3.1 Mbps Download Speed

3.1 Mbps Download Speed

The definitive global ranking of internet performance from millions of speedtests. For example, what was a 40 Mbps upstream/30 Mbps downstream DOCSIS 2.0 configuration could be multiplied by up to 32x in the downstream and 8x in the upstream using DOCSIS 3.0, producing a maximum total speed of around 1.2 Gbps upstream/240 Mbps downstream.

Our experts compared dozens of cable modems to find the best option for every speed range.

ARRIS S33

Price: $199.99
Recommended for plans up to: 2.5 Gbps
DOCSIS standard: DOCSIS 3.1

NETGEAR CAX80

Price: $369.99
Recommended for plans up to: 2.5 Gbps
DOCSIS standard: DOCSIS 3.1

Motorola MB7621

Price: $89.98
Recommended for plans up to: 800 Mbps
DOCSIS standard: DOCSIS 3.0

NETGEAR CM500

Price: $42.94
Recommended for plans up to: 400 Mbps
DOCSIS standard: DOCSIS 3.0

NETGEAR CM2050V

Price: $269.99
Recommended for plans up to: 2.5 Gbps
DOCSIS standard: DOCSIS 3.1

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

If you want to cut back on your cable internet provider’s monthly costs, we recommend buying your own coaxial cable modem and Wi-Fi router. Our favorite is the ARRIS S33, which supports gigabit download speeds, but if you’d prefer a modem/router combo, check out the NETGEAR CAX80.

For more suggestions, including cheap cable modems and voice-compatible modems, keep reading. We have all the details you need to find the right modem for your internet needs.

Jump to:

  • ARRIS S33—Editor’s choice
  • NETGEAR CAX80—Best modem/router
  • Motorola MB7621—Best cheap modem for plans up to 800 Mbps
  • NETGEAR CM500—Best cheap modem for plans up to 400 Mbps
  • NETGEAR CM2050V—Best modem for Xfinity Voice bundles

Out of the dozens of cable modems we’ve researched at CableTV.com, the ARRIS S33 stands out because it offers the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, supports gigabit speeds, and comes with a two-year warranty. We even named it our favorite gigabit modem.

And while we usually suggest buying separate modem/routers for the flexibility, we recognize the appeal of buying one device and calling it a day. The NETGEAR CAX80 is the best modem/router combo on the market, with top modem and router technology.

Of course, those choices are a bit pricey, and a cheaper modem will work just fine if you have slower internet speeds. The NETGEAR CM500 is ideal for plans up to 400 Mbps, and Motorola MB7621 works well for plans up to 800 Mbps.

Heads-up—if you have an internet and voice bundle plan, you’ll need a router made to work specifically with your internet provider’s voice technology. We recommend the NETGEAR CM2050V for Xfinity Voice.

But because it’s hard to find voice-compatible modems for most other providers, we recommend using your internet provider’s rentable modem if you have a home phone and internet plan.

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Cable modems work only with internet providers that use coaxial cable–based internet networks. To see all the cable internet providers in your area, enter your zip code below.

Designation
Editor’s choice
Best modem/router
Best for 800 Mbps
Best for 400 Mbps
Best for Xfinity Voice
Model Price Recommended for plans up to DOCSIS standard Details
ARRIS S33 $199.99 2.5 Gbps DOCSIS 3.1
NETGEAR CAX80 $369.99 2.5 Gbps DOCSIS 3.1
Motorola MB7621 $89.98 800 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 (24×8 channels)
NETGEAR CM500 $42.94 400 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 (16×4 channels)
NETGEAR CM2050V $269.99 2.5 Gbps DOCSIS 3.1

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Cable modems work on DOCSIS technology—”Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.” The most recent version of DOCSIS is DOCSIS 3.1, and if your internet provider uses DOCSIS 3.1 on your network, you’ll need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

If you’re in a rural area, your internet connection probably still uses DOCSIS 3.0, but you can reach out to your internet provider’s customer service if you aren’t sure. Or, just go for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem—they’re almost always backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 technology, so they’re the safest bet.

Your modem’s DOCSIS generation and number of channels affect its possible data transfer speeds. We’ve translated each modem’s DOCSIS technology to a recommended maximum plan speed in the chart above. If you stick under these recommendations, your modem should support your internet plan’s speeds.

$199.99
2.5 Gbps
DOCSIS 3.1
2.5-gigabit Ethernet port, 1-gigabit Ethernet port
N/A

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Pros

  • Works with Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and other cable internet providers
  • Includes 2-year warranty
  • Supports top gigabit speeds

Cons

We’re big fans of the tiny ARRIS S33. This sleek little buddy works even with Xfinity’s Gigabit plan—at 1.2 Gbps, it needs a faster modem than usual—so it’s no surprise the ARRIS S33 is also our editor’s choice for the best gigabit modem.

If you’re one of the special few who pays for two IP addresses, you can get the most out of this modem’s two gigabit LAN ports. But even if you have only one IP address (like most folks do), this modem’s DOCSIS 3.1 versatility and 2-year warranty means this will likely be the last modem you buy for a long while.

But if the price is too big of an investment for you, there are plenty of other great modem options you can get for cheap. Check out our pick for an affordable gigabit modem, or go for the Motorola MB7621 or NETGEAR CM500 if you don’t have gigabit internet.

$369.99
2.5 Gbps
DOCSIS 3.1
2.5-gigabit Ethernet port, 1-gigabit Ethernet port
Wi-Fi 6

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Pros

  • Works with Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and other cable internet providers
  • Includes powerful Wi-Fi 6 router

Cons

We don’t love modem/router combos—they’re expensive and rarely come with the latest versions of modem and router technology. The NETGEAR CAX80is expensive, but it’s one of the modem/router combos we’d recommend since it comes with cutting-edge DOCSIS 3.1 and Wi-Fi 6.

The NETGEAR CAX80 will work with your gigabit cable internet plan, and it has a strong enough Wi-Fi signal to blanket even large homes with wireless internet.

If you don’t need gigabit speeds but you still have your heart set on a modem/router combo, check out some of our other modem/router recommendations. We can help you find cheaper options that meet your needs.

Motorola MB7621: Best cheap modem for plans up to 800 Mbps

3.1 Mbps Download Speed
$89.98
800 Mbps
DOCSIS 3.0 (24x8 channels)
1-gigabit Ethernet port
N/A

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Pros

  • Works with Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and other cable internet providers
  • Costs under $100

Cons

If you live in an area with DOCSIS 3.0 and don’t have gigabit internet, you’re safe to go with a more affordable modem than our previous recommendations. The Motorola MB7621 is a trustworthy and cheap option for plans with up to 800 Mbps download speeds.

We recommended the Motorola MB7621 among our best Spectrum-compatible modems, but this modem will also work with Cox, Xfinity, and many other cable internet providers.

Keep in mind, though, that Motorola MB7621 isn’t an evergreen modem choice. If you move to an area with DOCSIS 3.1, or the internet network in your area changes to DOCSIS 3.1, you’ll need to buy a different router at that point.

Is 4 mbps good

NETGEAR CM500: Best cheap modem for plans up to 400 Mbps

$42.94
400 Mbps
DOCSIS 3.1
1-gigabit Ethernet port
N/A

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Pros

  • Works with Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and other cable internet providers
  • Costs under $50

Cons

Like the Motorola MB7621, the NETGEAR CM500 is a little out-of-date with its DOCSIS 3.0 technology. But it’s one of the cheapest modems out there, so consider this budget pick if you have an internet plan with download speeds under 400 Mbps.

This little modem might not keep up with cable internet technology for long, but with internet providers charging around $10 per month for your equipment, it can be a worthwhile investment that pays for itself fast.

$269.99
2.5 Gbps
DOCSIS 3.1
2.5-gigabit Ethernet port
N/A
Mbps

Amazon.com price as of 12/7/21 at 9:12 am PT. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

Pros

Cons

If you’ve bundled your cable internet plan with a voice plan, you’ll need a modem specially designed to work with one internet provider’s home phone service.

The NETGEAR CM2050V is one such modem, and it works only with Xfinity Internet and Voice. We’ve highlighted it here mostly to point out that getting home phone service will complicate your modem-buying process.

You might find that renting a modem from your internet provider is the easiest option if you have home phone and internet. But if you want to see which third-party modems work with your internet provider’s voice network, check its website for options.

When choosing a cable modem, remember that not every modem will work with every cable internet company. The top modem brands work with most cable internet providers, but we’ve marked some “brands to avoid” that are less likely to support your service.

  • NETGEAR
  • ARRIS
  • Motorola

NETGEAR, ARRIS, and Motorola support most cable internet providers and offer modems for all different speeds. Even if you don’t choose one of our suggested models, you’ll likely find what you need from one of these three brands.

  • Ubee
  • Technicolor
  • Zoom

You probably won’t encounter these unpopular brands when you’re shopping for a cable modem, but be careful if you do. These cable modems come primarily from disreputable sources as used products—and used modems might still be registered to someone else’s internet account, rendering them unusable for you.

Related articles

We researched over 20 cable modems (plus a whole slew of modem/router combos) to find the best on the market. We compared prices, DOCSIS technology, internet provider approval, speed capabilities, and customer satisfaction. Then we narrowed the selection down to five choices, each focusing on meeting a different internet need at the best price and quality.

To learn more about how CableTV.com experts choose our recommendations, visit our How We Rank page.

You should buy a modem that is compatible with your ISP, maximizes your internet plan download speeds, and comes from a reliable brand like ARRIS, Motorola, or NETGEAR.

The best modem for your needs depends on your ISP, the download speeds of your internet plan, and whether or not you want Wi-Fi in your home. If you want Wi-Fi, you’ll need a modem/router combo, or you can just buy a separate router.

A modem is essential in connecting internet to your home. Basically, it’s the translator between the internet and your home devices. It decodes the information your internet service provider sends you and encodes the information you send back.

What is the difference between a DSL modem and a cable modem?

The difference between a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modem and a cable modem is in their connection. A DSL modem connects to the telephone line. A cable modem connects to your cable TV set-up box.

To access the internet, both a modem and router are necessary. The modem reads the data received from your internet provider and converts it to a format your devices can read. Then, the router takes that information from the modem and sends it to your devices.

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If the WiFi network (or, the 'internet connection') in your home handles everything from HD video streaming and web surfing to music streaming and online gaming, it may be time to consider Gigabit Internet service also called Gig-speed and ultra-high-speed Internet. The promise of this next-generation high-speed Internet — capable of delivering speeds up to 40 times faster than the typical home connection, based on the FCC benchmark for what constitutes broadband speeds — is allowing users to optimize their home Internet speed and Internet use across all devices.

Gigabit Internet service transmits data up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) — or 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). With that rate of speed, you can download a full HD movie in just a few minutes, update your smartphone’s operating system in seconds, and join videoconferences with ultra-high definition video, just to name a few.

How Gig-speed Internet works

Gigabit Internet service can be delivered to your home using either fiber-optic cable or the coaxial cable currently used to deliver your TV, Internet, and phone service.

Most home Internet service delivers faster speeds for downloading vs. uploading, due to average consumer needs. For example, the data speeds needed to download an HD movie are much greater than the speeds needed to load a link in a web browser. However, gigabit service over a fiber-optic network can deliver the same speeds uploading as downloading, or the same 'upload' speed and 'download' speed.

Download Speed Booster

Gigabit service can also be transmitted over traditional cable wiring, which does not require a fiber-optic line (or 'fiber internet') running to your house. Xfinity Gigabit Internet Service, which uses the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, can download data up to 1 Gbps, and upload data at 35 Mbps.

Gigabit to Mbps conversion information

Wondering how Gigabit to Mbps converts in the real world? Here's a chart for your reference:


3.1 Mbps Download Speed Test

Gigabit per secondMegabit per second
1 Gbps1,000 Mbps
2 Gbps2,000 Mbps
3 Gbps3,000 Mbps
4 Gbps4,000 Mbps
5 Gbps5,000 Mbps

... and so on.

Is 1.4 Mbps Good

Tips for using Gigabit Internet

If you’re able to get gigabit service to your home, here are a few tips to get the most out of your connection:

  • Check your router. Make sure you have a Gigabit WiFi router, which uses the protocol called 802.11ac (and can support speeds up to 1.3 Gbps).
  • Consider Ethernet connections. With bandwidth-hungry PCs and video streaming devices, consider using wired Ethernet cable connections rather than WiFi. The reason? Internet speeds won’t be affected by interference from other wireless devices (such as smartphones and tablets) in your home. Ideally, you’ll want category 6 Ethernet cables, which can support speeds up to 10 Gbps. Older category 5 cables (100 Mbps max) cannot deliver Gigabit Internet speeds.
  • Place your router strategically. Wireless speeds drop off as you get farther away from your WiFi router. To get the top possible speeds over WiFi, make sure your router is placed in a central location.

If your family loves to stream movies and TV while playing bandwidth-hungry games and downloading the latest apps on your smartphone — all at the same time — Gigabit service could provide a major improvement in network speed and reliability. With Gig-speed from Xfinity, waiting for files to download and movies to buffer could be a thing of the past, with super fast Internet speeds that provide quick uploads, downloads, and beyond.


5 Mbps Download Speed Good

Xfinity is proud to support the Federal Government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a temporary subsidy program available for all tiers of Xfinity Internet service, including Internet Essentials. Learn more about the EBB Program to see if you qualify.

What Is A Good Download Speed

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