Everything moves at the speed of lightning. Are you a gamer? Sure, you are. And this list of the best gaming modem will fuel your drive. And guess what. You will live, you will die, and you will reborn to tell the story. Now, that’s the life of a hardcore gamer.
Pulsating, breath-taking, riveting, and exciting. Your heart is racing; your hands are sweating and shaking. This is the part you’ve been waiting for, the most thrilling and crucial part, the part where you need to aim and make the headshot. To land the fatal blow, to lunch an all-out quick-fire attack. No, you can’t slow down now, you can’t afford to make any mistake.
You’re in the ascendancy, any wrong move, even the slightest of error will prove detrimental and ruin the mission, the fight, the race. But here comes the nemesis (ping strike), someone in the house is downloading something, and it has caused you dearly. The feeling of euphoria, the ultimate gaming experience in that split second, probably a few seconds: “ruined.” Yeah, I know that feeling, it sucks. And I hate it to bits and pieces.
Screaming at the top of your lungs, swearing, or even smashing your console on the wall won’t fix anything. You have a problem, and you need to fix it very fast.
Now, here is where I come in, and right at first base, I will tell you that most of the time, the root cause for lag and faulty connections is down to your modem.
Having a poor quality or regular modem is like watching from the front row, your favorite band in live performance, but unlike watching it on YouTube, everything seems out of sync.
The drummer is hitting all the right notes, but his timing is way off. The other band members are trying their best to keep the tempo, but it isn’t working. Soon everything falls apart, and you; well, the only thing left for you to do is to take out your frustration on somebody, maybe the poor guy next to you.
Sure, having the best gaming modem won’t make the headshot (you do), but it will keep everything in sync. Matter of fact, a good game modem will drastically improve your gaming experience. How? By reducing the amount of time, it takes an electric signal to go from the remote server hosting the game to your computer or console and vice versa.
Yes, a good quality gaming modem will guarantee quick download speeds, faster and reliable connections, plus an unrivaled game performance, all at the same time. This all makes for an action-pack, exhilarating gaming experience of your life.
Sounds exciting? I am now getting started. And with that, I will now present you with the best modem for gaming. It’s a buyer’s guide. And I promise you that you won’t find anything like it on “Google land” or any search engine for that matter of fact.
Ready for the challenge? Let’s play!
The Best Modem For Gaming 2021 [UPDATED]
The following are the best gaming modem on the market; have fun.
#1. NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600 Review
If you are someone crazy about speed without having to dig deep in your pocket: the Netgear CM600 will suffice. The CM600 model is a speedy packet dynamo, and speed is its major hallmark. With speeds of up to 400 Mbps, you are bound to take full advantage of every sinew of speed your ISP is offering. This beveled body 24×8 channels unit is compatible with all major cable providers, with big names such as Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and much more.
It doesn’t stop there, but this gaming modem uses DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which is a standard specification that guarantees a ridiculous amount of speed and performance on third-generation devices. In other words, this bad boy will make full use of your cable plan; that way, you will enjoy a smooth gaming experience.
Here are some premium features and capabilities I like about this gaming modem:
Built for speed. I can’t help but mention again; the CM600 supports cable plans up to 400 Mbps speed. And download speeds of up to 960 Mbps. There’s also 24×8 channel bonding; this means the device has 24 and 8 download and upload channels, respectively. It also works flawlessly with any Wi-Fi router. And don’t even bother to worry about signal strength; it combines with your router to supply all your devices with stable wireless coverage.
At this price point, with this device, you can start saving a few extra bucks. Let’s do some math. Save monthly rental fees. It will cost you a few $ for the CM600. Now, if your decision to rent a modem from Xfinity, it will cost you $11 buck per month, that’s $132 per year. However, if you purchase the CM600, you’d be saving more than $30 in the first year. And as mentioned, modems are strong and durable, so in the long run, you will save much more than renting from your ISP.
Compatibility: With the exceptions of Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, and DISH, the CM600 is compatible with all other major ISP’s.
Design: The unit has dimensions of 5.3 x 8.7 x 2.4, and weighs 2.01 pounds. Display lights are at the front of the device, and it also comes with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port that you can connect to your computer or a separate Wi-Fi router. The device is also shaped in a unique triangular ventilation cut-out that produces a cooling effect; that way, the chances of overheating are slim.
- DOCSIS 3.0 Technology: The DOCSIS is a specialized technology for improved speed to your devices. This technology allows the modem to combine multiple channels into a single data stream, and it so doing it avoids congestion and maintains lightning speeds.
- Works well with any router: Router compatibility is a non-issue with this modem; any router of your choice will work just fine.
- Easy to setup: The average users can hook up this modem with a router, power supply, and configure the other settings in about five minutes.
- Poor warranty: The only noticeable downside about the NETGEAR CM600 is its limited 1-year warranty. But that’s not too much of an issue if you consider the device’s durability.
All in all, the CM600 delivers where it matters, it may have had all the premium features like the other modems on this list. But at this price, it’s a great way to start your gaming experience.
#2. ARRIS SURFBOARD SB6190 Review
The SB6190 has everything the average gamer could ask for, and at this price point, it’s a good bargain. Let’s look at some of its premium features.
Performance: Powered by DOCSIS 3.0 technology, its bonded channels of 32 downloads, and eight upload streams are capable of delivering speeds of 1.4 Gbps download and 262 uploads (theoretical speeds). Add to that a gigabit ethernet ports and its IPv4 and IPv6 capabilities, and you have a solid budget-friendly winner.
Design: The device has a simple but slick design; it weighs 9.6 ounces, meaning it’s lightweight. And it’s displays lights (at the front), and ports are visible.
Compatibility: If you plan to use this modem in the US, you wouldn’t have to worry about whether this modem-only device with work with your internet provider. The SB6190 is compatible with all US Cable providers.
Warranty: The ARRIS SURFBOARD SB6190 comes with a generous two years warranty and technical support. Not bad considering the price.
- It’s future proof; the device can work with a bandwidth of up to 400Mbps from your ISP.
- Reliable; this product has been on the market for a while, and it has an excellent rating among customers. Yes, you can depend on this device to transfer data to the game server anytime you want.
- Perfect for online gaming and streaming; the unit has the capabilities in terms of speed, functionality, and technology to meet your home and gaming needs.
- Puma 6 chipset. Users are complaining about the effect of this chipset, and their experience is that it creates high latency under certain conditions.
Other than the Puma 6 chipset issue, this device is a quality choice. I highly this modem to anyone who is thinking about speed, functionality, and saving on their investment. The unit is from a trusted company, it’s easy to set up and work with most US providers.
#3. Netgear Orbi All-in-One Modem Review
Here again, we have another top-notch unit from Netgear, this time, it’s the Orbi All-in-One cable modem router. Indeed, this combo packs a mean punch in performance, and it delivers the bang for your dollar. Now, let’s dig deeper into its features.
Performance: Powered by DOCSIS 3.0 technology, this all-in-one unit’s 32 x 8 channel bonding can unleash speeds of up to 2.2 Gbps across 4,000 sq. Ft, thus eliminating Wi-Fi dead zones and buffering.
Design: It has a simple but attractive design where all its display lights at the front and its 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports at the back are visible. Also, it has dimensions of 8×0.6×5.9 inches, and it weighs 3.5 pounds. And add to that a powerful Quad-Core 710Mhz processor to tap things off.
Compatibility: As with the case of any gaming modem of this caliber, the device is compatible with all the major internet service providers, the likes as Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more.
- Tri-band technology; thanks to this feature, the unit can prioritize traffic by dividing them into three bands, thus eliminating lags and increasing efficiency and overall network performance.
- Mesh-Ready Wi-Fi Router; This feature allows you to set up satellites around your home; that way, you can access the internet anywhere in your home. Yes, say goodbye to dead zones.
- It’s fast and reliable Wi-Fi coverage; it does not matter how many devices you connect to this unit. Its efficiency and speed will remain the same so that you can play your games and enjoy uninterrupted streaming and downloading.
- It’s expensive, but that’s up to you to decide.
Some persons have questioned the pricey mark-up of this unit, but if you stop and consider the value on display, you might be swayed in getting one yourself. The AC2200 is a perfect All-in-one cable modem, its selling points are speed and coverage, and it does an exceptional job of achieving both. There’s coverage for your entire business, house, and more importantly, your gaming dungeon, every device is covered.
#4. TP-Link AC5400 Tri-Band Gaming Router Review
It’s big, it’s expensive, and its antennas are stationary. But if you are a pro gamer and you crave speed, this monster will meet all of your needs. The TP-Link AC5400 is all about performance, there’s no monkeying about with this “spider,” you get what you pay for, it’s worth every cent. This kingpin of a router combines blistering speed with exceptional range, making it the best gaming router on the planet, period.
Now, let’s look at what makes the AC5400 stand out from the pack.
Performance, why not; There are no haft measures here when it comes to performances; this unit performs at full tilt. It has a 1.8GHz quad-core processor on its Broadcom BCM 4366 Wi-Fi chip that accelerates loading. And did I mention its three auxiliary co-processors along with 1 GB of ram plus 512MB storage space? I thought I forget, and I’m not leaving out the triband feature that allows it to send out signals on three frequencies. And we can add to that a 2.4GHz transmitter that enables the router to handle 5.3Gbps in favorable conditions.
What else can I say, other than to admit that the AC5400 is one of the best gaming routers money can buy. Sure, there are other worthy contenders, but this machine is head and shoulders above the others in terms of gaming features. And to say the least, this router can achieve a speed of 859 Mbps over 15 feet.
Design: The unit is square, heavy, and weighing three pounds with dimensions of 11.3 x 11.3 x 7.2 inches. There are as many as eight antennas that emit an equal amount of signal to your connected devices. The machine also has eleven ports, four buttons, and an LED panel.
- Three Wi-Fi bands; this feature allows the device to prioritize traffic across your network. For example, you can use one band for your gaming and the other two for the rest of your home.
- MU MIMO and Airtime Fairness; this feature allows data signals to reach all the devices on your network simultaneously. And by so doing, coupled with its Airtime Fairness capabilities, the unit eliminates lags and improves the overall performance of your system.
- Powerful antivirus and security; no need to worry about cyber-attacks, the unit protects all the devices on your system. There’s even a built-in VPN to keep you anonymous if you so choose.
- Expensive; yea, it comes with a hefty price tag, but hey, the value you are getting from the gaming router is priceless in my estimation. So, if you can afford it, why not!
In addition to being the best gaming router, the AC5400 has more than enough potential to meet the high demands of your entire home. Data transfer at the speed of light, secure, versatile, and durable, all packed in one unit, making it one of a kind.
#5. ASUS CM-32 AC2600 Cable Modem All-in-One Review
Asus CM-32 is an All-in-One dual-frequency gaming modem from Asus. The device has a 32×8 bonding channel capable of delivering up to 1.3 Gbps download speeds, and a 1.6GHz Intel processor that manages all functions without delays. Now, let’s look at why the CM_32 is on this list of best gaming modems.
Performance: With its beamforming and MU-MIMO technology, the unit doesn’t compromise on speed. To that matter, the Asus-CM-32 utilizes the full bandwidth of your ISP, while at the same time sending a wireless data signal to multiple devices on your network.
Design: The CM-32 weighs 2.09 pounds, and its rectangle body has demission’s of 7.4 x 2.4 x 11.8 inches. The device has four antennas that it put to full use. And this thanks to its MU-MIMO and beamforming technology that can send an equal amount of wireless data to all the devices on your network if you so choose.
Compatibility: The CM-32 is Comcast Xfinity, and Spectrum certified. It works with other ISP; ensure you check it out first.
- MIMO technology: This technology allows the device to use multiple transmitters and receivers to communicate with devices on your network simultaneously as it transfers data at blistering speeds.
- Dual-Band Wireless: This feature wireless enables the modem to transfer data on two different frequency ranges (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels). And this allows the unit to prioritize traffic on the network.
- Pre-configure: some people prefer not to mess with configurations and settings; this modem is ideal for those folks; it comes preconfigured.
- Cannot update Firmware: unless Asus push firmware updates for the device, it cannot be updated by the end-user. For me, this is a bit disappointing and a significant drawback to this unit.
Easy to set up, blazing wireless data transfer, and versatility makes the CM-32 an excellent choice, especially for a congested network.
#6. Netgear C7800 Review
With ultra-high speeds of up to 3.2Gbps across your gaming network, and the latest DOCSIS technology, 3.1 to be exact. The Netgear C7800 two-in-one cable modem and Wi-Fi router is a prodigy of high performance. But is it worth it? Let’s find out.
Performance: As you might already know, DOCSIS 3.0 is the bedrock technology behind high-speed data transfer. But the DOCSIS 3.1 is a revolutionary step up in speed. The 3.1 technology is 10x faster than the 3.0 version; that’s what you call bolt-like speed, and it’s ideal for extreme gaming and streaming.
There’s more, besides its Gigabit Wi-Fi, the unit boasts a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor that powers the device functionalities over wireless, wired, and WAN-to-LAN mediums.
The device has 2 DOCSIS OFDM downstream and 2 DOCSIS upstream channels. If you don’t know what that means, in simple terms, the C7800 takes efficiency and reliability to the next level.
Then we have 32×8 channels bonding that’s powered by DOCSIS 3.0; this a make to a sue blind gaming experience. And if you don’t mind, there’s the beamforming and dual-band capability to max-out your plan while transferring rapid data signal across your network.
Design: The Netgear C7800 is a compact heavy device with four antennas. The unit weighs 3.15 lbs with size dimensions of 112.4 x 10.4 x 7.5 inches. On one side of the product is 12 LED lights and on the other, two super-speed 3.0 USB ports that allow you to connect storage devices and transfer data. And at the back, there’s a power and reset button, the cable connector, and four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
Compatibility: Certified by Xfinity by Comcast and Cox, and it works with all major US cable internet providers.
- Future proof: No need to worry about your investment; the device uses the latest DOCSIS technology (3.1).
- Raw speed: Speed and performance is the hallmark of this unit, so you can rest assured of staying in the game uninterrupted by lags.
- Long-range coverage: With this device, you can add as many as 45 gadgets; 3000 square feet away and still get coverage of speed up to 3200 Mbps.
- It’s a bit expensive
This machine is well-rounded, and it ticks all of the essential boxes. Even its security features are solid; the Wi-Fi connection is very secure WPA and WPA2 – prevent unauthorized access. There is also a Denial of Service (DoS) attack prevention, a separate guest network, and double firewall protection (SPI and NAT). So, along with all the other features discussed, the Netgear C7800 is possibly the best gaming modem for pro gamers.
#7. TP-Link Archer C5400 Review
The TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 is a step-up from the TP-Link Archer AC5400. And if you think the Ac5400 was a performance hog, then the C5400 is a beast, and it outperforms and leaves behind its competition in the wireless dust. Let’s look at what makes this router so unique.
Performance: A 1.4 GHz dual processor powers the router along with three co-processors that all combine in executing the functionalities of the router. There’s also a Tri-band feature that helps the unit to prioritize traffic and deliver speeds of up to 5400Mbps on its 2.4GHz band and 2167 on its two 5GHz bands
Design: The router has dimensions of 9.06 x 9.06 x 1.69 inches and weighing 3.09 pounds, it’s a heavy-duty machine with a nice old school look. At the front of the device, there are nine lights and three buttons. The unit also has eight antennas, and at the rear, are four gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a USB 2.0 port, and a USB 3.0 port.
- It comes with two years warranty; that’s quite generous, especially if you consider that other companies don’t even offer a warranty on their routers.
- Easy to set up: You may have thought that the C5400 being an advance and robust unit that it would be challenging to set up, but no, it’s quite easy. And this all thanks to a quick and simple wizard, and a smartphone app called TP-Link Tether that you can use from your phone or other mobile devices.
- Speed performance: Everything about the C5400 is about speed, from its tri-band feature to its1.4GHz dual-core processor with three co-processors; all combine to deliver WiFi speeds of up to 5400Mbps.
- Very expensive
The TP-Link Archer C5400 appeals to a wide range of users; it’s a power pack router that does a splendid job at satisfying beginners and hardcore gamers alike. Its user-friendly app interface makes it easy to set up and configure: good news for beginners.
While at the same time, it does lag behind with powerful hardware and advance features, definitely something to satisfy everyone. Sure, the device is pretty expensive, but if you can afford it, then why not, it’s well worth the investment.
What is a modem?
Without getting too technical, I will explain what a modem is in layman’s terms. A modem is a device that gives you access to the internet. Or differently put, a modem brings the internet to your home; it establishes and maintains a dedicated connection to your Internet Server Provider (ISP). Thus, it allows you to access the internet.
Why is this important to you? Simple, you cannot play your favorite online games without a reliable Internet connection. And as mentioned, without a modem, you cannot access the internet.
Furthermore, here’s the cool thing about a modem; your computer only reads digital signals, and the signals from the internet are analog. Hence to connect you to the internet, the modem demodulates the incoming analog signals from the web into digital signals. And it modulates outgoing digital signals into analog signals; that way, your computer can interact with the game server and vice versa.
In a nutshell, that’s what a modem does, but if you are a serious gamer, you want more than what the standard modem offers. You are more concerned about speed, or usually referred to as; ping or low latency (the time it takes your devices to communicate with the server hosting the game). And this leads me to my next point, “gaming modem.”
Read more: Difference Between a Modem and a Router.
What is a gaming modem, and what does it do?
A gaming modem is a unit specifically designed to produce lightning-quick speed that allows for the most breath-taking online gaming experiences. So, what exactly does a gaming modem do, and how different is it from your standard modems?
In terms of faster data transfer and reliable connections, the better, or the best modems for gaming are by far more suitable than your standard modems. And this is essential for online gamers who rely on blistering FPS to stay in the game.
Four Reasons Why You Need a Gaming Modem
You are here because you are a gamer, not just any gamer, but the type of player I’d dread playing against in FIFA 20. Well, so I believe, but if not, it’s because you are still using a standard modem, and that isn’t enough. So, here are four reasons why you need a gaming modem.
Speed. Modem speed is the main factor that determines a user’s internet experience, in your case, gaming experience. Without being too technical, modem speed is a measure of data transfer between your device and the internet in a given amount of time.
Faster modem speeds allow for more data transfer, ideal for frequent gamers who play intense, fast-paced games. Sure, if your Internet Service Provider’s connection is weak. Buying a $450 gaming modem won’t serve your problem.
But if your ISP’s Connection is decent, purchasing a top-notch gaming modem will maximize your ISP’s bandwidth. That way, you will take full advantage of your ISP, allowing you to achieve the highest FPS and transfer speed.
Reliable Connection. It’s one thing to have speed, but another thing to have a stable internet connection for an extended period. And that’s what the best gaming modem brings to the table; they enable your computer to interact with the game server for extended periods without breaking the Connection. To that matter, the best gaming modems use premium materials along with the latest technology, such as DOCSIS 3.1(Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification).
And for those of you who don’t know what that is, let me explain. This new cutting-edge technology, the DOCSIS 3.1, is a peek into the future, uses a cable interface for providing speeds up to 10 GB per second. And of course, this kind of speed is only possible through fiber optic cables.
So, where a gamer is a concern, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology supports QoS. And QoS (Quality of Service) is a technology that manages data traffic to reduces the latency (ping) on a network: “a dream come through for any serious gamer.”
However, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology isn’t a must; in fact, your choice will depend on what speed your ISP offers. If your ISP’s bandwidth is more than 1 gigabit, then a DOCSIS 3.1 technology is better. But if otherwise, the DOCSIS 3.0 will work just fine.
Work Flawlessly with Routers. If you decide to go with a separate modem and gaming router, that’s fine, all of the gaming modems on this list work flawlessly with routers. But if you prefer the modem router combo, you are also covered.
Now, some suggest that you should set up your gaming network using a separate modem and router. While on the other hand, some are fond of the modem router combo. Sound confusing? It’s not. Let me break this down a bit, and I promise to keep it layman-friendly.
Ultimately, your gaming needs will determine which option is best. For example, If you only need to connect one device with a wired connection, a gaming modem will work just fine. But make sure it’s compatible with your ISP. But considering that 2020 is next door, you probably have more than one device that you need to connect to the internet. So, here is where the router comes in handy; to connect all your devices to the internet.
But here is something to consider further, if you decide to buy a separate gaming modem and router, it will most likely cost you more. Which isn’t a bad thing, providing you can afford it. Why? Having a separate modem and router offers you more flexibility in the event you want to upgrade or to try a different combination.
Similarly, buying a modem router combo has its benefits, mainly price — a good modem router combo will cost you less compared to purchasing a separate modem and router. Also, cutting down space, and not having to deal with assembling two different units are pluses. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to you and your preference. Either way, you won’t regret it.
Build for gamers. Now, a hardcore gamer’s reaction time is much faster than an average human being, and probably on par with an Olympic athlete. And if you consider that, you will understand that having a premium gaming setup is not debatable for a hardcore gamer. Nothing less than the best gaming modem, router, and or modem router combo will suffice. And more importantly, all the gaming devices that feature on this list are of premium quality and guarantee a surreal gaming experience.
Choosing the Best Modem for Gaming: Features to Consider
You have two choices, pay a monthly fee to rent a modem from your internet service provider, or buy your own. Which by the way, is only a fraction of the cost over time. Not a difficult decision, is it? Sure not; getting your own modem is a no-brainer.
And since you’ve decided on getting yourself a modem, you’ve also probably decided which gaming modem you want, but hold on, not so fast. At least, allow me to point out a few essential points. After all, these units aren’t cheap, and you are making a sizable investment, and I want you to get the best gaming modem. So, to help you make the final call, here are five flagship features you should consider before buying a gaming modem.
You can have the best modem on the planet, but if it isn’t compatible with your ISP, it won’t be of any good to you. But not to worry, most modems are compatible with any cable company, especially the more prominent company like Comcast and Cox. However, make sure you pay attention to this because the smaller modem companies may not support your ISP.
In any case, the manufacturers of these modems will specify which services their modem supports. How to find out if your gaming modem is compatible with your ISP? There are two ways of checking this, but only one is foolproof.
Google “ISP compatible modems.” You will see an official list of approved modems by various internet service providers. Chances are; your modem (the one you want to buy) may be on that list. Also, an excellent website to check is ApprovedModems.com. Mind you, not all the information on that site is up to date, but you might just happen to find the information you are seeking.
Call your internet service provider. Your ISP has the information you want. And calling them to find out is the full proof way of finding out whether your modem is compatible or not with your ISP. And base on your ISP’s customer service. You may have to call a few times before you can get a definite answer, but eventually, you will get on to someone.
Upload and Download Speed
The top three factors that correlate with your online gaming experience are upload speed, download speed, and ping. I’ve explained already what ping or latency is, the other two I will explain. Upload speed; the rate that data travels from your computer to the game server on the internet. Download speed; the rate at which data moves from the game server to your computer.
Okay, I’m going to get a bit technical, no rocket science, so bear with me. Depending on your gaming system and its requirements, these capabilities may vary. But as a rule of thumb, if your download speed is at least 3 Mbps, and your upload speed has a minimum of 1 Mbps. Along with a ping rate below 150 ms, you are good to go with most single-player online games.
But, it’s an altogether different ball game with multiple players connected to the same internet at the same time. As an illustration, if you have four players connected to the same internet connection, you will need a download speed of 3×4 =12Mbps to keep everything running smoothly. But at the end of the day, it’s about satisfying your gaming needs. And however small or great those needs are, it’s up to you. So, keep an eye out for these features.
I don’t like how some retailers and manufacturers of gaming modems downplay the importance of upload and download speeds. Most of the time, this information is shoved halfway down the page of some retailers’ and manufacturers’ websites. Yet, upload and download speeds are the main factors that determine your gaming experience.
What does “up to 600 Mbps” means? That’s what I am talking about; there’s little effort to sensitize the buyer of these two vital components. And by the way, “Mbps” means “megabits per second,” so a bandwidth of 1-gigabit means you would be getting 1,000 Mbps from your ISP. And, another thing you should note, is that by default, upload speeds are slower compared to download speeds.
The modem only vs. 2-in-1 w/router.
Here’s the part where it gets interesting. What to buy, a modem only, or a modem router combo? I will walk you through a few advantages and disadvantages of both options. But before I do, here’s a brief recap.
A modem brings the internet to your home, office, or gaming dungeon through your ISP, then it’s left to the router to take that signal and make it wireless. Without the router, your devices won’t have access to the internet unless you plug them into a modem with an Ethernet cable.
Then we have the modem/router combination, and this unit is 2 in 1, meaning it has router and modem functions. What should you buy for your gaming setup? Here are a few advantages of modem only versus a modem/router combination.
Advantages of Modem Router Combo
Easy to setup: Some routers have advanced settings that will leave you scratching your head, and especially if you are a beginner, it’s a nightmare. But with a modem router combination, you have fewer moving parts, that’s one less line and device exempted, hence making the setup hassle-free.
Cheaper: In most cases, buying a separate router and modem will cost you more, on average, about $60 -$100 more.
Convenient: The combo requires minimal setting, plus less space.
Advantages of using a separate modem and router
Easy to replace and upgrade: When it’s time to upgrade either your modem or router, having a standalone modem and router ideal. Because you don’t need to get rid of both, just replace the one you need to upgrade, you will save a few bucks this way as well.
More features: A standalone router and modem have features that you can tweak to your liking, but not so with a combo box.
More Control: Unlike most combo units where you cannot use third-party firmware, a dedicated router gives you that privilege and much more.
Better Performance: Having more control over your separate modem and router means you can customize it for better wireless coverage for your entire home.
Better Router Placement: For an improve overall wireless performance, you have the option of putting your router where ever you see fit. And the Cat5 cable extenders makes this child’s play.
Buying vs Renting Modem or Wi-Fi Gateway from Your ISP
The truth is, the majority of people don’t like the idea of fooling about with their hardware and network setting, so they are okay with renting a modem instead of buying one. After all, you won’t have to deal with the technical stuff, your ISP’s technicians will sort that out for you. But is it worth renting a modem or wireless gateway from your internet service provider? Let’s investigate.
Renting is more expensive in the long run. First of all, a gaming modem is a durable, long-lasting piece of device, meaning you won’t have to change it unless you plan on upgrading. Secondly, though paying a monthly fee to your ISP may not look exorbitant; in the long run, you will lose big time.
On average, renting a two in1 modem router combo from your ISP will cost you between $5-15 per month. That’s about $180 per year. On the flip side of this, you can buy a top-notch gaming modem and save about $180 per year after the first year of your purchase.
Renting Modem / Router Combos can prove problematic. Here’s the thing, some cable companies, from time to time, will push firmware updates to your modem/router without you knowing. And by so doing, reset your configurations. Now, by renting a modem from your ISP, you run the risk of losing valuable information such as static IP information. And in the worst-case scenario, wipe out all of your cherished data.
Free replacement for outdated modems. This is the only benefit you will enjoy renting a modem from your ISP. However, getting an upgrade will take a long time. And yes, if the unit break, you can ask for a replacement.
How to Set up a Cable Modem
The installation process will vary from modem to modem. However, these fundamental principles and installation tips would be of great help to you; should you decide to set up a cable modem by yourself.
Live Coaxial Cable
Locate your live coaxial cable; it’s a cable with needle-like pins on each end of the cable. One end of the wire, you will attach a power outlet and the other to the modem.
Locate the cable outlet in your room. Find the cable outlet in your room. And with one end of the cable, plug into the cable outlet. And with the other, plug into the input at the back of the device.
Connect the power cord. There was a power cord/ power adapter that came with the modem, now plug one end of the adapter into the power outlet and the other end at the back of the device. After about 2-3 minutes, the power light should turn solid green, if not, you can try troubleshooting the power light.
Ethernet Cable. They should be a yellow cable that came with the modem, now plug one end into the modem’s Ethernet port and the other into your computer.
Gaming Modems: Frequently Asked Questions
You are probably contemplating buying a gaming modem for the first time. And I’m sure you have other burning questions to ask. So, with that, here are a few frequently asked questions about gaming modems.
Do modems affect your internet speed?
In most cases, no, your internet speed is controlled by your ISP, and as such, a modem does not affect your internet speed. Furthermore, your maximum internet speed is based on your plan with your ISP. And obviously, it does not make any sense paying for speeds higher than the maximum speed of your modem. Your modem has a max speed, and it cannot go beyond that point.
What is a combined modem and router?
It’s a unit that has both a modem and router functionalities or otherwise called a 2-in1.
What is beamforming?
Beamforming is a technology that allows your modem/router to broadcast wireless signals to selected devices on your network.
What is a Gaming Modem?
A gaming modem is a unit made to meet high gaming demands. Because of its specific purpose, a gaming modem can prioritize traffic.
How Long Do Cable Modems Last?
By and large, a good quality modem will last you for at least a year. But in any case, you may want to make sure it has a reasonable warranty in the event something goes wrong.
Is There a Difference Between a DSL Modem and a Cable Modem?
Yes, the DSL modem provides the internet through a standard telephonic connection; as a result, its bandwidth is limited compared with cable. On the other hand, cable modems utilize cable lines that have a larger bandwidth capacity and travel much faster.
In summary, I have discussed a full range of products available on the market. Yes, I know, it may feel overwhelming to choose one, but keep in mind the other features and things mentioned. All in all, the collection of gaming modem/router on this list are the best of their kind. But remember, each of these units has its strong points and, as such, functions differently under varied conditions. So, the key thing here would be for you to determine what your gaming needs then pick a unit to satisfy those needs.
Meet Eriksson Ray. I’m the co-founder of TenWitch.com. Our website is dedicated to the coverage of product reviews, buyer’s guides, best lists, etc. We can help you to choose a new modem/router or troubleshooting your Internet connection.