It’s no secret that you can save a bunch of money and improve your download speeds by having the best modem for Comcast Cable (or Time Warner Cable). Buy your own approved modem instead of renting their equipment for $10 a month($120 a year). Which compatible modem is the best though? With so many options out there and weird technical terms like DOCSIS 2.0, DOCSIS 3.0, channel bonding, Wireless AC vs Wireless N, etc, what cable modem should you buy? Here are the best devices for each situation.
Approved Comcast Modem List
SB6183: Price Check
Current top choice. Speeds up to 686Mbps.
SB6190: Price Check
Future proofed speeds up to 1 Gbps.
Buying one of these approved modems will save you $10 a month and possibly get better speeds / service. Unless you plan on getting gigabyte speeds in the future when they are launched, the SB6183 is the perfect modem choice for you. It can handle all of the current Comcast cable speeds(as well as all other cable internet providers) and is the best modem for your home internet. If you have Comcast Voice Triple Play you can not buy these modems. You must get one from the voice section below.
If you don’t have a wireless router, pick one from the next section.
Wireless AC1750: Amazon Price Apartment / small home.
Wireless AC3200: Amazon Price 2 story home.
Wireless AC5300: Amazon Price Large house.
Full review on all 3 options
Easy to use for a beginner, full of advanced options for a techie. Perfect wifi router for your home, no matter the size. This is not only the best router for Comcast, but again any internet service provider. Be sure to check out my full review page to see what router is best for your home.
End Game, Best of the Best
Wireless Mesh Network: Check Price
Full Review. For mansions.
Wireless Mesh Networking is the newest technology in Wireless and the only way to go for a really large house or mansion. Especially if you are trying to get wireless to a guest house out in the backyard. Read the article to see if it is for you.
Best Combo Modem Router: Netgear C7000
For most people the combo modem will be the best option. A combo modem is both the modem and router in one piece of equipment. Because the devices are consolidated, you have a lot less wires and complication to deal with. It is wireless AC1900 so it is great for a small 2 bedroom apartment to small one story house, but do not get this if you have a larger home and multiple floors.
Cons: The reasons I would not go with this combo modem router is because it lacks advanced features and a USB 3.0 port. Sure it is a single device with less wires to manage, but I prefer two separate devices so if one fails, you only have to replace one.
Bottom line? Great coverage, limited options but still good for non power users who just want the easiest option for a normal sized living situation. This makes it the best combo modem for Comcast and Time Warner users.
SB6183 Modem For Comcast + Airport Extreme
As a computer support person, I couldn’t tell you anything about this here iThing other than Apple people like it. If you’re an Apple person, this is the one your homies are currently buying. Don’t ask me anything about it. I assume it has one button and no options. Kidding, it’s Wireless AC Base Station Airport Extreme. Fast as heck and the top choice for Apple users. With Apple, you only have one and this is it.
As a tech support person I would never go Apple but that is another topic and maybe you are used to and need Apple to work with all of your other iThings, so this is the one. But you knew that.
Comcast Voice Modem EMTA Telephony Options
Arris TG862G-CT + Router
Arris Tm722g + Router
Just buy whichever is cheaper at the time because they are the same modem.
You Must Use A Comcast Voice Modem?
If you have Comcast Voice Triple Play you must use one of the 2 the Telephony modems above. Yes, your options are very limited if you want to stick with their Triple Play w/ voice.
The only 2 options are the TG862G (Retail) and TM722G (Retail). Just get whatever one is cheaper at the time. They are the same but one has an old wireless N router built in. You would still want to get a separate wireless AC router from above because the old Wireless N device will not perform optimally for your whole house and may frequently disconnect. Read comments below regarding people who upgraded from Wireless N to AC and saw huge speed improvements.
What if I am not using the voice package? Do I still need a voice modem?
Yes, you do. I called Comcast myself and the bottom line is you have Triple Play, use it or not, you need the voice modem. I have had readers also report that they tried and Comcast would not let them use a normal approved modem.
Unfortunately in almost all cases you MUST buy a new modem. Do not buy a used modem because often times they are on a closed account in another state and you do not have permission to add them to your own. It’s silly but I know how much trouble those agents have when the modem has previously been provisioned on an existing account. They will even make you go into an actual retail location to prove you have the device in hand and are not hacking another customers account by trying to use their modem.
Combo Modem vs Cable Modem?
They’re both actually the same thing but one has a built in wireless router.
Modem: The required device that picks up the cable internet signal coming into your home. If you have only one computer and do not need wifi internet, you can hook straight into it without a router.
Router: The device that hooks up to the modem and cast a wireless signal and allows more than one computer / device to connect. It also has a built in firewall to protect your network from intrusions.
Combo Modem / Router: Both of those in one piece of equipment to save space and simplify things.
Why would you want a modem and a router instead of a combo router?
I highly recommend the two separate devices.
Reason one: It’s the best. The SB6183 and any of the wifi routers above is a better option than the single combo modem gateway. That is why the higher cost. If you want the better option, you pay more.
Reason two: If something were to ever break(it shouldn’t), then you only have to replace or upgrade one device instead of the whole combo unit.
Reason three: You get a lot more control with the built in ASUS GUI(Graphical User Interface) and it’s really easy for even someone non technical to use and you can learn basic home networking from it.
Reason four: The main reason, better speeds at range.
SB6183 vs SB6190 – Differences
SB6183: Currently ideal.
Downstream Channels: 16 bonded channels. Better connection.
Max Speed: 608mbps ready for next generation internet speeds.
SB6190: The best cable modem future proofed for gigabyte speeds.
Downstream Channels: 32 bonded channels. Best connection.
Max Speed: 1.4Gbps modem capable of gigabyte speeds.
Both are compatible with all Xfinity Internet Packages. That includes all Performance, Blast, and Extreme packages.
Channel Bonding Explained Video
End Of Life Modems. There is a lot of worry and talk about EOL’d Comcast modems. However if you look at their own approved modem list and sort by latest DOCSIS 3.0 retail modems, they’ve only EOL’d one cable modem at all(photo below). Do not worry about a Motorola ARRIS being on the End of Life list because as you can see, they are not. Even if they were added way down the line, once you’ve activated the modem, it is on your account and will continue working until you trash it.
Benefits to buying your own modem
- Save $10 every month
- Disable Comcast’s Public Hotspot coming out of your router
- More control over home network
- Faster speeds
- Newer Equipment
How much are Comcast modem rental fees?
Currently it cost $10 a month to rent a modem meaning in just one year you pay them an extra $120 in fees that you can be avoiding. I’ve had them for at least 12 years meaning that’s a savings over over $1,200! And I will likely have them forever. Trust me, stop renting, buy your own device.
Note: This is for Comcast Xfinity, Charter, Time Warner, Cox, Bright House, Mediacom and more.
Any DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Internet Network.
It’s simple, Comcast’s current cable internet network runs on DOCSIS 3.0 and can provide internet speeds up to 250Mbps. As you see below I get 120Mbps with this modem but I think my plan is only 100Mbps.
I myself have worked for Comcast and other large call centers in the past and it’s no surprise to me that the current top modem is still a Motorola Arris Surfboard. The Surfboard series was the one of the top tier broadband modems many years ago when I worked for them and it still is.
Oh, you need another reason to save money? With the ARRIS / Motorola Modem your internet service will usually improve. You’ll no longer experience random disconnects from old recycled overheating cable modems that have not only been rented to you, but likely many other people prior to you. There have even been stories of rental equipment coming with cockroaches in them! Get your own new device.
How do I install my modem?
This modem is plug and play. Meaning all you do is screw in the coax cable that comes out of your wall and it works. You don’t have to set it up or know how to access the built in firmware to configure anything. You just hook it up, wait a moment and POW. Super fast internet speeds. Ok, I lied, there is one step you must take care of. Because you are using your own modem you must call Comcast / Time Warner or whomever your cable internet provider is and give them the MAC Address of your new modem. This sounds difficult but it is not. The MAC Address is very clearly labeled on a sticker on the bottom of the equipment. Customer service must register the MAC to your account that one time only. After this you never have to talk to them again. And if you’re renting equipment from them, you must tell them so you can stop getting charged. You’ll now save $10 every month.
Important Note: Do NOT buy a used modem. It is likely already registered to another persons account. While I myself as an ex agent know it is possible to remove the modem from the old account and put it on the new one, many agents do not and it will be such a hassle. You do not want to end up in this situation because it could leave you without internet for a while and in limbo. It has been reported that some agents even say you must physically go into a local store to have it activated. Why? So they can see that you actually have the device in your hand and it is not in a home where the old account says it is. This is blasphemy and can be avoided by buying new.
Compatible with Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, Charter, Time Warner, Mediacom, Bright House
This modem not only works for Comcast, it works for any major cable ISP running on the DOCSIS 3.0 Network such as Time Warner, Charter, Cox, Mediacom and more.
It supports speeds up to 686Mbps download and 131 Mbps upload. Now that’s insanely fast. I have Comcast at 123MB down and it’s most definitely the fastest internet I’ve ever had. With all four of us in the house streaming Netflix or playing video games online at the same time, it still has excessive bandwidth leftover.
Check Out These Fastest Modem Speeds
This is my report. Yours may vary based on what package you pay for, who your ISP is and where you’re located. But with this modem I can bust 120MB on the daily. Older modems and even modems Comcast has provided me with lingered between 10-30MB. Break out, get your full potential speeds and watch Netlfix streaming in High Definition like you paid for.
Notice how it says faster than 90% of the US?
Because most people don’t have their own modems!
But there are other factors like location and ISP.
Comcast Tech Support
Comcast Sales Be Like
Regardless of the Comcast memes, as for my opinion on Comcast as an ISP, I prefer them. I myself have worked for DirecTV, Comcast and AT&T. All horrible places to work(AT&T is the worst) and terrible massive corporations price gouging customers and underpaying their employees. But you must choose one and Comcast has the fastest internet at the best price range. Could it be cheaper? Heck yes, but that is not an option. Bottom line is Comcast Xfinity is a much better option than AT&T DSL or U-verse. I never have outages with Comcast and I never need to reboot my modem or router.
As a person who lives in the Matrix, I need the best internet provider, meaning I am forced to subscribe to Comcast. But I am not forced to rent a modem from them and my form of boycotting is buying my own and not letting them get that extra $10. Do yourself a favor, join me!
Good luck, please feel free to ask questions below!