Can I use any cable modem for Cable Internet?

Learn > Cable Modem & Routers > Can I use any cable modem for Cable Internet?

The right cable modem or cable modem router combo to use to get cable Internet in your home depends on a few things:

  1. Whether you are renting vs buying
  2. Certification and compatibility with your Service Provider
  3. Must-have features to consider

For example, if your Service Provider is Comcast XFINITY, then you will need an approved XFINITY cable modem. You can’t just buy any old modem and expect that it will work with XFINITY service.

When it comes to choosing the cable modem that is right for you, consider each of the three items listed above. Let’s dive deeper into why these things matter.

 

How to Choose the Right Cable Modem

  1. Renting vs Buying your cable modem. Which are you choosing?

    If you are renting your cable modem from your Internet Service Provider, then it will already be approved, certified, and compatible. But if you are buying your own device, then you will need to make sure it works with your Service Provider.

    So, if you are renting yours, you can skip the next item. But if you are buying your own device, do not skip that step!

  1. Make sure the cable modem is certified by, compatible with, and approved by your Internet Service Provider.

    Why:
    Not all cable modem devices work with all Internet Service Providers.

    For example, XFINITY has specific guidelines for which modems are approved. Check if yours is approved.

    The same goes for Spectrum. They also have specification guidelines.

    If you buy a device without checking if your Service Provider supports it, you will waste a lot of time and money. So, do the research before you buy!

 

  1. Consider what features are must-haves in your cable modem.

    Again, this matters more for when you buy your own device, because through renting you don’t always have the same freedom. Regardless of how you obtain your cable modem, when buying or renting, you want to make sure the cable modem has the following features:

  • Supports Gigabit speed plans – most DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems support Internet speed plans up to 6 Gbps, like Hitron’s CODA DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
  • Latest DOCSIS technologyDOCSIS 3.1 is the latest cable modem technology that provides faster speeds and better overall performance for your Internet connection.
  • Future-proof Your Internet – “future-proof” your Internet connection with DOCSIS 3.1 that will support the speed plans offered today and tomorrow by your Internet Service Provider.
  • Channel Bonding – the higher the number of bonded channels, the better and faster performance of your cable modem. Check out our table that explains Channel Bonding.
  • Downstream Capacity – look for supported speeds up to 10 Gbps for downstream capability. Here’s an article that explains both downstream and upstream capacity in modems.
  • Upstream Capacity – the more upstream capacity your modem has, the more data that can be transferred out to the Internet. Look for 1 to 2 Gbps in Upstream capacity.

 

We all want fast, reliable Internet that is easy to set up. So don’t skip out on any of those features.

If you want to get more technical, the ideal cable modem would also have the following features:

  • DOCSIS 3.1 certified
  • Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • DOCSIS 3.1 2×2 multi-carrier OFDM
  • DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 channel bonding
  • Switchable 5-85/5-204MHz Upstream channels
  • Backwards compatibility with DOCSIS 3.0

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I bring my own equipment to my service provider?
    You can purchase your own retail modem for use with your Service Provider, as long as the equipment is certified to work on their network. Before buying from the retailer of your choice, check your Service Providers specification guidelines and approved device lists. These should be on their website.
  2. How do I know if my device is supported and what happens if it isn’t?
    Check your service providers website for this information. For example, XFINITY lets you search your device through mydeviceinfo.xfinity.com. If your device is supported, it will show up. If not, then it won’t show up. If your device is not supported, you will need to consider replacing your equipment. Also keep in mind that modems require routers in most network configurations for features like WiFi or to connect multiple products. So, you will need to check that your separate router, or combo cable modem router/gateway is compatible with your service provider.

Hitron’s CODA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem is approved by Comcast XFINITY and Charter Spectrum.  The CODA has DOCSIS 3.1 technology to deliver fast and reliable speed performance to all of your connected devices and is available on Amazon.

For more answers to cable modem and cable modem router questions, check out these additional articles on Hitron’s ​Learn Page​.

 

NEW! Now Available at Retail!

CODA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

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