Tired of paying outrageous fees for your internet service? Most ISPs include packages that let the customer ‘rent’ their modem, which means most people are paying needless monthly fees for something they don’t actually own. In fact, popular services like Comcast typically charge $10 or $11 a month in rental fees, which adds up to more than $120 a year.
Fortunately, there’s a way to fight back. Instead of opting to rent a modem, you can purchase your own instead. Most cable modems are universally compatible and tend to offer much faster internet speeds than traditional models. What’s more, recent models are straight-forward and only take a few minutes to install. Whether you’re looking to save a few bucks every month or are in the market for a faster modem, we’ve rounded up our five favorite models on the market right now.
1. MOTOROLA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem
Motorola may still be known for their phones (the Razor was pretty rad back in the day), but where the company really shines is in its modems. The DOCSIS 3.1 gets top marks in virtually every department: it’s easy to install, offers speeds up to 6 Gpbs, comes with universal router compatibility and much, much more. While you can get more or less the same model for roughly ⅓ the price, there’s no way it’ll run as smooth. And if you don’t believe us, then just check out all the 700+ five-star reviews.
2. MOTOROLA 8×4 Cable Modem
It may look like the same router as the first pick (it does actually share a similar design), but under the hood this one’s completely different. First off, the speeds are drastically reduced, and the overall features aren’t quite as impressive. Still, though, it’s a Motorola model, which means setup is painless, customer support is top-notch and at under $80, it exceeds all expectations.
3. ARRIS SURFboard Docsis 3.1 Gigabit Speed Cable Modem
This versatile modem offers blazing-fast speeds with an uncharacteristically simple setup and installation process. Able to provide 16 downstream and 4 upstream channels, the ARRIS features a smart 3-step installation process that’s sure to please all you readers who dread having to spend minutes (or hours) on the line with customer service every time their connection malfunctions. Note that this modem is not compatible with Verizon, AT&T or CenturyLink.
4. MOTOROLA 8×4 Cable Modem, Model MB7220
This Motorola model may not include as many features or offer the same top-class speeds as other modems on this list, but at under $50, it offers the best overall bang for your buck. This model can utilize speeds up to 343 Mbps, and is compatible with most cable internet services. While you likely won’t notice a significant difference in terms of internet quality, this modem lets you surf without having to worry about paying those ridiculous monthly rental fees.
5. NETGEAR Gigabit Cable Modem (32×8) DOCSIS 3.1
BEST FOR COMCAST USERS
It’s easiest the biggest ISP in the country, so obviously we gotta support our Comcast readers. This easy-to-install modem is best reserved for people who have Xfinity as it’s also compatible with its voice service. It’s able to support all cable internet speed tiers and is able to offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. And if you’re already a Comcast user, installation should be painless. That said, you may want to check with your ISP first before you purchase, as some providers don’t always list this as a recognized modem.