Choosing the best modem and router for your internet service can be tough. Some service providers won’t allow you to choose your own devices and instead force you to rent one directly. Many times, though, you can use your device if you’d like.
To help you understand your options for Xfinity compatible routers and modems, we have compiled a list of our favorites. We’ll also talk about what makes a suitable modem or router and which options are the best specifically for you to use with your Xfinity service.
What is the Best Modem Router to Use with Xfinity?
Xfinity internet runs primarily as a cable internet service. Cable internet runs through the same lines as your cable TV, which means you’ll get the best internet access by going with a modem that is made specifically for cable internet services. All of our recommendations, therefore, will be for DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Services Interface Specification) 3.1 modems.
There are two modems that we’d recommend for use with Xfinity Internet, but choosing the one that’s right for you will be a matter of knowing which upload and speeds speed are right. The Motorola MB7420 is an excellent modem for most homes, but if you need an excellent high-speed modem option, you may want to check out the Netgear CM600.
According to Tom’s Guide, if you’re like most people, 300Mbps internet is plenty for the whole family, and that’s where the Motorola MB7420 tops out. Still, if you’ve got a ton of smart devices or use your internet to play games regularly while using other devices too, then you may want to utilize the Netgear CM600 for optimum service with minimal interruptions.
It’s important to note that you may not want to bring your modem and router to Xfinity since they provide some great extras if you rent their equipment directly. For instance, Xfinity offers parental controls in their app if you have their equipment installed, but can’t provide the same service for your equipment. You can also upgrade equipment for free when renting.
According to Xfinity, you should update your modem if it can’t keep up with your internet service’s top speeds or additional firmware or security. You’ll know if your modem can’t keep up with your internet speed when you experience frequent slowdowns or have to reboot regularly. Firmware is something you may have to dig into further to understand.
What Features are Important in a Good Modem?
There’s a lot that goes into keeping your home internet up and running, mainly because not all of your devices can easily communicate. Your modem acts as the interpreter for your devices. It connects your router to the cable coming out of your wall and then allows your phones, smart devices, etc. to speak to the router and each other.
There are several things you should look for in a good modem. The most vital feature in a modem is its compatibility with your internet service. If you have a modem that works with DSL service, but your service provider is a cable provider, you’re likely going to have some significant compatibility issues. That’s why we recommend DOCSIS 3.1 modems for Xfinity.
There are three features that make an excellent modem, and those are as follows:
Each of these features is essential to customize to your needs when you’re looking for a new modem. Design is often overlooked because we assume that all modems are roughly the same, but that’s not true.
You’ll want to look for a small enough modem to fit in your space in at least a semi-inconspicuous way. You’ll also want to ensure that the indicator lights on the device are easy to read and understand without being so bright that they act as a nightlight.
Speed is essential because it’s part of what makes your modem compatible with your internet service. If you have a modem that can only handle speeds up to 100Mbps, but your internet reaches speeds of 300Mbps, you will have slowdowns.
Finally, security is vital to pay attention to when you’re purchasing a new modem. It would help if you had solid security in your modem to keep your data and your WiFi private. If you don’t have good security, or if your laptop is vulnerable to certain flaws like the Cable Hunt software flaw, then you will need to ensure there is a software patch available for your modem.
What Features are Important in a Good Router?
A router is a device that works with your modem to setup WiFi services to your home. If you don’t have WiFi, you’ll either need to directly connect an ethernet cable from your modem to all of your devices or use your device’s data to use the internet. Ethernet is sometimes frustrating or doesn’t hook up correctly to all devices, so it’s best to avoid that route.
You will need a router for Xfinity services if you want to utilize WiFi with your service or plan to set up Xfinity Home.
The three features you should look for in a good router are whether you’ll need a mesh network, security, and how many devices you’ll have on the WiFi regularly.
According to Consumer’s Report, even the most powerful router may not be able to attach directly to your modem if it is in the one corner of the house while the router is in the other. In this case, you may need to connect a mesh network, multiple routers working together to connect WiFi throughout your house.
Security for your router is just as important as it is for your modem. You’ll need a router that lets you quickly and easily change the name and password on your WiFi, otherwise, you may have others steal your network and slow it down or hack into your devices to steal information.
Finally, you’ll want to know how many devices you’ll regularly have on your network. If you plan only to have a couple of devices or have a household with only one or two people, you’ll be able to get by with a more basic router. If you have regular houseguests, a large family, or many devices on your WiFi at a time, you’ll need a more advanced router.
The router we would recommend for Xfinity service is the Netgear Nighthawk Dual-Band AC1900. It’s easy to use, works for high speeds, and has a modem built-in so that you don’t have to worry about purchasing both items.