WOW! Approved Modems List

Here is a list of the best WOW! (WideOpenWest) approved modems for your internet plan in 2021. 

WOW! approved modems

As a Network Engineer, I have researched to find out which is the best WOW!-approved modem.

And I found that the Motorola MG7700 is the best. 

But everyone has different internet demands. Therefore, I put together this list of the five best-approved modems and modem/router combos for your WOW! Internet. 

Let’s get started. 

5 Best WOW! Compatible Modems

  1. Motorola MG7700 (Editors Choice’s – Modem/Router Combo) 
  2. Motorola MB8600 (Best Performer – Modem)
  3. Netgear CM500 (Budget-Friendly – Modem)
  4. Netgear Nighthawk C7800 (Best Performer – Modem/Router Combo)
  5. Motorola MG7540 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

Top 5 WOW! Approved Modems

Here are the 5 best cable modems that are compatible with WOW!.

#1 Motorola MG7700 (Editors Choice’s – Modem/Router Combo) 

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Max speed: 1000+ Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 600 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Ethernet Ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years money-back guarantee 
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

Even though I recommend most people to get separate devices, I still decided to pick the MG7700 as the first modem on the list. 

Motorola is famous for its quality, and the MG7700 is no expectation. And with a 2-year warranty, they certainly make that clear. 

The device has a real-world internet download speed of around 600 Mbps. This makes it perfect for WOW!s internet 500 plans. 

It has a channel bonding of 24×8 with DOCSIS 3.0, which gives it an upload speed capability of around 200 Mbps. Enough for any of WOW!s internet plans. [1]

The router is also dual-banded. This means that you can switch between a 2.4 GHz network and a 5 GHz network. The difference is that 2.4 GHz has a better range while 5 GHz has faster speeds. 

The cons with the Motorola MG7700 is that it does not have the best range. So if you have a large home I would either avoid it or get a Wi-Fi repeater. 




#2 Motorola MB8600 (Best Performer – Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Max speed: 6000 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet Ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 2 years money-back guarantee
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

I recommend the Motorola MB8600 if you have WOW!s internet 1000 plan. 

With a channel bonding of 32×8 and DOCSIS 3.1, it supports a speed of over 1000 Mbps. Which is enough to download any program in minutes.

And just as the first modem on this list, the MB8600 comes with a 2 years warranty. So if you get any problems with it – you can return it. 

Furthermore, the cable modem uses Broadcom chipsets, which are safe and reliable. Unlike the puma chipset that some modems use. 

Also, note that the MB8600 has 4 ports, 3 of them hidden under the yellow sticker. That is a good feature as this enables the modem to theoretically support faster speeds in the future. 

This is because you can bond two ethernet ports together and create one 2G port. This enables a speed faster than the 1000 Mbps it advertises. 

I recommend this cable modem for anyone who has an internet 1000 plan or wants to future-proof their modem. As this device will not need replacement in years. 




#3 Netgear CM500 (Budget-Friendly – Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Max speed: 800 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 300 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 16×4
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Ethernet Ports: 1 x 1G
  • Warranty: 30 days return policy
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Netgear CM500 is a good option for anyone with either an Internet 200 or 100 plan.  

It has a real-world download speed of 300 Mbps and an upload speed of 80. This speed is enough for streaming multiple HD movies at the same time.

It will not, however, work for WOW!s Internet 1000 plan. As the cable modem is DOCSIS 3.0 rather than 3.1.

One con with the CM500 is that it tends to overheat, so I recommend choosing a spot with good air circulation. 

Overall, the CM500 is a good option for anyone that wants to save some money. And doesn’t plan to upgrade their internet plan anytime soon. 




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

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Max speed: 3200 Mbps
  • Recommended for speed: 2000 Mbps or below
  • Channel bonding: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Ethernet Ports: 4 x 1G
  • Warranty: 30 days return policy
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 is the fastest modem on this list. With a real-world download speed of 2000 Mbps. Enough to download GTA V (60G) in 30 seconds. 

It also has an upload speed of around 200 Mbps, which is enough to upload large files and play any game. 

Moreover, the router is dual-banded. This means that you will have two networks, one with 2.4 GHz and another with 5GHz. 

This is good because 2.4 GHz has a better range, while 5 GHz has faster speeds. Allowing you to choose the best for your circumstances.

The router also has a good range. Even though it does not have the 3000 Sq. Ft. which it’s advertising to have. This range is only possible during perfect circumstances outside. 

The actual range is instead between 25% to 50% of what’s advertised. Depending on how many obstacles it has around it.

The C7800 still has a good range which makes it good for someone with a larger home. The modem is also great if you have a faster internet plan that wants a gateway. 




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

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

The Motorola MG7540 is a modem that I have recommended many times. This is because it’s a budget-friendly gateway with a pretty high real-world download speed of 300 Mbps. 

It more expensive than the budget-friendly modem, but this is because it also has a router. 

I recommend this device if you have the Internet 100 or 200 WOW! plan. But if you have a faster internet plan, then it won’t be able to deliver enough speed. 

The router also has both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. So as mentioned before you can choose the best for you. 2.4 GHz has a better range, while 5 GHz has a faster speed. [2]

One con with this router is that it has a weak signal. So if you have a larger home, I would recommend getting a Wi-Fi repeater together with it. 




List With WOW! Approved Modems

Here is a list of all the WOW! compatible modems.

BrandModel #With RouterChannelsDOCSISPuma Chipset
NetgearC3000Yes8x43.0No
NetgearC3000v2Yes8x43.0No
NetgearC3700Yes8x43.0No
NetgearC3700v2Yes8x43.0No
NetgearC6220Yes8x43.0No
NetgearC6250Yes16x43.0No
NetgearC6300Yes16x43.0No
NetgearC6300V2Yes16x43.0Yes
NetgearC6300BDYes8×43.0Yes
NetgearC6900Yes24x83.0No
NetgearC7000Yes24x83.0No
NetgearC7000v2Yes24x83.0No
NetgearC7500Yes24x83.0No
NetgearC7800Yes32×83.1No
NetgearCBR40Yes32×83.0Yes
NetgearCG3000DYes8×43.0No
NetgearCG3000Dv2Yes8×43.0No
NetgearCG4500BDYes8×43.0No
NetgearCM400No8x43.0No
NetgearCM500No16x43.0No
NetgearCM600No24x83.0No
NetgearCM700No32×83.0Yes
NetgearCM1000No32x83.1No
NetgearCM1000v2No32x83.1No
NetgearCM1100No32x83.1No
NetgearCM1200No32x83.1No
NetgearCM2000No32x83.1No
NetgearN450Yes8x43.0No
NetgearCAX80Yes32×83.1No
Motorola
MB7220
No8x43.0No
Motorola
MB7420
No16x43.0No
Motorola
MB7621
No24×83.0No
Motorola
MB8600
No32x83.1No
Motorola
MG7310
Yes8x43.0No
Motorola
MG7315
Yes8x43.0No
Motorola
MG7540
Yes16x4
3.0No
Motorola
MG7550
Yes16x4
3.0No
Motorola
MG7700
Yes24×83.0No
Motorola
SBG6782AC
Yes8x4
3.0No
SMCD3CM1604No16×43.0No
Arris
CM8200
No32×8
3.1No
Arris
DG2460
Yes24×8
3.0Yes
Arris
SB6141
No8x4
3.0No
Arris
SB6180
No8x4
3.0No
Arris
SB6182
No8x4
3.0No
Arris
SB6183
No16x4
3.0No
Arris
SB6190
No32x8
3.0Yes
Arris
SB8200
No32x8
3.1No
Arris
SBG10
Yes16×4
3.0Yes
Arris
SBG6400
Yes8x4
3.0No
Arris
SBG6580
Yes8x4
3.0No
Arris
SBG6700-AC
Yes8x4
3.0No
Arris
SBG6782-AC
Yes8×4
3.0No
Arris
SBG6900-AC
Yes16x4
3.0No
Arris
SBG6950AC2
Yes16x43.0Yes
Arris
SBG7400AC2
Yes24×8
3.0Yes
Arris
SBG7580-AC
Yes32×8
3.0Yes
Arris
SBG7600AC2
Yes32×8
3.0Yes
Arris
SBG8300
Yes32×83.1Yes
Arris
S33No32×83.1No
ASUSCM-16No16×43.0No
ASUSCM-32Yes32×83.0Yes
LinksysCG7500Yes24×83.0Yes
LinksysCM3016No16×43.0Yes
LinksysCM3024No24×83.0Yes
TP-Link
Archer CR500
Yes16x4
3.0No
TP-Link
CR1900
Yes24x8
3.0Yes
TP-Link
TC-7610
No8x4
3.0No
TP-Link
TC-7620
No16x4
3.0No
TP-Link
TC7650
No24x8
3.0Yes
Ubee
DDW366
Yes8×4
3.0No
D-Link
DCM-301
No8×4
3.0No
Cisco
DPC3008
No8×4
3.0No
Cisco
DPC3010
No8×4
3.0No
Cisco
DPC3825
No8×4
3.0No

What to Consider Before Buying a WOW! Approved Modem

Modem

Before buying a WOW! approved cable modem, there are a couple of things you should take into consideration. This, to make the best possible choice for you. 

Compatible with WOW!

The first thing you need to make sure of is that the modem is compatible with WOW!. Otherwise, it will not work. You can do that by either, check out their list on WOW!-approved modems or the modems listed above. 

If you have your eyes on another modem, you need to make sure it’s a cable modem that at least supports DOCSIS 3.0 with more than 8×4 channels. As WOW! considers cable modems with DOCSIS 2.0 or below as end-of-life models. 

Speed

Another important thing to look into before choosing your cable modems is what internet speed you have. Because if you only have their 100 Mbps plan, you don’t need the top-performer listed above. But can instead go for a budget-friendly.

If you, however, have WOW!s 1000 Mbps plan, you should get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem or a DOCSIS 3.0 with 32×8 channels. As more channels mean that the cable modem supports faster speeds. The first number in the channel description stands for download speed, and the second one stands for upload speed. [3]

When you look at the speed you should also note the ethernet ports. Both the speed they support and how many a device has. Especially if you plan to use ethernet cables to give your devices internet.

Pick a cable modem that fits your plan, and note that the maximum speed is not the real-world speed a modem has. The real-world speed is substantially slower.

Modem/Router Combo or Separate

You must also decide if you want a modem/router combo (gateway) or separate devices. The difference is that a gateway is a modem and a router in one device while separate are two devices. 

There are some pros and cons with both options. But as a Network Engineer, I recommend getting separate devices. This is because separate allows you to upgrade one if it breaks or needs an upgrade rather than both. It also makes faster internet possible. 

The pros with a combo devices are that it takes less space and is easier to set up. It’s also cheaper in the short term. In the case WOW! a gateway is an option because there are many good to choose from. So if you feel that you want one you can get it. 

If you want a more detailed guide on the pros and cons, check out modem/router combo vs separate

Home Size

This is only applicable if you get a gateway. But you must consider how large your home is. A larger home requires a router with a stronger signal to give it complete coverage. 

Remember that a router’s range is much lower inside, especially if you have thick walls. The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 (top performer) gateway is a good option if you have a large home. 

WOW! Phone Service

If you have WOW! Phone Service you must also make sure the cable modem supports VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Otherwise, your phone will not work. 

To fast see if a cable modem supports Voip look for a ”V“ at the end of the model number. This usually indicates that it has phone lines. 

Rent Vs. Buy WOW! Compatible Modems

The cost of renting a modem from WOW! Is $14 a month, up from the previously $10 a month it had before. This is not the most expensive rental fee, but still pretty high. Costing $168 per year, enough to buy a new modem every year. 

Therefore I strongly recommend most people to buy their own approved modem, as it gets much cheaper in the long run. As well as coming with some other benefits. The biggest cons are that WOW! might blame the third-party modem if you get internet problems. 

If you want a more detailed guide on the benefits and problems with each option, check out this overview

WOW! Internet Plans

WOW! has four internet plans, and depending on which one you have, I recommend different devices. Here you can see each plan and what device I recommend. 

PlanDownload SpeedUpload SpeedRecommended ModemRecommended Gateway
Internet 100100 Mbps10 MbpsCM500MG7540 
Internet 200200 Mbps10 MbpsCM500MG7700
Internet 500500 Mbps50 MbpsMB8600MG7700
Internet 10001000 Mbps50 MbpsMB8600C7800

You can read the reviews for the cable modem and gateways recommended above.

How to Set Up a WOW! Modem

To set up a WOW! approved modem:

  1. Pick a location with good air circulation. So the modem doesn’t overheat. If you have a gateway or a router, also try to place it in the middle of your home to improve Wi-Fi coverage. 
  2. Connect the coax cable and the power cord. Also, connect your modem and router with an ethernet cable if you have separate devices. 
  3. If you have a third-party device, you need to contact WOW! and give them the MAC address of the device to activate your internet. Call them and they will guide you through the process. 
  4. Follow the instruction manual that comes with the modem/gateway. 

You can find WOW!s own guide here if you want a more comprehensive version. 

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about WOW! and third-party equipment.

How to Access a WOW! Modem and Router?

Type in 192.168.0.1 in any browser and hit enter. Then log in using your username and password you can find on the bottom of your router. If you want a much more complete guide check out how to access your router.

How to Reset a WOW! Router/Modem?

Press the little hidden button on the back of the device for 5-10 seconds using a toothpick or a needle. For a more detailed guide, go to how to reset your modem & router

How to Change WOW! Router Password?

Login to your router’s admin panel and go to change the password. 

My WOW internet seems slow. How do I speed it up?

There could be many reasons for the slow internet. But I recommend checking the speed with a speed test and then compare it to your plan. If you get what you are paying for you need to upgrade. But if you aren’t, then follow my guide on 13 ways to boost your Wi-Fi speed.

My Verdict

WOW! has plenty of compatible modems. So there are plenty to choose from. 

But after research and talking to WOW!. I have concluded that Motorola MG7700 is the best option for most of its customers. 

As it provides both a modem and a router with a fast internet connection.