Most people simply stick with the router provided to them by Xfinity. That said, the company actually allows you to use your own, if you prefer.

This is great, because even though the stock device that comes with your service is, well, serviceable, you’ll find that there are many routers that allow you to get even more out of your Xfinity internet.

Overview of Best Routers for Xfinity in 2019

For those in a hurry, here are four of the best routers to use with your Xfinity service:

ModelSpeedBandsNumber of PortsPrice
Netgear Nighthawk R6700 AC1750Up to ~1.7 Gbps2 (Dual-band)4Check price
Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200Up to 4.6 Gbps3 (Tri-band)10Check price
TP-Link N450Up to 450 Mbps1 (Single-band)4Check price
Xfinity Wireless Gateway 3Up to 640 Mbps2 (Dual-band)4Included with service

What To Look For When Choosing a Router for Xfinity

For the most part, there are only a few key things to pay attention to when deciding on a router for your Xfinity service. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of specifications, but here’s what you need to focus on:

  • The maximum speeds supported
  • Whether or not the router is dual-band (or tri-band)
  • How many ethernet ports it includes
  • What the range of transmission is

Keep in mind that if you are paying for Gigabit speeds from Xfinity, you’ll need a router that supports that level of speed, such as the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 or the X10. For everyone else, however, any of the above routers will be fine, speed-wise. If you live in an apartment or smaller home, transmission range isn’t likely to be a huge issue, but for larger (or oddly-shaped) homes, you may need to purchase one of the higher-end models to ensure a consistent connection.

Does Xfinity Include a Router With Their Internet Service?

By default, Xfinity will include the company’s Xfinity Wireless Gateway 3, which is a modem/router combo. In general, we recommend trying to keep these two seperate for most users, as having a dedicated modem and router will allow you much more flexibility down the road. For example, if you experience issues with your connection, you won’t have to replace your entire setup to get online again. It will also save you money on rental fees over the long run.

The Top 4 Routers for Xfinity

Modems That Work With Xfinity

If you opt to use your own equipment instead of the Xfinity Gateway 3, keep in mind that you’ll need both a dedicated modem and a router. Below, you’ll find a brief explanation of the difference between these two networking devices, as well as our recommendations for modems designed to be used with Xfinity internet.

Modem vs Router: What’s the Difference?

This is a very common question, and for good reason; at first glance, a modem and a router both look incredibly similar to one another. Despite their outward similarities, they serve two very different purposes. In simple terms, a router is a networking device that generates a wireless network that you can connect to using your phone, laptop, gaming console, or any other Wi-Fi enabled item. A modem, on the other hand, acts as a “gateway” of sorts, receiving a wired internet signal and dispatching it to your router for broadcast as Wi-Fi.

What is DOCSIS, and Why Should I Care?

Without going into unnecessary detail, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (or DOCSIS for short) is an international standard used around the world in networking equipment of many kinds. So, why does it matter for you? Take a look at the numbers below:

DOCSIS releaseMax downloadMax upload
DOCSIS 140 Mbps10 Mbps
DOCSIS 1.140 Mbps10 Mbps
DOCSIS 240 Mbps30 Mbps
DOCSIS 31.2 Gbps200 Mbps
DOCSIS 3.110 Gbps1 Gbps
DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex10 Gbps10 Gbps

 

As you can see, the different iterations of DOCSIS over the years have made tangible improvements to the upload and download speeds they support. As a quick example, if you pay for gigabit service from Xfinity and you have a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, you’ll be able to enjoy the full speed potential in terms of downloads, but your upload speeds will be capped at 200 Mbps.

In order to get the most out of what you’re paying for, you’d need to upgrade to a model that supports DOCSIS 3.1.

Do I Need Channel Bonding?

Your internet connection is only half of the equation when it comes to getting the fastest speed possible out of your service. Your modem has a set amount of “channels,” and you can imagine these as lanes on a highway. The more you have, the less congested each lane will be in times of peak traffic.

This all boils down to increased upload and download speeds, and as a result, most modern modems take advantage of a technique called channel bonding to combine these lanes intelligently. The more bonded channels your modem supports, the less risk of congestion building up on your network.

The Top 3 Modems for Xfinity


About The Author

Tyler Cooper

Tyler Cooper

Tyler Cooper is a former networking consultant and current technical writer in the IT industry. He enjoys sharing his expertise through articles about topics like PC gaming, cord cutting, and technology trends.

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