Hey, us gamers aren’t difficult to please. Leave us to our devices for days at a time and we’re good to go. Unless… lag strikes or even the dreaded connection drop happens. Yup — it’s a serious problem that plagues gamers around the world. The good news? There’s a way to minimize the damage.

Lightning-quick download speeds, unrivaled convenience, and a reliable connection are all possible with the best modem for gaming. Say goodbye to lag and lost connections, and play with the pros! This article walks you through the top 10 best modems for gaming, and takes a look at how to use and configure your new best friend. Ready to roll? Let’s get started.

Zoom Out: Comparison Table of the 10 Best Modems for Gaming

We’ve curated this comparison table to help you find the best modem for your setup. The options are listed in price-ascending order and compares the most important specs.

ImageModemMax DownloadWarrantyDOCSISCost
TP-LINK TC-7610 Cable Modem343 Mbps2-3 Years3.0
ARRIS Surfboard SB6190 Cable Modem1.4 Gbps2 Year3.0
Netgear CM600 Cable Modem960 Mbps1 Year3.0
Linksys AC1900 Modem & Router960 Mbps1 Year3.0
TP-LINK TC7650 High Speed Cable Modem1000 Mbps2 Years3.0
Motorola VDSL/ADSL Modem & Router1600 Mbps2 YearsN/A
Motorola MB8600 Cable Modem3.8 Gbps2 Years3.1
Asus AC2600 Modem & Router Combo1372 Mbps12 to 36 Months3.0
Netgear Orbi All-in-One Cable Modem Router1.4 Gbps5 Years after "end of life" listing3.0
Netgear Nighthawk X4S Modem & Router1 Gbps1 Year3.1

Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 10 Best Modems for Gaming 2021

Here, you’ll find a detailed look at the top 10 best modems for gaming.

1. Netgear Nighthawk X4S Modem & Router

Our pick for best modem router for gaming

NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S DOCSIS 3.1 Ultra-High Speed Wifi Cable Modem Router Combo-min

The Nighthawk X4S is a cable powerhouse delivering speeds up to 6Gbps! The powerful 1.5GHz processor and active antennas deliver unrivaled coverage across the house, while DOCSIS 3.1 technology delivers cutting-edge tech stability. It’s quite possibly the best modem router combo for gaming.


  • Modem & router
  • Up to 6Gbps
  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • Works with Comcast and Cox

2. TP-LINK TC7650 High Speed Cable Modem

Our pick for best cable modem for gaming

TP-Link TC7650 DOCSIS 3.0 (24x8) High Speed Cable Modem-min

Looking for the best gaming cable modem? The TC7650 is a high-speed workhorse with 10GHz dual-core processors and 24×8 channels. The 2 year warranty is among the best in the industry and customer support is second to none. It’s an affordable option for gamers seeking the best speeds on the market.


  • Modem only
  • Up to 1Gbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast, Spectrum, Suddenlink, Mediacom, and WOW

3. Asus AC2600 Modem & Router Combo

Our pick for best modem for HD gaming

Asus Modem Router Combo AC 2600-min

If you need a zippy modem and router that can deliver HD gaming and 4K streams, you’ve found it. The AC2600 is a 32×8 DOCSIS 3.0 workhorse offering speeds up to 1.3Gbps. Plus, it features the latest wireless technology and 4x Gigabit Ethernet for all your computing needs.


  • Modem & router
  • Up to 1.3Gbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox

4. Motorola MB8600 Cable Modem

Our pick for best modem for gaming and streaming

MOTOROLA DOCSIS 3.1 Gig-Speed Cable Modem-min

Say goodbye to modem rental fees with the MB8600 by Motorola. It’s a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that can tackle service speeds from 1 to 1000 with no hassle. The Active Que Management system reduces latency and features blazing-fast load speeds. As for reliability? It offers an unbelievably stable connection for days-long gaming sessions.


  • Modem only
  • Up to 1Gbps
  • DOCSIS 3.1
  • Works with Comcast, Cox, CableONE, and more

5. Linksys AC1900 Modem & Router

Our pick for best modem and router for gaming

Linksys High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 24x8 AC1900 Cable Modem Router-min

Perhaps the best router and modem for gaming, the Linksys AC1900 is certified for use by the top cable providers in the country. It features DOCSIS 3.0 technology and speeds up to 300Mbps. Plug and play connectivity works out of the box, making setup a cinch.


  • Modem & router
  • Up to 300Mbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast and Spectrum

6. ARRIS Surfboard SB6190 Cable Modem

Our pick for best internet modem for gaming

ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 32x8 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem-min

ARRIS makes a variety of high-quality connective gear, and the SB6190 is no exception. To that end, you can expect download speeds up to 1.4Gbps and 32×8 channels for unrivaled stability. It’s perfect for all your gaming needs, as well as streaming and UHD movies.


  • Modem only
  • Up to 1.4Gbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and more

7. Netgear CM600 Cable Modem

Our pick for best high-speed modem for gaming

NETGEAR CM600 (24x8) DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem-min

Another offering by Netgear, the CM600 eliminates rental feels while delivering lightning speeds over large areas. It’s compatible with a variety of ISPs and is perfect for fast downloads and online gaming. Plus, it works with any router or gateway, making setup as simple as plug-and-play.


  • Modem only
  • Up to 960Mbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, CableONE, and more

8. Motorola VDSL/ADSL Modem & Router

Our pick for best VDSL gaming modem


While most of the modems on our list are for cable providers, we want to reach every gamer possible. Say hello to the Motorola MD1600, perfect for VDSL and ADSL providers like CenturyLink and Frontier. You’ll save money on rental fees while achieving higher speeds up to 300Mbps! Plus, the built-in router makes wireless connectivity a breeze. Perhaps the best modem/router for gaming on VDSL.


  • Modem & router
  • Up to 300Mbps
  • Works with CenturyLink, Frontier, and more

9. TP-LINK TC-7610 Cable Modem

Our pick for best budget gaming modem

TP-Link TC-7610 DOCSIS 3.0 (8x4) Cable Modem-min

Coming in under $50 at time of writing, the TC-7610 is a fantastic modem for gamers on a budget. Offering download and upload speeds at 343Mbps and 143Mbps respectively, you can ditch the expensive rentals and game on your own terms. Plus, this modem supports IPv4 and IPv6 for safe and reliable connectivity.


  • Modem only
  • Up to 343Mbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more

10. Netgear Orbi All-in-One Cable Modem Router

Our pick for best gaming modem

NETGEAR Orbi All-in-One Cable Modem + Whole Home Mesh-Ready WiFi Router-min

Don’t let the pretty design fool you. The Netgear Orbi packs everything you need to game with the pros. It’ll deliver high speeds across the entire house while eliminating dead zones and maintaining a stable connection. It works with all major cable providers and is incredibly easy to set up. As for maintenance? The Orbi app makes configuring your settings a cinch!


  • Modem & router
  • Up to 2.2Gbps
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Works with Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more

Gaming Modem Guide Part I: What is a Modem for Gaming?

A modem for gaming is simply a modem that’s designed for (or works well with) online gaming services. Since online gaming requires an internet connection to communicate with distant servers, a communication device is required. That’s where the best modem for gaming comes in.

Ethernet cable

How do Modems Work?

The term ‘modem’ is short for modulator-demodulator. Modems function by translating the digital data from the computer into analog waves, and vice-versa. This allows the data to travel along cable and telephone lines, enabling constant communication between your computer and the gaming servers. In other words, they get you online and ready for action.

Modem and router

Naturally, the best modems for gaming are more powerful than standard options, enabling faster data transfer and reliable connections. This is a huge boon for online gamers who rely on lightning-fast FPS and down-to-the-wire actions that can make or break their gameplay.

Gaming Modem Guide Part II: Benefits of the Best Gaming Modems

Let’s take a look at some of the awesome benefits that the best modems for gaming have to offer:

  • Speedy. Top-notch modems maximize your internet service, providing you with the quickest Mbps, or megabits per second. This is perfect for achieving the highest FPS and transfer speeds.
  • Reliable Connection. The best gaming modems utilize quality materials and the latest technology like DOCSIS 3.1 and multiple upstream channels. This ensures lightning speed and total reliability.
  • Work Flawlessly with Routers. Gaming modems are designed to sync perfectly with your gaming router, ensuring that wireless connections are fast and reliable. Plus, some of the models on our list have a router built-in for streamlined efficiency!
  • Built for Gamers. Fortunately, gaming gear is top quality in the computer tech world— and the best modems for gaming are no different. Expect a quality experience that syncs perfectly with your gaming rig.

Remember that each modem is unique and comes with its own set of features and specs. But what is the best modem for gaming?


Gaming Modem Guide Part III: Choosing the Best Modem for Gaming

With lots of great options, it can be hard to pick the best modem for your gaming setup. It also really depends on your specific needs and internet settings. Let’s take a look at a few of the things you’ll have to consider when making a final choice:

  • Modem only vs. 2-in-1 w/ router
  • Upload & download speeds
  • Compatibility
  • Brand & price

Choosing a 2-in-1 option is a great way to save space and money if you’re interested in a wireless connection. Plus, the experience is streamlined with high upload and download speeds, ensuring a stable connection and consistent gameplay.

However, you’ll also need to check the modem’s compatibility to make sure it works with your ISP, gaming rig, and other equipment. Try picking a brand that’s recommended by your service provider and carefully read the specifications of any model you’re considering. Fortunately, the models on our list will all provide you with excellent internet for exceptional gameplay.

Gaming Modem Guide Part IV: Installing Your Modem for Gaming

Setting up and configuring your modem for gaming is actually a simple process! You may have to call your service provider for authorization, but it’s just a matter of plugging your new modem in and configuring the settings from your PC.

For a visual guide, check out the video by Netgear on YouTube. While your chosen modem may vary, the process is pretty universal.

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