7 Top Picks
30 Hours of Research
30 Options Considered
On average, leasing a modem-router combo costs $10-$15 a month. If you multiply that by 12, you’ll realize that you’re paying $120-$180 every year on equipment rental fees, which is not a very practical approach considering that the average modem and router combo costs around $180.
Not only does having your own modem-router combo help spare you from rental fees, but it also helps maximize your provider plan and download speed. What’s more, it enables you to connect multiple devices at once. Of course, when traveling, you'll do better with a travel router due to portability feature.
In this article, we unveil our top picks for the best modem-router combo on the market today, so you may want to stick around for a while.
3 Top Modem Router Combo
Kicking off our list is the highly popular SURFboard SBG7600AC2 from ARRIS, with its DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, 4-port Gigabit router, and dual-band Wi-Fi router AC2350.
This device is quite expensive compared to some of its competitors, but it does justify its steep price tag with a host of impressive features.
Motorola might not be one of the leading smartphone manufacturers like it used to be, but it’s definitely one of the best when it comes to modem-router combos.
The Motorola MG7550 is a premium combo that combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a built-in AC1900 dual band Wi-Fi router with 4 Gigabit ethernet ports.
The Nighthawk C7000 from NETGEAR flaunts 24x8 channel bonding DOCSIS 3.0, so you can rely on it to deliver fast and secure internet speeds.
As you can tell, 24 channels are dedicated for downstream, whereas 8 other channels are dedicated for upstream.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Modem Router Combo
Security is critical when it comes to anything that’s internet related, which is why the first thing you need to check for when shopping for a new modem-router combo is its security measures. Ideally, you want to get a device that has DOCSIS 3.0.
After making sure the device features optimal security features, you want to check whether or not it’s capable of providing a strong enough signal that covers your entire house. Some units will have this information indicated in their specifications, but some don’t, so you should check customer reviews to see what people have to say about the device’s range.
Internet speed is the most critical factor to consider when shopping for a combo, especially if you’re a dedicated gamer, steamer, YouTuber, or someone who relies on the internet to make a living. Before you purchase a router-combo modem, you have to check its download and upload speeds and make sure they’re suitable for your internet requirements.
Best Router Modem Combo Reviews
[Best Modem Router Combo Overall]
Kicking off our list is the highly popular SURFboard SBG7600AC2 from ARRIS, with its DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, 4-port Gigabit router, and dual-band Wi-Fi router AC2350. This device is quite expensive compared to some of its competitors, but it does justify its steep price tag with a host of impressive features.
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 Specifications
Up to 600 Mbps
Wave 2 AC2350
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
It’s worth mentioning that ARRIS has put out many modem-router combos other than this unit, including the SBG8300, which flaunts a maximum internet speed of up to 4Gbps but is steeper in price than the SBG7600AC2, so make sure you get the model right.
It’s also worth mentioning that the SURFboard SBG8300 is the only model that features OFDM downstream and upstream channels (2x2), so make sure to check it out if that’s of any value to you.
The SURFboard SBG7600AC2 is suitable for COX, Xfinity, and Spectrum, but it can't be utilized for CenturyLink, AT&T, or Verizon.
This high-quality device allows for an internet speed of up to 1.4Gbps and a wireless speed of up to 2,350Mbps. The signal is potent enough to cover larger residences, so you don’t have to worry about being out of range.
The SURFboard SBG7600AC2 flaunts 4x Gigabit ethernet ports, 32 downstream channels, and 8 upstream channels. Further, it’s compatible with the SURFboard Manager app, so you’ll find it easy to manage Wi-Fi settings as well as your entire internet access from your smartphone.
This modem-router combo comes equipped with McAfee Protection to ensure optimal security. You can download the McAfee Secure Home Internet application on your smartphone to adjust its settings to your liking.
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 Pros
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 Cons
[Best For The Money]
Motorola might not be one of the leading smartphone manufacturers like it used to be, but it’s definitely one of the best when it comes to modem-router combos. The Motorola MG7550 is a premium combo that combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a built-in AC1900 dual band Wi-Fi router with 4 Gigabit ethernet ports.
Motorola MG7550 Specifications
Up to 375 Mbps
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Moreover, the device incorporates a firewallDFS, power boost, and a host of other advanced features that help set it apart from its competitors. The MG7550 is designed for speeds up to 375Mbps, with superior Wi-Fi performance even when there's a lot of neighboring Wi-Fi noise.
The Motorola MG7550 is compatible with a wide range of internet providers, including Comcast Xfinity, Xfinity X1, Charter Spectrum, COX, Time Warner Cable, Suddenlink, and CableOne, just to name a few. You can forget all about cable modem rentals with this unit.
If you’re using fiber optic, satellite services, or DSL from AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, or Verizon, you should consider a different combo, as the MG7500 isn’t compatible with these services.
The 10/100/1000 ethernet LAN ports help provide a stable wired connection to ethernet-capable devices such as computers, game consoles, HDTVs, and more, whereas the AC1900 Wi-Fi is to provide internet access for Wi-Fi devices like smartphones, tablets, and so forth.
The wireless power boost comes in the form of Wi-Fi power amplifiers that intensify the wireless signal to ensure greater range and higher speeds. It’s also worth noting that this combo’s router is compatible with DFS frequencies, so interferences and noise will be of very minimal effect.
Motorola MG7550 Pros
Motorola MG7550 Cons
[Best For The Secure Internet Speed]
The Nighthawk C7000 from NETGEAR flaunts 24x8 channel bonding DOCSIS 3.0, so you can rely on it to deliver fast and secure internet speeds. As you can tell, 24 channels are dedicated for downstream, whereas 8 other channels are dedicated for upstream.
The device also supports WPA, WPA2, and WEP security protocols, which further guarantees optimal security. Further, there are parental control features that you can utilize to limit internet access for some devices.
The Nighthawk C7000 is compatible with a wide range of internet service providers, including Xfinity, COX, and Spectrum. However, it doesn’t offer compatibility with DSL providers, AT&T, DirecTV, Verizon, CenturyLink, Dish, and bundled voice services.
The device is designed to handle higher speeds of up to 400Mbps. It also flaunts a remarkably fast Wi-Fi performance via an AC1900 router that can reach up to 1900Mbps and can cover up to 1800 square feet. The router can handle up to 30 different Wi-Fi devices without any issues.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 features 4 ethernet ports and 2 USB ports that you can utilize for wired connections, be it for a computer, gaming console, storage drive, printer, or any other capable device.
The Nighthawk C7000 isn’t budget-friendly by any means. It’s actually one of the costlier units on our list, but it does provide a ton of value that helps justify its steep price tag, not to mention that it’ll help you save money that you would’ve otherwise spent on equipment rental fees.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 Pros
NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 Cons
This second entry from ARRIS spawns the advanced SURFboard SBG7580AC with its 32x8 cable modem configuration, AC1750 dual-band Wi-Fi router, and 4 ethernet ports.
The SURFboard SBG7580AC is compatible with major internet providers like COX and Xfinity. It’s also compatible with Spectrum (Charter, Brighthouse, and Time Warner). On the other hand, the device isn’t compatible with AT&T, CenturyLink, or Verizon.
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC Specifications
300Mbps and above
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
The unit’s 32x8 channel configuration grants you 32 download channels and 8 upload channels. This configuration will help maximize your ISP service offerings. Just keep in mind that this unit is only approved for 300Mbps internet plans. The product’s description says it’s ideal for plans higher than 300Mbps, but we haven’t really tested that.
Similar to the Motorola MG7550, this combo features Wi-Fi beamforming technology that helps deliver maximum coverage and potent performance. There’s also IPv4 and IPv6 support.
And similar to the previously reviewed SURFboard, this model features McAfee Secure Whole Home Internet, which, as the name implies, ensures secure internet usage. You can also use the app to configure the settings of the service to your liking.
You can use the 4 ethernet ports and 1 USB port to deliver a wired internet connection to some of the devices in your home. We would’ve appreciated more USB ports, but most devices today feature wireless connectivity, so it’s not that big of a deal.
And speaking of wireless connectivity, the AC1750 dual-band concurrent router might be a little old compared to the AC1900 equipped in other competitors, but it still delivers a stable and fast performance that won’t leave you wishing for more.
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC Pros
ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC Cons
The NETGEAR C6250 is an older and more affordable version of the Nighthawk C7000. It uses the AC1600 router to provide rather than the new AC1900, which limits its speed slightly, but not too much that it compromises your internet experience.
The C6250 is compatible with all popular internet providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, and COX. However, like the Nighthawk C7000, it’s not compatible with AT&T, Verizon, DirecTV, DISH, CenturyLink, DSL providers, or any bundled voice service.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C6250 Specifications
Up to 300Mbps
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
This modem-router combo is perfect for internet plans that are up to 300Mbps. It offers a Wi-Fi performance that covers up to 1500 square feet and offers a speed of up to 1600Mbps. Further, the device is capable of accommodating up to 25 devices at once.
The main problem we have with this unit is that it doesn’t offer as many wired connections as its competitors. It offers only 2 ethernet ports and 1 USB port. This makes it better suited for Wi-Fi devices more than devices that require a wired connection.
Even though the C6250 might not be as feature-packed as some of the other options on the list, it’s one of the most affordable ones out there, making it an ideal pick for someone who’s limited by a tight budget or that doesn’t really need most of the features that alternatives have to offer.
This device is engineered with a channel bonding configuration of 16x4 and DOCSIS 3.0. This means that you get 16 channels for downloads and 4 channels for uploads.
Lastly, the device features parental controls that you can use to limit access for some devices, and it has support for WPA/WPA2 and WEP security protocols to ensure safe internet surfing.
NETGEAR Nighthawk C6250 Pros
NETGEAR Nighthawk C6250 Cons
The MG7700 is yet another great modem-router combo from Motorola that houses an AC1900 dual-band Wi-Fi gigabit router with 4 ethernet ports. The device supports a maximum modem speed of up to 1000Mbps and a service speed of up to 650Mbps.
Much like all the other modem-router combos on the list, the MG7700 is certified by all notable service providers, from COX and Comcast Xfinity to Spectrum. Similar also to the above-listed devices, this one isn’t compatible with Verizon, CenturyLink, AT&T, and Frontier.
Motorola MG7700 Specifications
Up to 650Mbps
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
The device does an excellent job of providing a fast and stable internet connection to various Wi-Fi devices such as smartphones, tablets, and notebooks. Also, with the aid of the ethernet ports, the device delivers wired connectivity to ethernet-capable devices like computers and laptops.
The MG7700 is equipped with power boost amplifiers that help strengthen its signal as well as its speed. To add, there’s a Broadcom cable modem chipset that eliminates the risk of denial of service attacks, not to mention that the device features firewall security.
Further, the MG7700 is equipped with AnyBeam technology at 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, which helps intensify the signal and enhance the overall performance and range.
The Motorola MG7700 might be on the expensive side, but it does help save you a lot of money in the long run by sparing you from rental fees (about $156 a year). Last but definitely not least, the unit is backed by a 2-year limited warranty that ensures great longevity.
Motorola MG7700 Pros
Motorola MG7700 Cons
The final product on our list is another excellent device from ARRIS. The SBG10 is a little older than the other SURFboard devices on our list, but it’s still a highly effective device and it’s pretty budget-friendly as well.
Motorola MG7700 Specifications
Up to 300Mbps
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
16 x 4
The device features the AC1600 dual-band router for Wi-Fi connectivity. This isn’t the most advanced Wi-Fi router out there, but it does its job well. The device also features 2 ethernet ports for your connectivity needs. Keep in mind, however, that it doesn’t su[pport cable digital voice services. Also, it’s not compatible with AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, or any other DSL or Fiber providers.
You can use this device if you utilize internet services from Cox, Xfinity, and Spectrum, as well as many other internet providers. Bear in mind that this device is suitable only for internet plans up to 300 Mbps only.
Lastly, the device is compatible with the SURFboard Manager app, so you can use the app to set up and manage your network according to your needs.
ARRIS SURFboard Pros
ARRIS SURFboard Cons
Modems vs. Routers
What exactly is the difference between a WiFi modem and a router, you might be wondering? Well, a modem is the part of the combo that’s responsible for transferring the signal from the IPS into a signal that devices can use, whereas a router is the part that converts the signal into a network that devices can connect to.
Rather than having two separate devices, a combo combines both the modem and router under a single roof for your convenience. This helps save space, money, and configuration effort. On the flip side, you’ll lose the flexibility to upgrade either of the two devices since they’re combined together.
Combo vs. Individual Equipment
Like we just mentioned, having a device that combines both the modem and router under one roof is extremely convenient in the sense that it helps you save space, money, and effort. But you won’t be able to upgrade the modem or router individually, you’ll have to upgrade the entire combo.
Having two individual devices, on the other hand, grants you a great deal of flexibility, but it doesn’t offer as much convenience as having a modem-router combo.
Supported Internet Speeds
When shopping for a modem-router combo, it’s important to check whether or not it’s capable of supporting the speeds the internet provider’s plan offers you. Typically, the higher the supported speeds, the more expensive the combo is going to be.
Channel Bonding on Modems
The more channels a modem has, the faster your internet connection will be. Think of modem channels as lanes through which data travels. The more lanes there are, the more information you can receive.
You’ll notice that modem-router combos indicate their modem channels in the form of “24x8,” as an example. That example means that you have 24 download channels and 4 upload channels. Such a configuration can reach up to 400Mbps without any problems.
When inspecting the Wi-Fi performance of a modem-router combo, you want to focus on the supported frequencies. Does the router work on a 2.4GHz frequency or 5.0GHz frequency.
The former has an excellent range but only 11 channels, and so the connection isn’t very potent, whereas the latter has 23 channels, ensuring a fast and reliable connection.
Further, make sure the device features 802.11ac technology to ensure that both frequencies have the same range.
1. What is the best modem router combo?
Here are the Top Modem Router Combos that we can recommend.
1. ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2 - Kicking off our list is the highly popular SURFboard SBG7600AC2 from ARRIS, with its DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, 4-port Gigabit router, and dual-band Wi-Fi router AC2350. This device is quite expensive compared to some of its competitors, but it does justify its steep price tag with a host of impressive features.
2. Motorola MG7550 - Motorola might not be one of the leading smartphone manufacturers like it used to be, but it’s definitely one of the best when it comes to modem-router combos. The Motorola MG7550 is a premium combo that combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a built-in AC1900 dual band Wi-Fi router with 4 Gigabit ethernet ports.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 - The Nighthawk C7000 from NETGEAR flaunts 24x8 channel bonding DOCSIS 3.0, so you can rely on it to deliver fast and secure internet speeds. As you can tell, 24 channels are dedicated for downstream, whereas 8 other channels are dedicated for upstream.
2. Is it better to get a modem router combo or separate?
It's cheaper to purchase them separately. Typically, connection problems can be attributed to your router and resolved by resetting the device. Purchasing both items separately can be less expensive than purchasing a combo device, and purchasing your own devices is almost always less expensive than renting a gateway device from your ISP.
3. How do I choose a modem router combo?
On buying the modem router combo, verify that the modem is DOCSIS 3.0 compatible. While DOCSIS 3.1 modems are more future-proof, they are also more expensive. Select a modem that supports the download speed of your internet connection. Verify that the modem you wish to purchase is compatible with your cable internet provider.
4. What is a modem router combo?
Modem router combos conveniently combine an internet modem and a Wi-Fi router into one device, making them a must-have for WiFi networking. Individuals who own modem router combos frequently report that they provide a faster connection speed, allowing for a more uninterrupted browsing experience.
5. Modem vs Router - What's the difference?
A modem is a device that connects your local area network to the Internet. A router is a device that enables all of your wired and wireless devices to share an Internet connection and communicate with one another without using the Internet.