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If there is one thing that needs an exceptional Internet connection, it’s gaming. Competitive online gaming has come a long way since the two-player arcade games of old, but there is still no room for even a second’s delay if you want to top the leaderboards.
Game developers today outdo each other year after year, each vying to offer the game with the most detailed graphics, immersive experience, and engaging gameplay. As impressive as that may look on your screen, the parts you don’t see are working just as hard – every pixel is another piece of data that needs to be transmitted and received in real-time.
The consequences of not having a decent connection are known to the gaming community as lag, represented by the entire game world seemingly freezing in place, or else things leaping from one point to the next. Few things are more irritating to gamers, and a lagging game or gaming setup will rapidly become an abandoned one.
Your key to keeping a game running smoothly is your modem, the device that serves as a gateway between your own computer and the outside world. Whether you have selected wireless or a cable connection, a fast modem means your commands reach the server and affect the game world exactly as you intend them to – not a minute later.
A serious gamer can face a broad selection of gaming modems when putting together their setup. Here are the five best options to run your next game.
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|EDITOR’S CHOICE||1. TP-Link TC-7610
|RUNNER UP||2. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
|3. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800
|4. Linksys CG7500
|5. MOTOROLA MD1600
Our Best Gaming Modem Reviews and Comparisons
1. TP-Link TC-7610
For a strictly physical gaming connection, it’s hard to beat this workhorse.
- DOCSIS 3.0
- 1000Mbps transfer speed
- 24×8 up/down stream connections
- IPv6 traffic supported
Read Related Article: Best Modem Router Combo in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]
What We Like About TP-Link TC-7610
Make sure that your games are moving at top speed with the dual-core processors running up to 10GHz
What We Don’t Like About TP-Link TC-7610
Because this device is cable-only, there are several other components you will need to keep your connection clear.
- Dual core processing
- Channel bonding frees up bandwidth for heavier loads
- Easily integrates with most router setups
- Strong customer support
- Two year warranty
- No wireless connection
- Firmware patches can be difficult
2. ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
This manufacturer has been in the network accessories game for a while and is ready to help your game as well.
- DOCSIS 3.0
- 8/32 up/down streaming
- Maximum speed 14 GB/s
- Gigabit Ethernet enabled
What We Like About ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
The SURFBoard uses channel bonding and 32 downstream to create incredible transfer speed.
What We Don’t Like About ARRIS SURFboard SB6190
ARRIS has been strongly criticized for use of the faulty Puma chipset in many of its devices.
- Channel bonding
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Exceptional transfer speed
- Plug-and-play setup
- Certified for most major internet providers
- Puma chipset included in many devices is known to be flawed
- Hard to claim warranty or customer support
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800
No serious discussion of network gaming gear is complete without mention of the Nighthawk series, and this modem is another entry into an already exceptional line of top-notch gear.
- DOCSIS 3.1
- 6GB/s transfer speed
- Combination modem and wireless router
- AC3200 connection to up to 45 devices
What We Like About NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800
Nighthawk routers of any kind are known for their incredible speed and long wireless range, delivering pristine gaming anywhere in the house.
What We Don’t Like About NETGEAR Nighthawk C7800
You get what you pay for – and you pay for what you get. This router will set you back double the cost of a comparable device.
- Connects physically and wirelessly
- Compatible with most security protocols
- Integrated parental controls and content filtering
- Enormous wireless coverage and plenty of device connection slots
- Easy to set up
- Exceptionally costly
- Nighthawk mobile setup app can be troublesome
4. Linksys CG7500
Linksys focuses on user-friendly experience by minimizing setup and maintenance.
- DOCSIS 3.0
- 8/24 up/down streams
- AC1900 wireless connectivity
- 300 Mbps transfer speed
What We Like About Linksys CG7500
Linksys has put extra care into making this device compatible with even the most irritating of service providers.
What We Don’t Like About Linksys CG7500
This device is manufactured with relatively fragile materials that make it an unreliable option in several ways.
- High compatibility
- Easy setup – no disc required
- Minimal cable connections
- Clear signal through obstructions
- Adaptable broadband options
- Unreliable connection and materials
5. MOTOROLA MD1600
Motorola was one of the first to enter the field of wireless communications of any kind and brings their traditional excellence to this device as well.
- AC1600 wireless capacity
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- IPv6 enabled
- USB 2.0 connectivity
What We Like About MOTOROLA MD1600/h4>
This modem is optimized for ADSL and VDSL gaming, making it a prime option for those running less common networks.
What We Don’t Like About MOTOROLA MD1600
Expect a significant reduction in network speed when you switch to this modem.
- Wide range of DSL options
- Relatively inexpensive
- Multiple physical connection options
- Compatible with less common network providers
- Exceptional customer service
- Slower than many similar products
- Hard to troubleshoot/li>
When you’re talking about serious gaming, you need the best possible items equipped to your avatar and in real life. Pick one of these devices to get your setup running at top speed and get ready to trash the competition.
It is worth noting that any modem is only as fast as the network it is supporting. If you experience significant slowdowns even after installing your gaming modem, consult your service provider about improving service or loosening restrictions on your account.