7 Best Routers For Spectrum In 2021

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 routers for Charter Spectrum Internet. 

Spectrum approved modems

As a Network Engineer, I have bought a bunch of routers and tested them against each other.

And out of these, I have picked the ASUS RT-AX3000 as the best router for Spectrum. Because it’s one of the fastest – not too expensive routers that we have tested to date.

ASUS RT-AX3000
Source: Asus.com

ASUS RT-AX3000

Best Overall

  • Type: Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Internet Plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Warranty: 2 years

But not everyone has the same internet plan, home size, or preferences. Thus, I have picked the 7 best routers for different circumstances.

So you can pick the one you like the most. 

Keep reading to learn more. 

Top 7 Routers For Spectrum

This is the top seven best routers, mesh networks, and modem/router combos for Spectrum internet. 

  1. ASUS RT-AX3000 (Editor’s Choice – Wi-Fi Router)
  2. ASUS RT-AX88U (Best Performer – Wi-Fi Router)
  3. TP-Link Deca S4 (Best Value – Mesh Wi-Fi)
  4. TP-Link Archer A7 (Budget-Friendly – Wi-Fi Router)
  5. Netgear C7800 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)
  6. Netgear CAX80 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)
  7. Motorola MG7540 (Budget-Friendly – Modem/Router Combo)

7 Best Routers Compatible With Spectrum

Here are seven short reviews of the best Spectrum compatible routers. 

#1 ASUS RT-AX3000 (Editor’s Choice – Wi-Fi Router)

  • Type: Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Spectrum Plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall (Traditional Router)

The ASUS RT-AX3000 is a good option for any Spectrum internet plan. 

In testing, it reached an average of 889.41 Mbps from 5 feet and 534.55 Mbps from 25 feet. All using the 5Ghz band

These are excellent results considering the price. Enough speed to watch more than a dozen 4K movies at the same time. 

Just note that this speed was measured by a Wi-Fi 6 compatible device using a Gigabit plan.

The drawback with this RT-AX3000 was its range, which by no means were bad, but only reached 80-85 feet. 

This is enough for a normal-sized home, but if you have a larger home, consider a mesh system or the RT-AX88U. 

Like most other ASUS routers, the router also has great Parental controls and QoS.

This allows you to restrict your kid’s activities on the internet and prioritize bandwidth on the network. 

Overall, the ASUS RT-AX3000 is one most value-packed routers I have tested.  




#2 ASUS RT-AX88U (Best Performer – Wi-Fi Router)

  • Type: Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 927.17 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Spectrum Plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Warranty: 2-years
  • Chosen as: Premium Option (Traditional Router)

The ASUS RT-AX88U is one of the fastest routers I have tested and will thus work great for any Spectrum plan. 

During testing, it averaged 927.17 Mbps from 5 feet with the 5GHz band. 

Other measured speeds are 571.36 Mbps from 25 feet and 472.95 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz band. 

These are some insanely good results, with special points for how well it kept its speed even at a distance. 

The router wasn’t only fast at a longer range, but its coverage was also great. Reaching around 110 feet. 

This is a result that only the mesh networks (multi-device Wi-Fi) have beat and are enough for any but the largest homes. 

Like the RT-AX3000, this router also comes with great Parental controls and QoS. 

Making it possible to restrict your kid’s activities and prioritize data on the internet. Like work from home activities, for example. 

I should, however, say that this router is overkill for many. Since you can only get as fast Wi-Fi as your internet plan provides.

Therefore, I recommend this router for someone with a faster internet plan and plenty of smart devices in their home. 




#3 TP-Link Deca S4 (Best Value – Mesh Wi-Fi)

  • Type: Mesh Wi-Fi
  • Tested Max Speed: 317.27 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Spectrum Internet Ultra or below (400 Mbps)
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Value (Mesh)

If you want coverage and don’t want to pay a fortune – the TP-Link Deca S4 is for you. 

We reached an average of 317.27 Mbps from 5 feet and 169.59 Mbps from 25 feet during testing. 

These results make the router feasible with the Spectrum 400 Mbps packet, but only on the edge. 

Because you will not get 400 Mbps in Wi-Fi throughput with it. But since it’s a Mesh network, you will get a high average speed across the home. 

The TP-Link Deca S4, in contrast to many other mesh networks, has excellent parental controls and QoS. 

And like already mentioned, this makes it possible to restrict your kid’s internet usage and prioritize bandwidth. Which is great for any parents and people who work at home. 

The biggest con with Deca S4 is that each of its satellites (help unites) only reaches about 60-70% of the router’s speed. This makes it slower than the more expensive options out there. 

But as long as you don’t have a too-fast internet plan and want good coverage for a fair price, the Deca S4 is a great option. 




#4 TP-Link Archer A7 (Budget-Friendly – Wi-Fi Router)

  • Type: Wi-Fi 5 Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 438.39 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Spectrum Internet or below (200 Mbps)
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The TP-Link Archer A7 is one of the best budget routers I have tested to this day. It’s a good option for anyone with Spectrum internet 200 plan or below. 

In testing, the Archer A7 reached a staggering 438.39 Mbps from 5 feet and 123.53 Mbps from 25 feet. Both using the 5GHz band.

These are some very good results considering its price as a Wi-Fi 5 router. 

Range wise the router performed quite average, reaching around 80-90 feet. It’s always hard to know the exact coverage of a router, but this is an estimation. 

However, the router will be enough for an average-sized home, especially if it’s placed closer to its center. 

The Archer A7 also has excellent parental controls, making it possible to restrict your kid’s activities online. 

But the QoS, which is meant to allow prioritizing data, was very underwhelming. Because you could only set limits on devices and not topics. 

This makes it impractical to use.

Other than that, the Archer A7 is one of – if not the best – budget routers I have tested. 

I even wrote a review for it, which you can check out here.




Modem

Need a Spectrum Approved Modem?

If you don’t buy a modem/router combo, you might need an approved modem for your Spectrum router. Luckily we got you covered in our article on the best modems for Spectrum.

#5 Netgear C7800 (Best Value – Modem/Router Combo)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Recommended for: Spectrum Internet Ultra or below (400 Mbps)
  • Tested Max Speed: 513.64 Mbps
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Value 

The Netgear C7800 is a solid gateway for anyone with an internet plan up to Spectrum internet Ultra (400 Mbps). 

In testing, its Wi-Fi maxed out at 513.64 Mbps from 5 feet using the 5GHz band. 

Other measured speeds were 309.15 Mbps from 25 feet and 155.21 Mbps from 50 feet. These are some very good results considering it’s a Wi-Fi 5 router. 

Enough for a family of 5+ to all stream movies at the same time without any problems. 

The modem is DOCSIS 3.1, which makes it both future-proof and fast. Since DOCSIS 3.1 is the newer cable standard that Spectrum will switch to in the future. 

Even though they don’t seem the fastest with the change. 

The drawback with the C7800 is that it lacks control features, with it not having Parental controls or QoS. 

But as long as you don’t feel like you need them, it’s a solid choice that provides a lot of value for the money. 




#6 Netgear CAX80 (Premium Option – Modem/Router Combo)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo (Only for Cable internet)
  • Tested Max Speed: 800+ Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Spectrum Cable Plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Premium Option

The Netgear CAX80 is the modem/router combo I recommend for the Spectrum Gig users out there. 

It’s one of the fastest Wi-Fi 6 gateways I have tested. So fast, I didn’t even manage to find its max speed since the internet plan we had access to only reached 800 Mbps. 

But during testing, it did reach 800 Mbps from 5 feet using the 5GHz band. 

Other speeds measured were 583.15 Mbps from 25 feet and 298.47 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz channel.

These are some crazy results that are enough to watch a dozen 4K movies simultaneously. That is if your plan can support it. 

Although, the CAX80 is not perfect. Like the C7800, it also lacks control features like Parental controls and QoS: 

This makes it very hard to restrict your kid’s activities on the internet and prioritize your data. Even though it’s likely not necessary if you get it. 

Overall, the Netgear CAX80 is a fast but costly option, best for you with the Spectrum Gig plan that wants a modem/router combo. 




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

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo (Only for Cable)
  • Tested Max Speed: 301.85 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Spectrum Internet plan or below (200 Mbps)
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Motorola MG7540 is a suitable gateway for Spectrums 200 Mbps plan or below. 

During testing, it reached 301.85 Mbps from 5 feet, 102.38 Mbps from 25 feet, and 49.06 Mbps from 50 feet. All using the 5GHz band. 

Considering the price, these are some good speeds, enough for a plan up to 300 Mbps. But since Spectrum doesn’t offer any 300 Mbps plan (to my knowledge), I only recommend this to the 200 Mbps plan. 

The modem is DOCSIS 3.0 16×4 channels. This means that as long as Spectrum doesn’t upgrade its cable internet, it will work. Likely for years to come. 

The drawback we found with the MG7540 is that since it lacks Beamforming, it has a shorter range than the other options.  

This makes it enough for a normal apartment and just enough for the average home. 

Overall, the Motorola MG7540 is a good budget-friendly gateway that should work for someone without to large home. 




Spectrum Router Buying Guide

Here is what to specifically consider before buying a router for Spectrum internet

Enough Speed

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a router is that its speed matches your internet plan. 

This means that if you have the Spectrum Gig plan, you should get a better router. Because otherwise, you won’t get the internet you pay for in your packet. 

This also means that if you have the Spectrum 200 Mbps plan, you can get away with a cheaper and slower router. Since a router can only give you the internet speed that you are paying for in your plan. 

Here are some of the things that decide the speeds of routers and modems. 

Wi-Fi Standards

Nowadays, you have two Wi-Fi standards to choose from, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax).

The performance of each standard depends a lot on the router and its specs.

But as a rule, Wi-Fi 6 will be faster, better at managing more devices, and more secure, while Wi-Fi 5 will be cheaper. [1]

For Spectrum, I recommend Wi-Fi 6 if you have the Spectrum Internet Ultra plan (400 Mbps) or faster. While Wi-Fi 5 will be enough for the slower plans. 

You could, of course, use a faster Wi-Fi 5 router with the 400 Mbps plan and a Wi-Fi 6 router with the 100 Mbps plan. 

Because it’s not set in stone and depends mostly on the router itself. Below are the pros of each option.

Wi-Fi 6 Benefits
  • Faster than Wi-Fi 5
  • Can handle more devices
  • Increased security

Wi-Fi 5 Benefits
  • Cheaper than Wi-Fi 6
  • Default for most devices

For more info, check out Wi-Fi 5 Vs. Wi-Fi 6

DOCSIS & Channels

If you get a modem/router combo, you must also consider what DOCSIS version you need. 

For Spectrum, you can use either DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1. The difference being that DOCSIS 3.1 is newer and faster while DOCSIS 3.0 is slower but cheaper. 

In the case of Spectrum, I would recommend most to get DOCSIS 3.1. Because this is the future of cable internet, and sooner or later, you will need to get a 3.1 modem.  [2]

That is as long you don’t know that you will change to fiber in the future. Because then you might want to get DOCSIS 3.0. As long as you don’t have the Gigabit plan.

DOCSIS 3.1 Pros
  • Faster
  • Lower Latency
  • Future-proof
DOCSIS 3.0 Pros
  • Cheaper

If you decide to get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you also need to ensure that it has enough channels to support your internet plan. 

This means that the numbers looking like Y×Z (16×4, for example) are high enough for your internet plan’s speed. 

Below is a table that shows what DOCSIS, Channels are compatible with what internet plan. It also shows the recommended Wi-Fi standard. 

Spectrum Internet PlanSpeedDOCSIS Channel Wi-Fi Standard
Internet 100 Mbps3.0 or 3.18×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Internet 200 Mbps3.0 or 3.116×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Internet Ultra400 Mbps3.0 or 3.116×4 or moreWi-Fi 5 or 6
Internet Gig1000 Mbps3.1N/AWi-Fi 6

Note, DOCSIS 3.1 doesn’t use channels. 

Compatible With Spectrum

For a router to be compatible with Spectrum, its only needs to have a normal WAN port. So basically, any router will do. 

For modems, and thus modem/router combos, it is a bit more complex. Because it needs to be Spectrum approved. [3]

This means that Spectrum has tested the modem with their internet and can guarantee that it will work. 

Therefore, you can either pick any gateways recommended in this article or go to Spectrum compatible modems to find a list of all the modems and gateways approved by Spectrum. 

Modem/Router Combo Vs. Separate

When getting a router for Spectrum, you also get to decide if you want a modem/router combo or separate devices.

The difference being that a modem/router combo (or gateway) is a modem and a router as one device while separate has them as two. 

Both options have pros and cons, but as a Network Engineer, I recommend separate for Spectrum. 

This is because separate makes it possible to change one device if it breaks or needs an upgrade instead of both. 

It also enables better performance, added customization, and more network control. 

This is not the say combos are a bad choice. They do offer a lower upfront cost and are generally easier to set up. 

Separate Devices Pros

  • Better performance
  • Can change one device instead of both
  • More customization and control

Modem/Router Combo Pros

  • Cheaper upfront cost
  • Often easier to setup

For a more in-depth article on the topic, check out gateway vs. separate devices

What about Mesh?

A mesh network is a group of devices that together creates a single Wi-Fi network. 

Because it has multiple devices, it has much better coverage than traditional routers. 

This makes Mesh an excellent option for someone with a large home that wants to eliminate any dead spots. But for most others, a traditional router will be enough. 

Mesh Pros
  • Better Coverage
Traditional Router Benefits
  • Generally cheaper
  • Easier setup

I should also note that some never routers can add mesh units automatically to them if necessary. 

Check out Mesh Wi-Fi Vs. Traditional Router for a more in-depth article on the topic. 

Extra Features

When getting a router, there are also some extra features you might want to get. Here are some of the best and what they do. 

QoS

QoS stands for Quality of Service and makes it possible to prioritize data on the network. [4]

An example of this being useful is working from home, and your family is streaming a movie. 

You can then choose to prioritize work-from-home activities (often by just pressing a button), and your video calls will get more of the data.

However, your family streaming the movie might experience some buffering depending on how fast your internet is.  

Parental Controls

Parental controls are useful for any parent that wants to restrict their children’s internet usage. 

It nearly always allows for time constraints for chosen devices, and if you have a more advanced one, it will also allow you to block URLs and topics. 

MU-MINO

MU-MINO will not increase the router’s max speed but is very useful if you have a home with many devices connected to the home network.

Because MU-MINO will increase the router’s efficiency when it comes to talking to multiple units simultaneously. 

Beamforming

If you have a medium to a large home, you should get a router with Beamforming. This is because Beamforming will increase the router’s coverage and signal quality. [5]

Thus avoiding dead spots in your home. I should, however, note that most new routers have this feature nowadays. 

Rent Vs. Buy Your Spectrum Device

Spectrum charges $5 per month for renting a router from them. This adds up to $60 per year. Which actually is far from the worst ISP in terms of price. [6]

But still, over the long run, getting your own router will be cheaper. 

And if it isn’t, it’s because you are getting something really good. And then, you will get much better performance. 

This is why I recommend most people to get their own router and modem. Because you will get more performance for a lower price. 

But I should note that I’m somewhat biased. I do make a small commission if you buy a router. 

For more info, check out buying vs. renting your router.

Spectrum Internet Plans

Here are the most common Spectrum internet plans with what router, mesh Wi-Fi, and gateway works well for each one. [7]

Spectrum Internet PlanRouter  Mesh Wi-FiGateway
Internet (100 Mbps)Archer A7Deca S4MG7540
Internet  (200 Mbps)RT-AX3000Deca S4MG7540
Internet Ultra (400 Mbps)RT-AX3000Deca S4C7800
Internet Gig  (1000 Mbps)RT-AX88UOrbi RBK852CAX80

Our Verdict

After hours of testing and research, we concluded that the ASUS RT-AX3000 is the best router for Spectrum. 

Because it’s one of the fastest – not too expensive routers that we have tested to date.