A modem is a hardware device that allows you to connect to the Internet. It is the wired device that communicates directly with your Internet service provider (ISP) to get the Internet connection and then pairs with a router to give you WiFi.
A cable modem is a type of modem that uses coaxial wiring to transmit data. This is the same wiring used for cable TV services that exists in most homes already. When considering which modem to invest in, an important component of every cable modem to pay attention to is the DOCSIS standard.
What is DOCSIS?
DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It’s the international standard used to transfer data over cable TV systems, which makes it possible for any cable modem to work with any cable TV system (coaxial cables). The higher the DOCSIS protocol (2.0, 3.0, 3.1) the faster and better the transmission.
DOCSIS 3.1 is the latest standard and enables a new generation of cable services and helps operators meet customer demands for high-speed Internet. It is also backward compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 devices meaning that DOCSIS 3.1 downstream can operate with a DOCSIS 3.0 upstream. Likewise, DOCSIS 3.1 upstream can operate with a DOCSIS 3.0 downstream channel.
A DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem allows for superfast speeds up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). This means that you can get fiber-like Internet speeds without having fiber optic Internet installed.
Having a modem that supports DOCSIS 3.1 doesn’t automatically mean that you are guaranteed 10Gbps, but you will get very fast Internet. Say you have an ISP speed package of 250Mbps (which is average), DOCSIS 3.1 will improve your speeds, signal level and reliability and you only have to pay for 250Mbps from you ISP and not a higher plan package.
Regardless, the impact of DOCSIS 3.1 technology is powerful. It allows broadband Internet subscribers benefits:
- Fast speeds with support for up to 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream capacity.
- Quality experience by reducing network delay so things like online gaming are lag-free even if multiple people are connected to the network.
- Higher network capacity allows more people and devices to transmit data at the same time.
Internet speeds are highly dependent on the modem you use. Get the most out of your Internet plan and improve your speeds by upgrading to a DOCSIS 3.1 powered modem.