7 Best Modems for Gaming in 2020 (Reviews and Guide)

No more lags. Enjoy greater bandwidth and significant monthly savings thanks to the best gaming modems.

I cannot imagine anything worse than being cut out of an online game in the middle of it by an unreliable internet connection. You might argue that there things worse than poor internet, but if you are a gamer, you very well understand my pain, and you wouldn’t wish it even on your biggest opponents.

Yes, I have been there in my early gaming days when I didn’t really fathom what it would mean not to pay much attention to the modems I was buying. The modem from your ISP might be the worst electronic device in your home, and renting this modem is just too expensive. Also, why pay a monthly fee for a cable modem from your ISP when you could easily buy one and not have to worry about monthly payments?

From my mistakes, I knew I needed an upgrade, fast. But not before, I scoured the internet and asked in forums for the best recommendations. With the information gathered, I’ve come across numerous options for gaming modems. If you are up for an upgrade, these options would very much match your needs.

Below, I review 7 of the best gaming modems. You don’t have to rent a modem from your ISP anymore, and these modems would be great options for you.

Just keep in mind that the best gaming modem works across the board with most of the internet service providers, and it also supports high-speed connectivity with multiple devices.

Comparison Table for the Best Modems for Gaming

Best Modems for Gaming
Best For
Modem
 Speed
Price
NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1200
Best Overall Gaming Modem
DOCSIS 3.1

32×8 Channel bonding

2Gbps
MOTOROLA MT7711 24X8 Cable Modem
Best 3-in-1 Modem/Router/ Phone System
DOCSIS 3.0

24X8 Channel Bonding

1,9Gbps
ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 Cable Modem
Best High-Speed Internet Modem
DOCSIS 3.1

32×8 Channel Bonding

10Gbps

 

Netgear CM1000
Best Value for Money
DOCSIS 3.1

32×8 Channel Bonding

1Gbps
ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
Best Modem for Tight Spaces
DOCSIS 3.0

32×8 Channel bonding

1.4Gbps
MOTOROLA MB8600 Cable Modem
Best Low Latency Modem
DOCSIS 3.0/ 3.1

32×8 Channel Bonding

6Gbps
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 Cable Modem-Router Combo
Best High-Speed Internet Modem-Router Combination
DOCSIS 3.1
2Gbps

 

Best Modems for Gaming

  1. NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1200 – Best Overall Gaming Modem

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | For Cable Plans Up to 2 Gigabits | 4 x 1G Ethernet Ports | Black
  • Compatible with all major cable internet providers: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX,...
  • Save monthly rental fees: Model CM1200 replaces your cable modem saving you up to $168/yr in equipment...

One of the most important considerations when looking for a modem has to be its compatibility with the major internet/ cable providers on the market, which is why this NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1200 is one of our best options and at the top of the list. It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity,  Cox and Spectrum.

It would also be an ideal option for you because it’s ideal for internet service plans with a maximum transmission of 2Gbps of data. And with the four 1Gigabit Ethernet ports, you get to enjoy faster and efficient internet connections.

This modem boasts high internet speeds of up to 2000Mbps maximum for downloads, which means that this modem is built for ultimate high internet speeds. At this 2Gbps speed, you will enjoy ultra-fast and reliable internet speeds for multi-player gaming, as well as 4K HD streaming.

The Gigabit Ethernet ports will further enhance the performance of the modem by delivering the highest wired internet speeds. And if you need more or higher speeds, you will be happy to know that you can aggregate the 4 ports into 2 ports, each delivering 2Gbps internet speeds. It will work with any router, and it’s a good streaming modem as well. Its set up is also just as easy.

For enhanced performance, this modem sports advanced technological features like OFDMA 2×2, DOCSIS 3.1, as well as 32×8 Channel bonding. DOCSIS 3.1 technology, for example, means that this modem allows for all of today’s and any other future upgrades.

Pros

  • It’s compatible with all the major cable internet providers
  • Designed for ultimate speed and top-performance
  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • Easy setup
  • The Ethernet ports can be aggregated into 2 ultra-high-speed 2Gbps ports
  • It works with all WiFi routers
  • It’s versatile

Cons

  • It’s not compatible with CenturyLink, AT&T, DSL, DISH, DirecTV, or Verizon
  • It’s not compatible with bundled voice services

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  1. MOTOROLA MT7711 24X8 Cable Modem – Best 3-in-1 Modem/Router/ Phone System

Motorola MT7711 24X8 Cable Modem/Router with Two Phone Ports, DOCSIS 3.0 Modem, and AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router, for Comcast XFINITY Internet and Voice
  • Built-in AC1900 Wireless Router - This 24X8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem comes integrated with an AC1900...
  • Flexible Compatibility - The MT7711 provides shared Internet access for WiFi devices including...

A 3-in-1 modem, router, and phone system, this MOTOROLA MT7711 is one of the best gaming modems on the market, and it promises to offer the best value and internet connections in your home. These functions are made possible by the fact that this modem has 2 phone ports, a 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem system, and an AC1900 Dual-band WiFi Gigabit router. And it is compatible with Comcast XFinity Internet and Voice system.

But that is not all that makes this modem a great option for gamers – there’s also the fact that it boasts 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and it delivers high internet download speeds of up to 600Mbps. Of course, the speed could be higher, but that shouldn’t stop you from buying this modem.

The speed notwithstanding, the modem still wins. This MOTOROLA MT7711 comes with a built-in, high-speed router that boasts an AC1900 Wireless system and a power boost. What this means is that the WiFi system will ensure internet access for all your WiFi devices at very high internet speeds. This modem-router system sports 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, which ensure high-quality wired connections to your laptop and desktop computers. Its function is enhanced by the Broadcom cable modem chipset, which enhances the system’s security, through the Denial of Services Attacks.

To top it all, this modem-router-phone system has a wireless power boast system that ensures a longer range and higher speeds. The boost enhances its performance by amplifying the WiFi’s power for a boost in the Wireless signals but to the legal limits only.

It also features AnyBeam beamforming that runs at 2.4GHz and 5GHz, focusing the signals on its wireless clients, hence a further enhancement of its range and performance.

Pros

  • No more monthly bill if you are an XFinity Subscriber
  • Download speeds at least 600Mbps
  • Maximum WiFi speed of 1900Mbps
  • 2 Phone ports
  • Powerful Wireless power boost
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Dual-band WiFi System
  • Power boost and Beamforming technologies
  • Easy Setup
  • 24X8 DOCSIS 3. 0 for top performance

Cons

  • It’s not compatible with AT&T, only Comcast XFinity
  • Only works with one VoIP
  • No batteries included

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  1. ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 Cable Modem – Best High-Speed Internet Modem

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem, Approved for Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum & others
  • DOCSIS 3 1 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 2 Gbps. Note, a 2nd IP address is...
  • 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3 0 bonded channels, 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3 1 channels

Sometimes you just need an immense of power and the highest possible internet/ download speeds, especially as a serious/ heavy gamer, and in these situations, a modem like this ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 comes in handy.

At a maximum download speed of 10Gbps, this cable modem is one of the best, top-performance modems that delivers the highest possible internet connection. To make its ultra-fast design possible, it comes fitted with some of the most advanced technological features you could ask for in a modern cable modem.

For starters, there is the fact that this Gigabit speed cable modem has a DOCSIS 3.1 System as well as a 32×8 and 3M cable – all features that ensure the highest, most stable internet speeds. It’s also worth noting that DOCSIS is the latest technological feature in modems, and it ensures higher speeds, also backward compatible with the DOCSIS 3.0 system.

It has a Cat-7 Ethernet cable, which ensures the best-wired home and office connections. The wired LAN ensures an easy connection to computers.

Regarding compatibility, this modem is compatible with all major cable providers in the US, and it supports browsing on IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. It’s also compatible with Spectrum, XFinity, and Spectrum ISPs.

Then you have the RJ45 connectors, which ensure not only universal connectivity but also reliable data transfers. The connector comes surrounded by a durable and solid PVC jacket.

Pros

  • Frustration-Free
  • Extremely high internet speeds of 10Gbps
  • Fitted with advanced technological features that enhance the performance of the modem
  • It’s easy to setup
  • The 3M cable ensures the best-wired connections.
  • It comes with a Cat-7 Ethernet patch cable.
  • Reliable data transfers
  • It offers maximum power for home networks.
  • It supports 32 downstream and 8 upstream bonded internet channels.
  • Integrated with Link Aggregation capabilities and the DOCSIS 3.1 advanced technologies

Cons

  • It’s expensive
  • High sensitivity to errors

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  1. Netgear CM1000 – Best Value for Money

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 1 Gigabit | DOCSIS 3.1, Black (CM1000-1AZNAS)
  • Compatible with all major cable internet providers: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX,...
  • Save monthly rental fees: Model CM1000 replaces your cable modem saving you up to dollar 168/year in...

This Netgear CM1000 might be exactly what you are looking for if you need a gaming modem that offers solid performance, one with good compatibility options, and a great modem that will not break the bank.

With high maximum download speeds of 1000Mbps plus compatibility with most of the major internet cable ISPs, this modem will ensure that you enjoy high and stable internet connection, as you save an estimated $168 each year.

It’s built for top-speeds and high-performance, it works with all WiFi routers, and its wired 1G Ethernet port connection ensures faster internet connectivity on your gaming devices or even a separate router. With its high internet speed setup of up to 1Gbps, the modem is ideal for heavy gaming and 4K HD streaming.

Some of the advanced technological features fitted into this modem include engineering with 32×8 channel bonding, DOCSIS 3.1, as well as OFDM 2×2 system. These technologies ensure excellent performance at all times and ease of use with different devices. For example, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology gives this modem an edge over other modems on the market as it is 10 times faster than the DOCSIS system.

Pros

  • Ultra HD streaming and heavy gaming
  • 2×2 OFDN and the 32×8 Channel bonding make for the modem’s super-fast download speeds
  • Great performance even during peak times
  • Certified by Mediacom, Cox, and Comcast XFinity
  • Easy setup
  • It’s affordable
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • The indicator lights aren’t easy to see
  • The 1-year warranty period is too short compared to what you get from other brands

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  1. ARRIS SURFboardSB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem – Best Modem for Tight Spaces

ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, Approved for Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others (White)
  • Compatible with major U.S. Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others. Not...
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 600 Mbps

With a maximum download speed of 1.4Gbps, 32×8 cable system for 32 downstream, and 8 upstream channels, this modem might be exactly what you need for serious gaming.

Although it is only compatible with Cox, Xfinity by Comcast, and Spectrum, it makes up for its incompatibility with other ISPs like AT&T, DSL, Verizon, or CenturyLink by having some great features that enhance its performance. We are talking about the DOCSIS 3.0 cable with offers excellent internet speeds and a 1Gigabit Ethernet port, which ensures easy internet connection with several other devices and WiFi routers.

Note that the internet speeds vary depending on the ISP, with COX allowing for a maximum internet speed of 300Mbos, while XFinity and Spectrum allow for maximum speeds of 400Mbps.

Pros

  • Ultra-high internet speeds
  • Maximum download speeds of 1.4Gbps
  • Reliable connectivity for gaming
  • Easy setup
  • Advanced technologies for improved function and performance
  • x8 bonded cable channel system

Cons

  • It’s expensive

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  1. MOTOROLAMB8600 Cable Modem – Best Low LatencyModem

Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem, 6 Gbps Max Speed. Approved for Comcast Xfinity Gigabit, Cox Gigablast, and More, Black
  • Top Internet Speeds for all Multi-gigabit Speed Tiers - Wirecutter recommends this model as the best...
  • Save Money - Eliminate up to 168 dollars per year in cable modem rental fees (Savings are shown for...

If you use a Gigabit internet plan, then your home internet network and heavy gaming needs will be met with this Motorola MB8600 cable modem. It promises top internet speeds with a maximum download speed of 6Gbps, and it’s compatible with most of the ISPs in the US, for example, Cox, Comcast Gigablast, CableOne, XFinity X1, and Comcast XFinity. It will work with any WiFi router you choose to buy or already have.

It boasts excellent performance as well, all thanks to the fact that unlike other high-speed routers, this router is fitted with both the DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 capabilities, as well as 32×8 bonded channel systems which ensure the highest internet speeds even when connected to the slowest ISP. Internet connectivity is further enhanced by the 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port designed for easy single-device connectivity with ease – You don’t have to worry about poor or weak internet connectivity to your gaming station.

On top of all that, there is the Active Queue Management system (AQM) that will reduce latency to impressive levels on the DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 services. Thanks to AQM, you can look forward to faster page loading and higher web traffic.

Then there’s the Broadcom chipset, which enhances the system’s security by offering Denial of Service attacks. And you might also like its full-band capture digital tuning feature designed to save energy and enhance modem’s speeds further.

Pros

  • Energy-saving and speed-boosting digital tuner (full band)
  • High download speeds of 6Gbps
  • Easy setup
  • Reduced latency
  • AQM enhances page loading speeds
  • Solid design
  • DOCSIS 3.0 AND DOCSIS 3.1 integrations for the best performance
  • Quite inexpensive

Cons

  • You can only use one of the Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • It doesn’t work with other ISPs like DSL, fiber optics, Frontier, Verizon, etc

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  1. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800 Cable Modem-Router Combo – Best High-Speed Internet Modem-Router Combination

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem WiFi Router Combo (C7800) - Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Cox, Spectrum AC3200 WiFi Speed | DOCSIS 3.1 (Renewed)
  • COMPATIBLE WITH ALL MAJOR CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast and...
  • SAVE MONTHLY RENTAL FEES: Model C7800 replaces your cable modem and WiFi router saving you up to $150/yr...

Last on our list is this gaming modem by NetGear, a reliable modem that boasts super-high internet speeds of 2000Mbps, and an equally powerful, high-speed router boasting high internet speeds of 3200Mbps. If you have been planning to upgrade your router and modem and you would rather one device to enjoy high speeds and cut down costs, then this 2-in-1 device might be an excellent option for you.

This modem is compatible with leading cable providers like Spectrum, Cox, and Comcast. To ensure that you enjoy very high and reliable internet speeds for the best performance in any of your current favorite online games, this modem is designed to support cable plans up to 2 Gigabits, with its DOCSIS 3.1 integration and the high WiFi speed of 3200Mbps. These features tell you that this modem-router combo is built for speed. The modem is engineered with a 32×8 channel bonding system and the DOCSIS 3.1 system for fast connections.

It also boasts an elegant WiFi performance with excellent coverage in spaces up to 3000 square feet, as well as a connection with up to 45 devices.

It further boasts a versatile internet connection system through the 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports plus the two hi-speed USB 3.0 ports, which ensure the fastest connections and data transfers.

It’s also secure, thanks to the WEP, WPA, and WPA2 wireless protocols, plus the parental controls.

Pros

  • Combo high-speed modem-router system
  • Secure connections
  • Easy to setup
  • Designed for high-speed performance
  • 45+ Devices connectivity
  • High-speed USB 3.0 ports
  • Best modem technologies – 32×8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.1
  • Large home coverage (3000 square feet)
  • Affordable
  • It’s compatible with the major cable networks

Cons

  • It’s not compatible with fiber optics and companies like Verizon.

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Buying Guide for the best Modems for Gaming

The search for the best modem, regardless of the reason, is simply the search for the most decent internet connection in your home. And for that to happen, you need to subscribe to the fastest internet service around, while investing in the best hardware that will ensure the delivery of the fastest internet speeds with the most stable internet connection.

That, ladies and gentlemen, are the primary reasons for the need for the best gaming modems. Whether you are into the Valorant, Destiny 2, Apex Legends, or any other game, you have to invest in a modem with everything necessary for top performance.

Keep in mind that the modem is one of the two important components for a decent home network; the other component is the router. A modem converts cable signal from the ISP into a version decipherable by your computer. The router will then take that internet signal then it beams it through WiFi, allowing you internet access in your home.

So, what do you need to keep in mind when shopping for a gaming modem?

  • Type of Modem

There are two options – the standalone modem and the modem-router combination.

The standalone modem is a recommended option often because of technological changes, which means that if there is a new wireless technology on the market and you are convinced that the new tech would enhance your gaming experience, you would only have to replace the modem.

The dedicated modem also offers more flexibility in terms of the features and options you get to experience. The performance of these standalone routers is also great, but you’d have to keep up with the setup, which won’t be the cleanest.

On the other hand, if you don’t see yourself needing more power or the next best tech, then the combination option would be a good option for you. The good news is that there are some pretty neat options on the market today.

Note that the combined modem-router system is also called a gateway, which is easy to set up. The gateway would pick up signals via a coaxial cable, before transmitting the signals wirelessly to the rest of the house.

  • Download/ Upload speeds

Don’t overlook this feature because it pretty much determines how seamless and smooth your internet connectivity will be. The number on the modem represents the download speeds, and the upload speed (not indicated) is often about a quarter of the download speed.

However, you need to keep in mind that despite the speed rating on the modem, you will not enjoy such high speeds if the ISP doesn’t offer such high speeds. You enjoy speeds as high as what your ISP offers.

  • DOCSIS Protocol

You’ve seen this feature pop up in all the modems reviewed above, and you might still be confused about what it is and what it means.

DOCSIS protocol stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It is the protocol allowing ISPs to give you the internet via cables, hence internet accessibility using modems.

There are two versions of this protocol – DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1. The numbers represent different versions of the protocol, but that isn’t the only difference between them, with the biggest difference having to do with internet speeds.

If your ISP offers high internet speeds of, say 1Gbps, DOCSIS 3.1 would be a good option for you, but if the speed is less than 1Gbps – which is the case for most people, it would be a good idea to choose a modem with a DOCSIS 3.0 protocol. DOCSIS is a better option if you are betting on higher internet speeds in the future.

  • Downstream and Upstream Bonded Channels

Modems come with numbers such as 16×4 or 32×8 on them. These numbers represent the downstream and the upstream channels, with the first number representing the total downstream channels and the second number the total number of upstream channels.

These numbers correlate with the download data provided by your ISP. The downstream number is higher than the upstream number because both the ISP and end-users are more interested in the download rather than the upload speeds. That said, anything above 16 for the downstream channels is a good find.

  • ISP compatibility

Compatibility is a crucial feature that determines whether or not you will enjoy an internet connection from your ISP through the selected modem. Not all modems are compatible with all ISPs, but most of the modems you find are designed for compatibility with popular cable companies. You need to confirm compatibility first because of firmware updates, and the best part is that you can Google this information.

  • Ethernet Ports

The Ethernet ports are an important consideration because they determine the communication between your modem and your devices. Gaming modems with multiple ports are the best as they ensure a strong and stable connection to your gaming console.


FAQs

Does the design of the modem matter?

No. With cables running all over and the performance of the modem under scrutiny, it would be a good idea to first check the speed and performance of the modem. Design is quite subjective, and it shouldn’t be the reason that you pick one modem over another.

Should you choose a modem or a router for the best gaming experience?

You get more of a modem than your router when it comes down to the device’s sheer speed and performance. However, for higher download speeds, it won’t hurt to get the best gaming router to accompany the modem.

Is it a smart idea to buy your own gaming modem?

Definitely! Although buying a gaming modem would mean spending a lot more initially, this investment quickly pays itself back in that you won’t have to pay modem rental fees anymore. Buying the modem also means higher internet speeds.

Will my modem affect internet speeds?

Without a doubt! Modems have a maximum download/upload speed, which means not getting the most out of your modem if the ISP’s speed exceeds the top speeds of the modem.


Conclusion

Now that you know which modems would work to ensure the best gaming experience go ahead and choose the modem that fits your checklist. The modems above all promise to supercharge your gaming experience.

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