Here we’re going to cover modem router combos, stand-alone modems, and Xfinity routers for 2020. First though, if you’re not sure if you have Comcast internet or Xfinity Internet, the answer is, they are actually the same. The only situation where you would need to seek out a different device is if you have a voice modem. We do explain the difference between the two in our easy to read top combo modem chart below.
This list of approved modems is compatible with Blast and Performance cable internet. We even cover the newer Comcast Gigabit, future-proofed DOCSIS 3.1 modems.
Choosing between a modem, router, or combo gateway can be confusing, so we will also cover this topic in-depth to provide you with the knowledge needed to make the right choice for your cable internet.
Modem Router Combo
This is the best option for almost all Comcast internet subscribers. The modem and router in one device giving it the name “combo modem” or “modem router“.
Why is it the best solution for you? Because it simplifies everything by putting both the modem and the WiFi router in one single device. In most cases you will save money with this option making it the cheapest option for a quality approved replacement.
Now you know why it’s cheap and powerful making it the best replacement for Xfinity WiFi. Let’s take a look at the chart with approved combo modem routers.
|C7100V||AC1900||500 Mbps||24×8||Voice Package||Price|
- C6250: Best for most users in an apartment or single story home with Comcast Performance.
- C7000: Stronger wireless for multi-story homes with Comcast Blast.
- C7800: The strongest modem, required for Xfinity Gigablast.
- C7100V: Perfectly fine but required for any voice package, no exceptions.
Warning: You must use a voice modem if you have Triple Play, even if you do not use the voice. No exceptions.
Note: If you live in a larger 3+ story home, you should buy the modem and router separate to get the stronger WiFi signal. See your options below.
If you live in a really large home and need a wider area of coverage for your wireless network, then these combo modem routers might not be up to the task. The C7800 has a substantial built-in router with a signal of AC3200. This is going to be all you need for a 2 story home and even many 3 story homes. But once you go beyond that you need to start looking into either a wireless extender or a standalone modem and a separate router which we will cover next.
Standalone Modem for Comcast Xfinity
With these stand-alone cable modems, you have several options depending on what speed package you subscribe to. You will need to purchase a router separately from the 3rd chart but that is what makes the standalone modem a better choice. The ability to have full control over what router you combine with your modem. This ensures flexibility, power, speed, and ease of use.
If you’re looking for the actual best possible modem for Comcast, the number one choice is a MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 modem. It is the only DOCSIS 3.1 modem approved for Comcast Gigabit speeds. This high-performance, new technology modem paired with a powerful router cannot be beaten by any combo modem router on the market. It truly is the top performer when it comes to the fastest internet speeds. Not only is it the best modem, but it is also required for Xfinity Gigablast Speeds.
- CM500: Best for any users with Comcast Performance.
- CM600: Best for any users with Comcast Blast.
- MB8600: The strongest modem, required for Xfinity Gigablast.
- CM1150v: Gigablast modem. Required for any voice package, no exceptions.
When it comes to stand-alone cable modems, the best choice for you will be whatever one matches your download speeds. Yes, it’s that simple because the real power will come later with the wireless router you match it with. Of course these are all certified, approved and compatible with the Comcast Cable Network. There is a list of bad modems out there to avoid.
These modems will work for years and years to come but if you want the best top of the line future proofed modem, you have to get the DOCSIS 3.1 1Gbps MB8600. Otherwise, just pick the modem that works with your Comcast Xfinity Internet Speeds from the chart. More info on DOCSIS 3.1.
Best Router for Xfinity
No matter what modem you buy, you can use any of these routers. They are compatible with all speed tiers of Comcast. You must buy based on your house size.
|Model #||Power||WiFi Range||House Size||Price|
|RT-ACRH13||AC1300||1,000 sq ft||1 story||Price|
|RT-AC86U||AC2900||2,000 sq ft||2-3 stories||Price|
|RT-AC5300||AC5300||5,000 sq ft||3-4 stories||Price|
|Orbi Mesh||AC2200||6,000+ sq ft||4+ stories||Price|
Note: Most people only need the 1-2 story router. If you live in a mansion, you will need to go Wireless Mesh.
What combination modem router should I get?
If you don’t plan on getting Gigabit, then the current best DOCSIS 3.0 modem choice would be the Netgear CM600. It can handle Comcast Blast and Performance internet up to 400 Mbps.
If you are going for the cheapest modem, the Netgear CM500 will work up to 200 Mbps. The truth is the CM500 will be the best choice for almost everyone. Most people never get anything over 200 Mbps.
Either modem paired with a WiFi router that matches your home size will be the best combination set up for Comcast subscribers.
Isn’t a combo modem router the best option?
We recommend two devices over the combo modem with wireless built-in. These are the reasons why.
Two devices are better. The stand-alone cable modem and any of the mentioned routers will have better performance than the single unit combo modem router. The higher cost for separate devices comes from better equipment.
2 separate units make it easier to replace if something goes bad. This should not be an issue, but life happens. With a combo unit, the whole thing must be replaced.
Nerd options. The ASUS GUI gives you a lot more control. It is simple and intuitive for even the nonskilled. A great way to start learning networking from home.
The real reason, they are better routers. External antennas will get higher speeds at a distance. The combos won’t go beyond 2 stories.
Netgear vs Arris SB6190
You may have heard that the ARRIS SB6190 is a better modem. It is not. Stay away from the SB6190 or any modem on this bad modem list. We’re not even going to compare the two devices because when it comes down to Puma 6 vs Broadcom, there is no comparison.
End Of Life Modems – ARRIS SB6141? Netgear CM400?
Older 8×4 modems with only eight down channels such as the SB6141 or CM400, are starting to be removed from the internal supported devices list. According to several of our readers’ statements, those modems are no longer on the approved list for Xfinity cable internet when they called and tried to have them activated. As for the (16×4) DOCSIS 3.0 modems, even if they do get added to an end of life list in 8 years, they would continue to work if the mac address is already on your internet account.
Benefits to buying your own replacement modem
- Save $10 a month forever, no more rental fee
- Sace $120 a year, forever.
- Disable Comcast’s “public hotspot” coming out of your Xfinity provided router
- More control over your network
- Get better download speeds
- Newer technology
Save $10 a month on Comcast internet bill.
If you stop renting your modem from Comcast, you will save $10 a month. They are charging you to rent their old modem. This means in just one year, you will have saved $120. It adds up. I have used Comcast for over 18 years, meaning I have saved $2,160 dollars on my cable internet bill. Sure it may seem like a lot to pay for replacement equipment now, but I promise you it will pay for itself in the long run.
Improve your Comcast internet download speeds.
In most cases, people experience improved speeds when they buy a replacement retail modem and router. Reason being, these are the latest DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 modems, they have higher bonded channels than most Comcast provided modems, and the routers have higher rated wireless signals. They are newer technology and run cooler than the rental modems that often overheat and reboot or cause random disconnects from other malfunctions. So overall, you can expect more reliability and an improvement in your Xfinity cable internet service.
How do I install my cable modem?
You don’t have to do anything. This cable modem is a plug and play device, meaning all you do is plug it in and it works. All you have to do is call Comcast, give them the MAC Address so they can add it to your Xfinity internet account. They know this call very well and will not be giving you trouble. They will do it, and you’re finished. The mac address is on the bottom of the modem on a sticker, and it is clearly labeled. As long as you do not buy a used modem.
Check Out These Fastest Modem Speeds.
You can verify your cable internet modem speeds via the online speed test. Here are the download speed results from my self-bought replacement modem. Even though I am only supposed to get 100Mbps, I always get around 120Mbps with this cable modem. When I was forced to rent from Comcast, I would often be stuck around 30Mbps even though I was paying for better speeds. Your results will vary based on your cable ISP, speed package, and location.
Notice how it says faster than 90% of the US?
This is because most people rent a modem and router.
Good luck, please feel free to ask questions below!