Best Modem for Gaming in 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Choosing the best modem for gaming means you’ll have to pay close attention to each model’s features.

With the ability to streamline your connection to your ISP, you’ll experience higher pings and an overall improved user experience.

It’s ideal for online action adventures and first-person shooters, so you’ll find plenty of top-tier options to consider.

Comparison Chart

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ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem, Approved for Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum & others
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Motorola 24×8 Cable Modem, Model MB7621, DOCSIS 3.0. Approved by Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, and More. Downloads 1,000 Mbps Maximum (No WiFi)
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NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000 – Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 1 Gigabit | DOCSIS 3.1, Black (CM1000-1AZNAS)
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Linksys CM3024 High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 24×8 Cable Modem, Certified for Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner, Cox & Charter (Modem Only, No Wifi Functionality)
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Asus Modem Router Combo – All-in-One DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 Cable Modem + Dual-Band Wireless AC2600 WIFI Gigabit Router – Certified by Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Cox

Best Modem for Gaming Reviews

1. ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS Modem

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The ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS Modem is a fantastic option for connection speeds up to 2000 Mbps.

It has a seamless design that can easily fit into your home office to improve your connection to your ISP.

There are a few key features to note that will help boost your gaming abilities.

Product Highlights

The ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS Modem is highly compatible with most premium internet providers in the United States.

It will work with Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox, making it an excellent option for most U.S. households.

It’s also functional for speeds as high as 2Gbps, although you might need a second IP address to access faster speeds.

This model is built with top-tier technology known as DOCSIS 3.1, which provides faster and more efficient speeds.

You’ll also find two 1Gb Ethernet ports on the rear of the modem so you can have two simultaneous wired connections.

The straightforward setup makes it a fantastic option for beginners, as there are a couple of simple steps to follow.

Regarding the technical specifications, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS Modem has 32 downstream DOCSIS channels.

You’ll also have access to eight upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels.

Moreover, you’re sure to appreciate the two down and two upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 channels also integrated into the device.

It’s important to note that this modem is not designed for most fiber internet providers, including AT&T, Verizon, or CenturyLink.

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What to Like About It 

Setting up this router is very straightforward, and all you’ll need to do is follow the instructions.

The device also has a small and compact design, making it easy to store in your office or another out-of-sight location.

You’re bound to experience faster speeds after installation, and it has dual Ethernet ports for two wired devices.

What Not to Like About It

The largest gripe to be had with this model is its inconsistency.

You’ll notice inconsistent speeds and also dropped connections throughout the day.

Pros:

  • Simple installation
  • Convenient dual Ethernet ports
  • Small and compact design
  • Allows for faster speeds

Cons:

  • Can have inconsistent speeds
  • The connection might drop intermittently

2. Motorola 24×8 Cable Modem

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Motorola modems have always been a popular choice for their reliability and build quality.

The Motorola 24×8 Cable Modem, for instance, is highly recommended for households looking to get up to one Gbps of internet.

It’s one of the best modems for gaming, streaming media, and browsing the web.

Product Highlights

Depending on your configurations, you can get speeds up to one Gbps when you install this modem.

However, it’s typically rated for internet speeds up to 650 Mbps.

The built-in digital tuner ensures you have access to the fastest and most reliable internet possible.

You’ll find a single Ethernet port on the rear, which is perfect for your PC or console for a wired connection.

It’s also a great device to pair with Whole Home WiFi, such as Orbi, Eero, or Google WiFi.

Fortunately, this router is currently compatible with the majority of popular ISPs, including:

  • CableOne
  • SuddenLink
  • RCN
  • Charter Spectrum
  • Comcast Xfinity
  • Cox

However, it is not compatible with fiber internet providers.

If you need a modem that’s easy to set up, the Motorola 24×8 Cable Modem is a useful option.

The quick-start guide is handy for managing your internet connection in minutes.

Compared to other modems, this model has an attractive appeal that helps minimize storage space.

You can easily display it in the open without taking away from the aesthetic of your office.

When installed, you’ll have access to 24×8 DOCSIS channel bonding.

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What to Like About It

The quick-start guide will help you set up your new modem effortlessly so that you can access significantly improved internet speeds.

You’ll notice far more consistency when connecting to your ISP, so there are fewer connection drops.

Also, pairing this device with your existing router is easy.

What Not to Like About It

Unfortunately, the Motorola 24×8 Cable Modem isn’t compatible with all ISPs and internet packages.

At this time, it can’t handle more than one Gbps plans, so you’ll need a device upgrade if you enhance your internet.

Pros:

  • Straightforward quick-start guide
  • Significantly improved internet speeds
  • Consistent internet connectivity
  • Works well with routers

Cons:

  • Not compatible with all ISPs
  • Cannot handle more than one Gbps

3. NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000

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The NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000 has an impressively stylish exterior you can display brilliantly in your gaming area.

Apart from its aesthetics, it also packs a powerful punch and works with the most popular internet service providers.

By enabling up to one Gbps of internet, you’ll have plenty of extra speed to put to fair use.

Product Highlights

This modem is compatible with most major internet providers, such as Comcast, Cox, and Spectrum.

However, it’s not compatible with DSL providers, bundled voice services, or fiber internet.

If you want to max out your internet package’s speeds, this is one of the more prestigious options.

By adding the device to your network, you can save up to $168/year on modem rental fees.

Also, you’ll have full control over managing your internet compared to using your ISP’s modem.

This device is built for ultimate speeds by maximizing the potential of your internet package.

You’ll appreciate how easy it is to connect to WiFi routers. Also, you’ll have an Ethernet port for direct connections.

You’ll find that streaming 4K content, playing MMOs, and having reliable connectivity is much simpler when connected.

Fortunately, the installation is straightforward, as well, as you’ll only have to follow three steps.

Once the coax cable is inserted, you activate the modem online or call your cable provider for activation.

The last step is to plug in your Ethernet cable for your router or to your most-used device.

With integrated DOCSIS 3.1 technology, you’ll have 32×8 channel bonding and OFDM 2×2.

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What to Like About It 

If you need a device to help reduce latency and lag, this modem is exceptional.

It virtually eliminates buffering and can easily be connected to your favorite router.

The device’s setup is also effortless; it takes less than 10 minutes to get everything in working order.

What Not to Like About It

The lack of Ethernet ports in this device is an issue, especially if you don’t intend to use an additional router.

Also, it doesn’t support VoIP connections.

Pros:

  • 10-minute setup
  • Reduces latency and lag
  • Eliminates buffering
  • Easily connects to routers

Cons:

  • Lacks Ethernet ports
  • Doesn’t support VoIP

4. Linksys CM3024 High-Speed Cable Modem

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Cable internet users will love the Linksys CM3024 High-Speed Cable Modem and its sleek design.

If you want to make some subtle upgrades to your internet connection, this device is ideal.

It’s not the most powerful on the market, but it’s useful for smaller internet packages.

Product Highlights

The maximum speeds you can achieve with the Linksys CM3024 High-Speed Cable Modem are up to 300 Mbps.

You’ll notice a significant improvement in streaming HD-quality media as well as gaming online.

Like most third-party modems, though, this device isn’t compatible with Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink.

Even so, it works with the most popular providers, including Time Warner, Comcast Xfinity, Charter, Cablevision, and Cox.

The integrated Puma 6 chipset is said to provide reliable and fast internet connectivity for improved performance.

Also, the channel-bonding technology ensures data is transferred more efficiently between your connection and your ISP.

When installed, you’ll experience 24 download and eight upload bonded channels.

Each channel boasts DOCSIS 3.0 certification for the highest possible transfer rates via cable lines.

Although this device is rated for up to 300 Mbps, there is a potential for reaching up to 950 Mbps.

In most cases, you should be able to take advantage of the plug-and-play design of the modem.

All you have to do is connect it to power, then connect it to your wall jack. Some users will have to contact their ISP to configure the modem.

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What to Like About It 

The modem’s well-ventilated case helps reduce overheating, and the subtle LED lights aren’t too distracting.

When installed correctly, you’ll notice an adequate improvement to your internet speeds, especially with streaming content.

What Not to Like About It

The most considerable concern with the Linksys CM3024 High-Speed Cable Modem is that it is built using the Puma 6 chipset.

This chipset has been said to be flawed, which can lead to significant latency issues over time.

Pros:

  • Well-ventilated case
  • Adequately reduces streaming lag
  • Subtle LED lights
  • Improves internet speeds

Cons:

  • Flawed Puma 6 chipset
  • Can experience latency issues

5. Asus Modem Router Combo

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The Asus Modem Router Combo has two crucial features combined into one unit.

Instead of buying a router separately, this device handles both jobs while offering speeds up to 2.5 Gbps.

It has a unique style that looks similar to most Asus routers, making it ideal for home and professional offices.

Product Highlights

With this device, you can save up to $120/year on your modem rental fees and the cost of a router.

Fortunately, it’s certified by popular internet providers, such as Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, and Cox.

The all-in-one design provides DOCSIS 3.0 32 x 8 channels as well as an AC2600 WiFi router.

If you’re looking to stream content in HD or access online games, the dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands are remarkable.

The device also features the most upgraded 802.11ac 32×8 channel bonding for impressive connectivity.

On the device’s rear, you’ll find dual USB 2.0 ports that allow you to connect your peripherals, such as USB drives and printers.

With an AiCloud account, you can effortlessly access your connected peripherals remotely through the best gaming modem.

There are also four Gigabit Ethernet ports so that you can have multiple devices connected simultaneously.

Compared to other standard modems, the Asus Modem Router Combo is up to 1.43x faster.

Another unique feature is the optimization of the router-modem combo for homes with multiple devices.

It boasts MIMO technology, which increases WiFi speeds throughout your home.

Luckily, the WiFi is pre-configured from scratch, offering a unique SSID and password printed on the router.

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What to Like About It 

If you need a modem that won’t overheat, this device runs at a low temperature, even when downloading media.

You’ll love the consistency of your new internet connection as well as improved WiFi throughout your home.

The straightforward setup allows for instant connectivity with minor changes.

What Not to Like About It

Asus doesn’t manage the firmware for this device, and as such, there aren’t any updates to keep it competitive.

Also, accessing the router settings is a lengthy and confusing process, especially for beginners.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t overheat
  • Straightforward setup
  • Enables consistent connectivity
  • Improves WiFi signals

Cons:

  • Doesn’t allow firmware upgrades
  • Confusing router settings

Buyer’s Guide

When you begin looking for a modem, you need a device you can rely on.

It should easily connect to your ISP, give you optimal speeds, and have a stylish design for your office.

Let’s review all of the top features to consider with a new modem.

1. Modem/Router or Modem

The first thing to look at is whether you need a standalone modem or if you’d rather have a modem/router combo.

If you have wireless devices, opting for a combined unit can be preferable, as it saves the costs of an extra piece of equipment.

However, most households may have existing routers and, as such, can get away with just a modem.

2. DOCSIS Protocols

One technological feature you’ll come across with modems is referred to as DOCSIS protocols.

The majority of the best gaming modems will use either DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 for broadband internet connections.

If your internet service provider has speeds over one Gbps, you’ll want a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Alternatively, lower speeds can benefit from DOCSIS 3.0, which can also be significantly less expensive.

3. Downstream and Upstream Channels

Downstream and upstream channels can be confusing for beginners, but they’re also essential to consider.

The channels will often be expressed as 32×8 or 8×4 and correlate to how much data your ISP can download.

The more downstream channels you have, the faster your download speeds will be.

It’s recommended to have a minimum of 16 channels in the modern-day, as anything less will be far too slow.

4. ISP Compatibility

It’s easy to think you can connect it with any internet service provider in your area once you buy a router.

However, that’s not really the case, as some routers work with specific companies while others don’t.

The majority of ISPs, like Cox or Comcast, will typically support any devices, but smaller companies won’t.

Besides reading your modem’s product description, you should also confirm your ISP directly before purchasing.

Even though it’s an extra step, it helps make sure you have a device that will work once installed.

5. Upload and Download Speeds

Your upload and download speeds are important, apart from analyzing the downstream and upstream channels.

For this, you’ll need to consider your internet package, which will tell you the maximum speeds you can access.

For example, households with 500 Mbps internet will need a modem that offers up to 500 Mbps or one Gbps of connectivity.

To note, the best modems for gaming don’t automatically mean you’ll have above what your internet package offers.

Unless you intend to upgrade your internet in the future, try to choose a modem close to your internet speed cap.

Modem for Gaming FAQs

1. What modem do pro gamers use?

The majority of pro gamers tend to keep their modem information private, as it can lead to doxxing in rare instances.

With that said, there are specific modems designed for gaming.

A few of the most notable examples include:

  • Linksys Cable Modem
  • Motorola Cable Model
  • Netgear Cable Modem
  • Arris Surfboard Cable Modem

The most important thing to remember is you’ll want at least 16 downstream channels in the best gaming modem.

It’s also essential to ensure you have a hefty internet package to handle fast-paced online games.

Typically, 500 Mbps is a good internet speed, although one Gbps would be superior.

2. Do gaming modems make a difference?

Gaming modems can make a significant difference to your internet as they are designed for heavier uses.

You’ll be able to streamline your connection so that you can access a higher-quality experience from your ISP.

Some households find their existing equipment allowed them to access speeds significantly lower than a new modem would.

3. Is a modem or router better for gaming?

Using both a modem and router can be ideal for gaming, as long as you have a wired connection.

Routers are convenient for wireless devices, like smartphones and laptops.

However, when it comes to gaming, you’ll have the best connection when you’re wired to either your modem or router.

4. Do modems affect gaming?

The best gaming modems affect gaming, as they enable the connection from your ISP to your house.

If you have an old or faulty modem, your internet speeds will be substandard and give you lower-quality results.

By upgrading your device, you’ll have far less lag and latency for a seamless user experience.

5. Will a better router improve gaming?

A router can be beneficial if your modem doesn’t have enough Ethernet ports to support your PC or console.

It can also be useful for wireless connectivity if you’re playing a lower-tier online game.

The purpose of a router is to help boost the connection from your devices to your modem.

Our Final Recommendation

The NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000 is the best modem for gaming with its intuitive design.

It has a straightforward setup with many user-friendly features that significantly improve internet speeds.

Also, it looks great when displayed, thanks to its unique modern look.

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