Cable Modem vs Cable Modem Router

Is it better to have a modem, a router, or a combo modem router? Are there benefits to having a modem with a router, or should you keep them separate? These are the questions we are answering on this page.

Cable modems and cable modem routers sound very similar but are different devices.

A cable modem is a hardware device that uses a coax cable to ​connect your computer devices with your Internet service provider (ISP). ​A cable modem connects to the Internet.

A cable modem router (sometimes called a gateway) connects to the Internet ​and distributes the internet connection to multiple devices (like a router does).

The benefit of having a cable modem versus a cable modem router comes down to home networking preference. Both have pros and cons. A combo cable modem router gives you convenience (one device), while separate cable modem and router devices can give you more features and more control over customization.

So, which is the right one for you? Consider the following specifications, pros, and cons to decide:


How to Choose Between a Cable Modem & Cable Modem Router

It comes down to your preference for your home network setup. A combo cable modem router can serve you well. However, if you want more freedom to adjust things on your home network, like security settings, you might want to have a separate cable modem and router. To have even more freedom, you can purchase your own cable modem, router, or cable modem router instead of renting them for a monthly fee. This can save you money over time, however, renting from your ISP can come with access to technicians and troubleshooting as well.

Consider the following advantages of separate versus combo devices to determine the right direction for you to take:

Advantages of a modem router combo:

  • A single combo box takes less room
  • Requires only one power outlet
  • Requires fewer wires and cables
  • Easy to set up, especially if it comes from your ISP and they set it up for you.

Advantages of using separate devices:

  • A separate router can have more features
  • Separate devices have more customization settings
  • A separate modem and router are easier to replace and upgrade individually.

So, it all depends on what you want for your home network. Whether you go the route of separate devices or combined, you can get a solid home network setup.

Hitron cable modems and routers​ are great home network solutions because they offer high-speed broadband access and easy home networking. Ask your ISP about Hitron’s DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 cable modems and routers today. Have more questions about home networking solutions? Check out Hitron’s ​Learn Page for more.

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