Best Modem Router Combo 2017 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide And Reviews

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What is the best modem router combo? Keep reading to see how can I help you to find it

Since the internet is pretty much everywhere and more and more things in our homes need the internet to function, a good internet connection is very important.  Phones, movies, shopping, and work—they all need a good internet connection.  The internet is required more and more in our everyday lives.

If you need to set up a wireless network at home, a modem router combo is generally a very good idea.  Especially if you need to get connected as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Sure, you could buy a separate modem and router, but a combo unit is definitely more affordable and easier to install.  Unless you are trying to set up a far-reaching online gaming network, a modem router combo will be more than efficient.

Modem router combos, even a very average one, will be more than capable of handling basic streaming and uploading.

The problem is that the market is totally flooded with thousands of router modem combos, and it is tough to choose the right one.

When selecting a device, you have to know exactly what your needs are.  This article is here to help you make an informed decision about your modem router purchase.

I will talk you through a list of my top 10 best modem router combos.  Every entry will have a detailed review as well as a list of the pros and cons of that particular model.

It is also important to know exactly what factors to consider when you buy your new modem router combo.  I will try to talk you through some of the important points that might help you choose just the right one for you!

best modem router combo 2017 - Ultimate Buyer's Guide

What exactly is a modem router combo?

The easiest way to explain this would be to state the obvious.

It is a modem, and a router combined.

The first part is the modem, which basically handles the connection from your ISP to your home.  You need a modem to connect to the internet.

The router takes care of the next step.  It takes the connection, and it distributes it to some different devices in an area.  It sometimes happens that a router can’t keep up with higher bandwidth use.  When this happens, you will experience poor network performance.

Buying a modem router combo is an easy way to ensure an easy setup and guarantees compatibility.  It is also generally cheaper than buying both devices separately and then connecting them.

Here is a quick of factors to keep in mind when scrolling through our top 10 best modem router list.  I hope they will help you choose an option that suits your specific needs very well.

How To Choose best modem router combo? (quick guide)

  • The quality of Wi-Fi you need
  • The speed of the connection you have
  • Amount of inputs
  • Signal strength of the router
  • Number of bands on the router
  • Number of devices it can handle
  • Does it have built-in security features
  • Your budget
  • Your specific internet needs (speed/bandwidth)
  • Warranty on the device
  • Size of the device
  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Can you travel with it?

Alright, let’s get into our list of top 10 best modem router combos:

NameLan PortsWireless Comm 
TP-LINK N300 4802.11 a/b/g/nCheck Price
ARRIS SURFboard (SBG6782) 2802.11b/g/n
Netgear N300 (C3000) (Ed’s choice #1)2802.11b/g/n
ARRIS SURFboard (SBG6580) (Ed’s choice #2)4802.11b/g/n
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 4802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Netgear N450 4802.11b/g/n
Netgear AC17504802.11b/g/n
Motorola MG7550 High-Speed Cable Gateway4802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
ARRIS SURFboard SBG75804802.11ac
Netgear N6004802.11 a/b/g/n
 Important:  Read the full review below >>

Best Modem Router Combo 2017 – Analysis and Award Winners

Here are ten detailed reviews of all the modem router combos on our list.  We did in depth research about each of the models.  We did interviews, technical tests and intensive research to help give you a conclusive breakdown of all the devices.

Make sure to pay attention to all of the features that relate to your specific modem router combo needs.

Let’s get into it!

Best Modem Router Combo #1: TP-LINK N300

The affordability factor is a big part of why the TP-LINK N300 is on this list.  But the price is not the only thing that matters.  Let’s take a closer look at the device and see if it is a good buy.

If you live in a smallish place and you are working with a modest broadband connection, or if you are looking to buy a travel router, the TP-LINK N300 could be perfect for you.

This is a super affordable router modem with stable Wi-Fi, but with a pretty short range.  If the range is important to you, like if you live in a big house or apartment, you should look at some of the other entries on this list.

Another great advantage of this model is that it is very easy to get started with it.

Basically, right out of the box.

It comes with a preset Wi-Fi network, and you can just find the name and password printed on the router’s underside.

Considering the cost of this model, the performance was really impressive.   At close range managed to maintain a real-world Wi-Fi speed of about 83Mbps.  This is not great but is definitely much better than would be expected considering the price.

The range is definitely not the strong point of this modem router.  We could not maintain a solid signal more than 75 feet away from it.  Sometimes an established connection can also get lost.  Remember that the connectivity and distance are both very much dependent on the amount of walls in the area that you are testing in.

It is important to bear in mind that this model would be a waste if you have a very fast broadband connection.  If that is the case, the router might not be able to handle it and that would be a big waste of a fast connection.  If your broadband does better than 50Mbps, you should be looking at something a bit beefier than the TP-Link N300.

This model is perfect for those of us with a tight budget and pretty basic networking needs.  It is so light, compact and affordable that it is an excellent candidate for traveling. It might be too small for those with a broadband connection faster than 50Mbps.

Pros
  • One of the most affordable modem router combos available today.
  • Light and portable enough to use while traveling.
  • Solid performance for its small size
Cons
  • If you have a very fast broadband connection, you will waste some of that speed on this model that can only handle up to 50Mbps
  • Short range.
  • The user interface is sometimes confusing to use. Unclear in distinguishing connected devices.

Best Modem Router Combo #2: ARRIS SURFboard (SBG6782)

The best thing about this model is that it seems to strike the perfect balance of all the elements you might look for when buying a modem router combo.

The proper name for the combo is theARRIS SURFboard SBG6782-AC DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem and AC1750 Router.  On the modem side of things, it offers eight downstream channels with DOCSIS 3.0 technology.  This is common with most of the new models, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking note of!  The modem is capable of download speeds of up to 343 Mbps, which is not bad at all.

The Router offers the latest wireless-AC (802.11) standards, delivering speeds of up to 1800 Mbps with dual-band of concurrent 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. It is compatible with all the great U.S. Internet service providers and includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

It really enables you to install a proper high-speed internet network in your home or even office.

The problems with the ARRIS SURFboard SBG6782-AC are mostly things that are generic difficulties with modem router combos.  While most people will be happy with the convenience of a combo, advanced network users may prefer the versatility, control, and features of using separate devices.

If you are specifically looking for a low-risk combo deal, this is the model for you.  The demand on the throughput needs is not too high.  Good balance of features and a reasonable price makes this an excellent middle of the road choice.

Pros
  • Supports MoCA.
  • Has plenty of extra features.
  • Dual-band.
  • Quicker up and download speed than previous models.
Cons
  • The 802.11ac throughput is below average and might annoy some users with high speed needs.
  • There have been some issues reported about the heating (or lack of cooling) of the device.
  • It does not come with a user manual and is not particularly easy to use or install if you have never done it before.

Best Modem Router Combo #3: Netgear N300 Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router (C3000) – Editor’s choice

Totally in step with their recent high-quality releases Netgear has done it again.  The C3000 Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router definitely helps to maintain the standard.

It’s an easy device to set up and generally causes a substantial performance and few hang-ups.

In addition to being a cable modem, the C3000 is also a single-band Wi-Fi router that supports WPS, WPA/WPA2-PSK, NAT, and has an SPI firewall. The device is also IPv6-compatible, for those of you who are interested.

The C3000 stands upright on a stand that is part of the design.  The exposure of most of the body helps a lot in keeping the device cool.

In the back, there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and one USB 2.0 port for connecting an external hard drive. The front has the usual LED display where you can monitor power, upstream traffic, downstream traffic, WAN, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, wired status, and the USB connection status.

Setup on the C3000 is very simple.  It comes with a basic setup guide that will take you step by step to the whole thing.  As with other Netgear entries on this list, the C3000 comes with the Genie app that really makes the user experience a lot easier!

The performance of the C3000 is as good as you are going to get before you upgrade to dual-band.  So unless you are a serious gamer of having unusually high Wi-Fi demands, the C3000 will more than meet all of your needs.

The C3000 has the ability to streamline bandwidth in such a way that can up to triple your download throughput.  It is simple to set up has extras like the USB port, and good throughput for a single-band router.

Pros
  • It improves your downstream throughput.
  • The C3000 functions as a wireless router.
  • It is one of the easiest devices to set up.
  • It has the user-friendly Genie management interface.
  • Comes with a USB port for sharing hard drives. Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections
Cons
  • The router only supports up to 300Mbps throughput which might be a problem if you have a very fast connection potential.
  • The C3000 is single-band only.

Best Modem Router Combo #4: ARRIS SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 with N600 Router (SBG6580) – Editor’s Choice

This is another entry on our list that this is very easy on the budget while offering an impressive array of features and improvements. That is the big reason why it is one of the editor’s choices for this list.

The ARRIS SBG6580 is a excellent choice for the type of customer that does not want to spend too much but is looking for speed that is a little bit better than average.

The router on the ARRIS SBG6580 will also provide you with an impressive range, especially considering the price.

This device is paired with DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which really works much better than the DOCSIS 2.0. That came before it.

This model is also enhanced with N600 capacity, which basically just means that it can help you get a very fast download speed. A download speed of 343 Mbps to be specific.  And that is nothing to sneer at!

The SBG6580 has very impressive security features.  It can really keep nosy neighbors and hackers from invading your network, and it supports advanced encryption services for data.

It also offers the possibility of parental control features if you want to filter out unwanted content perhaps.  This refers specifically to the parents out there who would like to clean up their children’s internet experience.

Last, but not least the SBG6580 has a highly intuitive user interface that makes it really easy to manage multiple networks. This UI can be accessed via PC, tablet or smartphone.

This is an excellent middle of the road modem router combo that offers a little bit of everything without breaking the bank.  The security features are extra helpful for those of you who live in highly populated areas where you might be vulnerable to hackers.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Upgraded security features
  • Wide range router
Cons
  • It has some issues with overheating.
  • Unsatisfactory tech support

Best Modem Router Combo #5: NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

The Netgear company claims that the Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi Cable Modem Router (a.k.a. The Nighthawk C7000 is the highest-performance cable modem and Wi-Fi router hybrid on the market.  That is quite a claim to make, but they might just be right!

What is unique about this combo device is that it combines a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with a 1900Mbps 802.11ac Wi-Fi router.  That is an impressive combination that is bound to break some boundaries in the router modem combo world.

The Nighthawk combo can support Internet download speeds of up to 960Mbps.  That is very close to the maximum throughput possible with the DOCSIS 3.0 standard that it’s based on.

The problem is, that this device might be TOO good.  U.S cable broadband speeds actually top out at 505Mbps.  So even at its best, you are not even really pushing the Nighthawk.

The device supports a USB plugin which enables you to connect a USB hard drive into its Netgear ReadySHARE-enabled USB port and access the data from any device in your network.

This is a high performance type of device.  It is great if you have the money, or if you have very demanding internet needs.  The Nighthawk is an incredible piece of technology, but it comes at a price.  Make sure your broadband connection is fast before buying this model!

Pros
  • Impressive speed.
  • Wide range.
  • Great security and network sharing.
Cons
  • Some reports of dropped connections
  • Expensive

Best Modem Router Combo #6: Netgear N450 Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router

One of the first things that you will notice when you start using this model is the fast speed.  It sports speeds of up to 8 times faster than the older 2.0 platform, DOCSIS 3.0 gives a solid improvement on the predecessor.

The Netgear N450 has built-in wireless technology and theoretically you can reach Wi-Fi speeds of up to 450Mbps.

The 4 Gigabit LAN ports give your wired devices the bandwidth they deserve. Plug in your console or PC to enjoy super-fast reliable online gaming and HD streaming.

The Netgear N450 DOCSIS 3.0 router has a decent range for a router in its price range.  It would work at home as well as in a small office.

The device has added security features that will help to protect you from hackers while you surf the internet.  It also has parental control and guest wireless options to explore.

One of the greatest strong points of this model is how incredibly easy it is to set up and start using.  It is literally possible to be surfing minutes after taking it out of the box.

This is an affordable, but reliable modem router combo.  It is surprisingly fast and takes up very little space.  Perfect for home or small office use.

Pros
  • Slim design saves on space.
  • Great value for money
  • Added security features
  • Solid performance in terms of speed and range
Cons
  • Sometimes has software issues and has to be reset.

Best Modem Router Combo #7: Netgear AC1750

The NETGEAR AC1750 Wi-Fi Cable Modem router is one of those modem router combos where you know you are making a conservative but reliable choice.

You will save money on rental cost and have a solid performing modem router combo device that is more than capable of fulfilling the basic internet needs and beyond.

It offers to 16x faster download speeds than its predecessor with a theoretical speed of up to 680Mbps.

Some other selling points of this device are the latest technology DOCSIS 3.0 certified to work with some of the major US Cable-Internet providers as well as a USB-port that enables you to access and even share your hard drives wirelessly.

The Netgear AC1750 supports four upstream channels as well as 16-downstream channels that provide you with reliable and efficient Internet access.

This is an affordable buy with a low risk guarantee on performance with even some added features like the USB-port.

Pros
  • Faster download speeds
  • USB port access.
  • Basic easy setup.
Cons
  • Short warrantee
  • Not compatible with a Time Warner Cable

Best Modem Router Combo #8: Motorola MG7550 High-Speed Cable Gateway

The MG7550 is another middle to high end entry on our list.  It is a 16×4 686 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with a built-in AC1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router with Power Boost

It has impressive speed and range performance and is compatible with very high speed broadband connections.

The installation and setup of this model are easy enough and even non-tech savvy customers will have no problems getting started.

Unlike some of the other models on this list, Motorola provides above average customer support to anyone who might run into problems with installation or usability.

The Power Boost amplifies the wireless signal to the legal limit and increases speed and range.  It is an exciting piece of wireless technology and definitely worth a try.

The built-in AC1900 Dual Band wireless router provides the range, wireless speeds, and networking support needed for wireless n/ac/g/b devices including smartphones, computers, tablets, and HDTVs.

The router includes safety features like an advanced firewall, parental controls, and a browser-based configuration manager.

Excellent modem router combo if you have pockets deep enough.  Not the most expensive, but it’s up there.

Pros
  • Fast speed
  • Wide Range
  • Two-year warranty
  • Extra safety features
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Overheats easily

Best Modem Router Combo #9: ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580

ARRIS SURFboard modems are usually seen as some of the fastest and most reliable modems available.  This model is definitely no exception and will appeal to all of you that like having all the newest technology toys.

The ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580 gives you access to more bonded channels than most other similar products on the market.

The capacity of this new SURFboard is still way beyond what the US can currently offer in terms of broadband speeds.  But that might always change, and you never know when the infrastructure will catch up with the technology.

If you’re going to have such an impressively fast modem, it only makes sense that you would want to route that will keep up.  The dual-band 802.11ac network is capable of impressive levels of throughput, and can actually a peak of 1750 Mbps.  That number is only theoretical, but it gives you a good idea of the potential of this piece of technology.

The router is fully compatible with virtually every Wi-Fi networking card on the market. However, you’ll need an 802.11ac adapter to take advantage of the high speed it offers. If you’re purchasing is the guy for its performance, make sure that your devices can keep up with it.

Definitely one of my favorite modem router combos.  Impressive speed and range.  It comes at a price, but it is totally worth it in my opinion.

Pros
  • State of the art technology
  • Impressive speed.
  • Good range
Cons
  • Ahead of broadband infrastructure
  • Expensive

Best Modem Router Combo #10: NETGEAR N600

This is definitely one of the fastest wireless routers on our list.  There are a number of reasons why this model is one of our favorites on this list.

It is very easy to set up, the feature set is strong, and it has a particularly good throughput. The N600 has features that will attract not only tech-savvy homes but could also be perfect for business purposes.

As I’ve mentioned before, this is also one of the fastest routers we’ve tested and fast is always good!

It offers impressive throughput rates that really leaves many competitors behind.  With a dual-band router that can provide a maximum theoretical throughput of 300 Mbps, you know you are in for a fast run.

As you know, in the real-world a wireless router can get to about half of theoretical throughput.  In this case, that is still an impressive number of 150Mbps.

What has been particularly interesting in our tests was that the signal remained very steady when we started moving away from the router.

Netgear uses their Genie app to help people with the setup of the device.  It is a significant improvement on the old Setup Wizard!  Some very basic knowledge of wireless networking, however, will be helpful when setting up your N600.  But, you know, there is nothing you don’t know that the internet can’t teach you!

It has been a significant trend in recent years for routers to get smaller, and thinner — much like laptops and other electronic devices. The N600, however, is much bulkier than most other Wi-Fi routers out there today.  This might be a downside if space is a precious commodity in your home or office

This is a very fast router.  It is ideal for home or small business purposes.  If you plan on using it from home, it is better if you are a bit of an IT nerd, or at least quite clued up.  It is not the prettiest of modems, or the lightest but definitely one of the fastest!

Pros
  • Very fast router
  • It comes with a useful setup application (Genie software)
  • Comes loaded with useful features
Cons
  • It is quite a big router compared to competitors
  • Linked to the previous point — it is pretty heavy
  • Some might find the setup long and difficult. Not for technophobes!

Things To Consider When Buying your modem router combo – Detailed List of considerations 

At the start of this article, we gave you some points to consider when you buy your modem router combo.  Here I would like to give you a more detailed explanation of some of the most important things to keep in mind when you buy your device.

Budget

This is always the first and easiest thing.  But it cannot be overstated.  Yes, we all want to save some money, but you have to remember that you get what you pay for.

Sure, there are affordable options, but they always come with certain sacrifices that you would have to be willing to make.

If you are smart about it and know what factors are important to you, it will be easy to make a choice that suits your needs and your budget.

If for example, you have a slow internet connection, it will be a waste to buy modem router that can handle high speeds.  In this case, it is easy to save money.

However, if you want to do serious gaming or big uploads, you might have to fork out a bit more money for a modem router that meets your needs.  Which brings us to our next point?

Internet needs

This is a simple, but important consideration.  If you only use the internet for social media and the occasional surfing of your favorite websites, it makes sense to get a smaller modem router combo than if you want to do serious online gaming.

There are modem routers on our list that can handle a pretty heavy internet demand, as well as more modest ones.

Nature of your home or office

This is a concern that has to do mostly with the router.  If you would like to cover a big area with the connection, you need to make sure that the router component of your combo is very good.  The larger the area and the more walls and obstacles in the space you want to be covered, the more powerful the router will have to be.

Size and portability of the device

You might need a device that is specifically for traveling.  If this is the case, make sure you get one that is small and easy to set up.  You will most likely have to make some sacrifices in terms of performance and coverage, but when you travel, size is really what counts.

Final Words – Wrapping it up

Considering how the market of modem router combos is becoming increasingly full, it can become more and harder to find the right device.  Especially since we all have such different internet needs depending on our unique situation.

My hope with this list is to help you, exactly in this regard. We did a lot of research, did tests and spoke to many experts trying to make something that can keep you as the consumer informed about your choices.

I really hope that this list does help you to do just that — make the best option.  Of course, there is no actual “right” device.  There might be many out there that would cater to your needs.  I just hope that this list helps you find one!

Some of the devices are aimed at those of us who are working with a tight budget.  Others, again are for those who have more severe internet needs and who prioritize speed and range.  We tried to include something for everybody.

Please let us know if you enjoyed our list.  Did we leave something out?  Let us know in the comments.

Like or share this article if you found it helpful!

Till next time, happy surfing!

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