5 Best Spectrum Internet Modems and Routers

We analyzed price, compatibility, speeds, and more to find the best Charter Spectrum Internet modems and routers. We chose the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 cable modem as best for most.

Best for Most
The arris surfboard SB 8200 modem
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Price:
$148.24
  • pro
    Supports fast gig speeds
  • pro
    Easy to set up and use
  • con
    Might require a call to Spectrum
Best Budget Pick
The netgear CM 500 modem
NETGEAR CM500
4 out of 5 stars
4
Price:
$72.87
  • pro
    Balance between specs and cost
  • pro
    Includes device prioritization
  • con
    Max download of 400 Mbps.
Best High-End Features
The TP link archer A 20 router
TP-Link Archer A20
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Price:
$106.99
  • pro
    Three bands for increased performance
  • pro
    Great for device-heavy homes
  • con
    Tech support could be improved
Best for Large Homes
The netgear orbi CBR 750 modem-router combo
NETGEAR Orbi CBR750
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Price:
$450.32
  • pro
    The fastest offering in our roundup
  • pro
    Mesh system for maximum coverage
  • con
    Very expensive
Best Router for Gaming
The asus rog rapture GT AC 5300 router
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Price:
$311.09
  • pro
    Features perfect for serious gamers
  • pro
    OpenVPN for enhanced privacy
  • con
    Poor technical support from ASUS
Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
April 25, 2022
6 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

Spectrum hooks you up to its internet modem for free. But if you need a wireless router to support multiple devices in your home, you’ll need to pay $5 a month to rent one from Spectrum.

Or you can buy your own. And using your own router, modem, or modem-router combo might give you a better online experience thanks to cutting-edge tech and features, like our top pick, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 cable modem.

So what are the best Spectrum modems and routers? Let’s dig in and find out.

Best Spectrum internet modems and routers comparison
Product
Price
Speeds
Compatible Spectrum plans
Details

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 Modem

$148.24*

Up to 2,000 Mbps

Up to Spectrum Internet® GIG

NETGEAR CM500 Modem

$72.87*

Up to 400 Mbps

Up to Spectrum Internet® Ultra

TP-Link Archer A20 Router

$106.99

Up to 1,625 Mbps

Up to Spectrum Internet® GIG

NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 Modem-Router

$450.32*

Up to 2,300 Mbps

Up to Spectrum Internet® GIG

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router

$311.09*

Up to 1,900 Mbps

Up to Spectrum Internet® GIG

Amazon.com list prices as of 04/25/2022. See full disclaimer.

What to look for when buying a modem or router for Spectrum

Buying your own router—or modem-router combo—can save you some cash by avoiding Spectrum’s router rental fee. Also, your own equipment may come with newer technology or better features that help you optimize your online time.

But what should you look for when shopping for a Spectrum modem or router? Do you want a cable modem or wireless router? Here are a few features and specs you should consider.

Modem and router features that work best for Spectrum Internet:

  • The modem is compatible with Spectrum
  • The modem and/or router supports faster speeds than what your plan advertises
  • Your modem uses DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 technology
  • The router uses an 802.11ax, ac, or n Wi-Fi standard
  • Optional: Router offers Quality of Service (QoS), Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO), beamforming, or other features

Want to read more?

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ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem: Best for most Spectrum Internet plans

Best for Most
The white Arris Surfboard SB8200 modem is compatible with Xfinity
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
The ARRIS SB8200 comes with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which means it’s ready to support up to gig speeds. Most SB8200 users note that it’s incredibly easy to set up: you just plug it in and it’s ready to go.
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
pro Supports fast gig speeds
pro Easy to set up and use
con Might require a call to Spectrum
Max download speed
Up to 2,000 Mbps.
DOCSIS
DOCSIS 3.1
Channel bonding
32x8
Ethernet ports
2 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty
2-years
Price:
$148.24*

The ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 is the best cable modem for most Spectrum internet plans. One thing to note about the SB8200 is that since it uses DOCSIS 3.1 technology, you’ll need to make sure to let Spectrum know you need a DOCSIS 3.1 signal. Most cable internet providers usually use DOCSIS 3.0 signals, so that’s why you’ll need to tell Spectrum that your cable modem is DOCSIS 3.1.

Also, you’ll want to upgrade your coax cable to one that’s DOCSIS 3.1 compatible. Sure, it seems like a lot of steps to get your internet connection set up for this new tech. But the right cable modem is so worth it for gig speeds.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 cable modem
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 500 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 1000 Mbps^
Data effective 04/28/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
Wireless speeds may vary.
Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
^ Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

NETGEAR CM500 modem: Best budget pick

Best Budget Pick
The black Netgear CM 500 cable internet modem
NETGEAR CM500
Spectrum chips in a modem for free with your internet service, but maybe you feel more comfortable using your own. If that’s you and you’re also hoping to stick to a wallet-friendly budget, the NETGEAR CM500 modem is a nice compromise between specs and cost.
4 out of 5 stars
4
pro Balance between specs and cost
pro Includes device prioritization
con Max download of 400 Mbps.
Max download speed
Up to 400 Mbps.
DOCSIS
DOCSIS 3.0
Channel bonding
16x4
Ethernet ports
1 Gigabit LAN port
Warranty
1-year
Price:
$72.87*

The NETGEARE CM500 cable modem is the best choice for those trying to save some money. The CM500 even comes with Quality of Service (QoS), a feature that lets you prioritize certain devices’ internet connections over others. So if you’ve got an important Zoom call coming up, you can prioritize your work laptop over the smart TV in the living room so your video and audio is more likely to come in crystal clear. (If not, check out our internet speed hacks.) If PC gaming is your thing, keep in mind that the CM500 has just one ethernet port.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with NETGEAR CM500 cable modem
Name
Price
Download speed
Details
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 500 Mbps
Data effective 04/28/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
Wireless speeds may vary.

TP-Link Archer A20 router: Best high-end features

Best High-End Features
The TP link archer A 20 router
TP-Link Archer A20
If you’ve got a house full of connected devices, the Archer A20 provides solid support with not two but three bands. (Most routers have two.)
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
pro Three bands for increased performance
pro Great for device-heavy homes
con Tech support could be improved
Max download speed
750 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band1,625 Mbps on 5 GHz bands
Wi-Fi standard
802.11ac
Wi-Fi range
4-bedroom home
Bands
Three total: one 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz
Wi-Fi security
WEP, WPA, WPA2
Ethernet ports
4 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty
2-years
Price:
$106.99*

Multiple bands prioritizes devices that need a strong connection on the first 5 GHz band, while the rest of your less-important devices share the remaining 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands.

The A20’s tri-band technology can prove incredibly useful for gamers, home offices, and YouTubers alike. This router has four Ethernet ports. Plus, it supports speeds up to 1,625 on the 5 GHz bands, meaning your Wi-Fi is maxed out and ready for the Spectrum Internet® GIG plan if you’ve got it.

Not to mention that device-heavy households will also benefit from the Archer A20’s beamforming, QoS, and MU-MIMO technology. All of these features let you optimize your cable internet connection so that all your devices get a strong signal—and important devices get that strong signal first.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with TP-Link Archer A20 router
Name
Price
Download speed
Details
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 500 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 1000 Mbps^
Data effective 04/28/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
Wireless speeds may vary.
Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
^ Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 modem-router combo: Best for large homes

Best for Large Homes
The netgear orbi CBR 750 modem-router combo
NETGEAR Orbi CBR750
The NETGEAR Orbi solves multiple problems with its extended toolkit: it’s a modem-router combo with mesh Wi-Fi support. That means you’ve got one device handling the job of three. Your bookshelf or TV console just got a little less crowded.
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
pro Three bands for increased performance
pro Great for device-heavy homes
con Tech support could be improved
Max download speed
750 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band1,625 Mbps on 5 GHz bands
Wi-Fi standard
802.11i
Wi-Fi range
Up to 2,500 sq. ft.
Bands
Three total: one 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz
Wi-Fi security
128-bit AES encryption with PSK
Ethernet ports
4 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty
1-year
Modem specs
DOCSIS 3.1, 32x8 channel bonding
Price:
$450.32*

We’ve heard nothing but great things about the Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system, and our time using it in a four-bedroom home proved that Orbi’s tech is beefy enough to boost a strong Wi-Fi signal across an entire home and up the stairs.

Besides, if you prefer a more reliable wired connection, the Orbi CBR750 comes with four LAN Ethernet ports. That puts the Google Nest Wi-Fi router to shame. For wireless router connections, the Orbi boasts three bands, similar to the Archer A20. But unlike the Archer A20, the Orbi CBR750 also has the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology, allowing this wifi router modem combo to support even faster wireless speeds.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 modem-router combo

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router: Best for gaming

Best Router for Gaming
The asus rog rapture GT AC 5300 router
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
The ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router is so chock-full of goodies that reading a description of it is almost like learning a new language. ASUS slings around acronyms and lingo, but the good news is that this router puts its money where its mouth is.
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
pro Three bands for increased performance
pro Great for device-heavy homes
con Tech support could be improved
Max download speed
1,000 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band2,167 Mbps on 5 GHz bands
Wi-Fi standard
802.11ac
Wi-Fi range
Up to 5,000 sq. ft.
Bands
Three total: one 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz
Wi-Fi security
WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise
Ethernet ports
8 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty
Up to 3-years
USB ports
Two USB 3.0
Price:
$311.09*
Name
Price
Download speed
Details
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 500 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 1000 Mbps^
Data effective 04/28/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
Wireless speeds may vary.
Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
^ Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

The Game Radar map shows you which game servers offer the lowest ping so your skill shots will land 100% of the time. And the Game Boost technology prioritizes your video game data, so your League of Legends match won’t lag out while your partner streams The Queen’s Gambit in the other room.

And similar to the Archer A20 and NETGEAR Orbi CBR750, the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 sports tri-band technology. So all your gaming devices can hog one of the 5 GHz bands, while all your other smart devices still get support on the remaining 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. And the ROG Rapture has eight Ethernet ports.

There are plenty more features that come with the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 that we think both gamers and other internet power users will enjoy, including OpenVPN, link aggregation, Wi-Fi RangeBoost, MU-MIMO, and AiMesh Wi-Fi. Yup, this router is kitted out in tech. And it will be compatible with any Spectrum cable internet plan.

Name
Price
Download speed
Details
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*Up to 500 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 1000 Mbps^
Data effective 04/28/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
Wireless speeds may vary.
Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
^ Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

Recap: The 5 best Spectrum modems and routers

Amazon.com list prices as of 4/25/2022 at 11:20 AM MST. See full disclaimer.

Need a Spectrum router or modem? You’ve got a lot of choices. You can swap Spectrum’s in-house modem for our top pick, the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200, or go for the cheap-but-efficient NETGEAR CM500.

For anyone who’d rather skip the Spectrum router rental fee, the TP-Link Archer A20 comes in at a reasonable price and is still loaded with features. If you’re okay to spend a little more, the NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 is a modem-router combo powerhouse that also blankets your home with mesh Wi-Fi technology. And for gamers, well, we think the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 has a feature or two that’ll get you hyped.

Methodology

When choosing our recommended Spectrum-compatible modems and routers, we focused on the following features:

  • Price
  • Compatibility with Spectrum
  • Supported wireless speeds
  • Additional features like MU-MIMO and beamforming
  • Customer ratings

First up, we made sure that all of our product recommendations are compatible with Spectrum. This was a larger concern for the modems, and so we cross-referenced each modem with Spectrum’s list of approved equipment.

We know not everyone has a boatload of money to spend on equipment, so we aimed to include modems and routers at various price points. But even our most budget-friendly pick, the NETGEAR CM500, offers great value in terms of features and performance.

Lastly, we took a look at features that can optimize everyday online experiences. We think mesh Wi-Fi, MU-MIMO, and beamforming are excellent features to consider for anyone who owns a lot of online devices (who doesn’t nowadays). And for those power users out there, we looked for gaming-specific tech and tri-band routers.

FAQ

What is MU-MIMO?

Multiple-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output technology lets your router send data over an internet connection to several devices at the same time.

Before, your router would send data to one device at a time. Granted, it was still quick enough that you probably wouldn’t notice. But as we gather more and more online devices in our homes, MU-MIMO becomes more important.

What is beamforming?

Beamforming lets your router send a Wi-Fi signal directly to all your connected devices. This means your Wi-Fi connection is stronger and can travel farther. In the past, routers would shoot Wi-Fi signals in all directions, which was less efficient.

What is QoS?

Quality of Service (QoS) lets your equipment prioritize an internet connection to some devices over others. This can be extremely helpful if you’re a gamer who needs a stable Xbox connection while you snipe at the enemy in a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds match.

Can I use my own modem and router with Spectrum?

Spectrum customers have the option to purchase and use their own modem and router as long as it is a Spectrum authorized device. Customers also have the option to rent a pre-configured router directly from Spectrum for a $5 monthly fee.

Check Spectrum internet prices in your area.
Spectrum
Get to know Charter Spectrum internet before you buy.

Amazon.com list prices as of 4/25/2022 at 11:20 AM MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Reviews.org utilizes paid Amazon links.
*Wireless speeds may vary.
°Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit Spectrum.net/modem.

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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