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13 Best Modems for Gaming in 2021 (Reviews & In-Depth Buying Guide)

Imagine, it’s the Gulag.

You Peek.

You See your opponent’s shoulder.

You Fire First.

And yet, you Die.

Gaming can be an amazing hobby to detach yourself from the world, especially when it’s the lockdown. But at the same time, whether it be FIFA or Rocket League, getting scored on just because of packet loss or Lag really throws you off of your game.

And so, to save you from breaking many a controller and/or keyboards, we have brought to you, the 13 best gaming modems you can buy in 2021.

Remember, your internet and your gaming experience is only as good as your internet speeds, and hence AKA, your Modem.

So when spending close to half a grand on either your PC or your console, why not go for the best Gaming Modem out there too? In this list, we will take you from the Best Gaming Modems of 2021 to an In-Depth Buying Guide of what you need to know before you spend any more of your hard-earned cash on tech.

13 Best Modems For Gaming

1. ASUS DSL-AX82U (Modem Router)

To start with, we have a beast from ASUS. The DSL-AX82U is a Modem Router combo which makes it a bargain because you get two for the price of one.

ASUS offers the Modem with WIFI 6, Adaptive QoS which helps with prioritizing whatever you are doing at that moment, AiMesh Support and Lifetime free Commercial-Grade Home Network Security.

Related: 10 Best Modem/Router Combos in 2021

The Modem also ends up being more efficient, with faster speeds, lower latencies and a longer range than previous models of Modems by ASUS. And hence is one of the best options in terms of Gaming Modems currently being offered by ASUS.

You can even customize the aesthetics wherever you put the DSL-AX82U with a bunch of different colors. Making not only your gaming experience but also your viewing experience smoother.

Download Speeds: Up to 5Gbps
Ports: 7
Dimensions: 7.3 x 10.8 x 6.5 inches
Weight: 1.63 lbs (740g)
AirMesh allows you to remove Wifi Deadspots
Adaptive QoS
Customizable Colors
Parental Controls
Best Modem for Gaming

2. NetGear NightHawk AX8 (Modem Router)

To all of you who are already familiar with the Gaming Modem’s industry, NetGear being in this list comes as no surprise. And to all of you that are new here, NetGear has been a front runner in the Modem and Router business for years.

The same goes for the NetGear NightHawk AX8. With 6 Ethernet ports and 1 USB port, this modem router provides access to not just one but multiple devices at the same time at insane speeds.

Meaning no more ping spikes, lag or trying to fight over bandwidth from someone else.

NetGear also gives support for AX8 with Comcast, Spectrum, COX, and many more which increases compatibility for AX8.

Read More: 10 Best Wi-Fi Routers for Multiple Devices in 2020

Download Speeds: Up to 2.5Gbps
Ports: 7
Dimensions: 12 x 7.95 x 6.34 inches
Weight: 2.82 lbs (1279g)
Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual Core
Multi User-MIMO
NightHawk app
1 Year Warranty
Best Gaming Modem
NetGear NightHawk AX8

3. Tp-link Archer VR2800 (Modem Router)

The Tp-link Archer VR2800 is the big brother in the Modems for Gaming department offered by Tp-link. The same version is offered by Tp-link as a separate router too.

Tp-link is another solid choice if you want a more elegant and hassle-free gaming experience that is easy to interact with and control. As the Archer VR2800 gives you the power to control the device from both iOS and Android phones, no matter where you are.

This modem also runs on the latest WIFI technology out right now, MU-MIMO. Which makes connecting devices up to 4x faster than before. This also helps with signal strength around the modem as the Archer can amplify its signals to cover a maximum area

Download Speeds: Up to 2.2Gbps
Ports: 6
Dimensions: 7.76 x 1.46 x 10.35 inches
Weight: 1.61 lbs (730.3g)
Processor: 1 GHz Dual Core
Multi User-MIMO
Secure Networks through VPN
IOS and Android Apps
Faster Connection of Devices
Best Modem for Gaming
Tp-Link Archer VR2800

4. Motorola MB8600 (Cable Modem)

The Motorola MB8600 comes in a sleeker design and shape which is something innovative when it comes to most of the designs being offered by other manufactures.

And so, a pleasant sight for sore eyes. Almost.

The sleek design is accompanied by a powerful, easy to use/easy to set up, cable modem that is compatible with almost all the service providers that one can think of.

As well as having systems in place to save itself from Denial of Service Attacks.

Motorola also introduced its new Active Queue Management, which helps reduce latencies by prioritizing what needs to be, whether it be Gaming, Streaming, or anything else.

Download Speeds: Up to 3.8Gbps
Ports: 6
Dimensions: 7.25 x 2.25 x 7.88 inches
Weight: 1.61 lbs (730.3)
Sleeker Design with LCDs
Easy to Use & Setup
Active Queue Management
2 Year Warranty
Best Gaming Modem
Motorla mb8600

5. Arris SURFboard SB8200 (Cable Modem)

The SB8200 is Arris’s first attempt at a DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Gaming Modem and they have done a pretty good job at making something fast and reliable.

Whether it be 4K Streaming, Multiplayer gaming, or Virtual Reality, the SB8200 will not disappoint.

Related: Best Motherboards for Gaming in 2021

This is a clean, straight forward, easy to use, compact device that comes with the power but without any extra effort. And, it is also compatible with a majority of the internet service providers such as Comcast, COX, and others

Download Speeds: Up to 2Gbps
Ports: 2
Dimensions: 5.13 x 1.7 x 5.25 inches
Weight: 1.87 lbs (842g)
2 Year Warranty
SURFboard SB8200
Arris SURFboard SB8200

6. NetGear NightHawk CM2050V (Cable Modem)

NetGear offers a variety of different Cable Modems depending on the amount you are willing to pay and the speeds that you want. Starting from 1GBps and going up to 2.5Gbps.

At the top of the line, they have the NightHawk CM2050V. One of the fastest in the Gaming Modems on this list.

The CM2050V comes in a compact, light form factor which is easier to handle and easier to use than the models before.

And to stay with the ongoing ecological concerns of power usage, NetGear has implemented a smart power-saving system that helps in reducing your electric bill as well as saving the environment at the same time.

Download Speeds: Up to 2.5Gbps
Ports: 1
Dimensions: 6.8 x 3.7 x 8.2 inches
Weight: 1.09lbs (439g)
Easy to Install
Power Saving Features
Best Cable Modem for Gamimg
NeatGeat NightHawk CM2050v

7. ASUS DSL-AC88U Annex B (Modem Router)

The AC88U is another beast by ASUS just like its predecessor in this list. The DSL-AX82U. The AC88U comes with the all-new NitroQAMTM to ensure that ASUS delivers each one of the devices connected to it, uninterrupted at high speeds.

If future-proofing is a must for you, The AC88U is the way to go. ASUS offers the new DSL technology with this modem as well as a 4 antenna design which will ensure through and through coverage all around your house.

Though this device is on the bulkier side, so you would have to make a place for it for good.

Download Speeds: Up to 2.2Gbps
Ports: 5
Dimensions: 2.4 x 11.5 x 7.1 inches
Weight: 3.31 lbs (1500g)
Air Protection
Parental Controls
Personalized App
Best Gaming Modem Router

8. Motorola mt7711 (Modem Router)

Motorola does put a lot of thought into their user experience because if you are looking for a beautiful looking 3 in one Modem with LED panels that let you control the device. The Motorola mt7711 is worth shortlisting during your buying process.

To make life easier for you, even more, the mt7711 also comes with voice compatibility as well as 4 Ethernet ports. Making the Motorola not only an easy choice to buy but also an easier choice in terms of its usage.

Though this device has been approved for Infinity only and so will only work with Comcast. Which needs to be kept in mind if you are going to go for this product.

Download Speed: Up to 1Gbps
Ethernet Ports: 4
Dimensions: 8.25 x 2.25 x 9 inches
Weight: 3.74 lbs (1696g)
Power Boost
Beam Forming
Security against Denial of Service Attacks
Parental Controls
LED panels
2 Year Warranty
Best Motorla Modem for Gaming
Motorola mt7711

9. Arris SURFboard SBG8300 (Modem Router)

The SBG8300 can be a very attractive option if you are looking for a modem plus router to boost your internet speeds up to ten folds.

This product from SURFboard is easy to set up and with its 2 years warranty, ends up being a reliable option too. it is based on the latest DOCSIS 3.1 and is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 as well as all the majority of internet service providers that you can think of.

So if you do decide to go for this, no more buffering or lag spikes anymore!

Download Speed: Up to 4Gbps
Ethernet Ports: 4
Dimensions: 2.87 x 8 x 9.33 inches
Weight: 3.1 lbs (1406g)
DOCSIS 3.1, compatible with DOCSIS 3.0
IPv6 & IPv4
2 Year limited Warranty
Best Gaming Modem
Arris SURFboard SBG8300

10.  NetGear NightHawk CM1200 (Cable Modem)

We have another NightHawk on the list. Just like its predecessors before, the CM1200 offers you amazing speeds, connectivity, and coverage for your devices all while hiding behind your computer desk, out of your sight.

The CM1200 is a more compact device in terms of its size than the others on this list and, hence is easier to handle around your house.

It provides coverage for Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox and saves you up to $168 a year in rental fees according to NetGear themselves.

Download Speed: Up to 2Gbps
Ports: 4
Dimensions: 6.1 x 3.4 x 10.3 inches
Weight: 1.22lbs (553g)
Ability to connect with multiple IP Adresses
Supported by IPv6
1 Year Warranty
NetGear NightHawk CM1200
NetGear NightHawk CM1200

11. ASUS CM-32 AC2600 (Modem Router)

The CM-32 AC2600 by ASUS is a small device that comes fitted, out of the box, with 4 antennas so that no one in your house would ever complain about your WIFI being slow again. This is further also helped by the Modem using the smart Multi-User MIMO technology.

ASUS offers an easy to setup device that can look out for the traffic that is being used so that you can have a detailed report whenever you want.

Download Speed: Up to 1.3 GBps
Ethernet Ports: 7
Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.36 x 11.81 inches
Weight: 2.09 lbs (948g)
IPv6 and IPv4
Easy to Set up
Traffic Monitor
Increased Range
Parental Control
Smart Qos
Network Map
VPN Server
Works with almost all the Major Internet
Service Providers
ASUS CM-32 AC2600

(As I side note, because we know not everyone has the ability to get 1GBps internet speeds from their service providers, we have added two gaming modems in our list for all of you. For those who do not want to over-kill.)

12. Tp-link TD-W9960 (Modem Router)

The TD-W9960 is one of the ways to go if you are not blessed with upwards of 1GBps of internet by the service provider in your area. Though don’t get us wrong, this device is still comparatively way faster than others on the market.

Tp-link has made this device really easy to manage thanks to its iOS and Android apps from anywhere you are in the world.

As well as the fact that they have made it secure enough to not even be harmed by lightning or electrical damage from thunderstorms.

And with Parental Controls, you can secure it further to your own liking.

Download Speed: Up to 300 Mbps
Ethernet Ports: 4
Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.0 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 1.23 lbs (560g)
Easy to Set up
Increased Range
Parental Control
Works with almost all the Major Internet
Service Providers
Tp-link TD-W9960

13. Motorola mb7220 (Cable Modem)

The second great option if you are not going for an overkill is the Motorola mb7720. If you only need a Cable Modem, you can go for the similar mg7315.

Just like Tp-link, Motorola offers protection against surges, lightning, and electricity, keeping the device safe even in rough conditions.

This means you will be able to browse the internet at high speeds, whether to Game or to Stream, all while having peace of mind.

And as the mb7220 is easy to set up, it becomes a nice option as a Modem for Gaming.

Download Speed: Up to 350 Mbps
Ethernet Ports: 1
Dimensions: 4.9 x 2 x 6.1 inches
Weight: 0.68 lbs (308g)
Easy to Set up
Protection against Surges
Works with almost all the Major Internet Service Providers
Motorola mb7220

In-Depth Buyer’s Guide

We know it can be tough buying tech; especially nowadays. There has just been so much innovation, it can be hard to understand all the terminology.

So in order to help you with that too, we have come up with an In-Depth Buyer’s guide.

This will help you to understand What you are buying, Why you might need to buy a modem, The Differences between some devices, What exactly You will be getting for your money, and Some things you need to look out for when going to buy a new Gaming Modem.

So to start with,

Why Buy a Modem?

We feel like this is a good place to start with. Why buy Modems for Gaming in the first place?

But to answer that, you also need to know briefly what Modems are and what they do. Modems are devices that turn the analog signals that come from your cable line to Digital ones. The Router then pushes that internet out wirelessly.

In simpler terms, they bring the internet to your devices. So you might need to buy a new Modem in order to boost up your internet speeds like the ones that you might be renting out/or have right now, might not have the capabilities to provide internet speeds over 60Mbps. And when playing multiplayer games or streaming 4K videos, speeds around 60Mbps don’t really cut it.

Cable Modem or Modem Router?

Another question that will pop up in your mind after going through our list is whether you should go for a Cable Modem or a Modem Router.

The difference between them is that Cable Modems do not have the ability to give a Wireless Internet Connection on their own. So they need to be paired up with another Router.

When decided which one to go for, you need to think about if the Router that you have currently is compatible with the new coming Modem or not. In most cases, if the Router is not that old, they do work with the Modems.

The advantage of having a Modem Router combo is that both these devices end up being one. This is less of a hassle when setting up, but do keep in mind, these Combos end up being more expensive.

DOSCIC Protocol

Another term you will have read about a lot when searching for Gaming Modems will be the DOCSIS. This stands for “Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification”.

This is the Protocol over which you receive your internet from your Internet Service Providers (ISP).

The new innovative thing in this department is the DOCSIS 3.1. And even though it is not provided by every ISP out there right now, it is a safe bet for the future. The new protocol is around 10 times faster in terms of speeds than DOCSIS 3.0.

So when going for a new Modem for Gaming, you can go for any Modem that has DOCSIS 3.0 but if you need to future proof the Modem a little more, going for a Modem with DOCSIS 3.1 would be a better bet. This is because DOCSIS 3.1 is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 too.

Download Speeds/Upload Speeds

Download speeds are the real deal. The thing that matters and the thing that you should be looking for when going for a new Modem. These speeds tell you at which rate you will be downloading stuff off of the internet.

If you are just going to be Gaming, anything above 300Mbps will do the job for you but you can go as high as you want to future proof your setup and to make it more reliable.

The Upload speeds are mostly a quarter of the Download speeds and these are the rate at which you upload data back on the internet. Mostly while gaming you need higher Download Speeds and so, the Upload speeds do not need to be considered so much.

Downstream/Upstream Channels

These Channels are an extra bit of information that is not necessarily important to you. If the Download Speeds are high, the Modem will come with a good number of Channels for the Data (internet) to pass through. So these don’t need to be given a lot of importance either.

IPv6 & IPv4

These again are internet Protocols that Internet Service Providers adhere to when providing access to the internet. The IPv6 is a better version of the protocol and though in some cases might not yet be implemented by some ISPs out there.

But most of the modems, if not all, are made to be worked with both IPv6 and IPv4, so you don’t really need to worry about this either!

Compatibility with your Internet Service Provider

This might be the most important thing that you need to look out for before you buy any sort of Gaming Modems, whether Cable or Router.

Checking your Compatibility means to find out whether your Internet Service Provider is capable of providing speeds that your Modem can handle or not.

For example: if you are going for a Modem that can go up to 6Gbps, you need to find out first if your ISP can give you that amount of speeds or not. Because if your ISP cannot, there is no need to get a Modem that powerful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I go for Gaming Modems?

If you want a better internet connection and higher speeds, going for a New Gaming Modem can come in handy. Buying a Modems also helps if you are renting one right now, as they can be a good investment.
Just make sure your Internet Service Provider can provide you with the speeds that you are looking for.

Are Gaming Modems and Routers the same thing?

No. Modems translate the analogue data that you get from your cable lines while the Router transmits the Data in a wireless form.
And so, a Modem and Router are not the same things but they can be in one device.

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