Internet speeds have been rapidly improving in recent years. With these improvements in speed comes a need to improve the technology of the devices on your network.
DOCSIS 3.1 is one of these technologies. It is found on modems and should help consumers out there get Gigabit plus internet speeds for years to come.
Do you want to improve your internet speeds? If so, read on to find out more about DOCSIS 3.1 and how it could help.
What is DOCSIS?
DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification and it is the technology that cable modems use to bring the internet into your home. It was originally released in 1997 with DOSCIS 1.0 and has undergone incremental upgrades since then.
The latest version is DOCSIS 3.1 which was first unveiled in 2013 although hasn’t really gained much uptake since its release.
However, with consumers demanding higher and higher speeds from their networks to allow for things such as simultaneous HD streaming, and gaming, DOCSIS 3.1 is going to become more and more common over the next few years as cable companies bring out plans that are able to take advantage of its higher speeds.
Is DOCSIS 3.1 The Best?
DOCSIS 3.1 is the newest and the fastest version of DOCSIS. Theoretically, it has the ability to provide download speeds of up to 10Gbps and upload speeds of 1Gbps. This is almost 10 times as fast as DOCSIS 3.0 which can only offer speeds of up to 1.3Gbps.
There are numerous technological improvements in DOCSIS 3.1 that allow for these higher speeds. These include:
- Better error correction
- Higher maximum modulation on the upstream and downstream
- The ability to use variable modulation profiles
- The introduction of OFDM
- Increase in the upstream and downstream frequency ranges
Basically, what this means is that not only are there multiple channels like in DOCSIS 3.0, but also the improved modulation techniques mean that each channel has more bandwidth and can, therefore, carry more data.
Do I Need 3.1?
This basically depends on the internet service you are receiving from your service provider. As mentioned earlier, DOCSIS 3.1 allows for superfast speeds so if you are getting speeds like this from your provider you will need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
However, just because you aren’t yet getting these speeds yet doesn’t mean it isn’t worth buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. DOCSIS 3.1 is fully backward compatible with other versions of DOCSIS. If you are thinking about upgrading your modem anyway, it could be a good idea to future proof yourself by buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
If you do this, when DOCSIS 3.1 is rolled out in your area, you will be fully prepared to take advantage of the speeds provided.
It is also worth remembering that many cable companies charge you a modem rental fee every month. If this is the case, buying and using your own modem could allow you to save on this monthly fee.If you think this is the case, you should check with your internet provider and then choose an appropriate modem.
Best DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modems
1. Netgear CM1000 DOCSIS 3.1 Ultra-High Speed Cable Modem
The Netgear CM1000 is one of the fastest modems on the market. Netgear is a leader when it comes to consumer network technology so you know you can be confident when you buy a product from them.
The first thing to mention is that this is a really good looking modem. Its matt black finish, sharp edges, and silver details mean it will fit right into your home. In fact, its design almost makes it look like a speaker, not a modem.
As expected it has lights on the front so you can keep an eye on your network status and identify any problems should they arise. It also has a Gigabit Ethernet port so you can easily connect it to the rest of your network via a router.
It can channel bond 32 download channels and 8 upload channels which, when combined with the other DOCSIS 3.1 improvements give you superfast theoretical download and upload speeds of 1Gbps. This could allow you to download a HD movie in around 2 minutes, or if you prefer to stream your movies, 4K ultra-high-definition content shouldn’t be a problem.
This modem is compatible with most popular cable providers including Comcast and Cox, meaning that you should have no issues using it with your cable internet (although if you are unsure it is always best to check).
2. Arris Surfboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem
The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is another super high-end modem from another company with a big history of making excellent networking products.
Realistically, it is very similar to the above modem from Netgear (which is no bad thing as they are two great products). It offers really fast speeds due to its DOCSIS 3.1 capability and its 32 download channels, and 8 upload channels.
There is one major difference, however. The Arris Surfboard has two Gigabit Ethernet ports which allow you to create 2 home networks, each of which is capable of gigabit speeds. Alternatively, you connect a computer directly to the modem via Ethernet and still have a cable free to connect a router.
The other, albeit slightly less important difference, is the modem’s appearance. While the Netgear modem comes in matt black, the Arris is a white box. Which one you prefer will obviously come down to personal preference, although I do like the Netgear’s design more.
This modem is compatible with Comcast Xfinity and Cox cable services and is pending approval from other providers.
In today’s article, we have looked at two of the best consumer modems on the market. Whichever you buy, it will ensure that you get the most out of your DOCSIS 3.1 compatible internet or are ready for it when it arrives.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed our article. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!