If you are a Spectrum subscriber, you most likely have been asked if you would like to rent a router from them for the cost of $5 a month.
While it might seem easy to say “yes” to, you should instead buy your own wireless router.
In order to find the best router for Spectrum, you will need to shop around, looking at all of the Spectrum compatible routers that meet your network’s needs.
You will need to think about what you do online, features you prefer, and the speeds you want to find the perfect router for your network.
Benefits Of Having Your Own Spectrum Compatible Router
Better Performance & Faster Wi-Fi
While the router that Spectrum might offer you is probably not going to be the worst router on the market, it will also not be the best router for Spectrum. You will need a router that performs at the level that you need it to.
Think of the speeds that you need and expect. You will be better off buying your own Spectrum compatible router rather than working with the mediocre performance and speeds that you will get from a rental router.
Eliminate Rental Fees
If you say that renting a router from Spectrum is a mere $5 a month, you might brush it off as not being so bad. After all, that’s just a little more than a cup of coffee.
But $5 a month means $60 a year, and at the end of the day, you still do not get to own the router that you are out spending money on. You will save yourself money in the long run if you buy one yourself.
Extended Wireless Coverage
Your network size is not going to be the same as your neighbour’s, parents, or your friends. You know what size of a network that you need, but Spectrum doesn’t.
If you need one that extends out into your yard or crosses floors, you will be stuck with spotty coverage from a rental router. Instead, you can purchase a router specifically to meet your coverage needs.
More Secure Network
With the amount of cybercrime that takes place in the modern era, you can never have too much in the way of cyber security. You need to know that your network is as protected as possible. The router that you get from Spectrum will not cover all of those bases.
When you buy your own Spectrum compatible router, you can decide how much security your network needs, whether it is a VPN, parental controls, or even a stronger firewall.
Separate Units vs. Modem Router Combo
When deciding whether you need a modem/router combo or to have separate units, you must realize that both options come with their own advantages.
Choosing the right one for you will need to be based on your network’s needs. Most people prefer the simplicity of the combo unit, but you don’t have to go that way.
Why You Should Get A Router For Spectrum
- You can choose units based on your needs
- Better performance & faster WiFi
- More customizable
Why You Should Get A Modem Router Combo For Spectrum
- Less expensive
- Easier to setup
- Easier to update
7 Best Routers For Spectrum Of 2019
1. Linksys EA7500
2. Netgear AX6000
3. TP-Link Archer A7
4. Motorola MG7550
Editor's Choice (Modem Router)
5. Netgear Orbi
6. Netgear RX500
7. Motorola MR2600
1. Linksys EA7500 Wireless Router
Best Router For Spectrum (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best router for Spectrum Internet is the Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900.
The design of this router is pretty standard. It is a horizontal router that cannot be stood up vertically. It comes with three performance antennas to provide you with a reliable signal. The antennas can be moved and directed where you need them the most, helping you get a steady signal to the devices that really need it.
You also will get a USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet port allowing you to have a faster wired connection if you need to. There is a standard USB 2.0 port as well for smaller file transfers. As an added bonus, you also can use a Linksys app with this router, which will make set up easier than ever before.
You can access the router’s settings through the app as well, checking in to see the activity that has been on the network or adjusting any security settings remotely. It is especially nice when it comes to parental controls and really being able to lock down the network as well if you need to.
When it comes to performance, you will not be disappointed with this router. It is great for streaming both games and videos, including 4K HD videos. Additionally, it comes with MU-MIMO technology, so you can have more than one user streaming online at the same time.
This is a dual-band router, with a 2.4GHz band providing up to 600 Mbps and a 5GHz band providing up to 1300 Mbps. Combined, you will get speeds up to 1.9 Gbps, which is more than most ISPs are even able to provide.
The Beamforming feature will also focus the Wi-Fi to each device that is connected to it, ensuring that you do not have an unwanted lapse in coverage. The coverage itself should reach up to 1500 square feet, which will cover most of the home networks out there.
2. Netgear Nighthawk RAX80
High Performance Router For Charter Spectrum
If your network needs a router that is capable of higher performance than the Max-Stream EA7500 offers, we suggest you take a look at the Netgear Nighthawk RAX90. This is an AX6000 router with 8 simultaneous streams.
Design-wise the RAX80 is one of the most unique routers that are out on the market right now. In place of antennas, the router has fins that are designed to extend your range and the power of your signal, though they cannot be moved.
This router also comes with smart parental controls, which means that you can manage the device, the internet access across the network, and even filter what websites can be viewed within the network. This is especially important if you have any younger children who log on.
You also get 5 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices that need that reliable signal and cannot be affected by any other device within the network. Essentially, this design is going to blow you away. It works really well with larger homes, because it comes with such great range.
Netgear RAX80 is the best router for Spectrum if you're looking for high performance. As we said before, the RAX80 has 8 simultaneous streams going at once.
That means that many devices can stream at the same time without losing any speed, giving you all of the power that you need to keep your network up and going as efficiently as possible.
Think about all of the new gadgets that are coming out and how important it is that they all have their own Wi-Fi connection.
It also has with MU-MIMO technology, further allowing multiple users at the same time to stream or game at will. Power-wise, it is designed with a 64-bit, 1.8GHz quad-core processor, ensuring you get all of the power that you could ever want from your home router. Combined with the Beamforming+, this router has great range and is a force to be reckoned with.
3. TP-Link Archer A7 Smart WiFi Router
If you want a Spectrum compatible router that works well, but you are limited on funds, you should check out the TP-Link Archer A7. This is a great all-around basic router that should work for most of the average networks.
The design of the Archer A7 includes three high-gain antennas, which will increase your Wi-Fi signal to reach every corner of your home. With multiple ports, one of the best things that you can do is that you can wirelessly access one of the USB ports, which can be handy when you are not in the same room as the router.
This router comes with a stand that is designed to easily accommodate all of the cables in the back while still helping keep your router as cool as possible, but it does mean that the router looks differently than other routers that you might have already seen.
The Archer A7 works well in house that normally have to compete over the bandwidth. The dual band speeds can reach up to 1750 Mbps, providing 3X faster Wi-Fi than other traditional routers do. For heavy-streaming households, the Archer A7 should be able to stream in 4K without any issue, which is so important for both videos and for online gaming.
The Archer A7 is designed to boost signal throughout homes up to 2500 square feet, which should work for most of the networks out there, whether you live in a house or an apartment. In some cases, you might still find that you have a signal even when you are outside.
Additionally, there is a TP-Link app that will allow you to access the Archer A7 even when you are not at home. This allows you to adjust any settings or security concerns that you might have remotely, keeping an eye on things.
4. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router
Best Modem Router Combo For Spectrum (Editor's Choice)
For those who are looking for a modem/router combo for your Spectrum internet rather than a separate router, we recommend the Motorola MG7550. This is a great all-around modem/router combo.
The MG7550 is an upright tower design, which can be a big space saver as well as helping keep your modem nice and cool. The tower designs are also easier to hide with your décor as you would like. As an added bonus, it also does not have external antennas to deal with and it is, generally, a great looking router.
The MG7550 has 4 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports so that you can plug in any device that cannot risk buffering or even being kicked off your Wi-Fi. While the MG7550 has an incredibly stable signal, interruptions to the signal can mean that you lose signal to your devices or experience a lag that can ruin what you were doing.
Plugged in devices don’t have the same danger. As an added perk, you will get a firewall with this modem, giving you that added touch of protection.
The Motorola MG7550 is a dual-band router so it runs both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands, allowing you to choose which band you would like to use for which device.
Since the 5 GHz band is not as commonly used as the 2.4 GHz, you are more likely to have better luck streaming on the 5 GHz as long as the device isn’t too far away. The 2.4 GHz remains the better choice over longer distances.
Additionally, you get the Motorola Power Boost feature with the MG7550, which will increase the overall coverage of the network and with speeds up to 650 Mbps, you should have enough power to effortlessly maintain signal throughout your network.
The Power Boost adds high-performance Wi-Fi power amplifiers to boost the wireless signals as much as possible, right up to the legal limit.
5. Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi System
If you are thinking that the size of your house means that you will never get the level of Wi-Fi coverage that you want, think again.
The Netgear Orbi is a perfect solution to large spaces that need Wi-Fi coverage all throughout. This is a mesh system, which is multiple access points linking together to extend your Wi-Fi.
The design features of the Orbi system are fantastic. The Wi-Fi points are modern and chic, making it much easier to hide.
Mesh systems allow you to add in more access points as you go in case your network extends beyond the reach of the basic points. The Orbi system has 4 LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports as well for wired connectivity.
The setup is simple with the Orbi app that allows you to create guest networks, set parental controls, perform speed tests, and other premium features that are sure to impress you. The Orbi system also has built-in anti-virus and data theft protection for any device that is connected within the network.
The tri-band technology of the Orbi system allows you to maintain speed as well as range, even as other devices hop onto your Wi-Fi. So when you are in the middle of streaming, your speed will not be impacted if someone within your network hops online and begins to stream as well. This is so important with any modern home network that has more than one user on at a time.
The Orbi system is made to cover every inch of your network, eliminating any dead spots that you might normally see in your network.
With a mesh setup, the Orbi can get 5,000 square feet of consistent coverage, all with speeds up to 3 Gbps, which is fantastic if that is what your network needs. When you add in more access points, you can further extend the coverage as well as the amount of ports that you have available to directly connect to the router for solid coverage.
6. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
When you have a lot of gamers in your network who stream often, you really need a router that can accommodate that. For the best Spectrum compatible router that you can get for a gamer, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk XR500.
The XR500 is designed to be a horizontal router, so it will not stand up even if you want it to. It is a sleek, modern black with four high performance antennas that can help you direct the Wi-Fi signal in the directions that need it the more.
With the XR500, you will also get four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, giving you lag-free, wired connectivity where you need it the most.
The design also brings some advanced security features with it which means a secure gaming VPN server, keeping your network identity concealed.
You can also monitor your network and game ping in real-time, allowing you to see what devices are draining the bandwidth or interfering with your streaming. Having the controls will help keep you up and running.
The XR500 delivers fast speeds up to 2.6 Gbps. The QoS feature will let you bypass network congestion and reduce any potential for lag spikes, jumps, and jitters.
This means that your gaming traffic can be put on an express lane, where you can play uninterrupted by other devices on your network. This is a dual-band router, so you will get to work with both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands.
One of the best features of this router that make it ideal for online gaming is that the XR500 is optimized to give you the lowest ping possible for any online game that you might be playing, including Black Ops 4, Overwatch, and even Fortnite. You can make ever millisecond count by using geo-filtering to connect to the closest services and players, giving you an edge.
7. Motorola MR2600 WiFi Smart Router
If you really just want to know that you are getting good value from your money, the best choice for you might be the Motorola MR2600. This is Smart Gigabit router that will make your Wi-Fi run smoothly.
The MR2600 is a horizontal router and cannot be placed vertically. This router also comes with four adjustable external antennas. The antennas provide concurrent performance across both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands. This is not the easiest router to set up, so we suggest a lot of patience to get the set up completed successfully.
The four Gigabit LAN ports that come with this router ensure that you can connect the devices that you need to, however, which is always a nice feature to have in a router.
Even though this is a less expensive router than others made for 4K streaming, the AC2600 also will give you a USB 3.0 port, Smart QoS support, a fire wall, parental controls, as well as other features.
The MR2600 has the Wave 2 MU-MIMO technology that any streaming network should have. The implicit and explicit Beamforming also help this. Beamforming is like a signal boost in the direction the antennas are pointing and, as a result, you will have lightning quick speed and awesome range.
You should be able to get consistent and reliable speeds throughout your network as well. The upload speeds on this router are about average when compared to other routers, so they are not really exceptional, but they also are coming to you at a better price than the other routers made for 4K streaming.
This router has the QoS settings that will keep the devices that you don’t want to be interrupted running strong, even when another device hops on your network and threatens to steal your bandwidth. You do not want to be buffering in the middle of a game because someone else starts streaming a movie in another room.
Buying vs. Renting A Router For Charter Spectrum
If you have been weighing the pros and cons of renting a router for Charter Spectrum, let’s help you understand the benefits so you can make an educated choice.
Really, the only time that you should consider renting a router is if you are moving in the near future and you do not believe that your ISP will be accessible there.
Otherwise, renting a router is a waste of your money. You will get a mediocre router that is not capable of giving you everything that you need. And, to make it worse, you continue to pay for it indefinitely, and you will never get to own it.
You should be able to have the level of coverage, security, and speeds that you want to get from your router. Renting a router from Charter Spectrum will never meet all of your home network Wi-Fi needs.
Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Router For Spectrum
Number Of Connected Devices
One of the most important things that you will need to consider when you are looking for a Spectrum compatible router is how many devices will be using it at the same time.
Your router needs to be able to handle all the devices without causing congestion or a big slowdown, lags, or buffering, across the network. Alternatively, if you only have a couple of devices, you don’t need the accommodations another network might need.
Your Internet Speed Package
While all routers are going to market with the speeds that they can reach, you have to remember that those speeds are only accessible if your internet speed package can accommodate them.
So if you have a router that says it has speeds up to 2 Gbps, but your speed package goes up to 100 Mbps, you will not get the 2 Gbps speeds. Don’t waste your money on a more expensive router based on inaccessible speeds.
Your Activity Online
You should also consider what you are doing online. If you stream movies often or game online often, you will need a router that is made to handle that level of activity.
Likewise, if you only browse social media online and are not likely to stream anything, you don’t need a router that can stream multiple devices at high speeds. Remember every member of your household as well.
Even if you aren’t streaming, you might need a router that accommodates it if someone in your network streams.
QoS & MU-MIMO Features
When you are shopping for the best wireless router for Spectrum, you will also need to keep in mind the features that are individual to your network. If you are a gamer, you will need QoS to ensure that the streaming device does not lose bandwidth when another device logs onto the network.
Another feature that is good for gaming is the MU-MIMO technology, which allows multiple devices to stream at the same time. Make sure your potential router has the features you need.
When it comes down to it, you really can’t do much better than the Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900. This is the best router for Spectrum that you can get. The Max-Stream EA7500 is a reliable router that is user friendly, and has great speeds and features.
You might need to consider another router instead of the Max-Stream EA7500, if your situation is different. If you need bigger network coverage, that’s when you should look at a mesh system like Netgear Orbi.
If you are a heavy gamer, you will need a router that can accommodate those needs as well, such as the Nighthawk XR500. There is a perfect router out there on the market for you.
If it isn’t the Linksys Max-Stream EA7500, or the Max-Stream does not meet all of your needs, this guide will help you find the best Spectrum compatible router that you can.
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.