How to Connect a Cable Modem to a Wireless Router

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Updated February 13, 2023

If you’ve just unboxed your new Wi-Fi router, you need to know how to connect a cable modem to a wireless router. While the best routers are straightforward to use, there are still some essential steps you cannot skip when connecting it to a modem. So read our guide, and we’ll help you hook up your Wi-Fi router to a modem for the best internet connection possible.


  • Make sure your modem is connected to power, and the coaxial cable is screwed into the wall.
  • Plug your router into the wall and connect an Ethernet cable between the router and modem.
  • Use the login information on the side of the router to connect your wireless devices to the router.

Connecting Your Wi-Fi Router to a Cable Modem

A wireless router is the most convenient option for internet access around your house. Cable ISPs typically supply a cable modem or cable modem router combo, similar to a Motorola AC1600, that connects to a router. Not just any router will work with any modem. To set yours up, you won’t need any tools other than the networking equipment that comes with your router and modem. Once you get your router connected, investigate fixes for fundamental issues like why a router might keep turning off.

For more great info articles, you might like how to connect a router and switch, learn why your WiFi booster isn’t working, and which are the leading WiFi 6 routers to get.

Insider Tip

Make sure your modem is fully connected and powered on before connecting the router.

STEP 1 Install the Modem

Take the coaxial cable and screw it into the wall and screw the other side into the modem. Next, plug the modem into the power outlet and power it on. Most modems power on automatically.

STEP 2 Plug the Router into the Modem

Take your LAN cable and plug it into the modem’s Ethernet port. Then, take the other side of the cable and plug it into the router.

STEP 3 Power On the Router

Plug the router into the wall outlet and press the power button. Suppose your Wi-Fi router turns on automatically, no need to press anything. Give your router a few minutes to boot up. Suppose, instead, your router keeps restarting. Read our guide to troubleshoot the issue.

STEP 4 Connect Your Wireless Devices

Now that your router is up and running, it should be broadcasting a wireless signal. Look on the side of your router to find the default network name and SSID. You can use those details to connect your computers, TVs, and mobile devices. Go to the wireless settings of your Wi-Fi devices to sign into the wide-area network.

STEP 5 (Optional) Log Into the Router for Network Settings

You should connect your router to the internet. Still, we recommend you log into your router and change the network name and network password. If you leave your router with default settings, it will leave you vulnerable to unauthorized network activity. In addition, logging into your router will give you access to advanced settings like parental controls.


Do not plug your computer directly into the modem for the internet. You will get internet access, but it will severely expose your computer to viruses and hackers.


What’s a WiFi Router?

A Wi-Fi router plugs into a modem for the internet. It allows you to connect devices to the internet using frequency bands like 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

How Do I Configure My Router?

To fully configure your router, you will need to log into your router. Logging into your router also gives you access to settings like parental controls and extra security.

Connect to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz Band?

If you want the best internet speed, go with a 5 GHz Wi-Fi band. That said, if you are far away from your router, 2.4 GHz has broader coverage.

STAT: Modern modems support DOCSIS 3.0, which allows download speeds from 170 Megabits per second (Mbps) up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps). (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image