According to our research and test results, Motorola MB8600 is the best gigabit Docsis 3.1 modem. Depending on where you live, a Gigabit internet plan is usually expensive. And renting a gigabit modem from the cable company may end up costing you more in the long run. For example, internet service providers (ISP) usually charge $10 to $25 a month for a modem or a router. For two years of service, you would probably spend around $240- $360 to rent. On the other hand, buying a Gigabit modem will cost you about $ 7 - $10 a month, depending on the modem you choose. And you get to keep using the same modem as long as you want.
What are the Gigabit Docsis 3.1 modems?
Docsis 3.1 is a new technology that allows cable providers to have Gigabit download speed without upgrading cable infrastructure. Gigabit modem is capable of 10 gigabits per second downloading speed. Before Docsis 3.1, only Fiber internet could have Gigabit internet speed.
Do you need Gigabit Modem?
If you have a Gigabit cable plan, then you would need Docsis 3.1 or Gigabit modem. Even if you don’t have a gigabit cable plan or planning to buy a new modem, we would urge you to purchase Docsis 3.1 modem. Since Docsis 3.1 modem is backward compatible, you can still use it for a regular internet plan. That way, you don’t have to repurchase a new modem when you are planning to switch to a Gigabit internet plan. And the Docsis 3.1 modems cost about the same as non-gigabit modems.
1. Motorola MB8600 Docsis 3.1: Best Overall
With a max download speed of 6Gbps and two years warranty, this gigabit Docsis 3.1 modem is the best overall gigabit modem. We like the most is the Broadcom chipset, which provides advanced security against Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS). Also, the Broadcom Full-Band Capture digital tuner enhances speed saves energy.
Active Queue Management (QAM) significantly reduces Internet latency, which means 4K videos, gaming streaming, video conferencing, and web page loading time is faster and more responsive. You may notice that Motorola and Arris SB8200 modem have similar identical hardware specifications. It is because Google Sold Motorola’s cable modem and set-top box division to Arris Group.
This modem has one of the highest download speed amongst the Docsis 3.1 modems. And four ethernet ports allow connecting to multiple devices other than Wi-Fi routers, such as Smart TV, Gaming Console, or Computers ethernet ports. When setting up, five status reporting LEDs made the whole experience more comfortable. This feature-rich gigabit modem is perfect for professionals and heavy internet users. Link Aggregation Group (LAG) significantly speeds up internet speed between modem and router.
- Compatible with: Xfinity, Cox Gigablast, Mediacom Cable, Cable One, WOW!
- Max download speed: 3.8 Gbps
- Max upload speed: 1 Gbps
- Ethernet ports: 4
- Broadcom Chipset & Digital Tuner
- Easy setup
2. Arris Surfboard SB8200: Best for Gaming and Streaming
3GB RAM, 128 MB flash memory, and 32 downstream and eight upstream channels make one of the best gigabit modems out there. With Max 2 Gbps download speed, this modem is perfect for Video and Gaming Streaming. Although it can 10+ Gbps Docsis 3.1 download speed, cable companies also approved up to 2 Gbps. We also like the fact that it comes with 2-gigabit ethernet ports. Depending on the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the second IP address may be required to achieve a 2 Gbps speed.
Setup is quick and easy. The first step is to connect the coaxial cable, power cable, and ethernet cable. Second, contact ISP, either by Web Portal or by telephone, to activate. It usually means registering the MAC address of them so that ISP can allow internet access to it. So, before starting, make sure you note down the MAC address. Third, connect to a Wi-Fi router for a wireless internet connection. Nowadays, all internet service providers allow self-installation instead of paying $60+ for technician installed service. However, the Gigabit plan may require installation by a technician. See the installation video guide below from Arris.
This modem previously had a bug-prone Puma 6 chipset, but they have fixed the issue by installing a Broadcom chipset. Looking at online reviews and forums, many consumers complained about the Puma chipset. Still, newer SB8200 modems remedied that by replacing the Puma chipset with Broadcom chipset, so you don’t have to worry about negative reviews about that.
- It comes with a Broadcom chipset (no more buggy Puma 6)
- Two Ethernet ports
- 3 GB RAM
- 2 Years of Warranty
- Compatible with: Xfinity, Cox Gigablast, RCN, Charters, and others.
3. Netgear CM1200: Best Runner Up Docsis 3.1 Gigabit Modem
Netgear is a famous brand for networking devices, and this Docsis 3.1 modem is no different. We tested the CM1000 model as well to compare it with CM1200. Besides being a newer and premium model of CM1000, it has four ethernet ports if you need advanced features that wouldn’t be possible with one port.
The link aggregation feature allows two Gigabit ports into one-two Gigabit ports for better and faster-wired ethernet ports. Nowadays, everybody is using wireless phones, and landline usage is declining. If you need landline telephone support, this modem won’t work because it doesn’t have voice support. For telephone/voice support, we recommend the Netgear CM1150V model, which is somewhat expensive than this modem.
Weighing less than a 1 lb, sleek diamond-angle look, and one-year hardware warranty makes it an ideal modem for gigabit cable plans. Whether you are working from home or into gaming and streaming, this modem can handle anything you throw at it. The setup is pretty straightforward. Although it is compatible with major US ISP, please contact them if you don’t see your ISP listed below.
- Compatible with: Cox, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Medicom Cable, and Others.
- Four ethernet ports
- Easy to setup
- One year warranty
- Great online reviews
4. Netgear C7800: Best Docs 3.1 Gigabit Modem-Router Combo
The C7800 Nighthawk model is the very first DOCSIS 3.1 modem-router combo. Instead of purchasing both modem and router separately, which costs more than a combo, now we can make use of this combo, saving both money and space. While having separate devices may be more popular, this modem can make things easy during cleaning up and cable management.
Now that working from home becomes the norm, the home office may become a mess, especially a cable management. Connecting to multiple monitors, phone chargers, charging cables for the keyboard, mouse, and earbuds requires many wires. It would be nice to have a gigabit combo that wouldn’t require additional wires for Wi-Fi routers.
With 3000 square feet coverage and the ability to connect up to 45 wireless devices, this modem-router combo makes it one of the best in the market today. This modem would be perfect for a large office or large smart home. While the router has a 3.2Gbps speed, the modem has been approved for 2Gbps gigabit speed. The modem is theoretically capable of 6 Gbps.
Four ethernet Gigabit ports and two USB 3.0 ports make it easy to fast wired connection. A powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor boosts the overall performance of wireless, wired, and WAN-to-LAN connection. Beamforming and OFDM technology reduces the internet latency, especially for wireless connection. However, it doesn’t come with Quality of Service (QoS), which helps wireless speed by prioritizing specific traffic.
Setting up is easy, and the useful LED display can help us during troubleshooting. Suppose you are trying to upgrade your wireless connection as well as internet speed. In that case, this modem-router combo can undoubtedly make it possible to have max internet speeds and stability and reliability.
- Compatible with: Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum
- Modem-router combo (AC3200 router)
- Up to 3000 Square feet coverage
- Fast wireless speed and up to 45 devices
- Powerful 1.5 GHz processor
- Four ethernet ports & 2 USB 3.0 ports
- No QoS or link aggregation
What is DOCSIS 3.1?
Docsis 3.1 allows 32 downstream and eight upstream channel bonding, which means it has up to 10Gbps+ internet speed. Gigabit internet was only possible using Fiber optic internet. Now, Docsis 3.1 technology allows Gigabit internet speed over the cable.
What is the difference between Docsis 3.1 and Docsis 3.0?
Docsis 3.1 has a max 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream, and 4096-QAM. Docsis 3.0 has a max 200Mbps upstream and 1Gbps downstream, and 256-QAM.
What to look for in a Docsis 3.1/Gigabit modem?
The most important thing is to check whether it is compatible with your ISP. Then, you can narrow it down by speed and overall specs. For gaming and streaming, ethernet ports and upload speed may be the most second most important thing.