Internet is only as good as its modem. Without the right modem, you will miss out on the opportunity to experience the highest level of speed and connectivity that your internet service provider has to offer. 

In 2017, Spectrum achieved a great feat through the rollout of its DOCSIS 3.1. Launching this latest modem meant customers could enjoy superfast internet speeds up to 10 Gigs without subscribing to fiber internet connections.

All Spectrum-approved modems must have the DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 interface and should be able to withstand internet speeds greater than 300 Mbps. 

Spectrum Compatible Modems

Usually, Spectrum Internet subscribers are not concerned about the compatibility of their modems because when new customers request equipment installation, the company sends them a new Spectrum-authorized modem for free. Subscribers are only required to pay a small sum of $5 per month along with their monthly internet charges for the usage of this Spectrum-authorized modem.

However, if you already have a modem at your home and would like to save that little extra money every month, it is necessary to check whether or not you have a modem compatible with Spectrum internet.

A rule of thumb should be to check if the hardware sitting at your home is a modem, router, or gateway. There are two kinds of modems; cable modem and DSL modem, so for people with limited technical skills, a good identification marker will be to check by counting the number of ports.

How to Identify the Modem/ Router at Your Home?

Usually, a DSL modem will have at least three ports. One port is for your telephone line, the second is the Ethernet (LAN), and the third is for the power connector. In contrast, a cable modem will have one threaded F-connector port to connect it to the primary cable connection, a second port for the Ethernet, and a third port for the power supply.

A standard home router will have four or more LAN Ethernet ports, one WAN Ethernet port, and at least one or two USB ports. LAN ports can are to connect your wired devices to the router. For example, your desktop or laptop. A typical Wi-Fi router will also have antennas as its distinguishing feature.

On the other hand, a gateway supports the functions of both; a modem and a router. Hence, it has multiple Ethernet ports, a threaded F-connector port, a port for DSL cable connection, and single or multiple USB ports. In layman’s terms, if that tech box in the corner of your living room looks loaded, it is gateway hardware.

After you have successfully managed to identify your device, you must proceed to establish whether or not you have a Spectrum-approved modem.

Only the modems that can withstand the maximum bandwidth provided by your internet carrier can be used, and that’s why most cable modems do not work for DSL broadband internet. Similarly, a DSL modem will not work for fiber internet.

Spectrum Internet and DOCSIS Modems

As a Spectrum internet customer, you will need a DOCSIS cable modem. A Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) is the specified interface for cable modems. The first version of DOCSIS was launched in 1998 and could distribute data by cable TV operators to connected devices like computers and televisions. 

Over the years, DOCSIS modems have evolved. Today the most used versions are DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1. The main difference between these two newer versions is the maximum internet speed that they can support. 

ModemDownload SpeedUpload Speed
DOCSIS 3.01 Gbps100 Mbps
DOCSIS 3.110 Gbps2 Gbps

The maximum speed available to Spectrum internet users is 1 Gbps. Therefore, any modem with the DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 interface listed under Spectrum-approved modems will be perfect for the connection.

Best Modems Compatible with Spectrum 

The updated list of Spectrum-authorized modems is long. Spectrum frequently generates and updates its list of compatible modems per the speed upgrades to help its users pick out the best modems compatible with Spectrum internet.

Having the best modem for Spectrum will guarantee that you enjoy the speed you pay for. Below we have listed the best 10 Spectrum-approved modems for 2022. Be sure to take a look before you head out to shop for one.

ARRIS Surfboard S33

ARRIS Surfboard S33 came out in 2020. Since then, it has been the best cable modem for superfast internet connections. This DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem has been approved by Spectrum, Cox, Xfinity and MediaCom, and several other top-tier internet service providers.

ARRIS Surfboard S33 is a next-gen cable modem compatible with Spectrum internet, especially for users subscribed to the superfast Spectrum Internet Gig package. The ARRIS Surfboard S33 gives a maximum download speed of 3.5 Gbps. The connection is optimized once the wired devices are linked to the 2 LAN ports delivering a speed of 1 Gig each. This one-time investment can save up to $60 per year. Moreover, you can easily use the same modem once you upgrade your internet package as this modem is dubbed to be “future proof.”

Rating: 4.5 stars

Price: $199.00

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem only (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 3.5 Gig download speed

Ports: 2 Ethernet ports- 1 Gig + 2.5Gbps

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Sleek and trendy. Dimension- 5.14 x 1.8 x 4.74 inches. Weight- 0.90 lbs

Warranty: 2 years

NETGEAR CM500

NETGEAR CM500 was lauded as the best budget pick by Spectrum internet users who are shopping for Spectrum-approved modems. As the modem was launched in 2015, the cable interface is DOCSIS 3.0. Therefore it can only support a maximum internet speed of 1 Gbps. The modem is compatible with Spectrum, Xfinity, Comcast, and Cox internet.

For less than $60, the NETGEAR CM500 cable modem is perfect for Spectrum’s Internet Ultra package users.

NETGEAR CM500’s best feature is its Quality of Service mode. This technology allows you to prioritize some devices over others. For instance, if you are attending a video conference or a virtual Zoom meeting on your laptop, then the feature will automatically redirect a stable and high-speed connection to your laptop instead of your smart TV. This will ensure an optimal internet speed for zoom and the best quality of audio & video.

However, this modem is not recommended for professional gamers and high-internet usage families because the maximum download speed offered by NETGEAR CM500 is only 400 Mbps.

Rating: 4.4 stars

Price: $59.99

Technology: DOCSIS 3.0

Device type: Modem only (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 400 Mbps download speed

Ports: 1 Ethernet port- 1 Gig

Channel bonding: 16 x 4

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Ultra

Design: Sleek and trendy. Dimension- 8.78 x 7.2 x 3.82 inches. Weight- 0.62 lbs

Warranty: 2 years

NETGEAR Nighthawk/ CM1100

The newer and faster version of the NETGEAR CM series is the NETGEAR Nighthawk also known as NETGEAR CM1100. This cable modem operates on DOCSIS 3.1 technology. NETGEAR CM1100 was released in 2018. Since then, it has become the trusted modem for internet carriers like Spectrum, Comcast, and Cox.

For loyal NETGEAR customers looking for an upgrade in their internet speeds, the Nighthawk CM1100 is an attractive option. It is an efficient, effective, and Spectrum-approved modem for multi-gig speed internet connections. It is best suitable for Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan subscribers.

The modem comes with a 1-year limited warranty. Moreover, NETGEAR offers complimentary tech support on all its products for the first 90 days after you have made a purchase.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Price: $179.99

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem only (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 1 Gbps download speed

Ports: 2 Ethernet ports- 1 Gig each

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Sleek and trendy. Dimension- 10 x 7 x 5 inches. Weight- 1.00 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Motorola MB8600

Motorola has long been a trusted consumer electronics manufacturer. In 2017, it released the Motorola MB8600 with DOCSIS 3.1 technology to deliver ultra-fast internet connections. It was declared one of the Spectrum-compatible modems in 2019. Motorola MB8600 is also suitable for Xfinity, Cox, and CableOne.

The Motorola MB8600 cable modem is considered to be a fast and reliable modem for high-speed internet connections, especially those surpassing the 1 Gbps mark. Even though the Spectrum-stamped Motorola MB8600 was one of its approved modems, some users expressed disappointment at their purchase and said that the product was not worth the money spent.

For a modem that promises to deliver maximum downloading speeds of up to 2 Gbps but in reality, can carry only 900 Mbps of downstream data, the price of $249.98 seems ridiculously expensive.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Price: $249.98

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem only (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 900 Mbps download speed

Ports: 1 Ethernet port- 1 Gig

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Comparatively bulky

Warranty: 2 year

NETGEAR CAX80

For those Spectrum internet subscribers looking for the best Wi-Fi modem, NETGEAR CAX80 will be a great option. This 2-in-1 modem plus router was launched in 2020 with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 interface and can provide a total speed of up to 6 Gigs! Although it is pricey for the ones considering paying $100 or less for their Spectrum-supported modems, we will say that it is definitely worth the money paid.

In 2020, Charter Spectrum added it to its list of Spectrum-approved modems and currently, NETGEAR CAX80 is also a reliable modem for internet service providers like Xfinity, Cox, and more.

Rating: 4.1 stars

Price: $443.89

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem + router

Max. Internet speed: 6 Gbps download speed

Ports: 4 Ethernet ports- 1 Gig each. 1 Ethernet port- 2.5 Gigs. 1 USB 3.0 port

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Very bulky. Dimensions: 12.52 x 10.2 x 5.24 inches. Weight- 4.45 lbs.

Warranty: 2 year

ASUS CMAX6000

ASUS CMAX6000 is a modem and router combo, launched in late 2019. Known for its superior performance, industrial design, and 4 x 4 dual-band, Wi-Fi 6 system, ASUS CMAX 6000 has become the top choice of personal internet gateway for gamers.

Its latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology combined with 4 Ethernet ports providing a speed of 1 Gig each makes this 2-in-1 modem compatible with Spectrum multigigabit speed internet connections. ASUS CMAX6000 can offer a maximum download speed of 6 Gbps. Since 2020, ASUS CMAX6000 has been one of the best modems for Spectrum.

 The Spectrum Internet Gig plan users will love this dual-performance modem as it will save at least $150 or more on one-time equipment installation and monthly equipment rental costs. Moreover, ASUS CMAX6000 has been applauded by users for its easy, DIY setup and wireless, compact design. 

Rating: 4 stars

Price: $379.98

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem + router

Max. Internet speed: 6 Gbps download speed

Ports: 4 Ethernet ports- 1 Gig each. 1 DCIN port.

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Slightly bulky. Dimensions: 8.07 x 5.31 x 4.72 inches. Weight- 1.96 lbs

Warranty: 2-year

ARRIS Surfboard SB8200

According to several online reviews that have tried and tested Spectrum-compatible modems, ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 has been ranked as the best overall Spectrum-approved modem. Operating on the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology and distributing a maximum internet speed of 1000 Mbps/ 1Gbps, ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 is said to deliver the best value for money.

This cable modem also has 2 Ethernet ports that can optimize your internet connection once the devices are wired to the modem. ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 is a good option for Spectrum Internet Gig users, young and upcoming gamers, and families that need high-speed internet to stream content on their smart TVs and computers.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Price: $139.99

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 1 Gbps download speed

Ports: 2 Ethernet ports- 1 Gig each.

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Slightly bulky. Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 5 inches. Weight- 1.46 lbs

Warranty: 2 years

NETGEAR Orbi CBR750

NETGEAR ORBI CBR750 is an ultra-modern, stylish-looking compact modem and router for all those Spectrum internet users who prioritize quality over quantity. This 2-in1 internet gateway was launched in the second half of 2020 and the same year Spectrum added it to the list of Spectrum-compatible modems. Running on the latest DOCSIS 3.1 tech interface, NETGEAR CBR750 is ideal for homes with several devices.

Thanks to its reliable, mesh WI-FI 6 system, this modem and router give a combined internet speed of 6 Gbps. Unlike most internet gateways available in the market, the NETGEAR Orbi’s sleek design is devoid of protruding antennas, giving it a clean and minimalistic look. Thereby, making the device perfect for homes with chic interior décor.

For less than $500, NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 is ideal for Spectrum internet users who are subscribed to the Internet Gig plan and want to minimize the number of devices sitting idle in their home space.

Rating: 4.1 stars

Price: $479.99

Technology: DOCSIS 3.1

Device type: Modem + router

Max. Internet speed: 6 Gbps download speed

Ports: 4 Ethernet ports- 1 Gig each.

Channel bonding: 32 x 8

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet Gig

Design: Stylish but very bulky. Dimensions: 10.24 x 8.55 x 6.5 inches. Weight- 3.78 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Motorola MB7220

Motorola MB7220 has been recognized as the most budget-friendly modem for Spectrum internet. The modem was launched in early 2016 and runs on DOCSIS 3.0 technology. It is ideal for low-cost, slow-speed Spectrum internet connections. The modem supports a total download speed of 343 Mbps and its 4 upstream channels can deliver a combined upload speed of 123 Mbps.

In 2018 it was added to the list of Spectrum-approved modems and since then has remained a popular choice for those using Spectrum’s basic internet plan with a speed of 300 Mbps.

Rating: 4.4 stars

Price: $40.97

Technology: DOCSIS 3.0

Device type: Modem (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 343 Mbps download speed

Ports: 1 Ethernet port- 1 Gig. 1 Coax cable connector

Channel bonding: 8 x 4

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet (300 Mbps)

Design: Minimal and stylish. Dimensions: 4.9 x 2 x 6.1 inches. Weight- 0.58 lbs

Warranty: 2-year

Zoom DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem 5341-02-03H

Zoom 5341J is among the older versions of DOCSIS 3.0 modems that are still compatible with Charter Spectrum’s slow-speed internet plans. In 2018, the Zoom 5341J cable modem was added to the list of Spectrum-authorized modems. The 8 downstream channels jointly deliver a download speed of 343 Mbps and an upload speed of 143 Mbps through the 4 upstream channels.

The speed can also be improved by directly connecting the computer or other streaming devices to the 1000 Mbps LAN port. Zoom 5341J is compatible with Linux, Windows, and MAC operating systems. For $29.99, Zoom DOCSIS 3.0- 5341J is one of the best Spectrum-approved modems for the basic Spectrum internet plan.

Rating: 3.9 stars

Price: $29.99

Technology: DOCSIS 3.0

Device type: Modem (cable modem)

Max. Internet speed: 343 Mbps download speed

Ports: 1 Ethernet port- 1 Gig. 1 Coax cable connector

Channel bonding: 8 x 4

Ideal Spectrum plan: Internet (300 Mbps)

Design: Minimal box-like. Dimensions: 6.6 x 6.2 x 3.7 inches. Weight- 1.35 lbs

Warranty: 2-year

Final Verdict

If we were to make a call and decide for you the Best Spectrum Approved Modem in 2022, our answer would have been ARRIS Surfboard SB8200. It is one of the top performing, innovative and trendy DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems that can distribute internet speeds up to 1 Gbps. It comes with 2 years warranty and the price of $139.99 can be considered an affordable, long-term solution for your uninterrupted internet connection. 

But why be complacent with a cable modem when in this age, you can enjoy the combined superior powers of both a modem and a router in a single device known as the gateway? Built into the body of a sleek-looking modem, the NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 is undoubtedly one of the best Spectrum-approved modems in 2022. Operating on the latest DOCSIS 3.1 interface and providing a maximum download speed of 6 Gbps, NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 truly lets its users live an ultra-advanced life for under $500. 

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