Best Cable Modem [ NETGEAR CM700 ]

NETGEAR CM700 (32×8) DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. Max download speeds of 1.4Gbps. Certified for XFINITY by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter,  (CM700)

  • Eliminate monthly cable modem rental fees – Up to $120 per year
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port.
  • Up to 1.4Gbps download and upload speed. Separate router required for WiFi. 32×8 channel bonding . Cable Broadband Internet service: Please check your cable Internet service provider web site for data speed tier compatibility.Microsoft® Windows® 7, 8, Vista®, XP, 2000, Mac OS®, or other operating systems running a TCP/IP network. Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 5.0, Firefox® 2.0, Safari® 1.4, or Google Chrome™ 11.0 browsers or higher
  • DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0
  • Ideal for streaming 4K UHD content, fastest downloads, and high-speed online gaming
  • Required for the fastest cable Internet speed tiers

If you’ve been keeping up to date with our blog, you know that we’ve always been a big fan of Netgear. They’re a high-quality manufacturer of both consumer and business equipment. One of the things that stand out about their brand is the unique combination of reliability and progress. Often, users find that buying the latest cutting edge technology is a bit of a double edge sword. You get access to the latest and greatest, but you’re at risk for paying a premium for hardware that still has issues that were left in as the product was rushed to market. Netgear doesn’t generally suffer from these problems. They aren’t always the first to market, but they rarely release anything unreliable.

First Look

One of the most obvious upgrades to the modem platform is the design. Netgear has managed to create something that looks aggressive, and yet subtle. It’s sharply angled lines, bright green LEDs, and sharp triangular vent holes scream performance. From the moment you set eyes on it, you’ll know it’s a performance piece of hardware, and yet it’s not kitted out with any unnecessary bling. They’ve simply taken all of the elements a modem needs, and touched up the design to create something that’s simply cohesive.

If you’re currently using a vendor bundled modem, you’ll notice that this one is a little larger. By any stretch of the imagination, you certainly couldn’t consider it ‘huge’. But it’s packed with powerful hardware, and this requires a little extra space. Fortunately, thanks to the built-in stand it has a very low footprint. Some modems can be used either on their side, or upright. With the CM700, we highly recommend that you keep it in the upright position. It uses both sides for cooling, so having the vents uncovered could impact performance.

Setup

While some modems require a complicated setup procedure, Netgear kept it simple with the CM700. For many users, getting it up and running involves nothing more than connecting the power, plugging in your Ethernet and cable connection, and pushing the power button. The modem takes everything from there. What makes this possible is the dynamic handshake. When your modem first connects to your ISP, the two devices have to agree on a method of communication. The CM700 can automatically test the different options, selecting the one that gives you the best performance. This makes the setup procedure completely hands off, something that will be appreciated by most consumers.

Unfortunately, some consumers will need to make a call to their ISP to get it activated. The modem does support automatic activation, but very few internet service providers are using this technology.

Bandwidth

The CM700 uses the fastest communication technology on the market, giving it a potential bandwidth of 1.4 Gbps. If you had internet service that was compatible, you could download data at rates of up to 175 MB per second. This is enough to download an entire 4K movie in a little over 10 seconds. Will you actually see these speeds in real life? Unfortunately, that’s unlikely. However, there are several benefits to having access to this technology.

Cable modems run on a system called DOCSIS. DOCSIS is, in essence, a method of converting data into a frequency that can be transmitted over a cable line, along with many others. DOCSIS 2.0, the previous version, allowed for a maximum throughput of 42Mb/s per channel. DOCSIS 3.0 allows these channels to be ‘bonded,’ or used together as if they were one ultra-fast connection. DOCSIS 3.0 currently uses a maximum of 32 bonded channels, and the CM700 supports all of them.

The problem is that there are very few ISPs who have the bandwidth to support offering these connections to consumers. If they did, their network would be flooded beyond their ability to supply. Despite this, we still recommend getting a 32-channel modem. The reason? Channels have a tendency to become crowded. Most of the modems on the market are still using four or eight channel systems. This means that those four channels can become very crowded. With the 32-channel system, the modem is able to select any of the available channels. You can skip the crowded ones, and take advantage of whichever are the least occupied, helping you to get the best connection speed possible.

Upstream channels are a little more limited, with only 8 available. But in the consumer networking space, this is still the best on the market. If you need a faster upload speed, you’ll be better off going with business class fiber.

Load Balancing

A modem isn’t anything like a faucet. You can’t just open a valve and let the bandwidth flow into your network. Every application you’re using, from your web browser to the latest online games, are dividing your active internet connection into individual packets. The job of the modem is to accept these packets and repackage them for transmission to your ISP.

Fortunately, this modem has a powerful processor that can handle large loads with ease. It’s got four independent cores, each of which is dedicated to high performance throughput.

Compatibility

The Netgear CM700 32×8 Cable Modem follows the DOCSIS 3.0 standard to a T. This means that it works with almost every ISP on the market. If you’re using a small local internet provider, it’s pretty safe to say that it will be compatible. Some of the larger ones require modems to be certified before they’re allowed on the service. Certification is a long and expensive process, so it hasn’t always been easy for us to find modems that offer good compatibility. Fortunately, Netgear has a relationship with many ISPs. This means that the CM700 is certified to work on XFINITY from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Bright House Networks and more.

Should I Own the Netgear CM700?

If you’re looking for the best in performance networking hardware, the Netgear CM700 32×8 Cable Modem is an excellent buy.