Modems and routers are both essential to have a great internet connection.
But what is a router? What is a modem? And why do you need them in a 2-in-1 product?
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This article will discuss and compare two of the best modem router combos on the market.
Our Top Pick
Internet access is probably something that you cannot live without these days, but for someone who is not very tech-savvy, the mechanics involved can be confusing. So, let’s break them down for you.
Whenever you click something on the internet, such as liking someone’s Instagram post or sending your friend a DM or an e-mail, that action is turned into a data packet. It is the router’s responsibility to direct that data packet to its correct destination. It does not do this alone. There is a whole network of routers that send data packets to each other. When a router receives a packet, it reads the header to determine where to send it next. Without a good router, your data can get lost or reach the destination too slowly. It is also what allows you to connect multiple devices to one internet connection.
Computers don’t understand data as we do. Your messages and your clicks need to be transformed into a format that can be transmitted. This is where the modem comes in. Your computer understands digital signals, but signals on the internet are analog. A modem converts outgoing digital signals to analog and incoming analog signals to digital. This is the device that maintains your connection to the internet. A device with a combination of both will remove a lot of hassles for you.
What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?
Before you go ahead and invest in any one of the two top picks, let’s go ahead and see the factors that you should know to be able to make an informed decision.
Compatibility with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not usually an issue. Big companies support every connection, but some smaller ones don’t. It is always a good thing to check if the device you are buying will work with your internet connection or not. If your device has DOCSIS compatibility, then you also need to check your cable connection, and if it works with the device you are buying.
There are a lot of things that determine the performance of a router or modem. Let’s break them down.
IEEE has worldwide accepted standards for any engineering discipline. It has produced a set of wireless LAN standards accepted in 1997. These sets of standards are called 802.11. They have had many variations over the years, adapting to changing technologies. These standards allow different wireless devices around the world to communicate with each other easily. The latest standard is the IEEE 802.11ax, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. It is always best to buy a device that is compatible with the latest standard. The 802.11ac is compatible with a 5 GHz connection.
When you buy your device, it will have some amount of speed written on it. But that speed is not necessarily what you will get. The actual speed you get also depends on your internet service provider and the number of devices using the connection at a time. The speed is usually written in the form of an AC number. AC means that this device is compatible with 802.11ac standard discussed above, and the number is the maximum speed it can reach in Mbps. The newer 802.11ax standard uses Orthogonal Frequency Division-Multiple Access (OFDMA) for better speed across all devices. What it basically does is, without getting into technicality, allocate bandwidth to devices depending on their data need.
If you plan on connecting a lot of devices to your connection, then you need a good RAM. You might be thinking, what does a router or a modem need RAM for? Well, they are basically small specialized computers. Just like your computer needs RAM to perform faster, so does your router.
Watching HD videos and playing high-speed games require a stable and high-speed connection. Nobody likes it when their movie starts buffering right in the middle of the climax. How does dual-band or more routers help with this? What they do is instead of working on a single band, they work on two separate bands at the same time, that is, 2.4 and 5 GHz. This lets you use higher bandwidth for streaming and lower bandwidth for small tasks like email without letting either get congested. The 5 GHz band is newer and hence has less traffic. These days, there are some routers that even go to 6 GHz band and are called tri-band. Single-band routers use IEEE 802.11n, and dual-band routers use 802.11ac.
Dual-band routers usually also use Quality of Service (QoS) technology. This service ensures critical traffic to pass through first, which results in better performance.
Our internet connections are mostly connected to our cable. DOCSIS is an interface that lets you receive cable and internet from the same connection or send internet data over an already existing cable network. You usually have a combined package of WiFi and cable and sometimes also telephone. The latest version of this is DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1, which offers a higher speed than the older versions.
With a router and modem combo, you get two separate devices in one. So instead of paying for both, you pay for one and save money. Keeping in mind your budget, choose the one that best suits your needs. Not everyone needs the highest possible speed. They also let you save money by not paying monthly ISP rental fees.
Netgear C7100V vs. Arris SVG2482AC Comparison
There are a lot of options available for modems and routers, and sometimes they end up confusing you more. Here we have our two top picks for a modem and router combo. This is a complete overview and comparison between the two, so you will have complete information before making your decision.
There are a lot of things you have to consider when buying a router and a modem. Some of the most important ones are discussed here in light of both models.
Speed is not the only thing that matters in an internet connection. Your data needs to be secure. If your encryption is not strong, a hacker can easily tap into your connection and use your bandwidth. They can also see the data that is being transferred to and from your device. Something that seems more dangerous perhaps is that they can activate your webcam and install viruses in your system.
Your router-modem combo should always have a strong encryption method to protect you from these attacks. There are three different types of encryption available on routers:
This is the oldest mode of encryption and also the least secure. As computing power keeps increasing, the vulnerabilities of this mode become more and more apparent. So, avoid using this encryption.
This was introduced as an alternative for the weaker WEP. It’s most used version is the WPA-PSK. It uses either TKIP (temporal key integrity protocol) or AES (advanced encryption standard). AES is the better option; however, it’s not the best one.
This is the latest version. It solely uses AES and is the most secure of all three. This is the version that you should be using; it is not perfect, but it is the best encryption available right now.
- Netgear C7100V: It has options for two (WPA, WPA2) modes of encryption. You can choose one that suits you. There are a total of four options, i.e., WPA2-PSK(AES), WPA-PSK(TKIP)+WPA2-PSK(AES), WPA/WPA2 Enterprise, and the open connection option. The enterprise option lets this device be used in bigger networks like a company or a university. Every user who accesses the network has a different key, which lets them use the internet. This lets you decide which user gets how much access to the network.
- Arris SVG2482AC: This model has three options, which are WPA2-PSK(AES), WPA/WPA2-PSK(TKIP/AES), and the open connection option.
In this category, the Netgear C7100V is the winner. It has all the options provided in the Arris model plus the enterprise option that is more secure.
Wireless Speed Rating
As we discussed above, the speed given on the box is not the speed you will actually get. The actual speed depends on your internet connection. Your router should have a maximum speed as much as the speed of your internet connection. This way, you can have maximum access.
- Arris SVG2482AC supports 802.11ac, which is the latest standard. Its speed goes up to 1750Mbps when used on both 2.4 and 5GHz bandwidths. It has 24 downloads and 8 upload channels as well as 4 Gigabits Ethernet ports. The maximum download speed is 1 Gbps.
- Netgear C7100V also supports 802.11ac. Its maximum speed is 1900Mbps. It also has 4 Gigabits Ethernet ports and supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz bandwidths.
In this category, again, Netgear is the clear winner. That is because while in the 2.4 GHz range, they both have the same maximum speed of 1300Mbps. The trouble comes in the 5GHz range. In that case, Arris goes as high as 400 Mbps, and Netgear goes up to 600 Mbps, making it the clear winner.
Routers generally work on two bands that are 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. The 5GHz band is less prone to interference and is faster. This is the one most used by big companies today. There are some routers or router/modem combos specifically designed to give a better streaming experience. These are called dual-band, and as the name suggests, they use both bands. Dual-band also lets you connect more devices and not feel the lag.
Both Netgear C1700V and Arris SVG2482AC have dual-band capabilities. But for streaming purposes, you will be using the 5 GHz band, and in that area, Netgear is faster, so it wins here as well. They both have high enough speeds for good streaming. Arris has 24 separate downloading channels that prevent congestion on any one.
They both use the latest version of DOCSIS that is the DOCSIS 3.0, as discussed above. Another factor is channel bonding. Channel bonding allows modems to merge two different bands together to provide more bandwidth. Both devices use a 24x8 channel bonding, which is one of the best. What it means is that each channel will have a download speed of 912Mpbs and an upload speed of 216 Mbps. There is really not a winner to pick here as they both provide similar functionalities.
When it comes to price, the Arris SVG2482AC wins, which is of particular importance if you are buying on a budget. The rest of their features are mostly similar. They both have 2 USB ports, 4 Gigabit Ethernet connection, and 2 telephone lines. It comes with sufficient speed and security. If you want a more secure router and modem, then spring for the higher priced option. If not, then the Arris will give you a good enough and stable enough internet as well.
Netgear C7100V and Arris SVG2482AC Differences
Some of the main differences between the two devices are:
The first thing people look for when buying any internet device is speed. We want everything without delay. Both of our top picks are modern and use the latest technologies. However, one of the things they differ in is speed.
Netgear has a maximum speed of 1900Mbps, and Arris has a maximum speed of 1750 Mbps. This, of course, depends on your internet connection as well. But your router needs to be able to handle the connection your ISP provides. In a 5 GHz band, Netgear gives superior performance.
Another difference between the two is their price. The Arris device has a much lower price. But you also have to consider the higher speed and enterprise option provided in the Netgear Model. This makes it suitable for big business, which means the price will not be that much of an issue. If you want better service, you will need to pay more.
For a router, chipsets act as the communication center. They are also what control the incoming and outgoing traffic of the router. They determine their compatibility with other components like the RAM, hard drive, and CPU. There are many manufacturers of chipsets for routers.
Netgear uses Broadcom BCM3384Z. Broadcom is one of the best in its field and also the most used. This is a fourth-generation chipset. Arris uses Intel Puma 6. Intel is also a renowned name in the telecommunication industry. This device has experienced some issues with latency, although there have been improvements since then.
Overview of Our Winner
Our top pick of the day is the Netgear C1700V. Netgear gives you everything that Arris does and more. It is compatible with Xfinity and Voice. It is suitable for a connection of up to 400-500 Mbps. You can easily connect 30 devices to it and still get good performance. In the range of about 1800 square feet, you will get maximum speed. It also uses the latest DOCSIS 3.0 with 24x8 channel bonding.
Its front panel has a battery LED to let you know if it needs charging and LEDs for both 2.4 and 5 GHz. A detailed explanation of what the light means can be found in the user guide. It has a WPS button on the top. In addition, it has two USB ports and 4 one-Gigabit Ethernet ports. It is also telephone voice compatible, with 2 ports.
It is a three-in-one model, i.e. internet, cable, and telephone all in one. It is a dual-mode router. It uses both 5 and 2.4 GHz bands to provide better HD streaming.
It also has a mobile app where you can easily manage features like:
- Parental control
- Internet traffic
- Speed test
- Guest access
- Network repair
Moreover, its USB ports support all the latest file systems, including HFS+ and NTFS. You can easily connect your printers to the USB port as well. You can also access the connected USBs on the mobile or laptop over the shared connection. It uses a Broadcom chipset, which is the most used in routers. The version it uses also does not have any latency problems.
Furthermore, the WPA/WPA2 enterprise setting lets it be used in bigger networks. Each user gets a separate key. This gives you more control over the use of the network. You can restrict some people and let others access everything. If you want to remove a user, then you don’t have to change the password for everyone but just that one user.
Our lives revolve around the internet. Everything we do, whether it is work or entertainment, we get it from the internet. Considering that, our knowledge of how it all works and which devices are best is sometimes very little. Plus, with the number of choices we have, it gets us nowhere. Therefore, in this article, instead of bombarding you with options, we have given two of the best ones, with a detailed comparison of both. We have highlighted all of their best and worst aspects so you can choose your next router/modem combo with ease. User guides for both these models are provided on their respective websites if you want more information.