5 Best Spectrum Internet Modems and Routers 2021

We analyzed price, compatibility, speeds, and more to find the best Spectrum Internet modems and routers. We chose the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem as best for most.
  • Best for Most
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Price: $149.00*
    Max download: Up to 2,000 Mbps
  • Best Budget Pick
    4 out of 5 overall
    Price: $59.99*
    Max download: Up to 400 Mbps
  • Best High-End Features
    4.25 out of 5 overall
    Price: $159.99*
    Max download: 1,625 Mbps
  • Best for Large Homes
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    Price: $399.99*
    Max download: Up to 2,300 Mbps
  • Best Router for Gaming
    3.75 out of 5 overall
    Price: $292.00*
    Max download: Up to 1,900 Mbps
Recent Updates: Less than 6 months
The Spectrum Internet Gig plan now goes up to 1,000 Mbps.* Our recommended modems and routers for the Gig plan didn't change, but you can find out more about this small speed boost in our Spectrum Internet Review.

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 modem.

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

Best Spectrum internet modems and routers comparison
ProductPriceSpeedsCompatible Spectrum plansDetails
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 Modem$149.00*Up to 2,000 MbpsUp to Spectrum Internet® GIGView on Amazon
NETGEAR CM500 Modem$59.99*Up to 400 MbpsUp to Spectrum Internet® UltraView on Amazon
TP-Link Archer A20 Router$159.99*Up to 1,625 MbpsUp to Spectrum Internet® GIGView on Amazon
NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 Modem-Router$399.99*Up to 2,300 MbpsUp to Spectrum Internet® GIGView on Amazon
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router$292.00*Up to 1,900 MbpsUp to Spectrum Internet® GIGView on Amazon

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 at 11:20 AM MST. 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 router or modem? 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?

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem: Best for most Spectrum Internet plans

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.

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 internet providers usually use DOCSIS 3.0 signals, so that’s why you’ll need to tell Spectrum that your 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 it’s so worth it for gig speeds.

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem specs
ProductARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem
ImageThe arris surfboard SB 8200 modem
Source: Surfboard.com
Price$149.00*
Max download speedUp to 2,000 Mbps
DOCSISDOCSIS 3.1
Channel bonding32×8
Ethernet ports2 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty2 years
DetailsView on Amazon

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 at 11:20 AM MST. See full disclaimer.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem
NamePriceDownload speedDetails
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 200 Mbps*View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 400 Mbps*View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$109.99/mo for 12 mos.Up to 1000 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 06/07/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* 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.

NETGEAR CM500 modem: Best budget pick

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.

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.)

NETGEAR CM500 modem specs
ProductNETGEAR CM500 modem
ImageThe netgear CM 500 modem
Source: Netgear.com
Price$59.99*
Max download speedUp to 400 Mbps
DOCSISDOCSIS 3.0
Channel bonding16×4
Ethernet ports1 Gigabit LAN port
Warranty1 year
DetailsView on Amazon

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 at 11:20 AM MST. See full disclaimer.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with NETGEAR CM500 modem
NamePriceDownload speedDetails
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 200 Mbps*View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 400 Mbps*View Plan
Data effective 06/07/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Wireless speeds may vary.

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

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.) That lets you prioritize 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. 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 internet connection so that all your devices get a strong signal—and important devices get that strong signal first.

TP-Link Archer A20 specs
ProductTP-Link Archer A20
ImageThe TP link archer A 20 router
Source: TP-Link.com
Price$159.99*
Max download speed750 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band
1,625 Mbps on 5 GHz bands
Wi-Fi standard802.11ac
Wi-Fi range4-bedroom home
BandsThree total: one 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz
Wi-Fi securityWEP, WPA, WPA2
Ethernet ports4 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty2 years
DetailsView on Amazon

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 at 11:20 AM MST. See full disclaimer.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with TP-Link Archer A20 router
NamePriceDownload speedDetails
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 200 Mbps*View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 400 Mbps*View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$109.99/mo for 12 mos.Up to 1000 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 06/07/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* 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.

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

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.

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 ports. That puts the Google Nest Wi-Fi to shame. For wireless 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 it to support even faster wireless speeds.

NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 specs
ProductNETGEAR Orbi CBR750 modem-router combo
ImageThe netgear orbi CBR 750 modem-router combo
Source: Netgear.com
Price$399.99*
Max download speed600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band
1,400 and 2,400 Mbps on 5 GHz bands
Wi-Fi standard802.11i
Wi-Fi rangeUp to 2,500 sq. ft.
BandsThree total: one 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz
Wi-Fi security128-bit AES encryption with PSK
Modem specsDOCSIS 3.1, 32×8 channel bonding
Ethernet ports4 Gigabit LAN ports
Warranty1 year
DetailsView on Amazon

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 at 11:20 AM MST. See full disclaimer.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 modem-router combo
NamePriceDownload speedDetails
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 200 Mbps*View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 400 Mbps*View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$109.99/mo for 12 mos.Up to 1000 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 06/07/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* 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.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router: Best for gaming

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.

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.

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.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 specs
ProductASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router
ImageThe asus rog rapture GT AC 5300 router
Source: Asus.com
Price$292*
Max download speed1,000 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band
2,167 Mbps on 5 GHz bands
Wi-Fi standard802.11ac
Wi-Fi rangeUp to 5,000 sq. ft.
BandsThree total: one 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz
Wi-Fi securityWPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise
Ethernet ports8 Gigabit LAN ports
USB portsTwo USB 3.0
Warranty2–3 years
DetailsView on Amazon

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 at 11:20 AM MST. See full disclaimer.

Compatible Spectrum Internet plans

Spectrum Internet plans compatible with ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
NamePriceDownload speedDetails
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 200 Mbps*View Plans
Spectrum Internet® Ultra$69.99/mo for 12 mos.*Up to 400 Mbps*View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$109.99/mo for 12 mos.Up to 1000 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 06/07/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* 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.

Recap: The 5 best Spectrum modems and routers 2021

  1. ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 modem: Best for most Spectrum plans. $149.00*, max download speeds up to 2,000 Mbps, DOCSIS 3.1.
  2. NETGEAR CM500 modem: Best budget pick. $59.99*, max download speeds up to 400 Mbps, DOCSIS 3.0.
  3. TP-Link Archer A20 router: Best high-end features. $159.99*, max download speeds up to 1,625 Mbps.
  4. NETGEAR Orbi CBR750 modem-router combo: Best for large homes. $399.99*, max download speeds up to 2,300 Mbps, DOCSIS 3.1.
  5. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router: Best for gaming. $292.00*, max download speeds up to 1,900 Mbps.

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 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.

Now that you know about the best Spectrum routers, check these out next.

Check Spectrum internet prices in your area.

Get to know Spectrum internet before you buy.

READ THE SPECTRUM INTERNET REVIEW

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.

Amazon.com list prices as of 3/1/2021 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.