Netgear CM500 Vs CM600 – Which Netgear modem is more reliable?

Have you been using cable modems? If so, you now Netgear is one of leading brands in providing high quality reliable modems. The Netgear CM500 and CM600 are such modems. Here is a look at how they compare to determine which the right one for you is.

Picking the right cable modem can be quite a task since there are a lot of options to choose from today. However, one brand sits above the rest when it comes to modems and other networking devices. The Netgear Company is known to focus mainly on high performance models. The CM500 and CM600 continue to uphold this reputation by providing high speeds and data transfer rates. In fact, they are quite similar in performance as we’ll see in the table below

What are the differences between Netgear CM500 and CM600?

Netgear CM500 (Winner)
Netgear CM600
DOCSIS supported
Size dimensions
7.28 x 4.88 x 2.36 inches
7.28 x 4.88 x 2.0  inches
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Spectrum Analyzer


32 Down

8 Up

8 up channels

24 down channels

Downstream – 680 Mbps

Upstream – 132 Mbps

Up to 400 Mbps
Cable internet service providers supported
Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Mediacom Cable and others
Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, SuddenLink

Netgear CM500 vs Netgear CM600 – How do they compare?

Performance and speed

The performance of a cable modem is determined by actual testing rather than the stated speeds on the box. Here, the CM500 takes the win as it provides faster data transfer rates as well as high download and upload speeds. The modem provides a speed of up to 686 Mbps and 131 Mbps as the respective download and upload speeds. On top of this, the modem features 32 down channels and 8 up channels for seamless streaming abilities.

On the other hand, the CM600 is slightly slower reaching speeds of up to 400 Mbps. It is fitted with 24 down and 8 up channels all of which allows for excellent gaming. Both modems are DOCSIS 3.0 to boost the performance and increase stability especially when used over a long period. All in all the CM500 performs better and provides high bandwidth for large file downloads and high resolution streaming


One of the most important factors to consider is the modem design and practicality. Most times, large devices are less practical. Both of these modems can be considered huge considering smaller ones such as the Arris SB6190. However, the CM600 is slightly smaller – almost insignificantly.

In addition, the modems come in black and feature one of the best builds a modem can have. This is the reason Netgear modems are known for their durability. There is however one major difference between them. The CM500 is glossy while the CM600 is matte. Overall, the glossy design looks much better and compliments home decors making the CM500 the winner in this category


Cable modem are used to connect your ISP signal to the router for wireless connectivity. Because of this, they don’t have as many ports as a router or switch. Both the CM500 and CM600 have one gigabit Ethernet port and a coaxial port for connecting to the cable internet provider. With one port, it is quite limiting to connect other devices after the router is connected. All the ports are located at the back of the router. Furthermore with one port, performance boosting features such as LAN (link aggregation) is not possible.

Compatibility with ISP

When you replace the ISP provided modem with your own, you need to know what cable internet providers are compatible with your new modem. The CM500 takes it here since it is compatible with more providers that the CM600. It is compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Charter, Cox, Brighthouse and more. The CM600 is not compatible with Brghthouse. In addition, these routers are not compatible with following: Verizon, AT&T, DSL and fiber cable internet providers. To be safe, always go for the modem compatible with the most internet service providers

Netgear CM500 vs Netgear CM600 – A comparison review

Netgear CM500

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...

The Netgear CM500 is an excellent mid-entry level modem idea for the modern day home. With speeds of up to 300 Mbps, this modem ensures there is seamless connection for streaming, gaming and downloading large files from the internet. To enable such performance, the modem comes with 32 down channels and 8 up channels allowing channel bonding. The CM500 is also fitted with DOCSIS 3.0 for stability in performance. Furthermore, the modem is quite affordable and costs less than fifty bucks. This coupled with the top performance you’re getting ensure that there’s excellent value for your money. If you’re looking to replace the ISP provided modem (that you pay for), this may be the best choice for you. When it comes to the design of this modem, it’s nothing too fancy. It features a tower based design that requires it to always be placed vertically rather than horizontally. This may be a problem for people with limited space since the device is also huge, standing at over 7 inches. It also features a glossy black covering that compliments your home’s interior décor.

Another reason we love the CM500 is its universal compatibility with cable internet providers. All major ISPs in the US are compatible with this modem. Some of the include Cox, Charter, Comcast Xfinity, among many more. The following are its pros and cons


  • Great compatibility with cable internet providers
  • Wonderful design that compliments your home décor
  • It supports IPV6 technology
  • Very easy first time setup and use


  • The LEDs are too bright any may be a problem when trying to sleep

View Price on Amazon

Netgear CM600

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600 - Compatible With All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | For Cable Plans Up to 960 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0
  • COMPATIBLE WITH ALL MAJOR CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX,...
  • SAVE MONTHLY RENTAL FEES: Model CM600 replaces your cable modem saving you up to $168/yr in equipment...

Being one of the best-selling Netgear modem on Amazon, the CM600 is a nice mix of an excellent design and superb performance. It is a large unit that measures 7.28 x 4.88 x 2.0 inches. The large size goes well with the tough and menacing look of this product. The body, for instance, is covered in triangular mesh holes that serve to cool the system to prevent overheating. The tough plastic body also ensures that the device is durable and lasts as long as you have to use it.

Secondly, the modem has sold so well due to its wonderful performance. Being a low budget model, it does pretty well in a speed test. It provides speeds of up to 400 Mbps. And this is made possible by the 24 x 8 channels and DOCSIS 3.0 rating. Lastly, the unit is quite affordable and also offers excellent value for money


  • The modem offers very high speeds of 400 Mbps
  • Strong and sturdy build design ensures maximum durability
  • With multiple channels, it can handle network congestion pretty well
  • Offers great security with the WPA/WPA2 standards


  • Setting buttons are prone failure

View Price on Amazon


With very little to separate these two, the most suitable modem for you depends on your budget and design preferences. The CM600 is great for small budgets while the other is slightly more costly.

Final Verdict -So which is better, Netgear CM500 or Netgear CM600?

All in all, the CM500 provides better speed and transfer rates as well as stability in connection than the CM600.


  1. Does the Netgear CM500 support DOCSIS 3.1?

No. The CM500 was released as a low budget modem meaning it lacks such modern features

  1. Do Netgear modems overheart?

No. The Company uses a beveled design for most of their modems for cooling.

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