Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 Review

A Netgear CM1200 Review, Comparison, and Spec. If you’re like us, you’re tired of paying sky-high prices for decrepit modems from our internet providers and are ready to make the switch to a new, better modem. The only problem is, where do you even start the process of getting a new modem?

What modem should you get? What should you even be looking for in a modem? How do you decide which modems are good and which are bad?

We understand that the process of selecting a modem can be confusing and uncertain, especially for the average consumer, so today we’ll be breaking down the Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 by Netgear so you can figure out if it’s the right modem for you.

Netgear CM1200 is Compatible With All Major Internet Providers

Netgear CM1200 review


If you’ve never bought a modem before, and have just used the ones given to you by your internet provider, you’ve probably never stopped to think about compatibility issues with regards to modems.

However, compatibility between the modem and the internet service provider is a very big issue, as it can render a purchased modem useless if your internet provider is incompatible with your brand of modem.

Fortunately, this is rarely a problem with the Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 by Netgear because Netgear is compatible with nearly every major cable internet provider, including Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Spectrum.

However, if your internet service provider is any one of Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH, and any bundled voice service, you’re out of luck, as Netgear modems do not provide compatibility with those internet service providers.

Making the Switch Will Likely Save You Money

Depending on who you’re currently receiving internet from, your rental costs on a modem might be as high as 150 US dollars a year- which is astronomically high! If you decide to make the switch, you’d cut out that cost, paying you dividends in the years to come.

You’ll often be able to pick up one of these modems for about 200 US dollars, which means you’ll recoup your costs in just one year, hardly any time at all considering how long the average person uses a modem. In fact, after just one year, you’ll be saving over 150 dollars each year!

Super Fast and Future Proof

NETGEAR Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

The Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 by Netgear is extremely fast, and it’s in rarified air thanks to its ability to support tremendously quick internet speeds.

This device is able to support a 2GB per second transfer speed as long as you equip link aggregation and you make sure that at least two of the Gigabit Ethernet ports are currently in use.

There are only a few companies today that put out modems with link aggregation technology, which basically means that you can maintain high internet speeds without having to increase your costs.

You’ll never have to worry about if you have too many tabs open or if your new video game can be supported by your modem, even those Virtual Reality games.

DOCSIS 3.1 Protocol is Used

One of the main features of the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 is the fact that it makes use of the DOCSIS 3.1 protocols, as opposed to the DOCSIS 3.0 protocol. This is important for a variety of reasons, which often aren’t really clearly explained by modem companies or understood by the average non-tech savvy consumer.

DOCSIS stands for “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification,” which in ordinary language basically refers to the fact that your modem has the capability to broadband internet.

As you can tell by the naming convention, DOCSIS 3.1 is the next version of DOCSIS 3.0. If you’re a heavy internet user who needs fast internet speeds, you’ll want to go with DOCSIS 3.1 as otherwise, your modem might not be able to handle your internet usage.

However, if you’re more of a moderate internet user, you could do with a DOCSIS 3.0 using a modem. This is because modems that use DOCSIS 3.1 protocol are able to handle Internet service plans in excess of 1 gigabit per second, while DOCSIS 3.0 can only handle less than 1 GB, which is in line with what the average consumer uses in the United States of America.

This also has the effect of making DOCSIS 3.1 future-proof, in that 1gb per second is far greater than what the average internet service provider usually doles out.

If, however, this isn’t of particular importance to you, you may want to consider a DOCSIS 3.0 protocol using the modem, as they do tend to be significantly cheaper than a DOCSIS 3.1 protocol using modem like the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200.

32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels

The Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 is packed with downstream as well as upstream channels. For the average consumer, downstream channels are the more important criteria to consider, as it is the one that relates to downloading speeds. All in all, as long as the number of downstream channels is greater than 16 anything else is just icing on the cake.

Engineered with the newest technology

The upstream and downstream channel ratio and the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol usage truly make the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 a modern modem, as it employs OFDM 2×2, a very efficient model of modulation, producing a high-data-rate for communication.

Compatibility with all Routers

Sometimes, when you buy a new modem, you might find there’s a compatibility issue between the wifi router and the modem. Fortunately, the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 lacks this problem, as it is able to connect to any Wifi router currently in production.

On top of that, the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 is very easy to set up, compared to other modems, with many users reporting assembly time taking as little as 5 minutes.

Drawbacks to the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200

The Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200, for most users, will be an excellent modem. However, there are two particular drawbacks that depend on a consumer’s situation. The primary one is the cost.

While the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 is by no means an expensive modem, and will certainly save you money in the long run compared to simply renting a modem, it might be too fancy for your needs.

If you’re an average internet user on a budget, it may make more fiscal sense to simply purchase a cheaper modem that employs DOCSIS 3.0 as the premium for a DOCSIS 3.1 protocol using modem may not be worth it for you.

Read also: Netgear CM1150V Review

Another drawback to the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200 is the fact that it lacks an internal router, and is just a cable modem. Of course, this isn’t a problem if you already have a router, as most people do, but if you were hoping for an internal router you’ll have to consider a different brand or model of modem.

Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 (CM1200-100NAS) Specs

That’s a lot of information to take in, so in short, here are the features of the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200:




Making the decision to drop your Internet Service Provider’s modem is a pretty easy choice: after all, the yearly renting costs cost just as much if not more than the one time cost of simply buying a modem yourself. The hard part is, of course, deciding if a modem will fit your needs or what even makes a modem good or not.

Today we broke down the Netgear Nighthawk Cable Modem CM1200, giving a detailed breakdown of its features and what they mean, and we’re sure with that information, you’ll be able to decide if it’s this modem or another that ends up in your living room.

FAQs on Netgear CM1200 Review

Does Netgear cm1200 have WiFi?

No, this is not a combo wireless router and cable modem unit. It is only a cable modem. You will need a separate router to get a wireless signal in your home. But, do not worry, the CM1200 is compatible with most of the top wireless router brands. So, if you already have an existing wireless router, you should not need to have it replaced for this setup.

Does Netgear cm1200 have WiFi?
source: Netgear

How do I set up my Netgear cm1200?

Unlike some cable modem brands, the Netgear CM1200 is designed to offer on-screen setup and activation. You simply connect the cable modem to your existing coax cable and complete the process by utilizing the user’s manual. If you want to skip all the hoopla, you can connect the unit to your desktop computer utilizing an Ethernet cable. This will allow you to complete the setup and activation online, avoiding a call to your cable Internet provider.

The guideline on how to set-up your Netgear cm1200 can be found here.