Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

Modem Router Combo Vs Separate

Earlier, a standalone modem was used to establish the internet connection. It communicated with the ISP and linked to a different wireless router to distribute the internet signal throughout the house. Nowadays, modem router combos are a one-stop shop that integrates both devices’ features into one compact device.

You have come to the right place if you need guidance choosing between a modem router combo vs separate router plus modem setup.

According to me, separate devices are better than 2-in-1 gateways but only if they are combined in the right way. Whereas, Modem router combos are generally less expensive, purchasing individual devices carries a higher degree of price fluctuation due to the availability of cheap and expensive hardware. 

We have posted a thorough guide explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help you make the best decision possible. Hence, continue reading to determine which choice is best for you whether you are a tech-savvy or casual internet user.

Separate Router Plus Modem Setup

Separate modem and router units may be the best option for those who want ultimate control over their home network and possess the technical knowledge on how to independently manage their Wi-Fi network.

When comes to network settings, the ability to customize each separate modem and router unit to meet specific needs gives you more flexibility. Users with complex networking requirements, like those who require specific port forwarding rules or VPN settings, will especially benefit from this.

What Is a Modem?

The modem is the first device that receives signals from your cable internet provider. To enable wireless Internet access, it transforms these signals into a readable format and sends them to the router.

A modem is a networking device that transforms digital data into a format appropriate for transmission over analog media like radio waves or phone lines. It is also known as a modulator-demodulator. There are various kinds of modems, including DSL, fiber optic, cable, satellite, and telephone modems.

3 Best Modem of 2024

Model NameLink
ARRIS Surfboard S33Best Price
NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1100Best Price
ARRIS SURFboard SB8200Best Price

ARRIS Surfboard S33

Modem Router Combo Vs Separate

With its advanced and powerful DOCSIS 3.1 technology, this modem ARRIS Surfboard S33 easily supports data-hungry activities by providing blazingly fast internet speeds. Its easy installation is guaranteed by its straightforward and secure setup, making it ideal for users.

This modem’s compatibility with major cable internet providers in the United States, including Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and others, is what makes it unique and guarantees a smooth transition for users who are already subscribers to these services. Its approval of cable internet plans up to 2.5 Gigabit per second also indicates that it can easily manage high-speed connections.

The ARRIS Surfboard S33 is the best option for people who want a separate modem for better control, performance, and compatibility with their favorite internet provider.

NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1100

NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1100 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1100 guarantees lightning-fast internet speeds with DOCSIS 3.1 technology and 32×8 channel bonding, making it perfect for data-intensive tasks and smooth streaming experiences.

With its two Gigabit Ethernet ports, this modem gives users flexible wired connectivity so multiple devices can use high-speed internet without sacrificing performance. Because it works with any WiFi router, users can choose the wireless configuration that best suits their needs, and it will integrate seamlessly with any network setup that already exists.

This modem is a powerful device that meets the needs of users with demanding internet speeds. It is designed to work with cable provider plans up to 2Gbps. Additionally, users who are already subscribers to major cable internet providers like Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and others can transition without any hassles thanks to its compatibility with these providers.

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

This modem ARRIS SURFboard SB8200, which is powered by DOCSIS 3.1, guarantees blazing-fast internet speeds, making it ideal for people who need constant connectivity for streaming, gaming, or heavy data usage.

Compatibility issues are eliminated because of its compatibility with major cable internet providers in the United States, including Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum. This ensures a seamless transition for users who subscribe to these services.

With its exceptional speed and ability to work with cable internet speed plans up to 1 Gbps, this modem is perfect for users with high-demanding internet needs.

What is a Router?

A router is a type of networking device used to connect different subnetworks or packet-switched networks. Its main purposes are data packet forwarding to the correct IP addresses and enabling multiple device connections from a single Internet connection.

While there are many different kinds of routers, the majority of them are made to transfer data between local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).

Pros and cons of Separate Modem Router


  1. compatibility with ISPs
  2. Improved customization options
  3. Increased performance and speed
  4. Enhanced security
  5. Faster connections most of the time


  1. Upgrade at a higher cost.
  2. Configuration complexity
  3. Troubleshooting is difficult.

3 Best Routers of 2024

Model NameLink
TP-Link Archer AX21Best Price
TP-Link Archer A8Best Price
TP-Link Archer A55Best Price

TP-Link Archer AX21

Add a heading16 1 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

With its advanced Wifi 6 technology and WiFi speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps, this router TP-Link Archer AX21 guarantees blazingly fast connections, making it perfect for streaming, gaming, and multitasking.

With the help of 4 high-gain antennas, beamforming technology, an advanced front-end module (FEM) chipset, and other features, it can cover a large area and maintain a stable wireless network that doesn’t have dead zones or inconsistent connectivity across the house.

The TP-Link Archer AX21 is the best option for consumers who prefer separate devices because it offers great speeds, wide coverage, and cutting-edge technologies without any restrictions.

TP-Link Archer A8

TP Link Archer A8 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

With speeds of up to 1.9 Gbps, this router TP-Link Archer A8 uses cutting-edge dual-band WiFi 6 technology to deliver uninterrupted connectivity for bandwidth-intensive activities like online gaming and 4K streaming.

Because of its broad coverage capabilities, which are made possible by MU-MIMO and beamforming technology, dead zones are eliminated and a seamless online experience is ensured.

The five Ethernet ports provide users with flexible wired connections for devices that need high-speed reliability. With a powerful 1.2 GHz single-core CPU, this router TP-Link Archer A8 optimizes network performance even under demanding conditions.

TP-Link Archer AX55

TP Link Archer AX55 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

With wifi speeds up to 2.9 Gbps, this router TP-Link Archer AX55 which makes use of advanced dual-band WiFi 6 technology ensures blazing-fast connections for demanding tasks like 8K streaming and online gaming.

With four high-gain antennas and OFDMA technology, it has extensive coverage that guarantees a strong and dependable wireless network across large areas, eliminating dead zones and ensuring seamless connectivity throughout the house.

Additionally, Advanced WPA3 Security strengthens the network against contemporary cyber threats, giving users greater assurance about their online safety.

What is a Modem Router Combo?

A single device that combines the features of a modem and a router is known as a modem-router combo. Combining an internet modem and a Wi-Fi router into one unit, offers a variety of connectivity choices.

It offers a useful and cost-effective solution for internet requirements at home and work.

While the modem part allows it to connect to and receive Internet signals from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the router part enables it to use Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections to distribute the Internet connection to multiple devices in your home or office. You can save a few dollars and have a convenient internet solution for both your home and office by using a single device rather than two separate ones.

Compared to channel bondings in cable modems, the modem in these devices integrates technologies such as ADSL, VDSL, and others, providing better speeds and connectivity.

Pros and cons of Modem Router Combo


  1. Simple troubleshooting
  2. Compact design
  3. Space-saving
  4. Lower initial expenses
  5. Easy installation
  6. User friendly


  1. Expensive to upgrade
  2. Less control
  3. Requires appropriate positioning
  4. Limitation on performance

3 Best Modem Router Combo of 2024

Model NameLink
ARRIS Surfboard G34Best Price
NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX30SBest Price
ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300Best Price

ARRIS Surfboard G34

ARRIS Surfboard G34 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

With its 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports and use of DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology, ARRIS Surfboard G34 guarantees fast wired connections, perfect for high-speed data transfers and reliable connections for numerous devices.

This combo device provides unmatched wireless performance, making it ideal for bandwidth-intensive activities like 4K streaming and online gaming. It can deliver Wi-Fi 6 speeds up to 3 Gbps.

Because of its compatibility with major cable internet providers in the United States, such as Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity, users who subscribe to these services can integrate seamlessly and don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. The setup is future-proofed because it can support service plans up to 1 Gbps in the future, satisfying changing internet needs without necessitating an upgrade.

NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX30S

Add a heading15 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

This combination of 32×8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.1 ensures optimal data transfer rates and lightning-fast internet speeds, making NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX30S perfect for high-bandwidth activities and seamless connectivity.

Fast AX2700 speeds of up to 2.7Gbps are made possible by the integration of dual-band WiFi 6 technology, guaranteeing outstanding wireless performance for households with numerous devices and bandwidth-demanding requirements.

With four 1 Gig Ethernet ports, NETGEAR Nighthawk CAX30S enables flexible wired connections for gadgets that need reliable and consistent, fast internet access. Compatibility issues are eliminated by its compatibility with major cable internet providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and more.


ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300 Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024

ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300 guarantees lightning-fast internet speeds with advanced DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology, enabling seamless browsing and streaming.

Four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the router component provide flexible wired connectivity for numerous devices, making it ideal for homes with high bandwidth requirements. With 2.3 Gbps Wi-Fi 5 speeds, this combo device offers strong wireless performance appropriate for a range of online activities. Consistent connectivity across a large home is ensured by its extensive coverage, which reaches up to 2,800 square feet.

 Additionally, it is compatible with Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity, three of the biggest cable internet providers in the US. Users who subscribe to these services can easily integrate them, removing any compatibility issues.

Comparison Table for Modem Router Combo Vs Separate

FeaturesModem Router ComboSeparate Modem and Router
FunctionalitySince the modem router combo combines two devices into one, some transfer speed and signal strength will unavoidably be lost. Convenience is given preferential treatment over excellent performance in these combinations.  The manufacturers are always competing with one another to provide faster speeds and more coverage. Therefore, you get high-end, high-performance devices in a separate modem plus router setup
Speed & PerformanceWhen compared to using separate modems and routers, combos usually offer slower speeds.Separate modem and router devices perform better and offer faster speed than combos.
CostPurchasing two different devices might end up costing more for many people than purchasing a modem router combo.There are several routers on the market that range in price from $70 to $600 and have various features. The choice and cost of the router vary according to your unique demands and specifications.  
InstallationA modem router combo device combines router and modem functions into one unit, so setup is significantly easier. This implies that the setup procedure only needs to be completed once.In separate models, the router and modem must be configured independently, which can take some technical knowledge. So the setup procedure is difficult than the combo models.
CompatibilityFor best results, make sure the modem-router combo you choose is compatible with your internet service provider (ISP). Not every modem-router combination is compatible with all ISPs.Separate modem and router configurations support all ISPs. So, you can pick the ones that best suit your requirements and price range without having to worry about incompatibilities.
Security FeaturesModem router combos offer fewer security features than the separate ones.Separate modem and router offers more robust security features than the combos.
Network Control & CustomizationThere won’t be much functionality flexibility for modem router combo devices.In separate configurations, manufacturers of routers regularly add a wide range of features that let you personalize your entire experience. You can control which devices can connect to your router and have more control over the networks that are connected.
Troubleshooting & Upgradeability  A combination cable modem router simplifies troubleshooting. This saves you from having to troubleshoot two different devices, especially if you are unable to determine whether the issue is with the modem or the router. However, upgrading the hardware of a cable modem router combo can be more expensive.Upgrading to a better-performing router gives you the flexibility to improve network performance, even though it might cost more. It is possible to upgrade as needed when your modem and router are separate devices.

Which One is Better? Modem Router Combo Vs Separate

The choice between modem router combo vs separate modem and router is not that easy. The decision becomes easier if performance is your top concern.  

As an engineer, my focus is always on speed and performance, so I would advise getting separate devices. The best option is to get a separate modem and router unit.  Though the cost of a modem router combo might seem low at first, replacing the entire device in the event of a malfunction can be expensive.

Moreover, standalone routers offer an extensive range of extra features that modem router combos do not. It is crucial to understand that gateways aren’t inherently slower than dial-up connections; rather, their design limits their potential for optimal performance.


  1. In a modem-router combo, can I upgrade the modem or router separately, or do I need to replace the entire device?

Since the modem and router are integrated into one single device in a modem-router combo setup, it is usually not possible to upgrade either device. To upgrade, the modem-router combination device would need to be replaced in its entirety. You can enhance the functionality of the device by adding additional hardware, such as an external antenna or signal booster.

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Modem Router Combo Vs Separate: Choosing Wisely 2024
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