Best Modem For Gaming In 2023 (Low Ping & Latency)

Best Modem For Gaming

Finding the best modem for gaming is essential if you want to have a gaming experience that has low ping, minimum latency, and no interruptions.

Getting a separate modem for your gaming needs is beneficial over getting a modem router combo because it allows for more flexibility and control, and you can easily upgrade it if it is outdated.

Some of the features that you should look for in a gaming modem include DOCSIS 3.1, 32 x 8 channel bonding, at least two LAN ports, and compatibility with your ISP so that you can enjoy fast internet speeds.

It is important that you avoid Intel Puma chipsets because it leads to high spikes in network latency which can interfere with online gaming, simply surfing the web, or streaming video.

Editor's Choice
ARRIS SurfBoard S33

The ARRIS S33 is our top choice for the best gaming modem. It comes with DOCSIS 3.1 which is the latest modem technology that ensures your network and devices have improved security, enables you to experience reduced latency when gaming, and has multi-gig networking. DOCSIS 3.1 is a great technology for gaming as it is backward compatible with devices that have DOCSIS 3.0 technology and it is ten times faster.

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Budget Friendly
Motorola MB8600

For a budget-friendly option, the Motorola MB8600 is the best option. It features an ARM-powered core processor, enabling it to manage congested and overcrowded networks. During peak hours, this modem ensures that you have consistent internet speeds by efficiently prioritizing gaming and streaming traffic using the AQM technology.

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Modem Router Combo
Netgear Nighthawk CAX80

The Netgear CAX80 is a highly efficient and versatile modem router combo that comes with advanced features and delivers a seamless internet experience. It combines a WiFi 6 router and DOCSIS 3.1 modem to achieve higher internet speeds of up to 6000 Mbps which is distributed to the two bands as 1200 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 4800 Mbps on the 5 GHz.

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Our team of network engineers tested 19 modems over two weeks to see how they performed when gaming.

Best Gaming Modem (2023)

A gaming modem should prioritize traffic for specific gaming applications and systems so that you can choose the amount of bandwidth to allocate your consoles especially if you have multiple online gamers competing for data in your household.

Therefore, it is important to find the right modem that can handle enough gaming traffic to ensure that everyone is enjoying their gaming experience.

Below are the 7 best modems for gaming that we have reviewed including their specification, performance, and design features as well as their advantages and disadvantages:

1. ARRIS SurfBoard S33 (Editor’s Choice)


The ARRIS S33 is our top choice for the best modem for gaming. It is very portable as it only weighs 1.52 pounds and measures 5.24*5.24*1.65 inches. It has a sense of stability and solidarity due to its round design.

To ensure the S33 is protected from overheating, it is designed with vents allowing airflow. Other features of the S33 include LED lights on the front side and coaxial, Ethernet, and power ports on the back.


The ARRIS S33 comes with DOCSIS 3.1 which is the latest modem technology that ensures your network and devices have improved security, enables you to experience reduced latency when gaming, and has multi-gig networking.

DOCSIS 3.1 is a great technology for gaming as it is backward compatible with devices that has DOCSIS 3.0 technology and it is ten times faster.

Also, DOCSIS 3.1 allows you to experience gigabit-plus and fast internet speeds so that your gaming, streaming, and downloading can have less latency and no lagging.

The two ethernet ports on the ARRIS S33 enable you to have wired connections to your gaming consoles, computers, and router using an ethernet cable.

Wired connections to gaming consoles are especially important as you will achieve stable and fast connections.

There are only three steps to setting up this modem which makes it easy. First, connect the S33 to the power source, next, download the SURFboard app, and finally, activate the S33 using the steps provided on the screen.

To create a wireless connection for your devices, connect a router to the modem.

To ensure that you have minimum congestion in the network, the S33 comes with 1GB RAM that is paired with a multi-core processor. While the OFDMA technology ensures that you have improved transmission of data.

Who It’s For

The ARRIS S33 is recommended for users who need higher bandwidth for their homes and offices as well as a modem that has multiple ports for connecting gaming consoles and other devices to experience faster internet connections.


  • Speed: 2500 Mbps
  • Channel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 2 Ethernet ports
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Compatibility: Suddenlink, Xfinity, Cox, Mediacom, Spectrum


  • Has the latest networking specifications.
  • Has a new, slick design
  • Comes with a multi-gig port.
  • Features an ultra-fast processor.


  • No telephone capability.

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2. Motorola MB8600 (Budget Friendly)


The Motorola MB8600 has a vertical design and comes with hardened plastic vents that prevent overheating by allowing air circulation. The 5 LED lights on the front let you know the status of your network.

The back of the modem has a reset button, coaxial cable input, a power jack, and a power button.

The MB8600 weighs 1.2 pounds and measures 7.87*7.23*2.25 inches, which gives it the sleekest design.


The Motorola MB8600 features an ARM-powered core processor, enabling it to manage congested and overcrowded networks.

During peak hours, this modem ensures that you have consistent internet speeds by efficiently prioritizing gaming and streaming traffic using the AQM technology.

The MB8600 comes with DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology which is enough for standard transmissions of data because the 32*8 channel bonding is eight times faster than DOCSIS 2.0 technology.

This modem has digital tuning support which is useful for users interested in torrenting as it ensures there are increased speeds.

The MB8600 comes with one ethernet port, however, the auto-sensing support ensures that you can focus on the traffic on the wired connections.

The web interface and the availability of IPv6 support make it easy to configure the MB8600.

Plus, the 128 MB flash storage ensures simplified and efficient routing which gives you better control over the device when zero address collisions, auto-configuration support, and multicast routing are concerned.

Who It’s For

The Motorola MB8600 is an affordable option if you are looking for a gaming modem that has a secure setup with advanced flow labeling and integrated authentication that enables you to easily manage high-speed wired connections, especially to gaming consoles.


  • Speed: 1000 + Mbps
  • Channel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Compatibility: Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Optimum


  • Has low latency.
  • Supports IPv6 and QoS.
  • Comes with integrated surge protection.
  • Has link aggregation capabilities.


  • Only has a single ethernet port.

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3. Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 (Modem Router Combo)


The Netgear CAX80 is a highly efficient and versatile modem router combo that comes with advanced features and delivers a seamless internet experience.

The CAX80 combines a WiFi 6 router and DOCSIS 3.1 modem to achieve higher internet speeds of up to 6000 Mbps which is distributed to the two bands as 1200 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 4800 Mbps on the 5 GHz.


The Netgear CAX80 is a modem router combo that can double up your internet speeds with the use of link aggregation support if you have two IP addresses.

However, if you only have one plan, you can directly connect your device to the ethernet port and enjoy download speeds of up to 980 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 190 Mbps.

The CAX80 comes with four powerful internal antennas which makes this device very impressive as it delivers strong and stable connections.

From our tests, this modem router combo can connect up to 40 devices at the same time and spread internet signals to cover spaces of up to 3000 sq. ft.

The Nighthawk app enables you to easily set up the CM2050V by following the detailed instructions given in the video-based guide.

Who It’s For

The Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 is a reliable modem router combo and is suitable for users looking for a device that provides maximum range, enough throughput, and higher internet speeds.


  • Speed: 6000 Mbps
  • Chanel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 5 Ethernet ports and 1 USB port
  • Warranty 1 Year
  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum


  • Excellent speeds and throughputs.
  • Top-notch security features.
  • Great WiFi coverage.
  • Handful LED lights.
  • Has a USB port.


  • Not budget friendly.

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4. Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 (Best For Wired Gaming)


The Netgear CM1200 comes with 32*8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology to ensure you have the fastest internet connection on your devices. It measures 6.1*3.4*10.3 inches and weighs 2.32 pounds.

The CM1200 has four ethernet ports which allow you to create wired connections via an ethernet cable to your gaming consoles as well as other devices such as a router, computer, or printer.


The Netgear CM1200 supports link aggregation as it has multi-gig features that allow you to combine two 1-gig ports to make one 2-gig port for smooth and fast wired connections, especially to your gaming devices.

If your internet subscription plan is up to 2 Gbps, the CM1200 will enable you to enjoy faster connections as it is designed to support such higher speeds.

From our product testing, the CM1200 performed particularly fast when downloading games and also provided a very smooth gaming experience.

The CM1200 can connect to any router which enables you to create a wireless connection for your devices such as smartphones, tablets, or notebooks.

Setting up the CM1200 is easy with only three steps to follow. First, connect the modem to the coax cable, then activate it by either calling the ISP or following the steps on the screen, and finally, connect a router to the modem using an ethernet cable.

Who It’s For

If you are looking to save on modem rental fees while enjoying faster speeds for gaming through a wired connection, the Netgear CM1200 is for you.


  • Speed: Up to 2 Gbps
  • Channel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 4 Ethernet ports
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum


  • You can use any WiFi router with the modem.
  • Save on rental fees.
  • Simple and quick setup.
  • Fast and reliable internet speeds.


  • Has occasional reboots.

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5. Motorola MB8611 (High Performance)


The Motorola MB8611 is one of the most future-proof, high-performing, and fastest modems on the market today.

It can support internet speeds of up to 2500 Mbps. It comes in a standard design, weighs 1.1 pounds, and measures 7.25*7.88 inches.

The front side has 5 LED lights for indicating the status of the modem’s connection while the back side has three inputs: one port for connecting the coaxial cable, a power input, and an ethernet port for connecting any device or router.


The Motorola MB8611 features ultra-fast DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology so that your devices have Gigabit-plus internet speeds.

To ensure that you can create a wired connection and get high-speed internet for your devices, the MB8611 has one 2.5 GB ethernet port.

From our tests, the MB8611 was able to achieve an upload speed of up to 800 Mbps and download speeds of just below 2500 Mbps.

This enables you to connect your game station, smart TV, or other devices to the network.

The Active Queue Management on this modem ensures that your devices have improved app performance and minimum internet latency for faster streaming, online gaming, and conferencing.

Setting up this modem is quick and simple as you just need to connect it to the power outlet, then use a coax cable to connect a router to it and connect your devices via the ethernet cable.

Finally, activate the modem by either calling the ISP or using self-activation by following the instructions given.

Who It’s For

The Motorola MB8611 is suitable for users who are looking for a high-performing modem that has future-proof features and is durable to provide an internet connection for years to come.


  • Speed: 2500 Mbps
  • Channel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 1 2.5 Gbps LAN and 1 Coax
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Compatibility: Comcast Xfinity, Cox Communications, Charter Spectrum, RCN


  • Faster internet connection.
  • Future-proof design.
  • Easy setup.
  • Low latency.


  • Issues with firmware updates.

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6. Netgear Nighthawk CM2050V (Best For Voice Services)


The Netgear CM2050V has a similar vertical layout to its predecessor and is made using hardened plastic to ensure it is durable.

It comes with 7 LED lights on the front side for showing the status of the modem and connection and it measures 10*9.13*4.8 inches.

The CM2050V is the best modem for voice services and works best in business and office setups as it has one 2.5-gig LAN port and two phone jacks.


The Netgear CM2050V comes with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology with 32*8 channel bonding making it ten times faster compared to the previous DOCSIS 3.0 technology.

The CM2050V has one ethernet port for connecting your devices and achieving multi-gig speeds. Additionally, it has two phone jacks for creating a connection to the landline phones and can support three-way conference calls.

It also supports call forwarding, meaning you can redirect calls to other phone numbers.

Features like OFDMA support, QoS functionality, and IPv6 enable your devices to have better performance and faster internet connection while the integrated bandwidth tuner enhances the WiFi speeds of the CM2050V.

Setting up this modem is very easy and simple. First, connect the CM2050V to the coax cable, then activate it by following the on-screen steps or calling the ISP, and finally connect it to a router through an ethernet cable and plug in your telephone lines.

Who It’s For

If you are looking for the best modem that supports voice and internet plans and wants to upgrade to a modem with a new design, multi-gig port, and efficient hardware setup, the Netgear CM2050 is for you.


  • Speed: Cable plans of up to 2.5 Gbps
  • Channel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 1 Ethernet plus 2 Voice
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Compatibility: Xfinity


  • Has phone ports.
  • Comes with OFDMA technology.
  • Has a built-in Quality of Service.
  • Efficient hardware and performance.


  • None found

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7. ARRIS SurfBoard SB8200 (Basic Gaming Modem)


The ARRIS SB8200 features the latest DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology which can support current and future internet plans of up to 1 Gbps. It comes with two ethernet ports and measures 5*2*5 inches.

The SB8200 ensures that you have less lag while gaming, better security, and multi-gig networking since the DOCSIS 3.1 is ten times faster than the previous DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology.


The ARRIS SB8200 delivers uninterrupted and smooth internet by increasing your network’s capability, bringing your superior connectivity, and providing faster downloading, gaming, and streaming throughout your home.

The DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology improves your network’s efficiency and performance while lowering the latency of applications that need higher bandwidth such as gaming, streaming, and conference calls.

The SB8200 enables you to connect a gaming mesh WiFi system which you can use to create a network for your whole home which allows you to connect any of your devices from anywhere in the house.

The ethernet ports provide support to secondary IPs for businesses or homes and enable you to create wired connections for your consoles, router, and more devices. 

SB8200 should be connected to operating systems that are compatible with it to work such as Windows 10, 7, or 8.

Other system requirements include web browser access such as Firefox, Safari, or Google Chrome, and a high-speed internet access account.

Setting up the SB8200 is very simple. First, you need to plug it into the power source, download the SURFboard Central App, and finally activate it using the steps provided on the app.

Connect a high-speed wireless router to the modem using an ethernet cable and create a network for your devices.

Who It’s For

If you are looking to reduce your cable fees but still get a modem that has low latency when gaming, the ARRIS SB8200 is a good option.


  • Speed: 2000 Mbps
  • Channel Bonding: 32*8
  • Ports: 2
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Compatibility: Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum


  • Latest modem technology for higher speeds.
  • Fair price.
  • Can connect to any router.
  • Easy to set up.


  • The LED lights are too bright.

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Factors To Consider When Looking For The Best Modem For Gaming

Gaming Modem

Supported Speed

Selecting a modem for gaming demands a top priority on speed. Thoroughly consider your specific internet speed requirements, channel bonding capabilities, and the DOCSIS protocol to make an informed decision.

It’s crucial to ensure that the modem’s speed matches or surpasses your subscribed internet plan because advertised speeds often represent ideal conditions and may not reflect real-world performance accurately.

Using a slower modem than your internet plan’s speed can create a bottleneck, leading to compromised gaming experiences and overall network performance.

On the other hand, a modem with insufficient capabilities won’t allow you to achieve speeds beyond its capacity, making you unable to fully utilize a higher-tier internet plan effectively.

This scenario can result in wasting money on an expensive plan that fails to deliver the expected performance.

To avoid performance limitations and get the most out of your gaming experience, verify that your chosen modem is fully compatible with and capable of accommodating your specific internet plan.

This step will guarantee that you can enjoy the speed and performance you’ve signed up for without any unnecessary disappointments.

Making a well-informed choice when selecting a modem will ensure a seamless and immersive gaming experience with minimal latency, optimal speeds, and enhanced overall performance.

DOCSIS 3.1 vs DOCSIS 3.0

DOCSIS, short for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, is a cable internet protocol used by ISPs to determine maximum achievable speeds. It converts incoming network data into a local network for home use.

DOCSIS has various versions, with DOCSIS 3.1 being one of the latest, supporting speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Meanwhile, DOCSIS 3.0, an older but widely adopted version, can achieve speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

For plans below 1 Gbps, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem suffices for optimal speeds. However, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem may be advantageous if you plan to upgrade in the future.

DOCSIS 3.1 offers OFDM channels that reduce latency for network-intensive gaming. As ISPs phase out DOCSIS 3.0 support, we generally recommend opting for DOCSIS 3.1.

However, if you need a quick and budget-friendly solution, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem can save money but won’t be as fast. Consider your future needs and ISP’s support when making the choice.

Channel Bonding

Channel bonding is a key factor for speed, achieved by combining multiple channels to enhance a modem’s data-handling capacity. In simpler terms, it allows the modem to manage more data effectively.

You might come across specs like 32×8 or 16×4 channel bonding in your research. The larger number indicates the downstream or download channels, while the smaller number represents the upstream or upload channels.

A higher channel count results in a faster connection. For instance, a 32×8 channel bonding setup with DOCSIS 3.0 can support speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Choosing a costly modem with high channel bonding may not significantly improve speeds if it exceeds your internet plan’s capabilities.

For instance, selecting 32×8 channel bonding on a 200 Mbps plan would be excessive. In such cases, a more suitable and cost-effective choice would be a 16×4 modem that aligns better with your plan’s speed requirements.

Compatibility With Your ISP

The foremost consideration when choosing a modem is ensuring its compatibility with your internet service provider (ISP). If the modem doesn’t support your ISP’s network, it won’t work effectively.

Most modems are widely compatible with major ISPs, but it’s wise to double-check. Refer to your ISP’s list of approved third-party modems for reliable options.

While a non-approved modem might work, it may not fully utilize your plan’s speed capabilities. Reading customer comments can also provide valuable insights into the modem’s compatibility and performance with your ISP.

Ensuring compatibility between your modem and devices, such as desktop PCs, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and smartphones, is crucial.

To be future-ready, it’s advisable to choose a modem equipped with DOCSIS 3.1 technology. This ensures seamless integration and optimal performance for all your devices.

Design & Ports

Gaming Modem Design

Regarding the design of cable modems, they are typically smaller than they appear, so size shouldn’t be a concern. However, some modems, like the Arris Surfboards, may have bright lights, which could be bothersome if placed in your sleeping area.

When choosing a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, pay attention to its ethernet port. Some models have a single gigabit port, while others offer two or more gigabit ports, with the latest featuring a 2.5G port.

The ethernet port’s speed is crucial because it often determines the modem’s bandwidth capacity, making a faster port indicative of better performance.

Having at least two ethernet ports is ideal, as it allows you to connect your main gaming rig and a router for other devices. This setup provides a stable connection for gaming and convenient wireless connectivity for day-to-day use.

Separate Devices vs Combo

When choosing a gaming modem, you must decide between a modem/router combo or separate devices. A combo integrates both modem and router, while separate devices keep them distinct.

For optimal gaming performance, stability, and network customization, we recommend separate devices.

This setup offers better control and the ability to upgrade or replace individual components as needed, catering to gamers’ desire for top-notch technology.

However, modem/router combos are not useless; they come with a lower upfront cost and are easier to set up. Just be aware of the trade-offs and decide based on your specific needs and preferences.

Separate Devices Pros:

  • Enhanced performance
  • Greater control
  • Easier customization

Modem/Router Combo Pros:

  • Lower upfront cost
  • Simpler setup process

Gaming Modem FAQs

Do Modems Matter For Gaming?

Although the quality of your router plays a critical role, the internet connection’s performance is ultimately determined by the modem.

Hence, it is crucial to invest in a capable modem with sufficient channels to ensure a reliable and efficient connection.

Why Should You Avoid The Puma Chipset?

We strongly advise everyone, especially gamers, to steer clear of modems using the Puma chipset due to significant latency issues. High ping can severely hinder the gaming experience, and unfortunately, this hardware problem cannot be fixed.

While it’s not a guaranteed problem, the risk of experiencing latency issues increases significantly with modems using Puma chipsets. To identify such modems, look for an Intel logo on the packaging.

However, be aware that not all modems with an Intel logo use a Puma chipset. Exercise caution when selecting your modem to avoid potential gaming performance issues.

What Is Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD)

Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD) represents the latest advancement in DOCSIS Internet technology, aiming to reduce cable internet latency to match that of fiber optic internet.

What Features Should A Gaming Modem Have?

To ensure low latency for your gaming needs, your ideal gaming modem should possess several essential features.

These include DOCSIS 3.1 support, multiple ethernet and USB ports, 32*8 channel bonding for improved data handling, compatibility with your ISP, and matching your internet plan’s speed.

Furthermore, a gaming modem should come equipped with the necessary tools and cables, offer quick and easy setup, and support plug-and-play usage for effortless installation and use.

Final Words

The best modem for gaming should provide you with a reliable, smooth, stable, and fast internet connection with enhanced performance to ensure that you have a lag-free gaming experience.

If you are having trouble deciding which modem to get, the ARRIS S33 is our top choice for the best modem that you can use for gaming.

It comes with DOCSIS 3.1 which is the latest modem technology that ensures your network and devices have improved security, enables you to experience reduced latency when gaming, and has multi-gig networking. DOCSIS 3.1 is a great technology for gaming as it is backward compatible with devices that ha DOCSIS 3.0 technology and it is ten times faster.

Ensure that you refer to the buying guide to understand more about the features that gaming modems must have so that you can make the right choice.

Daniele Besana

Daniele Besana

Daniele is a freelancer consultant with 15 years of experience in network security, customer support, Linux and Salsa. He worked for Juniper Networks in Netherlands, providing support and consultancy on security projects across Europe and Middle-East.

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