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Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Review: A Reliable Multi-Gig Cable Modem

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Earlier this month, I switched to the all-new Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi-Gig Cable Modem from my trusting CM600. And it proved to be a bit of an anti-climactic experience.

No, this latest Netgear cable modem is not bad — far from it, if not the opposite. But if you have a Gigabit Internet (or slower), you won’t see any difference. That is unless you want to stay future-proof. And for that purpose, you will feel that the CM2000 is an excellent choice.

For everyone with a sub-Gigabit connection, though, the CM600 is still a much better buy, considering the CM2000’s current hefty price tag of close to $300.

Dong’s note: I tested the Netgear CM2000 with Comcast. While the modem works with almost all cable Internet providers, the experience expressed here is that of an Xfinity subscriber.

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Port
Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi-Gig Cable Modem Port

Netgear CM2000 cable modem: A faster DOCSIS 3.1 version of the CM600

Like the CM600, the new CM2000 is a typical cable modem. It comes with a service connector and a single network port on the back.

This is a 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig port, and on the inside, the Netgear CM2000 features the latest DOCSIS 31. All that makes a big difference in specs: This modem can deliver up to 2.5Gbps broadband speeds.

Like all DOCSIS 3.1 modems, the CM2000 can also work as a top-notch DOCSIS 3.0 device. So, if money is not an issue, you can use it in virtually any place a cable modem is used.

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Back
The Netgear CM2000 comes with a single LAN port and a service port on the back.

Netgear CM2000 cable modem: Hardware specifications

NameNetgear CM2000 Nighthawk
Multi-Gig Cable Modem
ModelCM2000-100NAS
StandardDOCSIS 3.1
Top WAN speed2.5Gbps
Ports1x 2.5Gbps/1Gbps LAN, 1x Coax
Top Internet Speed2.5Gbps
WAN Link AggregationNo
ISP supportedComcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable,
Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and others. 
Dimensions6.8 x 3.7 x 8.2 in
(172 x 94 x 208 mm)
Weight1.02lb (482g)
Netgear CM2000’s hardware specifications

While the modem can handle up to 2.5Gbps, keep in mind that you need a router with a Multi-Gig WAN port before thinking of having a super-fast Internet. After that, the high-speed plan needs to be available at your provider, and, most importantly, you can afford it.

Convenient web interface, standard setup process

The Netgear CM2000 comes with a local web interface that you can reach via its default IP, 192.168.100.1. The modem’s default admin password is printed on a label on its underside.

An interface is a handy tool if you want to check on the status of your WAN connection. You won’t need to use it for the setup process, however.

Netgear CM2000 Cable Modem Web Interface
The Netgear CM2000 Cable Modem has a web interface that can come in handy.

To use the modem, you need to activate it with the Internet service provider. For that, you can follow this detailed post. But basically, connect it to your service line and then work with your provider, either via a web browser or a phone call, to have it added to your account.

I had no issue getting the Netgear CM2000 activated on my Xfinity plan at all. The whole process took me no more than 10 minutes.

Netgear CM2000 cable modem: Extra detail photos

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Box Content
Out of the box, the Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk includes a network cable and a standard power adapter which it shares with the CM600.

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Front
The Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi-Gig Cable Modem comes with an up-standing design. It’s relatively compact.

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Underside
The underside of the Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk is where you can find its default information, including the default password, to access its web user interface.

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Behind
The Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi-Gig Cable Modem is all set up and ready to go.

Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi Gig Cable Modem Lights
The Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi-Gig Cable Modem comes with an array of status lights on its from, which come in handy when you need to set up or troubleshoot your WAN connection.

Netgear CM2000 cable modem: Excellent performance

There’s one important thing about upgrading a cable modem: You only do that when you pay for the speed that’s faster than what the current one can handle.

Well, that wasn’t my case. I tested the Netgear CM2000 with the same Xfinity plan of 600Mbps download and 15Mbps upload. And like the case of the CM600, the CM2000 delivered a slightly faster speed of around 700Mbps for download. So there was nothing new.

What was also the same was the reliability. Before publishing this review, I had used the new modem for more than two weeks. And during this time, I ran into no issue at all.

While two weeks weren’t long for a modem, it was enough to note that the Netgear was reliable. You can count on it.

Clearly, due to my cable plan constraint, I couldn’t experience faster speeds with the modem — I wasn’t sure it could truly deliver 2.5Gbps broadband.

But it’s my personal take that if your provider has that option, there’s no reason why it can’t. I tested it out with a few Multi-Gig devices and was indeed able to connect to it at 2.5Gbps.

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

Conclusion

Unless you have broken the Gigabit barrier, there’s no need to get the Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Multi-Gig Cable Modem. But if you’re thinking of upgrading your cable connection to Multi-Gig, it can be a sensible purchase right now.

One thing is for sure, no matter what cable broadband plan you have, this modem will work out. It’s just a matter of justifying the cost, which you might get back over time from not having to pay for the equipment rental fee.

But, still, in most cases, I’d also recommend checking out its old cousin, the CM600, which is excellent for a sub-Gigabit connection.

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14 thoughts on “Netgear CM2000 Nighthawk Review: A Reliable Multi-Gig Cable Modem”

  1. I have the CM2000 2.5GB WAN router. I also have an Asus AX88U 1GB WAN Router. I pay for 1200 Mbps Comcast service. But I only get 950 Mbps on average. It’s my router!

    Complex Question:

    If one buys a multi-gigabyte router (say for example the TP-Link Archer AX6600 or Netgear Nighthawk AX11000), isn’t one still limited to a 1GB (950 Mbps) speed because the LANs on all routers are 1GB vs 2.5GB capacity, unless one uses WAN aggregation or LAN aggregation?

    When will there 2.5GB WAN routers with 2.5GB LANs that allow a straightforward 2.5GB WAN modem to 2.5GB WAN router with 2.5GB LANS to laptop or pc setup?

    WAN aggregation (increased speed via dual cords) and LAN aggregation (redundancy 1GB speed via dual cords) suggest router makers don’t want to develop one cord MGB-WAN/MGB-LAN routers, to evolve beyond the one cord 1GB WAN/1GB LAN routers. Am I wrong?

    Imagine 1GB speed being the baseline internet service (but 2.5GB and 5GB being the upscale tiers) from all ISPs and all modems and routers and their LANS being three major MGB devices; 2.5GB, 5GB, and 10GB; defaulting to 1GB if one has this slow ISP speed.

    Reply
  2. My local Costco right now has sale on Netgear CM1100 at $120. Is this a good price/choice? I have 300 mbps with Comcast and need to get new modem and router.

    Reply
  3. I have a Netgear CM1200 for my 1 Gbps cable modem service (Shentel) and I’m pleased with its performance. It also supports up to 2.5Gbps, so I’m curious to know what the CM2000 offers to justify the $70 difference in price.

    Reply
    • Your modem can do 1Gbps at most unless you have WAN Link Aggregation which will make it 2Gbps, Ron. WAN LA is messy. But for your internet speed, it’s already overkill.

      Reply
      • My son is getting married and moving out, so I donated my Netgear CM1200 cable modem to him and his bride-to-be and purchased the Netgear CM2000 for my 1 Gbps service with Shentel. I have the Netgear Orbi AXE11000 mesh system with the 10G WAN port and 2.5G LAN port on the router and the 2.5G LAN port on the satellites, and a Zyxel MG-108 2.5G switch (I made my purchases based on your recommendations, so thanks!).

        I expected a modest improvement because of the 2.5G Multi-Gig port on the CM2000, but I was unprepared for the sizeable jump in speed from about 940Mbps to 1177Mbps on my wired computer! To say I’m very pleased would be an understatement!

        Reply
        • Yeap, generally, you can get some 25% more (though not always) with the right equipment, Ron. Thanks for the update!

          And congrats on having your son move out for good reasons! πŸ™‚

          Reply

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