DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modems Explained

Learn > Cable Modem & Routers > DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modems Explained

We will attempt to give you an explanation of DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems.  Cable Internet modems, use DOCSIS which stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS), as the standard that regulates the cable modems’ speed, bandwidth data transfer and internet services.


What exactly is DOCSIS 3.1?

DOCSIS 3.1 is the most recent specification standard available. The DOCSIS standard allows data to transfer via TV systems or coaxial cable lines. There have been 5 versions of DOCSIS, each evolving to meet the broadband needs of the time. DOCSIS 3.0 was released in 2006. Since then, there have been major changes in technology that require more from existing networks. DOCSIS 3.1 introduced massive improvements to the previous version:

  • Downstream capacity: from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps
  • Upstream capacity: from 200 Mbps to 1-2 Gbps
  • More energy efficient
  • Improved quality of experience
  • Focused improvement on speed capacity, efficiency, progression, OFDM spectrum transmission, and wideband channel.

Do I Need a DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem?

Faster speeds, a more efficient network, and a better Internet experience? You may think those are well worth upgrading to a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem immediately, but unless your Internet cable provider has upgraded their infrastructure, you don’t need to upgrade your modem exclusively for DOCSIS 3.1. That being said, change happens rapidly in technology, so upgrading to a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem would ensure that your home network is able to efficiently manage changes to your home networking needs. DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems are backwards compatible with DOCSIS 3.0, meaning it will work with your existing plan and allow you to upgrade your plan without needing to upgrade your modem again. Investing in a DOCSIS 3.1 modem would vastly improve your gaming and streaming experience while also delivering a stable Internet connection to more devices. Whether you upgrade your cable modem from a DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1 is personal preference.

DOCSIS 3.1 is a fairly new technology that is still evolving. Upgrading to a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem can be costly, but it can improve your networking experience now and into the future as your networking needs change.

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