Best WOW! Approved Modems [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 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 and talked to WOW! to find the best WOW!-approved modem.

And I found that the Motorola MB8600 is the best. 

Motorola MB8600

Motorola MB8600 – Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps plan or below
  • Channel: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

But everyone has different internet needs and wants. 

Hence, I put together this list of the four best modems and modem/router combos for your WOW! Internet. 

Let’s get started. 

The 4 Best WOW! Compatible Modems

  1. Motorola MB8600 (Editors Choice’s – Modem)
  2. Netgear CAX80 (Best Performer – Modem/Router Combo) 
  3. Netgear CM600 (Budget-Friendly – Modem)
  4. Motorola MG7700 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo) 

Top 4 WOW! Approved Modems

Here are the four best modems for WOW! Internet. 

#1 Motorola MB8600 (Best Performer – Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

The Motorola MB8600 is the cable modem I recommend for any WOW! Custom. It’s a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that is compatible with any WOW! Internet plan.

The DOCSIS 3.1 is good because this makes the modem future-proof. As WOW! will change to DOCSIS 3.1 in the future. 

The modem also 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 makes the modem compatible with plans up to 2000 Mbps. 

The MB8600 also comes with a 2 years warranty. So if you get any problems with it – you can return it. 

The biggest drawback is that it’s a bit pricer than a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, and it won’t make your internet faster if you have one of the slower plans. 

But, likely, you will still save many by getting it since you won’t have to change when DOCSIS 3.1 role out. 

#2 Netgear CAX80 (Best Performer – Modem/Router Combo) 

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 32×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year 
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Netgear CAX80 is a suitable option for any WOW! Internet plan. 

During testing, I wasn’t able to find out how fast the device is as I only had access to an 800 Mbps internet plan.

But it did reach 800 Mbps from 5 feet, 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet, and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet, all using the 5GHz band. 

This is the best speed I have ever tested from a modem/router combo and is one of the few combos I can recommend for an internet plan up to 1000 Mbps. 

The biggest drawback with the CAX80 is that it lacks both QoS and Parental controls. 

So you can’t prioritize data on the network or control what your kids can and can’t do on the internet. 

#3 Netgear CM600 (Budget-Friendly – Modem)

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 600 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Netgear CM600 is a good option for anyone on the Internet 500 plan or below. 

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

It has a sleek and tall design and is known for being reliable. 

Its biggest drawback is that it’s DOCSIS 3.0. So when WOW! change to DOCSIS 3.1, you will have to get a new one. 

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

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommend for: 600 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

During testing, the Motorola MG7700s Wi-Fi reached 441.28 Mbps from 5 feet and 126.12 Mbps from 25 feet, using the 5GHz band. 

This makes the device feasible with the Internet 500 plan but a better fit for the Internet 200 plan. 

Because you won’t have 500 Mbps Wi-Fi with this device anywhere in your home, so you don’t get all you pay for. 

But with cables, it works up to 600 Mbps. 

The router has a pretty good range, reaching upwards of 90 feet. So it should be enough for a medium-sized house.

The drawback with the Motorola MG7700 is that it lacks DOCSIS 3.1, which means that you will have to change it out when WOW! changes to DOCSIS 3.1. 

The router also doesn’t have that good Qos or Parental controls. Thus, it’s hard to prioritize data on the network and restrict your kid’s actives on the internet. 

Complete List of All WOW! Approved Modems

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

BrandModel #With RouterChannelsDOCSISPuma Chipset

Puma chipset is a problematic chipset linked with latency issues. Avoid modems using it.

What to Consider Before Buying a WOW! Approved Modem

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

For a more in-depth guide, check out the modem buying guide.

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 WOW!s list or the WOW approved modems list 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 24×8 channels. 

WOW! considers modems with DOCSIS 2.0 or below as end-of-life models. 

Speed – DOCSIS & Channels

Another 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 the budget-friendly.

If you, however, have WOW!s 1000 Mbps plan, you need to get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

When you look at the speed, you should also note the ethernet ports. Both what throughput they support and how many it 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 and router has. It’s substantially lower.

Below is a table where you can see what DOCSIS version and channels are necessary for each WOW! plan. 

Internet PlanDOCSISChannels
Internet 1003.0 or 3.124×8 or 32×8
Internet 2003.0 or 3.124×8 or 32×8
Internet 5003.0 or 3.124×8 or 32×8
Internet 10003.1N/A

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 as 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 change one if it breaks or needs an upgrade rather than both. It also offers better performance and more control. 

This is not to say that combos are useless. They take less space, have a cheaper upfront cost, and are easier to set up. 

In the case WOW!, a gateway is an option because there’re many good ones 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. 

WOW! Phone Service

If you have WOW!s Phone service, you have to lease a modem from them. Because WOW! hasn’t approved any modems with eMTA support. 

This leaves you with two options. Either rent an eMTA modem for your Phone service and get an approved modem for your internet. 

Or use the eMTA modem for both the internet and the Phone service. 

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 was 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 modem, as it gets much cheaper in the long run. As well as giving you an enhanced network performance and more control. 

Its only 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 internet plan and what devices I recommend. 

PlanDownload SpeedRecommended ModemRecommended Gateway
Internet 100100 MbpsNetgear CM600Motorola MG7700
Internet 200200 MbpsNetgear CM600Motorola MG7700
Internet 500500 MbpsMotorola MB8600Netgear CAX80
Internet 10001000 Mbps Motorola MB8600Netgear CAX80

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. For third-party devices, contact WOW! and give them the MAC address of the device. This is for activating 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 guide here if you want a more comprehensive version. 


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

How to Access a WOW! Modem and Router?

Type in 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 my 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 MB8600 is the best option for most of its customers. 

Because it provides a fast and reliable internet connection.