Cable modems are a crucial piece of technology for working data communications and internet networks. Choosing a cable modem for your home service usually comes down to two options: Get an old model modem from your ISP on a monthly rental basis. Or, buy a brand new device of your choice by paying a one-time payment, which costs only a fraction of the price over the duration. It is not a very hard decision, is it?
That being said, it is crucial to buy the right modem for your internet services. Here is what you need to know before you make the final decision on which modem to purchase.
The first and foremost thing of all is to check if your new modem is compatible with your internet services. The most fundamental job of a cable modem is to connect to the network of your ISP. Cable modems are the most reliable and well-liked forms of cable connectivity as they rely on a physical cable network that spans the entire nation. Therefore, the DOCSIS cable modem is most suitable for major providers these days. These are compatible with Suddenlink internet plans or any cable provider you are subscribed to.
You will need a DOCSIS cable modem for most cable internet providers like Suddenlink, AT&T, Spectrum, and Xfinity.
For fiber internet connection, an optical network terminal is needed, which is best recommended to get from your provider.
A DSL modem is best suited for all DSL internet providers.
For satellite internet users, it is best to use a modem-router combo with your dish or any equipment provided by the ISP.
Most providers provide a list of compatible modems on their official sites to help you in buying a new device.
Plan out your budget well in advance
Modems can cost somewhere between $40 to $300, and even more. Generally, the more you spend, the better features you get. However, this does not mean you cannot find an affordable modem that could enhance your internet connection for the best speed.
Also, buying a modem on your own upfront sounds like big money, but it saves a lot of money in the longer run. If you consider renting the equipment, it could cost you somewhere up to $100 to $150 a year, depending on your ISP. This implies you would’ve already saved a significant amount of money after 2 years.
Is your internet speed supported by the modem?
What internet speed the equipment supports is one of the most important things to pay attention to when buying a modem.
When purchasing a modem, it’s also important to consider the internet speed that the device provides. Increased internet download speeds are available from less than 100 Mbps to a gigabit through ISPs and cable companies. Your access to faster internet speeds is significantly impacted by your cable modem. You might suffer reduced internet connections in the absence of a DOCSIS model with a related speed standard.
Paying your internet provider for 500 Mbps speeds when your modem can barely handle 100 Mbps speeds makes no sense. This effectively implies you’re paying for nothing because you won’t experience speeds higher than that.
However, if you’re just paying for 100 Mbps, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a modem that supports gigabit speeds. Once more, you won’t see much faster than the designated speed.
You can perform a simple internet speed test if you’re unsure of the current internet speed you’re paying for. You will learn your current download and upload speeds through the speed test. Head over to any reliable speed tool online to take a look at what speeds you are actually getting.
Check channel bonding
Channel bonding technology, which is included with your cable modem, also lets you know how many channels the device has for downloading and uploading data. The more channels it has, the more data move between your devices and the modem.
Typically, channel bonding is represented by two numbers, such as 24×8 or 8×4. The first number indicates the number of channels available for downloading data, and the second number indicates the number of channels available for uploading data.
For instance, a modem with 24×8 channel bonding has 24 download channels and 8 upload channels available.
You are correct if you assumed that more channels would result in faster downloads and uploads. Of course, getting additional channels will cost you more money. However, if you pay for higher internet speeds, you would want to make sure your modem has enough channels so you get due internet speed.
To buy a modem, you really only need to be aware of its design, DOCSIS, channels, speed, and compatibility. You can find at least a few models that meet your requirements if you choose a brand and a budget after knowing these parameters.