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Top 5 Best Cable Modems (Approved and Tested with Comcast Xfinity)

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This post includes the five best Cable modems for Comcast’s Xfinity Internet service that you can confidently buy today.

All of these modems are approved by Comcast’s Xfinity Cable Internet service and tested with this service. However, you can also use them with other Cable internet service providers (ISPs), such as  Spectrum or Cox.

I picked these modems after ongoing long-term experiences via my personal use and those of friends, family members, or business partners. All are excellent in their own right and are still working today.

Pick one for your Cable connection and a router or mesh system in one of the best lists in the box below, and you’re game. I can almost promise that.

Broadband Internet and Wi-Fi: Netgear CM600 Cable Modem
Best Cable Modems: Here’s a typical broadband setup with a Cable modem

Top five best cable modems for Xfinity: The list

I list these modems in the speed-grade order, starting with the slowest. Each will work well for the designated plans‘ speed.

It’s worth noting that Comcast Xfinity tends to provision cable connection’s download speed some 20% higher than the plan. As a result, it’s best to get a modem that can handle more than your plan. And that’s also my idea behind building this list.

For more on each modem, check out the in-depth review.

1. Netgear CM600: A valuable modem for Xfinit’s Fast (400Mbps and lower)

Netgear CM600 Lights
Best Cable Modems: The Netgear CM600 in action

The CM600 has been around for a long time and is the only DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem on this list. It’s affordable and never failed me during a 5-year-and counting of service.

Technically, it can handle up to 960Mbps of download speed, but it’s best to use it with any plan that delivers 600Mbps or slower.

Netgear CM600's Rating

8.7 out of 10
Netgear CM600 Cable Modem 4
Performance
9 out of 10
Features and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
9 out of 10

Pros

Fast and reliable performance for sub-Gigabit broadband

Supported by multiple cable providers

Affordable and relatively compact

Clear status lights, useful web interface

Cons

No Gig+ or Multi-Gig support

No WAN Link Aggregation


2. Netgear CM1000: An excellent Cable modem for Xfinity’s Superfast (800Mbps and slower)

The Netgear CM1000 DOCSIS 3.1. is one of the best Cable Modems
Best Cable Modems: The Netgear CM1000

The Netgear CM1000 is a DOCSIS 3.1 and can handle faster-than-Gigabit cable connection. However, it has a Gigabit port which is the bottleneck.

Technically, you can use it for a Gigabit cable plan. However, because a Gigabit port has overhead, the modem can only sustain at a slower-than-Gigabit speed, though only by a small margin.

We’ve used this modem for over two years with no issues.

Netgear CM1000's Rating

8.8 out of 10
Netgear CM1000 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem
Performance
9 out of 10
Features and Setup
8.5 out of 10
Value
9 out of 10

Pros

Fast and reliable performance, with up to 1Gbps of broadband speed

Supported by multiple cable providers

Relatively compact with clear status light

Reasonable cost

Cons

Single LAN port, no WAN Link Aggregation

The base is a bit flimsy


3. Motorola MB8600: Another excellent option for Xfinity’s Superfast with an option for 2Gbps link aggregation

Broadband Internet Troubleshooting: The MB8600 Cable Modem 9Motorola MB8600 Cable Modem
Best Cable Modems: The Motorola MB8600 Cable Modem in action. You must remove the yellow strip to use its other LAN ports (for Link Aggregation.)

The Motorola MB8600 is an interesting cable modem.

On the one hand, it’s an excellent option for a sub-Gigabit plan, like the Netgear CM1000 above; on the other, it has additional LAN ports that can be combined into a 2Gbps Link Aggregation WAN connection for a supported ISP.

We’ve used this one — in the former role — for almost two years with no issues at all.

Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem's Rating

8.5 out of 10
Motorola MB8600 Cable Modem 8
Performance
9 out of 10
Features and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Fast and reliable performance

Clear status lights

DOCSIS 3.1

Supported by multiple cable provider s

Optional WAN Link Aggregation and multi-Static-IP support

Cons

No Multi-Gig network port

A bit bulky

4. ARRIS SURFboard S33: The compact option for Xfinity’s Gigabit Extra (1200Mbps) and faster

ARRIS SURFboard S33 Modem Status LightARRIS Surfboard S33 In Hand
The ARRIS SURFboard S33 is a compact Cable modem with a single color-changing status light.

Supporting DOCSIS 3.1 and having a 2.5Gbps LAN port, the ARRIS SURFboard S33 is an excellent Cable modem for those with a super-fast Internet plan.

I’ve used it for over a year — since my review — with no issues.

ARRIS Surfboard S33's Rating

8.2 out of 10
ARRIS Surfboard S33
Performance
9 out of 10
Features and Setup
7 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Fast and reliable performance, up to 2.5Gbps of broadband speed

Compact and nice-looking design

Can handle two status IP addresses

Easy to set up

Cons

Cryptic, impractical single-status light

Runs a bit hot

Terrible mobile app

No WAN Link Aggregation

5. Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk: The full-size option for Xfinity’s Gigabit Extra (1200Mbps) and faster

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem LightsFiber optic Ont vs Cable Modem
Best Cable modems: Here’s my Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Cable modem working by itself vs when it’s part of a Dual-WAN setup.

Similar to the ARRIS SURFboard S33, the Netgear CM2000 can deliver up to 2.5Gbps of download speed, making it an excellent Cable modem for Xnitity’s fastest plan, the Gigabit Extra, which, in my experience, can deliver 1.5Gbps of download speed.

I’ve used it for almost two years as my personal modem. Initially, it was the only Internet source for my home. Since March this year, when I upgraded to a 10Gbps Fiber-optic plan, I’ve kept it as a secondary connection in a Dual-WAN setup.

It’s been an excellent modem with no issues at all.

Netgear CM2000's Rating

8.2 out of 10
Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Side
Performance
9 out of 10
Features and Setup
8.5 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

Fast and reliable performance, up to 2.5Gbps of broadband speed

Supported by multiple cable providers

Relatively compact with clear status light

Comprehensive web interface

Cons

Expensive

Single LAN port, no WAN Link Aggregation

The final thoughts

When using Cable Internet, I recommend getting a retail modem and a separate router or mesh system.

I detailed all the reasons in this post on how to activate a new cable modem. But among other things, you’ll get faster connection speed, avoid the monthly hardware rental fees, enjoy better privacy, and have much better flexibility in picking which equipment to use in case you want to change or upgrade.

After that, it never hurts to get the fastest Cable modem available — so it’s always safe to pick the Netgear CM2000 or ARRIS SURFboard S33 above.

However, unless you intend to upgrade your broadband speed later, getting a modem faster than your Internet plan is always a waste of investment.

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24 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Cable Modems (Approved and Tested with Comcast Xfinity)”

    • Thanks for the input, LD. I guess Comcast is phasing out DOCSIS 3.0 and no longer accepting new activation. The one we have still worked with no issue or warning. Maybe it’s just a matter of time.

      Reply
  1. Hi Dong,
    I was never able to get fiber in my area (and they aren’t planning on it), but it looks like Xfinity is finally rolling out 10G. Looks like I need to upgrade my CM2000!

    Reply
    • I’d wait to see how it pans out first. You can’t take what Comcast say at the surface and currently there’s no modem that can deliver 5Gbps or faster.

      Reply
  2. Thnx Dong for the info, very very helpful.

    I’m in the process of upgrading my modem with Xfinity since they just changed out the fiber in our neighborhood. I’d also received an e-mail from them stating my current modem (Arris SB6183) will not be compatible very soon because of filters. Not sure what that means other than they mentioned I have higher megabit speeds available and my modem limits that. Anyway, am considering the S33 now based on lots of reading and mainly this sites recommendations.

    Any current known issues with it on Xfinity from anyone this February? I know about the heat issues, won’t be affecting me since it’s out in the open but what about firmware or updates recently pushed out from Xfinity. I’ve read about nightmares for some people mainly with Motorola 8611’s but not with Arris.

    any help would be appreciated since I’ve got an S33 loaded in my cart with Amazon. πŸ™‚

    thnx in advance

    Reply
  3. An addendum to previous post. I did read your reviews of available modems and was looking at the Arris s33 but I’m usure about the Wi-Fi 6 question.

    Reply
  4. On Xfinity if you use your own modem and use over 1.2 TB then you must pay $30/month for unlimited data. There is no cap if you use Xfinity’s $25/month modem. So it’s actually cheaper to use a rented modem. Do you have any opinion on the Xfinity modem, or why they have these plans priced in this manner?

    Reply
    • Yes, I mentioned that in the post on how to activate a modem, Bill. Most of the time you won’t use more than 1.2TB/month, though, and you can do that twice a year with no penalty. Xfinity doesn’t have any modem, it only offers the gateways. As for the reasons, a gateway allows the ISP to collect your information to sell to advertisers — more in this post.

      Reply
  5. Thanks Dong for the continued (and helpful) content. I would love to switch out my Xfinity modem, but I am not sure if Xfinity Home will work without their XB7 modem / router. Calls to them and searches have come up short of finding an answer.

    Reply
      • Thanks Dong! Now I am flipping the switch completely and thinking about just making the switch to Fiber from Xfinity – the only issue is finding a competent home security system.

        Reply
        • Good move, Joey! There are a lot of options on the security front and they all work well with any ISP (the faster is always better anyway.)

          Reply
  6. Using the Motorola MB8611 here as well, after encountering some occasional disconnects with the Arris G36. So far the MB8611 has been solid, but it’s only been running for a week. We’ll see how it goes.

    Reply
      • Wish ours was. We no longer have reliable Wi-Fi – keeps dropping in & out, with no trouble indicated by its status lights – beyond the room the modem & router are in. Had the same modem for years until it was no longer supported by Comcast so we β€œupgraded” to this. Unfortunately, I see the exact same issues in Amazon reviews for the Nighthawk and Arris.

        Reply
    • I’ve been using the same Motorola model for about 15 months with no hiccups. We pay for the Comcast 600MB tier but get significantly better at 1.44gb down.

      Reply
  7. Re: Motorola MB8600

    I had the big brother Motorola MB8611 which has a 2.5Gbps port. No issues. And it had the “Certified for Comcast Xfinity” sticker.

    …and then I was able to switch to Fiber πŸ™‚

    Reply

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