Google wifi best modem: 7 Best Modems For Google WiFi & Nest in 2023 [Top Picks]

7 Best Modems For Google WiFi & Nest in 2023 [Top Picks]

Are you looking for a reliable cable modem for your Google WiFi or Nest system? You’re at the right place. While testing and reviewing Google WiFi and Nest WiFi system, I tried several modems to observe the throughput they can deliver.

Although there are no specific compatibility requirements for Google mesh systems, I found that even DOCSIS 3.0 modems work fine. However. the experience and future-proofing are next-level with DOCSIS 3.1-supported modems.

As for the specific features, you should seek multiple Ethernet ports, higher channel bonding support, backward compatibility, a fast processor to manage better speeds, and a well-ventilated design. But finding such a modem is easier said than done.

Contents

  • 7 Best Modems for Google WiFi & Nest in 2023
    • 1. Best For Google WiFi: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200
    • 2. Best for Google Nest WiFi: Motorola MB8600
    • 3. Best for Gigabit Plans: Netgear CM1000
    • 4. Best with Phone Ports: ARRIS SURFboard T25
    • 5. Best Price to Performance: Motorola MB7621
    • 6. Best Budget Modem: Netgear CM500
    • 7. Cheapest Option: Motorola MB7420
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Verdict

7 Best Modems for Google WiFi & Nest in 2023

With many common pain points, I have taken it upon myself to prepare a list of modems that works best with Google Nest WiFi while being compatible with major internet providers in the United States.

In the subsequent sections, I shall review the 7 best modems to use with Google WiFi and Nest. Segregated according to the DOCSIS tech, ports, data speeds, and other factors, you will find some high-end devices at the start, followed by some cost-effective yet reliable options.

1. Best For Google WiFi: ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

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ARRIS SURFboard SB8200

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3.1
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 32 x 8
  • Suitable Internet Package: Gig Internet
  • Ports: 2. 5 Gig-E + 1 Gig-E
  • Processor: 1.5GHz Dual-Core Broadcom BCM3390
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 3GB + 128MB

Arris SB8200 is the first DOCSIS 3.1 modem in the Surfboard lineup, making it more capable of handling the fastest speeds ISPs have to offer. This makes it apt for network-intensive applications like Virtual reality gaming and streaming and a better choice than the old Arris SB6183.

Why is it a suitable choice?

Arris SB8200 is one of the high-speed cable modems that accompanies a 32 x 8 channel bonding to achieve a speed overhaul. It’s compatible with most plans of major ISPs like Cox, Verizon, and Xfinity, and its maximum speeds are capped at 1 Gbps. Thanks to its backward compatibility, you can even access low-speed plans.

Now, testing its real-time speed with Xfinity’s gigabit plan and paired with Google WiFi, the download speeds were 850 Mbps, while the upload speeds clocked nearly 200 Mbps. On the other hand, connecting it directly to the laptop yields speeds of nearly 1 Gbps.

The modem embraces IPv6, also present in Google WiFi, to deliver loads of other features like better security, added support to more devices, and efficient connections. When paired with Google WiFi, you can connect 20-25 devices simultaneously in a 3000 Sq Ft large house and run hardcore activities like playing online games and streaming OTT.

Ports & Connectivity

The two Gigabit Ethernet port setup perfectly complements Google WiFi with two ports to let you play online games, stream UHD videos, or do any other activities without any latency. However, the best part of this Arris cable modem is its Link aggregation support that lets you merge two different speeds to experience high-speed internet, provided you have two plans.

Conclusion

To sum up, Arris SB8200 is a top-notch cable modem to use with Google WiFi or Nest. After using it for a month, I feel professional gamers, large businesses, and telemarketing firms must benefit from using this.

To learn more about the device, check out the ARRIS SB8200 Review.

  • Backward compatibility
  • Link aggregation support
  • 32 x 8 channel bonding
  • Two Ethernet ports
  • Easy to setup
  • Boasts the old design of ARRIS modems

2. Best for Google Nest WiFi: Motorola MB8600

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Motorola MB8600

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3.1
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 32 x 8
  • Suitable Internet Package: Gig Internet
  • Ports: 1 Gig Ethernet
  • Processor: 1.5GHz Dual-Core Broadcom BCM3390
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 512MB + 128MB

Google’s Nest WiFi system comes with power-efficient hardware, 2×2 MIMO technology, and other features. And Motorola MB8600 is its practical companion with advanced DOCSIS support, high throughput, and AQM support, a major upgrade over its previous model, MB7621.

Why is it a suitable choice?

With DOCSIS 3.1 and 32 x 8 bonded channels, the maximum speed you can achieve is 1 Gbps. Besides, DOCSIS 3.0 fall-back, internet plans ranging from 400 MBPS to 1 Gbps would be ideal.

Although it’s certified by major ISPs, I tested the same with Cox’s Ultimate plan. In my testings with Google WiFi mesh, download speeds for respective bands (5GHz and 2.4GHz) were 780 Mbps and 350 Mbps. While connecting directly with the modem, the speeds were nearly 930 Mbps.

The overall performance receives a massive boost with features like AQM, IPv6, and full-band digital tuning. I could connect with multiple devices and play games like Destiny 2, Valorant, and more, while my family members were streaming 4K videos, doing online study, and video conferencing. After all these, none of the members complained about speed drops.

Ports & Connectivity

Motorola MB8600 with one Gigabit Ethernet port won’t do justice for people who need to connect multiple consoles or devices directly to the modem. It would be better to connect directly if you have a single device to use at once. Apart from that, it seamlessly pairs with Google WiFi and connects with multiple devices simultaneously.

Conclusion

The MB8600 doesn’t disappoint a tad. I could perform several network-intensive tasks on multiple devices without getting irritated or complaining about network lags. Besides, pairing with Google WiFi is much simpler, and my not-so-technically savvy grandpa could do it without breaking a sweat. This makes it one of the better modems for Google WiFi.

You may also read my full review of the Motorola MB8600.

  • Future-proof
  • Approved by many ISPs
  • Built-in Surge Protection
  • AQM (Active Queue Management)
  • Supports Link Aggregation
  • 2-year warranty
  • Fewer ports

3. Best for Gigabit Plans: Netgear CM1000

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Netgear CM1000

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3. 1
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 32 x 8
  • Suitable Service Package: Gig Internet
  • Ports: 1 Gig Ethernet
  • Processor: 1.5GHz Dual-Core Broadcom BCM3390
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 256MB + 128MB

Netgear’s CM1000 is still a cost-effective device despite sporting a pretty exhaustive specs sheet. While there are several good things about this future-proof modem, what stands out is its ability to assume Gig-level speeds, far better than the likes of CM700.

Why is it a suitable choice?

The device sports DOCSIS 3.1 with 32 x 8 channel bonding, and DOCSIS 3.0 fallback, allowing you to achieve decent throughputs. Let’s quickly get down to the maximum throughput, which stands at a respectable 1 Gbps for the CM1000. Most importantly, the data speed capping works well with the AC1200 setup, relevant to Google WiFi.

To test whether it delivers up to its stated potential or not, I tested it with Xfinity’s Gigabit plan. The test was divided into two parts: connecting directly with the modem and connecting through Google WiFi.

In my first test, speeds were very high, and I almost achieved the manufacturer claimed speeds. The respective download and upload speeds were 950 Mbps and 305 Mbps, respectively. On the other hand, the speeds didn’t dip much connecting with the router, 800 Mbps for the 5GHz band and 350 Mbps for 2.4 GHz.

Ports & Connectivity

Netgear brings in a single yet high-speed gigabit-capable ethernet port. However, the fun part is the QoS support, allowing you to optimally distribute the bandwidth with multiple devices based on priority. I even connected with multiple devices, including Smart TV, laptop, mobile, and a gaming console, but there wasn’t a tad dip in speeds.

Conclusion

Overall, the Netgear CM1000 is easily one of the best gigabit modems to pair with Google WiFi, especially the single or two-pack setup. Also, it is the DOCSIS 3.1 functionality that makes it effective enough for the future if and when Google brings Wi-Fi AX to its mesh setup.

Also Check: Netgear CM1000 Detailed Review

  • Supports Gigabit speeds
  • Built-in QoS support
  • Reliable processing setup
  • Excellent heat dissipation
  • Future-proof
  • No Multi-Gig ports

4. Best with Phone Ports: ARRIS SURFboard T25

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ARRIS SURFboard T25

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3.1
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 32 x 8
  • Suitable Internet Package: Gig Internet
  • Ports: 1 Gig Ethernet + 2 Telephony
  • Processor: Intel Puma 7
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 512MB + 128MB

Arris T25 comes at a hefty price tag, but the features it presents have persuaded me to tag it with Google Nest WiFi, and honestly speaking, I wasn’t disappointed a tad. And it brings many upgrades over its predecessor Arris SBV2402 which holds an inferior DOCSIS version, channel bonding, and lower speeds.

Why is it a suitable choice?

Being a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, T25 can transmit data faster across congested networks, with the potential to achieve speeds up to 10 Gbps. However, the lack of multi-gig ports circumscribes its ability to a maximum speed of 2 Gbps. And the 32 x 8 channels let the modem deliver the speeds.

The modem is an impeccable choice if you tag it with Comcast Internet + Voice services and it’s one of the few modems that come with phone ports. The speeds were impressive when devices were connected directly to the modem as well as Google Nest.

In a wired connection, the speeds clocked up to 640 Mbps during non-peak hours, while upload speeds stuck around 5-20 Mbps. On the other hand, for wireless connections, the highest speeds were close to 550 Mbps and 250 Mbps, respectively, for 5GHz and 2.4GHz.

Ports & Connectivity

The rear panel boasts 2 x Ethernet ports, 2 x Telephone ports, and other legacy ports, plus a power jack. Using the multi-gig Ethernet ports, connect your devices directly to experience high-speed internet or pair it with a WiFi router to expand the internet coverage. What’s unique about these ports is they support Link aggregation enabling you to amalgamate two separate IPs.

And with an active voice subscription, you can use the telephone ports right away to make voice calls to your friends and family.

Conclusion

With the latest hardware and tech support, Surfboard T25 delivers massive value to its customers. Starting from high-speed internet, easy app controls, and voice telephony, it exceeds the premium value you paid upfront. However, its compatibility with Xfinity only pushes it down the list.

Want to learn more? read the dedicated review of the Arris Surfboard T25.

  • Docsis 3.1 support
  • Surfboard Manager App
  • 32 x 8 Channels
  • Link aggregation
  • Two telephone ports
  • Only compatible with Xfinity
  • Latency-prone Intel Puma 7 chip

5.

Best Price to Performance: Motorola MB7621

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Motorola MB7621

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 24 x 8
  • Suitable Internet Plan: Up to 800 Mbps
  • Ports: 1 Gig Ethernet
  • Processor: Dual-Core Broadcom BCM3384
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 128MB + 8MB

Motorola’s MB7621 doesn’t need any introduction, especially for budget seekers who want a capable modem that works well with Google Nest or AC1200 WiFi. Plus, MB7621 is quite an upgrade over the MB7420, especially if you want better download speeds and wired throughput.

Why is it a suitable choice?

The first thing which makes this a good modem for Google WiFi is its price to utility features. Plus, multi-ISP compatibility enables you to pair it with any mid-tier plan from Cox, Spectrum, Xfinity, and more, expecting it to achieve max speeds of up to 800Mbps in theory and around 500Mbps, in real-time.

With DOCSIS 3.0 technology in play, this modem manages to transmit data without drops. Plus, the 24 x 8 channel bonding ensures the availability of sizable frequency bands to cut through any form of congestion.

Speed tests were performed by connecting devices directly to the device as well as wirelessly with the Xfinity Gigabit plan. The speeds in the first instance were greater than the latter, close to 750 Mbps as a download while 150 Mbps as an upload speed. On the other hand, pairing with Google WiFi speeds tagged up to 600 Mbps and 300 Mbps for 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, respectively.

Ports & Connectivity

There is only one Gig ethernet port in plain sight. While this certainly justifies the use case, it leaves a lot to be desired if you plan on connecting devices directly to the modem.

Conclusion

To sum it up, Motorola MB7621 isn’t the best modem for Google WiFi, but it certainly manages to hold its own when it comes to the aesthetics, overall layout, and ability to maintain decent internet speeds without drops.

Need more details? Consider reading my detailed Motorola MB7621 review.

  • Value for money
  • Towering layout
  • Works with most ISPs
  • 5 status indicative lights
  • Power surge protection
  • Only one port
  • 8MB flash memory

6. Best Budget Modem: Netgear CM500

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Netgear CM500

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 16 x 4
  • Suitable Internet Package: Up to 680 Mbps
  • Ports: 1 Gig Ethernet
  • Processor: 1GHz Dual-Core Broadcom BCM33843
  • RAM & NOR Memory: 128MB + 8MB

For people chasing down an entry-level modem to connect to Google WiFi and attain a decent speed on their devices, the Netgear CM500 is a credible choice. I compared it with CM400, and its performances were far better owing to the presence of 16 x 4 channel bonding compared to 8 x 8.

Why is it a suitable choice?

Concerning suitability, Netgear CM500 accompanies DOCSIS 3.0 with 16 x 4 bonding support, whose speeds capped 600 Mbps. Plus, backward compatibility with DOCSIS 2.0 or 1.1 makes it a versatile modem that supports low-speed plans up to 200 Mbps.

I tested this device with Sparklight Turbo 300 Plus plan at my grandpa’s place and received up to 180 Mbps as download speeds. And despite having 4 upstream channels, the upload speeds stayed between 5-12 Mbps when I connected my computer to the modem. On the other hand, speeds with Google WiFi were close to 130 Mbps, which dipped further when I moved far away from the router.

When it comes to the hardware, Netgear hasn’t disclosed anything about the chipset. However, rest assured, it’s decent enough to pair with 128MB RAM and 8MB NOR memory, to deliver better compatibility with the router and excellent speeds. I was impressed by its ability to simultaneously handle casual games and full HD videos streaming on multiple devices.

Ports & Connectivity

Netgear hasn’t been lenient in terms of ports and offers a single gigabit Ethernet port. Although with Google WiFi connected, you’ve to worry less about these. Nevertheless, if there’s only one device to connect, plug it into the port and experience maximum speeds. There’s also a coaxial cable on the rear panel, as there’s in all cable modems.

Conclusion

Netgear delivers the ultimate value to users in terms of speed, connectivity, and excellent performance concerning the cost it comes in. This is a great option for people who are into casual gaming and streaming high-quality videos. However, with inferior DOCSIS support, lesser speeds, and other features, I have ranked this product at the bottom.

You may also read the complete Netgear CM500 review.

  • Good sleek design
  • Easy to setup
  • Budget-friendly
  • Works with multiple ISPs
  • Built-in QoS
  • Backward compatible
  • Limited channel bonding

7.

Cheapest Option: Motorola MB7420

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Motorola MB7420

  • Technology: DOCSIS 3.0
  • Downstream/Upstream Channels: 16 x 4
  • Suitable Internet Plan: Up to 300 Mbps
  • Ports: 1 Ethernet
  • Processor: N/A
  • RAM & NOR Memory: N/A

The final product on the list, i.e., Motorola MB7420, exceeds expectations, courtesy of cheap price and an adequate number of downstream and upstream channels. Also, if you want to compare options here, the MB7420 fares better than the MB7220, where maximum speeds are concerned.

Why is it a suitable choice?

As concluded in my dedicated review of the Motorola MB7420, it is good enough for internet plans up to 300 Mbps, irrespective of the cable ISP you choose to go with. However, the maximum cumulative speeds when connected to Google WiFi, are capped at 686 Mbps.

Also, the DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 16 x 4 channel bonding support makes good use of the ISP allocated bandwidth and ensures consistent speeds.

Ports & Connectivity

There is only one ethernet slot to work with, which connects to the WAN port of the mesh router. Also, there are 5 indicative LEDs in the front to report the status of the wired and even wireless connections.

Conclusion

Motorola MB7420 is one of the best budget modems on the list, especially if you are looking for a device to handle low-tier internet plans. However, it is the seamless and intuitive web interface that makes it an extremely balanced budget modem.

  • Easy configuration
  • QoS support 
  • Gig Ethernet port with auto-sensing
  • Works with many ISPs
  • Hardware details aren’t available

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Google WiFi need a modem?

Yes, despite the myriad perks offered by Google WiFi, it is still categorically a router, which needs a good modem to connect wirelessly to smart devices. However, the modem quality should depend on the number of Google Wi-Fi packs or rather the range you are aiming for when it comes to blanketing the premise with the internet.

Is Google Nest WiFi compatible with Xfinity?

Google doesn’t put a lot of restrictions when it comes to modems and their compatibility. Therefore, you can pair almost any DOCSIS 3.0 modem, which is the minimum DOCSIS tech, with Google Wi-Fi and Google Nest.

What is the best cable modem for Google WiFi?

The best modem is the one that continues to agree with the 32 x 8 channel bonding support, offers two Gig slots and lino aggregation support, and is compatible with multiple ISPs.

Why should you look for multiple ethernet ports on Google WiFi modems?

Modems with multiple Ethernet ports allow you to connect with the Google WiFi setup whilst staying in a direct or instead wired relationship with the more bandwidth-intensive devices that might not perform particularly well over the wireless network.

Verdict

Google WiFi AC1200 and Nest WiFi are excellent mesh systems, provided you have a reliable modem to pair with. But then, not every cable modem is up to the snuff, and here are some of the handpicked selections from the aforementioned list to make networking fun and productive, all at the same time!

  • If you are interested in faster internet connections, especially gig plans, the Arris SB8200 is the perfect option to consider.
  • For mid-range internet plans, Motorola MB7621 is one of the more dependable modems to pair with Google Nest or Google WiFi.
  • Lastly, if you are seeking a low-tier internet plan, irrespective of the ISP, the Netgear CM500 is one modem that readily earns its keep.

But then, you can take any other pick from the mentioned list, depending on how it suits your budget, tech preferences, and even the structural requirements.

5 Best Modem For Google Nest Wi-Fi In 2023

This is our review of the best modems for Google Nest Wi-Fi.  

As network professionals and enthusiasts, we have tons of hands-on experience testing various modems. 

These tests found that the best modem to pair with Google Nest Wi-Fi is the Arris Surfboard SB8200. It provides fast speeds, easy to set up, and priced appropriately. 

However, not all households need the same modem. Since every home has a different size, network needs, budget, Internet plans, etc., a different modem may work better for you. 

So, I compiled this list of the top 5 modems for Google Nest Wi-Fi, so you can pick the one that works best for you. 

Top 5 Google Nest Wi-Fi-Approved Modems

Here are the top 5 modems for Google Nest Wi-Fi. 

  1. Best Overall – Arris Surfboard SB8200 – Cable Modem
  2. Best Performer – Motorola MB8611 – Cable Modem
  3. Best Budget-Friendly – Netgear CM1000 – Cable Modem
  4. Runner Up – Netgear CM2000 – Cable Modem
  5. Lowest Cost Option – Netgear CM600 – Cable Modem

5 Best Google Nest Wi-Fi Compatible Modems

Here are reviews of the best-approved modems for Google Nest Wi-Fi.  

#1 Best Overall – ARRIS Surfboard SB8200

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Overall
Approved For
  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Armstrong, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), Optimum, Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem best for Internet plans with speeds from 1000 to 2000 Mbps, making it a great choice if you’re pairing a fast Internet plan with your Google Nest Wi-Fi. 

I gave this range because the SB8200 has Port Bonding, a unique feature that lets you combine two Ethernet Ports into a single data stream. 

In this modem’s case, you can connect two 1000 Mbps ports into one to achieve a 2000 Mbps data stream. An easy way to double your bandwidth.  

Though this modem can handle Internet plans up to 2000 Mbps, most homes don’t have access to plans exceeding 1000 Mbps. Still, the investment might be worth it since you’ll be future-proofing your home network. 

It also supports IPv6, which Google Nest Wi-Fi also supports. This provides better security and performance than IPv4. Learn more about this in our IPv4 versus IPv6 guide. 

The only downside to this modem is that its bright lights could disturb you in the evening or while you’re trying to sleep or watch TV in the evenings. But you could toggle those off in the modem’s settings. 

Overall the Arris Surfboard SB8200 is an excellent modem for Google Nest Wi-Fi. It provides plenty of bandwidth for this mesh Wi-Fi system. Plus, it works well with 1000 to 2000 Mbps Internet plans and is compatible with most major ISPs. 

For more details on the Arris Surfboard SB8200, read our entire review. 

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#2 Best Performer – Motorola MB8611

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2500 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3. 1
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Chosen as: Best Performer
Approved For
  • Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Suddenlink, WOW

The Motorola MB8611 is another excellent choice for Google Nest Wi-Fi, especially if you have a fast Internet plan. This high-performance option is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem (future-proof) and supports Internet plans up to 2,500 Mbps.

However, it has a single 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port instead of using port bonding like the SB8200. Which most ISPs don’t even offer yet. Still, in some areas, you might have access to plans with speeds faster than 1,000 Mbps.

The MB8611 is equipped to handle the fastest cable Internet speeds available today, and because it is DOCSIS 3.1, it will support your home network for years into the future.

That said, if you have RCN or Optimum, get a different modem because this one won’t work with those ISPs.

And only purchase this modem if your current Internet plan is 1000 Mbps or higher. Otherwise, it would be overkill. But if you plan on upgrading to a faster plan, this modem is a great option. 

For more details on the Motorola MB8611, read our entire review. 

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#3 Best Budget-Friendly – Netgear CM1000

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 1000 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Best Budget-Friendly (not always cheap but often on sale)
Approved For
  • Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Armstrong, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), GCI, Mediacom, Midco, Suddenlink, WOW, Sparklight, Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave), (Sometimes Optimum)

The Netgear CM1000 is a great modem for those who want a gigabit connection. It is approved for most ISPs, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility

But you should still verify this anyway, as it won’t work with Internet plans that are not DOCSIS 3. 1, like Suddenlink’s slower plans. 

The main downside to the CM1000 is that it only supports 1000 Mbps max speeds. In comparison to other modems on this list, this is a significant drawback.

However, if your Internet plan has a top speed of 1000 Mbps, this modem will work fine. But it won’t future-proof your home for speed increases from your ISP (or if you plan to upgrade to a faster plan in the future.

Still, it works with almost all ISPs, so it is a reliable choice for most homes. 

For more information on the Netgear CM1000, read our full review. 

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#4 Runner Up – Netgear CM2000

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 2500 Mbps or below
  • DOCSIS: 3.1
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Runner Up
Approved For
  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Sparklight, WOW, Suddenlink, Armstrong, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), Mediacom, Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

The Netgear CM2000 is the best gigabit modem for gamers with Google Nest Wi-Fi.

This DOCSIS 3.1 modem is one of the quickest on the market, offering speeds up to 2.5 Gbps (2500 Mbps). Unfortunately, because it’s so new, many ISPs don’t offer these higher speeds to customers yet– but that should change soon. 

Compared to the SB8200, which uses port bonding for its added speed, the CM2000 has a single 2.5 Gbps port. This is the same type of modem as the Motorola MB8611 above, just approved for different ISPs.

These speeds are perfect for online gamers and streamers who want the best quality and most bandwidth possible.

The CM2000 is, in a nutshell, the Arris Surfboard SB8200 on steroids. It’s faster and newer than the SB8200 while also being more future-proof. Of course, all of that doesn’t come cheap– the CM2000 costs noticeably more.

We only recommend this modem to homeowners with Google Nest Wi-Fi with an ISP plan of 1000 Mbps or higher. It’s a waste of money if you don’t have the speed to take full advantage of its capabilities.

For more information on this modem, read our complete review of the Netgear CM2000. 

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#5 Lowest Cost Option – Netgear CM600

  • Type: Cable Modem
  • Recommended for: 600 Mbps or below
  • Channels: 24×8
  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Chosen as: Lowest Cost
Approved For
  • Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Sparklight, Suddenlink, Breezeline (Atlantic Broadband), Astound Broadband (Grande, RCN, Wave)

If you have Google Nest Wi-Fi with an internet plan that’s 600 Mbps or slower and are looking to save some money, the Netgear CM600 is a great choice for your home.

However, it’s a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 24×8 channels. Which is less future-proof and not as good for gaming since DOCSIS 3.0 modems tend to have higher latency. 

And DOCSIS 3. 0 is becoming outdated and will eventually phase out. So you may need to upgrade this modem in the near future if your ISP stops supporting it. Therefore, it’s not as long-lasting as the other recommendations.

But if you don’t ever upgrade your internet plan past 600 Mbps, this should continue to work for years down the road.

Overall, the Netgear CM600 is suitable for homes with Google Nest Wi-Fi on a budget and an internet plan that isn’t faster than 600 Mbps.

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What to Consider Before Buying A Google Nest Wi-Fi Approved Modem

Here are some things you must consider before you buy a modem for Google Nest Wi-Fi. For more details, see our modem buying guide. 

Compatible with Google Nest Wi-Fi and Your ISP

Most modern modems are compatible with Google Nest Wi-Fi, but it is still worth verifying before you purchase one. What is more important is that your modem is compatible with your ISP. 

You will want to ensure your modem is “approved” for your ISP. When the modem is approved, someone physically tested it to verify it works with the ISP. 

You might see other terms, like certified, supported, compatible, etc., but they all mean the same as approved. 

DOCSIS 3.1 vs. 3.0 and Channels

DOCSIS is the telecom standard that cable modems use to transfer data to and from your home network. [1]

These days, all modems are either DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1.

DOCSIS 3.0 is older and provides speeds up to 1 Gbps. The newer standard, DOCSIS 3.1, can provide much faster speeds– up to 10 Gbps. 

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Generally, DOCSIS 3.0 modems are cheaper and are a good choice if you don’t have an Internet plan faster than 1 Gbps (1000Mbps). 

But, if you might upgrade to a faster Internet plan in the near future, I recommend getting a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. You will future-proof your home network and won’t have to upgrade your modem as soon. 

The number of channels on a DOCSIS 3. 0 modem will affect your max upload and download speeds. For example, a 16×8 channel modem has 16 download channels and 8 upload channels. 

The more channels the DOCSIS 3.0 modem has, the faster it is. On the flip side, DOCSIS 3.1 modems don’t use channels. 

Use the chart below to determine which DOCSIS standard and channels are right for your Internet plan. That said, this will depend on your ISP, as some har different requirements.

Internet Plan Compatibility DOCSIS Channels
150 Mbps or less 3.0 or 3.1 8×4 channels or more
300 Mbps 3.0 or 3.1 16×8 channels or more
500 Mbps 3.0 or 3.1 16×8 channels or more
800 Mbps 3.0 or 3.1 24×8 channels or more
1000 Mbps 3.0 or 3.1 32×8 channels or more
1200 Mbps 3. 1 N/A*
2000 Mbps 3.1 N/A*
2500 Mbps 3.1 N/A* 

*DOCSIS 3.1 modems don’t use channels. 

For more information on DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1, read our guide here. 

Modem/Router Combo or Separate

If you already have a Google Nest Wi-Fi system, you should get a standalone modem and not a modem/router combo. 

This is a key consideration when choosing a modem to pair with your Google Nest Wi-Fi. Getting a modem/router combo would be a mistake since the Google Nest Wi-Fi is your router. 

A modem/router combo has both a modem and a router in a single device. Separate devices mean the modem and router are two different devices. 

Learn more about what network device you need here. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Fiber

If you have fiber Internet from your ISP, you won’t need a modem at all. Instead, you will have an ONT that will function as the modem (you won’t need to buy this, the ISP installs it when you get fiber Internet. )

Just connect the main node of your Google Nest Wi-Fi system to the ONT’s WAN port, download the Google Home App, and walk through the steps to set up your Wi-Fi network. 

Rent Vs. Buy a Modem From Your ISP

Another consideration is renting a modem from your ISP versus buying your own. Most ISPs will rent a modem to you for a flat monthly fee. However, if you want a better, faster one, you should buy one yourself. 

Often the monthly rental fee is so high that it would equate to the cost of a newer, better modem in less than a year. 

Check out our buying versus renting guide for more considerations. 

FAQ

Here are some common questions about Google Nest Wi-Fi modems. 

Which modem is best with Google Nest Wi-Fi?

The best modem for Google Nest Wi-Fi depends on several factors, including your Internet plan, budget, ISP, and more. However, we found that the Arris Surfboard SB8200 works best. 

Do I need a modem for Google Nest Wi-Fi?

Yes, if you have cable Internet, you still need a modem with Google Nest Wi-Fi. The modem connects your Internet service to your home. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi is a mesh router system that provides widespread Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home but does not have a modem function itself. 

If you have fiber Internet, you do not need a modem. 

Our Verdict

From our thorough testing, we found that the Arris Surfboard SB8200 is the best modem for Google Nest Wi-Fi.

It offers great bandwidth, it is future-proof, and it is affordable considering the features it offers. And it works great with Google Nest Wi-Fi. 

router for a large house with a beautiful design

Hello! Everyone who has been reading us for a long time knows that a router is the main component of a home network. For the best coverage area, it is placed in the center of the room. Routers of the past with square cases would have looked extremely unaesthetic in the middle of the room, so the “corporation of good” worked on the concept of providing a home local area network and the Internet, introducing a product called Google Wi-Fi to the public.

Contents

  1. Features
  2. Software and connection
  3. Conclusion
  4. Ask the author of the article