Cable Modems 101: Difference Between DOCSIS 2.0, 3.0 & 3.1

Cable modems are hardware devices that facilitate communication between your computer and your Internet service provider (ISP). A ​cable​ modem communicates through a landline connection like coaxial cabling. This wired connection converts into a digital signal, which gives you access to broadband Internet.

Simply put, a cable modem connects you to the Internet.

The most important specs to pay attention to with cable modems are ​DOCSIS standards​ and ​channel bonding​.​ ​All modems have a DOCSIS standard, which determines how fast your Internet will be. Channel bonding numbers determine how many download and upload channels your cable modem has.

Channeling bonding refers to how many channels a modem can combine to send more information to your ISP and back. For example, a cable modem with 32×8 channels means that it has 32 download channels and 8 upload channels, and a maximum Internet speed of 1 GB. Whereas a cable modem with 8×4 channels only gets speeds up to 100 Mbps. The more channels the faster the speed.

But let’s focus on DOCSIS.


What is DOCSIS?

DOCSIS stands for ​Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It is an international telecommunications standard the addition of high-bandwidth data transfer to an existing coaxial cable TV system. This is an important feature to know because it influences which modem you get for a cable Internet connection. 


Why is this important?

Each new DOCSIS standard has increased how quickly information travels from your ISP to your home and back. Which means faster download and upload speeds. For example, DOCSIS 3.1 is faster than 3.0 and 2.0. 

DOCSIS 2.0: ​This was the original standard.

DOCSIS 3.0: ​As the standards increased from 2.0 to 3.0, so did the Internet service plan speeds that a cable modem good reach.

DOCSIS 3.1: ​This is the latest standard, meaning that it is the fastest.

The latest DOCSIS standard, DOCSIS 3.1 is ​capable of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) download speeds and 1 Gbps upload speeds. However, the most widespread DOCSIS standard is DOCSIS 3.0, which is capable of 32 download channels at one time and over 1GB download speeds.

Hitron’s cable modems and cable modem routers​ offer an array of DOCSIS 3.0 & 3.1 devices, with channel bonding options from 8×4 channels, 24×8 channels, and 32×8 channels to suit your specific needs. Get faster, better Internet in your home with Hitron today.

For more information about cable modems, cable routers, MoCA or other home networking solutions check out Hitron’s ​Learn Page​.


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