High speed internet and a wi-fi connection in a home or business is just as common and important as electricity. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 85% of homes in the United States have access to the internet. Nearly any form of communication uses some semblance of internet connection, and this trend is not going to slow down. A solid internet connection is downright necessary for being in school, and nearly every entity you do business with on the planet likely uses an internet connection. An internet connection is in many ways just as important as electricity.
If you are a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, the modem they provide for your internet connection can be much improved with a router. The ten very best of these routers will be analyzed, which will then be followed up by a short comparison between a standalone modem, a modem and router combination, and a standalone router. After that, there will be a brief tutorial on how to set up a router or modem/router combination.
Top 5 Router: Compared
Why you should get a modem/router combination as a Comcast Xfinity subscriber
Modem routers, or modem-router combinations are preferable to standalone modems in a couple of ways. First, it can lengthen a signal throughout the home or business. If one location in the building has a better signal than others, this can be addressed easily with a modem router. Second, it can allow more people in the building who do not have access to wi-fi acquire a hardwired connection between their device and the modem. This is useful if any given PC in the building does not have a wi-fi capability.
10 Routers for Comcast Xfinity subscribers
1. NETGEAR WiFi Cable Modem Router Combo (16×4) AC1600 DOCSIS 3.0 | Certified for Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, COX & more (C6250-1AZNAS)
One thing about routers is that not only should they have a powerful signal, any device in the room should be able to pick up the signal. The Netgear 6250 router is approved for plans with a fast speed, up to 300mbps. This is a good thing, as most households do not have plans with speeds that high, but also have multiple rooms that will need to pick the signal up. Because the Netgear 6250 router is so powerful, it can be placed as an access point in the middle of any room, where any device can pick the signal up. It also has an phone app that lets you manage the network from anywhere, including setting parental controls.
Another good thing about it is that it automatically creates wi-fi connections for guests, connections that are also just as secure as any main wi-fi connection.The Netgear 6250 router is going to present problems for those who wish to use direct connections, as there are only two ethernet cable ports on the end of it. This can also present an issue with connecting to the modem itself, as it does take a direct connection for the modem to activate the router. This leaves exactly one ethernet port to use, and this may not be enough for certain buildings that decide to use this router.
2. Motorola MG7540 16×4 Cable Modem plus AC1600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router, 686 Mbps Maximum DOCSIS 3.0 – Approved by Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Charter Spectrum, More
Any building that needs more direct internet connections via ethernet ports will benefit greatly from the Motorola 7540 routers, as it has four ethernet ports on the back of it. This is one of the best things about it, as some other routers do not have as many ethernet ports. It also beamforms at 2.4 GHz as well as 5Ghz, which extends wireless connections a lot further than any standard modem would. This makes the Motorola 7540 router ideal for bigger homes and buildings where a lot of devices would need a network connection.One thing that a lot of people buy routers for are to wirelessly connect and operate hardware such as printers.
3. NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300 (8×4) WiFi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router (C3000) Certified for Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Cablevision & more
Any medium sized home will benefit from the Netgear C3000 router, as it has a few components that can improve the range of the wi-fi signal in the home. The first of these is that it has DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which can actually enhance the speed of the modem that it is connected to, or at least up to the speed of the actual plan. What many do not know is that most modems do not perform at the exact speed of the data plan. So if the plan is set at 75mbps, for example, the standalone modem will usually only perform at speeds of 50 or 60mbps or so. The Netgear C3000 router can eliminate this issue and allow you to get the most out of your plan. The Netgear C3000 router also has ReadySHARE USB Access, which allows users to share USB hard drives via the USB port that it has on the back of it.Anyone who prefers a direct LAN connection via an ethernet port may need to look elsewhere, as the Netgear C3000 router only has two ethernet ports on the back of it. This can make it difficult for a PC without a wi-fi connection to connect to the modem without having a wi-fi adapter. And although the DOCSIS 3.0 technology is useful, it will not extend the range of the connection by a decisive amount if the router is used in a large area. If you are looking for a router to connect a lot of devices in a large home or office building, you may need to look elsewhere.
4. Motorola MG7550 16×4 Cable Modem plus AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router with Power Boost, 686 Mbps Maximum DOCSIS 3.0 – Approved by Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Charter Spectrum, More (Black)
One thing that is unfortunately common when it comes to doing things online, especially gaming or live streaming video, are Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Most standalone modems do not protect from these attacks and it can be very upsetting to experience them. The Motorola MG7550 router is prepared for this, and is equipped with a broadcom cable modem chipset to prevent DoS attacks. This is by far the best thing about it. The Motorola MG7550 router is also designed for larger homes, as not only does it come with four ethernet ports, but it also supports speeds up to 375 mbps. When integrated with the standalone modem, it will enhance a network connection and also increase the range.
The Motorola MG7550 is a cable modem. This means it can only be used in conjunction with cable providers. Therefore, it will not be compatible with DSL, Fiber Optic, or Satellite services. This is likely an obvious observation, but it should be mentioned. Some users say that the security features can be tricky to use. This happens because of the broadcom chip that prevents DoS attacks. Whenever the router is provisioned, the broadcom chip sees this as a DoS attack and sends this information to the ISP, which will then change the admin password. This can be troublesome.
5. NETGEAR CM400 8×4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. (NO WIRELESS/MODEM ONLY) Works for Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Cablevision & More
Any small household that does not have demand a lot of speed in their network plan will make good use of the Netgear CM400 router. It supports speeds up to 200mbps and has all of the features that the routers that support faster speeds has. It supports 8×4 downstream channels which is useful during peak times when servers are busy, and is equipped with DOCSIS 3.0 technology which will ensure that you get the actual speed that is listed on your plan. Users have said that it exceeds the expectations they have in terms of connection speed.
The Netgear CM400 router is suitable for a small apartment or house, but it appears that small places are all it is suitable for. It only has one ethernet port on the back of it, which almost proves that it is not for a big place. It also does not have a USB port on the back of it, so creating a network for file sharing is impossible with the Netgear CM400 router. Most cable routers and modems have an switch or a button that turns it on and off. This is not the case with the Netgear CM400. It has a reset button that you will need to push with the end of a paperclip or a writing utensil. While this may be negligible for some, it is still an inconvenience, seeing as other routers have a button on the back instead that can be pushed normally.
For anyone with a plan that has very high speeds, the Arris Surfboard router seems to be a very good option. It supports speeds over 300 mbps, and opens up many, many more channels than other routers do. Most routers support 8×4 downstream channels. While this is nice, this is only a small step up from what a standalone modem will provide. The Arris Surfboard modem supports an astonishing 32×8 downstream channels, almost guaranteeing that you will not encounter much downtime at all when it comes to connection. The Arris Surfboard router also contains DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which also guarantees high speeds. Anybody who enjoys watching streamed video or streams video themselves will benefit greatly from the Arris Surfboard router.
Despite all of these very good features, the Arris Surfboard takes a massive hit. And this massive hit comes in the form of its physical design. It only has two ethernet ports on the back of it, which, while standard for roughly half of all cable routers, is not acceptable for a powerful machine like the Arris Surfboard. Additionally, some users have said that the bottom ethernet port gets disabled when connecting it to a Comcast Xfinity router. This is a shame.
7. Motorola 16×4 Cable Modem, Model MB7420, 686 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0, Certified by Comcast XFINITY, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Cox, BrightHouse, and More
A concern that people who used Motorola routers had was overheating. In the past, their routers would overheat which would lead to problems. This was a big issue for smaller routers such as the Motorola MB7420, which would often overheat. One of the best things about the Motorola MB7420 is how it handles overheating. It has a lot more ventilation areas than past models, and this will prevent it from overheating. For its size, it can do a lot in terms of performance. It has 16×4 downstream channels, which is better than the standard of 8×4, and like most other cable routers, the Motorola MB7420 router contains DOCSIS 3.0 technology. Most routers do not have an on/off button or switch and instead contain a reset switch that must be poked with a writing utensil or a paperclip. The Motorola MB7420 router contains both of these, which makes it a bit easier to use than most.
There is one thing that the Motorola MB7420 needs to be perfect, and that is more ethernet ports. Most routers have either two or four ethernet ports. The Motorola MB7420 only has one, which can be very problematic, as an ethernet connection is necessary to link the router to the modem in the first place. This means if one of your devices needs a direct connection, you will need to find a way to connect the router to a switch and then connect the switch to the modem, if linking the router to the modem is even possible.
8. TP-Link TC-W7960 DOCSIS 3.0 300Mbps Wireless WiFi Cable Modem Router for Comcast XFINITY, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter, Spectrum
It is rare to see routers that are easy to use. Most of them do not have a lot of ethernet ports, and if they do have an ample amount of ports, they are not easy to turn on and off. The TP-Link router solves all of these issues. It is extremely easy to use, containing a button that physically turns the router on and off, as well as four ethernet ports. If you have devices that need a direct connection, and want to prevent overheating by physically turning the router off when leaving the house, the TP-Link router is a very good choice.
There is a massive downside to the user-friendly nature of the TP-Link router. And that is the massive amounts of connectivity issues it seems to have, according to most of its users. The TP-Link router does contain all of the standard things that any router should have, including multiple downstream channels, and DOCSIS 3.0 technology. However, the router will lose signal when streaming or if browsing too quickly. This can be a massive inconvenience. Most routers allow its users to configure a firewall with their own settings. While the TP-Link has presets for a firewall, it does not allow users to create their own settings. It is a shame that the TP-Link router has all these issues, seeing as it is very user friendly.
9. ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580-2 8×4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/Wi-Fi N600 (N300 2.4Ghz + N300 5GHz) Dual Band Router – Retail Packaging Black (570763-034-00)
It is pretty difficult to find user-friendly routers for smaller households, as most routers that are designed for smaller households are typically not as user friendly as they should be. They usually do not have a lot of ethernet cables to directly connect devices if necessary, and they are often difficult to reset or turn on or off. The Surfboard SBG6580 router does a good job at addressing this, being equipped with four ethernet cables instead of the usual two and also having the reset button on the front, and pushable with a finger and not a paperclip or writing utensil.
The Surfboard SBG6580 router is indeed user friendly, but it does not really offer anything else outstanding other than that, especially in terms of performance. Like almost any other router, it offers 8×4 channel extensions, and 3.0 DOCSIS technology, but that is standard for any given router. The Surfboard SBG6580 could definitely benefit from improving on these performance capabilities, and it is unfortunate that it does not, seeing as it is much more user friendly than the majority of cable routers.
10. Asus Modem Router Combo – All-in-one DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 Cable Modem + Dual-Band Wireless AC2600 WIFI Gigabit Router – Certified by Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Cox (CM-32)
There is a clear dichotomy that can be observed when analyzing cable routers. It seems that the better a router can perform, the less user-friendly it is. The more user friendly routers seem to have only standard performance. This is not true when it comes to the Asus router. The Asus router is not only very user friendly, it is also powerful. The Asus router comes with almost everything necessary for any given device. It has five ethernet cables, one of them being for a wide area network. It also contains a USB port which allows for electronic file sharing. The Asus router also expands channels drastically, containing a staggering 32×8 downstream channel interface. The Asus router will allow you to get the absolute most out of your internet service provider. True to its performance capability, the Asus router supports speeds up to 1734 mbps. This makes it an ideal choice for any home with almost any data plan.
Why the Asus router only has a 3.0 DOCSIS technology instead of 3.1 is questionable. While it is standard that all routers have 3.0 DOCSIS technology, the Asus router has all the capabilities to have 3.1 DOCSIS, but yet it does not. This is unfortunate and makes it less than perfect. Additionally, because of the high performance that the Asus router yields, the chances of it overheating are very high unless it is placed in a secluded area. This could affect the range of the connection.
Difference between a standalone modem, a modem-router combination, and a standalone router
What many need to understand is that the network connections are a form of communication. Many things are “talking” to each other during an internet connection. This requires two things: A modem and an internet service provider. When you get an internet connection and a plan, a modem is activated. No matter what, a modem must be present for an internet connection.
This is where the differences between the three things become relevant. A standalone modem grants you access to the internet limited to the capabilities of the modem itself. If you have experienced a weaker connection in one room of your building compared to another, it is because these modems have a limited range. This limited range is present because modems have limited range.
This issue is usually solved with a standalone router. Routers can be linked to a modem to increase the range of the network connection, making it possible for devices to enjoy the same kind of connections throughout the building that has internet access. Some routers are only compatible with cable modems (Comcast Xfinity is an example of a cable modem), and some are compatible with all modems. It would behoove you to check this before buying a standalone router.
Most internet service providers have now selected modem-router combinations for their services. Combining the necessary network communications that modems contain with the range enhancing effects of a router, a modem-router combination ensures that a building has a connection, but also ensures that the connection has a decent range and can perform at better speeds, or at least it provides some semblance of this.
How to set up a Comcast Xfinity router or modem-router combination
There are three things that are necessary for setting up a router or modem-router combination. The first thing is a coaxial cable. Comcast Xfinity utilizes a cable modem, so a coaxial cable is necessary. The second thing is a category 5, category 5e, or category 6 ethernet cable. This is necessary to link the Comcast Xfinity modem to the router. The last thing is the Comcast Xfinity modem itself.
Make sure the area that you are setting these things up around is very clear. There will be a lot of wiring, which can get in the way of the vents of the modem and the router, so making sure this is set up in a clear area will prevent overheating. It is preferable to do this in an area that is in the middle of the building. This will ensure that the range can spread properly.
Plug in both the modem and the router (or modem-router combination). You can use a power strip for this if necessary. The router/modem router combination should have a coaxial connection on the back of it. Screw in the coaxial cable and make sure it is tight. Link it to the coaxial connection on the modem. Do the same with the ethernet port.
Finally, turn the modem on first, then the router or modem-router combination. There should be lights flashing on both. If there are lights flashing on both, then they are properly linked. You can then use your device to perform whatever configurations you want.
Comcast Xfinity modems, while powerful enough in their own right, can be made much more powerful by using a router. There are a lot of things to look for in a router. Certain things are standard for some of these routers, and certain things make them more user friendly. If you are making the decision to link your Comcast Xfinity modem to a router, it is a very good idea to learn how to link the two devices, know the difference between all the devices, as well as know the facts about the routers you may want.