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Best Modems and Router in 2023

Ryan Hansen Avatar

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Updated 1:26 pm

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To help you find the best modems and routers for your home wireless network, we spent a large amount of time researching the top considerations you should make before making a purchasing decision. When looking for a new modem router combo, we recommend choosing an option that provides you with the speed and range appropriate for your home and the devices connected to your network. We also recommend picking a device that allows you to customize network settings for a secure and controlled wireless experience.

With all of these features in mind, we selected the Arris Surfboard SBG7600 as our best modem and router pick. Keep reading below to learn more about this powerful device and the other top picks we selected for the best router on the market.

Top 10 Modem and Routers

 #1  Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: With support for speeds up to 600 Mbps, a great, user-friendly smartphone app for managing settings, and solid signal strength across dual bands, this modem and router is the perfect fit for most homes. It also offers four-gigabit ethernet ports for hardwiring your gaming consoles and streaming devices.

  • User-friendly, comprehensive smartphone app
  • Speed up to 600 Mbps
  • Reliable, consistent signal strength
  • Disappointing range on 5GHz band
  • Complicated parental controls setup

The Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2 modem and router combo is our top pick for a wide variety of reasons, but the top feature is the speeds that this device can provide. If you pay for speeds up to 600 megabits per second from your ISP, then this is the router you’ll want to purchase. It can easily handle speeds up to this rating and provide strong signal strength throughout your home with reliable connectivity that doesn’t drop often. The Arris Surfboard offers dual-band router functionality, so you’ll get both 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels to which your devices can connect. While the 5GHz channel offers the best speeds, it doesn’t provide the best range on the Arris Surfboard SBG7600AC2, so be aware of that when you’re browsing the web farther away from the router.

Related: Look into the best mesh routers.

The overall design and form factor of the Arris Surfboard SBG7600 lend themselves well to tech-minded homes. It looks good and can fit pretty much anywhere you decide to install it. You’ll get four separate gigabit Ethernet ports on this modem router combo, which is helpful if you want to hardwire gaming consoles or streaming devices for a more reliable connection. Installation of the Arris Surfboard SBG7600 is easy, which is a nice plus. You’ll get access to an Arris smartphone app through which you can configure all your settings. The app works really well and is easy to learn. We were a little disappointed by the time-consuming and somewhat complicated parental controls, though. You might also want to check out the best ethernet switch guide.

 #2  Motorola MG7700 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: This modem and router device provides a stable, reliable internet connection for small to mid-sized homes thanks to its beamforming tech and Power Boost functionality. It can also provide download speeds up to 1 Gbps and is incredibly easy to get up and running.

  • Beamforming for more reliable connection
  • Provides speeds up to 1 Gbps
  • Reliable, consistent signal strength
  • Disappointing range
  • Restricted to Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox

The Motorola MG7700 easily earns our Honorable Mention spot due to its incredible speeds and advanced features, like beamforming and Power Boost. For starters, you’ll be able to transmit internet speeds upwards of 1 gigabit per second to your wireless devices, making this an excellent choice for home offices or streaming. Thanks to Motorola’s beamforming capabilities, you’ll get a reliable and uniform signal throughout your home. Unfortunately, the MG7700 doesn’t pack the biggest range, but it’s still perfect for most homes under 2,000 square feet.

Related: Take a quick look at the best modems in the market today!

We were impressed by how easy the Motorola MG7700 is to get up and running in your home. It’s about as close to plug and play as you can get in the world of networking technology. The coax port on the modem and router is a little awkward, though, and may limit you as to where the device can be installed. Other than that, though, you’ll get four separate LAN ports to hardwire devices directly to the Motorola modem router combo, which is always a nice feature to have. Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to use this device with Xfinity, Cox, or Spectrum. If you want more range, check out our best wifi router for long-range buying guide.

 #3 Netgear Nighthawk C7000 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a modem and router combo that you can set and forget, then this is the option for you. It’s incredibly easy to set up and offers comprehensive, user-friendly management settings, alongside its solid speed and range.

  • Sleek, appealing design aesthetic
  • Support for up to 30 connected devices
  • Incredibly easy installation process
  • Not many advanced features
  • Only 400 Mbps speed

The Netgear Nighthawk C7000 modem and router is a sleek and powerful device that can provide you with everything you need to get your home network up and running in no time. It features a unique design aesthetic that looks good anywhere it’s installed, along with four-gigabit ethernet ports and a USB port on the back for greater connectivity options. The Nighthawk C7000 really excels when it comes to installation and management, though. After you get the product, all you need to do to install it is connect it to your coax cable in the wall and plug an ethernet cable into your computer and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also call your cable provider directly if you can’t connect an ethernet cable to your computer. All in all, the setup time should take you a minimal amount of time.

The Netgear Nighthawk C7000 is also incredibly easy to customize and manage network settings. Once it’s all set up, you can log in to the modem and router via a web interface and adjust things like parental controls and security settings with ease. You’ll also get a good amount of performance with the C7000. It only supports plans of up to 400 Mbps through your ISP but gives the maximum speed via Wi-Fi to your home devices. It also features a good range, which is perfect for most average-sized homes. It’s good if you’re also in the market for the best small business router.

 #4  Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: This powerful modem and router option provides the best of the best when it comes to speed and range, making it perfect for streaming 4K content in homes packed to the brim with wireless devices. Plus, you’ll get incredibly user-friendly management settings and built-in parental controls for the best control over your network.

  • Long-range signal strength
  • Fast, Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • Streamlined, user-friendly management settings
  • Larger than other modem router options
  • Longer installation time possible

The Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 cable internet modem and router is one of the most powerful and comprehensive options available on the market today. It’s compatible with Wi-Fi 6, which means you’ll get the fastest speeds possible out of the device. This modem and router is capable of handling speeds up to 2 Gbps, which is much faster than pretty much anything else we featured in this buying guide. You’ll also get an impressive range with this device. It can easily emit wireless signals throughout large homes without a problem.

Another area where the Nighthawk CAX80 really shines is in its overall user-friendliness and network management settings. The user interface – available both via the web and a smartphone app – is easy to learn and gives you access to change nearly anything you could need to adjust on your home network. Parental controls are especially good here, and they’re easy to tweak so you get the safest network in your home. When it comes to design, the Nighthawk CAX80 is quite a bit larger and bulkier than comparable options. This can cause some frustration in placement during installation, but it’s a fairly easy obstacle to overcome, especially when compared to the performance and functionality this device provides. It’s one of the best routers for streaming options on the list.

 #5  Netgear N600 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on a tight budget, but still need reliable wireless performance in your home, you can’t go wrong with this affordable modem and router combination. It provides reliable speed and signal strength, as well as plenty of customizable network settings and compatibility with network storage devices.

  • Plenty of customizable network settings
  • Good speeds and range
  • Compatible with network storage devices
  • No gigabit ethernet
  • Boring design

The Netgear N600 isn’t the most inspiring modem router combo in its design or the most powerful network device when compared to other high-end models. However, it’s incredibly affordable, which makes it an excellent option for anyone on a budget. Of course, we should say that the N600 isn’t a bad modem and router combo. It simply sacrifices some of the more advanced functionality in favor of affordability. You’ll still get strong wireless speeds – up to 340 Mbps – and a good amount of range, perfect for mid-sized homes.

Where the Netgear N600 really shines, though, is in its network customization options. Netgear is famous for providing incredibly user-friendly interfaces through which you can adjust things like parental controls, Quality of Service options, and security settings. The N600 is no different. Learning to tweak your network is easy with Netgear’s streamlined user interface. When it comes to the modem and router’s design, you’ll get a simple if boring form factor, but it’s compact and durable, which allows for easier installation and placement. You’ll get two ethernet ports on the back of the N600, but they aren’t gigabit ports. All in all, you can’t go wrong with the Netgear N600 if you’re looking for a reliable budget modem and router combination.

 #6  Motorola MT7711 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: This modem and router combo is incredibly easy to install and offers plenty of speed for the average home network, up to 600 Mbps. The modem router also works well for multiple devices due to its beamforming tech, Power Boost functionality, and additional ports for voice products.

  • 15-minute installation time
  • Supports Xfinity voice plans
  • Up to 600 Mbps speeds
  • Restricted to Xfinity only
  • Disappointing 2.4GHz performance

The Motorola MT7711 is an excellent addition to our lineup of the best modem and router combinations available today, especially if you want to use it for connecting multiple devices to your Wi-Fi network. The device can provide speeds upwards of 600 Mbps and even includes two ports to connect to voice products like telephones. Unfortunately, the MT7711 is restricted to use on Xfinity’s plans only, so keep that in mind before you buy.

The Motorola MT7711 is incredibly easy to install and set up, with install times quoted at around 15 minutes. This is a huge plus for people who aren’t tech-minded or who simply don’t want to deal with long, complicated configuration processes. We were impressed to find beamforming and Power Boost technologies here, which provide a uniform signal over longer ranges, making it much easier to get a reliable connection for more devices overall. You’ll get dual-band functionality with the MT7711, as well, so you can choose to connect to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands. The 2.4GHz band doesn’t perform as well as the 5GHz band, so we recommend keeping your streaming and gaming devices connected to the latter. If you’re a Fios user, you might also like to check out our best router for Verizon Fios buying guide.

 #7  Arris Surfboard SBG8300 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: With support for speeds up to 2350 Mbps across both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, smart home compatibility, and solid built-in security features, this cable modem and router offer a high level of quality in both performance and design. It also performs well at both close and long ranges.

  • High-speed, long-range performance
  • Good built-in security features
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Lacking advanced customization settings
  • No support for Wi-Fi 6

The Arris Surfboard SBG8300 modem and router is a powerful networking device that can provide you with wireless speeds upwards of 2350 megabits per second, which makes it one of the better-performing options available today. Even better, the Arris can provide these speeds at longer ranges and through obstacles like walls and doors. This is a dual-band modem and router, so you’ll be able to connect your wireless devices to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band for the ultimate level of versatility.

The SBG8300 is also designed well, although it sports the classic tower design that is so common with modem router combos. It features a line of LED indicator lights on the front of the device that tells you the overall status of your network, which is incredibly helpful. On the back of the device, you’ll also get four-gigabit ethernet ports for hardwiring streaming devices. We were also impressed by the built-in security features to keep both your home network and personal devices safe. For all of these features, the Arris Surfboard SBG8300 is one of the highest quality modems and router combinations your money can buy today. For Linux users, you might also like our best OpenWRT router buying guide.

 #8  Netgear C6250 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: This modem and router feature excellent beamforming functionality, which distributes a uniform, consistent Wi-Fi signal throughout smaller homes. It also gives you a larger number of Ethernet ports and tons of customization settings.

  • Powerful beamforming technology
  • Five gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Comprehensive network management settings
  • No MU-MIMO functionality
  • Disappointing signal strength

The Netgear C6250 modem and router is the best option for smaller homes. While it doesn’t feature the signal strength needed for larger areas, it still provides a lot of advanced functionality for a reliable network experience. For starters, the device features beamforming tech, which emits a consistent signal throughout, no matter what kind of obstacles are in the way. You’ll get speeds up to 1600 Mbps, which is enough for most homes.

We were also impressed by the Netgear C6250’s overall design and network management options. You’ll get five different gigabit Ethernet ports, which is one more than most devices offer. If you have gaming consoles or streaming devices, this gives you more versatility in what you can hardwire directly to the modem for a more reliable connection. Like most Netgear devices, the C6250 also provides a ton of network customization options. You’ll be able to adjust things like parental controls, Quality of Service prioritization, and user profiles. And to make things better, the user interface in which you adjust these settings is incredibly user-friendly. For additional parental control features, check out our best kid tablet buying guide.

 #9  Motorola MG7550 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need a powerful Wi-Fi signal throughout a large home, then this modem and router combo is the best choice for you. It offers strong signal and speeds at long ranges thanks to its Power Boost setting and powerful antennas.

  • Proprietary tech for extended range
  • Advanced firewall settings
  • Design lessens overheating
  • Uninspired design and aesthetic
  • Initial setup can be long

The Motorola MG7550 modem and router is a powerful option that works with a wide variety of different ISPs. It works best for larger homes that have a lot of space where individual devices are more spread out. The Motorola features high-quality antennas that can emit a powerful Wi-Fi signal, even through obstacles. Plus, the modem and router feature an advanced Power Boost setting that creates an even strong signal, which is a huge plus.

Indeed, the Motorola MG7550 doesn’t have the most inspiring or unique design aesthetic, but it’s durable and compact enough to fit anywhere in your home. You’ll get plenty of options for customization, but not quite as many as competing products. We were most impressed by the integrated firewall settings, which keep your network protected from external threats. All in all, if you need a reliable modem and router combination for your larger home, then this is the best option for you. For travelers, you might also be interested in investing in the best travel router to ensure you stay connected wherever you go.

 #10  Netgear Nighthawk C7800 Modem and Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: With incredibly fast speeds, long-range performance, and support for a large number of devices, this modem and router combination is perfect for gamers and those who are constantly online. Plus, it features advanced configuration settings so you can tailor your network to your individual needs.

  • Great performance at extra-long ranges
  • Compact, portable design
  • Solid connection for up to 45 devices
  • More complicated installation
  • Minimal firmware updates

The Netgear Nighthawk C7800 is the best modem router combo for gaming because of its strong performance with both wireless speed and range. The modem router device can provide speeds up to 2 gigabits per second, which is blazing fast, especially when compared to competitors in this category. You’ll also be able to get signals anywhere in your home, even in large homes, thanks to the four external antennas on the Nighthawk C7800.

Like other Nighthawk routers, you’ll also get an incredibly user-friendly and comprehensive network management experience with the C7800. You’ll be able to adjust a whole swath of different settings here, including parental controls and Quality of Service options so you can always optimize performance for your gaming devices. The Nighthawk C7800 also features a more traditional wireless router design, which is compact and portable, making it easy to install anywhere. All you need now is the best gaming chair and you’re ready to start playing!

How We Decided

The first thing we did during our research phase is to only include networking devices that included both cable modem and router within a single device. It can be hard to determine which devices actually do contain both pieces of technology, so we did the heavy lifting for you. With that being said, we also focused on cable modem router combos that provided wide compatibility with different internet service providers. We awarded bonus points for devices that could work with any ISP.

Next, we considered overall performance, both in speed and range. We preferred modem and router combinations with higher speed ratings, as these were the options that worked well with modern internet plans today. The higher speed the device provided, the more points it earned. We also gave modems and routers more points if they could provide a strong signal at longer ranges.

Finally, we rated the modem and router combinations based on their overall design and network management options. The modem and router combos that are portable and compact are the best options because they make installation and placement that much easier. We also rated each option based on the level of customization they offer. The more options you can adjust to fit your own home network needs, the better.

Best Modems and Routers Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Modem vs. Router
    The first consideration you need to make when shopping for a Verizon modem and router combo is to understand the difference between the two separate pieces of technology that go into this single device solution. A modem is what receives the internet signal from your ISP and converts it into something usable for your home devices. Your router then takes this signal and emits it throughout your home. By understanding the differences between bridge modem vs. router, you’ll have a better insight into what makes your home network tick.
  2. Speed
    Like standalone routers, one of the biggest considerations to make is what kind of speed your modem and router combo can provide for the device connected to your home network. Of course, it’s important to recognize that your modem and router can never increase your internet speed. Just like a network switch can combine all your wireless devices into a single network, it does not increase your speed. Your ISP is the one who controls the speeds to your home, based on the package you pay for every month. However, your modem and router combo, like the Motorola MG7700 or Netgear C7000, can limit your speeds based on its performance specs. For example, if you get 100 Mbps of speed from your ISP, but you purchase a modem and router that can only handle 50 Mbps, your connected devices won’t ever get the speeds you pay for from your ISP. Alternatively, if you have router issues, you need to unbrick your router as it won’t be useful at all.
  3. Range
    Next, consider the range of your modem router combination. This refers to how well the device can emit wireless signals throughout your home, and is incredibly important, especially if you have a large home. Most modem and router combos can cover anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet, but there are exceptions on either end of the scale. Consider how much space you need to cover and purchase a device that provides a similar range. You’ll also need to consider what kind of obstructions your modem and router’s signal may encounter, including doors and walls. These obstructions can decrease the overall range of your modem router combo.
  4. Design/Durability
    Your modem and router combination isn’t something you’ll be handling every day, most likely. However, you’ll still want to purchase a device that can withstand the occasional bump and drop, just in case. As a part of this consideration, you may also want to think about purchasing a device that looks good because you’ll most likely install it in a visible area. Consider overall size as compared to the available spaces in which you can install your networking device, as well.

Modems and Routers FAQs

What is the best modem router combo?

The best modem router combo focuses on providing a comprehensive solution to your home networking needs. With a solid combination of speed, range, and design quality, the best options available on the market today will provide you with a reliable, consistent network connection for all of your home devices and smart home technology.

Is it better to have a separate modem and router?

For the average consumer, it’s definitely better to have a separate modem and router. A combo replaces the need to have two separate devices in your home, saving you space and money. However, modem router combos can sometimes be more difficult to upgrade or troubleshoot.

What is the best modem router on the market?

The best modem router on the market is the one that fulfills your needs and wants for your home networking setup. It should match or outpace the bandwidth speeds you pay for with your ISP, as well as provide enough range to give your entire home strong network connectivity.

How far should the router be from the modem?

When you purchase the best router and modem combination, you won’t have to worry about how far away the router is from the modem, since it’s the same device. However, if you happen to have a separate modem and router, we recommend keeping the router at least a foot away from the modem.

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