Best Modem Router Combos For Spectrum – 2021 Picks

Austin
| Last Updated: June 6, 2021

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If you're a Spectrum internet customer looking for a top-quality modem-router combination, you have multiple options to choose from.

While it's great to have choices, knowing which piece of technology is right for you can be difficult.

This guide makes it easy. Read on for an overview of the best modem-router combos for Spectrum.

Comparison of the Best Spectrum Modem-Router Combos

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Cable modem and WiFi router combination device
  • Very fast data transfer rates of up to 1.9 G per second
  • Up to 30 devices connected at the same time
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  • Comes with a 2-year warranty included
  • WiFi speeds of 2.4 and 5.0 GHz
  • Up to 6 internal antennas to extend the range
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  • Best for the Money
  • 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels included
  • Dual-Band WiFi router with 2 Ethernet ports
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  • High modem speeds of up to 1000 Mbps
  • Built-in firewall for much better security option
  • Compatible with a wide range of different devices
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  • Up to 680 Mbps modem speeds
  • Great for HD streaming and fast internet connections
  • Compatible with all Windows and Mac OS
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What is a Modem-Router Combo, and How Do I Know Which Are Compatible With Spectrum?

A modem connects your network to the internet, while a router allows your wireless devices to log onto that internet network. A router can also permit mobile devices to pair with one another via Bluetooth technology.

In the past, modems and routers always came separately. Thanks to advances in modern technology, however, you can now get modem-router combo devices that take care of all of the tasks above. This enhances convenience and cuts down on clutter in your home.

Spectrum Internet is not compatible with all modem-routers. The internet provides a list of authorized modems.

Netgear Nighthawk C7000 (Source)

How Do Modems And Routers Work and How Does a Combo Modem-Router Work?

A traditional modem can only connect to a single device. It allows computers and other gadgets to receive and send data to the internet via a cable. A standard router can connect to multiple devices and will enable them to communicate through your home network.

Is a Modem and a Router the Same Thing? 

A modem and router are not the same. These are two different pieces of hardware with distinct functions. A modem-router combo — sometimes called a gateway — brings these functionalities together in a single hardware piece.

This setup offers several benefits. You only need one outlet and have fewer cables cluttering your home. Configuration and troubleshooting are likewise streamlined with a single device.

Why Did These Spectrum-Compatible Modem-Router Combos Make Our List?

While searching for our favorite Spectrum-compatible gateways, we focused on a few qualities that make for a great gateway. Here's what we consider worth mentioning.

Speed

Nobody wants to struggle with a slow internet connection and long buffering times. Connection speed is a significant factor when assessing modem-routers, as is the reliability of the connection. This helps determine what kinds of activities, from streaming video to gaming, can be accommodated.

Security

Online connectivity makes everyday life more comfortable. However, it also opens you up to threats from hackers. Security is a central concern when considering modem-routers. We take into account what security protocols are accommodated as well as features like parental control capability.

ARRIS SURFboard SBG10

Coverage

A gateway will do little good if it can't reach relevant parts of the home. We have prioritized those products that provide specifications regarding reach (square footage) designed to eliminate dead zones. Additionally, we take into account the maximum number of connected devices.

Setup

There's nothing more frustrating than getting a new modem-router, only to struggle for hours to get it set up and working.

We've taken into account what reviewers have to say about the ease of setup and support resources (like apps) that simplify gateway management.

Review of the Best Spectrum Modem-Router Combos

Using the criteria above, we've picked out the best modem-router combos for Spectrum. Here are our top five picks.

Best Overall:
Netgear Nighthawk C7000

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo C7000-Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox for Cable Plans Up to 800Mbps | AC1900 WiFi Speed | DOCSIS 3.0

PROS

  • Ultrafast wireless speed
  • Possible to set parental controls
  • Extensive reach of up to 1800 square feet
  • Top-quality security capacity, accommodating WPA/WPA2 and WEP protocols
  • 2.0 USB ports, providing added external storage and the ability to transfer files between different devices on the network

CONS

  • May overheat on occasion
  • Ethernet connectivity can be shaky

What Recent Buyers Report

According to reviews, people love the easy setup of this device. Speed is also a significant pro. However, some report drawbacks like an inconsistent ethernet response.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Netgear Nighthawk C7000 offers high-speed access, with cable modem speeds of up to 400 Mbps and WiFi router speeds of up to 1900 Mbps. This compact device has an impressive reach, allowing you to connect devices within 1800 square feet. Even in heavily congested networks, this modem offers fast WiFi performance thanks to the DOCSIS 3.0 technology. 

You can also enjoy wired connections thanks to the four gigabit ethernet ports. The ethernet ports are great for connecting HDTVs, gaming consoles, printers, PCs, and streaming devices. This is fantastic news if you have gamers in the home since wired connections tend to be faster overall.

Bottom Line

This gateway gives you fast speeds and extensive reach, coupled with top-quality security. The modem-router combo supports some of the most cutting-edge wireless security protocols, including WPA/WPA2 and WEP. If you have kids in the home, you can also set parental controls via your modem-router.

Runner-up:
TP-Link Archer CR700

TP-Link 16x4 AC1750 Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router | Gateway | 680Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 - Certified for Comcast XFINITY, Spectrum, Cox and More (Archer CR700)

PROS

  • Accommodates up to 50 devices
  • Fast connection speeds of 1750 Mbps
  • Up to 2500 square feet of WiFi coverage
  • Powerful CPU ensures high-speed processing and prioritizes bandwidth quickly
  • Works with Alexa, taking your in-home technology to the next level of automation

CONS

  • No WPA3 support for security
  • Limited customization options (e.g., for firewalls)

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviewers love that this gateway connects to Alexa, creating a more convenient "smart home" experience. The TP-Link also earns points for its easy setup and maintenance. Some recent buyers aren't happy with the limited customization settings, however. For example, you can't custom-set a firewall and have to choose from preset options.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The TP-Link Archer CR700 is another great high-speed gateway option. It's one of the fastest on the market, offering speeds of up to 1750 Mbps. The 5GHz band and 450Mbs give you a combined speed of 1300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, making this an excellent choice for accommodating high-speed gaming and streaming. This also results in minimal buffering times. 

The router supports WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols, so you can be sure your network and devices are protected against online threats. You get an impressive 2500 square feet of coverage for your WiFi, making this suitable for apartments or even mid-sized homes.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a gateway to enhance convenience in a plugged-in household, this one's for you. This device offers impressive speeds and reaches and is capable of handling up to 50 wireless devices.

Best for the Money:
ARRIS SURFboard SBG10

ARRIS SURFboard SBG10 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem & AC1600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router, Approved for Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others (black)

PROS

  • Two gigabit ethernet ports
  • Good streaming video support
  • Comprehensive coverage eliminates dead zones
  • Suitable for internet plans of 400 Mbps and lower
  • SURFboard manager app allows for quick and simple setup and maintenance

CONS

  • No USB port
  • Not worth it if you pay for gigabit-grade internet connectivity

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviewers don't like that the modem-router device lacks a USB port, making it impossible to share files and content across different devices on the network. That said, recent buyers praise this gateway for its overall consistent performance and, of course, its affordable price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ARRIS SURFboard SBG10 is proof that you don't need to spend big bucks to get a reliable Spectrum-compatible modem-router combination. This unit is ideal for those with less demanding Spectrum internet plans (400 Mbps or lower). The router-modem has four upstream and 16 downstream channels and speedy DOCSIS technology, delivering good speed to numerous devices simultaneously. 

The comprehensive coverage eliminates dead zones, ensuring your entire home remains connected. You get two gigabit ethernet ports, allowing for uninterrupted wired connections, plus a fast WiFi protocol. Finally, the SURFboard Manager App provides quick and easy setup and management.

Bottom Line

If you buy gigabit-grade internet connectivity, don't waste your money on the Arris. You'll only get frustrated when it can't live up to your expectations in terms of speed. That said, for internet plans of 400 Mbps and less, this is a cost-efficient and useful piece of technology.

Editor's Pick:
Motorola MG7700

Motorola MG7700 24x8 Cable Modem Plus AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router with Power Boost, 1000 Mbps Maximum Docsis 3.0 - Approved by Comcast Xfinity, Cox and More

PROS

  • Includes firewall security
  • Two-year warranty (above industry standard)
  • Stylish and compact design, fitting easily in small spaces
  • Easy setup and management, thanks to the user-friendly interface
  • Simple security management to keep devices and network safe from cyberthreats

CONS

  • No phone jack (incompatible with bundled voice services)
  • Not suitable for larger households (maximum modem speed of 1000 Mbps)

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviewers love the look of this stylish and sleek modem-router, which takes up minimal shelf space. It's also designed to counteract overheating. Beware, however, that this device doesn't have a phone jack, so you won't be able to link up your phone services if you have a bundle package subscription.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Motorola MG7700 comes from one of the biggest tech brand names on the market, so you can be sure you're getting a quality product. This device stands out thanks to its DOCSIS 3.0 24x8 channel modem technology and AC 1900 Dual-band WiFi router. The gateway can easily handle speeds of up to 1 Gbps and additionally supports four gigabit ethernet LAN ports. 

This is ideal for connecting a gaming console or PC. We love the power to boost technology, which is designed to increase wireless signals to the Federal Communication Commission's maximum limit.

Bottom Line

Motorola's product is a winner if you're concerned with style. It's sleek and elegant, with a user-friendly interface. You also get good performance, however, with modem speeds of up to 1000 Mbps. Further, you enjoy the quality assurance of a top brand plus a two-year warranty.

Honorable Mention:
Netgear C6250-100NAS

Netgear C6250-100NAS AC1600 (16x4) WiFi Cable Modem Router Combo (C6250) DOCSIS 3.0 Certified for Xfinity Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, & More

PROS

  • Broad WiFi range
  • Sturdy and durable build
  • Easy to set up without a technician
  • Robust security features keep your network safe
  • Includes USB ports as well as Ethernet LAN ports

CONS

  • Extensive use can result in an unresponsive router
  • WiFi signal may fluctuate, especially when moving with a mobile device

What Recent Buyers Report

When looking at what recent buyers have to say about this gateway, it's the ease of use that stands out. This is a straightforward piece of equipment made of sturdy plastic. What it lacks in style, it makes up for in durability and user-friendliness.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Netgear C6250-100NAS is best suited to cable plans with speeds of up to 300 Mbps. This handy device gives you an ethernet LAN plus a beamformed wireless connection. The wireless coverage area is a bit more limited than some other models on this list, which is why this one gets our honorable mention nod. 

You can expect 1500 square feet of coverage and speeds of up to 1600 Mbps. The three-in-one AC1600 combined WiFi router and cable modem allow you to connect up to 25 devices or accessories. The Netgear App is a standout feature and gives you the ability to supervise and operate the router via a mobile device efficiently.

Bottom Line

This is a reliable gateway option if you want something straightforward without fancy extras. You can connect up to 25 devices and enjoy speeds of up to 1600 Mbps. The Netgear App makes for easy management.

Pros and Cons of Modem-Router Combos For Spectrum

As mentioned, the traditional arrangement would be to have a separate modem and router. A gateway combines these two devices in one. As with any technological advancement, this has advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Here are the primary positives of this product.

  1. Convenience: A gateway takes up less space and eliminates extra cable clutter. You only have one compact device to fit into your home.

  2. Streamlined troubleshooting: You can refer to a single company if and when problems arise. You don't have to jump back and forth between one company for the router and another for the modem.

  3. Simple setup: Only having one device also makes configuration and management more effortless. There's no need to coordinate a different router and modem.

Cons

Here are the primary negatives of this product.

  1. Difficult to upgrade, diagnose, and repair: When connectivity problems arise with a gateway device, it's tough to figure out exactly what's going on. You can't be sure whether the router or modem technology is to blame.

Combo Modem-Router vs Separate - Comparison Overview

You may still be wondering whether a combo modem and router is better than having two separate devices. This is mostly a matter of personal preference and depends on your priorities. 

Below we highlight some key similarities and differences to determine if a modem-router is better for your needs.

Aesthetic Appearance

Most people agree that having a single device is far more aesthetically pleasing than having two separate tools. It also cuts down on the number of cables you have to deal with and the number of electrical outlets needed.

Cost of Replacement

It's faster, easier, and cheaper to upgrade your home network when you have a separate modem and router, as you can replace one or both of these devices at your leisure. You only have to replace one device, and individual routers and modems run cheaper than gateways.

Setup

Having a separate modem and router automatically means you have to spend more time and energy on setup costs. There are two devices to deal with instead of one. That said, when you have a separate modem and router, it's easier to customize specific options, like firmware.

Is a Modem Combo Better?

While it can depend on what you're looking for, modem combos are often better since they're more aesthetically pleasing, the cost of replacement is lower, and the setup is easier. 

How to Hook Up Spectrum Modem With a Router Combo

Spectrum offers detailed instructions on how to install gateway devices like those we've reviewed above. To keep it simple, we've broken down the basics for you. Here's what to do:

  1. Connect the modem-router to your cable outlet using the provided coax cable. Plug the other end of the cable plugs into the gateway.

  2. Connect the gateway to the power cable and then plug the other end into the electrical outlet.

  3. Wait for the gateway to connect to the network. This should take about five minutes. You can tell it's connected when the power and WiFi lights stop blinking and remain stable.

  4. If you connect via ethernet, plug the ethernet cable into the gateway and then plug the other end into your computer or device.

  5. If you are connecting via WiFi, you will find the WiFi network name and password on the equipment label.

  6. To connect your wireless device, open the WiFi settings, select the appropriate network (5GHz or 2.4GHz), and enter the equipment box's password to connect.

  7. To activate the equipment, visit your local provider activation website or, if the website is not available, call (877) 309-5869.

Conclusion

A combo modem-router allows you to use one piece of equipment for your Spectrum internet connectivity. When shopping for so-called gateway devices, you should consider coverage, speed, security, and ease of setup.

The above guide provides an overview of five reliable products, with the all-around winner being the Netgear Nighthawk C7000.

People Also Ask

Still, have queries about the best modem-router combo for Spectrum? The below frequently asked questions can help.

Motorola MG7700

Can I Use My Own Router and Modem With Spectrum?

Spectrum requires its customers to use an authorized gateway to connect to the Spectrum network. While you can buy and use your modem-router combo, Spectrum's technicians will only support Spectrum-provided equipment.

How Much is a Router Modem Combo With Spectrum?

It depends on the product you purchase. Prices range as low as approximately $100 up to nearly $300. We have designated the ARRIS SURFboard SBG10 as the "best for the money" pick, giving you an affordable yet reliable option.

How to Reboot Your Modem and Router Combo Spectrum

To reboot your gateway device, first, unplug the device. Wait at least three minutes before plugging the device back in and restarting it. It may take three to five minutes for the device to re-engage. You will know it's ready when the power and WiFi lights stop blinking.

How to Protect Spectrum Modem or Router Combo

A gateway device encompasses a modem and router. While this is convenient, it increases the risk of overheating because a single unit performs multiple functionalities. To protect your spectrum modem or router combo, keep it in an open space where it can breathe, without furniture, blankets, magazines, or other objects constricting it.

Can You Connect a Router to a Spectrum Modem-Router Combo?

A Spectrum modem-router combo includes both a router and a modem in a single unit. There is no need to connect a separate router to this device.



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.