WOW! (Wide Open West) cable network provider has a data plan of up to 1 Gbps speed. However, unless you are using your own modem, the charges may make you to lament rather than scream in excitement. This Internet service provider (ISP) is only available in the South and Midwest. They offer four tier data subscription plans. If you are planning to purchase your own modem, it is crucial you know these plans. They are as follows:
- Internet 100 for 100 Mbps/$39.99 per month
- Internet 200 for 200 Mbps/$44.99 per month
- Internet 500 for 500 Mbps/$54.99 per month
- Internet 1000 for 1000 Mbps/$74.99 per month
These prices are for customers who sign a 2-year agreement and Autopay. The prices of each tier is higher by $25 each for customers who don’t want any contractual agreement. These prices may also differ depending on your location. WOW! charges a modem rental fee of $10 per month which totals $120 per year. We have identified some of the best modems for WOW! subscribers to make your search easier.
Review of the Best WOW! Compatible Modems
Even if you think $10 per month is a small price, just bear in mind that there are additional service fees that may apply including installation fee and early termination fee. Another privilege you will get when you buy your own modem is that you get to choose the exact equipment you want which often means getting better connectivity. Without further chitchats let’s dive into our list of the best WOW! compatible modems.
Motorola MB7420 – Best overall
For most of our reviews, the product that we pick as best overall usually finds the balance between performance and price. Motorola MB7420 is not an exception to this rule. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem can reach a download speed of 686 Mbps—but it is not just about the speed. It is also highly affordable. This modem offers 16×4 bonding channels and a Full-Band Capture Digital Tuner for lower latency and faster and more reliable Internet connection.
It is recommended for a data plan of up to 375 Mbps. In terms of connection, it comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port which you can connect to your computer, HDTV, or to a router. Inasmuch as it doesn’t come with a built-in router, you can use it with any router of your choice. This allows you to pair it with a powerful router for a seamless connection with all your mobile devices.
Setup is easy and you have access to Motorola customer support specialists. Other breathtaking features that will get when you choose this product include rugged lightning and power surge circuits for durability as well as 2-year warranty. The presence of a solitary Ethernet port is highly limiting. Also, the initial investment in a router can push up your budget. Nevertheless, expect a device that will outlive its cost.
- Highly affordable
- Comes with rugged lightning and power surge circuits
- Works with any router
- Offers 2-year warranty
- One Ethernet port is limiting
- Lacks an inbuilt router
Arris Surfboard SB6141 – Best compatible modem
There are lots of WOW! internet compatible modems and Arris Surfboard SB6141 is one of them. Although it is recommended for Internet plans of up to 100 Mbps, it has the capability of 343 Mbps download and 131 Mbps upload speed. It is a modem only device and does not support telephony services. It is probably one of the most affordable modems that you can use on this network.
Arguably the most impressive feature of this modem is the 2-year warranty with a US based customer service. It has support for both IPv4 and IPv6. It is engineered with the 8×4 bonding channel which is pretty basic. When it comes to connectivity, you will get one Gigabit Ethernet port. This means that you can only work with one device at a time unless you decide to use it with a router.
Like most standalone modems, Arris Surfboard SB6141 can work with any router. This modem is compatible with all versions of Windows which is great news. On the downside, it is easy to tell that this modem was designed for beginners. To minimize the chances of potential problems, it is always a great idea to buy your modem from only certified retailers.
- Highly affordable
- Works with any router
- US-based service support
- Vertical design takes less space
- Problems with durability
- Single Ethernet port
Arris Surfboard SBG6700AC – Best WOW! Wireless router
Inasmuch as some reviewers discourage modem router combo, sometimes it the best way to further cut back your expenses. If you have a limited budget, it is a priceless option. Arris Surfboard SBG6700AC is an easy winner when it comes to the wireless router. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem engineered with the 8×4 bonding technology has the capability of reaching a download speed of 343 Mbps and an upload speed of 131 Mbps.
However, the most striking feature is the inclusion of 802.11ac Wi-Fi router. This dual ban router provides speed of up to 1600 Mbps. The 5 GHz band is also backward compatible with the older wireless technologies. Unlike the previous modems on this list, you will get 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports which gives you a little bit of flexibility in your wired connections.
Other features that are worth a mention include embedded firewall and parental control protection as well as 2-year warranty with US based customer support. The Wi-Fi router comes with beamforming technology for max coverage and performance. Sadly, the manufacturers left out a USB port which would have made file transfer fluid. There are numerous reports regarding drop in wireless signal. Nonetheless, it is still a great choice.
- Highly affordable
- Combines DOCSIS 3.0 modem and AC1600 router
- Comes with embedded firewall and parental control protection
- Wi-Fi router has beamforming technology
- Durability concerns
- Frequent drop in wireless signal
NETGEAR CM1000 – Best DOCSIS 3.1 modem
If you are subscribed to WOW! Gigabit plan, you’ll need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. One of the best in this category is NETGEAR CM1000. It is not as affordable as all earlier mentioned modems on this list but it is worth every dollar. It is a standalone modem but can work with any router. Therefore, you can pair it with the best router for seamless Internet access to all your mobile devices.
NETGEAR CM1000 is engineered with the 32×8 channel bonding which is the highest modems can offer at the moment. In addition to that, you will also get 2×2 OFDM channels for lower latency and faster Internet experience. Note that not all modems with 32×8 channel bonding offer OFDM channel. It is compatible with a wide range of operating systems and web browsers. So, you’ll probably won’t have the need to make any big adjustments.
It is not all rosy with NETGEAR CM1000. The presence of 1 Gigabit Ethernet port is limiting and the absence of an inbuilt router means you will have to get one. This can further push up the high price you already paid to get this device. A quick pro tip: if you want your modem to last longer, keep it out of direct sunlight and make sure that it is properly ventilated.
- High bonding channel plus OFDM channel
- Works with any router
- Can support an internet speed of up to 1 Gbps
- Compatible with most operating systems
- Lacks a USB port
Arris SBG6900AC – Best modem router combo for WOW!
If your aim is finding the best modem router combo for WOW!, Arris Surfboard SBG6900AC is definitely a jackpot. It combines a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with an AC1900 dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi router. This modem is optimized for wired and wireless connections which is probably one of the first things that you will notice. It comes with 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports to support all your wired connections. The 16 downstream and 4 upstream bonded channels ensure faster Internet experience.
Arris Surfboard SBG6900AC can hit a download speed of 686 Mbps. However, it is recommended for an Internet plan of 300 Mbps. The Wi-Fi has beamforming technology for max coverage and performance. Customers will also get a 2-year warranty accompanied with US-based customer service. With this modem, you will get 2 USB ports for connecting your hard drives and sharing files across the network.
This modem has an attractive tower design which adds a bit of aesthetics to your shelf without consuming space. Arris Surfboard SBG6900AC has everything you will desire in a modem but it comes at a price. If your primary goal is to save rental fees from WOW!, it will take you about two years to start reaping the benefit. Wi-Fi stability is also a big issue plus a lot of customers find it difficult to configure this modem to their network. Be sure to contact WOW! customer service for approval status before making your purchase.
- Combines DOCSIS 3.0 modem and AC1900 router
- Comes with 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2x USB port
- Up to 16×4 bonding channel
- Beamforming technology for max coverage and performance
- Repeated Wi-Fi drops
Arris Surfboard SB6190 – Best bonding channel
It is mostly DOCSIS 3.1 modems that come with 32×8 bonding channels. Arris Surfboard SB6190 is one of the few exceptions to that rule. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem comes with 32 upstream and 8 downstream channels and is best for subscription plans of up to 600 Mbps—although the download speed can reach 1.4 Gbps. It comes with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port which you can connect to your computer or any router.
Unlike most of the modems with 32×8 bonding channels, Arris Surfboard SB6190 is affordable. This means that in just a few months, you will begin to reap the benefits of owning your own modem. As a result of the high bonding channels, you are guaranteed of incredible speed for your streaming or gaming experience. Interestingly, this modem is easy to install and you can connect it to any Wi-Fi router.
While this modem scores high in the number of bonding channels, it is missing a few key features. Besides the lack of inbuilt router, you will not get a USB port which can come in handy if you like to share files. Inasmuch as it seems affordable, the cost of a good router can easily push up your budget. However, whenever speed matters more than anything else, this will make a great option.
- High number of bonding channels
- Works with any wireless router
- Can reach 1 Gbps speed
- Lacks a USB port
- Comes with the problematic Intel Puma 6 chip
Motorola MB7220 – Best for Internet 100
Thankfully, there are lots of low-priced WOW internet compatible modems. Irrespective of the size of your budget, you will likely find a compatible option that will give you the benefit of enjoying maximum speed on the lower subscription tier. One of the best modems for Internet 100 tier subscription is Motorola MB7220. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem is engineered with the 8×4 channel bonding technology. It can reach a speed of 343 Mbps.
The compact and tower design of the Motorola MB7220 means it takes up little shelf space and improves cooling which extends the life of the product. It is easy to setup and customers with get the assistance of tech support specialists. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, this modem comes with lightning and power surge circuits which helps to extend its durability. Also, you will get 2-year warranty. The combination of these features gives you peace of mind when making your purchase.
You will get one Gigabit Ethernet port which is highly limiting. However, you can beat the limitation by connecting it to a router. Thankfully, this modem works with any router. An Inbuilt router is not the only feature lacking in this modem. When you choose this product, you won’t get a USB port. One thing that you can be certain of is that this modem will outlive the cost.
- Highly affordable
- Lightning and power surge circuits
- Tower design ensures better cooling
- Offers 2-year warranty
- One Ethernet port is limiting
- Lacks inbuilt router
NETGEAR C3700 – Best for Internet 200
The NETGEAR C3700 is suitable for WOW! Internet 200 subscribers. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and other operating systems running a TCP/IP network. This DOCSIS 3.0 modem can reach a speed of 340 Mbps. It is engineered with the 8×4 channel bonding technology with Denial of Service (DoS) attack prevention. An extra layer of protection is always a plus to any modem.
Arguably one of the most interesting features of this modem is the dual band N600 Wi-Fi router. This is basically a 2-in-1 modem. Behind the modem, you will find 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1x USB 2.0 port. The Ethernet port gives you a little privilege of using more than one device at a time. The USB port, on the other hand, allows you to share files faster across devices connected to the network.
NETGEAR C3700 has some impressive security architecture including the highest level wireless security with WPA/WPA2 as well as a separate and secure access for guests. However, it comes at a slightly stiff price. The Wi-Fi range is most suitable for very small to medium homes. There are also complains that it doesn’t last for more than a few months. However, we figured it all depends on how you use it.
- Combines a DOCSIS 3.0 modem and N600 router
- Comes with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB port
- Highest level wireless security with WPA/WPA2
- Large operating system support
- Slightly expensive
- Wi-Fi range is questionable
NETGEAR CM600 – Best for Internet 500
As you upgrade your subscription plan, there is the need to also upgrade your modem so that you can reap the full benefit of the speed of higher data plans. One of the best modems for Internet 500 subscribers is NETGEAR CM600. Thing modem has an impressive 24 download and 8 upload channels. It can support a cable Internet speed of up to 960 Mbps although it is recommended for a speed tier of up to 500 Mbps.
NETGEAR CM600 comes with 1x Gigabit Ethernet port with auto-sensing technology—but there is more. It has 8MB NOR flash and 128MB RAM which are really impressive. Although it doesn’t come with an inbuilt Wi-Fi router, it is compatible with any router with an Ethernet port. Make sure you pair it with a router that meets your wireless need for the best experience.
When it comes to pricing, this is definitely one of the most affordable for the Internet 500 tier. However, there are a few shortfalls you need to consider if you are planning to purchase this modem. Firstly, you need to purchase an accompanying router for the best Internet experience. The CM600 durability is highly questionable but the pros are higher than the cons.
- Impressive number of upload and download channels
- Support speed of up to 960 Mbps
- Good RAM size
- Lacks inbuilt router and USB port
- Durability is questionable
Arris Surfboard SB8200 – Best for Internet 1000
The Internet 1000 is WOW!’s highest subscription tier. For this plan, you will need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. One of the best you will get is Arris Surfboard SB8200. It is engineered with the 32×8 bonding channel in addition to 2×2 OFDM channels. This keeps latency low and gives you the fastest Internet experience. With this modem, you will get a 2-year limited warranty.
Arris Surfboard SB8200 is aesthetically appealing and will definitely add some glamor to your shelf. It comes with 2x Gigabit Ethernet port but that is just half of the story. The other half is that the Ethernet ports are capable of link aggregation. Simply put, you can combine both ports for a faster Internet access. On this premise, you can comfortably stream 4K Ultra-HD videos as well as enjoy virtual reality gaming.
Like every other DOCSIS 3.1 modems, the price of Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a bit on the high side. The cost will definitely get higher if you are thinking of getting a router for it—and you should. This modem has the potential of heating up rapidly. So, ensure you keep it in an area with good ventilation as well as keep it away from direct sunlight. Stick to precautions and you should enjoy this modem.
- DOCSIS 3.1 modem with 32×8 bonding channel and 2×2 OFDM
- Capable of link aggregation
- Up to 2 years limited warranty
- Easy to install
- Slightly pricey
- Puma chipset is a potential source of trouble
Buying Guide for the Best WOW! Compatible Modems
We would love to mention that WOW! offer an Eero mesh Wi-Fi system for rent. If you live in a large house, this will be a great feature. However, the only way to enjoy a great Wi-Fi is to pair it with a powerful modem. There are important features you need to consider when buying your own modem and they are as follows.
The first thing you should do before picking a modem is to check WOW! Internet-compatible modems list. Although there are modems that may work with the network which are not on the list, we recommend that you only stick with compatible modems. In fact, this is the only way you will be certain of technical support. Even worse, if you buy a modem that is not compatible with WOW!, you may run into sever problem during the activation.
WOW! has four subscription tier and your package should influence your choice of modem. If you are on the Internet 1000 plan, you need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. These modems can be pretty expensive. However, there is no need to spend that much if you are an Internet 100 subscriber. Bear in mind that owning a more powerful modem will not lead to an explosion of speed beyond the cap of your subscription plan.
Modem Router Combo
Some reviewers will tell you that it is a bad option but we want to tell you that it isn’t for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to get rid of a clutter of wires. Also, the combo frees up your shelf. This is not the same with having a separate modem and router. Nevertheless, make sure you are investing in a modem with the latest Wi-Fi technology as well as accompanying technologies like beamforming and powerboost to enhance your range.
If a modem doesn’t come with an inbuilt router, you need to be concerned about the number of ports that it has. This is because the number of ports that it has will determine how many devices you can connect at a time. If you are on WOW! Internet 1000 plan, make sure that the modem you plan to buy support link aggregation. When you have a single Ethernet port, your best option would be to use it with a wireless router.
Data privacy is a big issue and you need to be worried. Make sure that you are investing in a modem that offers some form of security. For modems router combos, make sure that the router supports WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption. The last thing you’ll need is an intruder sweeping into your network.
Fortunately, the majority of the WOW! compatible modems have decent price tags. No matter which Internet tier you subscribe to, you will definitely find a modem that fits into your budget. However, never place price over quality. For this reason, a refurbished modem should never be on your consideration list.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What modem can I use with WOW?
WOW! has a sizeable list of approved modems. We sieved through the pile to bring to you the best modems for each subscription tier.
- What is the best cable modem for WOW?
The Motorola MB7420 is one of the best cable modems for WOW!. Go through our product review to see the features that makes it to stand out of the pack.
- Can I use any kind of modem for my Internet?
The first thing you need to determine is whether the modem you want to buy is approved by your ISP. Next, you need to make sure that it supports your subscription tier.
- Does NETGEAR work with WOW?
WOW! approved modems include several NETGEAR modems. In fact, when it comes to modem technology, Arris and NETGEAR are two of the biggest brands and you will find their products on the approved modem list of all the major ISPs.
Warranty is one of the features that is getting less and less attention today. However, for a product as fragile as a modem, you need to make sure that you are backed by some form of warranty. The fact that lots of customers have reported a total loss of connection or damage after a few months further emphasizes this fact. There is no doubt that getting your own modem is a better investment than renting a modem. Nonetheless, a bad choice will only keep you in a loop. It is easy to get confused when faced with myriads of options but you can beat the odds by picking from our list.