What features and specs should you look for in the best routers for Spectrum internet? It starts with flexible setup options with Gigabit Ethernet ports and high-speed transfers so that you get the actual speeds your Spectrum plan advertises. For the Spectrum Gigahertz plans, you’ll want a Wi-Fi router capable of at least 1,000 Mbps download speed, for example.
Next, the best wireless routers for Spectrum Internet and Charter Spectrum service should support the current Wi-Fi protocols and offer plenty of bandwidth for all your devices. If you have newer Wi-Fi 6 devices, ensure your router supports the Wi-Fi 6 standard. With newer broadband infrastructure, you get faster speed and a more reliable connection, but you’ll need a capable router to make the most of your Internet speed.
Keep reading to learn more about the best routers for Spectrum Internet service and how to choose the best Wi-Fi routers for your home or workspace.
Top Routers for Spectrum
#1 Netgear C7000 Nighthawk Cable Modem WiFi Router
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It offers excellent range for solid connectivity and can handle many multiple connections. It comes with four Ethernet and two USB ports for flexible wired connections and operates on a dual-band frequency class.
- Has great range
- Can handle up to 30 simultaneous connections
- Has flexible connectivity
- Netgear’s customer support is difficult to reach
The Netgear C7000 from Nighthawk functions as both a modem and a WiFi router and is compatible with major US cable providers such as Xfinity by Comcast, Cox, and Spectrum. It allows for Cable Plans up to 800mbps and features four Ethernet ports and two USB ports. With a data transfer rate of 1900 mbps, Internet connections are pretty fast, and with the capacity to support up to 30 simultaneously connected devices, it is ideal for large homes or light business use. Unfortunately, some have complained that Netgear’s customer support is pretty challenging to reach.
This router operates on a dual-band frequency, so users will also be able to allocate bandwidth to different functions to its 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands, which are capable of 600mbps and 13000mbps, respectively. Also, since its got wireless coverage of up to 1800 square feet, there won’t be any severe blind spots in the house. It is also pretty easy to install and comes with a unique feature called ReadyShare, where users can wirelessly access content on a USB that is plugged into it.
#2 Motorola MG7700 Modem WiFi Router
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a data transfer rate of up to1 Gigabits per second, it is ideal for rapid file transfer rates and is also supported by all the major ISP providers. It has four Ethernet ports and is very easy to install
- Very easy to set up
- Has beamforming technology for stronger device connections
- Features firewall security
- No support for remote management through the Smart Motosync app
The Motorola MG7700 is a modem WiFi router combo with four ports and a rapid data transfer rate of up to 1 Gb per second. The router also comes with Firewall security and Beamforming technology to focus the wireless signal on all the connected devices and ensure a strong connection. The router is also compatible with major US cable providers such as Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum, and weighing only 1.5 pounds, it is pretty easy to move around. However, it cannot be remotely managed through the Smart Motosync app.
The router also comes with wireless WiFi power boost technology to amplify the signal to the limit set by the Federal Communications Commission for higher WiFi speeds at an extended range, and since it is relatively easy to set up, it shouldn’t take long before it is up and running. Management is done through an easy-to-navigate web portal, and its support for different ISPs makes it a versatile alternative to consider.
#3 Arris SURFboard SBG10 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Router
Award: BEST FOR EASY SETUP
WHY WE LIKE IT: It can be easily set up through the SURFboard manager app and is relatively compact for easy placement. It is also great for households that don’t have as many devices and is compatible with major US ISPs.
- Very easy to setup
- Can be managed through an app
- Compact in size
- Limited port selection
This Arris Surfboard router is a reliable alternative for anyone who would enjoy easy network management since it can be managed through the Surfboard Manager app. Its LAN ports offer a bandwidth of up to 1000mbps, and with a total of 16 downstream and four upstream channels, it is ideal for a house that doesn’t have a lot of connected devices. The router is best for internet speed plans up to 400mbps and is compatible with major US ISPs such as Cox, Spectrum, and Infinity. However, it only has two Ethernet ports and no USB ports.
The router is very easy to set up, and due to its compact size, it doesn’t take up too much space. It operates on a dual-band frequency class, so users will have the option to designate more bandwidth to more high-traffic internet activities.
#4 Asus Modem Dual Band Wireless Combo Router
Award: BEST FOR HIGH-SPEED CONNECTIVITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a very high data transfer rate and offers multiple wired connections for users that want to connect their wired devices. It also has six internal antennas for widespread connectivity and can be remotely managed.
- Great port selection
- Allows for remote management
- Easy to set up
- Firmware cannot be manually updated
This ASUS Modem router combo operates on a dual-band frequency and has an Intel 1.6GHz processor for efficient functioning. The router also features Beamforming technology that locks in on a particular connected device and maintains a strong connection regardless of movement, and since it also features MIMO technology, it can maintain a high rate of data transfer even when multiple devices are connected to it. Still, the fact that its firmware cannot be manually updated may upset power users.
The router is compatible with major ISP providers in the US, such as Comcast, Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum, and since it features four Gigabit Ethernet and two USB ports, it is pretty easy to set up wired connections. The router also has four external antennas for widespread connectivity and has a pretty high data rate of 2534mbps. It can also be managed remotely through the Asus app, where users can set up parental controls, monitor traffic, or even configure a guest network for one-time users.
#5 TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router
Award: BEST FOR WIRED CONNECTIVITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It features four Ethernet and two USB ports for flexible wired connectivity. Since it also has a rapid data transfer rate, it is ideal for users who prioritize super quick connections.
- Great port selection
- Has a firewall for added security
- Great for wired connectivity
- No ways to customize the firewall
The AC1750 WiFi cable modem router from TP-Link offers high-speed wired connections through its two USB ports and four Ethernet ports and operates on a dual-band frequency class so that users can stream HD content and enjoy lag-free online gaming. It has a data transfer rate of up to 1750mbps and also features beamforming technology where it locks in on the connected devices to maintain a strong connection even when moving around. However, there aren’t any ways to customize its firewall.
Through its parental control feature, users will easily be able to control device connectivity and limit the kind of content accessed. They’ll also be able to set up guest networks when needed quickly. Since it comes with a WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK security protocol, all the connected devices will benefit from its protection against hacking and cyber-attacks.
#6 Linksys High Speed CG7500 AC1900 Cable Modem Router
Award: BEST FOR SPOTTY INTERNET
WHY WE LIKE IT: It comes with connection filtering technology that makes the most out of poor Internet connections and can support up to 12 connected devices at a go.
- High data transfer rate
- Can support up to 12 devices
- Connection filtering technology that makes the most out of a poor connection
- No support for MIMO technology
The Linksys CG7500 is a stylish-looking, easy to set up, modem router combo that operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies to offer a data transfer rate of up to 1900mbps. The router is certified to work with major ISP providers, including Spectrum, and allows remote management through an app. Unfortunately, it does not have support for MIMO technology, so one connected device’s heavy usage may cause the slow down of other devices.
The router also features a unique connection filtering feature that can make the most out of a poor connection, and since it is plug-and-play, setting it up is pretty easy to do. The router also offers a lot of bandwidth for data-heavy activities and can support up to 12 connected devices at a go.
Beginner’s Guide to Routers for Spectrum
What Are Spectrum Routers?
Spectrum routers are any wireless routers that work well with high-speed internet plans from Spectrum. The Spectrum brand represents Charter Communications’ broadband service, while Spectrum Enterprise is Charter’s business-focused broadband initiative. Spectrum plans range from 200Mbps to over 1 Gbps download speeds. They use fiber-optic and hybrid fiber-coaxial connections depending on location.
To get the advertised wireless connection performance from a Spectrum fiber-optic plan, your Wi-Fi router must support a sufficient throughput speed. Depending on how many devices you want to connect, how often you upload or share large files, and the size of your network’s physical area, you’ll want a router with a theoretical maximum speed of 2 to 4 times the ISP’s wireless speed. Additionally, you’ll want a great modem, too, built into your router to get the highest speeds.
Spectrum Routers vs Routers in General
Spectrum routers are just like those for other Internet service providers, like Verizon Fios routers, CenturyLink routers, and Xfinity routers. However, they must handle high internet speeds for modern hybrid-fiber connections. Compatible routers for Charter Spectrum must have one or more Ethernet ports and must come with built-in cable modems or accept a signal from Spectrum cable modems. That’s why you’ll want to compare devices like the Arris Surfboard SBG8300 vs Netgear C7800 to see if they have the appropriate ports.
Like ASUS routers, Spectrum routers can offer various additional features, including additional USB ports for wired devices, adjustable external antennas to boost range, and mobile apps for setting up advanced features and network monitoring.
Compared to traditional routers, the best routers for Spectrum should offer excellent performance and more bandwidth to help make the most of Charter’s peak speeds. With a modern cable connection, a dual-band or tri-band router allows for better wireless performance.
How Spectrum Routers Work
Wireless routers take a signal from an internet service provider and link wireless devices over a Wi-Fi LAN (Local Area Network.) They may use wireless cellular or cable to communicate with the ISP, and they use internal or external antennae to send radio signals in the Wi-Fi bands. In addition to broadcasting and receiving Wi-Fi, modern routers manage and process data traffic on the local network.
The best routers for Spectrum service utilize the current 802.11ac or 802.11ax wireless standards. These protocols, sometimes called Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6, allow for more GHz bands and faster throughput speeds. Wi-Fi 6 adds the 6GHz band to the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands wireless devices currently use.
Routers can use various technologies for extended coverage, such as internet extenders. Wi-Fi 6 routers can have beamforming technology, which allows signals to travel farther. For networks covering more than about 6,000 square feet, a mesh router system or a series of range extenders will provide the strongest signals.
Why You Should Buy a New Router for Spectrum
When upgrading your wireless access, or if you already use a Charter Spectrum Internet plan, you’ll want to make sure your router is making the most of the ISP’s broadband capability. In addition, a newer router can offer more diverse connectivity options, support more devices on the network at once, and provide more advanced security features.
You might also want to upgrade your router if you use Charter Spectrum Internet service and have recently added new wireless home entertainment or smart home systems. IoT smart devices work best with a strong internet connection. A newer dual-band router or a tri-band router using MU-MIMO technology (Multi-User, Multi-Incoming, Multi-Outgoing) can help maintain Wi-Fi speeds when many wireless devices connect simultaneously.
Consider an upgraded Wi-Fi router for Spectrum if the ISP has expanded broadband infrastructure in your area with newer, fiber-optic, or fiber-cable connections. Along with a Gigabit Ethernet connection, a more powerful router helps make the faster internet connection worthwhile.
Compared to older routers and modem-router combos, new Spectrum compatible routers offer impressive 1,000 Mbps speeds, better traffic processing, and more advanced features.
Is a Router for Spectrum Worth Buying?
New Spectrum Internet Connection: If you’ve switched to Spectrum for broadband service, it might also be a good time to upgrade your router to match. Older models may not be compatible with the new cable modem or optical network terminals and may not offer the most up-to-date security protocol. A new, higher-performance router can often deliver a better Wi-Fi connection and may be necessary if you want to make use of the internet provider’s advertised speeds.
Online Gaming: Current online games work best with a high-speed Ethernet connection or the latest Wi-Fi standards. With lower latency and a faster upload speed, a modern Wi-Fi 6 router for Spectrum broadband might be a worthwhile upgrade for gaming performance.
Work from Home: A new 802.11ax or 802.11ac Wi-Fi router can boost productivity as well. HD video-conferencing and file sharing take up a lot of bandwidth on connected devices and require the latest high-speed internet access. Advanced features like guest WiFi access, custom address filtering, and a Gigabit LAN port can also be helpful for teleconferencing.
Latest Security Features: Newer models of router and modem router combos don’t just offer excellent speed, but they allow for safer connections as well. For secure access to file-sharing and cloud computing, you’ll want a Wi-Fi system that supports the latest security protocol.
Why a Spectrum Router May Not Be for You
Using Different ISP: If you have a different internet service or cable provider, you may not be searching specifically for the best Spectrum compatible routers. However, many of the top-rated models for Cox, Spectrum, and Spectrum Enterprise plans are excellent performers on similar high-speed networks from other providers.
Using Rental Routers: A rental router that may be included with service plans can be appealing, especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, in many cases, even a budget-friendly router with the latest Wi-Fi specs and decent performance will be a noticeable power boost over the rental router. In addition, depending on your contract, you may be able to find a high-performance model with advanced features in a similar price range.
How Long Will a Spectrum Router Last?
In general, home and commercial wireless networking hardware such as cable modems, WiFi routers, and modem router combos last an average of about five years. In the last decade, new Wireless standards have made some older models obsolete. Many users choose to replace their wireless network hardware when new Wi-Fi standards or improved broadband technology becomes available.
Choose a reliable router compatible with the latest Wi-Fi standard and the most up-to-date wireless security protocols to get the longest life out of your home Wi-Fi devices. You might want to choose one with newer features such as channel bonding and antenna beamforming technology so that it remains current as internet providers upgrade their service in the future.
In terms of wear and tear, you can extend your router’s lifespan by keeping it safe from excess heat and moisture and installing it in an area with adequate ventilation. A well-designed cabinet may help protect your devices from accidental spills without blocking the signal.
How to Choose the Best Router for Spectrum
Various factors can help you decide on the best Wi-Fi router for your Spectrum internet connection. You’ll want to determine what extra features you need, how large of an area you need the Wi-Fi signal to cover, and what kind of setup tasks you’re comfortable performing. In general, broadband experts recommend at least a dual-band router with 5 GHz bands along with a 2.4 GHz band, plus upload speeds of at least 300 Mbps and download speeds of 1,000 Mbps or more.
Router for Spectrum Key Factors
1. What Service Plan Are You Using?
The necessary specs for best performance depend on your internet plan and what kind of infrastructure Spectrum offers in your building or neighborhood. If you have access to the latest hybrid fiber-cable connection and a top-tier broadband plan, then you’ll need at least a 1-Gigabit Ethernet connection and 1000Mbps download speed, for example.
2. How Large of an Area Do You Need to Cover?
The right Wi-Fi setup also depends on how many square feet you need your wireless network to cover. We have a great guide on long-distance WiFi routers you can check out for this. You might also want to consider a mesh Wi-fi system or a range extender if you need to place connected devices more than 100 feet apart.
3. Do You Need Wired Connections?
Some models offer multiple wired LAN ports, which can be an excellent feature for gamers and live-streamers. If you need a wired connection for uninterrupted file uploads for work, you may want to look for a high-performance router that offers port aggregation.
4. Do You Need Network Monitoring or Parental Controls?
Extensive monitoring and parental control options are among the more sophisticated Smart WiFi devices’ advanced features. If you need a convenient way of setting up firewalls, filtering content, and setting wireless device time limits, you may want to ensure your Spectrum modem and router support parental control features.