Fiber optic internet speed is faster than any other type of internet connection. However, having fast internet speeds from fiber optics does not only depend on the advertised plans by your internet service provider (ISP). The equipment that your ISP supplies also determines how fast and reliable your internet connection would be. Sadly, ISPs do not usually provide the best fiber optic modem that gives you the maximum speeds you are paying for.
Below, you will find the nine best fiber optic modems of 2022. Before diving into the list, know first what a modem is and what to look for in your fiber optic modems so that you can get the most out of your internet service.
What is a modem?
A modem, short for modulator-demodulator, is a piece of hardware equipment that connects your device to the internet. It links your ISP’s infrastructure with your ethernet cable that connects to your computer or a router. Most modems nowadays have combined capabilities of modem and router so that multiple devices can use the same internet connection.
About fiber optic modems
A modem is to cable internet as an optical network terminal (ONT) is to fiber optic. Your fiber optic ISP supplies you with an ONT that serves as the hardware that connects your router or device to the internet. When you purchase a plan from your ISP, you would have to rent the ONT/modem on a monthly basis. You would need to return it once your contract is terminated or has ended.
The fiber optic modems provided by your ISP are usually outdated or do not let you get the most out of your high-speed internet plans. Renting these low-quality modems is impractical, at the very least, especially when you intend to stick to your ISP for several years. That is why it is wise to buy a high-quality modem for your fiber optic internet.
What to look for in your fiber optic modems
Compatible with ISP
The best fiber optic modem should be compatible with your area-specific ISP. Not all fiber optic modems are made equal. They differ in terms of technical specifications like the maximum supported network speed or whether the connectivity is through a specific DOCSIS version. You can consult with your ISP because some provide a list of third-party modems that can be used with their service. Also, check out the list below to know the best fiber optic modem that is compatible with your service provider.
Suits your needs
Fiber optic modems vary in price as well as the special features that come with them. The best fiber optic modem should satisfy your needs for it. For example, you can choose a modem that supports 3 Mbps of download speed if you need internet for gaming. On the other hand, you can opt for cheaper modems that can support 1 Mbps if you will only use them for social media, research, and other standard uses of the internet.
Adjusting the settings of your internet connection and hardware can be difficult for an average person. Before, one had to open a browser and input a specific address to open a confusing user interface that could let you tweak the settings of your internet. Now, many ISPs and modem providers have free, downloadable, and easy-to-use mobile apps that allow you to do the same job.
5 best fiber optic modems of 2022
ARRIS Windstream NVG343BQ
This modem-router combo supports up to 1 Gbps of download speed. It is compatible with fiber optic internet because of its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) support. If you have a fiber plan from Windstream, or even CenturyLink, the ARRIS NVG343BQ is right for you.
If you want the best fiber optic modem for your office or for your home with multiple users and devices, the Greenwave C400XG will not disappoint. First off, its maximum supported network speed is up to 2.5 Gbps, with five Gig ethernet LAN ports. It has Wi-Fi 6 standard, which allows faster upload and download on multiple devices at all times. C4000XG can take on Gig-level plans from internet provider CenturyLink.
Like the ARRIS NVG343BQ, the Verizon/Fios G3100 is compatible with FTTP-supported ISPs. And like the Greenwave C4000XG, it allows you to get internet speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps. However, unlike the two fiber optic modems above, G3100 has a tri-band automatic routing feature that can switch from one band to another depending on the device being detected. It is very much compatible with giga ISPs such as Verizon and CenturyLink.
The ZyXEL C3000Z doubles as a modem for DSL and fiber optic internet connections. If the ISP sets up an ONT, this modem-router combo can provide speeds of up to 1000 Mbps. This is compatible with 200+ Mbps plans from CenturyLink. It also has 4 Gig ethernet ports and LAN connectivity.
If you are on a budget but want a high-quality fiber optic modem, this one is for you. The Arris NVG468MQ is capable of giving you of up to 1 Gbps when wired and up to 100 Mbps when wireless. It is compatible with up to 200 Mbps plans from Verizon and Frontier. Unlike the other best fiber optic modems in the market, it has multimedia over Coax (MoCA) functionality that lets you connect to TVs through a coaxial connector.
Maximize the promised internet speeds of your ISP by using the best fiber optic modem available this year. Make the best out of your monthly internet plan subscription, by buying, instead of renting, a high-quality modem. Remember that you need a specific kind of modem for your fiber optic internet connection. Most of the modems in the market are for cable and DSL. The best fiber optic modem satisfies three requirements. It should be compatible with the ISP that is best for you, it should suit your needs, and it should have a mobile app that lets you set it up with ease.