While upgrading networking equipment can be a hassle, it’s an essential part of optimizing your Wi-Fi and getting the best speeds and connection possible. Before you make a purchasing decision, it’s important to understand how cable modems, routers, and cable modem router combos work and the must-have features for the best experience possible.
Cable Modem vs. Router vs. Cable Modem Router Combo
The modem and router are the primary networking components within the home. The modem is the device that connects your home to the Internet via the Internet Service Provider (ISP). The router partners with the modem to deliver that Internet connection to devices via Wi-Fi. While some people opt to configure their home networks with individual modem and router units, cable modem router combos offer the convenience of both the modem and the router in a single piece of hardware.
Essential Features of a Cable Modem Router
- Modern Wi-Fi Standards – To achieve an optimized home networking experience, choose a cable modem router that features the most up to date Wi-Fi standard. A new modem router combo today should include Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and/or Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standards.
- Versatility – Demands on a home network are constantly evolving, so your home networking equipment needs to be adaptable. Examples of cable modem router versatility include: voice support, built-in MoCA support, GigE ports, switched or fixed frequency.
- Security – Protecting your network and the connected devices is essential to a healthy home network. Most cable modem routers offer the option of creating a guest network, enabling parental controls, and establishing other security protocols to protect your network.
- Ease of Set-Up and Management – Since a cable modem router is two pieces of hardware in one device, it already offers superior ease of set up. A few simple connections will have the hardware up and running. Cable modem router combos are also easy to maintain as they are often accessible to your ISP for troubleshooting.
Creating the ideal home networking set up is often situational. Rather than purchasing two pieces of hardware and struggling through an installation project, you can streamline your set up, saving you time and space for a polished look and an optimized networking experience.