Cheapo Cable Modems

I’ve been living in sin renting a modem from Xfinity. (I can hear you booing me, I deserve it.)

I’m looking to purchase a cheap cable modem primarily to avoid the monthly fees. Has anyone here purchased modems in the past that have bundled wifi? I live in a studio and the only device I use that’s wireless is my phone, so signal strength and coverage isn’t a huge priority. So long as it has 4 or more gigabit ethernet ports, I’ll be sitting pretty.

Currently I’ve got a plan for ~200mb/s down, so I’m also not too focused on gear meant to handle >600mb/s or more.

Top contender as of now is the ARRIS Surfboard SBG7400AC2-RB. Anyone know of anything that’s a better bang for the buck?

Bonus points if it could fit on a 1U server shelf.

I believe that netgear makes one as well but for a cheap unit I think Arris wins.


I left the cable modem world behind a couple of years ago, so I cannot comment on current-gen models.

However, to save money vs. monthly rent I would recommend looking up the list of currently supported models from your provider (they should have it on their website) and then look at eBay or similar.
Cable modems are sometimes software linked to the ISP - have an eye out for that.

With the level of cord cutters I assume you should find plenty and cheap options.

Bonus points for looking up the manuals from the manufacturer website.

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Make sure to check with your isp for the models that they allow / support on their network.

Your going to want a docis 3.0 modem at a minimum… A docis 3.1 is probably the easier ones to find as it’s a higher speed rating and a lot more common these days.

Heard of a docis 3.2 but not sure if it’s been released or formalized.

Haven’t seen a consumer cable modem / wifi / switch combo that didn’t fit on a 1u shelf. Only concern would be the wifi getting past all the metal in the rack / shelf.

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The 12U rack I’m looking to place the modem in has an open front and back, so hopefully the signal can punch through.

I have 3U of space in the top I’m trying to cram 2 1U shelves into, ideally with a brush panel for cable pass through below. The modem I’ve got my eye on now is about 2.2” wide, so even if I can’t track down something thinner I believe I can just forgo the brush panel and mount the bottom shelf half a space down in the rack. The ethernet cables should still have plenty of space to pass through underneath. It just won’t be as pretty </3