Modems and Routers

Renting a modem/router from your internet provider can cost $10-15 per month.  Buying your own modem and router will be an upfront cost, but you will save money in the long run.  Also, there’s a good chance that the modem you buy will be higher quality and capable of handling faster speeds, than the one you rent from your internet provider.

Note: this page contains affiliate links.  That means if you buy something using one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you (it helps pay for my Netflix).

You have options when looking at modems and routers.  First, definitions:

  • Modem – gives you access to the internet, devices must be plugged into it.
  • Router – connects to the modem and provides Wifi (allows wireless devices to connect to the internet)
  • Modem/Router – a modem and a router combination
Our Recommendations

Please make sure that the modem you choose is compatible with your internet provider.  Our recommendations are compatible with Xfinity.

Modem/Router combination

Our Top Pick!


ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC

  • 2 year warranty
  • Download speeds up to 1.4 Gbps (that’s 1400 Mbps)

This modem/router can handle a lot of speed. Likely, a lot more than you’ll be getting from your internet company.  But, you’re going to want one that can handle these speeds because I think home internet speeds will get faster and faster in the near future.

If you would rather have a separate modem and router, here are our recomendations

Modem (stand alone)


ARRIS SURFboard SB6190

  • 2 year warranty
  • Download speeds up to 1.4 Gbps (1400 Mbps)
  • Refurbished models are available at lower prices
Router (stand alone)


Netgear R6220

  • Performance at 5 ft away – 372.4 Mbps
  • Performance at 150 ft away – 309.8 Mbps

Other options:

Google Wifi 

This is perfect for:

  • Parents – it has great parental controls, managed by an app for your smart phone
  • Homes that have trouble getting reliable Wifi signals
    • Larger homes (over 3,000 sq ft)
    • Older homes with thicker walls

This is a series of routers that connect to provide your entire house with reliable Wifi coverage.  You can buy them in packs of 1, 2 or 3 (3 pack is pictured above). You will still need a modem to work with the Google Wifi system.  You will also need a (free) Google account.

They suggest a 3 pack for houses 3,000-4,500 square feet.

The Wifi system is managed by a smart phone app.  The parental controls allow you to pause the Wifi for certain devices during dinner or after bedtime.

Least Expensive Options

Here are the modems and routers that give you the best bang for your buck, they are both “Certified Refurbished”.  That means that they were returned to the store at some point and have been fixed.

Modem

ARRIS Surfboard SB6183-RB 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Router

NETGEAR AC1200 Smart Wi-Fi Router 

One last thing

If you would like to do your own research and find a modem and router on your own, here are some things you should know:

  • Buy a modem/router capable of handling fast speeds. You don’t want to have to replace your modem/router in a year when your internet speed gets quicker.
  • Look for 32 channels for downstream and 8 channels for upstream (32×8)
  • DOCSIS 3.1 modems cost more but also offer fastest speeds
  • You will need to make sure that your modem is compatible with your internet provider. Xfinity customers can check here.

Now let’s go old school and look at Antennas.