Are you currently a Spectrum subscriber or planning to become one? If yes, then your ISP must’ve asked you to pay the monthly rental fee of $8-12. And, it’s likely that you’d want to say yes to such a tempting offer, but based on our research, owning a router provides a better return on investment than renting.
But, let’s just stop for a second and think about what other options you have. How about buying your own router? How will that benefit you, you ask? Let me walk you through the benefits of buying your own router for Spectrum Internet.
- Better Wireless Performance and Speeds: You have to consider the fact that Spectrum is not going to provide you the best router in the market. That’s why you need to make sure that you buy a suitable router for all the daily tasks you perform, to enjoy the better wireless performance. This way you’ll get to pick the speed of the router yourself which will be far better than a rental router.
- Rental Fees: $5-$10 a month might sound like a very meager amount but if you rent a Spectrum router, you’ll end up spending nearly $60-$120 a year as rental fees. Think about how much money you’ll be spending a couple of years later. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? That’s why it’s best to splurge now than to regret it later.
- Better Network Coverage: Spectrum doesn’t know the wireless coverage you need. Only you can decide upon how much area your wireless network should cover. If you rent a router, you can end up getting stuck with one that doesn’t reach every nook and cranny of your home. Therefore, it’s best to buy a Spectrum compatible router with the wireless range you require.
- Better Security: As you know, cyber attackers are getting more advanced these days. That’s why you need advanced security features to protect the personal information on your devices. Spectrum rental routers don’t offer the best security features and that’s why it’s best if you buy your own router with advanced security features such as parental controls, stronger firewalls, etc.
12 Best Routers for Spectrum
In order to pick the best router for the spectrum, you’ll need to take note of your network requirements. So, take a look at the top 12 wireless routers that give you more bang for your buck.
1. Best For Gamers: NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
This router has the looks of an alien spaceship and a low-dormancy design. The geo-filtering feature of this router benefits you by reducing lag while gaming. It does so by permitting you to set up an ultimate distance between yourself and the players you connect to.
Furthermore, its quality of service feature helps you to prioritize your bandwidth traffic and enables you to either hog the entire bandwidth for yourself or share it with others. It might seem a little expensive at first, but this is the absolute solution to all your router woes!
The dual-band router provides an unbelievable combined speed of 2.6 Gbps. It supports the latest quad-stream MU-MIMO technology. It delivers the data stream from the router directly to the MU-MIMO compatible clients, simultaneously rather than successively. With this technology, you can experience faster streaming using 32 downstream and 8 upstream QAM channels.
With the Qualcomm QCA 9984 Wi-Fi dual-core processor chipset that clocks in at a frequency of 1.7 GHz, this router becomes the ultimate powerful device to give your home a stable wireless connection.
It has a mind-blowing 512MB RAM and a flash memory of 256MB to install extra applications. This NETGEAR gem is the first router by the brand that operates using the Duma operating system. It is one of a kind gamer-friendly OS developed by Netduma, which primarily focuses on resource monitoring, bandwidth allocation, and network prioritization.
The DumaOS makes your life easier by showcasing the real-time CPU, bandwidth usage, guest network status, Wi-Fi status, and all your installed apps on a single dashboard.
The router supports the next generation DOCSIS 3.1. Moreover, it can not only be used as a router but also as a wireless extender. This router has four external adjustable antennas with beamforming features that transmit radio waves in a particular direction towards the client only. As this is a dual-band router, it operates using one 2.4 GHz and one 5 GHz frequency band.
These bands are further divided into wireless channels for data transmission. Moreover, the beamforming feature of this router helps deliver wireless signal directly to the clients rather than spreading it across a broad spectrum.
With the NETGEAR XR500 at work, the 80MHz Wi-Fi channels on the 5GHz band can be clubbed together to form 160MHz channels for better wireless throughput. It runs at a max speed of 2.6GHz. The NETGEAR XR500 is powerful enough to fill a home of size 3,500 sq. Ft with a seamless wireless connection.
On the top of this beast of a router, you’ll notice a power button and a WPS button. The WPS, or Wi-Fi Protected Setup button, makes it easier for your Wi-Fi enabled devices such as TV, Blu-ray Disc player, etc. to connect to a secure wireless network. On the left side of the router, you have two USB 3.0 ports, and on the back of the router, you have four 1 Gigabit LAN ports.
Setting up the device is a breeze. First, you need to connect your router to a modem using the Ethernet cable. After that, you can either log in to the mobile app or use the web console. You can manage the settings of the router using the app or the settings section in the DumaOS.
The router has a black plastic body that measures 2.2×12.7×9.6 inches. It has a series of LED indicators on its front face for power, Internet, Wi-Fi bands, guest Wi-Fi, USB ports, and four LAN ports. Furthermore, the back of this router features an assortment of buttons. However, it’s quite bulky and weighs 3.71 pounds.
The router is compatible with the Spectrum Gig plan and is the best choice for gaming enthusiasts. If you’re a gamer, then I’m sure that the bandwidth prioritization of your router matters to you as much as the graphics.
The Nighthawk Pro XR500 has the latest security features, incredibly fast wireless speeds, excellent close-range throughput, gaming-friendly interface and management, and app support to fulfill all your network requirements.
- Incredible speed
- Secure gaming VPN server
- NETGEAR app support
- Quality of Service feature
- MU-MIMO technology
- Moderate coverage
- Moderate long-distance performance
2. Best Mesh WiFi Router: Gryphon AC3000
The reason why the generation today is opting for mesh routers is for their seamless wireless coverage and ease of installation. They’re aesthetically pleasing and you’d love to sport them in your home rather than tucking them away in your closet. Gryphon AC3000 is all about excellent wireless speed, coverage, and security.
It has a solid and reliable performance that’ll make you fall in love with it. The three bands of this router offer a combined speed of 3,000Mbps. If we take the individual band speeds into consideration, the 2.4GHz band supports a speed of 400Mbps, one 5GHz band supports a speed of 1.7Gbps and the second 5GHz band maxes out at 800Mbps and is used for backhaul communication between nodes.
It supports the latest MU-MIMO technology with 4×4 streaming and beamforming for a stronger signal. Furthermore, the router has an additional feature called ‘automatic band steering’ that enables the router to choose the best radio band for optimal performance. With such high-end technologies at work, you can enjoy streaming videos without any lags.
The router is fueled by Qualcomm’s IQP4019 quad-core chipset. It has a 512MB RAM that can support all high-end operations and a 4GB flash memory to install any extra applications such as alternate versions of the OS you’re using.
Furthermore, the router employs the Qualcomm Wi-Fi Self Organizing Network System that identifies the most efficient route for your data transmission. The router supports the latest DOCSIS 3.1 32×8 cable modem. However, it’s not a router/modem combination.
The router has six antennas that are arranged at right angles to each other. These antennas are fitted with power amplifiers that catch a weak radio signal and amplify it before transmitting for better coverage, beamforming, and stronger targeted signals.
It’s a tri-band mesh router that uses one 5GHz radio band for backhaul communication and the remaining two bands for delivering fast wireless throughput. The 2.4GHz radio band has 11 wireless channels and each 5GHz radio band has 45 wireless channels for data transmission, clocking over 3000Mbps.
The router provides you with excellent coverage of over 3,000 sq. ft. If you want even better coverage, then you can get two sets of the same router to cover an area of almost 6,000 sq. ft.
At the base of every router unit, you’ll notice a single wired Ethernet port for connecting your modem and three downstream networking ports that deliver a maximum speed of 1,000Mbps. Although the Gryphon AC3000 lacks dedicated USB ports, you’ll still be able to connect the majority of your devices to the router through the Ethernet port.
According to the manufacturers, web UI can be easily attacked by cyber hackers and that’s why there is no web console available for this router. Once you open the Gryphon app, you’ll be able to see a round pause button that will put a halt to the internet services for any managed device. Below this button, you’ll see a dashboard with four sections – Managed devices, Unmanaged devices, Things, and TV & Entertainment.
You can experience a better network throughput through its separate guest Wi-Fi. If you want to set up and manage the settings of this router, you can take the help of the thoroughly designed Gryphon mobile app.
The router is also super easy to set up using the Gryphon app using Android or iOS devices. On the underside of the router, you’ll see an LED light that blinks white when the router is ready to set up and a solid white when everything is accomplished.
The router is easy on the eyes due to its ergonomic tower twist and turn design and gorgeous white body. In fact, this router looks so unique that it will become a part of the decor of your home. It measures 4.3×4.3×9 inches and is super light weighing just 1.8 pounds.
The Gryphon AC3000 not only fills your home with a fast wireless connection but also envelopes it in a security blanket with its robust parental controls and cloud-based security service.
- Incredible speeds
- Powerful processor and RAM
- WPA3 security features
- Robust Parental controls
- No USB 3.0 ports
The NETGEAR Orbi Tri-Band router has an amazing and reliable performance. Mesh routers have taken over the world of wireless connectivity. The NETGEAR Orbi Tri-Band RBK50 is the most powerful router that lets your family spread its wings and sink its claws into the internet.
What helps to fulfill every network requirement of your family is the router’s unique dedicated channel for router-to-extension data traffic. With this router at work, you can enjoy seamlessly fast 4K streaming, high-end gaming, and other business operations without any lags.
It provides a combined wireless speed of 3,000Mbps. As the NETGEAR Orbi is a 2×2 router, it can support two streams simultaneously on dedicated wireless devices. Due to its latest MU-MIMO technology, the router is able to deliver a strong wireless connection to multiple devices simultaneously. This feature makes it worth its investment.
The router is fueled by the powerful ARM-based quad-core CPU processor that clocks in at the frequency of 710MHz. There’s a 512MB RAM space, which is enough to perform all high-end operations.
It also has a 4GB flash memory to install extra applications. To control the backhaul channel communications of the device, the router is equipped with the Qualcomm QCA9984 chipset. The DOCSIS 3.1 is compatible with the NETGEAR Orbi Tri-Band RBK50 router. It’s not a router/modem combination.
The router has six high-performance internal antennas with beamforming abilities for better coverage, beamforming, and speed. One of the 5GHz bands is used for backhaul communication. Because of a dedicated backhaul communication channel, the link between the Orbi router and your device remains strong. The router provides incredible coverage of 5,000 sq. ft., clocking over 3000Mbps of top speed.
It is equipped with four 1 Gigabit LAN ports for supporting wired connections. It is also listed with a single USB 2.0 port and a power port. When it comes to the race of easy wireless installation and better user experience, NETGEAR is the frontrunner. This NETGEAR router comes pre-paired and does not require you to reveal your IP address or encryption.
You can install this device at your home by either connecting your PC to the router using the Ethernet cable or use the Wi-Fi connection on your smartphone. Setting up this router is a breeze.
If you’re using the web interface, all you’ve got to do is go to orbilogin.com, or you can use the Orbi App or the NETGEAR Genie App on your smartphone. You’ll see a white halo on the top of the router when it starts up. If your router indicates a blue light, it means everything is fine, amber light means your internet connection is weak, and magenta light means your internet connection is dead.
Before the Orbi router blankets your home in a wireless connection, its software thoroughly checks the network. Then, you’ll need to power the Orbi satellite and set it up close to the router. After that, you can check the real-time specifications of your router and configure them according to your requirements. The complete installation of your newly bought router shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes!
The router has a gorgeous and serene white body that will complement any room. It measures 6.4×3.1×8 inches and weighs just 1.96 pounds. This router is Spectrum compatible and provides you with incredible speed, coverage, MU-MIMO technology, QoS, beamforming, and excellent user experience with the NETGEAR all support.
Due to a firmware update in 2017, the Orbi router is now compatible with Alexa! The Alexa feature will make your life easier by commanding the router to turn on the guest network access, reboot, and reciting the wireless settings. To enable this feature, you’ll need to create a NETGEAR account on the Genie app.
Furthermore, NETGEAR provides you a one-year warranty on the Orbi system, and a three-month warranty in case of any technical issues. Also, if you look at the NETGEAR website, it has an Orbi Support section that will answer all your conundrums about this router. You can even download a user manual from this section.
- Excellent speed and coverage
- NETGEAR app support
- Tri-band router
- Powerful processor and RAM
- No USB 3.0 port
- Outdated firmware
4. Value for Money: Linksys AC2200
The Linksys AC2200 is a tri-band router that will leave you absolutely stunned with its unbeatable performance. The router provides a combined wireless speed of 2.2Gbps.
The 2.4 GHz band can be used for regular daily operations, one 5 GHz band for gaming, and the other 5 GHz band for 4 K streaming. It supports the latest MU-MIMO technology for 4×4 streaming. It may not be a top-tier router but its affordability and classy features make it worth an investment.
The router is powered by the Qualcomm IPQ4019 chipset that clocks in at a frequency of 717MHz. It has a 256MB RAM space, which can support business operations, 4 K streaming, gaming, and other regular operations. It also has a 256 MB flash memory to install other applications.
The router can support the DOCSIS 3.1 32X8 modem cable. It’s not a router/modem combination. However, this router can turn into a mesh Wi-Fi network. How you ask? The router has built-in Velop mesh technology that allows you to establish a whole mesh wireless network in your home using the Velop nodes.
This mesh network offers several benefits such as fast roaming, easy management, and one network SSID and password. However, remember that to convert your router into a mesh network, MR8300 must be the primary node that connects to your modem.
The router has four adjustable but non-removable external antennas with beamforming abilities. This feature ensures that the wireless radio signals travel directly to your client devices. You can arrange these antennas as you like. Two of the antennas deliver dual-band technology and the other two deliver single-band technology.
In addition to this, the router has a Smart Connect feature. As the name suggests, this feature automatically decides whether to connect your device to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band. However, if you like to be your own master, you can separate the bands.
It also has the feature of airtime distribution for better and equitable bandwidth distribution. Topping at a speed of 2200Mbps, the router can cover a maximum range of 2,000 sq. ft. However, if you convert it into a mesh network then the router can extend its range to up to 4,500 sq. ft.
The top of the router has a glossy black panel with LED indicator lights. The router has four 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports and one WAN port that provide faster wired connection than standard Ethernet ports. It also has one USB 3.0 port that can be used to connect to a printer and other devices.
Furthermore, you can use these ports to connect your router to other max stream devices such as access points, repeaters, and bridges. Linksys provides you the ultimate customer support through the Linksys app and the Linksys web console.
However, if you’re looking to separate the bands on your router, you’ll have to rely solely on the latter. When you open the mobile app, you’ll be able to see a dashboard with multiple sections. These include – the name of the network, number of connected devices, and the internet status. In the security settings, you’ll find a Wi-Fi mode that allows you to scan the bands for minimum network traffic.
Furthermore, the app has other important sections such as device prioritization, guest network access, and parental controls. To set up the device, you need to download the app, plug the router into your modem, and press the power button. After that, you need to create your account on the app and wait a few seconds for it to link to your router. That’s all it takes!
The router has a black plastic body. It measures 6.37×8.41×2.16 inches and weighs just 1 pound. If you’re planning to grow your home network but aren’t ready to invest in a mesh network just yet, then this router is perfect for you. It’s a budget-friendly option for mesh router beginners. Although it doesn’t have the sleek aesthetics of a mesh router, its ease of installation and power-packed performance give you more bang for your buck.
The router is suitable for the Spectrum Internet ultra plan and is a must-have because of its robust parental controls, powerful CPU processor, high speed, app-support, and USB 3.0 port. However, my only disappointment with this router is that it lacks malware protection and Linksys Shield Parental Controls.
- High speed
- Powerful CPU and RAM
- Airtime bandwidth distribution
- Outdated firmware
- Moderate coverage
5. Best Modem Router Combo: Motorola MG7550
When you rent a router from Spectrum, you’re renting a router-modem combo unit. Buying your own router-modem combo unit can be a budget-friendly way to bid goodbye to your rental router service.
Combo units should be your top choice if your primary purpose for buying a router is seamless streaming. The Motorola MG7550 provides you the features of a dual-band router and a modem all in one. It has an excellent performance that will make you fall in love with it.
The router provides you a combined speed of 1900Mbps on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It features 16 downstream with a download speed of 683Mbps and four upstream channels with an upload speed of 123Mbps.
Furthermore, the router supports 3×3 MU-MIMO technology which means it can send and receive signals from three channels simultaneously. This unit includes a full-band digital tuner that identifies the wireless channels with the least amount of traffic. Therefore, it ensures that you experience minimum co-channel and adjacent channel interference while using your Wi-Fi connection.
The router is powered by the Broadcom BCM33843G CPU chipset. It has a RAM space of 256 MB, which is perfect to carry out daily operations as well as the high-end ones.
This is a router and modem combination that is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 16X4. Furthermore, this router is back-compatible with older DOCSIS versions such as DOCSIS 2.0 and 1.1.
The router has four internal antennas with beamforming abilities. Beamforming helps your router to send directed wireless signals to devices that need it the most. It’s a dual-band router that works using one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz frequency band.
The router can cover a range of over 1,500 sq.ft., with a top speed over 1900mbps. As our need for connecting multiple devices to our Wi-Fi connection grows, so do the routers. This particular device can connect up to 253 wireless devices simultaneously.
It is equipped with four 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports on its back panel for hard-wiring your router to gaming consoles, computer, and other Ethernet-compatible devices. Also, it has one USB 3.0 port for other additional connections.
You can control the router functions with the Motorola app support that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The router/modem combo is super easy to set up. You just need to follow the instructions on the app. As the router does not need any advanced fixtures to set it up, you can do it on your own without any technical assistance.
The router has a black body and measures 10.9×10.2×2.8 inches. It weighs 2.65 pounds. The top panel and sides of the router are heavily perforated for maintaining good airflow and protecting the device from heat damage. Below the Ethernet ports, you’ll see a red section with a reset button, WPS, and WLAN button.
The front panel of the device has seven LED indicators. If your router is working perfectly, then you’ll notice five green LED lights and two blue LEDs. However, if you notice other colors, you can refer to the user manual. If you’ve misplaced your user manual, it’s available for download on the company website.
The blue section at the rear end of the device sends data directly to the modem via a coaxial connection. Beneath the coaxial connection, you’ll notice a power button and power supply input.
This is a spectrum modem router combo that has a USB 3.0 port, provides excellent speed, MU-MIMO technology, DOCSIS 3.0, and ease of setup. Thus, it one of the best Spectrum supported routers on the list here.
- Excellent speed
- USB 3.0 port
- Powerful CPU and RAM
- Router/Modem combination
- Moderate coverage
- Outdated firmware
6. Best Under 100: TP-LINK AC1750
If you want a budget-friendly router that performs just like an expensive one, then the TP-Link AC1750 should be your top pick. This is a solid easy to use router that you won’t need to break the bank for.
The WAN speed that determines the maximum throughput your ISP provides you, is 1,000Mbps for this router. Even though the router is outdated, it provides a solid performance.
Delivering a combined maximum speed of 1750Mbps, this TP-Link was first launched in 2014. If we take individual speeds into consideration, the maximum speed provided by the 2.4GHz frequency band is 450Mbps, and that by 5 GHz band is 1300Mbps.
One feature that you’ll definitely miss on this router is the MU-MIMO technology. This is because the MU-MIMO and beamforming features are mostly packed in high-end routers. However, this router can support streaming on eight downstream and four upstream channels.
This TP-LINK router is powered by Qualcomm Atheros QCA9588 CPU chipset that clocks in at a frequency of 720MHz. It has a 128 MB DDR3 SDRAM, which is sufficient for performing daily operations and moderate gaming. It has an 8MB flash memory to install additional applications. The device can easily support up to 50 household wireless connections.
It supports the DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed cable modem for wired internet connections. It has a maximum downstream speed of 1,000Mbps. It’s not a router/modem combo.
At the rear end of the router, you’ll notice three external adjustable and removable antennas and three internal antennas. All of these antennas have a built-in power amplifier but lack beamforming abilities that direct a stronger radio signal to your wireless device.
Furthermore, the QoS feature of the router ensures that your important tasks are given a priority. This feature distributes a higher bandwidth to devices performing high-end tasks. It has a max speed of 1750mbps. This beast of a router can provide a stable Wi-Fi connection over a range of 2,500 sq. ft.
It has one WAN port that clocks in at a speed of 1 Gbps. It also has four wired Ethernet ports that provide a speed of 1 Gbps for wired connections. Furthermore, it has dual USB 2.0 ports to support the connection with other devices such as printers and smartphones.
The web console for the router is an outdated text-based version. In fact, in some of the cases you’ll notice a time lag of up to 30 seconds between the time you change a setting and the time it gets saved in your router. That being said, the web console does offer a plethora of basic and advanced settings.
You can easily manage the controls of your router on your smartphone with the help of the TP-LINK Tether app. This app is available for both Android and iOS. Using the app and web console, you can enable or disable several important settings. These include – guest network access, parental controls, advanced routing, bandwidth control, port forwarding and triggering, VPN pass through and Firewall settings.
You can establish the 802.11ac wireless network in your home using this app or go to the web console. After that, go to the management console, select Quick Setup Tab and then choose Auto-detect. The console will then ask you the band you want to operate on and scan your device for any malware. That’s it! Your router is ready to power through!
This router has a typical back box appearance. It measures 9.57×6.32×1.28 inches and weighs just 1.12 pounds. Joining all the ports is a power button, a WPS button, a Wi-Fi switch, and two USB activity LEDs. The front panel of the router has LED indicators for power, wireless radio bands, all types of ports, and WPS activity.
When you take the ease of installation and performance of this router into consideration, you wouldn’t believe its price point. It delivers the fastest throughput speeds that you’ve ever seen in a dual-band router under $100.
The router is Spectrum compatible and you’ll definitely be compelled to buy it for its advanced security features, excellent speed, coverage, app-support, and affordability.
- Excellent overall performance
- QoS and beamforming features
- Dual USB 2.0 ports
- Powerful processor and RAM
- A slight blip in AC speed
- Outdated firmware
If you are looking for a modern-day affordable router with the latest technology, then the Amazon Eero Mesh Wifi Router is the best router for you. A single broadband router cannot possibly deliver a strong signal in every nook and cranny of your home.
A mesh router uses multiple access points or nodes to provide better wireless coverage. Mesh routers cover your home in a secure wireless blanket so that you can access your Wi-Fi from your basement as well as the top floor.
It has excellent performance and provides a maximum combined wireless speed of 550 Mbps. The router also supports 2×2 MU-MIMO technology for both the radio bands. This means that each router unit of the Amazon Eero Mesh employs two channels for receiving and transmitting your data streams to multiple devices simultaneously. However, you’ll definitely feel the need of a third 5 GHz band for a higher throughput.
It is powered by the quad-core CPU processor that clocks in at a frequency of 700 MHz. It has a 512 MB RAM space, which is perfect to support high-end gaming and other business operations. Mesh routers are not just responsible for delivering a higher throughput.
They also need to provide consistent coverage throughout your home even when the devices jump from node to node. This ability of the Amazon Eero mesh is delivered by its powerful RAM and CPU chipset.
It also has a flash memory of 4 GB, which is excellent to store additional applications. Furthermore, just like standard dual-band routers, the Amazon Eero Mesh connects to a single unified network. When you move throughout your home, the router figures out the best frequency band for your device and connects you to it.
The router can support DOCSIS 3.1 32X8 modem cable. It’s not a router/modem combo but can be used as a Wi-Fi extender.
The router has six internal antennas that will provide you better coverage and beamforming features. It can cover a maximum range of 1,500 sq. Ft. The striking ability of the Amazon Eero mesh to steer clients from band to band and satellite to satellite enables it to cover a wider range without choking or dropping the connection. You’ll be amazed to know that each unit of the Amazon Eero Mesh is capable of handling 50 wireless devices without dropping the connection.
The router has two LAN ports having a speed of 1,000Mbps. You can use these Ethernet ports to plug in your computer, smart home hubs, or other Ethernet-compatible devices.
It also has the eero app support which works with both Android and iOS devices. This app enables you to set up your router within just 10 minutes. All you’ve got to do is pick a router and connect it to your modem via an Ethernet cable.
After that, follow the instructions given on the Eero app to establish the mesh network system in your home. You can also control the settings of your router using this app. Furthermore, the app allows you to check the number of devices it connected to your Wi-Fi network.
It also allows you to enable guest network access, manage profiles for family members, and restart the entire network in case of any technical issues. Another feature that the Eero offers at an affordable price is Alexa integration. Now with Alexa at your service, you can control the settings of your router by giving voice commands.
The router has a gorgeous and trendy white plastic body that will complement any room of your house. It measures 6.25×5.25×5 inches and weighs just 1.5 pounds. One thing that might leave you disappointed is that this router unit lacks a nightlight and the ability to plug it directly into the wall.
However, the most compelling thing about this router unit is its simple hardware and its ease of installation. You practically won’t even have to think of any technical assistance while setting it up.
It is compatible with Spectrum service and is a must-have due to its unique Alexa support, gorgeous design, app-support, beamforming, WPA3 security support, QoS features, and MU-MIMO technology.
- Alexa’s support and affordability
- MU-MIMO technology
- Can be used as a Wi-Fi extender
- Average speed and coverage
- Outdated firmware
8. NETGEAR N600
The NETGEAR N600 is an affordable router/modem combination that provides you excellent user experience and performance. It might leave you confused. How; you ask?
This is because on one hand the router sports high-end features such as Guest zone, network storage, traffic meter, and USB external hard drive. But, on the other hand, it also lacks some basic features that are only found missing in low-end routers.
The router has a maximum combined speed of 340Mbps. The individual speed on each band is 300Mbps. It also supports the latest quad-stream MU-MIMO technology with eight downstream channels and four upstream channels.
The router is powered by the Broadcom BCM5358UB0 CPU processor that clocks in at a frequency of 530MHz chipset. It has a RAM space of 64MB, which can only support basic operations. It also has an additional flash memory of 8MB that can be used to download additional applications.
It also offers the ReadyShare Program for you to share files with the same client. Furthermore, it comes equipped with advanced QoS and WMM-based QoS. It truly is the ultimate affordable router masterpiece for multimedia streaming and online gaming.
The router features the latest DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, which supports a maximum download speed of 1,000 Mbps. It’s a router/modem combination.
Like most high-end NETGEAR routers, this one has internal antennas too. This makes the router look more chic than the ones with external antennas. The router has four internal 9dbi antennas for better coverage and beamforming. Just like standard dual-band routers, the NETGEAR N600 can simultaneously broadcast Wireless-N signals on both; 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands.
The 2.4GHz band is shared by other household devices such as a cordless phone so you might experience co-channel and adjacent channel interference on this band. However, the 5GHz band can be used exclusively for better throughput execution. As you know, the Wi-Fi frequency band is further subdivided into wireless channels.
The traffic meter feature of this router enables you to control the bandwidth traffic on the router. This feature is especially useful when you have limited bandwidth and don’t want unnecessary devices to hog it.
Unfortunately, my only disappointment is that the traffic meter doesn’t control the bandwidth traffic for individual devices. It has an excellent range of 1,200 sq. ft. It clocks in at a speed of 600mbps.
Furthermore, unfortunately, due to the built-in network storage feature, you won’t be able to enjoy high throughput performance for data access to the USB external hard drive.
The router has two LAN ports that provide a speed of 1,000Mbps, and one USB 2.0 port that can be used to connect external devices. Also, all the ports on the router come equipped with auto-sensing technology.
On the back of the router you’ll also notice a WAN port that can be used to connect your router to a broadband modem. The router has the NAS feature that requires an external hard drive formatted in NTFS and FAT32 file systems to work.
The NETGEAR app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices for a better user experience. The instructions on the NETGEAR Genie app are so crystal clear that you’ll be able to set up this router within five minutes.
The router has a gorgeous metallic black body and measures 10.08×11.26×3.15 inches. It weighs just 1.89 pounds. It has two detachable feet which means that the router will work in a vertical position as well.
The top panel of the router features a big blue button adorned with eight little LED lights. These lights indicate the position of router antennas. The blue button works as a WPS button. Once you press it, the router gives you a two-minute window during which WPS-enabled devices can enter your wireless network.
Also, the router gives you access to two guest networks on each wireless band. Even though the router lacks some basic features, its intuitive web interface and stellar performance make it worth your money.
The router/modem combo works with Spectrum service providers and has advanced security features, USB 2.0 port, app support, good speed, coverage, live parental controls, and MU-MIMO technology.
- USB 2.0 Port
- Latest MU-MIMO technology
- NETGEAR app support
- Outdated firmware
- No USB 3.0 Ports
9. Best for 100 Mbps: TP-LINK AC1200
The TP-Link AC1200 router has excellent performance and advanced features that will take care of your every network requirement. This dual-band router is designed to please users with a tight budget.
Even at its low price point, the router offers some advanced features such as MU-MIMO technology and four gigabit LAN ports. It provides a combined speed of 1187Mbps. The 2.4GHz band provides a 300Mbps speed and the 5GHz band provides a speed of 867Mbps.
That being said, even though you’ll be satisfied with the performance of the 5GHz band, the performance of the 2.4GHz band will leave you wanting more. It also has the latest MU-MIMO technology that supports eight downstream channels and four upstream channels. The router definitely earns a brownie point from me for its MU-MIMO technology at such a low price range.
The router is powered by the Broadcom BCM47189 CPU processor that clocks in at a frequency of 900 MHz. It has a 128MB RAM that can support mild gaming and daily operations without lags.
It also has an additional flash memory for 16MB to download extra applications. This router uses the 802.11ac Wave 2 technology to establish a wireless connection in your home.
Furthermore, even though the QoS settings of the router allow you to set bandwidth limits, it lacks application-specific presets. But, an impressive feature of this router is its ‘System Tools’.
This feature lets you schedule automatic router reboots, automatic backups, firmware updates, and view network traffic. It also allows you to switch between the Router mode and Access Point mode.
The router is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 modem and is not a router/modem combination. It has four non-removable external adjustable antennas with beamforming abilities for better bandwidth distribution and beamforming.
This allows your router to send stronger directed signals towards priority client devices. The non-removable antennas might cause a little trouble for you if you’re worried about the aesthetics of the router and antenna directions.
Clocking in at a maximum speed of 1167Mbps, it can cover a range of over 1,500 sq. ft and 25 devices. Unfortunately, the router lacks the ‘automatic band steering’ feature that chooses the best radio band with the least amount of network traffic for your device.
The router sports four 1-Gigabit LAN ports and one WAN port on its rear panel. My disappointment with this router is its lack of USB connectivity and built-in malware protection. TP-Link provides you the ultimate customer support with both; the TP-Link Tether app and web console.
You can rely on the app to access the basic wireless settings, security settings, enabling guest network and parental controls. But if you want access to the advanced router controls, you’ll have to switch to the web portal.
When you open the web portal, you’ll see a map of the number of clients connected to your Wi-Fi and your internet status. On the top panel of the portal you’ll see Quick Set up, Basic, and Advanced tab.
On the left side of your screen you’ll see the settings tab. You can also use the TP-Link Cloud setting to manage your devices from anywhere via the internet. The device is super easy to install. All you’ve got to do is plug it into a modem via an Ethernet cable and press the power button. After that, follow the instructions on the app.
It has a gorgeous plastic textured black body and measures 9.06×5.68×1.45 inches. This router weighs just 1.73 pounds. On the front panel of the router you’ll notice LED indicators for wireless bands, Ethernet, Internet, power, and Wi-Fi Protected Setup. On the rear end of the router, there are an array of buttons. These include – reset button, power button, WPS button, and a power jack.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly router with a solid performance for your home or office, then the TP-Link AC1200 is definitely worth a look. Even though it won’t deliver blazing throughput speeds on the 2.4GHz band, its stellar performance on the 5 GHz band will surely leave you impressed.
It is the best router for the Spectrum 100mbps plan and is a must-have due to its excellent beamforming features, QoS, ability to connect over 25 devices and affordability.
- Excellent beamforming features
- Great speed
- Powerful CPU processor
- Outdated firmware
- Average coverage
10. TP-LINK TC-W7960
The TP-LINK TC-W7960 router has amazing and reliable performance with excellent technologically advanced features. With this router at work, you can bid goodbye to your rental router as it is CableLabs Certified. This means that the router works with most major rental ISPs.
It has a theoretical maximum speed of 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. The actual speed of the router will vary according to your cable provider, MSO provisioning, and Spectrum ISP subscription plan.
It also has the latest MU-MIMO technology that supports eight downstream channels and four upstream channels. The 8×4 channel bonding feature makes this router/modem combo unit faster than the DOCSIS 2.0.
Therefore, it is ideal for multimedia streaming as it delivers higher download speed of almost 343Mbps. It increases the overall throughput and performance of your router.
The router is fueled by the powerful dual-core CPU performance for consistent and reliable performance. It has a 128MB DDR3 RAM, which is sufficient to carry out daily operations and mild gaming.
It also has a 16MB flash memory to download additional applications. The powerful dual-core processor and RAM of the router empower it to handle multiple devices simultaneously. The router is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 modem cable. This is a router/modem combination.
The router has two internal and powerful antennas with beamforming abilities for excellent performance and better beamforming features. Beamforming is quintessential in routers nowadays because of our growing need to prioritize high-end tasks. It can cover a maximum range of 1,200 sq. ft. while clocking at a maximum speed of 300mbps
The router has four LAN ports which provide a speed of up to 1,000 Mbps to your computers, gaming consoles, and Ethernet-enabled devices. It also has a USB 2.0 port to support other devices that lets you share your music, files, etc. through the external hard drives.
Unfortunately, this router/modem combo unit lacks the TP-Link app support. Therefore, you’ll have to rely on the web console to configure the settings of your new router.
The robust parental controls of the device lets you manage the devices your Wi-Fi is connected to and the internet usage. Furthermore, the guest network settings allow your guests to connect to your wireless connection without compromising your personal information. The router is super easy to set up. You can either follow the instructions listed on the web console or call your ISP for technical assistance.
The router has a gorgeous black body and measures 8.17×5.86×2.87 inches. It weighs 1.7 pounds only. This device is compatible with Spectrum and is an absolute must-have due to its affordability, modem/router combo, speed, app support, coverage, security features, and MU-MIMO technology.
- MU-MIMO technology
- Spectrum compatibility
- Outdated firmware
- Below-average speed and coverage
11. ASUS RT-N12 N300
If you’re looking for reliable performance at an affordable price, then you’ve got to check out the ASUS RT-N12 N300 router. It is one of the best affordable routers on my list with features such as ergonomic design, consistent reliable connectivity, robust hardware, and easy installation. It delivers a speed of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency band.
With such a high speed, you can enjoy performing daily operations, mild gaming, and 4K streaming without any lags and screen freezes. An interesting feature of this router is its latest 2T2R MIMO technology i.e 2×2:2 MU-MIMO technology. This type of MIMO technology employs two antennas to establish two data streams with the receiving device.
It is fueled by a powerful Broadcom BCM4716 chipset that clocks in at a frequency of 300MHz. It has a 32MB RAM, which is only sufficient to perform daily tasks such as browsing the internet.
You cannot perform high-end tasks such as gaming and other business operations on this router. It also has a 4MB B1 and C1 flash memory to install extra applications that you require. The router is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 16×4 cable modem. This is a 3-in-1 router, access point, and range extender.
It has two external high gain detachable 5dbi antennas which provide you a stronger signal throughout your home. The router is suitable for small as well as large-sized homes due to its built-in amplifiers. The router runs at a top speed of 300mbps It can cover an area of up to 1,200 sq. ft.
Even though this router is quite outdated, its performance and coverage can put even the latest modern-day routers to shame. If you take the speed of the device into consideration, the router works exceptionally well at midrange and close-range distances. It’s suitable for both; multimedia streaming and online gaming.
This router has an assortment of for wired connections. It has four LAN ports and one WAN port. On the rear end of the router, you’ll also notice a DCIN pin that can be used to connect your router to a power source using an AC adapter.
Also, you’ll notice a WPS button at the back that needs to be pressed for four seconds to establish a connection with WPS-enabled devices. Unfortunately, it is not supported by the ASUS Router app.
To set up this router, you’ll have to open the setup page on your tablet, laptop, smartphone, etc. and enter your ID and password. That’s all it takes to set up this device.
It has a black plastic body that measures 3.1×7.7×11.1 inches. The textured design of the router gives it a greyish appearance at the front. The router weighs only 9.7 ounces and is ultra-light.
The front panel of the router is adorned with LED indicators that are responsible for WAN, LAN, power, and internet connection status. The rear panel of the router features a power button and a reset button to reboot your router.
This is one of the best spectrum supported routers and is a must-buy because it’s a 3-in-1 router, with an access point, and a range extender. Also, you can set up multiple wireless accounts and adjust the bandwidth on each of your devices.
Its advanced high power technology enhances signal strength for almost double the range of the lesser router. And it earns another brownie point from us for its ease of set up and affordability.
- Good speed
- 3-in-1 Router, access point, and extender
- 2T2R MIMO technology
- Below average coverage
- Outdated firmware
12. Best under 50: TP-LINK N450
Even though the TP-Link N450 is not an expensive buy, it does sport an amazing feature set and deliver consistent performance. The throughput scores on the single wireless band of the device score better than most dual-band routers as well.
It delivers a speed of 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency band. The ability of a device to handle multiple devices and network congestion is important. Lucky for you, this router has the latest MU-MIMO technology and supports 3×3 streams.
With such a high speed on a single-band router, you no longer have to worry about Wi-Fi dead zones, freezes, and lags.
The router is fueled by the powerful Qualcomm Atheros AR7240 chipset that clocks in at a frequency of 400MHz. It has a 32MB RAM which is sufficient for your at-home operations but cannot power other high-end operations such as gaming and business tasks.
It also has a 4MB flash memory to install extra applications and security features. The level of performance demonstrated by this router makes it an ideal choice for multimedia streaming, VoIP, and online gaming. The router is compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 8×4 high-speed cable modem. This is not a router/modem combination.
The router has three external antennas that provide you better signal and bandwidth distribution. The antennas on the router are non-removable. This means that you can’t replace an antenna in case it breaks or add better powerful antennas. This device has a range of about 300 ft. with a maximum speed of 450mbps.
The router has four LAN ports for connecting gaming consoles, computers, and TVs. It also has a WAN port to connect to the internet. However, you might be left disappointed with the lack of dedicated telephone port. Unfortunately, the device does not offer app support. You’ll have to rely on the web console or CD support of the router to manage its settings.
Once you go to the web support portal, you’ll notice a plethora of basic and advanced settings. The basic settings of the router allow you to enable guest network and parental controls, choose the wireless band, and modify your password.
The advanced settings include features such as security settings, Wi-Fi channel width, and power transmission settings. With the instructions listed on the web support, you can also set up this router at your home, within minutes.
The router has a black plastic body that measures 5.7×9.1×1.4 inches. It weighs just 10.6 and is super light. On the rear panel of the router, you’ll notice an array of buttons. These include – WPS and reset button, power button, and wireless button.
It has an arched front panel with eight LED indicators. These LED’s inform you about your LAN and WAN status, power status, Ethernet status, and WPS activity. Expensive doesn’t exactly mean the best. Even a budget-friendly router can cover all your network requirements.
If you require a small and affordable home router to perform your daily tasks efficiently, then you should pick this router. It is compatible with Spectrum Internet and is a must-buy due to its advanced security features, parental controls, excellent speed at 2.4 GHz band, two-year warranty, and easy installation.
- Good speed
- Easy to install and use
- Outdated firmware
- No USB 2.0/3.0 ports
Spectrum Plans – Is it worth it in 2021?
|Plan||Rates||Download Speed||Data Cap|
|Spectrum Internet||$49.99*||Up to 100 Mbps||Unlimited|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||$69.99*||Up to 400 Mbps||Unlimited|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||$109.99*||Up to 940 Mbps||Unlimited|
I know that the question of whether Spectrum is worth your money in 2021 is plaguing your mind. According to the latest FCC report, Spectrum has one of the most consistent internet speeds when compared to other ISPs.
The answer to this question only depends on your network requirements. Spectrum routers come with no data caps, no contracts, and no modem rental fees. However, the downside to Spectrum is its rental fee, low speeds and coverage, and poor customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a couple of reasons why you should buy your own router for Spectrum. Some of these reasons – Better wireless speeds and coverage, rental fees and better security.
Yes, you can go to the Spectrum customer service and ask for your replacement with an easy installation guide.
If you’ve decided to rent a Spectrum router, then it’s best if you rent a router/modem combo. A router/modem combination gives you a lot of flexibility, faster speed, better coverage, and more advanced security features.
Spectrum is one of the largest wireless network providers in the United States. And that’s why it’s likely that you’ll be inclined towards renting a Spectrum router. But it comes with its own set of problems such as low speeds, poor coverage, poor customer support, high rental fees, etc. To combat all these problems, I recommend that you purchase your own router from the store.
The reason behind this is that you know your network requirements better than anyone else. That’s why you’ll be able to choose the best speed and coverage for your home or working space.
When you buy your own Spectrum compatible router, you get to choose the security standards, parental controls, ease of set up, speeds, coverage, etc. That’s why you’ll be able to enjoy a better wireless experience if you purchase your own router.