15 Best Optimum Compatible Modems in 2020 [Approved & Certified]

Are you a Optimum subscriber who wants to get off the monthly equipment rental? It doesn’t matter whether you are on their fastest service plan or on slow speed plans, as our list includes the best-rated modems that are highly compatible.

The equipment rental might seem like a small amount BUT it is not!

Cable internet providers in the US charge anywhere between $15-25/month in the name of equipment rental. The modem rental you pay for 12 months can actually land a decent modem and use it without trouble for at least 4-5 years (unless you upgrade to a different plan/ISP.)

It’s not just Optimum that charges you a hefty amount for renting a modem and router, but almost all the cable providers in the United States charge you a similar amount for renting equipment. And since, it can be avoided by purchasing a reliable modem, why not do it?

The equipment rental contributes to 15-20% of the revenue which is significant, that’s why your cable provider wouldn’t want you to purchase a modem/router. But since they can’t stop you directly, they do it by asking users to use the modems that are certified by them (although they have published their list on their websites.)

Best Optimum Compatible Modems

These certified lists are quite long and are a bit confusing to most of the users. In my research, I found out that many people found modems on those lists, they were compatible with Optimum as well. However, they didn’t provide adequate speeds according to the plan (although many modems are bad, but this can happen if you end up picking a modem that’s not suitable for your service package.)

1. Best Value For Money: Motorola MB7621

  • Great for use with Whole Home WiFi or Mesh networks like eero, Google WiFi, and Orbi
  • Model MB7621 is recommended for actual cable Internet service speeds up to 650 Mbps
  • The Motorola MG7315, MG7540, MG7550, and MG7700 have a built-in wireless router.)
  • Support is in English or Spanish.
  • Includes phone and web support by friendly, professional USA-based technical support specialists.
  • ELIMINATE CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES UP TO 156 DOLLARS PER YEAR.(Savings are shown for Xfinity and vary by cable service provider
  • This cable modem’s one Gigabit Ethernet port connects to a WiFi router, computer, HDTV, game station, or streaming video device
  • Attractive, compact design minimizes shelf space, improves cooling, and extends product life while looking great in any home or office
  • Wirecutter rates this “the best modem for most people.” A Full-Band Capture Digital Tuner ensures faster, more reliable Internet.
  • Model MB7621 has no phone jack.)
  • No cable modem is compatible with fiber optic, DSL, or satellite services from Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and others
  • Experienced USA-based Motorola customer support specialists are happy to help if you need them
  • A two-year warranty plus rugged lightning and power surge circuits protect your investment
  • (This cable modem does not have a built-in wireless router or telephone call capability
  • Requires cable Internet service.
  • Approved by and for use with Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, BrightHouse, CableOne, SuddenLink, RCN, and other cable service providers
  • Setup is fast and easy using the Quick Start guide

2. Best DOCSIS 3.1 Modem: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

  • DOCSIS 3 1 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 2 Gbps
  • Note, a 2nd IP address is required from your cable internet provider to reach 2 Gbps
  • Two 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports (Note, a 2nd IP address may be required by your cable internet provider to activate 2nd port)
  • Cable internet service required Does not include Wi-Fi and does not support cable digital voice service
  • 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3 0 bonded channels, 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3 1 channels
  • Compatible with major U S Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers

3. Best Telephony Modem: Arris Touchstone TM1602A DOCSIS 3.0

4. Best Modem Router Combo: Arris SURFboard (16×4)

  • Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers
  • Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others
  • Setup and manage your network with the SURFboard Manager app
  • 3 products in 1: DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, AC1900 dual-band Wi-Fi Router, 4 Port Gigabit Ethernet Router (cable digital voice service not supported)
  • Best for cable internet speed plans up to 400 Mbps.
  • Cable internet service required
  • Compatible with major U.S
  • 16 downstream & 4 upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels
  • Wi-Fi 5 AC1900 dual-band concurrent WiFi Router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports

5. ARRIS Surfboard SB6183-RB 16×4

  • Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to computer or router
  • US Technical support
  • REQUIRES Cable Internet Service
  • ARRIS Certified Refurbished
  • If not sure call your cable provider to find out if approved to use
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
  • Approved for plans up to 300Mbps
  • ARRIS Certified Refurbished products will ALWAYS be branded ARRIS, Never Motorola! If you get Motorola branded product they are illegitimate, need to be returned to Seller and Reported to Amazon
  • APPROVED with Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse), Cox and more
  • 90 Day Warranty
  • Great for streaming HD Video and gaming on multiple devices at a time
  • Internet speeds up to 686 Mbps on 16 Download Channels and 131 Mbps on 4 Upload Channels, based on your cable ISP subscription
  • Cable Modem only (no WiFi router)
  • NO support for Cable TELCO options

6. Best For Gigabit Speeds: Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem

  • WORKS WITH ANY WiFi ROUTER YOU LIKE – including Whole Home WiFi or Mesh routers like eero, Google WiFi, and Orbi
  • Built-in DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 capabilities give top Internet speeds for all cable Internet services, from the slowest to the fastest.
  • No cable modem is compatible with fiber optic, DSL, or satellite services, available from Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and others.)
  • The MB8600 also includes a full-band capture digital tuner to enhance speed and save energy.
  • Not compatible with RCN
  • A BROADCOM CHIPSET PROVIDES SECURITY FROM DENIAL OF SERVICE ATTACKS – a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port allows connection of any SINGLE device with an Ethernet port including a router, Windows or Mac computer, HDTV, or game station.
  • (Savings are shown for Comcast Xfinity and vary by cable service provider.) Approved by Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1, Cox, and CableOne for all speeds including Comcast Gigabit services and Cox Gigablast
  • ACTIVE QUEUE MANAGEMENT (AQM) SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES INTERNET LATENCY – on both DOCSIS 3.1 and 3.0 services
  • This cable modem does NOT have a built-in wireless router or telephone call capability.
  • TOP INTERNET SPEEDS FOR ALL CABLE INTERNET SERVICES – Wirecutter recommends this as the best cable modem for people using Gigabit Internet plans
  • AQM results in faster page loads for all Web traffic and greatly enhances interactive applications like online gaming and video conferencing
  • ELIMINATE UP TO 156 DOLLARS PER YEAR IN CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES

7. Best For 400 Mbps: NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600

  • DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0
  • Requires Cable Internet Service
  • 24×8 channel bonding
  • Support Cable Internet Service plans up to 300Mbps
  • Separate router required for WiFi
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
  • Cable Modem only (no WiFi router).Memory: 8 MB NOR flash and 128 MB RAM
  • Ideal for streaming 4K UHD content, fastest downloads, and high-speed online gaming
  • Compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Recommended for all speed tiers up to 500 Mbps

8. Best For 300 Mbps: MOTOROLA MB7220

  • A Full-Band Capture digital tuner ensures a faster, more reliable Internet.
  • (This cable modem does not have a built-in wireless router or VoIP telephone adapter
  • Experienced USA-based customer support specialists are there to help if you need them.
  • The Motorola MG7310, MG7315, and MG7550 have a built-in wireless router.)
  • Certified by Comcast XFINITY, Time Warner Cable, Cox, BrightHouse, and other leading cable service providers for modem ownership programs that typically save rental charges of $120 or more per year
  • Requires cable Internet service
  • A two-year warranty plus rugged lightning and power surge circuits protect your investment.
  • Cable modem’s Ethernet port connects to a computer, HDTV, game station, or wireless router
  • Attractive, compact design minimizes shelf space, improves cooling, and extends product life while looking great in any home or office
  • This 8×4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem provides speeds up to 343 Mbps, eight times faster than DOCSIS 2.0
  • Setup is fast and easy with a few quick steps set out in a Quick Start guide

9. Best For Compatibility: ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port for connecting to a Wi-Fi router or other device.
  • Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others
  • Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers.
  • Compatible with major U.S
  • Cable Internet Providers including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity & others
  • Cable internet service required
  • Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers
  • 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels
  • Compatible with major U.S
  • Does not inlcude Wi-Fi and does not support cable digital voice service.
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 600 Mbps

10. Best For 700 Mbps: Motorola MG7550

  • Built-in high-speed WiFi router with AC1900 WiFi, and Power Boost, and DFS provides Internet access for WiFi devices including smartphones, notebooks, tablets, game stations, HDTVs, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and AppleTV
  • Wireless Power Boost adds high-performance WiFi power amplifiers to boost the wireless signals to the legal limit, giving a significant boost in speed and range
  • Four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports provide wired connections to Windows and Mac computers, HDTVs, game stations, streaming TV devices, and other Ethernet-capable devices.
  • This product is recommended for actual cable Internet service speeds up to 375 Mbps
  • A Broadcom cable modem chipset provides security from Denial of Service attacks
  • Includes phone and web support by friendly, professional USA-based technical support specialists
  • Model MG7550 has no phone jack.)
  • Requires cable Internet service
  • 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem plus a built-in AC1900 Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) WiFi Gigabit Router with four Gigabit (GigE) Ethernet ports, a firewallDFS, Power Boost, and more
  • ELIMINATE CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES UP TO 156 DOLLARS PER YEAR
  • WiFi performance is exceptionally good, even in multi-dwelling units with lots of WiFi noise from neighbors
  • The vertical design minimizes shelf space and improves cooling while looking great in any home or office
  • No cable modem is compatible with fiber optic, DSL, or satellite services from Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and others
  • Phone support is provided in English and Spanish.
  • The router can work on WiFi DFS frequencies, unlike most routers, so it is much less vulnerable to WiFi interference from neighbors
  • Integrating the cable modem and router creates a reliable connection that reduces unwieldy wiring and power adapter clutter while conserving desk space
  • In addition, AnyBeam beamforming at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies focuses the signal on wireless clients to further enhance performance and range.
  • A two-year warranty plus rugged lightning and power surge circuits protect your investment
  • DFS and Power Boost are key
  • (Savings are shown for Xfinity and vary by cable service provider
  • Approved by and for use with Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1, Cox, Charter Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Suddenlink, WOW!, CableOne and other cable service providers

11. Best with Telephone port: ARRIS Touchstone TM1602A

  • Only select sellers who maintain a high performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products on Amazon.com
  • The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging
  • The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box
  • The Touchstone DOCSIS 3.0 16×4 Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adaptor (E-MTA) TM1602 delivers two lines of primary line Voice over IP (VoIP), ultra-high speed data access, and multiple battery pack options to support telephony service during power outages.
  • This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new
  • APPROVED for Time Warner / Spectrum, Cablevision, Optimum, Charter & MORE
  • 16×4 Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adaptor (E-MTA).
  • 24×8 bonded channel cable environment

12. Best Design: Motorola MG7700

  • A two-year warranty is the longest in the the industry
  • The maximum modem speed is 1000 Mbps, supporting service speeds up to 650.
  • Minimize shelf space and improve cooling – integrating the cable Modem and router creates a reliable connection that reduces unwieldy wiring and power adapter clutter while conserving desk space
  • Built-in high-speed router with AC1900 wireless and Power boost – Provides internet access for Wi-Fi devices including smartphones, notebooks, tablets, and more
  • Eliminate up to $156 per year in cable Modem rental fees
  • Wireless power boost for better speed and range – adds high-performance Wi-Fi power amplifiers to boost the wireless signals to the legal limit, giving a significant Boost in speed and range
  • The vertical design looks great in any home or office
  • In addition, anybeam Performing at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies focuses the signal on wireless clients to further enhance performance and range
  • Fast 24×8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable Modem Plus a built-in AC1900 Dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi Gigabit Router with four Gigabit (GigE) Ethernet ports, power boost Wi-Fi amplifiers, firewall security, and more
  • (Savings are shown for Comcast Xfinity and vary by cable service provider.) certified by all leading cable service providers including Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Charter spectrum (no cable Modem is compatible with fiber optic, DSL, or satellite services, available from Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and others.)
  • Rugged Lightning and Power Surge circuits further protect your investment.
  • Four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports provide wired connections to Windows and Mac computers and other Ethernet-capable devices
  • A Broadcom cable Modem Chipset provides security from denial of service attacks.

13. Best 8×4 Modem: NETGEAR C3700-100NAR

  • 8×4 channel bonding with Gigabit Ethernet Ports for fast wired, connections USB port to wirelessly share your hard drive.
  • Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT firewall).
  • DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem unleashes 8x faster download speeds up to 340 Mbps faster, smoother WiFi, and works with all major cable Internet providers (Not Compatible with Cable Bundled Voice Services).
  • Certified to work with Cable Internet Providers like XFINITY from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, & More (Not Compatible with Cable Bundled Voice Services).
  • Product ia part of Amazon Renewed (Renewed)

14. Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 eXtreme Broadband Cable Modem -Electronics

  • Features a 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit Port for incredible wired network speeds
  • Designed to provide a cost effective, next generation technology to offer a high speed residential or commercial service tier
  • Capable of downloading up to 2000 times faster than 56k analog phone modems; up to 4 times faster than DOCSIS 2.0 broadband
  • User-friendly online diagnostics and bonded channel status page
  • Intuitive, easy to read front panel operational status LEDs
  • Item is Cable MODEM ONLY

15. Best for Slow Speeds: NETGEAR Renewed CMD31T-100NAR

  • You can buy with confidence knowing your Certified Refurbished product is backed with a 90-day warranty and support.
  • Not Compatible with, Spectrum, Time Warner, Brighthouse, or Charter
  • High-performance – Up to 150 Mbps download and upload speed for streaming HD videos, faster downloads, and high-speed online gaming
  • For NETGEAR refurbished products the serial number is removed from the label
  • NETGEAR Certified Refurbished products have been inspected, reconditioned, and tested to work and look as good as new with all accessories and documentation
  • If your Cable Internet Provider requires the serial number during installation it can be retrieved using the included flyer

16. Arris Touchstone TM1602A DOCSIS 3.0 Upgradeable 16×4 Telephony Modem

  • Approved for Time Warner / Spectrum, Cablevision, Optimum, Charter & MORE
  • 24×8 bonded channel cable environment
  • 16×4 Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adaptor (E-MTA)
  • Industry-leading cable operators can maintain competitive position against VDSL and fiber to the home services by offering subscriber data services as high as 960Mbps.

17. MOTOROLA MB7420

  • Certified by Comcast XFINITY for residential speeds up to Extreme 300, by Comcast Business for speeds up to Deluxe 250, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter Spectrum, BrightHouse, and other leading cable service providers for modem ownership programs that typically save rental charges of $120 or more per year
  • Setup is fast and easy with a few quick steps set out in a Quick Start guide
  • Experienced USA-based customer support specialists are there to help if you need them.
  • Cable modem’s Ethernet port connects to a computer, HDTV, game station, or wireless router
  • The Motorola MG7310, MG7315, MG7540 and MG7550 have a built-in wireless router.)
  • Requires cable Internet service
  • This 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem provides speeds up to 686 Mbps, sixteen times faster than DOCSIS 2.0
  • A Full-Band Capture digital tuner ensures a faster, more reliable Internet.
  • (This Model MB7420 cable modem does NOT have a built-in wireless router and does NOT have a telephone adapter or phone jack
  • A two-year warranty plus rugged lightning and power surge circuits protect your investment.
  • Attractive, compact design minimizes shelf space, improves cooling, and extends product life while looking great in any home or office

The Buyer’s Guide

The Buyer’s Guide

Purchasing a modem could be a daunting task for most of us. As it not just involves checking the technical specifications, design, but it also involves checking compatibility with the cable internet provider & the subscribed service package. In this buyer’s guide, I’ll add a few things to consider when purchasing a modem.

1. Compatibility with Optimum

Compatibility with Optimum

Compatibility with Optimum is one of the most important things to consider when getting a modem. If you end up buying an incompatible modem, then it won’t work or have trouble connecting/activating. That’s why it’s very important to make sure that the modem you’ve chosen is compatible with their service.

2. Compatibility with Service Package

Compatibility with Service Package

A lot of people end up purchasing cable modems that are not suitable for their service package. If you’re subscribed to a 1000 Mbps plan, make sure that your modem is at least capable of providing speeds upto 1500 Mbps (20% more than the offering is a rule I generally follow.)

In many cases, people subscribed to a service package of 1000 Mbps end up choosing a modem that provides exact 1000 Mbps speed or even less, in both cases the experience shall be bad. That’s why make sure that you are picking a modem that isn’t just approved with Optimum, but is also suitable for your service plan.

3. DOCSIS Technology (DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1)

DOCSIS Technology (DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1)

Do you have a gigabit connection at your home? In that case you should be grateful to the revolutionary DOCSIS technology. It is due to this tech, that the coaxial cables that are used for cable TV are capable of providing gigabit speeds (which was previously only possible via fiber optic cable.)

Although most of the cable internet providers in the United States are currently using DOCSIS 3.0, a few of them have upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1. So when picking a modem, make sure that you get a DOCSIS 3.1 modem if your network provider uses that technology for their networking infrastructure.

4. Channel Bonding

Channel Bonding

Have you ever gone through a modem listing and found out numbers like 32×8, 24×8, 16×8, 8×4, 4×4? These numbers represent the downstream and upstream channels. So for a modem that comes with 32 x 8 channel bonding, it’ll have 32 channels for downstream and 8 channels for upstream.

Basically, when picking a modem, you should make sure that the channels on your cable modem are actually equal or above the below speed requirements.

  • 32×8 (DOCSIS 3.1) = High Gigabit Speeds (Between 1-10 Gbps)
  • 32×8 = Gigabit speeds (Between 1-2 Gbps)
  • 24×8 = High speed plans (Between 800 Mbps to 1 Gbps)
  • 16×8 = Medium speed plans (Between 500 Mbps to 700 Mbps)
  • 8×4 = Slow speed connections (Between 100-400 Mbps)
  • 4×4 = Suitable for very slow speeds (Between 5-50 Mbps)

5. Standalone Modem vs Modem/router combo

Standalone Modem vs Modem/router combo

If you are looking for the best performance or are on the highest service package of Optimum then you should consider getting a standalone modem. Since it’s a standalone modem, you’ll also have to get a wireless router separately.

In case you’re low on budget or don’t need very high-performance and your goal is to save rent, then a modem/router combo would make sense. Since it has both the units built in, there’s a chance that the performance won’t be as good as the standalone equipment, but it should get your job done.

6. Bad Modems

Bad Modems

Yes, if you’ve gone through the official Optimum compatible modems list, you must have noticed that it involves a lot of modems that come with the Intel Puma 6 and 7 chipset which are known for latency issues, security vulnerabilities, etc.

One way to avoid getting a bad modem is by picking the right modem from our website (because by default we avoid using such modems in our list.) However, you can also check out the list of bad quality modems (if you need a list of all the bad quality modems.)

7. Price

Price

Budget is one of the most important factors to consider when getting a modem. Like mentioned above, purchasing a modem actually helps you save the monthly equipment rental. You should decide a budget that you are willing to allocate for your networking setup and choose products accordingly.

I think most of the good quality modems cost anywhere between $150-250. In some cases they’re standalone devices, in many cases they’re a combination of modem and router.

The FAQs

1. Which is the best modem for Optimum?

According to my research, is the best option in terms of both compatibility and high speed plans.

2. Should I continue renting or consider buying?

Well, purchasing a modem offers a better return on investment. The avg monthly equipment rental for most of the providers in the US is $15, 1 year usage shall cost $180 which is almost equivalent to the cost of a better modem and not to forget the ownership benefits.

3. Why should I purchase an approved or compatible modem?

It’s quite important to purchase an approved modem, because if it isn’t compatible with Optimum, they won’t allow you to connect it. In case you still end up connecting, you’ll end up facing a lot of connectivity issues?

4. Is there any list of modems that I should avoid?

Yes, there are a few modems that come with the Intel Puma 6 and 7 chipset, they’re known to have security vulnerabilities, laggy speeds, and packet loss. You should avoid those bad modems.

5. Do I need DOCSIS 3.1 or would a DOCSIS 3.0 modem work?

This depends on the area and your cable provider. For instance, Comcast Xfinity has DOCSIS 3.1 in most of the locations in the US, however, the 3.1 technology isn’t implemented in all the locations. Also, if Optimum supports the technology in your location, you should consider getting a 3.1 modem.

The Verdict

It doesn’t matter what your cable internet needs are. It also doesn’t matter which internet speed you’re subscribed to, if you’re in search of a highly compatible modem for your network, then this post should be really helpful.

In my opinion, you should consider getting a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with 32×8 channel bonding for gigabit connections and a future-proof setup.

In case you’re looking for a decent modem that can handle gigabit speeds (non DOCSIS 3.1) then you should consider getting a modem that has channel bonding above 24×8.

For medium intensive connection speeds, you should consider getting a modem that is compatible with Optimum + has channel bonding above 16×8.

I hope that you’ve found the best cable modem for Optimum. In case you have any trouble, feel free to contact me or comment below. I’m here to help.

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