Best Spectrum Approved Modems

Here is a list of the Charter Spectrum approved modems, with reviews of the 6 best from that list.

Spectrum approved modems

As a Network Engineer, I have researched and talked with Spectrum to figure out which is the best Charter Spectrum compatible modem. 

And I have concluded that the Motorola MB8611 is the best cable modem for Spectrum. 

Motorola MB8611
Source: Motorola.com

Motorola MB8611 – Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for speed: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years return policy

But every person has different internet needs and wants, so, what modem is best for you depends.

Thus, I have written this article with a list of all approved modems for Charter Spectrum and reviews of the 6 best for different circumstances. 

So keep reading to learn them.

Top 6 Modems Approved for Spectrum 

Here are the 6 best Spectrum approved modems.

  1. Motorola MB8611 (Editor’s Choice – Modem) 
  2. Netgear Nighthawk CM2000 (Best Performer – Modem)
  3. Motorola MB7220 (Budget-Friendly – Modem)
  4. Motorola MG7700 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo
  5. Netgear Nighthawk C7800 (Best Performer – Modem/Router Combo)
  6. Motorola MG7540 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

6 Best Charter Spectrum Compatible Modems 

Here are short reviews of the best-certified modems and gateways for Charter Spectrum. 

#1 Motorola MB8611 (Editor’s Choice – Modem) 

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Max speed: 6000 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet ports: 1 x 2.5G
  • Warranty: 2 years 
  • Chosen as: Best Overall 

The Motorola MB8611 works for any Spectrum internet plan. 

It has a max speed of 6000 Mbps with DOCSIS 3.1 and a real-world speed of approximately 1000 Mbps. This is enough internet speed to watch more than 20 4K movies at the same time. [1]

The modem also has an upload speed of around 200 Mbps with DOCSIS 3.0. Much more than necessary for any Spectrum plan. 

What differentiates this cable modem from several others is that it has a 2.5G ethernet port. The port will theoretically make it able to support a speed above 1000 Mbps in the future. 

This makes the modem a future-proof option. 

There have, however, been reports that some people have experienced decreased performance after 6-12 months. Luckily the warranty lasts 2 years so if it happens you can return it and get a new one. 




#2 Netgear Nighthawk CM2000 (Best Performer – Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Max speed: 10 000 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 2500 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet ports: 1 x 2.5G
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

If you have the Spectrum Internet Gig plan, then I recommend this modem. 

The modem has a staggering real-world speed of 2500Mbps. This speed, if realized, would be able to download nearly any program in seconds. 

If you get this modem, make sure it’s paired with a high-performing router. Otherwise, you will not get the speed it provides. 

Also note, that you will never receive speeds faster than your internet plan. No matter how fast your modem and router are. 

This makes the CM2000 a bit of an overkill as for today. But it is a future-proof option that most likely will work for years to come. 




#3 Motorola MB7220 (Budget-Friendly – Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Max speed: 343 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 200 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 8×4
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Ethernet ports: 1 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friedly

The Motorola MB7220 is an option for you with the Spectrum internet 100-200 Mbps plan. 

This is a just-enough modem that will give you what you need for today but might not in the future. 

The modem’s real-world speed is around 200 Mbps, and upload speed around 80 Mbps. 

This is enough for most internet activities, such as streaming movies and playing online games. 

Overall, it’s a good cheaper option as long as you don’t plan to upgrade your internet plan anytime soon. 




#4 Motorola MG7700 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Max speed: 1000+ Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 600 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Ethernet ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years 
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

The Motorola MG7700 is a good option if you want a gateway and has either the Spectrum internet plan (100 Mbps) or the Spectrum Internet Ultra (400 Mbps) plan. 

It’s a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a channel bonding of 24×8. This gives it an upload speed of around 200 Mbps. Which is enough for any Spectrum plan. 

The router is also dual-banded. This allows you to switch between a 2.4GHz network and a 5GHz network. 

2.4GHz haves a better range, while 5GHz is faster. 

The drawback with the Motorola MG7700 is that doesn’t have the best range. This makes it a poor choice if you have a large home. 




#5 Netgear Nighthawk C7800 (Best Performer – Modem/Router Combo)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Max speed: 3200 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 2000 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 1-year 
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

The C7800 is perfect for you that want a gateway and has the Spectrum Internet Gig plan (940 Mbps).

The modem has a real-world speed of around 2000 Mbps which is more than enough for the plan and any future plan increases.

The router is also dual-banded, which means you can choose between a 2.4GHz and a 5GHZ network.

This is good because 2.4GHz haves more range, while 5GHz is faster. 

On the advertising page for this gateway, it’s said to have a coverage of 3000 sq. ft. Take this with a grain of salt. Because the real-world range will be lower. 

But even still, the gateway has a good range, and is thus a good option for someone with a larger home.




#6 Motorola MG7540 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Max speed: 686 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 300 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 16×4
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Ethernet ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Motorola MG7540 is a good option for you with either the Spectrum 100 Mbps plan. 

This is another just-enough device. That will serve its purpose well but aren’t future-proof. 

With DOCSIS 3.0 and 16×4 channels, it has an upload speed of around 80 Mbps. Enough for the plans. 

The router also supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. And as already mentioned, 2.4GHz has a better range while 5 GHz is faster. 

This gateway is a good option for anyone that doesn’t plan to upgrade their internet speed any time soon. 




Charter Spectrum Approved Modems List 

Here is a list of all Charter Spectrum compatible modems.

BrandModel #With RouterChannelsDOCSISPuma ChipsetSpeed (Mbps)
ARRISSB6120No4×43.0No60
ARRISSB6121No4×43.0No60
ARRISSB6141No8×43.0No100
ARRISSBG6400Yes8×43.0No100
ARRISSBG6580Yes8×43.0No100
ARRISSBG6580-2Yes8×43.0No100
ARRISSBG6700-ACYes8×43.0No100
ARRISSBG6900-ACYes16×43.0No300
ARRISSB6183No16×43.0No400
ARRISSB6190 No32×83.0Yes400
ARRISSBG10 Yes16×43.0Yes400
ARRISSBG6950AC2 Yes16×43.0Yes400
ARRISSBG7400AC2 Yes24×83.0Yes400
ARRISSBG7580-AC Yes32×83.0Yes400
ARRISSBG7600AC2 Yes32×83.0Yes400
ARRISS33No32×83.1No1000
ARRISSB8200No32×83.1No1000
ARRISSBG8300Yes32×83.1Yes1000
D-LinkDCM-301No8×43.0No100
LinksysCM3008No8×43.0No100
LinksysCG7500 Yes24×83.0Yes400
LinksysCM3016 No16×43.0Yes400
LinksysCM3024 No24×83.0Yes400
MotorolaMB7220No8×43.0No100
MotorolaMG7310Yes8×43.0No100
MotorolaMG7315Yes8×43.0No100
MotorolaMB7420No16×43.0No300
MotorolaMG7540Yes16×43.0No300
MotorolaMG7550Yes16×43.0No300
MotorolaMB7621No24×83.0No400
MotorolaMG7700Yes24×83.0No400
MotorolaMB8600No32×83.1No1000
MotorolaMB8611No32×83.1No1000
MotorolaMG8702Yes32×83.1No1000
HUMAXHGD310No32×83.1No1000
ASUSCM-16No16×43.0No300
ASUSCM-32 Yes32×83.0Yes400
ASUSCMAX6000Yes32×83.1No1000
NETGEARC3000-100NASYes8×43.0No100
NETGEARC3700v2Yes8×43.0No100
NETGEARC6220Yes8×43.0No100
NETGEARCG3000DYes8×43.0No100
NETGEARCG3000Dv2Yes8×43.0No100
NETGEARCM400No8×43.0No100
NETGEARCMD31TNo4×43.0No100
NETGEARC6250Yes16×43.0No300
NETGEARC6230Yes16×43.0No400
NETGEARC6300 Yes16×43.0Yes400
NETGEARC6300v2Yes16×43.0Yes400
NETGEARC6900Yes24×83.0No400
NETGEARC7000-100NASYes24×83.0No400
NETGEARC7000v2Yes24×83.0No400
NETGEARC7500Yes24×83.0No400
NETGEARCM500No16×43.0No400
NETGEARCM600No24×83.0No400
NETGEARCM700 No32×83.0Yes400
NETGEARCM1000No32×83.1No400
NETGEARCBK40 Yes32×83.0Yes400
NETGEARCBR40 Yes32×83.0Yes400
NETGEARC7800Yes32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCM1000v2No32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCM1100No32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCM1200No32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCM2000No32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCAX30Yes32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCAX80Yes32×83.1No1000
NETGEARCBR750Yes32×83.1Yes1000
TP-LinkTC-7610No8×43.0No100
TP-LinkTC-W7960Yes8×43.0No100
TP-LinkARCHER CR500Yes16×43.0No300
TP-LinkARCHER CR700Yes16×43.0No300
TP-LinkTC-7620No16×43.0No300
TP-LinkCR1900Yes24×83.0No400
Zoom5341JNo8×43.0No100
Zoom5345No8×43.0No100
Zoom5350Yes8×43.0No100
Zoom5352Yes8×43.0No100
Zoom5354Yes8×43.0No100
Zoom5360Yes8×43.0No100
Zoom5363Yes8×43.0No100
ZyxelCDA-30360No8×43.0No100
SMC NetworksD3CM1604No16×43.0No300

Puma Chipset is a problematic chip some modems use. I would strongly recommend modems that don’t use it. No means it doesn’t have it, while Yes means the modem haves it.

Speed is the fastest plan the modem is approved for. So 400, for example, means that the modem is approved for any internet plan up to 400 Mbps.

What to Consider Before Buying A Spectrum Approved Modem

Spectrum Authorized Modems

Here are some of the most important things you need to consider before buying a third-party authorized modem for Charter Spectrum. For a more in-depth guide, check out the modem buying guide

DOCSIS & Channels – Modem Speed

When buying a cable modem, you must make sure it is fast enough for your internet plan. This means that the modem’s real-world speed, not max speed, is at least as fast as the plan. 

To know the speed of a cable modem, you should look at the DOCSIS version and its channels. [2]

For DOCSIS, there are two options, either DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. 

The difference between the two is that DOCSIS 3.1 is 10 times faster. Supporting a download speed up to 10 Gbps. 

In short, DOCSIS 3.0 is enough for any Spectrum internet plan as of now, but it’s not a future-proof option. 

While DOCSIS 3.1 costs slightly more but will work for any Spectrum plan for years to come. 

If you want to go deeper into the pros and cons of each option, check out DOCSIS 3.1 vs. 3.0

The channels on a modem only matter on DOCSIS 3.0 modems. Since 3.1 modems always have 32×8 channels. 

For DOCSIS 3.0 modems, there exist channel bondings between 4×4 to 32×8. More channels equal more speed. 

I have put together a table for what DOCSIS version and channel bonding is necessary for each Spectrum plan. 

You can always have a better modem than necessary, but don’t buy a worse modem than your plan needs. 

Spectrum Internet PlanDOCSIS CompatibilityChannel Compatibility
Spectrum Internet (100 Mbps)3.0 or 3.18×4, 16×4, 24×8, or 32×8
Spectrum Internet Ultra (400 Mbps)3.0 or 3.124×8, or 32×8
Spectrum Internet Gig (940 Mbps)3.0 or 3.132×8

Compatibility with Spectrum

Another thing to consider when buying a third-party modem is that it must be compatible with Spectrum. 

This is nothing to worry about as long as you choose any modems from the Spectrum approved modems list. All of which, Spectrum has certified and tested with their internet. 

But for any other modem that isn’t approved by Spectrum, you are taking a risk that it won’t work with your internet. 

Therefore, I strongly recommend you getting a modem from the list.

Modem/Router Combo Or Separate

When buying a Spectrum certified modem, you must decide if you want a modem/router combo or separate devices. 

The difference being that a modem/router combo is a modem and a router in the same devices. While separate is a standalone modem that connects with a router through an ethernet cable. 

Both options have pros and cons, but as a Network Engineer, I recommend separate devices. 

This is because separate devices allow for changing one device if it breaks or needs an upgrade. It also allows for higher performance and more customization. 

This is not to say that modem/router combos are worse in every way. They do have less of an upfront cost and are often easier to set up. 

Spectrum has plenty of both options in their approved modems list, so in the end, it’s up to you. 

Check out separate vs. gateway for a more detailed overview. 

Voice Support

If you have Spectrum voice service, then you need to have a Spectrum modem. Because none of the approved modems will work with Spectrum Voice. 

This leaves you with two options. Either only get one of the telephone modems from Spectrum and use it for internet and telephone service. 

Or get two modems, one telephone modem, and one approved modem. 

You can then get a splitter and connect the internet to the approved modem and the telephone line to the telephone modem. 

You need to call Spectrum and inform them of it. Because things need to rearrange so it will work.

I would also recommend explaining to them what you are doing to get guidance with the process. 

Rent vs. Buy From Spectrum

Spectrum charges $5 a month for renting their modem/router combo. This translates to $60 a year. [3]

When it comes to ISPs renting fees, this is not that high. Because it’s not rare for ISPs to charge three times more. But this cheaper cost comes at the price of you receiving a lower-quality gateway. 

Therefore, I recommend most people to buy their modem. Because it will give you a better performance for a lesser cost (in the long run).

The only reason not to is if you are changing ISP soon or need the tech support you get from renting. 

Even though I should note that I’m somewhat biased since I do make a small commission if you buy a modem.

For a more comprehensive overview of buying vs. renting, click here.

Spectrum Internet Plans

Charter Spectrum has three internet plans. Here are they and what approved cable modem or gateway works well for each internet plan. [4]

Spectrum Internet PlanCable ModemGateway
Spectrum Internet (100 Mbps)MB7220MG7540
Spectrum Internet Ultra (400 Mbps)MB8611MG7700
Spectrum Internet Gig (940 Mbps)CM2000C7800

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about Spectrum third-party modems. 

How do I set up my modem with Spectrum?

  1. Find a location with good air circulation. 
  2. Connect the coax cable and the power cord. Also, connect the router with an ethernet cable if you have separate devices. 
  3. The rest is different for every modem. But follow the set-up guide that comes with it. For activation of the modem, go here

Can I buy a modem from Spectrum?

No, you can’t. But you can rent a modem from Spectrum for a monthly fee of $5. 

My Verdict

Charter Spectrum is one of the largest internet providers in the United States. Therefore, they have plenty of approved modems on their list. 

And from that list, I have concluded that the Motorola MB8611 is the best option for Charter Spectrum Internet. 

Because it provides fast and future-proof internet access for a reasonable price.