NetgearCM400 vsNetgearCM500 – Which is The Better Choice?

If you continue to pay your ISP’s cable modem rental charges indefinitely, you will ‘buy’ your own modem many times over. Why not actually buy one? This NetgearCM400 VsCM500 comparison brings you up to speed.

Buying your own cable modem gives you the opportunity to choose the speeds that meet your needs, in addition to saving on the modem rental charges. In addition to internet speeds, factors like the ease of setting up, the modem’s compatibility with your cable internet provider, and the reliability of modem, need consideration. For over twenty years, Netgear has made an impact in the manufacture of communication and networking devices. Its products are renowned for their superior quality. Netgear’s cable modems are popular with ISPs, businesses and individuals. Netgear CM400 and Netgear CM500 are usually recommended for people who want to change cable modems.Allow us to find out why this is so, and which of them is better than the other.

What are the differences between NetgearCM400 and NetgearCM500? 

NetgearCM500 (Winner)
DOCSIS Protocol
Streaming channels
8 downstream and 4 upstream
16 downstream and 4 upstream
Gigabit Ethernet port
Speed  (Mbps)
Up to 340Mbps
Up to 680 Mbps
 8 MB flash


8 MB flash

128 MB RAM

Dimensions and Weight
5.8 x 3.8 x 1.8 inches; 0.44lbs
2.4 x 4.9 x 7.3 inches; 0.62lbs

NetgearCM400   vs. NetgearCM500 – How do they compare?

Range and Capacity 

Channel bonding enables modem to be able to use multiple channels at the same time. The CM500 has a channel bonding of 16 x 4. This means that the modem uses 16 channels when downloading and 4 when uploading. The use of channels reduces data congestion and improves reliability, essentially increasing speed – in a manner similar to lanes on a highway. NetgearCM500 offers much faster internet speeds of up to 680Mbps. The modem is therefore more suited for heavier streaming and online gaming. In addition, the streaming and online gaming are much faster with the CM500 than with the CM400.

On the other hand, the CM400 has a channel bonding of 8 x 4, meaning it has 8 less channels available than the CM500. This translates to lower speeds. It is therefore not surprising that the netgearCM400 cable modem has high speeds of up to 340 Mbps. This makes it ideal for streaming content and online gaming. It’s quite suitable for home or office use. Since the CM500 has more channels and higher speeds than the CM400, it is therefore better in performance than the CM400

Structure and Design 

When it comes to general design, the CM400 is lighter and smaller. It weighs 0.44 lb and measures 5.8 x 3.8 x 1.8 inches. The modem is rectangular in form, with rounded corners and a glossy finish on the sides. In addition, it has a detachable stand.The CM500 on the other hand is heavier and larger. Weighing 0.62 lbs and measuring 2.4 x 4.9 x 7.3 inches, it has an integrated stand.  Though it is also rectangular, its corners are not as rounded as the CM400.Both modems are black and have LED lights which help in troubleshooting. Both modems are sleek and classy, but the CM400 takes a lead in design because it is smaller and more compact therefore convenient even in places with tight spice. Although it is light, the detachable stand makes it stable..


Netgear CM 500 has an advanced Quality of Service (QoS), which allows the modem to evenly split bandwidth when serving multiple devices. The QoS is also able to prioritize bandwidth for specific activities or devices, and to also limit guest access to the network. CM 400 does not have the QoS. As such, it cannot prioritize bandwidth for important activities or devices. This means that if someone is downloading video while another one is gaming, the video will experience some lag. Because of this, it is not advisable to use CM400 to serve 2 devices. Both cable modems also support IPv4 and IPv6. Because of its ability to control the network using QoS, the CM500 is our winner in technology.

NetgearCM400 vs. NetgearCM500 – A Comparison Overview


NETGEAR Cable Modem CM400 - Compatible with all Cable Providers including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | For Cable Plans Up to 100 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0, Black, 8x4 Cable Modem (CM400)
  • COMPATIBLE WITH ALL MAJOR CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX,...
  • SAVE MONTHLY RENTAL FEES: Model CM400 replaces your cable modem saving you up to $168/yr in equipment...

The NetgearCM400 has 8 X 4 bonded channes and comes with speeds of up to 340 Mbps which enable the streaming of high definition videos, faster downloads and high-speed online gaming. It is built with DOCSIS 3.0 technology and is 8 times faster than DOCSIS 2.0. Moreover, it has a memory capacity of 8 MB flash and 64 MB RAM, with the 8 upstream and 4 upstream channels. NetgearCM400 is compatible with major cable internet providers like Xfinity, spectrum, cox, cablevision and many others. The modem is however not compatible with bundled voice services.CM400 is perfect for internet plans of up to 100mbps. Though it can’t be mounted on the wall, the modem comes with a retractable stand, which stabilizes it. This is important because being very light, it


  • Easy to install
  • Fast an reliable
  • Reasonably priced
  • Works with any router
  • Compatible with Cox, Comcast Xfinity and others


  • ShortEthernet cable.
  • Constant resetting required
  • 64GB RAM

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NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 300 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0
  • Save monthly rental fees: Model CM500 replaces your cable modem, saving you up to $168/yr in equipment...
  • Built for fast speed: best for cable provider plans up to 300 Mbps speed.

The CM500 is a cable modem with a Gigabit Ethernet port that enables direct connection to the internet. Its speeds can run up to 680 Mbps,which is well suited for faster online gaming,streaming of high definition 4k video, and gaming on several devices at one time. Since the modemis prone to heat up when in use, thus it is advisable to set it up in a properly ventilated place within the home.

The Docsis 3.0 modem is equipped with 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels which makes the downloading of documents or content much faster. It comes with a stand that makes it easy to stand on any surface with ease.  CM500 is popularly used in internet plans of up to 300mbps. Moreover, it works with any router.


  • Speeds of up to 680 Mbps
  • Easy to set up
  • It can be paired with a high performing router


  • No in-built wi-Fi
  • Prone to overheat

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The bottom line is that both the CM400 and CM500 are good modems with decent high speeds, since they are both equipped with the gigabit speed Docsis 3.0 protocol. If all you need is an affordable cable modem for basic gaming and streaming, in addition to browsing and downloading content, then the CM 400 will suffice. If however, you are going to use more than one device at the same time, or you need heavier gaming and streaming, then consider the CM500.

Verdict: Which is better – NetgearCM400 or NetgearCM500?

NetgearCM500is our pick in this comparison. This is because of its higher speeds and better performance. Prioritizing of bandwidth between devices through QoS is also a big plus.


Does the NetgearCM400 and CM500 have WIFI router?

No, both are cable modem which does not have an in built router. One has to have a separate WIFI router to enable them access and use WIFI

Is Netgear CM400 compatible with Xfinity?

Yes, this cable model is compatible with many ISPs including Xfinity.

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