Buying Guides

The 5 Best Routers and Modems for Comcast Xfinity

Kannon Yamada Updated 12-12-2019

Are you looking for the best Comcast Xfinity modem or router? Home networking devices are notoriously difficult to understand. We’ll help you decode Comcast’s jargon and find the best router or modem for the Xfinity cable broadband service.


What’s the Best Wireless Router or Modem for Comcast Xfinity?

The best router is one that can fully use your subscription plan’s maximum speeds while providing reliable coverage throughout your home. Numerous technologies that can achieve this. However, not new tech is not always cost-effective.

There are three product types you should avoid: mesh routers, routers that can’t use custom firmware (DD-WRT), and modems with telephone compatibility.

Mesh routers are the newest home networking technology. They have the advantage of being able to extend superfast speeds at great distances. On the downside, for what they do, they are overpriced. Most consumers are better off buying a Wi-Fi extender instead. At most, I recommend buying a Mesh-compatible router or an inexpensive Wi-Fi extender rather than a complete Mesh system.

Avoid buying a modem-router combination unit (we’ve discussed the differences between modems and routers Modem vs. Router: The Differences and Why You Need Both When you're connecting your PC to the internet, what do you need: a Wi-Fi router, cable modem, or both? Here's what you need to know. Read More if you’re not sure). They’re less secure, and users cannot upgrade their firmware to Tomato or DD-WRT. Firmware like DD-WRT extends the lifespan of your device while also improving performance, security, and allowing for VPN server installations.

The Best Comcast Xfinity Routers

All routers work with Comcast, but some will not deliver the speeds guaranteed by your subscription tier. Here are the best routers available for Comcast Xfinity users.


Fastest Router: Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router Buy Now On Amazon $489.00

The Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 comes in two forms: Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6. Consumers with fast internet speeds will want to buy a Wi-Fi 6 router as it can hit extremely fast speeds. Wi-Fi 6 routers are today’s fastest wireless standard and can max out the fastest of Comcast Xfinity’s service plans.

On the downside, almost no wireless consumer devices fully support the standard as yet. So if you buy a Wi-Fi 6 router, you won’t be able to use its blistering speed without a Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless card. It also allows for the use of Mesh Network devices, which function as Wi-Fi extenders. The Rapture also costs more than most routers on the market, and its antennas aren’t upgradable.

All Wi-Fi 6 routers lack Tomato or DD-WRT custom firmware compatibility. However, even with its shortcomings (which all Wi-Fi 6 routers suffer from), if you subscribe to one of Comcast Xfinity’s premium plans and need a fast wireless router, the Rapture may be for you.


Who Should Buy It?

  • If you subscribe to Comcast’s Gigabit Pro plan
  • Those with Wi-Fi 6 devices
  • If you own a lot of smart devices that are all simultaneously connected to the internet
  • VPN users

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

  • If you’re on a budget
  • For those needing custom firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato

Best Value: TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wi-Fi 5 Router

The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 is one of the fastest Wi-Fi 5 routers on the market. It also includes the option to install DD-WRT or Tomato, and VPN-compatibility. The Archer C7 series is renowned for its performance, range, and customization options. There are no other routers with the C7’s reputation for excellence and value.


That said, TP-Link has manufactured a not-as-good derivative of the C-series, known as the A-series. If you see the A7 model, I’d suggest not buying it, as it’s incompatible with custom firmware, like DD-WRT. Unfortunately, it is physically identical to the C7.

Who Should Buy It?

  • Everyone except those on the Gigabit Pro plan
  • Those looking for near-best Wi-Fi 5 speeds
  • Homes with lots of connected devices
  • Those looking for good range and signal reliability
  • People who want DD-WRT or Tomato compatibility

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

  • Anyone using Wi-Fi 6 devices
  • Those who want great customer service

Best Cable Modems for Comcast Xfinity

Unfortunately, Comcast does not update its list of compatible modems. However, all of the devices on this list were confirmed to work on Comcast’s network through customer service representatives.


For the most part, modems differ mostly in their price and the following three characteristics: speed, Network Attached Storage (NAS) compatibility, and digital telephone capabilities.

Best Modem for Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro Plan: Netgear Nighthawk CM1200

Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 Buy Now On Amazon $199.99

If you’re into 4K video, gaming, or transferring large amounts of data, the Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 modem achieves a whopping 2Gbps download speed.This means it’s one of the few modems officially recommended by Comcast that can fully utilize its Gigabit Pro plan, which has a download speed of 2Gbps. The CM1200 is overkill in that it can hit transfer speeds up to 6Gbps.

It’s pricey compared to Comcast’s other modems, like the Motorola MB8600 or Arris SB8200. However, none of these come close to the performance of the Netgear CM1200. With 32 downstream channels and eight upstream channels, it’s the best modem you can buy for Comcast.

Unfortunately, the CM1200 lacks a dedicated RJ11 phone jack, which means it cannot be used with Comcast’s Digital Voice service. However, the CM1200 Voice includes RJ11 phone jacks for telephone service. The CM1200’s two Ethernet ports are for Link Aggregation, which allows two Ethernet sources to boost a single computer’s internet speeds. These ports cannot be used independently of one another.

Who Should Buy It?

  • People using the Gigabit Pro plan

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

  • People on any plan other than Gigabit Pro
  • Comcast Digital Voice customers
  • If you’re on a budget
  • If you need two separate Ethernet ports

Best for Comcast Digital Voice: Arris Surfboard SBV2402

Arris Surfboard SBV2402 Arris Surfboard SBV2402 Buy Now On Amazon $48.98

The Arris Surfboard SBV2402 provides a phone line jack for use with Comcast’s digital phone lines. It’s also one of the fastest lower-tier modems you can buy for Xfinity, hitting DOCSIS 3.0 speeds of 400Mbps, which makes it capable of handling the Blast! Pro plan.

Unfortunately, Comcast doesn’t offer any tier of service between 275Mbps and 500Mbps so while this is the fastest modem in its

The Surfboard SV2402 is one of the best modems for those who subscribe to Comcast’s low or midrange plans and have one of their Digital Voice subscriptions.

Who Should Buy It?

  • Digital Voice subscribers with speeds up to its Performance Pro (175Mbps)
  • Subscribers to Comcast’s Digital Voice internet telephone service

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

  • Subscribers to Comcast’s Blast! Pro, Gigabit, and Gigabit Pro plans
  • If you need two or more Ethernet ports on the modem

Best Cheap Cable Modem: Netgear CM500

Netgear CM500 Netgear CM500 Buy Now On Amazon $14.77

The Netgear CM500 is the cheapest Comcast-compatible cable modem you could buy that covers the widest range of plans. There are cheaper modems available, but these are limited to the first two tiers of service, which are relatively slow and overpriced plans.

The CM500 includes DOCSIS 3.0 support, which means it can fully utilize the speeds of the Performance Starter, Performance Plus, and the Performance Pro. Those using the Blast! Pro plan should consider the Netgear CM700 modem. Unfortunately, there is a large price jump between the CM700 and the CM1000 series.

Who Should Buy It?

  • Subscribers to the Performance Starter, Performance Plus, and Performance Pro plans

Who Shouldn’t Buy It?

  • Comcast Digital Voice subscribers
  • Those with Blast! Pro and faster subscriptions

The Best Routers and Modems for Xfinity

In many cases, the router you already own may be the best choice. However, if you don’t own your router and modem, you need to buy it. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run.

Comcast’s rental fees are around $15 per month. The average cheap router and modem combined cost about $120. That means within the first year you make your money back. The second year represents pure savings.

However, before you run off and buy a new device, consider attempting to improve the performance of your current router with a few simple tweaks.

Related topics: Back to School, Buying Tips, Router.

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  1. Pssst3
    May 17, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    There is an excellent reason to use an 802.11n router: coverage. Unless the speed of your ISP connection is substantially greater than 65Mbps, the increased thoughput of 5GHz/ ac) is wasted, and home automation is more dependent on signal coverage than throughput. he only thing I've found that benefits from a 5GHz connection is streaming HD video.

    I have a dual band n/ac gateway and tried using it with my Google Home compatible controlled switches and Home speakers. Eventually all of these devices got moved to the 2.4 GHz interface. There was no benefit to the weaker 5GHz connection except for Chromecast.

    • Kannon Yamada
      May 17, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you for your comment. You are right.

      If the IoT device uses 2.4 you will of course need to move the control unit onto it as well as you have already mentioned. But the more devices you have on any particular frequency, the more likely you'll suffer from congestion. A swarm of devices on a single-channel 802.11n network is going to cause congestion in a crowded apartment block. But if you live in a low density suburb, you might benefit from 2.4GHz's physical properties.

      I would argue that Beamforming in 802.11ac (now known as WiFi-5) is a fairly good technology that increases the reliability of 5GHz and 802.11ac modems are cheap. So if you have the choice between 802.11n dual band and 802.11ac, pay a little extra for beamforming. It's way more future proof and the shorter range of 5GHz is actually an advantage in high-density areas. Although the 60GHz spectrum is probably far more suitable than 5GHz in that use case. (but that isn't going to become the dominant standard for some time, if ever.)

  2. Factonews
    September 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for provide Information
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  3. Shawn
    June 25, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Wait a minute, so 802.11ad was introduced on the first commercially available router only 2 years ago, yet the technology is already obsolete? I suppose it can become obsolete through obscurity, since no one uses it yet. But I thought it was introduced AFTER 802.11ac standard. I guess the message should be to hold out for the newer standards. Intel announced the very first chipsets with 802.11ax back in January, only 5 months prior to this article's publishing. No actual hardware has been delivered to consumers yet. It will only bring improvements on existing 5GHz spectrum use, no improvements to 2.4GHz. Since most everyone uses 2.4, sticking with 802.11ac is probably for the best anyway. So that should really be the message of the article.

    • Kannon Yamada
      June 25, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Hey Shawn, thanks for the comment!

      802.11ac (and its later derivations) may get replaced by 802.11ax but for the next few years it's going to be the dominant standard. There's a reason for that. Most people don't have very fast internet and, into the foreseeable future, most people won't have fast internet. More or less, it's as fast as most people will ever need so it's unlikely to require replacement anytime soon.

      The issue with 802.11ad is that there are very few consumer-facing products that use the technology so by the time it becomes widely adopted, all the devices coming out will likely use the significantly superior 802.11ay standard.

      More or less, 802.11ac (and its later revision, wave 2) is going to be good enough for most users.

    • Pssst3
      May 17, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      If you are going to wait for newer standards, you may as well quit. There will always be newer standards.

      The question really are: what do you need and what are you willing to pay for? If your ISP can't provide better than 65mbps at an affordable price, the 300 mbps throughput advantage of ac over n is dubious.

  4. Bob W
    April 24, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    What about all the DSL/ADSL users around the world? All the modems listed here are cable modems. What are the best DSL/ADSL modems and modem/routers?

  5. Doc
    April 18, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    "...and EASTA connector which doubles as a USB 2.0."
    I think you meant "ESATA." Lots of other typos in the article...PROOFREAD!!!!

  6. Kevin M
    April 16, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    My take on this is if the router does not support installing dd-wrt, it is worthless! There is not a router on the market that can come close to competing with what dd-wrt brings to the table. Unfortunately not a single router listed here supports it and odd as it may seem, all of the dd-wrt variety routers are far cheaper than any of the ones in this article, which really does beg to question if the author did their homework on the best choices! Given Netgear is listed and they dont make anything that is noteworthy in the least I question the entire validity of this post!

    • Doc
      April 18, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      The Trendnet AC1900 router mentions DD-WRT compatibility, as did the WRT3200ACM. Next time you might want to read the article before commenting!

  7. Florin
    April 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    I don't see DLink DIR 842 or DIR 860L or Tenda or TP LINK ARCHER or any AC1200 router.

  8. Florin
    April 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I don't see DLink Dir 842 or 860L or even TP Link Archer or some 1200 routers.

  9. Robert Medley
    April 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Rofl so this is a wifi modem router and combination network device guide based basically on outdated links to Tom's guide articles full of absolutely false information and pointless recommendations along with some that are completely outdated and then a few which have a few thread's of truth to them were you aiming to confuse people or are you just throwing out information for sponsors that paid you and or gave you free equipment or something?