If you want to save $10 a month from your Spectrum Charter internet bill, then you must buy your own replacement wireless router and modem. However, there are several possibilities and options to choose from based on your specific situation.
Lucky for you, I myself was a Tier II Internet Tech Support Agent for many years working for the 2 largest internet providers in the United States. After that, I went on to high-end Tech Support in a large educational institution. So routers are like my favorite toys and I want to make sure you leave here with the right choice for your home wireless, happy enough to recommend us to your friends. We will be very grateful for this.
Spectrum Charter 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 router to save money on rental fees. But if you want the best, check out this chart for the differences.
Best Spectrum Routers Chart
|Compare:||Compare All 5 Prices Side By Side|
|Bands:||300+700 Mbps||450+1300 Mbps||1000+2100 Mbps||1000+2167+2167 Mbps||1148+2400+2400 Mbps|
|Band Channels:||Dual Band 2.4GHz & 5GHz||Tri Band 2.4GHz & 5GHz(x2)|
|Coverage:||Apartment||2-3 Bedroom||3-4 Bedroom Multi Story Home||Largest House|
|CPU:||880MHz||1GHz||1.4GHz Dual Core||1.8GHz Quad-Core||RAM:||64MB||256MB||512MB||1GB|
|USB Ports:||No||2.0 + 3.0||3.1 (x2)|
|TWC Charter Spectrum Approved:||Yes|
So what you’ll notice here is that it will come down to your specific living situation and internet usage. For example, if you live alone in a small apartment and just use one device at a time, the cheapest option is going to work great for you. However it has low RAM and a weak CPU so I wouldn’t use it if I were a gamer. If you are a gamer you are going to want to step it up a few levels as you can tell by the chart.
But what if you live with several people and you all use the internet simultaneously? You will want something stronger with more RAM and a stronger CPU to handle all of your request at the same time while providing ample coverage via multiple channels across your home. So with those key factors in mind, you are able to choose based on your specific requirements.
Spectrum subscribers can save $10 a month by directly buying their own authorized retail modem and router, replacing the one that Spectrum rents to them. This is the best option, but there is one catch, it must be approved for Spectrum. Here’s a list of authorized devices.
Compatible Spectrum Routers ExplainedThis is a list breaking down the top routers that work with Spectrum Charter wireless internet. Each of these routers are in the best of their class and can deliver top speeds over your home WiFi network. Your replacement router will depend on the size of your home. See below.
- The Cheap Spectrum Compatible Router: NETGEAR R6080 Price
AC1000: Small apartment or small 2 bedroom one story home.
Cheapest and lowest you should go with today’s available devices.
- The Average Approved Router: ASUS RT-AC66U Price
AC1750: Normal apartment or normal 3 bedroom one story home. One of the most common routers due to its versatility in most living situations.
- The Strong WiFi Router: ASUS RT-AC88U Price
AC3100: Normal multi floor 2 or 3 bedroom home. Now we’re starting to talk power for your average American cookie cutter home.
- The Strongest Spectrum Router: ASUS RT-AC5300 Price
AC5300: Large 2 to 3 story American dream home. This is as strong as it gets for routers, perfect for most American homes.
- The Strongest Newest Router: ASUS GT-AX11000 Price
AX11000: Say what? AX is here? Yes, and it’s primed for the largest houses with the biggest networks and extremely gamer friendly.
- The Ultimate Router: [Best Mesh WiFi]
OVER 9000: If you have a large home or mansion but are not a serious gamer. This is not just a router, this is “wireless mesh”, the newest in wireless. Business strength solutions brought to the home consumer level. Works with Spectrum.
Here’s the thing about routers though, they are all compatible. You need to get a good one, and there are many bad routers and bad modems out there. Your router should be dual-band and be at least in the Wireless AC standard category with Gig Ethernet ports.
That’s why we have given you the option between some of the top compatible routers available for all living situations and price ranges.
The following image is an excerpt direct from Spectrum regarding choosing a compatible router for fast wireless for heavy users or those in apartment buildings with many other nearby wireless networks that may be interfering with the signal.
This image is a quote direct from Spectrum regarding replacing your wireless router. As you can confirm, it is everything we have already explained to you in detail.
But what about Wireless N? It’s so much cheaper.
You are free to buy a cheap low power Wireless N router. But expect lower speeds, random disconnects, less range and so on. Wireless N is no longer a viable option. This is why we, as well as Spectrum, do not recommend it. But if you live alone, in a small living situation with minimal needs, you can still survive on Wireless N. You just have to know its limitations and lower your expectations when it comes to performance.
I myself, over 15 years ago, only had a Wireless N router but my computer and XBOX were plugged directly into it so wireless was not an issue. If you are going to hardwire, none of the wireless factors matter and you can get a regular cheap router to support your phone WiFi.
Spectrum Approved Modems
When it comes to buying your own modem for Spectrum, it’s not as simple and clear cut as it is to buy a router. There are big differences in operation, speed, compatibility and more.
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.
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.
As for DOCSIS 3.1 with SPectrum, here is a quute directly from them telling you they have not approved any devices of this class so you must rent from them.
Fastest Spectrum Modem
|Wireless Modem:||Router Required|
|Unit Weight:||1.1 pounds|
Cheaper Spectrum Compatible Modem
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.
Spectrum Router Combo Modem
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 3 bedrooms without a problem.
I would still get the modem and router separate myself as explained below but for your purposes, this set up should be perfect.
|Spectrum Approved Modem:||Yes||Cons:|
|Unit Weight:||2.7 pounds|
Modem & Router Vs. Gateway Combo
You’ll note that the modem and router separate cost a bit more. But why?
The combination gateway modem & router is an all in one device that will handle the highest speeds over a gigabit internet. It is great for almost all users in normal living situations. It has wireless AC1900 which is good enough for a three bedroom in most normal sized apartment or home floor plans. If you have a larger house, you may need to get the modem and router separate or even a wireless mesh network, the strongest option when it comes to networking equipment.
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.
|Compare:||Compare All 3 Prices Side By Side|
|Max Upload:||131 Mbps||262 Mbps||262 Mbps|
|WiFi Enabled:||Router Required||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|
|Charter Spectrum Approved:||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Note* With the stand alone modems you will have to buy a separate router. We do however recommend this over the single modem router combo gateway if you want the best possible wireless and more control over your home network. However, for 90% of users, the single device, combo modem router will be perfect. Please comment if you have any questions.|
Spectrum Voice Modem Router
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.