To save you time, we bring you the top 3 best cable modems approved for Spectrum. No need to waste time with a long confusing top 10 list full of extra modems you should never even think about buying. These are the best modems required and matched to the speed plan you subscribed to. No overselling, save money by getting the modem that is right for your Spectrum home internet plan.
We will start with an easy to read comparison chart displaying all of the key features you should be looking at when making a choice as to which modem you will need for your Spectrum account.
Spectrum Approved Modems Compared
|Upload||131 Mbps||262 Mbps||262 Mbps|
|WiFi||No WiFi||No WiFi||Wireless AC1900|
|Weight||1.4 pounds||1.91 pounds||3.43 pounds|
|Dimensions||2.5 x 8.5 x 7.8 in||7.2 x 10.2 x 4.5 in||11.61 x 11.02 x 3.94 in|
|Note: If you have a voice package, these modems will not work. If you have a Gigabit plan, these modems will not be enough.|
Spectum has not approved any retail modems for these plans.
Spectrum requires you to have at least a DOCSIS 3.0 modem for compatibility and their maximum download speeds, a minimum of 16 bonded download channels. These modems are all at least DOCSIS 3.0 with a minimum of 16 bonded download channels for maximum performance with the Ultimate Plan provided by Charter Spectrum Time Warner internet.
When it comes to buying your own modem for Spectrum, it really comes down to matching a compatible modem with the speed you pay for. There are a lot of modems out there, and many are on the bad modem list. So if you stick to these Spectrum-approved high-quality brand name tried and tested certified modems from trusted manufacturers, everything will be OK. I used the ARRIS for years before upgrading to the Netgear with wireless.
As for DOCSIS 3.1 with Spectrum, here is a quote directly from them telling you they have not approved any devices for this class, so you must rent from them.
1 Netgear C7000 Combo Modem Router
- Best combo modem router
- Ready for 400Mbps
- WiFi router built in
- Plug & Play
- Time Warner Approved
- Spectrum Approved
- Can’t use your own router
With speeds up to Spectrum’s 400MB Ultra, this combo modem router is a full-on gateway for the Time Warner Spectrum Cable DOCSIS 3.0 network. It has a built-in wireless router, also known as a combo modem or a gateway modem. It is fully compatible with Spectrum as a router and modem. Extremely fast 24 bonded download channels for a max download speed of 400Mbps and 8 bonded upload channels.
This is the modem for most cable users because it has a built-in wireless router. It is wireless AC1900 and will serve a small apartment or three bedrooms without a problem.
I would still get the modem and router separate myself, as explained below, but for your purposes, this setup should be perfect.
2 Netgear CM600 Cable Modem
- Best future proofed modem
- Ready Spectrum Ultra and 400Mbps
- Use your own router
- Plug & Play
- Time Warner Compatible
- Spectrum Approved
- Highest cost
The Netgear CM600 is the best standalone modem for the Spectrum Cable DOCSIS 3.0 network. Fully approved for up to 400Mbps download speed package with Spectrum Ultra and 400Mbps. It has 24 bonded download channels and 8 bonded upload channels. If you do not have Spectrum 400Mbps, you should get the cheaper Surfboard SB6183 mentioned next.
3 ARRIS SB6183 Cable Modem
- Best current modem
- Most common issued
- Use your own router
- Plug & Play
- Spectrum Compatible
- Only 16×4 CHannels
- Lower Top Speed
- Separate Router Required
With speeds up to 300Mbps, the Arris SB6183 is the best current standalone modem for Time Warner Cable or Spectrum. It is Spectrum approved up to Ultra and 300Mbps download speed package. It has 16 bonded download channels and 4 bonded upload channels for a max download speed capable of 300Mbps.
Note: You can not get a modem below this one because Spectrum plans on upgrading all of their customers to 200Mbps speeds by the end of 2018 and if you get a lower bonded channel modem, it will cease to work.
Do I Need A Router With Spectrum?
Maybe you’re confused about the difference between a modem, combo modem, and router. This can be a little daunting to the nontech savvy. However, it is pretty easy to figure out.
- Modem: Required no matter what to access the internet.
- Router: Used with the modem and required to turn internet wireless, aka WiFi.
- Combo Modem Router: Both of those devices in one.
In summary, you do need a wireless router to use WiFi. The modem is the device to bring the internet into your home but the router is the device to send it to your computer, TV, or phone via wireless signal. So you do need a modem and a router. You can buy them separately or together in what is known as a “combo modem router”. That part is up to you. Both work just the same. The main reason you would buy them separately is if you have a large home because a standalone router can be much more powerful.
Best Spectrum Routers Chart
|Bands||300+700 Mbps||450+1300 Mbps||1000+2100 Mbps||1000+2167+2167 Mbps||1148+2400+2400 Mbps|
|Band Channels||Dual Band||Dual Band||Dual Band||Tri Band||Tri Band|
|Coverage||Apartment||2-3 Bedroom||3-4 Bedroom||Multi-Story Home||Largest House|
|CPU||880MHz||1GHz||1.4GHz Dual Core||1.4GHz Dual Core||1.8GHz Quad-Core|
|USB Ports||No||2+3.0||2+3.0||2+3.0||3.1 (x2)|
The single device combo modem is great unless you want added extras such as the ability to plug an external hard drive into your router and create a network share for backing up your computers. That alone is reason enough for me to get the modem and router separately. This could be unnecessary for you and well beyond your needs, get the combo modem. You can also plug a printer into the USB and have it in the room with the wireless router.
Easier To Manage or More Flexibility.
The combo unit is also a lot fewer wires, and many want this. I do not mind the extra wires and it even gives me the ability to put my cable modem in one area of the house where the coaxial cable comes into the home, and then use a long cat5 ethernet cable to place my wireless router in a more central location with a better range to cover my whole apartment. So the extra wire is a savior in some situations like when you do not want your wifi router next to your cable modem. The two separate units are helpful if you ever have any issues, you only replace one unit. If you ever switch to DSL and need a different modem, you already have a router, etc.
The choice is yours. Again, if you want simple and do not need advanced options and live in an average-sized apartment or house, get the combo gateway modem.
To get faster more reliable home WiFi with Spectrum you must buy your own replacement Spectrum compatible modem and router. However, there are several possibilities and options to choose from based on your specific situation. So, what cable modem and router works best with Spectrum?
Spectrum offers high-speed cable internet in several regions throughout the US. In return, they have a large customer base of subscribers who rent equipment and are looking for a replacement modem or simply put, the best cheap approved Spectrum modem. Check out this chart for the differences.
If you want to see exactly what modem Spectrum uses, or router, here is their official list so that you may compare provided devices versus replacement devices listed below. You’ll see that many of them are very outdated or on the bad modem list which is why you’ll want to buy your own replacement modem router.
Spectrum Voice Modem
At this time, there are no options or winners when it comes to buying your own voice modem for Spectrum. The retail options are old and outdated combo units that we cannot recommend or may no longer be authorized with Spectrum. They must be listed on the authorized devices. We think they do this so you are stuck with renting their modem.
What we really suggest is canceling the voice package so that you may actually buy the best possible modem and router for Spectrum Time Warner Cable.