If you are a Spectrum subscriber, you might not have considered that you could buy your own Spectrum compatible router.
After all, Spectrum claims to give its subscribers free routers that will work with them directly. However, it's not that simple. They will charge you $5/month to use the WiFi functionality instead.
Instead of paying a monthly $5 fee for the privilege of using their router, you should get one for yourself and get all of the features that you really want from your router.
But how can you know which router is the best router for Spectrum? And what routers are compatible with Spectrum Internet? This is what you need to know.
Benefits Of Getting Your Own Spectrum Compatible Router
No More Rental Fees
Do you really want to pay Spectrum $5 a month, or $60 a year, to use their router when you could simply buy a compatible router for yourself? $60 might still be less than a quality router, but not by much.
Charter Spectrum makes it sound like a sweet deal to use the router that the “give” you, but then you are paying for a monthly wireless charge indefinitely. Instead, save yourself money in the long run and buy a better WiFi router.
Better Performance & Faster WiFi
When you buy your own Spectrum wireless router, you will be able to get one that has the level of performance that you need. Spectrum doesn’t care if you are in a neighbourhood with a lot of people on the same bands.
Their wireless router will not be able to reflect the level of performance that you should be able to expect from your router. For faster WiFi and better overall performance, it is ideal to buy your Spectrum compatible router.
Extended Coverage & Improved Security
When you think about your network’s security, you could be thinking of several different things. Maybe you need parental controls to have a handle on your network’s activities. Or maybe you need a VPN to make sure your information is being kept private.
Charter Spectrum’s WiFi router will not meet those needs. Your own router will also allow you to choose one that meets the coverage needs of your network instead of the guesswork that comes from a generic Spectrum router.
5 Best Spectrum Compatible Routers For 2019
1. Netgear R7000
2. Linksys EA9500
3. Motorola MR2600
4. Netgear Orbi Mesh
5. Motorola MG7550
1. Netgear Nighthawk R7000
Best Router For Spectrum (Editor's Choice)
When it comes to the best router for Spectrum internet, our choice is the Netgear Nighthawk R7000-100PAS. Just as the other Nighthawk routers are, this router is reliable and will work well with most home networks.
The design of the Nighthawk R7000-100PAS is a horizontal router with three antennas that can be turned toward the devices that need them the most. The design also includes a USB 3.0 port to allow you to hardwire in any external storage device.
This router also offers you parental controls, which can give you another layer of protection if you need to monitor what kind of internet activity your network is experiencing. Another perk to this is the OpenVPN Connect App that will permit you to have access to the network remotely, allowing you to see what is going on within the network and alter any settings that might need it.
This router is fit with a 1 GHz dual-core processor that should offer enough power to reach all of your devices. Part of this is from the Beamforming+ features which add just a little more power to your antennas, extending not just the reach of your network, but also the power that comes with it.
With this router, you will also get a dynamic QoS that will allow you to prioritize which devices should get the best bandwidth, ensuring that the devices that cannot afford to have buffering or signal loss will have a reliable connection. This is especially important if you do any kind of heavy streaming within your network.
2. Linksys Max-Stream EA9500 Wireless Router
High Performance Spectrum Compatible Router
If you are more in the market for a router that can give you enhanced WiFi coverage, look no further than the Linksys Max-Stream EA9500. This router is built to handle anything that you throw at it.
Design: When you first look at the appearance of the Max-Stream EA9500, you might question whether you are really looking at a router. With its eight high performance antennas, the router looks more like a drone than anything else, but all of those antennas are in place to give you even more power.
This is a next-gen router, which means that it can handle all of the modern technology that most home networks deal with, including 4K streaming. The Max-Stream will also work with any modem that you already have set up within your existing network.
Performance: Performance-wise, this router is a beast. It offers tri-band WiFi speeds up to 5.3 Gbps. This is broken down into one 5 GHz band at 1000 Mbps, a second 5 GHz band at 2166 Mbps, and a 2.4 GHz band at 2166 Mbps. The dual-core processor also gives you ultra-fast data transfer speeds.
This router also has a MU-MIMO set up, which is essential if you are going to be doing any kind of online streaming or gaming at the same time as someone else on your network. When you are in the middle of a game or file transfer, you cannot afford to lose the signal.
3. Motorola MR2600 WiFi Smart Router
Even when you are on a budget, you should be able to get a really good wireless router compatible with Spectrum Internet. For this reason, we suggest the Motorola MR2600 when you are working within a budget.
On the surface, the design of the MR2600 might seem a little bit bulky. Admittedly, it is going to be more challenging to hide if it is in a central location of your home. Part of this is because of the four performance antennas that will give you concurrent performance across both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands.
One of the biggest design flaws of this router is that it has a more complicated setup than some of the other ones that we have recommended here. With a little patience, however, you should be able to get yourself up and going. It also has a USB 3.0 port, a fire wall, parental controls, and other added securities.
This might be a budget friendly router, but it is in no way a weak router. The MR2600 comes with built-in MU-MIMO technology, which is essential if you have multiple devices that need to be streaming at the same time. No one should have more power over another when it comes to streaming with your home network.
This router also gives you implicit and explicit Beamforming technology, allowing you to direct the power right where you want it to go. Combined with the powerful antennas and you should get the type of signal that you really were hoping for.
4. Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi System
No two networks are the exact same size. In fact, due to some layouts, a router that might work in one space might not work in other that has the same square footage. If you need a little more coverage in your network, check out the Netgear Orbi Home Mesh System.
Probably one of the best design features of the Orbi system is that the WiFi points are actually modern and nice looking, making it much easier to hide if you wanted to. Mesh systems allow you to add in more access points as you go in case your network is too large even with the points that were given.
With this design, you will also get four LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports, which mean you can hardwire any device that you need to in order to have that extra guarantee that you will not be kicked offline if someone else logs on.
The Orbi system is made to cover every inch of your network, eliminating any dead zones that you might normally experience. With the mesh system, the Orbi can get 5,000 square feet of consistent coverage, all with speeds up to 30 Gbps. This router is not messing around.
Thanks to the tri-band technology, the Orbi system is able to maintain speed even as other devices hop onto your WiFi. If you are in the middle of a game, your speed will not be impacted if someone helps hops online and begins to stream as well.
5. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router Combo
Best Modem Router Combo For Spectrum (Editor's Choice)
Sometimes you might not just want a router by itself, but you could be in the market for a modem/router combo for your Spectrum internet. If this sounds like you, then take a look at the Motorola MG7550.
Unlike the other routers that we have looked at today, the MG7550 is a tower design, meaning it will sit up on the space rather than being laid down. This will actually help to keep your router cooler in the long run, increasing the overall longevity of the device.
You will also get four Gigabit Ethernet ports with this router, allowing you to directly plug in any device that cannot risk being kicked off your WiFi. While the MG7550 has an incredibly stable signal, interruptions to the signal can mean that you lose signal to your devices. Plugged in devices will not experience the same danger. Speaking of danger, you also get a firewall with this modem/router combo, giving you a tad more protection.
The MG7550 is a dual-band router so it runs both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands, allowing to choose which band you would like to use for which device. Since the 5 GHz band is not as commonly used as the 2.4 GHz, you are more likely to have better luck streaming on the 5 GHz.
Additionally, you will get the Motorola Power Boost feature with this modem, which will increase the overall coverage of the network and with speeds up to 650 Mbps, you should have enough power to effortlessly maintain signal throughout your network.
Things To Consider When Looking For The Best Router For Spectrum Internet
Wireless Coverage Needed
When you are looking at the right Spectrum compatible modem to meet your network’s needs, you should think about the size of your network. Some homes have more rooms and walls that can provide more obstacles for internet to travel through. You also need to consider who many people will be using your WiFi as well as how they will be using it.
Real WiFi Speed
All routers boast that they have a certain speed that they can reach. This is considered a theoretical speed. In a perfect environment, the router might be able to reach that speed, but in reality there are other considerations.
To begin with, what speed can you really get from Charter Spectrum? You will also need to think about how many neighbours might be on the same band that you are as well as how many bands are available to you. There is no right answer, but several variables.
Number Of Connected Devices & Your Activity
Your network is not likely just made up of yourself and one device. The amount of people you have using your internet as well what you are doing with your internet should also be factors for which router you really should get.
If you are a heavy-streaming network, your router needs to be able to accommodate that. If you are more of a browsing network, you will not need the same power that a heavy streaming network would need.