DOCSIS 2.0 vs DOCSIS 3.0 (and 3.1) – Should I Upgrade My Cable Modem?

DOCSIS 2.0 vs DOCSIS 3.0 Featured

While the standard of DOCSIS your modem uses may not seem like the most interesting thing to read about, it can have a great influence on your internet speed.

Older standards are much slower than newer ones and as such can seriously slow you down.

Top DOCSIS 3.0 Modems

Because of this, if you’re are having problems with your internet, then finding out whether or not you should upgrade your cable modem is crucial!

What Is DOCSIS 2.0?

Let’s first get what DOCSIS stands for out of the way: DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. There have been five versions of this standard, which are 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and the latest standard 3.1.

Having been first released in 2001, DOCSIS 2.0 is now a pretty old standard. However, it is still used by some cable companies, and it is still likely to be found in modems throughout the country.

DOCSIS allows downstream speeds of up to 38Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 27Mbps. Of course, whether or not you actually got these speeds would depend on a number of different factors, not least the speeds offered by your ISP.

Tell Me All About DOCSIS 3.0 (And 3.1)

DOCSIS 3.0 is a standard that was first released in 2006, while DOCSIS 3.1 was first released in 2013. Both these standards allow much-increased data speeds and as such are perfect for modern internet use.

The biggest improvement from DOCSIS 2.0 is that 3.0 and 3.1 allow channel bonding, which allows two channels (or more) to be used as the download or the upload channel. By bonding channels together, your modem can double the amount of bandwidth available for downloads or uploads.

While each channel individually offered 38Mbps downstream and 27 Mbps upstream, by bonding channels, DOCSIS 3.0 was able to provide downstream speeds of over 160Mbps.

DOCSIS 3.1 improves upon DOCSIS 3.0 by offering speeds of up to 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream. If you live in an area with support for DOCSIS 3.1, making sure you have a modem to take advantage of these speeds is an absolutely excellent idea.

DOCSIS 2.0 vs 3.0 - Should I Upgrade My Modem?

While DOCSIS 3.0 is clearly better than DOCSIS 2.0, whether you should upgrade or not will depend on a number of variables. First, you have to check whether or not your internet service provider actually supports DOCSIS 3.0 in your area. While most places do, there are still some areas that only use DOCSIS 2.0 and as such it will not be worth upgrading your modem.

The next question you need to ask is whether or not you are paying for a service that requires DOCSIS 3.0. If you are on a budget plan that doesn’t offer high internet speeds, you may find that there is no point in upgrading to the latest version as the extra bandwidth will just go to waste.

On the other hand, if you are paying for a fast internet service and using a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, your modem may well be restricting your internet speeds. In this case, it would certainly be a good idea to upgrade your modem to DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1.

Hopefully, this article has cleared up some of the differences between the different versions of DOCSIS. Please leave a comment or share this article if you have enjoyed it.

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