It’s crazy how some of the country’s biggest home Internet service providers (ISPs) scare customers out of buying their own networking equipment. Perhaps the most notorious on the list? Comcast.
Over the years, we’ve seen Comcast do a lot of questionable gimmicks. From implementing invasive network management to universal data caps, the ISP sure has a knack for frustrating its own customers. Not even the savviest subscribers have been spared.
If you don’t rent Comcast’s latest modems or get a newer DOCSIS 3.0 modem of your own, expect getting bombarded by annoying, spam-like pop-ups whenever you surf the Web. Between the two, you’re better off with the latter.
Why Buy Your Own Modem?
Do the math and you’ll see it’s cheaper to buy your own modem than to rent one from Comcast. You’re throwing away $120 annually, to be exact. Compare that to the max $110 you’ll spend on a top-of-the-line modem that, by the way, also boosts your Internet speed.
Getting your own modem will save you money as well we improve your network signal strength. So what’s keeping most us from doing that? Well, many actually don’t even know what modem to buy!
Top Comcast-Compatible Modems
Before you proceed any further, keep in mind that not all modems pair well with your Comcast XFINITY Internet package. If you need help on that front, we’re here to help. We’ve listed the best cable modems for the job. Just don’t forget to invest in an AC router, though.
ZyXEL BRG35503 ($21)
If you’re looking for a bargain, you won’t find a better option than the ZyXEL Cable Modem (BRG35503). Not only does it look classy, but it also delivers a zippy connection. There have been some complaints about its max download speed of 220 Mbps, though. However, that’s more than enough to enjoy everything the internet has to offer in most cases.
To set it up, you may have to call a Comcast representative. Simply tell them that your modem is a Hitron CCA-30360 and they can take it from there.
D-Link DCM-301 ($43.50)
It’s likely that your Internet package with Comcast XFINITY® will support the standard DOCSIS 3.0. In case it doesn’t, you’ll be relieved to know that the D-Link DCM-301 Cable Modem is compatible with older standards, like 1.1 and 2.0.
What makes this D-Link modem a solid pick, though, is that it’s built with the same specs as other units that support download speeds of 343 Mbps and uploads of 150 Mbps. This is quite a pleasant surprise considering that the unit is pretty much within the budget range. It doesn’t hurt that the modem is thoroughly ventilated and has quite a compact build.
TP-Link TC-7610-E ($39.99)
An efficient plug-and-play modem that works out of the box, the TP-Link High-Speed Cable Modem (TC-7610-E) gets you more for less. Despite being a low-priced modem, it readily supports all Comcast packages all the way up to their Extreme 150 plan. Really, getting a standard 343 Mbps download and 143 Mbps upload isn’t so bad for a modem that’s under $40.
At first glance, you’ll notice that it’s a bit bulkier than the most popular Comcast-compatible modem, the SURFboard SB6141 (highlighted below). Upon closer inspection, though, you’ll see that both units have almost identical specs despite TC-7610-E being so much cheaper.
Linksys CM3008 ($49.99)
With a compact case, a plug-and-play setup, and a single Ethernet port, the Linksys CM3008 has everything you need from a basic cable modem. However, this isn’t the only thing that sets it apart from most Comcast XFINITY®-compatible modems.
Look inside and you’ll see that it’s built with a powerful Intel Puma 5 chipset. That makes it easy for it to handle higher speeds of up to 340 Mbps (download) and 120 Mbps (upload).
Zoom 5370 ($64.90)
Don’t let Zoom 5370’s seemingly ordinary appearance fool you. Look past its uninspired design and you’ll realize that this cable modem is a beast under the hood.
It impresses with its larger configuration of channels while staying well below the price of most established Comcast-compatible modems. It even offers max download speeds of up to 686 Mbps. That’s twice as fast as most Arris’ modem within the same price range. Plus, it comes with a two-year warranty.
ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 ($69.95)
No doubt, this list won’t be complete without a mention of a single Arris networking gear. Comcast holds a portion of the company’s stocks, after all. That means that Arris modems set the standard for compatibility with Comcast XFINITY®.
Among Arris’ many products, the most popular one is the ARRIS SURFboard SB6141. It pairs with a Wi-Fi router to offer download speeds of up to 43 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 131 Mbps. Besides having status LEDs for easy troubleshooting, it comes with two Ethernet ports, too.
Motorola MB7420 ($89.98)
It boasts of an upgraded surge protection, a full-band capture digital tuner, and improved heat sinks. Clearly, the Motorola MB7420 isn’t your usual cable modem.
Equipped with technology to give it an edge over other modems, go with the MB7420 for unparalleled Internet speed and performance. It’s surprisingly effortless to set up, too. Keep in mind that its mid-tier max speed of 686 Mbps downstream and 150 Mbps upstream may be overkill when you only have a basic Comcast package, though.
Netgear CM600-100NAS ($110.55)
If you’ve subscribed to XFINITY® Extreme or Blast Internet plans, there’s no better choice than the NETGEAR CM600. Why? This top-of-the-line modem is built to handle top download and upload speeds.
Housed in a well-ventilated case that regulates chip temperatures, the CM600 could easily provide round-the-clock connection, no problem. Its extra downloading capabilities will come in handy for gaming purposes, too.
Renting a modem may be cheap, but it adds up over time. To save on home Internet equipment rentals, think about buying yourself out of such an arrangement. Trust us, it’ll be much cheaper than shouldering annual rental fees.
To set up your home network, get a capable modem that works well with your Comcast XFINITY® Internet service. Look no further if that’s what you’re seeking, though. We’ve listed 8 of the best modems for your Comcast plan that you can readily buy on the cheap.
Is your home Internet running on a Time Warner Cable network? Here are some great TWC-compatible modems to buy!