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Best Gigabit Modems for 2021

Our experts help you choose the best modem to lower your monthly internet costs.

Editor's choice

ARRIS S33

Price: $198.00

Gigabit Ethernet ports: 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps

Wi-Fi: N/A

Cheapest

ARRIS SB8200

Price: $137.11

Gigabit Ethernet ports: 1 Gbps (x2)

Wi-Fi: N/A

Runner-up

Motorola MB8611

Price: $169.98

Gigabit Ethernet ports: 2.5 Gbps

Wi-Fi: N/A

Best modem/router

NETGEAR CAX80

Price: $429.99

Gigabit Ethernet ports: 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps (x4)

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6

Cheapest modem/router

NETGEAR C7800

Price: $329.99

Gigabit Ethernet ports: 1 Gbps (x4)

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 5

*Amazon.com price as of 9/23/21 at 11:15 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Congrats—you’re getting gigabit internet! If your provider is a cable internet provider (like Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox), you can save up to $14 per month off your internet bill when you buy your own modem and router.

Of course, you’ll want a modem with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology to handle those blazing fast speeds. Our top pick is the ARRIS S33 because it’s compatible with Xfinity’s faster-than-average Gigabit plan. But if you don’t want to buy a separate router, go for NETGEAR CAX80, our favorite modem/router combo.

Best gigabit modems

While the ARRIS S33’s high-speed internet capabilities make it our favorite, check out the Motorola MB8611 if you don’t mind a bulkier competitor. And if your internet plan doesn’t crack 1 Gbps, the ARRIS SB8200 is a much cheaper, fan-favorite option.

If you’re looking for a modem/router combo, we’ve got to give you the obligatory “but getting separate devices is usually cheaper and easier to upgrade.” If we haven’t swayed you, check out the NETGEAR CAX80 for the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology or the NETGEAR C7800 for a slightly more affordable modem/router combo.

Gigabit internet near me

Our modem picks work only with cable internet—with fiber internet, you have to use your provider’s modem/router. Put in your zip code below to find the fastest cable internet providers in your area.

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Compare the best gigabit cable modems

Designation
Editor’s choice
Cheapest
Runner-up
Best modem/router
Cheapest modem/router
Model Price Gigabit Ethernet ports Wi-Fi standard Details
ARRIS S33 $198.00 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps N/A View on Amazon
ARRIS SB8200 $137.11 1 Gbps (x2) N/A View on Amazon
Motorola MB8611 $169.98 2.5 Gbps N/A View on Amazon
NETGEAR CAX80 $429.99 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps (x4) Wi-Fi 6 View on Amazon
NETGEAR C7800 $329.99 1 Gbps (x4) Wi-Fi 5 View on Amazon

*Amazon.com price as of 9/23/21 at 11:15 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

While modems built for 100 Mbps typically run under $50, gigabit modems are much more expensive. Expect to pay between $130 and $200 (unless you find a great sale). Modem/router combos cost even more—sometimes up to $600. Yikes!

Unless you’re paying your internet provider for two IP addresses (if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, you’re not doing that), you don’t need to worry about how many Ethernet ports your modem has. You’ll just use one to connect your modem to your wireless router, which comes with oodles of Ethernet ports for wired connections.

Just make sure that your Ethernet port supports your internet speeds. If you’re paying for a gigabit plan that tops out at 1 Gbps, any of these modems will do. But if you’ve got an Xfinity Gigabit plan, which has 1.2 Gbps download speeds, you’ll want an Ethernet port that supports 2.5 Gbps.

And if you’re going for a modem/router combo, keep in mind that while NETGEAR C7800’s Wi-Fi 5 can reach gigabit speeds, NETGEAR CAX80’s Wi-Fi 6 performs better and supports more smart home devices.

ARRIS S33: Editor’s choice

Price:
$198.00
Gigabit Ethernet ports:
2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps
Wi-Fi:
N/A

Pros

  • Works with Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other cable providers
  • Comes with 2-year warranty
  • Reaches top gigabit speeds

Cons

  • Costs a bunch

The ARRIS S33’s high-speed capabilities, 2-year warranty, and unobtrusive silhouette made it our editor’s choice.

This tiny modem is just so gosh-darn cute and little—take one look at it, and you’ll be thinking of pet names instead of how it supports any gigabit cable plan out there. That includes Xfinity’s Gigabit plan, which breaks beyond the normal 1 Gbps download speeds most gigabit plans top out at.

We hope more providers will follow in Xfinity’s footprints and offer higher-speed cable internet plans. If you want to future-proof your home for that shining tomorrow, consider this modem.

But before you drop a bundle of cash on the ARRIS S33, keep in mind that one of the big reasons it costs so much is that it comes with two Ethernet ports. You’ll need both only if you’re paying your internet provider for two IP addresses—and most of us don’t do that. If you’d like to save a little cash but still get the same speeds, check out the Motorola MB8611.

ARRIS SB8200: Cheapest

Price:
$137.11
Gigabit Ethernet ports:
1 Gbps (x2)
Wi-Fi:
N/A

Pros

  • Compatible with Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other cable providers
  • Covered by 2-year warranty
  • Best-selling modem on Amazon

Cons

  • Incompatible with Xfinity’s Gigabit plan (1.2 Gbps)

If you’re not planning to get speeds higher than 1 Gbps any time soon, go for the ARRIS SB8200. This “cheap” gigabit modem still costs over a hundred dollars, but it’ll pay for itself faster than the ARRIS S33.

Like the ARRIS S33, the ARRIS SB8200 comes with two Ethernet ports, but you won’t need one unless you have two IP addresses. If you need a wired connection for other devices, use the Ethernet ports on your router.

A fun fact—when we wrote this article, the ARRIS SB8200 was the top-selling modem on all of Amazon. If you get this little pal, you’ll be in good company.

Motorola MB8611: Runner-up

Price:
$169.98
Gigabit Ethernet ports:
2.5 Gbps
Wi-Fi:
N/A

Pros

  • Compatible with Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other cable providers
  • Covered by 2-year warranty
  • Protected against power surges

Cons

  • Equipped with only 1 Ethernet port

“I’m not getting two IP addresses,” you say. “Why would I need two Ethernet ports?”

You’re right; you won’t need them without more than one IP address. Go ahead and save yourself some cash with the Motorola MB8611. Sure, it’s not as cute as the ARRIS S33, but unlike the ARRIS SB8200, it can support speeds up to 2.5 Gbps. The Motorola MB8611 is a great, affordable option for your Xfinity Gigabit plan.

Like our ARRIS options, it’s covered by a 2-year warranty—plus, Motorola emphasizes that it can withstand lightning and power surges. Handy!

However, this model measures a couple of inches taller and longer than the diminutive ARRIS models. If you prefer your devices don’t take up much space, the Motorola MB8611 may not be the right choice for you. In fact, you may prefer to combine your devices with a modem/router combo.

NETGEAR CAX80: Best modem/router combo

Price:
$429.99
Gigabit Ethernet ports:
2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps (x4)
Wi-Fi:
Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi coverage:
3,000 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Works with Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other cable providers
  • Includes top-of-the-line router technology

Cons

  • Charges extra for warranty

If you want the latest modem and router technology in one device, you want the NETGEAR CAX80. Sure, it’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but that’s what it takes to get the most advanced modem/router combo out there.

Despite modem/router combos’ convenience, we’re not huge fans of them ‘round these parts. On top of being super expensive, modem/router combos don’t offer the same flexibility as two separate devices.

That said, if you’ve got your heart set on a modem/router combo, this one will meet your gigabit modem and Wi-Fi router needs without cluttering your desktop. And it’s got plenty of Ethernet ports to wire in your computer, TV, and gaming consoles. Sweet.

NETGEAR C7800: Cheapest modem/router combo

Price:
$329.99
Gigabit Ethernet ports:
1 Gbps (x4)
Wi-Fi:
Wi-Fi 5
Wi-Fi coverage:
3,000 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Works with Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and other cable providers
  • Costs less than other gigabit modem/router combos

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with Xfinity’s Gigabit plan (1.2 Gbps)
  • Uses older Wi-Fi technology
  • Charges extra for warranty

Need a cheaper modem/router combo than the NETGEAR CAX80? If you want to save money, buying separate devices is the way to go. But since we haven’t talked you into that, check out the NETGEAR C7800.

Like the ARRIS SB8200, this device is best for internet plans up to 1 Gbps. It’s got some of the best Wi-Fi 5 capability out there, so unless you have over 45 internet-ready devices, it should be okay to set up your smart home.

The NETGEAR C7800 isn’t top-of-the-line anymore, but it’s still a decent choice if you want an all-in-one device.

What to look for in a gigabit modem

When you’re buying a gigabit modem, make sure your device works with your provider and local DOCSIS technology. You’ll also need a modem with a gigabit Ethernet port. And be sure to stay away from devices with defective processors.

Provider compatibility

When buying a modem, the first thing to consider is whether it’ll work with your internet service provider (ISP). All our modem recommendations work with major cable internet providers, but not all modems will pass your ISP’s muster.

Check your service provider’s website for a list of approved modems. You don’t want to end up spending a lot of money on a device that won’t work for you.

DOCSIS standard

Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, or DOCSIS, is the standard technology for cable internet. Your modem must support the latest version—DOCSIS 3.1—to get you gigabit speeds.

All our recommended routers work with DOCSIS 3.1 and are also backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0. That way, your modem will still work if you move to an area where the cable internet runs on the old standard, and that should give you some peace of mind.

Gigabit Ethernet ports

Your gigabit modem will come with one or more gigabit Ethernet ports. These ports support speeds up to either 1 Gbps or 2.5 Gbps.

While most gigabit internet plans top out at 1 Gbps, some go even faster, like Xfinity’s Gigabit plan. If you have a plan with download speeds over 1 Gbps, you’ll need a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port to get all the internet speeds you’re paying for.

Once you’ve got a modem with the correct ports, you’ll use them to connect your modem to a wireless router and blanket your home in Wi-Fi. (Unless you get a modem/router combo—then your Wi-Fi router comes built into the device.)

Routers come with even more Ethernet ports so you can get a solid wired connection on your home computer, TV, or gaming consoles. Remember, a wired connection allows faster and more reliable speed than Wi-Fi.

Intel chipset defects

All modems run on processors, but not all processors are equally good. You’ll want to watch out for modems with Intel Puma 6 and Puma 7 chipsets—these are prone to slow down, which means your internet won’t reach its top speeds.

No worries, though—we specifically selected modems that don’t use these troublesome processors. If you choose from our top picks, you won’t run into this problem.

Final take

With gigabit technology taking off, it’s easier than ever to find a suitable gigabit modem. Our recommendations will help you reach those speeds without a problem:

  • ARRIS S33 and Motorola MB8611 work with cable internet plans up to 2.5 Gbps.
  • ARRIS SB8200 works with cable internet plans up to 1 Gbps.
  • NETGEAR CAX80 works with cable internet plans up to 2.5 Gbps and includes a built-in Wi-Fi router.
  • NETGEAR C7800 works with cable internet plans up to 1 Gbps and includes a built-in Wi-Fi router—and costs less than the CAX80.

Methodology

In this article, our experts hunted down every gigabit modem on the market (hold your applause—there are hardly more than ten). We compared prices, maximum speeds, compatible providers, Wi-Fi capability, and customer satisfaction. Then we narrowed down the selection to our top five choices.

To learn more about how CableTV.com experts choose our recommendations, visit our How We Rank page.

Gigabit modem FAQ

What’s the difference between a modem and a router?

A modem is a device that translates the signal from your cable provider into something that other devices in your home can understand. A router (or wireless router) takes that decoded signal and broadcasts it as Wi-Fi. Check out our modem vs. router article to learn more.

What is gigabit internet?

Gigabit internet is internet service that has speeds of at least 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). That’s about 940 megabits per second (Mbps). That’s so fast you could download an entire HD movie in less than two minutes. It’s a total game-changer for streamers, downloaders, and households with lots of devices online at once.

What is the best 3.1 modem?

The ARRIS S33 is our editor’s choice for a 3.1 modem, thanks to its 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port and small size. It’s high-performing, and it won’t get in your way.

Do you need a new modem for gigabit internet?

Every modem supports a specific maximum internet speed. You’ll need a modem compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 to use cable gigabit internet.

What modem does Optimum use for gigabit?

Optimum uses the Altice Gateway in cable internet areas and the Optimum Fiber Gateway in fiber areas. It costs $10 per month and comes with Wi-Fi 6 technology and 24/7 tech support. Learn more about Optimum modems in “Best Optimum-Compatible Modems.”

Which providers offer gigabit internet?

  • Xfinity—up to 1.2 Gbps (cable) or 2 Gbps (fiber)
  • AT&T—up to 1 Gbps (fiber)
  • CenturyLink—up to 1 Gbps (fiber)
  • Earthlink—up to 1 Gbps (fiber)
  • Frontier FiberOptic—up to 1 Gbps (fiber)
  • Google Fiber—up to 2 Gbps (fiber)
  • Mediacom—up to 1 Gbps (cable)
  • Optimum—up to 1 Gbps (cable or fiber)
  • RCN—up to 1 Gbps (cable)
  • Sparklight—up to 1 Gbps (cable)
  • Spectrum—up to 1 Gbps (cable)
  • Verizon Fios—up to 1 Gbps (fiber)
  • Windstream—up to 1 Gbps (cable)

Want to see if any of the providers above offer gigabit internet in your area? Enter your zip code below, and we’ll pull up the prominent providers in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Disclaimers:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

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