Cable Modem Buying Guide for Non-Techies 2019

This cable modem buying guide will give you an idea of what to look for in a gaming modem.

If you’ve never shopped for a gaming modem before, you may not know which aspects are most important.

It can be tough to know how to get a modem that will help you to make the most of your Internet plan.

The following features are key when purchasing a modem.

Cable Modem Buying Guide for Non-Techies

DOCSIS 3.0 Vs. DOCSIS 3.1_image-min

Which one is the best version–DOCSIS 3.0 vs. DOCSIS 3.1?

When searching for a gaming modem, you will notice that there are different versions. 

Some versions include DOCSIS 3.0, DOCSIS 3.1 and others.

However, most cable modem users do not know whether to choose DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1. 

Happily, when you go through a good cable modem buying guide, you will differentiate the two.

DOCSIS is a term that stands for “Data over Cable Service Interface Specification.” 

Even though you might not understand what the term means, the whole idea is quite simple. 

It is the kind of speed you will receive from a particular cable modem. 

A good modem buying guide should help you understand the two versions, their benefits and drawbacks.

But, among DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1, which one is better?


Today, most modems are DOCSIS 3.0. A modem with DOCSIS 3.0 version can provide an amazing amount of speed. 

In most cases, the version allows 1Gbps speed.

Although they do not reach the maximum speed level, the speed is quite good for various tasks that include gaming, streaming, and other browsing activities.

Also, DOCSIS 3.0 offers 2, 4 or 8 upstream channels and up to 24 downstream channels. 

These are channels you use for downloads and uploads. 

Thus, users can download and upload large files with DOCSIS 3.0.


Even though most modems are not in the DOCSIS 3.1 version, this is the future of internet speed. 

If you are looking for a good investment, you may need to consider a cable modem with the DOCSIS 3.1 version.

A modem using the DOCSIS 3.1 version can handle the speed of up to 10Gbps. 

Also, it is backward compatible and the best version for many activities.

Hence, for someone looking for a good gaming modem that offers amazing speed, the best version is DOCSIS 3.1. 

But for simple browsing tasks, DOCSIS 3.0 is a good choice.

Continue reading about DOCSIS 3.0 Vs. DOCSIS 3.1–Which Version is Best?

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Gaming Modem Compatibility 

Another feature highlighted in the best cable modem buying guide is modem compatibility with the Internet service provider. 

All major ISPs should approve a good gaming modem. 

Therefore, it is important to ensure that the cable modem you buy is compatible with your internet service provider.

There are several things you need to consider with modem compatibility. 

First, most known internet service providers approve several cable modems. 

This is to help you pick the best product for your needs. 

Hence, if you find a cable modem that cannot work with your ISP, then it might not be a perfect device for you.

Also, the device you pick should work well with your speed plan. 

For instance, you cannot have a 25Mbps plan and think a 100Mbps modem can improve your plan. 

Always consider your internet plan before you pick a cable modem. 

The other factors that affect compatibility include the type of modem, the DOCSIS level, and your internet plan.

Continue reading about Gaming Modem Compatibility with Your ISP is Crucial

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Gaming Modem Speed

For gamers, speed is essential; You cannot enjoy gaming or streaming if the speed is unsatisfactory.

However, various factors can affect the speed of your cable modem. 

Internet plan, a number of users, and type of usage are some factors that affect the speed.

If there are many heavy internet users in the house, then the modem speed will be highly affected.

Therefore, you need to determine the number of people using the Internet in your home or office. 

The other factor that determines the speed is the type of usage. 

If you are all streaming or playing games in the house, the speed might be affected as well. 

However, if the main tasks are browsing, then you can have the least among speed.

Therefore, when going through a cable modem buying guide, ensure you understand the best gaming modem to pick and also choose a plan with the right speed.

Continue reading about Gaming Modem Speed is Important for Network Performance

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Ethernet ports on cable modems

When going through a cable modem buying guide, one crucial factor you must consider is Ethernet ports on a gaming modem. 

The component may look less important, but it allows the Internet to move to the modem and other devices such as routers and computers.

An Ethernet port is a place on the router or modem where you connect your gadgets. 

With ports, you can connect routers, computers, consoles, and other devices to the Internet.

Although most people use Wi-Fi to connect gadgets to the Internet nowadays, you cannot rule out Ethernet ports when purchasing a gaming modem. 

This is because a wired connection is more secure and provides great speed and signal. 

Compared to a wireless connection, people who connect their gadgets to Ethernet ports receive faster speed, secure connections and receive little downtime.

Continue reading about Ethernet Ports on Gaming Modems (Visual Check)

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Gaming Modem Design

Another great feature that most people check on the Cable Modem Buying Guide is the design of a gaming modem. 

Even though it might not look as important as other features to some people, it is a component you cannot ignore.

Since there are so many gaming modems on the market, you might consider looking at the design.

Keep in mind that modems are available in different sizes and shapes. 

So, if you are looking for one to keep in your office or living room, the design is very important.

Even though the design is not as crucial as the performance of the modem, several things define a gaming modem design. 

First, the type of modem is one thing you need to check. 

Do you pick a DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or an Analog one?

Secondly, there are extra features that are found on gaming modems but are absent from other modems.

For example, you will find antennas on most gaming modems. 

These antennas are significant as they boost the signal range. 

The other additional features are Ethernet ports. 

For a gaming modem, you need one with several ports so you can connect as many devices as possible.

Continue reading about The Design of a Gaming Modem Makes a Difference

External Resources, 5 Questions to Ask When Purchasing a New Cable Modem. Retrieved on 8/17/2020.

Last Updated on September 24, 2020 by Tony

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