By Jim Jones
*As an Amazon Associate GamingTopTens earns from qualifying purchases
When you game online, you need all of your equipment to be the best you can afford. This goes for everything from your keyboard and mouse combo, to your RAM and GPU. If you’re a serious, online multiplayer gamer, there is no aspect more important to every round you play, than your connection consistency. Enter: your modem.
Your modem is what bridges the gap between single-player, and the rest of the gaming universe. Even with a top-tier gaming rig and a gigabit fiber backbone, you aren’t getting anything important done with a cheap, or even worse, a leased modem. You need a reliable, fast modem that can not only support your marathon domination sessions but won’t leave your other connections stranded either.
We’re going to take a look at the 10 best modems for gaming that are on the market right now. Modems that you can go add to your cart, have in your hands quickly and can be put to work. Even the most bandwidth-hungry setups won’t be bottlenecked by these bad boys. Let’s take a look.
The Netgear Orbi All-in-One Cable Modem Router is a Wi-Fi 6 modem and router that can blast its signal over a massive 3,000 square feet of home space with a strong, clear, consistent Wi-Fi signal. The DOCSIS 3.1 compatibility supports gigabit speeds and more. It is also available with a mesh system to boost the signal even more in large homes.
The tri-band technology keeps your traffic out of the way of the communication between your router and the satellite. This gives you less interference and better speeds. The Wi-Fi 6 technology is fully backward compatible with all previous modem and router technologies. You get more bandwidth capacity, less throughput collision, all in a modem that is perfectly compatible with your internet service provider.
In addition to all this, the Netgear Orbi All-in-One Cable Modem Router comes with the Netgear Armor protection and companion app, to keep your network as safe as possible no matter what. It manages threats intelligently so you can worry about other things
- + 2 Gbps top speeds
- + Tri-band technology
- + Huge signal range
- – Relatively high price point
The TP-Link 16×4 AC1750 is designed for use on the major internet provider networks across the nation, without issues and with minimal setup. This saves you equipment fees and puts the control of your network back in your hands. The speeds of up to 1.7 Gbps will give you unhindered access to the world of stable games and consistent connections.
Using both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels simultaneously, the TP-Link 16×4 AC1750 can provide pure download speeds of up to 680Mbps, with up to 450Mbps and 1300Mbps total possible throughput. The six internal antennas and amplifiers boost the Wi-Fi signal so that you get great signal strength no matter where you are in the coverage area. The 4 gigabit-capable ethernet ports mean you can give a hardline to all of your bandwidth-hungry devices.
- + Really affordable
- + Simple set up
- – 16 x 4 bonded channels
This DOCSIS 3.0 modem may not be the top-tier leading-edge modem technology, but the performance speaks for itself. The 24 x 8 bound channels can give speeds up to 960 Mbps, so you’re gaming and HD streams never need to stop to buffer. The Linksys CM3024 helps maximize your connectivity efficiency on networks leveraging IPv6 protocols.
Many modems now put emphasis on using an app to monitor the modem status, but this isn’t always convenient. The Linksys CM3024 keeps the main status indicators clearly visible, so you know your status at a glance. For a super-affordable modem capable of extreme speeds, this one really shines. You should have all the speed you’ll need to really turn some heads in the next match, with some to spare for your other digital media needs.
- + Puma 6 chipset for boosted speeds
- + Plug and play setup
- + Certified for Comcast, Time Warner, & Charter ISPs
- – Cable only, no Wi-Fi
- – Not compatible with AT&T, Verizon, or CenturyLink service
The Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem is a really nice DOCSIS 3.1 modem that is capable of speeds up to 2.5 Gbps. This factors in a dedicated gigabit download channel for gigabit internet service providers. This modem offers a super-simple setup for those customers that have Comcast XFINITY service because the Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem can be self-activated with Comcast without the need to call the ISP.
Not only is the Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem ready for your current gigabit speeds but it is also made to be updated easily. This means that when the next tier of speeds becomes accessible in your internet marketplace, your modem and router will be ready.
The Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem provides 2 OFDM downstream as well as 2 OFDM upstream channels for DOCSIS 3.1 connections. This makes your connections incredibly stable, so you get prime spots on the server and you see fewer dropped games than ever before. This you can potentially save hundreds per year in equipment leasing charges from your internet service provider.
- + 10x performance boost over the DOCSIS 3.0 system
- + Solid 1 Gbps download capacity
- + Easy self-activation with Comcast service
- – Single gigabit port
Truly a great modem for a small household or family that includes a gamer. When paired with some excellent gaming accessories, the Linksys AC1750 Modem & Router can make you a force to be reckoned with. Right out of the box it’s extremely fast and easy to set up, with no special software or CD required. On top of that, you can manage it all right from the Linksys app.
To help crunch all the data that you’ll be putting through this wee beastie, it comes with a strong dual-core processor. This makes sure that your modem doesn’t become a bottleneck in your digital media and gaming. The built-in gigabit ethernet ports let you hardwire your bandwidth hogs so that your Wi-Fi stays clear for super-fast server connections.
The Linksys AC1750 Modem & Router features state-of-the-art MU-MIMO technology. This lets you game and stream on multiple devices at the same time without hampering signal or speed quality. When combined with the simultaneous dual-band signal, the Linksys AC1750 Modem & Router provides a super strong signal throughout its recommended range. This sophisticated beamforming technology ensures that you don’t get small performance from this small modem.
- + Alexa integration
- + Seamless AP roaming
- + Perfect for smaller homes
- + Simultaneous dual-band connection
- – Relatively limited signal range
The ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 Cable Modem packs some really nice performance into a package that only takes a couple of minutes to completely set up. Featuring native compatibility with most major cable internet service providers in the US, it can be seamlessly integrated with your home network.
With the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, the ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 Cable Modem is able to provide speeds of up to 2 full gigs a second. Not only that but with an additional pair of gigabit ethernet ports, you can easily isolate your gaming network traffic so that other devices don’t leave you stranded. The speeds support top-tier PS5 & Xbox Series X gaming, as well as 4k UHD streaming media.
- + Super easy setup
- + Speeds up to 2 Gbps
- + Full 32 x 8 channel bonding
- + Dual gigabit ethernet ports
- – Lacks anything truly remarkable to set it apart
This modem has a bunch of really decent specs, and a handful of really useful features, in a small and relatively affordable package. It cuts out many of the frills and features that people love to think they’ll use, and gives a great performing modem with a quick and easy setup. It carries certification from leading cable internet providers, so it can relieve you of their equipment leasing fees and save you money all year round.
The DOCSIS 3.0 system supports channel bonding of 24 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels, with gigabit speeds possible, depending on your provider. The small form factor is thanks to the advanced Broadcom circuitry inside and even provides a full gigabit speed ethernet port so that your HDTV, game system, or other bandwidth-hungry devices don’t all take their toll on your Wi-Fi speeds.
- + Full band digital tuner for more reliable connections
- + Built-in surge protection
- + Tiny footprint makes it ideal for inconspicuous placement
- – 24 x 8 channel bonding puts it level with some competitors, and behind others
- – Single ethernet port
The TP-LINK TC7650 High-Speed Cable Modem is a very capable DOCSIS 3.0 modem that is already pre-certified for many popular cable internet service providers, such as Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, and more. It is capable of more than 1 Gbps over Wi-Fi and leverages a 28 x 8 channel bonding system to optimize throughput.
The super-easy installation and setup process will get you punishing your competition soon enough. The gigabit speeds and IPv4 & IPv6 stacking mean a very consistent quality of service. With the certification by many major ISPs, the TP-LINK TC7650 High-Speed Cable Modem is a great option for those looking for a reliable gaming modem that will free them of their modem leasing costs as well.
- + Gigabit speeds
- + Stacked IPv4 & IPv6
- + Easy install and setup
- – Only 24 x 8 channel bonding
- – Only one Ethernet port
The Asus AC2600 Modem & Router Combo is a lean, mean, throughput machine. It has a list of great features and specs, and it’s also certified compatible with the leading internet service providers, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, legacy Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Cox. This means you can use it with confidence that it will give you amazing performance no matter your provider.
One of the best things about the Asus AC2600 Modem & Router Combo is the 32 x 8 channel bonding that can give a more dense throughput on both cable and Wi-Fi. This can increase speeds up to 43% vs. other routers and means you can game more consistently no matter the network traffic.
The ASUSWRT gives a fully-featured toolkit that provides tons of helpful wizards that provide robust and useful functionality. The Asus AC2600 Modem & Router Combo also features personal cloud storage, download utilities, VPN assistant, traffic monitor, and more.
- + Optimized for multi-device homes
- + Advanced beamforming technology reduces dead spots and signal inconsistencies
- + Simple set up right from the box
- + Wizard apps can guide you through just about anything
- – Not designed around gaming
The Netgear Nighthawk Pro is one of the best of the best. The quality, innovation, and refinement that have gone into the Nighthawk Pro make it clear why this pro-level gaming router is considered by many to be the creme-de-la-creme. The features, the top speeds across all ports, and the management utilities make this a clear leader. For ultra-competitive FPS, this is the game-changer.
The Netgear Nighthawk Pro supports speeds up to a blistering 5.4 Gbps on its wireless connections and allows users the full toolkit they need to make adjustments to connections on the fly. If a streaming device or digital home assistant is hogging bandwidth, you can reduce, enhance, block, or unblock any device on your network.
The technology in the Netgear Nighthawk Pro is really top-tier. It has a beefy 1.5ghz dual-core processor, just to manage traffic for the Advanced Quality of Service. This means your network traffic will be intelligently managed, so you do have to do it.
The network and traffic management of the Netgear Nighthawk Pro can even lead to lag reductions of up to 93%. This means your games will connect to the closest servers and give you the winning edge. On top of all that, every feature can be managed from the Netgear Nighthawk companion app.
- + DumaOS gaming bandwidth management software
- + Allows highly competitive gaming speeds alongside full HD streaming
- + Best security and firewall management in its class
- – If there are any cons, it would have to be the price point
There are some amazing modems in our lineup here, and there should be something for everyone. There are top-level modems for dedicated gamers that need the technology to give them the max speeds and bandwidth possible. There are also some more moderate modems that can still give you very fast speeds and stable connections without spending a mint.
One thing you should consider, however, is the number of streaming devices that will be using your network, and their network usage levels. If you have several high-bandwidth devices that maintain large amounts of connectivity, you would likely benefit most from one of the better modems, such as the Nighthawk Pro. it helps you monitor and manage all of the traffic for all of the devices while giving you optimal gaming performance.