The Netgear CM600 Cable Modem is not new. I first got it more than two years ago, together with a 300Mbps Internet plan with Comcast.
Before that, I generally replaced my modem almost every year. So CM600 has been one of my most lasting modems. Two years qualify as long-term. Now I can undoubtedly say this is a reliable device.
That said, if you have a sub-Gigabit cable Internet, which is still the case for most subscribers, currently at some $90, the CM600 is the modem to buy. You likely won’t go wrong with it.
Dong’s note: I tested the Netgear CM600 with Comcast. While the modem works with almost all cable Internet providers, the experience expressed here is that of an Xfinity user.
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Netgear CM600: A simple modem that works
The CM600 is a typical cable modem. It comes with a coaxial port and a Gigabit network port on the back.
On the inside, this is a 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a ceiling WAN speed of up to 960Mbps. Note that 960Mbps is about as fast as a Gigabit connection (after overheads).
So effectively, this modem can deliver a Gigabit broadband connection. However, generally, if you think of Gigabit Internet, a DOCSIS 3.1, like the Motorola MB8600, is a better idea. That’s just how the DOCSIS standard works in general.
It’s important to note, though, the actual speed of a cable modem depends on the provider. That said, your ISP may cap this modem at a lower speed than 960Mbps.
Unlike a router, generally, you don’t need to configure a modem other than getting it activated with the provider. However, like the case of the Motorola MB8600, the Netgear CM600 also comes with a web interface accessible via its default IP address, which is 192.168.100.1.
This interface allows you to view the modem status, logs of the WAN connection, and other information. There’s also a function for you to restart the modem remotely.
Netgear CM600: Hardware specifications
|Name||Netgear CM600 Cable Modem|
|Standard||DOCSIS 3.0 24×8|
|Top WAN speed||960Mbps|
|Ports||1x 1Gbps LAN, 1x Coax|
|Top Internet plan supported||960Mbps|
|WAN Link Aggregation||No|
|ISP supported||Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and others.|
|Dimensions||8.47 x 9.97 x 3.78 inches|
Standard setup process
Like any cable modem, setting the CM600 is straightforward. First, connect it to the service cable — your TV cable wire, that is. Now, connect its LAN port to your router or a computer, and you’re done with the hardware.
The next step is activating it with the service provider. Depending on the service, you might need to call the provider’s tech support, or you can do it yourself using your account’s information, as I detailed in this post.
In the past two years, I installed multiple CM600 units for friends and family members, and each time the process went quite smoothly.
(Truth be told if you have the subscriber’s account information ready — namely the username and password or the account number — the self-activation process is faster than going through Comcast’s automated voice menu to get to a real person.)
Netgear CM600: Extra detail photos
Netgear CM600: Fast and reliable performance
As mentioned above, I’ve had the Netgear CM600 for more than two years now and never run into any issue with it. So the modem so far has proved to be reliable.
Most importantly, it’s been fast, too. I’ve always been able to get slightly faster Internet speed than what I pay for with it.
Below is the screenshot of my current actual Internet speed. I generally get about 700Mbps of download speed. It’s been that way since I upgraded mine to a 600Mbps plan.
And that’s also the case with my friends who use the same modem. Generally, you can expect an increase of somewhere between 10 to 20 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Obviously, this is not a sure thing and will vary depending on the region and provider. Also, that might be the case if you use another modem. But the point here is that this modem delivers in terms of speed.
Netgear CM600's Rating
Fast and reliable performance for sub-Gigabit broadband
Supported by multiple cable providers
Affordable and relatively compact
Clear status lights, useful web interface
No Gig+ or Multi-Gig support
No WAN Link Aggregation
While the Netgear CM600 is not new and doesn’t support cutting-edge technology like DOCSIS 3.1, Multi-Gig, or WAN Link Aggregation, it’s an excellent modem to get for those with a sub-Gigabit cable broadband connection.
In fact, for less than $90, it’s an excellent alternative to using your provider’s equipment, which might cause you some $15/month of the rental fee. Most importantly, you can now even pick a router of your choice without worrying about double NAT.
Clearly, make sure that your provider supports it. By the way, Comcast’s representative told me that the company has no plan to retire this modem from its supported list. So it’s safe to say it will likely be relevant for many years to come.