You may have heard that when you rent a modem from your internet provider, you often have to pay an extra monthly. Users of Charter Spectrum, however, will be pleased to know that there is no monthly fee for their modem!
While this at first sounds like great news, there does seem to be a catch - stopthecap.com reports that instead of simply providing you with a modem and not making you pay for it, they provide you with a modem/router combo and make you pay for wifi instead.
At A Glance: Top Routers/Modems For Charter Internet
(the routers can be seen on Amazon - links above)
While this is cheaper than their previous fee (which was rental-based), it is nonetheless an unnecessary expense if you want to use your own modem, router, or modem router combo.
Why Should I Use My Own Router Or Modem?
If you buy your own modem or router and stop paying Charter Spectrum’s wifi fee, it should be possible to save money over the long term. Despite the bigger outlay of having to buy your own devices, for all but the most expensive modems and routers you should be able to recoup your fee.
While there are plenty of other reasons to use your own modem and router, if saving money is your main one, you should first check that you are currently paying a rental fee and that they are happy to waive the fee if you use your own products.
Choose A Router With The Features You Want
Routers and modem/router combos these days have a ton of features to make your network as efficient as possible. Things such as the latest wifi standards, beamforming, up to date QoS, VPNs, the wifi range, and more can all make a big difference to your network.
While the modem you rent from Charter Spectrum will certainly have some of these features, it may be lacking in some ways.
Therefore, the only way to guarantee that you get all the features you want is to buy and use your own modem. Of course, buying a more powerful router may take away some of the money saving benefits, however, if you get the exact router you want to use, who can say it isn’t worth it?
Using DD-WRT Firmware
If you really want to do things your own way when it comes to your wireless router, then installing your own firmware can be a great idea. DD-WRT is one of the most popular router firmware and is completely open source.
By installing DD-WRT on your router you can get a number of advanced router features such as the ability to install a VPN on your router, use its advanced network monitoring tool, as well as configure features such as QoS.
Be warned, however, that installing a new firmware on your router can render your router unusable if there are problems during setup. As such, you should ensure you know exactly what you are in for before implementing this option.
Approved Charter Modems
Before you go and splash out on a new modem, it is important to know that your new modem will work with the service provided by Charter. They have a list of modems that work with their service on their website.
One thing to note is that DOCSIS 1.0 modems will not work with their service. DOCSIS is the standard that modems use to provide internet to your home. DOCSIS is an old standard and as such is too slow for the service Charter Spectrum offer.
If you want the highest speeds possible, then you should go for a DOCSIS 3.0 (or 3.1) modem, which allows many channels to be bonded together (Basically, the more channels your modem can bond together, the faster your speeds will be).
You should also make sure when you buy a modem that it can handle the speeds you receive from Charter Spectrum. While it is unlikely, if your modem isn’t up to the task, it could bottleneck the speeds you receive.
Of course, all the modems received in this article will work with Charter Spectrum internet.
Best Routers And Modems For Charter Spectrum Internet
1. Motorola SB6141 (Best Modem Up To 100Mbps)
This is a budget DOCSIS 3.0 modem that allows channel bonding on up to eight download channels and four upload channels. This gives it theoretical speeds of up to 300Mbps down and 100Mbps up. This is plenty to allow you to stream HD video, play games, or download files.
It has a one year warranty, a simple design and, like most consumer modems, it is very easy to set it up by simply plugging it in.
2. Netgear R6300v2 AC1750 (Router Only)
If you have a modem or want to use the modem provided by Charter Spectrum with the wifi turned off, then you will need to buy a router. The Netgear R6300v2 is a budget router that offers some great features that will be fast enough for most people out there.
If speed is what you are after then you will be pleased to know that it uses the wireless AC standard to help ensure faster speeds throughout your network. As well as this, you have the option of using Ethernet cables for those devices that need a consistent and fast connection.
It has an 800Mhz processor so it should be able to handle multiple devices being connected at once and it also has some extra features such as USB3.0 ports, Beamforming, and the Netgear Genie app.
3. Arris Surfboard SBG6900-RB (Packed With Router)
If you want to keep using both a separate modem and router a bit much, then why not go for this offering from Arris? It combines a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a Wireless AC1900 router.
The modem itself can handle internet download speeds of up to 686 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 131 Mbps. Of course, the speeds you actually get will depend on the speeds you get from Charter Spectrum but as long as they aren’t faster than the speeds the modem can handle you will be fine.
Even if the modem speeds are faster than the speeds you get, having a modem that can handle faster speeds will give you a bit of breathing space in case you choose to upgrade your service.
The router will have no problems handling the speeds provided by the modem (as long as you are in range). In fact, its Wireless AC will actually allow theoretical network speeds of up to 1.9 Gbps. This is great for handling multiple clients over your network.
The product comes with a 2-year warranty meaning you know you will be able to save on your internet bill for at least 2-years.
4. Netgear Nighthawk X6 (Best Router - Money Is No Object)
If you care more about getting the best possible router for your network than you do about saving money on your internet bill, then the Netgear Nighthawk X6 could be the router for you.
It uses the wireless AC standard to provide combined wifi speeds of up to 3.2 Gbps, perfect for streaming multiple videos and transferring large files.
Its real standout feature is that it is Tri-Band, which allows wifi to be delivered on three separate bands. This will help reduce congestion and ensure you and your family get as consistent and fast a connection as possible.
All this is powered by a huge 1GHz dual core processor which means it won’t have trouble connecting multiple devices. Other features include beamforming, smart connect, and a USB 3.0 port for storage.
Basically, while it may take a bit longer before you start to save money, this is a great router for those that need the best possible performance on their network.
There are four great products on this list and the best one for you will depend on what you are looking for on your network.
Buying your own modem/router for your Internet connection isn't mandatory, but it should start saving you money after a few months of switching over...
Make sure you think about this and then choose the best modem/router for you!
Thanks for reading and please ask below if you have any questions...