7 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems In 2022 [Xfinity, Spectrum, & More]

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

This is our review of the best DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems in 2022. 

As a Network Engineer, I have bought a bunch of modems and tested them. 

And from these tests, I have concluded that the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem is the Arris Surfboard SB8200. Because it’s fast, future-proof, and affordable. 

Arris Surfboard SB8200
Source: Surfboard.com

Arris Surfboard SB8200 - Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

Approved For:

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Armstrong, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), OptimumAstound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

That said, the modem won’t be the best option for everyone. Because people have different internet plans, homes, and preferences. 

Thus, I have chosen the 7 best DOCSIS 3.1 modems, so you can pick the one you like the most. 

Keep reading to learn more. 

Top 7 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modems

Here are the 7 best DOCSIS 3.1 modems.

  1. Best Overall Arris Surfboard SB8200 – Cable Modem
  2. Best PerformerMotorola MB8611 – Cable Modem
  3. Best Voice ModemNetgear CM2050V – Cable Modem
  4. Most ApprovedNetgear CM1000 – Cable Modem
  5. Best Premium OptionMotorola MG8725 – Modem/Router Combo
  6. Runner UpNetgear CAX80 – Modem/Router Combo
  7. Best ValueMotorola MG8702 – Modem/Router Combo



Approved Sign

What Does It Mean For A Modem To Be Approved?

When a modem is approved, it has been tested and confirmed to work with that ISPs internet. If you get a modem approved for your ISP, you are guaranteed that the modem will work with your internet.

It’s, however, sometimes the case that a non-approved modem will work. But it’s risky to get one. 

7 Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modems in 2022

IMAGE PRODUCT
Arris Surfboard SB8200
Arris Surfboard SB8200
  • Future-proof
  • Can work for plans up to 2000 Mbps
  • 2-years warranty
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Motorola MB8611
Motorola MB8611
  • Very fast
  • 2-year warranty
  • Works for plans up to 2500 Mbps
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
Netgear CM2050V
Netgear CM2050V
  • Supports internet plans up to 2500 Mbps
  • Very fast
  • Has two integrated phone lines that support 3-way conference calls
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Netgear CM1000
Netgear CM1000
  • Future-proof
  • Supports internet plans up to 1000 Mbps
  • Approved for every major cable ISP
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
Motorola MG8725
Motorola MG8725
  • Can reached 800 Mbps from 5 feet
  • Enough for a busy home with plenty of active smart devices
  • Easy to setup using the motosync app
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Netgear CAX80
Netgear CAX80
  • Works with many ISP's
  • Future-proof
  • Good range
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Motorola MG8702
Motorola MG8702
  • Enough for a family of 5
  • Good range
  • Cheaper
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

Here are overviews of the 7 best DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems in 2022.

#1 Best Overall – Arris Surfboard SB8200

Arris Surfboard SB8200
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Armstrong, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), Optimum, Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem compatible with any internet plan up to at least 1000 Mbps. 

The reason I say “at least” is because this modem has Port Bonding. 

Port Bonding is a feature that makes it possible to combine two Ethernet Ports into a single data stream that supports data rates up to 2000 Mbps. 

This means that the modem could support internet plans up to 2000 Mbps. The thing is that Port Bonding is not that useful today, as there are very few internet plans exceeding 1000 Mbps. 

But this feature does make the modem more future-proof. Making it ideal if you want to get a modem and not think about it anymore. 

A drawback with the SB8200 is, however, its lights. Which I think are too bright. This makes the modem very visible, and sleeping in the same room as the modem will likely be annoying. 

Altogether, the Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a high-value DOCSIS 3.1 modem. It’s high-performing and compatible with most ISPs, perfect if you want to get a modem and then forget about it. 

For more info on the SB8200, check out our full review




#2 Best Performer- Motorola MB8611

Motorola MB8611
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2500 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

Approved for

  • Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Suddenlink, WOW

If you are looking for DOCSIS 3.1 modems because you want the best of the best, then consider the Motorola MB8611. 

Instead of having Port Bonding like the SB8200, the MB8611 has a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port. 

This makes the modem compatible with internet plans up to 2500 Mbps. A speed so fast ISP’s are yet to offer it to consumers. 

Because the MB8611 supports both DOCSIS 3.1 and these kinds of speeds,  the modem is the most future-proof modem on this list, enough for many years to come. 

You should, however, not get the MB8611 if you have either RCN or Optimum. As the Motorola MB86XX series has issues on both ISPs. 

Furthermore, this modem might also be excessive for some. As it can only give you the speed of your current internet plan. 

Therefore, I especially recommend the Motorola MB8611 to you with a fast internet plan that wants the best. 

For more information regarding the MB8611, check out our full review.




#3 Best Voice Modem – Netgear CM2050V

Netgear CM2050V
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2500 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Voice Modem

Approved for

  • Comcast Xfinity

If you have a Comcast Xfinity Voice plan, then consider the CM2050V. 

It’s a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that supports internet plans up to 2500 Mbps. And like previously mentioned, this speed is so fast ISP’s are yet to offer it to consumers. 

It has two integrated phone lines that support 3-way conference calls, which means you can add a third person to any phone call. 

Moreover, it also supports call forwarding, letting you redirect phone calls to other phone numbers. 

I should, however, emphasize that this voice modem is only for Comcast Xfinity. For most other ISPs except Optimum, you have to rent your voice modem. 

You can learn more under “Voice Service” if you have Optimum. 

Overall, the CM2050V is a high-performing DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem for you with an Xfinity Voice plan.




#4 Most Approved – Netgear CM1000

Netgear CM1000
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Most Approved

Approved for

  • Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Armstrong, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), GCI, Mediacom, Midco, Suddenlink, WOW, Sparklight, Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave), (Sometimes Optimum)

If you just want a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that works, consider the Netgear CM1000. It’s, without a doubt, the most approved cable modem on the market.

This means that it will work for basically any ISP. That is, as long as it supports DOCSIS 3.1 (so be careful with a slower plan on Suddenlink). 

The thing about the CM1000 is that it’s kind of slow for being a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. With it only supporting internet plans up to 1000 Mbps. 

And even though that sounds like a lot, it’s not really. It only supports 1000 Mbps because it only has a single 1-Gig Ethernet port, which constraints the modem. 

This makes the modem future-proof but not as future-proof as the SB8200 and the MB8611. 

Altogether, the Netgear CM1000 is a modem approved by nearly every cable ISP. This makes it a reliable option for many. 

Still, due to its single Ethernet Port, it’s kinda slow for being DOCSIS 3.1.

For a more in-depth overview, check out our full review of the CM1000




#5 Best Premium Option – Motorola MG8725

Motorola MG8725
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Any Internet Plan
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 800+ Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Premium Option

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, SuddenlinkCoxAstound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

The Motorola MG8725 is one of the newest DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combos to hit the market. 

I wish I could share its max speed, but the cable internet plan I had access to only reached 800 Mbps. 

Regardless, it measured 800 Mbps from 5 feet. And from additional testing, it reached 529.86 Mbps from 25 feet and 289.32 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz band.

These amazing results are enough for a busy home with plenty of active smart devices. 

Range-wise, the MG8725 also performed excellently. Reaching a distance of upwards of 100 feet, enough for any but the largest homes. 

The modem also has a feature called Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD). 

The idea with LLD is to lower the latency of DOCSIS internet. But as your ISP needs to implement it, it’s nothing to hype yourself up too much about yet. [1]

Moreover, the MG8725 might also be overkill for some reading this. Especially if you have an internet plan of 500 Mbps or less. 

Altogether, the Motorola MG8725 is one of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combos you can get. Just be aware that you might not need it. 

If you want to learn more, read our full review of the Motorola MG8725.




#6 Runner Up – Netgear CAX80

Netgear CAX80
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 800+ Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Runner Up

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave), (Sometimes Optimum)

The Netgear CAX80 is a modem/router combo for you looking for something faster. 

Unfortunately, just like the MG8725, I couldn’t pinpoint its max throughput. Because I only have access to an 800 Mbps cable plan. 

Nevertheless, it did reach 800 Mbps from 5 feet. Further tests measured 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz network

Results which is very good for a modem/router combo. Enough for a family of 7+ people to use the internet at the same time. 

And if the coverage worries you, know that it doesn’t have to. Because the CAX80 performed excellently there as well. 

Reaching about 90-100 feet, which is enough for any but the largest homes. 

The biggest drawback with the device is that it lacks both QoS and Parental Controls. These allow you to prioritize applications and control your children’s internet usage. 

Furthermore, the CAX80 can be excessive if you have an internet plan below 500 Mbps.

Overalls, the Netgear CAX80 is a high-performing DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combo. Perfect for you that need something fast.

Read our full review.




#7 Best Value – Motorola MG8702

Motorola MG8702
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: 500 Mbps or below
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 518.51 Mbps
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Value

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, WOW, Suddenlink, Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

The Motorola MG8702 is for you looking for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router combo that doesn’t want to pay too much. 

It averaged 518.51 Mbps from 5 feet and 272.03 Mbps from 25 feet during testing using the 5GHz band. 

Good results considering it’s a Wi-Fi 5 router, enough for a family of around 5 people to use the internet simultaneously. 

The range of the MG8702 is also pretty good, reaching around 80-90 feet. Enough for a larger home if you place the device closer to its center

I do, however, advise avoiding this modem/router if you have an internet plan closer to 1-Gig. As even though the modem is fast enough, the router is not. 

The MG8702 also has very flawed QoS and Parental Controls. They should allow you to prioritize applications and control your kid’s activities on the internet. 

But I found them very underwhelming and hard to use. 

Overall, The Motorola MG8702 is a cheaper DOCSIS 3.1 modem, fast enough for most, but not if you have a Gigabit plan. 




What to Consider Before You Buy a DOCSIS 3.1 Modem

Here are some of the most important things to consider before buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. For a more general modem buying guide, go here

Approved & Compatible With Your ISP

I would argue that the most important thing to ensure before you buy a modem is that it is compatible with your ISP. 

Because otherwise, nothing else matters. 

This will often mean that the modem is “approved” for that ISP. And when a modem is “approved,” it is tested and confirmed to work on that ISPs internet. 

Sometimes, however, it simply means that the modem fits the ISP’s requirements for which modems work for them.

Furthermore, they occasionally interchange “approved” with other words, like compatible, certified, or supported. 

Do You Really Need a DOCSIS 3.1 Modem?

Another thing to consider is if you really need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. 

For some reading this, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is a must. Because there are ISPs that require a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Another reason for needing a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is a 1-Gigabit internet plan or a 500 Mbps plan for some ISPs.

But, if neither is the case for you, then a DOCSIS 3.1 modem might not be your best option. 

Because often you will find that a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with enough channels will do for many internet plans. 

And DOCSIS 3.0 modems are nearly always cheaper than their DOCSIS 3.1 counterparts. 

That said, I do usually recommend DOCSIS 3.1 modem for most. 

Because even if you could get away with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, for now, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem offers a future-proof alternative with better performance. [2]

There are, however, some exceptions. 

If you know that you are going to change to fiber optic internet in a year or less, or move for that matter. 

Then, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem might be a better option. Because there is no point in future-proofing if you won’t use the modem in the future. 

Here is an overview of the pros and cons of each version of DOCSIS. 

DOCSIS 3.1 Pros

  • Future-proof
  • Lower latency
  • Faster

DOCSIS 3.0 Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Often enough

For a more in-depth article on DOCSIS 3.1 vs. 3.0, click here.

Modem/Router Combo Vs. Separate Devices for DOCSIS 3.1

Another thing you get to decide when you get a modem is if you want a modem/router combo or separate devices.

The difference is that a modem/router combo has a modem and a router as one device while separate has them as two.

Both options have their merits, but as a Network Engineer, I recommend separate devices. 

The reason is that this allows you to change one device if it breaks or needs an upgrade. Furthermore, it also enables better performance and more control. 

That said, modem/router combos are not as useless as many seem to think. They offer convenience by only being one device and usually have a lower upfront cost. 

Moreover, some good DOCSIS 3.1 options recently arrived on the market. 

So, you want one, feel free to get it. 

Separate Devices Pros

  • Better performance
  • More control
  • Can change one device 

Modem/router combos Pros

  • More convenient 
  • Usually cheaper

If you find yourself still uncertain, check out our article on modem/router combos vs. separate devices

Design/Ports

Another thing you got to consider when you buy a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is the design and the Ethernet ports. 

Even though the design isn’t the most important aspect when choosing a modem, it’s still worth considering. 

Get a modem that fits your particular needs and that you like. 

Ethernet ports are, however, a completely different story. 

Because for DOCSIS 3.1 modem, you will find that it’s often the Ethernet port which is the constraining factor for how fast the modem is. 

To combat this constraint, there are a couple of different solutions. 

The first one is what the SB8200 uses: Port Bonding (also named Ethernet Aggregation and Ethernet Bonding). [3, 4]

This technology is far from flawless, but it does allow you to combine two Ethernet ports into a single data stream capable of 2000 Mbps. 

Another better solution is for the modem to have a single 2.5-gigabit port. This enables the modem to work with internet plans up to 2500 Mbps. 

Voice Service (VoIP)

If you have a VoIP plan, you most likely need to rent a modem from your ISP. 

The only exceptions for this are if you have Comcast Xfinity or Optimum. Because they allow you to get a modem with Voice support. [5]

This leaves you with two options for most ISPs. The first one is to use the modem from your ISP for both the Voice service and the internet. 

The second option is to use the modem from your ISP for the Voice service only and get a separate modem for the internet. 

For most, this is unnecessary, but if you are very unhappy with your ISP’s modem, it’s an option. 

Warranty & Support

Another thing to consider is the support and warranty of a modem. Because unfortunately, it’s occasionally needed. 

Arris Surfboard and Motorola usually have 2-years, while Netgear typically has a 1-year warranty. [6, 7]

For support, Motorola is the best in my experience. Even though it varies in quality depending on who picks up on the other side. 

If you don’t trust the support of your ISP and the manufacturers, you can always get a protection plan on Amazon. This will give you free high-quality help and replacement if you get any problems. 

Approved Modems Lists

If you find that no modem in this article is approved for your ISP, then check out our compatible modems hub.

There you will find articles about which modems are approved for every major ISP in the US. 

I spent many hours compiling and working hard to keep up to date. So it will most likely have all the information you will need regarding your ISP. 

Setup and Activation

Setting up a modem is very simple. Just connect the coax cable and the power cord and wait for it to turn on. 

Then connect it to a computer or your router and open a browser (with a device connected to the router’s Wi-Fi if you connected it to a router.)

After that, you need to activate the modem. You will often get redirected to your ISP’s activation page when you open the browser. Still, sometimes you need to go to them manually. 

You can find them below. 

Moreover, you sometimes need to call your ISP if they don’t have a self-activation page. 

One such example is WOW, which you can call here

FAQ

Here are some common questions regarding DOCSIS 3.1 modems. 

Which is the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem?

After much testing and consideration, we have concluded that the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem is the Arris Surfboard SB8200. Because it’s fast, future-proof, and affordable. 

But it won’t be the best option for everyone. For more alternatives, check out the article above. 

What router is best together with a DOCSIS 3.1 standalone modem?

What router you should get depends on numerous factors, the most basic one being your internet plan. 

If your internet plan is 500 Mbps or below, consider the TP-Link AX55. It’s a good price for performance router that will be enough for most. 

But if your internet plan is more than 500 Mbps, I would recommend the ASUS RT-AX88U. It’s is a high-performer but will cost you a bit more. 

Does a DOCSIS 3.1 modem give me faster internet?

That honestly depends. If you have a 1000 Mbps internet plan and use a slow DOCSIS 3.0 modem. Then upgrading to DOCSIS 3.1 modem will make a world of difference. 

But if you only have a 50 Mbps plan and already have a decent modem, then getting a DOCSIS 3.1 modem most likely won’t increase your internet.

Our Verdict

After much consideration and testing, we have concluded that the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem is the Arris Surfboard SB8200

Because it’s fast, future-proof, and affordable. Furthermore, it’s also approved for most of the major cable ISPs. 

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