Netgear High Speed DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem (CM400-1AZNAS)

I was recently given the opportunity to test and evaluate Netgear’s CM400-1AZNAS DOCIS 3.0 Cable Modem.* after putting the equipment through its paces, I’ve jotted down a number of thoughts:

Packaging – Non-descript brown box with an egg crate-like tray to hold the modem, feet, power cube and cord, shielded ethernet cable, installation manual, and notices. Decidedly no frills but it works.

Physical description and Build Quality – This thing is tiny! It’s significantly smaller than the current Time Warner Cable box we have. The Netgear modem is smaller than a Blu-Ray case and about an inch thick. As far as ports, it’s a very simple affair with a coaxial jack, power port, and ethernet port. The only physical button is the reset button on the rear. On the front you have a number of indicator lights for power, uplink, downlink, internet, and ethernet. Overall, the unit has decent build quality.

Setup – If you’re on Xfinity, setup is a breeze. You don’t even need to contact them to activate your new modem. Set it up as you would normally; input your credentials and you’re good to go! If, however, you’re with another ISP, you may have to get in touch with the company to activate. Setup will also be a little more complicated if you have phone service. With TWC, you’ll still have to keep your phone modem to maintain voice service.

Performance – It was on par with the modem we leased through TWC. We saw about the same speeds as before. It should be noted that we’re on a lower tier of speed so any differences due to equipment would be minimal at best. Since this modem is DOCIS 3.0 compatible with 8 downsteam and 4 upstream channels, the maximum supported speed is ~300 megabits – perfect capability for most home users.

Miscellaneous – At about $70 on Amazon, I think this would be a great buy for most people. Considering that most ISPs lease their cable modems to their customers for $5-10 a month, purchasing a modem will pay for itself in around a year. It’s always nice to save a bit of money every month. If you’re a voice user also, these savings may not be realized as you’ll have to keep your phone modem around.

The CM400-100NAS was The Wirecutter’s runner-up selection for best cable modem and was only passed over due to fewer ISP compatibilities than their current pick.

The documentation provided with the CM400-1AZNAS shows that the modem is compatible with Xfinity/ Comcast, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, Optimum, and Time Warner Cable. I have not been able to find more documentation as to other ISPs the modem may or may not be compatible with.

I would definitely recommend this product to other users because of its low price, ease of use, performance, and that most of my friends on cable use one of the compatible ISPs.