Top Cable Modem Reviews – Avoid Sneaky Modem Rental Fees

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What are some of the reasons to purchase a cable modem? Chances are good that your broadband internet provider will give you a free cable modem. However, if it stops working or becomes outdated, it will need to get replaced. Cable modems that are included in a subscription are usually not free. As the owner, you’ll typically need to provide your own modem, and your subscription will be reduced by a certain amount each month (like $5 for example).

This means that if you spend $60 on a cable modem, within the first year, it’s going to pay for itself. So even if it stops working after one year, you’ll have basically broken even on your investment. But if it lasts two years, you’ll actually be getting the cable modem for free (in a sense). For this reason, it’s incredibly important to choose a modem that is not only inexpensive, but that is also reliable works with your current provider. In the following sections, we’ll talk about some of the more popular cable modems being offered today, as well as discuss their pros, cons, and general features and functions.

#5: Motorola SB6121 Surfboard DOCSIS 3.0 Extreme

Pros: Since this model is available through a retail channel, you’ll be able to receive a better deal than if you were to purchase it through the manufacturer directly.

Cons: There are some internet service providers that aren’t compatible with the DOCSIS 3.0 system.


The Motorola SB6121 is a premium modem that will suit both small business and homes alike. It can operate a speeds that are approximately four times quicker than that of a DOCSIS 2.0 system. In addition to this phenomenal technology, the SB6121 offers support for a Gigabit Ethernet connection between a cable modem and a computer. This model supports USB, which is a preferred alternative to connecting to a Windows laptop or desktop. The installation will contain all of the necessary USB drivers and CD instructions.


Motorola – SURFboard comes with DOCSIS 3.0 technology and IPV6 support for reliable connectivity.
Check the Prices on Amazon Motorola – SURFboard

If your home or office’s ISP supports an AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) for its data security, you’ll be happy to hear that the Motorola SB6121 can apply it. With this modem, you’ll be provided with data rates that can exceed 100 megabytes per second. This will make streaming videos, uploading pictures, surfing social media, and even video conferencing far easier to achieve. Normal internet applications will be faster and more efficient that you’ve ever experience in the past using this modem.

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What are some of the key components that you’ll find in this modem? For one, it’s DOCSIS 3.0-certified. It offers four upstream channels, and will be very easy to setup, install, and start using. The units’ LED lights will help you determine if there is a problem with your modem and help simplify the troubleshooting process. This modem is also very efficient in the sense that it will provide owners with a space-saving and stylish design, as well as premium bandwidth data.

The Motorola SB6121 Surfboard modem is both convenient and versatile. It is compatible with UNIX, Macintosh, and Windows computers, offers an Ethernet data port, and is also both secure and reliable. Home owners and small businesses will be happy to hear that it supports AES (or “Advanced Encryption Services), which basically means a greater degree of safety when surfing the web.

#4: Cisco-Linksys CM100

Pros: The CM100 is very user-friendly, and will allow you to have it setup and installed in a matter of minutes.

Cons: It doesn’t provide support for DOCSIS 3.0.


One of the major highlights behind this model is its ease of use. When received, owners will find a CD that will contain all of the instructions (and USB drivers) that they need to successfully set up their connection. Setup takes minutes – all that’s required is that you connect the modem to the cable in the wall, followed by connecting your computer to the modem using an Ethernet cable. If your internet search provider doesn’t automatically register access to media control upon connection, you’ll need to register the device with your ISP by telephone.

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The front panel of the Cisco-Linksys CM100 comes with LED lights that will display that current status of the device. A “Power LED” light will give off a solid green color after a self-test. Once the modem has locked itself onto an upstream signal, the corresponding LED for it will also turn solid green. It will flash whenever the modem is trying to lock onto a specific upstream signal, which comes in


Cisco-Linksys CM100 comes with 24/7 live chat support, as well as a one-year warranty and good value for the money.
Check prices on Amazon for Cisco-Linksys CM100

handy for letting you know how the device is performing.

Whenever the modem is establishing a connection with an internet search provider, the online LED light will start to flash green. It will turn to a solid green whenever it has successfully synchronized with the connection provided by the ISP. The “Link LED” light will turn green whenever the modem connects to a laptop or desktop via an Ethernet cable or a USB port. In fact, it will flash whenever there’s any kind of activity going on in these two areas.

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Keep in mind that there have been some complaints regarding this modem’s lack of a power switch. This means that, in order to turn it off, you’ll need to unplug it. Another complaint is that the LEDs on the unit are so bright that they can be obtrusive at night (this feature can be a good or bad one depending on your perspective). One owners will love is the fact that the CM100 comes with 24/7 live chat support, as well as a one-year warranty.

In closing, this is a very solid modem for its price. It comes with a modulator, media access control device, demodulator, tuner, and microprocessor. The CM100 is not only very reliable, but it also happens to be backed by a very reliable company in Cisco-Linksys, which should provide you with more peace of mind after a purchase of this modem make and model.

#3: Toshiba PCX2600

Pros: Comes with a two-year warranty.

Cons: For DOCSIS 3.0, this modem isn’t certified.


The Toshiba PCX2600 is another one of those cable modems that are relatively simple to setup and install. This high performance modem is ideal for either business or residential use, and features compatibility with Mac, PC, Ethernet, RJ-45, and even UNIX. Keep in mind that it is isn’t compatible with Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

However, it is a modem that has undergone strict structural requirements, and as a result, will provide you with blazing web surfing speeds. The modem is relatively simple to install, and doesn’t cost too much upfront (about $45 – $50 for the modem), which will end up proving to be a solid investment in the long run.

Another thing to consider about this modem is its size: it measures right around 1.5 x 5.5 x 6.5 inches, which is relatively small, and shouldn’t take up much room in your home or office. It comes with a super-simple installation wizard that will allow you to have it installed and running in a matter of minutes. Remote diagnostics is also available. Also, the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) will help control the frequency of data channels as well as allow you to monitor and configure your modem remotely.

On a final note, home owners will have some peace of mind knowing that the status of the modem will always be in plain view. Thanks to its clear, large LED lights, you’ll be able to determine how the device is functioning based on which lights are blinking as well as the rate by which they’re blinking in. The product comes with a small stand that you can use to stand it up right in your home for added convenience.

#2: D-Link Broadband Cable Modem DCM-202
Pros: Offers 24/7 technical support.
Cons: Not certified with DOCSIS 3.0.


The D-Link Broadband Cable Modem DCM-202 can provide homeowners with downloading speeds that are up to twenty times more powerful than other models. This will allow them to share files, stream videos, and play online games without having to worry about a lagging internet connection. This modem makes the connection process smooth, simple, and effective, since it helps clear congestion in the network. As a result, increased download speeds will inevitably be achieved.


D-link is the industry leader in modems and boosts your internet speed significantly.
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With this mode, you’ll be able to get a lot more out of your broadband connection, as well as experience more performance and enhanced bandwidth. The modem is “Cable Labs Certified”, meaning, it will be compatible with all DOCSIS cable providers. With this unit, you’ll have the choice of USB connectivity, or Ethernet connectivity. You can install the modem with Mac OS, XP, Windows 98, Windows 95, and even UNIX. There’s no better way to enjoy a broadband experience than with a reliable and premium such as this one.

What a lot of people don’t know is that D-Link is an incredibly trustworthy and quality industry leader in the home networking industry. Using their modems, you’ll be able to increase download speeds by up to twenty times what you’re normally used to! Finally, the unit itself can be purchased for about $45, which is an amazing deal, and definitely an investment that you should make to experience faster internet in your home or office.

#1: Zoom External Cable Modem 5241


Pros: Comes with a premium Energy Star power adaptor.
Cons: Not compliant with DOCSIS 3.0 technology.


Upon purchasing the Zoom External Cable Modem 5241, you’ll come to realize that the unit essentially pays for itself. This is a modem that can easily last you a year or more as long as you take care of it. Zoom is a company that has been around for quite some time, so their reputation is well-established within the industry. Upload speeds of close to 1,000 KB/S to 8,000 KB/S will become quite common once you start using this modem.


Zoom External Cable Modem 5241 has both Ethernet and USB ports to assure compatibility and easy installation with Windows.
Check the prices on amazon for 5241 DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem

All that you’ll need to do to start using it is to connect the cable, power, and Ethernet cords, followed by calling your internet provider and letting them know that you’ve replaced your modem. The entire process should take less than 10 minutes. If you do a lot of internet surfing, and are constantly being tied down due to a poor internet connection, it’s probably time to switch to a reliable unit in the Zoom External Cable 5241 modem.

The modem will work perfectly with a variety of operating systems, including (but not limited to) Mac OSX, Windows XP, and many more! It also works with a variety of high speed internet companies including Cablevision and Optimum Online. If you want to enjoy fast web browsing, without paying all of those additional features and service charges, the Zoom External Cable 5241 modem is the way to go.

Bottom Line – Finding The Top Cable Modem Made Easy!

As you can see, there are plenty of reliable and premium models out there for you to choose from. But how can you ensure that you’re making the right buy? Basically, there are three things to look out for and think about before purchasing a cable modem: help and support (or customer service), standards and specifications, and finally, ease of use. For standards, you need to make sure that your current provider can provide service to the modem that you’ve purchased – otherwise, your investment will have been a waste.

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For ease of use, it’s important that the setup and installation of your unit isn’t too complicated. If it provides too many connection challenges, you’ll probably be better off with one that doesn’t provide you with so much distress. With that being said, the modem that you purchase should come with full documentation and instructions (and a CD) for installation. Finally, for help and support, there will come a time that you’ll need help troubleshooting your unit. When this time comes, it is always better to have a reliable and knowledgeable customer support team backing you up.