Did you know that you can save up to $140/year just by using your own modem and router instead of renting it from your ISP? Some internet service providers will allow you to buy a modem/router/gateway on your own, while others will force you to rent.
Mediacom is one of those that allow you to use third-party equipment. So, if you’re a Mediacom customer and you’re interested in buying a modem/router on your own, stay with and you will learn all about the benefits of having your own modem. If you’re just looking for suggestions, scroll down to our selection of the best Mediacom compatible modems.
We will start with a short overview of Mediacom’s internet plans and other services.
Overview of Mediacom Internet Plans and Services
Mediacom was founded in 1995. It is primarily a cable internet provider. They don’t offer fiber or DSL internet. Mediacom is mostly present in the Midwest. It’s available in 22 states and to 6.6 million people. It’s heavily present in states like Illinois, Iowa, and Georgia. Mediacom is the 5th largest ISP in the US by the number of subscribers and the 6th largest by the coverage area.
Mediacom cable internet coverage map (source – highspeedinternet.com)
As we’ve already mentioned, Mediacom offers only cable internet. Their internet plans range from 60 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. So, even though they don’t offer fiber, they do offer Gig service in some areas.
Mediacom internet plans
The first problem with their internet plans is that download and upload speeds are quite asymmetrical. For example, the cheapest offer is 60 Mbps download and only 5 Mbps upload. Their best offer is 1,000 Mbps download and only 50 Mbps upload. For a regular internet user, this is not a dealbreaker, but if you need faster upload then you should look for an ISP that offers fiber. Even the cheapest fiber internet plans offered by other ISPs (check out AT&T Fiber, Verizon FiOS, etc.), have higher upload speeds than the most expensive Mediacom internet plan.
The next (and much bigger) problem with Mediacom internet are data caps. Every Mediacom internet plan comes with a data limit. The cheapest plan (60/5) comes with an outrageous 200 GB data cap. More expensive plans come with more data (the limit is set at 1 TB for Internet 100, 2 TB for Internet 300, and 6 TB for Internet 1000). So, if you’re thinking about becoming a Mediacom customer, don’t take the cheapest plan – 200 GB is really not enough and the outage fees are too expensive ($10 for every 50 GB).
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Another thing to consider when thinking about becoming a Mediacom customer is contract length. If you sign a two-year contract, you get those advertised promotional prices. You don’t have to sign the contract, but you will have to pay more. Also, if you want to get a better deal and cheaper prices, you may want to think about bundle offers (Mediacom Xtream + internet or even + phone service).
Mediacom’s Equipment Rental Policy
One of the good things about Mediacom is that they are very flexible when it comes to equipment. You can rent the gateway from Mediacom, but the rental fee is $12/month. You can also buy the modem/router/gateway from Mediacom and avoid rental fees, or you can buy just any Mediacom compatible modem/router. In case you decide to use third-party equipment, you don’t have to pay the fee – you just have to inform Mediacom that you don’t want to rent.
The Advantages of Renting a Modem from Mediacom
Well, the only advantage of renting that we can think of is unlimited support from Mediacom. If you’re using your own modem/router, and you experience a problem with your internet or wi-fi network, your Mediacom technician may refuse to help you with the issue.
The Advantages of Buying a Mediacom Compatible Modem
The first and biggest advantage of buying your own equipment is money saving. The rental fee is $12/month. That’s $144/year ($432 in 3 years or $720 in 5 years). So, if you spend $100 on a modem and another $100 on a router, you can save $232 in three years or $520 in 5 years. You can also buy a gateway for $200. You can choose whether you want to buy equipment from Mediacom or from Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, or any other retailer. The advantage of buying from Mediacom is that you don’t lose Mediacom customer support. You are not supposed to lose support even if you buy it from some other retailer, but there’s a chance that they will refuse to help you.
Instead of saving money, you can choose to buy the equipment that costs the same as your 3-year or 5-year rental fee, and get much better performance, higher speeds, more reliable connection, and greater coverage. That’s the second advantage of buying equipment on your own.
As discussed before, Mediacom is quite flexible. On Mediacom’s support page, you can find a list of modems issued by Mediacom as well as the list of compatible retail modems.
Note: Buying a modem is an option only in case you are subscribed to internet services only. Retail modems DO NOT support Mediacom phone service and they may not work with Mediacom TV service. If you’re subscribed to one of the bundle plans that includes TV and/or phone service, the smartest option would be to buy the modem/gateway from Mediacom.
Well, it’s pretty clear to us (and hopefully to you) that renting is not a good choice. It costs too much and there’s a good chance that you won’t get the best gateway (modem + router) for your needs.
It’s definitely smarter to buy your equipment. You can choose where you want to buy it. If you are not a techy person and you don’t want to learn about various modem and router specs, just buy your equipment from Mediacom. You may not get the best possible equipment for your money, but you will still save money. If you’re really looking for high-end equipment, you will have to learn about modems and routers, and you’ll have to buy your equipment elsewhere.
Things to Look for When Buying a Mediacom Compatible Modem
Before even considering different devices, you have to decide whether you want a gateway (a modem and a router in one device) or separate units. Once you decide what you want, you can start your search. A small piece of advice – separate units usually offer better performance.
The first and most important thing to look for is the DOCSIS standard. You need a DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Only these modems are compatible with Mediacom services. Old DOCSIS 2.0 modems are not.
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Furthermore, you need a modem that supports the speeds that you’re subscribed to. If you’re buying a gateway or a separate wi-fi router, you should also pay attention to the max supported wireless speeds. Your router/gateway speed has to match or exceed the internet speeds that you are subscribed to. You also have to think about the max wi-fi coverage, supported wireless standards (802.11 b/g/n, 802.11 ac, 802.11 ax), number of bands (single, dual, or tri-band), etc.
After covering the basics, let’s move to the most important part – our selection of the best Mediacom compatible modems. The list consists of two parts – best modems and best gateways. Remember – if you buy a modem, you will also need a router, but if you buy a gateway, you don’t need a router because it already has a router built inside. The following models are our top choices.
Best Mediacom Compatible Modems
If you decide to go for modem and not gateway, remember to buy a compatible router.
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1. Best Cheap Mediacom Compatible Modem – NETGEAR CM500
For Mediacom plans up to Internet 300
NETGEAR CM500 is one of the cheaper models and it’s the perfect choice if you’re on a budget and if you’re subscribed to any Mediacom internet plan other than 1 Gig.
CM500 is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. It features 16×4 channel bonding and it supports max theoretical speeds up to 680 Mbps. However, it’s recommended for internet plans up to 300 Mbps. The modem also supports IPv6 and DOCSIS QoS. It’s compatible with all major internet providers in the US and with all operating systems.
The modem comes with a power cable and Ethernet cable. You have 5 LED indicators on the front. On the back, there’s a coax connector, 1Gig Ethernet port, DC input, and a RESET button. The installation is pretty straightforward and takes just a few minutes – it’s pretty much plug-and-play.
2. Best Mediacom Compatible Modem Under $100 – Motorola MB7621
For Mediacom plans up to Internet 300
Motorola MB7621 is also a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable cable modem. It’s just slightly pricier than the previously reviewed CM500, but it’s also faster.
MB7621 is also a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. It features 24×8 channel bonding. The max theoretical speed is 1 Gbps, but it’s recommended for internet plans up to 600 Mbps. It supports IPv6 protocol and QoS. MB7621 is compatible with all major cable internet providers in the US and all OS.
The modem comes with a power adapter and Ethernet cable. It features a slim and attractive design. You have 5 LEDs on the front (power, download, upload, internet, Ethernet). On the back, you have the power input, power button, 1 Gig Ethernet port, and a coax connector.
3. Best Mediacom Compatible Modem Under $150 – ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
For all Mediacom internet plans including 1 GIG
ARRIS SB8200 is a bit more advanced and pricier modem than the previous two. It is a perfect choice for the fastest Mediacom 1GIG internet plan.
SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. It features 32×8 channel bonding. It supports (theoretically) speeds of up to 2 Gbps, so it can easily handle 1GIG cable internet plans provided by any major ISP in the US. The modem can also operate in DOCSIS 3.0 (32×8 SCQAM) or DOCSIS 3.1 (2×2 OFDM/OFDMA) mode.
The modem is super easy to install and it’s compatible with all operating systems. It has a straightforward input layout. You have one coax connector, two 1 Gig Ethernet ports, and power input. They are all located on the back. On the front, there’s just a series of LED indicators.
4. Best Mediacom Compatible Modem Under $200 – NETGEAR Nighthawk CM2000
For all Mediacom internet plans including 1 GIG
NETGEAR CM2000 is one of the most capable cable modems under $200. It’s also one of the most attractive and eye-catching modems on the list, and it’s a perfect match for the fastest Mediacom plan (1 GIG). It’s maybe expensive, but it’s still a better choice than renting if you consider long-term costs. If you pair it with an equally capable router and spend another $200 on a good wi-fi 6 router, they will pay themselves off in less than 3 years. If you keep using them after three years, it’s pure profit.
CM2000 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. It features 32×8 channel bonding. The max theoretical download speed is 2.5 Gbps. Like the previous ARRIS modem, it can work in DOCSIS 3.0 (32×8) and DOCSIS 3.1 (OFDMA 2×2) modes. Like most of today’s modems, it also supports IPv6 protocol.
The modem has quite a unique and unusual design, but all the standard inputs and indicators are there. What makes it special, besides the looks, is that 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port on the back.
Best Mediacom Compatible Gateways (modem and router in one device)
If you opt for a gateway, then you don’t need two devices (you don’t need a router), since every gateway has a built-in router.
5. Best Mediacom Compatible Gateway Under $100 – TP-Link CR700
Good match for plans up to Internet 100
TP-Link CR700 is a great budget choice. It’s priced under $100 and is a good match for Internet 60 and Internet 100 Mediacom plans. It can also be used for Internet 300, but we still recommend something more capable for this plan.
The modem portion of the gateway supports DOCSIS 3.0. It features 16×4 channel bonding and supports speeds up to 680 Mbps (theoretically), but it’s recommended for internet plans up to 373 Mbps. The modem supports IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.
The built-in router supports 802.11 ac as well as 802.11 b/g/n. It is a dual-band router. It supports speeds up to 450 Mbps on a 2 GHz band or up to 1.3 Gbps on 5 GHz. The router uses beamforming technology for improved performance and more directional transmission.
The unit also features basic internet security (DoS attack protection, Firewalls). You can also adjust some parental control settings, or create and monitor your guest network.
The router has 6 internal antennas and provides decent wi-fi coverage – it could easily cover 1,500ft2.
The gateway has one coax connector, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two USB 2.0 ports.
6. Best Mediacom Compatible Gateway Under $150 – NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000
Good match for Internet 300
NETGEAR C7000 is a bit pricier and more capable than the previous TP-Link gateway. It’s a great match for Mediacom plans up to Internet 300.
The modem is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 and features 24×8 channel bonding. The max theoretical download speed is 900 Mbps (215 Mbps upload), but it’s recommended for internet plans up to 400 Mbps. The modem supports IPv4 and IPv6.
The built-in router is a dual-band (802.11 ac) and supports speeds up to 600 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz band, or 1,300 Mbps on 5 GHz. It runs on a 1.6 GHz processor and provides stable and reliable wireless performance. The unit uses Beamforming to boost speeds and connection quality. C7000 has three internal antennas and could easily cover a medium-sized house (1,800 ft2).
To set up your gateway and adjust various advanced settings (parental control, separate guest network, etc.), you can use the Nighthawk app or you can do it the old way.
The gateway has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB 2.0 port.
7. Best Mediacom Compatible Gateway Under $250 – ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300
Great for all Mediacom internet plans (including 1 GIG)
SBG8300 is a bit more expensive than the previous two but it’s worth it. It’s a great match for the fastest cable internet plans. The gateway is compatible with all the major internet providers in the US.
The modem features DOCSIS 3.1 support (2×2 OFDMA), and it also supports DOCSIS 3.0 (32×8 channel bonding). The max theoretical speed on DOCSIS 3.0 is 1,200 Mbps, while the max speed on DOCSIS 3.1 is 4 Gbps. So, it can easily handle 1 Gig plan. It supports both – IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. The modem portion of the SBG8300 is basically the same as the previously reviewed SB8200. The only difference is that SBG8300 has a built-in router.
The router is dual-band and supports 802.11 ac wireless standard. The router is classified as AC2350, which is not really the best match for the modem. We’re not saying it’s bad but we think that you will probably get better wireless performance if you combine SB8200 with some nice wi-fi 6 router.
The speeds can reach 800 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz band or 1,550 Mbps on a 5 GHz band. The router features a MIMO antenna configuration and uses Beamforming for better connection quality and improved speed. The router automatically selects the band and can transmit on both bands simultaneously.
The unit comes with the SURFboard Manager App (Android/iOS). You can use this app for the initial configuration. You can also use it to monitor your network, adjust parental control, create a guest network, monitor devices connected to your network, etc. The problem with the app is that it’s quite unstable and unreliable.
This was our selection of the best Mediacom compatible modems and gateways. We hope it helped you find the right equipment for your budget and your internet plan. For additional info, please read the FAQs or leave us a question in the comment section below. Also, feel free to share your opinions and experience with different modems, routers, extenders, and other networking equipment.
Q: What routers are compatible with Mediacom?
A: Any router that supports internet speeds that you are subscribed to is compatible with Mediacom. The router will work even if it doesn’t support those speeds, but you won’t get those speeds that you’re paying for.
Q: Is Arris SB8200 compatible with Mediacom?
A: Arris SB8200 is a cable modem that supports DOCSIS 3.1 standard and max speeds up to 2 Gbps. It’s fast, reliable, and compatible with Mediacom and other major cable internet providers.
Q: How much does a Mediacom modem cost?
A: If you are renting, it costs too much. Way too much. If you choose to buy it from Mediacom, the gateway will cost you $100-$150. So, it costs the same as one-year rental fee. If you decide to buy a modem, router, or a gateway, you can save even more, or you can spend more than $150, get much better performance, and still save money (on a long-term basis). If you ask us, it’s much smarter to buy your Mediacom compatible modem than to rent equipment from Mediacom.
Q: Can I use any modem with Mediacom?
A: Well, you can use numerous modems with Mediacom, but not all of them. First of all, you can’t use old DOCSIS 2.0 modems. Second, to get the speeds that you’re subscribed to, you need a modem with enough downlink/uplink channels. In other words, you need a modem that supports your download/upload speeds.
Q: Do I have to use the Mediacom modem?
A: No, you don’t have to. Mediacom allows you to use third-party retail modems and even publishes and updates the list of available retail modems.
Q: Do I need a router or a modem for Mediacom internet?
A: You need both – cable modem and wi-fi router. Or, if you want just one device, you can just buy a gateway.
Q: Is Mediacom a DSL internet provider?
A: Mediacom is not a DSL internet provider. It is primarily a cable internet provider. It also offers fiber in select areas, but only for businesses.
Q: What is the best Mediacom compatible modem?
A: Well, it all depends on many factors including your budget, your home size and structure, your internet plan, etc. What’s perfect for cheap internet plans and small homes is often insufficient for large homes and 1Gig plans. If you want to know our favorite pick for Mediacom, it’s NETGEAR Nighthawk CM2000. If you’re looking for cheaper suggestions, scroll back to our selection of best Mediacom compatible modems and gateways.
Hey, I’m Jeremy Clifford. I hold a bachelor’s degree in information systems, and I’m a certified network specialist. I worked for several internet providers in LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Seattle over the past 21 years.
I worked as a customer service operator, field technician, network engineer, and network specialist. During my career in networking, I’ve come across numerous modems, gateways, routers, and other networking hardware. I’ve installed network equipment, fixed it, designed and administrated networks, etc.
Networking is my passion, and I’m eager to share everything I know with you. On this website, you can read my modem and router reviews, as well as various how-to guides designed to help you solve your network problems. I want to liberate you from the fear that most users feel when they have to deal with modem and router settings.
My favorite free-time activities are gaming, movie-watching, and cooking. I also enjoy fishing, although I’m not good at it. What I’m good at is annoying David when we are fishing together. Apparently, you’re not supposed to talk or laugh while fishing – it scares the fishes.
- Overview of Mediacom Internet Plans and Services
- Mediacom’s Equipment Rental Policy
- The Advantages of Renting a Modem from Mediacom
- The Advantages of Buying a Mediacom Compatible Modem
- Final Decision
- Things to Look for When Buying a Mediacom Compatible Modem
- Best Mediacom Compatible Modems
- 1. Best Cheap Mediacom Compatible Modem – NETGEAR CM500
- 2. Best Mediacom Compatible Modem Under $100 – Motorola MB7621
- 3. Best Mediacom Compatible Modem Under $150 – ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
- 4. Best Mediacom Compatible Modem Under $200 – NETGEAR Nighthawk CM2000
- Best Mediacom Compatible Gateways (modem and router in one device)
- 5. Best Mediacom Compatible Gateway Under $100 – TP-Link CR700
- 6. Best Mediacom Compatible Gateway Under $150 – NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000
- 7. Best Mediacom Compatible Gateway Under $250 – ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300