7 Best Cable Modem For Gaming 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

Here is our review of the best modems for gaming in 2022. 

As a Network Engineer (and a gamer), I have bought a bunch of modems and tested them against each other. 

And out of these, I have concluded that the best modem for gaming is the Arris Surfboard SB8200. Because it’s fast, offers a lower ping, and is 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, Atlantic Broadband, Wave, Optimum, RCN

But the modem will unfortunately not work for everyone. Because different ISP has different modems requirements. 

Thus, I have picked the 7 best modems for gaming, so you can choose one that fits your circumstances and work for your ISP.

Let’s get started. 

Top 7 Cable Modems For Gaming

Here are the 7 best cable modems for gaming in 2021. 

  1. Arris Surfboard SB8200 (Editor’s Choice – Cable Modem)
  2. Netgear CM2000 (Best Performer – Cable Modem)
  3. Netgear CM600 (Budget-Friendly – Cable Modem)
  4. Motorola MG8725 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)
  5. Netgear CAX80 (Runner Up  – Modem/Router Combo)
  6. Motorola MG8702 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)
  7. Netgear C7000 (Budget-Friendly – 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 Cable Modems For Gaming

Here are short reviews of the best modems for gaming in 2021. 

#1 Arris Surfboard SB8200 (Editor’s Choice – Cable Modem)

Arris Surfboard SB8200
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall for Gaming

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Wave, Optimum, RCN

Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a cable modem that will work for any internet plan up to at least 1000 Mbps. 

I say “at least” because this is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with a feature called port bonding. 

This feature allows you to combine two ethernet ports into a single data stream that supports internet plans up to 2000 Mbps. 

This is, however, not that useful today, as few ISP’s support it. Still, combining this with the DOCSIS 3.1 makes the SB8200 very future-proof. 

Perfect if you want to get a modem and then not think about it for years. 

DOCSIS 3.1 will also lower your latency, a nice benefit for playing online games. Especially FPS games such as CS:GO or Valorant. [1]

The drawback with the modem is very much tied with what makes it good. 

Because if you know that you are switching to fiber optic internet in a year or less, then the SB8200 might be a bit excessive. 

If that’s the case, get a modem with the minimum requirement for your current internet plan (see the table under “Channels”)

Overall, the Arris Surfboar SB8200 is a popular and high-performing modem. Perfect for you that wants to get a modem and then forget about it. 

Read full review.




#2 Netgear CM2000 (Best Performer – Cable Modem)

Netgear CM2000
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2500 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Grande, Mediacom, Optimum, RCN

If you are one of those people who wants the best of the best for your gaming setup, then consider the Netgear CM2000. 

It’s another DOCSIS 3.1 modem which is special because it has a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port. 

This makes the cable modem compatible with internet plans up to 2500 Mbps. A speed so fast an ISP is yet to offer it to consumers. 

Perfect for any gamer looking to stream and play in the highest quality possible. 

You can look at the CM2000 as a more powerful version of the SB8200. With it being faster, more future-proof, and newer. 

Just keep in mind that no modem can get you faster internet speed than you pay for in your internet plan. So this modem might be excessive for some. 

Thus, I specifically recommend the Netgear CM2000 for you with an internet plan closer to 1 Gig or more. 




#3 Netgear CM600 (Budget-Friendly – Cable Modem)

Netgear CM600
  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 600 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly 

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Sparklight, Suddenlink, Grande, Wave, Optimum, RCN, Atlantic Broadband

The Netgear CM600 is a suitable choice for you with an internet plan of around 600 Mbps looking to save some money. 

It’s a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 24×8 channels. This makes it less suitable for gaming since DOCSIS 3.0 modems tend to have slightly higher latency. 

And as time moves forward and DOCSIS 3.0 get phased out, you will have to get a new modem. 

Thus, it’s not as future-proof as the options above. 

That said, it will still likely work for years to come as long as you don’t upgrade your internet plan above 600 Mbps. 

Altogether, the Netgear CM600 is for gamers on a budget that doesn’t have a too-fast internet plan. 




#4 Motorola MG8725 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)

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, Suddenlink, Wave, Optimum, RCN

The Motorola MG8725 is perfect for you looking for a new and high-performing modem/router combo. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t conclude its max speed during testing since the internet plan I had access to only reached 800 Mbps. 

Nevertheless, from 5 feet, it reached 800 Mbps. Further testing revealed it getting 529.86 Mbps from 25 feet and 289.32 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz band.

These very good results make the modem enough for any internet plan and more than enough for basically any video game. 

The coverage of the MG8725 also proved itself quite good, reaching about 90-100 feet. Which is enough for any except the largest houses. 

Moreover, this is the only cable modem on the market approved for Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD). [2]

This feature is meant to lower the latency for things like gaming and video calls. But to be frank, this is nothing to hype yourself up about too much. 

As your ISP first needs to implement it for you to get any effect from it. Nevertheless, it might be good in the future. 

I should also note that the MG8725 might be excessive for some of you. Get it only if you have a fast internet plan and want the best modem/router combo possible. 




#5 Netgear CAX80 (Runner Up  – Modem/Router Combo)

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, Grande, Atlantic Broadband, Optimum, RCN

The Netgear CAX80 is a modem/router combo for gamers looking for something powerful. 

Regrettably, just like the MG8725, I couldn’t find its max Wi-Fi speed. Since I only had access to an 800 Mbps cable internet plan.

But as expected, it reached 800 Mbps from 5 feet. Other speeds measured were 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet.  

These results are more than enough to play any video game, that is, as long as your internet plan supports the speeds. 

The range of the CAX80 is also good, reaching approximately 90-100 feet. This makes it enough for most homes.

The drawback of the device is that it lacks extra features useful for gaming. For example, QoS, which makes it possible for you to prioritize gaming on your network. 

Even though I should note that you shouldn’t need it to use that with these speeds.

Altogether, the Netgear CAX80 is a high-performing modem/router combo. Perfect for you with a fast internet plan that wants something fast. 




#6 Motorola MG8702 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)

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, Grande, Wave, Optimum, RCN

The MG8702 is for you that don’t want to spend a fortune but still get a good performance. 

In testing, the router reached 518.51 Mbps from 5 feet and 272.03 Mbps from 25 feet.

Good results considering it’s a Wi-Fi 5 router and more than enough to play basically any computer game. 

The coverage of the MG8702 is also pretty good, reaching about 80-90 feet. 

This is enough for a normal-sized home and even a slightly larger one if the device is placed somewhere closer to its center

And even though the router is Wi-Fi 5, the modem is DOCSIS 3.1. This is good for gaming since DOCSIS 3.1 modems tend to have lower latency than DOCSIS 3.0 modems.

Moreover, DOCSIS 3.1 is faster and more future-proof.

The MG8702, like most other modem/router combos, does, however, lack extra features. 

And even though it has QoS and Parental controls, they are very unpractical and hard to utilize compared to what separate routers offer. 

Overall, the MG8702 is a medium-tier modem/router combo. Good enough for most gamers, just not if you have a Gigabit internet plan. 




#7 Netgear C7000 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

Netgear C7000
  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: 400 Mbps or below
  • Max Wi-Fi speed: 370.47 Mbps
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

Approved For

  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Grande, Wave, RCN

If you have an internet plan at or below 400 Mbps and are looking to save some money, consider the Netgear C7000.

It’s another modem/router combo, which during testing, averaged 370.47 Mbps from 5 feet and 132.82 Mbps from 25 feet. 

Results which is enough for most gamers. And if your internet plan is slow, there really isn’t much point in buying something much better. 

The modem is DOCSIS 3.0 with 24×8 channels. This can affect your latency, so if you play lots of FPS games, you might want to consider a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. 

But otherwise, the modem will likely do for a couple of years more. Even though this depends on your ISP. 

Overall, this modem/router combo is for gamers on a budget, just don’t get it if your internet plan exceeds around 500 Mbps.  




What To Consider When Buying A Modem For Gaming

Here is what you should consider before buying a mode for gaming. For a more general guide, check out our modem buying guide.

Compatible With Your ISP

When buying a modem, the most important thing is to make sure it’s compatible with your ISP. 

The first aspect of this is to make sure you get the right modem for your internet. This list only has cable modems; these are only for cable internet

If you have DSL internet, check out either of these lists.

If you are uncertain what internet you have, check out this guide

For fiber, you don’t need a modem, but instead, you have an ONT provided by your ISP. If you have fiber optic internet, you should only get a router

Approved for your ISP

The thing is, it doesn’t just end with the right modem for the right type of internet. Because even the right kind of modem sometimes doesn’t work with all Internet Service Providers.

This is why you also should check if a modem is approved for your ISP. Meaning, it’s tested and confirmed to work with that ISP’s internet. 

For more info regarding your ISP’s modem requirement, visit their site or check out our approved modems hub

There you find every major ISP and what modems are approved for them.

Modem/Router Combo Vs. Separate Devices For Gaming

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

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

For gaming, I recommend you get separate devices. 

Because separate will allow you better performance, more stability, and easier customization of your network. 

It will also allow you to change one device if it breaks or you want an upgrade. Because we gamers tend to enjoy the best and the newest in terms of technology.  

This is not to say that combos are useless. If you want one, get it. They often have a lower upfront cost and are easy to set up.

Just be aware of the risks. 

Separate Devices Pros

  • Better performance
  • More control
  • Easier to customize 

Modem/Router Combo Pros

  • Cheaper upfront cost
  • Often easier to setup

If you want more info on the subject, check out Modem/router combo vs. separate devices

DOCSIS 3.0 Vs 3.1

DOCSIS is the telecommunication standard used to deliver cable internet to your home.

For cable modems, you have two options, either DOCSIS 3.1 or 3.0.

The main difference is that DOCSIS 3.1 is faster, newer, and generally has lower latency, while DOCSIS 3.0 is cheaper. [3]

For gaming, I recommend getting yourself a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. 

Mostly because such a modem will likely get you lower latency and are compatible with most cable internet plans. 

That said, if you are on a budget, you still might want to consider a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. As they are enough for most internet plans below the Gigabit tier. 

DOCSIS 3.1 Benefits

  • Lower latency
  • Faster
  • Future-proof

DOCSIS 3.0 Benefits

  • Cheaper
  • Often Enough

For more info, check out DOCSIS 3.1 or 3.0

Channels (Only For DOCSIS 3.0)

If you decide to get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you also need to consider how many channels you need. 

Channels, written like Z×Y (24×8, for example), determine how fast a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem is. 

The first number is downstream channels, and the second is upstream channels. More channels, equaling more bandwidth.

So, you need to get a cable modem with enough channels to match your internet speed in terms of speed. 

Otherwise, you will not get the internet speed you pay for. 

Below you can see the estimated amounts of channels and the DOCSIS version you need for each internet speed. 

Just keep in mind that your ISP might have different requirements. 

Internet ThroughputDOCSIS CompatibilityChannels Compatibility
Up to 100 MbpsDOCSIS 3.0 or 3.18×4 or above
Up to 300 MbpsDOCSIS 3.0 or 3.116×4 or above
Up to 600 MbpsDOCSIS 3.0 or 3.124×8 or above
Up to 900 MbpsDOCSIS 3.0 or 3.132×8
Above 900 MbpsDOCSIS 3.1N/A

Note that DOCSIS 3.1 doesn’t use channels. 

Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD)

Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD) is the newest upgrade to DOCSIS internet. Its purpose is to lower the latency of cable internet to match that of fiber optic internet. [4]

Currently, the only modem certified with LLD is the Motorola MG8725. But any DOCSIS 3.1 modem should be able to get this feature with a firmware update. 

So, should you care about it?

Well, for now, I would say no. Since your ISP needs to implement it before it gets you any significant improvement.  [5]

And this will likely take to around 2023 before we begin to see that happen. 

But, if you want to be future-proof, you could get a modem that either has LLD or plans to implement it. 

Currently, most Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 modems are planning on implementing it. But it’s not 100% certain. 

Design/Ports

For design, it’s worth knowing that cable modems usually are smaller than they look. 

So, don’t worry about a modem being “too big.” 

Also, note that some lights on modems can be bright, especially the Arris Surfboards one. So if you sleep in the same room as the modem will stand, it’s worth keeping that in mind. 

If you get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, it’s also worth noting what type of ethernet port it has. 

Because some will have a single gigabit port, while others will have two or more gigabit ports, and the newest has a 2.5G port.

The port is important because this is often the bandwidth constraint for DOCSIS 3.1 modem. So, a faster ethernet port usually means that the modem is faster and better. 

Avoid the Puma Chipset

I usually recommend everyone avoid the Puma Chipset, but it’s especially important for gamers. 

This is because this chipset is linked with huge latency issues. And few things can ruin the gaming experience as much as a high ping. 

And since it’s a hardware problem, it can’t really be fixed.

That said, it’s not a 100% chance that you will have these problems, but the risk increases substantially if you get a modem using the Puma Chipsets. 

The best way to spot a Puma chipset is to look for an Intel logo on its packet. Just note, not all modems with such as a logo use Puma chipset. 

Warranty & Support

It’s also worth looking into the warranty and the support of a modem before buying it. 

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

BrandWarranty
Motorola 2 year
Arris Surfboard2 year
Netgear1 year

When it comes to Support, you can call the brands and ask for help, and from my experience, Motorola support is the best. 

Even though this mostly depends on who picks up on the other side. 

You can also get a protection plan on Amazon if you are worried. This gives you free support and repair if you get any problems. 

FAQ

Here are some common questions regarding modems and routers. 

Which modem is best for gaming?

After much deliberation, we have concluded that the best modem for gaming is the Arris Surfboard SB8200.  Because it’s fast, future-proof and reliable, all for a good price. 

But if you want some other options, check out the article above. 

What’s the difference between a modem and a router?

A modem takes the analog signal received from your ISP and makes it digital. While your router uses the digital signal and distributes it in your home. Most often using Wi-Fi and Ethernet. 

The router is also responsible for routing data across the internet and assigning your devices individual IP addresses. 

What router do you recommend?

The best router for gamers (from our testing) is the ASUS RT-AX88U. Because it’s a fast, reliable router that performs well even from a distance. 

That said, there is no perfect fit for everyone. So, check out our “best routers” hub if you want more options. 

Our Verdict

After much thinking, we have concluded that the best cable modem for gaming is the Arris Surfboard SB8200

Because it offers lower ping and faster internet speed, all for an affordable price. Furthermore, its also approved for many ISPs. 

So it will most likely work without issues. 

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