you have with Optimum. It even lets you stream more than one thing at a time.
The modem also has a quick start guide to make it easier than ever before. It has the Broadcom chipset rather than the Puma chipset, so there are no security concerns that way. Setup for this modem is quick and straightforward, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting up setup and started.
4. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 Cable Modem
For a modem for Optimum that is easy on the budget, take a look at the ARRIS SURFboard SB6190. This is a basic modem that will get the job done without all of the bells and whistles, but it is still a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
Let’s start with its design. The SURFboard SB6190 is a bit bulkier design-wise than some of the others that we have reviewed. It might make it slightly harder to conceal, but it also makes it seem sturdier and less like to breakdown on you.
It does not come with a VoIP telephone adapter, but it does have a Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to your computer or to a router. That means that it will not work with a Voice system, but will work just fine with Optimum internet. The Gigabit port can be used for a router or a computer, depending on your needs.
Moving onto performance, the SURFboard SB6190 works well for speeds up to 400 Mbps, making it a little faster than the average modem. At 400 Mbps, you should be able to stream without any trouble.
In fact, this modem is ideal for UHD movie streaming, gaming, and it easily allows more than one device to stream at the same time, which is likely what you need, as long as your speed package allows it. You just might want to get a router to do everything that you want to.
This modem is also easy to set up and should be good to go in a matter of minutes. It will self-activate with your network, requiring no effort on your part, making the whole setup process a breeze.
5. Netgear Cable Modem CM500
The final modem for Optimum that we will look at is the Netgear CM500. This is a standard modem that might not have all of the bells and whistles that you are after, but should still get the job done.
Starting with its design, the CM500 modem has a tower design with a supportive base. The base keeps it up and well-ventilated, though it does not come with the same kind of vents as other tower designs. It should have a longer lifespan than modems that are horizontal as it is able to keep itself cooler and the components won’t break down.
This modem has one Gigabit Ethernet port to connect the modem directly to your computer or to a wireless router. It works with just about any router if you do want one, since it doesn’t come with one, but it is up to you to decide whether you need one or not.
Looking at its performance, the CM500 modem is also easy to set up and should take just a matter of minutes to get up and going. You still might need to contact Optimum directly to finish the setup, but otherwise it is pretty simple to operate and setup.
The CM500 modem can provide speeds up to 300 Mbps, which should be fine if you do not have too many users on at once. If your speed package with Optimum is more than that, you might want to get a different modem.
It is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem as well with 16 downstream and 4 upstream channel bonding, which might not be the latest standard released, but it will work well with Optimum.
Factors To Consider When Getting An Optimum Approved Modem
Compatibility is an incredibly important factor to consider for an Optimum approved modem. If your modem is not compatible with Optimum, it is never going to work for you.
Optimum has a list of approved modems to help you narrow down your choices to get the perfect modem. Compatibility also means that your modem should work with your network’s needs as well as Optimum. So, always look for the most compatible modem possible.
Upload and Download Speeds
Download and upload speeds also make a different when it comes to your Optimum modem. Download speeds are typically more important, because that is how you get content off of the internet and how you stream videos or game online.
Your upload speeds will come into play for gaming as well. The amount of speeds that you need depends on what you are expecting your network to do.
Another factor to consider when looking for an Optimum supported modem is security. Security features can be anything from parental controls to firewalls, but all of them are incredibly important.
You will need a modem that can update its security software or firmware as new information and patches come through as well. VPN and guest networks can also help keep your network safe. Modems come with a lot of different levels of security, so think about what you need.
The final factor that we suggest you look at when shopping for an Optimum certified modem is the amount of Ethernet ports that your modem has. If it only has one port, you can usually just plug in a router that has more ports, or a computer.
A modem that has many ports will let you plug in not only a router, but a gaming console or HDTV as well. Having a direct connection to the modem means reliable connectivity.
While there are a lot of great modems out there that work with Optimum, the best modem for Optimum is the Netgear CM700. This modem has all of the features that you could need for your network.
Of course, the Motorola MB7621has even better performance while the Motorola MG7550 is the best unit for both modem and router performance.
The right modem for Optimum for your network will depend on what you really want from your modem, including ports, security, speeds, and other performance features.
Consider what you need from your network and then you will be able to get the best one 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.