Is DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 Better?

June 29, 2022

When it comes to cable modems, there are basically two technologies that are available today:  DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1.

DOCSIS 3.1 is better than DOCSIS 3.0 because DOCSIS 3.0 is older technology that was released over 15 years ago!  DOCSIS 3.1 is more advanced and offers more features than DOCSIS 3.0, making your Internet performance faster.  DOCSIS 3.1 is capable of speeds 10 times faster than DOCSIS 3.0, with 50% more data throughput and advanced security protection, just to name a few of the advantages. 


When was DOCSIS 3.0 released?

It might be difficult to tell these days, since so many articles and available cable modems found online recommend and offer DOCSIS 3.0, but the hard truth is, DOCSIS 3.0 technology was released in 2006 – that’s over 15 years ago.  DOCSIS 3.0 is old technology.

DOCSIS 3.0 maximum downstream speed is 1 Gbps

DOCSIS 3.0 maximum upstream speed is 100 Mbps


How long has DOCSIS 3.1 been around?

DOCSIS 3.1 is the next generation of DOCSIS technology and was released in 2013.  DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest standard offered today with many improvements made to Internet speeds, increased performance, better energy efficiency and more advanced security protection.

DOCSIS 3.1 maximum downstream speed is 10 Gbps

DOCSIS 3.1 maximum upstream speed is 2 Gbps


Why is DOCSIS 3.0 still available?

You may have heard claims that some Cable Operators still use DOCSIS 3.0 in their networks.  It’s pretty safe to say that it would be very rare to find an ISP today that still has DOCSIS 3.0 network technology.  After all, DOCSIS 3.1 has been around since 2013.  In fact, many Cable Operators will no longer allow DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems on their networks.  Check out this article from Comcast.

There are still DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems available for sale for two reasons:

  1. DOCSIS 3.0 technology is capable of delivering up to 1 Gbps Internet speeds and some ISP’s are not offering speed plans higher than 1 Gigabit.
  2. The company selling the DOCSIS 3.0 modems have surplus inventory and they will offer them to anyone who wishes to purchase them.

The vast majority of Cable Internet Providers use DOCSIS 3.1 technology in their networks.  It’s not clear exactly when DOCSIS 3.0 technology will become obsolete, however, the indicators above by Cable Operators are that they are moving away from this technology on their networks.


DOCSIS technology in your ISP’s Network

When you purchase a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, it is fully backward-compatible with a DOCSIS 3.0 network.  This means that if your ISP uses DOCSIS 3.0 in its network, you won’t have to worry because your DOCSIS 3.1 modem will work on the older technology.  It should be noted that your DOCSIS 3.1 modem WILL operate at DOCSIS 3.0 speeds (maximum downstream of 1 Gbps) because that’s the maximum of the ISP’s network.


DOCSIS 3.0 vs DOCSIS 3.1

We have also put together a comparison of DOCSIS 3.0 vs DOCSIS 3.1 in this article for you.


Does DOCSIS 3.1 make a difference?

Yes, DOCSIS 3.1 does make a difference.  It’s because DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest technology that offers additional features and improvements over the older DOCSIS 3.0 technology.

Here’s what you MUST know about DOCSIS 3.1:

  • DOCSIS 3.1 has speeds 10 times faster than DOCSIS 3.0
  • DOCSIS 3.1 has channel bonding that allows multiple channels to be bonded together to create a single, wider pipe for data to travel through. DOCSIS 3.0 supports up to eight channels (six downstream, two upstream), while DOCSIS 3.1 supports up to 32 channels (twenty-four downstream, eight upstream).
  • DOCSIS 3.1 is the only technology that can deliver multi-Gigabit speeds
  • DOCSIS 3.1 modems have more advanced security protection than older DOCSIS 3.0 modems.
  • DOCSIS 3.1 modems is backwards-compatible and will work on Cable Internet Providers’ networks that use DOCSIS 3.0.
  • DOCSIS 3.1 modems will “future-proof” your Internet connection by offering the much higher Gigabit speeds and improved security protection.
  • DOCSIS 3.1 has lower latency and is more energy efficient than DOCSIS 3.0.
  • DOCSIS 3.1 uses OFDM and OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) to create 3X higher throughput than single OFDM (which DOCSIS 3.0 has single OFDM) for more efficient performance.


DOCSIS 3.1 vs 3.0: Conclusion

So, which one is better? DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1? Go with DOCSIS 3.1. It offers faster speeds and more efficient encoding and stronger security protection than DOCSIS 3.0, making it the better choice for most users.

If you want the best possible Internet experience, Hitron’s CODA DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem available on Amazon is a smart choice.

The Hitron CODA is approved by Comcast XFINITY, Charter Spectrum and Cox Gigablast, so you can be sure that it will work seamlessly.

Want to read more articles on DOCSIS 3.1 or Cable Modem Routers?  Check out Hitron’s articles on these topics under our Learn section or our Blog articles.

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