7 Best WOW! Compatible Modems in 2023 [Full List]

Note, no device can get you faster internet speeds than your internet plan provides.

Also, get the device you need. A modem and a router are not the same things. Some types of internet require both others only one. If you are uncertain, click here

Here is our review of the best cable modems for WOW! (Woways) Internet, including a complete list of all Wow-approved modems.

WOW approved modems 2

I’ve been testing and researching loads of modems compatible with WOW!, and now I can show you the best ones.

I’ve picked the Motorola MB8611 as my overall number one option because it offers the best value for money for most WOW! customers.

Motorola MB8611
Source: Motorola.com

Motorola MB8611 - Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: Any WOW plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

But something else from my top suggestions may be better suited to you, so stay tuned.

Let’s get into it. 

Top 7 WOW! Approved Modems

Here are the best picks for the most important categories for WOW! customers.

  1. Best overall modem: Motorola MB8611
  2. Best modem for budgets: Netgear CM600
  3. Best modem for gaming: Arris Surfboard SB8200
  4. Best modem for WOW! Internet 1.2 Gig: Netgear CM2000
  5. Best modem/router combo overall: Motorola MG8702
  6. Best budget modem/router combo: Motorola MG7700
  7. Best modem/router combo for gaming: Netgear CAX80

Best Approved Modems for WOW!

Let’s find out a little more about each of those modems.

#1 Best Overall Modem – Motorola MB8611

Motorola MB8600
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Any WOW! plan
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Top WAN speed: 2500 Mbps

Pros

  • Future-proof
  • Enough for any WOW! plan
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

If you want a great modem that’s fast enough for any WOW! Internet plan, check out the Motorola MB8611. It’s about as fast as it gets, but it’s not going to break the bank.

The max speed you’ll be able to get from this modem is 2500 Mbps and that’s because it has a multi gig port. That’s about as fast as it gets for a home modem, and it’ll easily max out the fastest WOW! plan (1.2 Gig).

Another reason for the speed is a technology called DOCSIS 3.0. This is the latest modem technology and it’s super quick. Plus, you’ll be able to use your MB8611 long into the future with this, as a lot of ISPs are stopping their support for the older protocol, DOCSIS 3.1.

I also like the fact that Motorola gives you two years of warranty with this modem instead of the standard one. This means you’ll be protected for any faults for twice as long. 

The MB8611 might be a little expensive for some, especially those on the slower plans. But you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck, and that’s why it’s my top overall pick. 




#2 Best Budget Modem – Netgear CM600

Netgear CM600
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: WOW’s 500 Mbps plan or below
  • Channel bonding: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Top WAN speed: 960 Mbps

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Often enough

Cons

  • May become redundant 

If you’re not on the fastest two WOW! plans (Internet 1 Gig and 1.2 Gig) and you want to save some money on your modem purchase, the CM600 is a great option.

It’s not particularly quick, but it’s enough for all plans up to Internet 200. It supposedly has a top WAN speed in theory of 960 Mbps (but it’s likely to actually be lower than this).

Be warned, however, that you might not be able to use this modem for too long into the future. A lot of ISPs are beginning to fade out their support for the modem technology that the CM600 is powered by, DOCSIS 3.0.

You’ll need a modem with DOCSIS 3.1 if you want to future proof yourself, but that’s going to cost you more. 

The key for this modem though is that it has 24×8 channels. This is the minimum requirement for WOW! And, it’s enough for Internet 100 and Internet 200.

Another warning is that the warranty is only one year. But then, if you’re buying this modem in the first place, it’s likely that the future isn’t too much of a thought for you.

Nonetheless, as a quick fix, it doesn’t get much better than the CM600. It’s cheap and it’s more than enough for most WOW! Internet plans. 




#3 Best Modem for Gaming – Arris Surfboard SB8200

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

Pros

  • Port bonding means faster speeds
  • Well-priced
  • Future proof

Cons

  • Ethernet aggregation can cause problems
  • Bright lights

Any gamers out there will know how important it is to get the fastest internet speeds. And one of the best modems for those speeds that’s approved by WOW! is the Arris Surfboard SB8200

This modem uses something called port bonding instead of having a multi gig port. It combines the output of two regular ethernet ports for a total top speed of 2 Gbps. 

There are a couple of issues with using this that you need to know, so make sure to read about them in the buying guide later in this article. 

Nonetheless, the top speed here is more than enough for any of the WOW! Internet plans and more importantly, it’s plenty for gamers! 

Port bonding is cheaper than a multi gig port as well, and we can see that compared to the price of our number one pick overall. The Surfboard will not cost you a lot. 

Part of what helps the speed is the inclusion of DOCSIS 3.1. This also means you’ll be more well-protected against the future as some ISPs will be removing support for older technology. 

One small issue we did find is that the running lights are super bright so beware of that if you’re planning on sleeping in the same room as it!

But generally, I love this modem and I’m confident that many gamers with fast WOW! Internet plans out there will love it too.




#4 Best Modem for WOW! Internet 1.2 Gig – Netgear CM2000

Netgear CM2000
  • Type: Cable modem
  • Recommended for: Internet 1.2 Gig
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Top WAN speed: 2500 Mbps

Pros

  • Super fast
  • Multi gig port
  • Future proof

Cons

  • A little pricey 
  • One year warranty

One of the most powerful modems you can get that’s approved by WOW! is the Netgear CM2000.

This modem has a multi gig port, which means it has a total power output of 2500 Mbps. This is more than enough for even the fastest current WOW! Internet plan.

That kind of speed is going to be more than enough for a whole family, even with some intense gamers. In fact, it would be enough speed for even most small businesses.

Of course, it’s a DOCSIS 3.1 modem which is the latest and most powerful modem technology around. 

And, as we’ve been saying, this means you’ll be protected more against the future. DOCSIS 3.0 is being phased out by ISPs around the world so it could only be a matter of time before WOW! becomes one of them. 

This is quite an expensive modem though. So if you don’t have one of the fastest WOW! Internet plans, it’s probably going to be overkill. 

You’d hope that for this price, you’d get an extra year of warranty, but that’s not the case. Netgear only gives one year of warranty with this modem, which is just about the only downside unless you consider the price to be one. 

But at the end of the day, the Netgear CM2000 is still definitely my favorite modem for the fastest current WOW! Internet plan, Internet 1.2 Gig. 




#5 Best Modem/Router Combo Overall – Motorola MG8702

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

Pros

  • Enough for most
  • Future proof 
  • Good price 

Cons

  • Could be faster

You can save time and money by opting for a modem/router combo and I think the best one for most WOW! customers is the Motorola MG8702.

With modem/router combos, we need to look at the top Wi-Fi max speed as this is the biggest indicator of the speed potential of a device.

And luckily, we’ve been testing those. We ran a speed test on a device connected to the MG8702 from 5 ft away and managed to score a reasonable 518.51 Mbps.

This means it’s going to be plenty for a large family. It’s also enough for all WOW! plans up to Internet 500. 

The reason for this speed being pretty good but not amazing is that it’s a Wi-Fi 5 router.

Wi-Fi 5 brings the price down but it does stop it from reaching gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. You’d need Wi-Fi 6 or 6e for that, but it’s going to cost you more. 

The good news is that Wi-Fi 5 will continue to be supported indefinitely. As will the modem technology for the MG8702, which is DOCSIS 3.1 instead of 3.0.

We’ve also been testing the range of each modem. I found it to be around 80-90 ft for this router which is about enough for a medium-sized home. 

Other than the slight lack of speed, the MG8702 is pretty much perfect. And it comes for a good price! Plus, the speed is only going to affect people on the fastest plans anyway. 




#6 Best Budget Modem/Router Combo – Motorola MG7700

Motorola MG7700
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommend for: WOW’s 200 Mbps plan or below
  • Tested Max Speed: 441.28 Mbps
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 2 years 
  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Tested max Wi-Fi speed: 441.28 Mbps

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • 2-years warranty
  • Fairly fast

Cons

  • Lacks features
  • Not future-proof

A great way to save even more money with your modem/router combo is with the Motorola MG7700.

It’s cheap, but you don’t have to compromise that much on speed. We still managed to record a speed of 441.28 Mbps. But that does rule it out from being acceptable for Internet 500. It’s only good for Internet 100 and 200.

Be warned though, this is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem so it might not be supported for much longer. 

It also has channels of 24×8 which is another reason it won’t work with the Internet 500 plan. 

The range of this modem is still pretty reasonable at around 80-90 ft again. That’s enough for an average home.

So, for such a low price, this is a great option for customers on the Internet 100 and 200 plans. Just don’t expect to be able to keep using it forever!




#7 Best Gaming Modem/Router Combo – Netgear CAX80

Netgear CAX80
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: WOW’s Gigabit plan or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year 
  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Tested max Wi-Fi speed: 800 Mbps+

Pros

  • Future-proof
  • Very fast
  • Good range

Cons

  • Lacks features
  • Costly

If you want to max out your Internet Gig or Gig 1.2 plan in order to get the ultimate gaming experience at home then check out the Netgear CAX80.

In our test, the CAX80 easily maxed out the 800 Mbps internet plan we had at the time. It’s likely that it would have got very close to 1 Gbps, if not surpassing it. As such, I think it’s a good option for any WOW! Internet plan.

It’s certainly enough for some great gaming action. You shouldn’t have an issue with many gamers gaming intensely simultaneously. 

The reason for this extra speed is that it’s a Wi-Fi 6 router, the latest and fastest technology. This does make it a little more expensive though. 

You’ll also find that the range of this modem/router combo is wider too, at around 90-100 ft. This means it’s a more suitable device to those in larger homes. 

The CAX80 also comes with two years of warranty which is rare for Netgear products. They must really trust this hardware!

It’s a little expensive, but that’s probably the only thing some people won’t like about it. The CAX80 is a fantastic gateway device for gamers on the fastest WOW! Internet plans. 




WOW! Approved Modems Buying Guide

I’m confident that between them, my top picks will suit all WOW! customers. But if you feel like you want to buy something else, or if you just want to know how I came to those decisions, then check out my buying guide below.

For more information, you can consult a more detailed buying guide here.

Is your modem compatible with WOW!?

Because WOW! uses cable internet, a lot of modems are compatible with its internet plans. But it’s far from all of them.

Of course, all the modems I’ve listed today are compatible with WOW! But if you’re looking at one elsewhere, you’re going to need to check if it’s also compatible. WOW! only approves certain modems for use with its plans. 

You’ll also need certain DOCSIS and channels for the plans, so be sure to check out the ‘DOCSIS and modem channels’ section later on in this article to see if your modem meets the requirements for each plan.

To find out if any modem not in my list is compatible with WOW!, you’ll need to reach out to their support team via their website. 

Renting or buying your new modem 

WOW! charges $14 per month to rent their modem/router combo device. That’s quite expensive. 

If you stay with WOW! for just a few months, you’re going to save money by buying your own modem. That’s even true if you need to spend a little more money to buy one of the premium modems if you’re on a fast plan. 

A lot of people have been saying that the rental mode from WOW! Is a little basic, so it’s probably going to be worth the upgrade anyway if you’re on one of the faster plans (especially Internet 500 onwards). 

In general, I recommend that all WOW! customers buy their own modems.

Still not sure whether to rent or buy your modem? I’ve got more information for you on the matter here.

Your new modem’s speed 

Your modem is going to need to be fast enough to get the best out of your plan from WOW! Otherwise, you’re effectively going to be wasting money on your plan. 

Let’s take a look at the speeds on offer from WOW!:

Internet PlanSpeed (D/U)Required DOCSISRequired ChannelsRecommended Minimum Wi-Fi Standard
Internet 100100 Mbps/10 Mbps3.0 or 3.124×8 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Internet 200200 Mbps/10 Mbps3.0 or 3.124×8 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Internet 500500 Mbps/50 Mbps3.0 or 3.132×8 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Internet 1 Gig1000 Mbps/50 Mbps3.1N/AWi-Fi 6 or 6e
Internet 1.2 Gig1200 Mbps/50 Mbps3.1N/AWi-Fi 6 or 6e

Is your modem going to be fast enough for your WOW! internet plan? A few factors apply to this.

If you have a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, it’s likely to be quite slow so it might have a direct effect.

However, all DOCSIS 3.1 modems will have enough processing power to max out all the plans. The only limitation you have is the cable output.

And this only comes into effect if you’re on the 1.2 Gig plan. Make sure you read the ‘multi gig ports and port bonding’ section to find out if you’re going to have enough speed in your modem.

We’ll find out more about what DOCSIS means in the next section. 

DOCSIS and modem channels 

I always recommend buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, no matter how fast your plan is. The key reason for this is that manufacturers are phasing out support for the older technology, DOCSIS 3.0, so your DOCSIS 3.0 modem might become redundant.

DOCSIS is the technology that converts an incoming internet signal into a network that your smart devices can access at home. 

DOCSIS 3.1 is going to be faster and more future proof. But it is more expensive, so some people may see the appeal of grabbing a DOCSIS 3.0 modem for now as a ‘quick, cheap fix’ if they’re on one of the slower plans. 

If you do end up with DOCSIS 3.0, you’ll also need to think about channels. These refer to the level of ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ of the modem.

The minimum channels supported by WOW! is 24×8. This rules out quite a lot of modems as many are 16×4 or less. Be sure to look out for that when you choose a modem.

We’ve compared DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 a little further in this guide.

DOCSIS 3.0 benefits 

  • Cheaper
  • Okay for a quick fix 

DOCSIS 3.1 benefits – Our recommendation

  • Future proof
  • Better speeds
  • More compatibility

Multi gig ports and port bonding 

Your modem’s ethernet port output is the key limitation on the speed it can pass to a router. 

If you have a single ethernet port, your max output will be 1 Gbps. That’s good enough for most WOW! plans. If you have a multi gig port, that speed jumps up to 2.5 Gbps, which would be good for the 1.2 Gig plan. But it is expensive.

A cheaper option to get more than 1 Gbps from a modem is through something called port bonding. 

Port bonding, otherwise known as ethernet aggregation, combines two ethernet port outputs for a total speed of 2 Gbps.

But there are a couple of problems with this. Firstly, it’s not compatible with all routers. 

Secondly, you’ll also need a second IP address from your ISP. It does appear that this is possible with WOW! However, not all ISPs support this and some will charge you for it. 

To buy a modem/router combo or to keep things separate?

Generally, I’d recommend keeping your modem and router separate. There are a few key benefits to this that you can’t get from a modem/router combo device.

Mainly, you’ll be able to get better features. Most modem/router combos are poor for features but by introducing a standalone router, you can get Mesh, QoS, parental controls and more.

Routers tend to be able to offer you better speed as well. For example, a Wi-Fi 6e router like the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 would allow you to max out the speed of the Internet 1.2 Gig plan over Wi-Fi.

On the flip side, using a modem/router combo is often a lot cheaper. It’s also much easier to set up, so if you’re not worried about the extra speed and features, it’s a valid option. 

Want to know more? We compared both options in depth in this article.

Separate modem and router device benefits – Our recommendation

  • More control over network
  • Good features
  • Potentially faster

Modem/router combo benefits

  • Cheaper
  • More convenient 

The size of your home 

You’ll also want to think about whether the range of a modem/router combo (or a regular router, of course) is wide enough for your home.

Typically, a range of between 80-90 ft would be enough for a medium-sized home. But you’re going to want more than that if your home is over average size.

If you buy a modem/router combo then find out it’s not covering all corners of your home, you can always buy a Wi-Fi extender. Find out about some of the best ones here.

Your modem’s warranty

If you’re planning on keeping your modem for a long time, you might want to think about one that has an extended warranty (ie. anything longer than the legal minimum in the US of one year).

Hopefully, your modem will never need to use this but it’s always good to have peace of mind. 

FAQ: WOW! Approved Modems 

There’s a lot to take in when it comes to modems for WOW! So, check out some more important info below.

Is it easy to set up a modem with WOW!?

Most modems are super easy to set up. Just plug them in, switch them on and then activate them with WOW! Their customer support team will be able to get that sorted for you. 

You can find out how to set up a modem here.

Do I need a modem for all the WOW! internet plans?

WOW! uses a hybrid cable and fiber internet connection for all its plans, so you’re going to need both a modem and a router (or a combo device) for all of them. 

That said, if you have fiber internet only, you only need a router.

Do I need DOCSIS 3.1 for all WOW! internet plans?

You don’t necessarily need DOCSIS 3.1 for all the WOW! plans. Only WOW! Internet 1 Gig and 1.2 Gig need DOCSIS 3.1.

However, I still recommend DOCSIS 3.1 even if you have one of the slower WOW! plans, as DOCSIS 3.0 is being slowly phased out by internet providers, so your DOCSIS 3.0 modem might not be usable for super long.

Concluding on Approved Modems for WOW!

The Motorola MB8611 is an awesome modem and it’s great that it’s compatible with WOW! It’s my top pick for most customers, but not for everyone. Some may need more speed or want to save money.

The same can be said for modem/router combos. Although my top pick is definitely the Netgear CAX80, some people in other circumstances might need something else.

Be sure to look over the buying guide before you make your decision, as with that information, you’ll be able to make the right call. Good luck!

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3 thoughts on “7 Best WOW! Compatible Modems in 2023 [Full List]”

  1. Andreas, thank you for this information! It seems that WOW! isn’t providing recommendations or approved hardware lists on their website like they used to, so this is very helpful.

    Awhile back, I noticed our internet had slowed suddenly… not so much with downloads or steaming, but with the switching, or the initiation of a data transfer. My first thought was that our wireless system was going bad, but I started thinking that it may be the modem, since those standards have changed and WOW! is no longer accepting new service with the pre-DOCSIS 3.0 for new installs and recommends a 3.1 modem (https://www.wowway.com/sites/default/files/2021-05/modem-compatibility-list.pdf). We have a trusty old Arris Surfboard that’s probably over 10 years old, so I’m going to update that first. I think I’ll go with the MB8611, since it’s only $20 more than the 8600 for bumping to 2.5Gbps ethernet.

    Another concern I have is data security and privacy – I’m an Apple user partly because of these concerns, and modems or routers from sources like Amazon (eero) and Google (Nest), but also Netgear and others seem to use all sorts of personal data. I’m suspicious of any system that requires an app for installation – the data that they claim a right to use; purchases, financial info, user content, address lists, location, etc., is definitely an unacceptable intrusion. So I’m sticking with a Motorola modem and installing without an app (their Zoom app for routers also seems to collect way too much info).

    Anyway, thank you very much for your work – I’ll send others links to your site (I’m one of those guys who others always seem to ask for help in these matters).

    Reply
    • Thanks for your feedback, John. And I agree, the MB8611 is also a good option.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about privacy when it comes to cable modems. Since they mainly change the analog signal into a digital signal and vice versa. So there is really no feasible way for them to collect data.

      That said, for routers and most other devices I definitely agree with you, privacy is very important.

      Reply

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