Working from home (the norm with Covid-19), with far too many tabs, videos, Zoom calls, and the odd game or two running throughout the day, means that my computers are often stretched for internet speed. Additionally, living in a condominium with more and more people working from home means that our regular, run-of-the-mill internet speeds will soon become far less than what we need to ensure our working speeds remain the same. This is why many are turning to gigabit modems. If you can relate to the above, or perhaps you are experiencing this in your physical office, read on.
So What are Gigabit Modems?
Gigabit Modems are routers that utilize DOCSIS 3.1, which is a new tech that allows internet speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. Until now you would have needed fiber cable to reach those speeds. What was once used only in large buildings have now become ‘mass-produced’ for residential users who are seeking to obtain faster internet speeds.
Why You Need a Gigabit Modem
I find that these devices are primarily valuable to people, who work from home and require a fast internet speed, those who love gaming (e-gamers!), and more. You also want to buy your own modem, because even though you can rent one from your ISP, buying your own gives you more control and is cheaper in the long run.
How to Install a Gigabit Modem
Typically, you will need to plug in your internet line and then call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to register it with them. Each modem can have its own configurations and settings you may want to play with, and then you connect your router to the modem and you should be up and running.
How much does a Gigabit Modem cost?
The devices I have included on this list range between $50 to $300. Considering you might be making your living from online work, investing in great equipment and speed from your IPS is a good thing to consider.
The Best Gigabit Modems
Read on for the best Gigabit Modems on the market now for 2022. Note, this article was updated end of June 2022 to give you the most up-to-date selection of Gigabit Modems.
1. NETGEAR CM1000-1AZNAS Gigabit Cable Modem – Best Overall
I have friends who are intense gamers, in that they will spend nearly each and every evening after work on multi-player games, with their buddies on Discord. It gets a little crazy. Though, in addition to purchasing HD cards and super fast desktop computers, they also need a gigabit modem like the Netgear CM1000-1AZNAS Gigabit Cable Modem. This Netgear Modem in particular gives my friends the speed they need (up to Gigabit 1000 Mbps). It’s pretty great.
Why You Should Get It
I recommend this device for gamers in particular, but also anyone else who wants a premium in high-speed internet access. When streaming, uploading, or downloading large files regularly, or other high bandwidth applications, you’ll want the best.
- Supports all cable internet speed tiers
- Meets DOCSIS 3.1 specifications
- Ideal for streaming 4K UHD content
- Some users say this device can get very hot
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S DOCSIS 3.1 – Best Router Combination
Most of us have a separate gigabit modem and router. While having two pieces of gear is not a burden to most, it’s nice to clean up the cables and reduce it down to one box. The Netgear Nighthawk is the best cable modem and router combo. You can cover 3,000 sqft and link 45 wireless devices together. This should be enough for smart home enthusiasts and large families as you can have everyone and everything connected in one small package.
Why You Should Get It
If you are paying rental fees, this is a great all-in-one solution to saving money and taking control of all aspects of your home network. Also, if you want less wire mess everywhere, this combo offers a clean solution to your modem and router needs. It has up to 6Gbps gigabit modem speed and Dual-Band AC3200, meaning you will see improved stability and reliability of your internet connection.
- Router combo
- Fast internet speeds
- Powerful 1.5 GHz processor
- At over $300, this does have a cost bearer for some
3. MOTOROLA DOCSIS MB8600 Gigabit Modem – Best For Security
You want your internet to be stable, and sometimes you can come under attack. The Motorola MB8600 has Broadcom’s chipset inside which comes with protection from DDoS, or Denial of Service attacks. It has Active Queue Management (AQM) as well which helps prioritize and optimize your internet activity so that you are getting the most from the DOCSIS 3.1 capability.
Why You Should Get It
If you care about internet security and getting the most out of your gigabit modem, this one is for you.
- DDoS protection
- Attractive, compact design
- 2-year warranty
- Some users report connection issues
4. ARRIS Surfboard S33 DOCSIS 3.1 Multi-Gigabit Cable Modem
Looking for a Gigabit Modem that has a 2.5 Gigabit port? The S33 makes it easy to do 4K video streaming and more. The S33 has two Ethernet ports, a 2.5 Gbps port, and a 1 Gbps port capable of providing combined download speed up to 3.5 Gbps.
Why You Should Get It
Future-proof your home network with the S33 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem. Approved for Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum, and other services providers.
- Affordable at around $200
- Easy setup
- Works universally with any routers
- 32 downstream x 8 upstream
- DOCSIS 3.1 Advanced Technology
Check with your provider before purchasing, as some users have experienced connection challenges
5. ARRIS Next-Generation Cable Gigabit Modem – Best Value
At $149.99 at the time of writing, the Arris is a terrific value. However, while this device works with some ISPs like Comcast, Xfinity, and Cox Cable, with others pending approval, it is not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, and Century Link. It’s a great deal if you’re under the right service provider. Arris is a good company as well. With 60 years of innovation under their belts, they have long been one of the leading modem creators in the market.
Why You Should Get It
This gigabit modems device is especially valuable for users who are already cable subscribers to Comcast Xfinity and Cox Cable. It’s one of the more reliable gigabit modems on our list.
- 32 Download and 8 Upload channels
- Gigabit Ethernet Ports
- Users say the device disconnects every once in a while
Gigabit Modem Common Question and Answers
- Q: Does a gigabit modem make a difference?
A: Yes it can. If you have an outdated modem and can do the speeds of the service you are paying for it can help. Having a modem that can handle gigabit speeds from your ISP is a must to get everything that you are paying for.
- Q: Will Docsis 3.1 make my Internet faster?
A: Yes it can. Thanks to the advanced technology in Docsis 3.1 the transferring downstream and upstream data can improve your current speeds if your current modem and router are old and out of date.
- Q: Is DOCSIS 3 or DOCSIS 3.1 better?
A: DOCSIS 3.1 better is better by a mile. Thanks to the better tech, DOCSIS 3.1 can give you significantly higher speeds than DOCSIS 3.0.
- Q: Why is my gigabit internet so slow?
A: It can be a couple of things. First, can your modem handle your speeds? Second, can your router handle speed. Generally speaking, it’s going to be one of those two things that are slowing your speeds down. If you have ruled both of those things out, your next step is to contact your ISP and see if they can do some testing.
- Q: How do I know if my Ethernet cable is gigabit?
A: Most likely you will have a Cat5E or Cat5 that’s been around for a long time and can handle gigabit speeds. You should see some writing on the cable itself or if that fails look to make sure it has 4 twisted pairs (Orange, Green, Blue, Brown) in the cable.
- Q: Does gigabit need a special Ethernet cable?
A: Just make sure you have at least a Cat5 or higher cable and you will have all you need. For example, you can get an Amazon Basics Cat-5e Network Ethernet Cable (25 Feet) for less than $9.
When it comes to fast internet speeds, that’s all that counts for those of us who work from home, gamers who appreciate their focused time in the evenings, or simply a professional who appreciates quick upload and download speeds in their home office. For modems, there are many options available on the market, with specific uses for each and every one.
Make sure you check out the Best Mesh Routers article to get your whole home covered with WiFi.
Whatever you choose, be sure to share with us below!
Note, that this article was originally posted on November 17, 2018. We maintain and update the article to keep the most relevant and best products for your consideration. Last updated June 23, 2022.