So, you decided to buy a cable modem or cable modem router for your home network. Now you need to figure out which is best for you. Choosing the right device depends on your specific home setup and your overall Internet needs. Here are some things to consider when buying a cable modem or combo device.
How to Choose the Right Cable Modem
The “right” cable modem depends on your needs. Here are some things to consider when buying a cable modem. You can use this as a checklist:
- Make sure the device is compatible with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Make sure the device supports super-fast speeds for a reliable, lag-free Internet and Wi-Fi connection
- Make sure the modem you get is easy to set up and manage
- DOCSIS compatibility for more bandwidth channels
- Whether you need a fixed or switchable frequency device for single vs multiple channel frequency
- OFDM vs OFDMA for single-user or multi-user data throughput
- Built-in MoCA support for extended Wi-Fi coverage
- Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6 support
- Does your home have enough space for separate cable modem and router devices? If not, you may want a hybrid device.
Will Any Router Work with a Cable Modem?
Since a cable modem can only connect a single device to the Internet (with a wire) you need a router to connect multiple devices at once and wirelessly. As long as your traditional Wi-Fi router is supported by your ISP, you can use a cable to connect the router’s network port to the WAN (Internet) port of the modem to get Wi-Fi.
If you want to avoid having two separate devices and you want to be certain that the router works with your cable modem, you can get a cable modem router (also called a gateway).
How to Choose the Right Cable Modem Router
The “right” cable modem router depends on your needs. The checklist above for cable modems also applies to cable modem routers.
The most important features to pay attention to are:
- Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6 compatibility
- DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1 standard
- Connection speeds
Does a Cable Modem or Cable Modem Router Make a Difference?
Whether you have separate devices or a single device does not matter since they perform the same functions. But there are pros and cons to consider between having separate devices or a combined device.
High-level things to consider:
Pros of using separate devices:
- Can have more features
- Often have more customization settings
- Easier to replace and upgrade individually
Pros of using a combo device:
- Takes up less room
- Requires only one power outlet
- Requires fewer wires and cables
In the end, choosing the right device depends on your situation and needs. Whether you choose separate devices or combined, you can get a solid home network setup.
Hitron cable modems and cable modem routers deliver high-speed broadband access and easy home networking. Ask your ISP about Hitron’s DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 cable modems and Wi-Fi 6-ready cable modem routers today. Have more questions about home networking solutions? Check out Hitron’s Learn Page for more.