Netgear CM600 vs Netgear CM700 – Which is Better?

If you know anything about cable modems, you know that Netgear is arguably one of the most recognized brands in the game.

It’s often compared to Arris, another brand that continues to impress with every release.

Typically, most comparisons tend to focus on Arris vs. Netgear, but this one is slightly different. We’re comparing products from the same brand.

These products are the Netgear CM600 vs. the Netgear CM700.

Netgear CM600 Overview

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600 - Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 400 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0 | 24x8

Pros

  • Compatible with most ISPs
  • It comes with a power button
  • Portable
  • Can handle network congestion

Cons

  • Tends to overheat
  • Customer service could be better

Specifications

  • 1 Ethernet port
  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • 24×8 channel bonding
  • Supports Comcast Xfinity, Cablevision, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Cox, etc.

Great For (Cable Modem, WiFi Router and Hardware Capabilities, benefits too)

Netgear is renowned for its cable modems, and one of its budget-friendly models is the CM600.

It uses the DOCSIS 3.0 protocols, which guarantees better speed. It’s not the fastest, but it can reach up to 400 Mbps.

Is the Speed Good Enough?

The CM600 maxes out at 400 Mbps, which seems little compared to other modems that reach 1Gbps or more.

However, you also have to consider your ISP plans. Does your ISP offer Gigabit plans? Do you need a Gigabit plan?

If not, then a device that can reach 2.5Gbps might be overkill. The USA’s average broadband speed is about 66Mbps; thus, you should be fine with 400Mbps.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600 - Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 400 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0 | 24x8
  • Compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more. Requires Cable Internet Service
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
  • Cable Modem only (no WiFi router).Memory: 8 MB NOR flash and 128 MB RAM
  • Support Cable Internet Service plans up to 300Mbps. Recommended for all speed tiers up to 500 Mbps. Separate router required for WiFi. 24x8...
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 04:06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Remember, regardless of how fast your modem is, it can’t draw more data than your ISP provides. Investing in a 2.5Gbps cable modem doesn’t change the fact that you’re paying for a 50Mbps plan.

If you don’t intend to pay a heftier cost for a Gigabit plan, buying a faster modem would be a waste.

Is the Modem Compatible with Your ISP?

In theory, it should be compatible with all the ISPs in your region as it has Xfinity, Comcast, Spectrum, and CO certification.

But if you’re uncertain about compatibility, you can always search on Google. Type your ISP compatible modems and go through the results to see if the CM600 is compatible.

Another option would be to contact your ISP and ask if the modem is compatible. It will take a minute, but it’s better than investing in a device you can’t use.

Performance

The modem has a single port, which limits use to a single device. Fortunately, you can eliminate this issue by connecting it to a WiFi router. It’s compatible with most, if not all, routers on the market.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600 - Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 400 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0 | 24x8

A better option would be to pair the CM600 with a Netgear router. Since both devices are from the same brand, you can expect seamless connectivity, speed, and performance.

The CM600 is the best value for money, as you’ll see at the end of this Netgear Cm600 vs. Netgear CM700 comparison.

Netgear CM700 Overview

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 800Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0

Pros

  • Supports up to 500Mbps
  • Compatible with most ISPs
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Requires a WiFi router
  • No VOIP support

Specifications

  • Compatible with most cable ISPs
  • Built for speed
  • Compatible with any WiFi router
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 32×8 channel bonding
  • DOCSIS 3.0

Great For (Cable Modem, WiFi Router and Hardware Capabilities, benefits too)

What can you do with the Netgear CM700? Here are a few areas that the CM700 excels:

Is it Better Than Renting?

Yes, without a doubt, you’re better off owning a device than paying a monthly rental fee. Every year, you pay your ISP about $60-$150 for the rented device. In 5 years, how much have you paid?

You’ll have paid about $300-750 for a device that’s probably past its time. A better option would be to own the Netgear CM700, which cost about $100. That’s about the same as your yearly rental fee.

You will need a router to connect to the device; thus, your upfront costs might increase. However, owning is still better than renting.

What DOCSIS protocol Does the Netgear CM700 use?

Ideally, you’d want the fastest and latest DOCSIS protocol, which is the 3.1. However, you don’t need it, at least for now and a couple more years.

If your cable modem uses the DOCSIS 3.0 protocol, you’re good to go.

Netgear CM700 Review

The CM700 features DOCSIS 3.0, which has a better throughput compared to the previous version. It also has more bonded channels, which the CM700 has 32 and supports all of them.

The upstream channels are only on the lower side as it only has 8 available.

However, this is enough for a regular consumer unless you’re into heavier uploads. If you want faster uploads, opt for business class fiber.

Compatibility

The CM700 is a typical DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem as it’s compatible with most ISPs. Even the small ISP in your area is most likely compatible. But just to be sure, contact your ISP or search on Google.

Should You Buy the Netgear CM700?

It’s an excellent purchase, especially if you’re on a high bandwidth connection.

You see, if you’ve paid for a high bandwidth plan, but the speeds you get are nowhere close to the advertised speeds, it’s time to upgrade.

You don’t need to upgrade your plan; you need a better modem such as the CM700. This modem will ensure that you get the best out of your paid plan.

If you’re paying for a 200Mbps and only getting about 40-50Mbps, this modem will help up the speeds.

Sale
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 800Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0
  • Compatible with all major cable internet providers: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Spectrum. Not compatible with...
  • Save monthly rental fees: Model CM700 replaces your cable modem saving you up to $168/year in equipment rental fees.
  • Speeds by carrier: Xfinity (up to 800Mbps), Cox (up to 500Mbps), Spectrum (up to 400Mbps).
  • Works with any Wi-Fi router: Connect any Wi-Fi router to this modem's Ethernet port to support all your wireless devices.
  • Ethernet connections: 1 Gigabit Ethernet port connects to your computer or separate Wi-Fi router.

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 04:06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It can support up to 500Mbps compared to the CM600, which caps at 400 Mbps. Do you need a Gigabit modem? If your connection is limited to a few devices and your internet usage isn’t heavy, then no.

The CM700 will serve you just fine. We’re still a few more years away before Gigabit internet becomes available at more affordable prices.

But for now, your Netgear CM700 will be the high-performance cable modem that you need it to be.

Do you need a WiFi router?

Yes, you do. If you want to share your connection with other devices, then a Netgear router would be ideal.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 800Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0

Netgear CM600 vs. CM700

The best way to compare the two cable modems is to compare them feature by feature.

Design

The Netgear CM700 is an all-around beauty; it looks aggressive but feels simple. A simple glance at this device will tell you that it’s a performance-oriented cable modem.

It doesn’t have too much to brag about especially its design as it’s built to improve its performance.

For example, it has bright green LEDs and ventilation holes covering its outer casing.

The Netgear CM700 is slightly bigger than your typical vendor modem and comes with a built-in stand for better stability.

Netgear CM600 Review

Having a stand comes in handy as it reduces the CM700’s footprint on whatever surface you place it.

In addition, the stand also ensures that the modem remains upright, thus facilitating better cooling. If you lay the modem on its side, you’ll block the vent holes on one side, thus impeding optimal cooling.

From afar, the CM600 looks similar to the CM700; as you get closer, you’ll realize that one is bigger.

The Netgear CM600 is a little bigger and heavier. It weighs about 907 grams compared to CM700, which weighs about 250 grams.

It has an all-black exterior with vent holes. It also has well-lit LEDs on the front panel. At the back, it’s similar to the cM700 as they both feature a single Giga Ethernet port.

The CM600 has a narrow profile similar to the CM700, which helps save on shelf or table space.

It has an On/Off switch at the back, which you can use when your modem acts up. In most cases, when your modem needs a reboot, the preferred option is always to yank out the power cable.

This is a slight inconvenience, which is why Netgear added an On/Off button at the back. Now every time you need to reboot, just flick the switch.

DOCSIS Certified

Cable modems run on a DOCSIS system, which is available in three versions. Most modems have the DOCSIS 3.0 version, which allows channel bonding.

The previous version maxed out at 42Mb/s per channel, which translated to a slower connection.

Fortunately, both the Netgear CM600 and the CM700 feature the DOCSIS 3.0. The system is fast, but there is a newer system: the DOCSIS 3.1 which offers better security features, faster downloads, and reduced latency.

However, for a home user or a small business, you don’t need the DOCSIS 3.1. It’s overkill unless you’re investing for the future. Also, keep in mind that superior modem technology will cost more.

Overall, both the Netgear CM700 and the CM600 are high-speed modems that are compatible with most ISPs, as you’ll see in the next section.

The main difference between the two is that CM700 has 32×8 channel bonding while the CM600 has 24×8 channel bonding.

Compatibility with ISPs

The CM700 is compatible with most of the major cable internet companies such as Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, and Cox.

However, if you’ve purchased plans from Verizon, DSL providers, AT & T, DISH, CenturyLink, you’ll have to choose a different cable modem.

The same applies to the CM600; it’s compatible with all major US ISPs such as Xfinity, Cox, Comcast, Spectrum, etc. However, it doesn’t work with cable bundled services.

Since both devices are from the same manufacturer, you can self-activate and connect to your Xfinity plan without contacting customer care.

Gigabit Ethernet Port

The CM600 has a single Gigabit Ethernet port at the back, which you can use to connect your WiFi router or laptop. Since it’s not a combined cable modem and router, you’ll need a router.

As you’d expect with most Netgear modems, the CM700 also has a single Gigabit Ethernet port. It’s located at the back with the power port and coaxial cable port.

Both modems have a single port, thus limiting your connection to a single device, either your router or laptop.

If you want more ports, you’ll have to invest in higher-end modems. You’ll typically get two or three Gigabit Ethernet ports. 

Router compatibility

Both devices are cable modems; thus, you’ll need a router. Which routers are compatible with these modems?

The best router for a Netgear modem will always be a Netgear router. For example, if you have either the CM600 or the CM700, you can pair it with the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200.

The three devices share the Quality of Service, which helps prevent any connectivity issues you might experience when paired with other routers.

Channel Bonding

Ideally, you want a modem such as the Netgear CM700, which has 32 channels. On the other hand, the CM600 has 24 channels.

The average modems have about 4-8 channels, which means that these channels quickly become overcrowded.

Fortunately, if you have either the Netgear CM700 or the CM600, you can utilize the remaining 24 or 16 channels.

In addition to the extra channels, both devices can utilize channel bonding to increase the downstream and upstream speeds. For example, the CM700 is a 32×8 modem, while the CM600 is a 24×8 modem.

This means that the CM700 has 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels. The CM600 has 24 downstream and 8 upstream channels.

Speed

Well, you’re buying a modem to take advantage of ISP plans that offer better download and upload speeds.

The least you can do is get a cable modem like the Netgear Cm700, which promises to deliver up to 500 Mbps.

It’s not the fastest, but the CM700 will deliver sufficient speeds for your daily online gaming, streaming, and uploads.

The CM600 isn’t far behind as it can support up to 400 Mbps. This is more than sufficient, especially if you’re using a single device.

Hardware Size

As mentioned in the design section, the CM600 is larger and heavier than the CM700. It weighs 907 grams compared to the CM700, which weighs 249 grams.

The difference in weight makes the CM700 the ideal option for wall mounting.

It’s so lightweight that it won’t need supporting features to keep it in a stable position. Since it’s also smaller, it takes up less space on your table or wherever you place it.

What Chipset Does The Netgear Cm700 Use?

It features the Intel Puma 6, which is also included in other cable modems. It’s not the fastest, nor is it the best chipset on the market.

The chipset suffers from many issues such as severe network latency spikes, which will affect web surfing, online gaming, streaming, etc.

Some companies have managed to improve the chipset through firmware updates, but it hasn’t helped as expected.

The move was seen as a temporary fix that didn’t improve the chipset’s jitter and latency issues.

The chipset issues were so severe that there is a pending lawsuit against Arris – one of Netgear’s main competitors.

The chipset is a massive let down; thus, you might want to avoid cable modems with the chipset. Instead, choose a modem like the CM600, which has a Broadcom chipset.

Which Netgear Modem is Best?

That depends on a ton of factors. What are your options? Do you want a combined router and modem? How much are you willing to pay?

How many ethernet ports do you want? Does your ISP offer Gigabit plans?

It’s tough to pick one Netgear modem as the best, considering the different uses and budgets.

Is Netgear CM700 a router?

No, the CM700 is a cable modem. It’s not a combined router and modem; thus, you’ll need a router for your modem, that is, if you choose the CM700.

Does Netgear CM600 Need a Router?

Yes, it will need a router. You can use it without a router, but only if you intend to connect it to a single device. It has only one Ethernet port.

If you connect your PC to the port, you’ll have to figure out another way to connect your other devices.

This is where a router comes in handy. Preferably, pair your CM600 with a Netgear router to avoid any compatibility issues that might arise when paired with any brand.

Netgear CM600 vs. CM700 Review – Which To Choose?

What features do you want more? If it’s better download speeds, then the Netgear CM700 might be the perfect pick for you.

If you want a device that’s lightweight and takes up less on your table, the Netgear CM700 would be the ideal pick.

Both devices have similar designs and a single Gigabit Ethernet port. Therefore, choosing based on designs might be challenging. You can also consider other features, such as chipsets.

NETGEAR Cable Modem CM600 - Compatible with Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 400 Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0 | 24x8
  • Compatible with Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox, Cablevision, and more. Requires Cable Internet Service
  • Not compatible with: Verizon, AT&T, or CenturyLink
  • Cable Modem only (no WiFi router).Memory: 8 MB NOR flash and 128 MB RAM
  • Support Cable Internet Service plans up to 300Mbps. Recommended for all speed tiers up to 500 Mbps. Separate router required for WiFi. 24x8...
  • DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 04:06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Netgear CM600 uses a Broadcom chipset, while the Netgear CM700 has the Intel Puma 6 chipset. The latter is said to have a lot of latency and jitter issues.

It’s not a chipset that you want to have in your cable modem. Therefore, the CM600 wins this round.

If you consider compatibility with ISPs and routers, both cable modems will have similar compatibility. None is better than the other.

Sale
NETGEAR Cable Modem CM700 - Compatible with All Cable Providers Including Xfinity by Comcast, Spectrum, Cox | for Cable Plans Up to 800Mbps | DOCSIS 3.0
  • Compatible with all major cable internet providers: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Spectrum. Not compatible with...
  • Save monthly rental fees: Model CM700 replaces your cable modem saving you up to $168/year in equipment rental fees.
  • Speeds by carrier: Xfinity (up to 800Mbps), Cox (up to 500Mbps), Spectrum (up to 400Mbps).
  • Works with any Wi-Fi router: Connect any Wi-Fi router to this modem's Ethernet port to support all your wireless devices.
  • Ethernet connections: 1 Gigabit Ethernet port connects to your computer or separate Wi-Fi router.

Last update on 2021-07-31 at 04:06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overall, the Netgear CM600 is the best choice, especially if you’re looking for better connectivity and performance.

The CM700 is better in almost every way except the chipset. And the last thing you need is connectivity issues.

Therefore, if you have to choose between the two, choose the Netgear CM600 cable modem.