6 Best Compatible Modems for Sparklight [Full List]

This is our review of the best modems for Sparklight Internet in 2023. 

Sparklight Approved Modems

We’ve been researching and testing tons of modems at Networks Hardware. Now, we can show you which of those are the best ones approved by Sparklight.

I’ve selected the Arris Surfboard SB8200 as the best option overall thanks to it offering great performance for a fair price. 

Arris Surfboard SB8200
Source: Netgear.com

Arris Surfboard SB8200 – Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

If you want better speed, lower prices or a modem/router combo, for example, I’ve got plenty of other picks for you. 

So stay tuned!

Top 7 Approved Sparklight Modems

Check out my top picks for each category:

  1. Best overall modem: Arris Surfboard SB8200
  2. Best modem for Sparklight Internet Gig: Motorola MB8611
  3. Best budget modem: Netgear CM500
  4. Best for gaming: Arris Surfboard S33
  5. Best modem/router combo: Motorola MG8702
  6. Best gaming modem/router combo: Netgear Nighthawk CAX80
  7. Best budget modem/router: Motorola MG7700

Best Modems for Sparklight

Find out more information about each of my top seven picks below. 

#1 Best Overall Modem – Arris Surfboard SB8200

Arris Surfboard SB8200
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Any Sparklight plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Top WAN speed: 2000 Mbps

Pros

  • Fast enough for any Sparklight plan
  • Future proof
  • Reasonably priced 

Cons

  • Bright lights

The best modem for Sparklight customers right now is the Arris Surfboard SB8200. It’s fast enough for any of the Sparklight plans and it’s pretty affordable as well.

This is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, which means it has the latest modem technology. This allows for the fastest modem speeds and it’ll protect you from your technology becoming outdated.

Providers are phasing out support for the previous technology, DOCSIS 3.0, so DOCSIS 3.1 modems are a better investment. 

Another way this modem is future proof is through its ability to support ethernet aggregation. This combines two gigabit ports for a total of 2000 Mbps which is great if Sparklight brings out a faster plan than its current fastest at 940 Mbps. 

There are one or two issues with ethernet aggregation though, so make sure you read up on those in our buying guide later on in this article.

The only small issue I have with this modem is that the lights on it are weirdly bright. If you’re planning on keeping your modem in your bedroom, for example, you might want to think twice about this one. 

But that really is the only problem. Because otherwise, the SB8200 is a fantastic modem for most Sparklight customers and it’s not super expensive.




#2 Best Option for Sparklight Internet Gig – Motorola MB8611

Motorola MB8611
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Sparklight Internet Gig 
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Top WAN speed: 2500 Mbps

Pros

  • Multi gig port
  • Future proof
  • Very Fast

Cons

  • Pretty expensive 

If you want the fastest modem speeds, check out the Motorola MB8611. It’s a little pricey, but you get what you pay for in terms of performance. 

This modem goes one better than the Arris Surfboard SB8200 in that it has a multi gig port instead of ethernet aggregation, allowing for speeds of 2500 Mbps instead of 2000 Mbps.

The main benefit of this, however, is that it’s easier. You won’t need to worry about the issues surrounding port bonding here – just plug in and go. 

Naturally, you won’t be able to max out this speed with any Sparklight plans just yet as the fastest one at present is Internet Gig (940 Mbps). If Sparklight does bring out a new faster plan in the future, you’ll be able to get the most out of it with this port. 

Either way, 940 Mbps is still more than enough speed for even the most hardcore gamers.

Of course, this is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. This is essential to reach those faster speeds as the previous technology, DOCSIS 3.1, wouldn’t be able to get near 2500 Mbps.

The other key benefit of DOCSIS 3.1 is that it’ll stay relevant for longer. Many ISPs are stopping supporting DOCSIS 3.0. 

So are there any downsides to this modem? Well, the price could be seen as one. But, we think it’s worth it overall. This is an awesome modem for gamers who want to future proof themselves. 




#3 Best Budget Modem – Netgear CM500

Netgear CM500V
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Sparklight Internet 300 or less
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Channels: 16×4
  • Warranty: One year 
  • Top WAN speed: 680 Mbps

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Enough speed for most people

Cons

  • Not future proof 

You can save quite a bit of money if you’re on one of the slower Sparklight internet plans by opting for the Netgear CM500.

Be warned, however: this is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem instead of a DOCSIS 3.1 one, so the technology is older. 

That’s why the price is lower, but it may pose a couple of issues. It’s going to be a lot slower and there’s a chance that Sparklight may stop supporting it in the future. 

This modem has 16×4 channels which means it meets the entry criteria for Sparklight. You won’t be able to use it with the Internet 500 or Gig (940 Mbps) plans though as this is not enough channels.

The top speed as a result of all this is 680 Mbps. This is going to rule out customers on the Sparklight Internet Gig plan, but it’ll be enough for the other three.

But if you are on one of those plans and on a budget (and you’re not too worried about the technology becoming redundant in years to come), the CM500 may well be perfect.




#4 Best Modem for Gaming – Arris Surfboard S33

Arris S33
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Any Sparklight plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Top WAN speed: 2500 Mbps

Pros

  • Multi gig port 
  • Reasonable price
  • Future proof

Cons

  • Excessive for current plans

My top pick for all the gamers out there has to be the Arris Surfboard S33. This thing is really fast but not mega expensive. 

Gamers need the extra level of speed, and that’s certainly something the S33 has. That’s because it has a multi gig port, allowing speeds of up to 2500 Mbps. 

Of course, none of the current Sparklight plans are this fast (the current fastest is 940 Mbps). But they could well release a faster plan in the future. Or, you might want to move to another manufacturer with a faster plan at some point. 

It’s also a DOCSIS 3.1 modem as you might have expected from that top speed. The other benefit is that you’ll be future proof here as manufacturers phase out support for DOCSIS 3.1.

Price wise, the S33 isn’t too bad. It’s more expensive than our overall top pick, the SB8200 but compared to some of its competition from other manufacturers, it’s still pretty affordable. 

I don’t really have anything negative to say about this modem other than that it’s going to be excessive for the current Sparklight plan lineup. But for the price, that’s not such a bad thing, especially for the gamers who want crazy speed. 




#5 Best Modem/Router Combo – Motorola MG8702

Motorola MG8702
  • Type: Gateway (modem/router combo)
  • Recommended for: Sparklight Internet 500 or less
  • Tested max Wi-Fi speed: 518.51 Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: Two years 
  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 5

Pros

  • Future proof
  • Reasonably affordable
  • Comes with QoS and parental controls

Cons

  • Not the fastest

A popular device nowadays is the modem/router combo, often referred to as a gateway. It’s 

We’ll talk more about the pros and cons of this type of device later on in this article. But if it does sound good to you, your best bet as a Sparklight customer will probably be the Motorola MG8702.

Here, we need to measure the speed based on the Wi-Fi router part as this is the max speed we’ll be able to pick up on our devices. 

We did just that from 5 ft away from the Motorola MG8702 and managed to record a speed of 518.51 Mbps. This makes it enough for three of the four current Sparklight plans, but I wouldn’t recommend it for Sparklight Internet Gig customers. 

It could be faster, but this is a Wi-Fi 5 router instead of a Wi-Fi 6 one. This helps bring the price down to a reasonable level but it does compromise the speed a little.

You won’t have to worry about future proofing with Wi-Fi standards like this in the way you will with modem DOCSIS though. As such, you can still be future proof with the MG8702 as this is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. 

The router part also comes with two features: QoS and parental controls. They’re a little limited in terms of what they can do, but it’s still good to actually be able to have them.

Also, the range of the signal is pretty fair at around 80-90 ft. That’s enough for a medium-sized home. 

So other than the fact that this device is no good for Sparklight Internet Gig, there really isn’t anything we could fault with it. It’s a fantastic value option for those who want the convenience of a gateway device.




#6 Best Gaming Modem/Router Combo – Netgear Nighthawk CAX80

Netgear CAX80
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Any Sparklight plan
  • Tested max Wi-Fi speed: 800 Mbps+
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: One year
  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6

Pros

  • Fast enough for all Sparklight plans
  • Latest modem and router technology
  • Good Wi-Fi range

Cons

  • Expensive 

Gamers looking for that extra convenience of a gateway device will like the sound of the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80.

This modem will allow you to just about max out the fastest Sparklight plan, Internet Gig. We tested the Wi-Fi speed from 5 ft away and maxed out our 800 Mbps internet plan at the time.

This is because it features the latest modem and Wi-Fi technologies: DOCSIS 3.1 and Wi-Fi 6. The result is the finest performance and the ultimate in future proofing.

Another great thing about this modem is the range. We found it to be around 90-100 ft. That extra 10 or so ft above the MG8702.

Again, this gateway comes with both QoS and parental controls but you won’t be able to do as much with them compared to a lot of standalone routers. 

Of course, all this great performance comes at a cost. This is a pretty pricey piece of hardware but I certainly feel that you get what you pay for with it.

It’s definitely the best option for gamers who want the fastest speeds, as long as they are on the Spectrum Internet Gig plan. Otherwise, it’s probably going to be overkill. 




#7 Best Budget Modem/Router Combo – Motorola MG7700

Motorola MG7700
  • Type: Gateway (modem/router combo)
  • Recommended for: Sparklight Internet 200 or 300
  • Tested max Wi-Fi speed: 441.28 Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Channels: 16×4
  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 5

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Convenient
  • Fast enough for slower plans

Cons

  • Not future proof 
  • Lacking speed

If you’re on a slower Sparklight plan and you want to save some cash then the Motorola MG7700 might be the best option for you.

The max tested Wi-Fi speed we managed to get with this gateway was 441.28 Mbps. That’s not too bad, but there is one problem.

The MG7700 is only a DOCSIS 3.0 with 16×4 channels. Not only does this mean you won’t be future proof with it, but it also means you’re only going to have enough channels to use it with the Sparklight Internet 200 and 300 plans.

But it still works well as a quick fix for these slower plans, especially considering how affordable it is.

And even though it’s super cheap, it comes with QoS and parental controls, although once again, they’re pretty limited. 

If you have one of the slower plans and you’re okay with not being able to hold onto your gateway forever then check out the MG7700. It could save you a lot of money.




Lists of Sparklight Compatible Modems

Here is a list of all Sparklight approved modems. 

BrandModel #With RouterChannelsDOCSISVoIPPuma ChipsetSpeed (Mbps)
NETGEARC7800Yes32×83.1NoNo1000
NETGEARCM700 No32×83.0NoYes1000
NETGEARCM1000No32×83.1NoNo1000
NETGEARCM1100No32×83.1NoNo1000
NETGEARCM1200No32×83.1NoNo1000
NETGEARCM2000No32×83.1NoNo1000
NETGEARCAX80Yes32×83.1NoNo1000
NETGEARCBR40 Yes32×83.0NoYes1000
NETGEARCBR750Yes32×83.1NoYes1000
NETGEARC6900Yes24×83.0NoNo600
NETGEARC7000Yes24×83.0NoNo600
NETGEARC7000v2Yes24×83.0NoNo600
NETGEARC7500Yes24×83.0NoNo600
NETGEARCM600No24×83.0NoNo600
NETGEARC6250Yes16×43.0NoNo300
NETGEARC6300 Yes16×43.0NoYes300
NETGEARCM500No16×43.0NoNo300
NETGEARC3000-100NASYes8×43.0NoNo150
NETGEARC3700-100NASYes8×43.0NoNo150
NETGEARC6220Yes8×43.0NoNo150
NETGEARCM400No8×43.0NoNo150
NETGEARCG3000Dv2No8×43.0NoNo150
MotorolaMB8600No32×83.1NoNo1000
MotorolaMG7700Yes24×83.0NoNo600
MotorolaMB7420No16×43.0NoNo300
MotorolaMB7621No24×83.0NoNo300
MotorolaMG7540Yes16×43.0NoNo300
MotorolaMG7550Yes16×43.0NoNo300
MotorolaMB7220No8×43.0NoNo150
MotorolaMG7310Yes8×43.0NoNo150
MotorolaMG7315Yes8×43.0NoNo150
HitronCGNVM-3582 Yes32×83.0NoYes1000
HitronCGNM-2252 Yes24×83.0NoYes600
ARRISCM8200ANo32×83.1NoNo1000
ARRISDG3270 Yes32×83.0NoYes1000
ARRISDG3450Yes32×83.1NoYes1000
ARRISSB6190 No32×83.0NoYes1000
ARRISSB8200No32×83.1NoNo1000
ARRISSBG7580-AC Yes32×83.0NoYes1000
ARRISSBG7600AC2 Yes32×83.0NoYes1000
ARRISSBG8300Yes32×83.1NoYes1000
ARRISSBG7400AC2 Yes24×83.0NoYes600
ARRISDG1670A Yes16×43.0NoYes300
ARRISSB6183No16×43.0NoNo300
ARRISSBG10 Yes16×43.0NoYes300
ARRISSBG6900-ACYes16×43.0NoNo300
ARRISSBG6950AC2 Yes16×43.0NoYes300
ARRISCM820No8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISDG860Yes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISDG950Yes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSB6141No8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSB6180No8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSB6182No8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSBG6400Yes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSBG6580Yes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSBG6580-2Yes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSBG6700-ACYes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISSBG6782-ACYes8×43.0NoNo150
ARRISTG852GYes8×43.0YesNo150
ARRISTG862GYes8×43.0YesNo150
ARRISTM802GNo8×43.0YesNo150
ARRISTM822GNo8×43.0YesNo150
ARRISSB6120No4×43.0NoNo50
ARRISSB6121No4×43.0NoNo50
LinksysCG7500 Yes24×83.0NoYes600
LinksysCM3024 No24×83.0NoYes600
LinksysCM3016 No16×43.0NoYes300
TP-LinkARCHER CR700Yes16×43.0NoNo300
TP-LinkTC-7620No16×43.0NoNo300
TP-LinkTC-7610No8×43.0NoNo150
TP-LinkTC-W7960Yes8×43.0NoNo150
Zoom5341JNo8×43.0NoNo150
Zoom5345No8×43.0NoNo150
Zoom5350Yes8×43.0NoNo150
Zoom5352Yes8×43.0NoNo150
Zoom5341No4×43.0NoNo50

Sparklight Approved Modems Buying Guide 

I’m about to show you how and why I came to the decisions of my top seven modems.

Everything you need to know about buying a modem approved for Sparklight is coming right up.

And if you still need to know more information on the matter by the time you get to the end of this article, take a look at this guide.

When is it worth buying a new modem for Sparklight?

Sparklight charges an $8 per month monthly rental fee for a modem. Over a year, that racks up to $96, which is around the same price as some of the more affordable modems in our list. 

So if it’s money alone you’re concerned about, buying your own modem is likely to be a better option.

If it’s performance you’re more concerned with then again, upgrading is a better option. I researched the Sparklight stock modem and found that a lot of people don’t think it’s very good. 

Still not sure whether you should be buying or renting your new modem? We put together a guide on the subject. Check it out

Will my new modem be fast enough for my Sparklight internet plan?

If you have the Sparklight Internet 500 or Gig plans, you’re going to need to make sure the modem you’re looking at offers enough speed.

If you’re considering a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, it might not be fast enough for even the 500 plan. 

With gateway devices, you can check out the max Wi-Fi speed as this is a clear indicator of the speed you’re going to get on your device. If it’s less than the speed cap of your plan, you’re going to be wasting money with your plan.

You can take a look at what’s required for each Sparklight plan below:

PlanRecommended Wi-Fi StandardRequired ChannelsRequired DOCSIS
Sparklight Internet 200Wi-Fi 516×4 or more3.0 or 3.1
Sparklight Internet 300Wi-Fi 516×4 or more3.0 or 3.1
Sparklight Internet 500Wi-Fi 5 or 624×8 or more3.0 or 3.1
Sparklight Internet GigWi-Fi 6N/A3.1

DOCSIS and channels

Generally, I recommend DOCSIS 3.1 instead of DOCSIS 3.0 even though it is a little more expensive. 

DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest in modem technology to convert an incoming signal into your home network to be fed to your router.

It’s faster than the previous technology, DOCSIS 3.0. But most importantly, it’s more future proof as internet providers are slowly phasing out their support for DOCSIS 3.0.

DOCSIS 3.0 could work as a quick, cheap fix though. With this, you’ll also need to think about modem channels. All Sparklight modems require a minimum of 16×4 so don’t buy an 8×4 modem!

Faster plans need more channels as noted in the table above. Those figures refer to upstream x downstream channels. 

To find out more about the differences between DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1, take a look at this article

DOCSIS 3.0 benefits

  • Cheaper
  • Enough for slower plans

DOCSIS 3.1 benefits – Our recommendation

  • More future proof
  • Faster 

Ports and ethernet aggregation

A lot of modems have gigabit ethernet ports that will be enough for any of the Sparklight plans right now, as the fastest plan is 940 Mbps. This means you won’t need to worry about more speed than this right now. 

However, if you want to future proof yourself in case Sparklight brings out a faster plan in the future (or you’re thinking about moving to another provider), you might want to look at ethernet aggregation or multi gig ports.

The easiest way to get multi gig speed out of a modem is through a multi gig port. This will boost the standard 1000 Mbps to 2500 Mbps. 

The other, cheaper (in most cases) option is to use something called ethernet aggregation. This feature combines the output of two gigabit ports for a total speed of 2000 Mbps.

Ethernet aggregation does come with a few problems though. Firstly, not all routers are compatible with it. Second, you’ll need another IP address for the second port.

It appears that Sparklight will not charge you for a second IP address though. So, if and when they do release a multi gig plan, you’ll be able to use this feature.

Buying a modem/router combo vs keeping them separate

We’ve looked at some standalone modems and some modem/router combos in today’s article but I generally recommend keeping the devices separate.

The key reasons for that are that you’ll get faster speeds generally, better features (such as enhanced parental controls and QoS) and you’ll have more control over your network in terms of features and settings.

If you have a large home, it’s especially useful to keep things separate as then you may be able to use Mesh if you buy a router that supports it. 

If you don’t see the appeal of the extra speed, the features or the control then you can save time and make your life a little easier by opting for one of the modem/router combo devices. They’re still pretty good!

To find out more on this argument, take a look at this article

Separate modem and router device benefits – Our recommendation

  • Faster
  • Better features
  • More control over network

Modem/router combo benefits

  • Often cheaper
  • Convenient

Using your modem with your home phone

Sparklight does not support the use of landline home phones with third party modems. If you have a Sparklight phone plan then you’re going to need to stick with the modem they supply you.

The only way around this would be to buy two separate modems for your voice plan and your internet but that’s going to be complicated and expensive. I would recommend avoiding doing that.

Warranty

Finally, it’s worth thinking about the warranty of your modem.

Warranty refers to the time that the manufacturer will protect you against any faults with the device. This could be one year as a bare minimum or it could be two or three in the case of some manufacturers. 

Sparklight Approved Modems FAQ

Here are the answers to a few extra questions people have been asking about Sparklight approved modems.

How do I find out if my modem will be compatible with Sparklight?

Sparklight’s website is a great place to read all about modem compatibility, but it doesn’t list all the modems they actually support. The one way to find out for sure is to speak to them directly if you have a particular modem you really want to use with them. 

Is it easy to set up a new modem with a Sparklight internet plan?

Setting up a modem is a super simple process that will only take a minute or so. All you really need to do is plug it in and turn it on, then activate it with Sparklight which they’ll be able to show you how to do. 

Find out how to set up a modem in more detail here.

Is DOCSIS 3.1 required for Sparklight?

The only plan that requires DOCSIS 3.1 specifically is Sparklight Internet Gig. You can get away with DOCSIS 3.0 with the others but remember that Sparklight might phase out support for this in the future.

Final Thoughts on Approved Modems for Sparklight 

I love the Arris Surfboard SB8200 and think it’s going to be the best pick for most Sparklight customers who want to keep their modems and routers separate.

If you’re not bothered about that and just want to go for a modem/router combo, then your best bet is likely to be the Motorola MG8702.

As mentioned, these recommendations aren’t going to apply to everyone. For example, you might not want to spend that much if you’re on a slower Sparklight plan.

So make sure to check out all of my recommendations and consult the buying guide as you go through. With all that info, you’re bound to find the perfect new Sparklight approved modem for you. 

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