To get faster more reliable home WiFi with Spectrum you must buy your own replacement Spectrum 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?

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.

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 modem. Check out this chart for the differences.

Check this buyers guide if you already have a modem for Spectrum and you’re looking for a wireless router for Spectrum.

Approved Spectrum Modems List

Spectrum Modem and Routers
Upload131 Mbps262 Mbps262 Mbps
WiFiNo WiFiNo WiFiWireless AC1900
Weight1.4 pounds1.91 pounds3.43 pounds
Dimensions2.5 x 8.5 x 7.8 in7.2 x 10.2 x 4.5 in11.61 x 11.02 x 3.94 in
Spectrum ApprovedYesYesYes
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.

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. You’ll see that many of them are very outdated or on the bad modem list which is why you’ll want to buy your own replacement modem router.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 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 quote directly from them telling you they have not approved any devices of this class so you must rent from them. best modem approved for spectrum cable internet


Fastest Spectrum Modem

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.

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netgear cm600 for spectrumBrand:NetgearPros:
  • Best future proofed modem
  • Ready Spectrum Ultra and 400Mbps
  • Use your own router
  • Plug & Play
  • Time Warner Compatible
  • Spectrum Approved
Down/Up Channels:24×8
Download Speed:400Mbps
Upload Speed:262Mbps
Wireless Modem:Router Required
Spectrum Approved:YesCons:
Source:Data Sheet
  • Highest cost

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.

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a sb6183 cable modemBrand:ArrisPros:
  • Best current modem
  • Most common issued
  • Use your own router
  • Plug & Play
  • Spectrum Compatible
Down/Up Channels:16×4
Download Speed:686Mbps
Upload Speed:131Mbps
Wireless Modem:Router Required
Approved Modem:YesCons
  • No current cons

Spectrum Router Combo Modem

With speeds up to Spectrums 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 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.

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arris gateway modem routerBrand:NetgearPros:
  • Best combo modem router
  • Ready for 400Mbps
  • WiFi router built in
  • Plug & Play
  • Time Warner Approved
  • Spectrum Approved
Down/Up Channels:24×8
Download Speed:400Mbps
Upload Speed:262Mbps
Wireless Router:YES
Spectrum Approved Modem:YesCons:
  • Can’t use separate router

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.

USB Ports.
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.

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.