Routers for Comcast are compatible with the Xfinity protocols and offer the coverage and speeds you need to run and enhance the performance of your devices. There’s no one router that’s perfect for everyone. Your internet package, number of devices connected to the router, and home build and layout all affect performance and, ultimately, the router that will work best for you.
There are many third-party routers that are compatible with Comcast by Xfinity, but be sure to log into your account and do a compatibility search before committing to a router. You’ll also want to put some thought into how you use your router. Do you do online gaming, run a small business, or have several devices streaming at once? A model that easily handles multiple devices, aggregates links, or includes a mesh system could be perfect for your setup. We’ve put together a list of the best routers for Comcast to help you get the best performance out of your devices and internet package.
— Best Overall: TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router
— Best for Gaming: ASUS WiFi 6 Router (RT-AX68U)
— Best Modem Router Combo: Motorola MG8702
— Best Mesh: Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System (RBK852)
— Best Budget: TP-Link AC 1750 Smart WiFi Router
How We Chose the Best Routers for Comcast
We considered features that make the most difference in performance in the average home. We also kept in mind the needs of larger homes and those who use more smart devices in their everyday lives.
Coverage/Expandability: Routers have an estimated coverage area that’s affected by the number of devices connected, home layout, and construction materials. However, we looked at the base coverage as well as if the router can be connected to mesh systems or extra towers to expand that coverage.
Wireless Protocol: Wireless protocol affects the speeds and number of devices you can connect. We considered models with the 802.11ac and 802.11ax protocols, with the latter offering increased speeds and lower latencies.
Number of Bands: Dual bands are almost a necessity these days, but we also considered how the router lets users manage the devices on each band. Models with three bands or a 6GHz band expand coverage work well in smart homes and heavy-use situations.
Installation Ease: Installation ease usually comes through a user-friendly web interface or app (or both). We looked for routers that came with step-by-step instructions and customer service help in case those instructions weren’t enough.
Security and Parental Controls: Built-in security can be a great feature, although not absolutely necessary. Security features can include everything from anti-malware protocols to notifications when someone connects to the network. Parental controls are great for families and let you see when and what children may be accessing.
The Best Routers for Comcast: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router
Why It Made The Cut: The AC4000 is a tri-band model that supports MU-MIMO for beamforming and data streaming and lets you assign devices to specific bands, making it the best router for Comcast overall.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ac
— Range: Approximately 2,500 square feet
— Number of Bands: 3
— Robust anti-malware options and parental controls
— Fast throughput speeds that work for the majority of homes
— Easy installation
— Works with Alexa for voice control
— Performance on the 5Ghz band is only average
For the average 2,500 square foot home, the TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router provides more than enough speed and control over devices and security. The rear panel has four gigabit LAN ports with two set aside for link aggregation. (Link aggregation basically bonds two network connections to increase performance speeds.) This tri-band model has one 2.4GHz band (with speeds up to 750Mbps) and two 5GHz bands available (with up to 1,625MBps each).
The installation process is simple and straightforward, using either a web console or the TP-Link Tether app. The web console opens access to connected devices, speed tests, setting up a guest network, and includes settings that let you use Alexa voice commands.
A huge benefit of the AC4000 is the three-year subscription to the HomeCare platform, which is where you find excellent security features. This platform brings network security and a robust set of parental controls. It also contains Quality of Service (QoS) settings to prioritize streaming, gaming, chatting, and other applications.
Overall, the AC4000 offers solid performance. It delivers excellent throughput, built-in security, and parental controls. The only place it falls a bit short is the 5GHz bands, where it only offers average transfer speeds.
Best for Gaming: ASUS WiFi 6 Router (RT-AX68U)
Why It Made The Cut: The AX68U provides top speeds on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, reduces latency, and has an app that easily lets you prioritize devices.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ax
— Range: Approximately 2,800 square feet
— Number of Bands: 2
— Excellent speed and range (top transfer rates 5,700Mbps)
— Impressive latency management
— App lets you tweak settings to improve gaming experience
— SmartConnect band steering doesn't help speeds
As one of the best gaming routers, the ASUS WiFi 6 Router (RT-AX68U) brings top speeds, both theoretical and real-world, into the gaming sphere. The dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands can combine to offer 5,700Gbps, though those numbers are based on ideal lab conditions. Still, for most gamers, the AX68U provides ample speed, control over devices and their assigned band, and range.
The ASUS app has features that let you tweak the settings to improve speeds based on what you’re doing and which band you use for gaming. For example, you can select a Mobile Game Mode, prioritizing the traffic that goes to your phone for mobile play. There’s also an Open NAT port that puts rules in place that boost performance for online play.
When you’re not gaming, you still get a host of features, from robust parental controls to creating a guest network that lets you control who has access to the network and when. It’s also compatible with ASUS AIMesh so you can create your own game-friendly mesh system.
The ASUS WiFi 6 router also has a SmartConnect that automatically prioritizes devices, but it’s less useful than it sounds because it tends to slow instead of improve speeds. The only thing we wished this router had was an additional 5GHZ band, so you could devote one 5GHz band exclusively to gaming. Not a deal breaker, but it would make this otherwise great router even more game friendly.
Best Modem Router Combo: Motorola MG8702
Why It Made The Cut: This modem/router combo has a built-in AC3200 router that provides good speeds, takes up less space, and lets you manage your modem and router from a single device.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ac
— Range: Approximately 2,000 to 2,500 square feet
— Number of Bands: 2
— Simple installation
— Small footprint
— Easy to use app for customized settings
— Range goes down significantly in some home designs
— Not intended for highly connected smart homes
The Motorola MG8702 is a modem, which connects your house with your ISP, with a built-in AC3200 router. This setup brings some unique benefits, such as easier setup. Instead of configuring a separate modem and router, you can do it at the same time from a single app. Plus, you can control both through the same interface. The accompanying app is also simple to use and lets you check on important features and settings.
It features a 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band with decent range in most homes. However, this combination unit has had range problems in certain settings, like large sprawling ramblers.
The MG8702 is the best modem router combo for a home where there’s a streaming device or two and a few connected smart devices. However, if you have a highly connected smart home, you probably need a modem with a separate router.
Best Mesh: Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System (RBK852)
Why It Made The Cut: This Orbi Mesh system provides broad coverage, can extend with added towers, and provides a broad range of controls over device management.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ax
— Range: 5,000 square feet
— Number of Bands: 3
— Easy setup
— Covers wide range with 2,500 square feet extension with each tower
— Great, easy-to-use app features
— Can handle a high volume of connected devices
— Requires a subscription for Bitdefender protection
— Some home configurations may have limited coverage options
— No parental controls
The Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System (RBK852) enjoys a good reputation with good reason. We tested the RBK852 using a Comcast ISP and found it to be a great option for expanding coverage with a few limitations. All setup of the 2.4GHz and two 5GHz bands are done through the Orbi app. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow as long as you have a little knowledge about your existing router and modem.
Once we got it set up, the app has great features like notifications when a new device connects to the network, the ability to see what’s connected and to which band, and the ability to disconnect devices. We also liked that we could run a speed test and get a speed history, which can be really helpful if you think your modem or router might be failing. You can also directly wire connect devices to the tower to improve speeds at places far from the router itself.
However, the Orbi does have some limitations. While the specs say it can cover 5,000 square feet, we did have some issues with coverage. We tested the Orbi in a 2,318- square-foot rambler where the internet connects in the center of the house. That created coverage problems at either end of the house. We placed the tower at one end, which drastically improved coverage. However, the other end of the house didn’t get a good signal. We don’t feel that’s necessarily a design flaw but more of a limitation based on the layout of the house. You can buy additional towers and add them to the system, increasing coverage by 2,500 square feet with each tower.
You also have to pay for a subscription to Bitdefender to get full security controls, and there are no parental controls.
Best Budget: TP-Link AC 1750 Smart WiFi Router
Why It Made The Cut: The AC 1750 comes for under $100 and offers decent performance for low-traffic homes.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ac
— Range: Approximately 2,000 square feet
— Number of Bands: 2
— Affordable price
— Great close-range signal
— Easy installation
— Slow long-range performance
The TP-Link AC 1750 Smart WiFi Router comes at a highly affordable price and provides homes with low-volume needs good coverage and performance. This dual-band router offers easy installation with step-by-step instructions through the TP-Link app.
The app also offers a few parental controls that we wouldn’t call robust, but it provides a few ways to manage usage by children. At close range, The AC 1750 does well, but expect slower speeds and increased latency as distance from the router increases.
This isn’t a router for someone who works from home, anyone using video conferencing, or heavy use such as several streaming devices or gaming. It’s best for low-volume users who browse the internet and have one or two streams going at once.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Router for Comcast
Each router can cover a specific range that’s typically between 1,500 to 3,500 square feet, though a few can cover more. If you want wall-to-wall internet coverage, you need to make sure you get a router with the power to do it.
However, manufacturers typically offer an estimated range because your home’s layout, construction, and decor can limit the range. Fire walls, metal furniture, and brickwork are the types of construction features that may interfere with the signal. For homes with features that slow or block the signal, a mesh system may be needed to fully cover the required area.
Router Wireless Protocol
Routers with the 802.11ac wireless protocol operate the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. These are the most popular bands, but there’s some variation in what a router can do with them based on the router’s technology and features. Most routers are dual-band, meaning they have both a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. Tri-band models typically have two 5GHz, and quad-band models may have two of each band, letting you assign devices based on their location and bandwidth needs.
The 802.11ac protocol can operate Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology that lets you send and receive up to eight spatial streams at once. These models may also include beamforming, the ability to send signals to specific locations instead of sending the signal out in all directions. This targeted signaling strengthens the signal, enhancing speeds, and reducing latency.
Some models have MU-MIMO technology that divides bandwidth among multiple devices instead of ordering them sequentially. MU-MIMO increases speeds, but the connected devices also need MU-MIMO technology.
WiFi 6 routers have the 802.11ax protocol, which provides increased capacity, range, and speed with less congestion. These routers efficiently handle more devices to the point that they can also improve battery use by the devices. The 802.11ax protocol can up or downlink MU-MIMO streaming, too.
WiFi 6E routers have the same 802.11ax protocol, except they add access to the 6GHz band in addition to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 6Ghz band isn’t nearly as crowded as the other options. However, few devices can connect to the 6GHz band at this point, but future devices will. If you’re the type of person that jumps on the latest technology, a 6E router may set you up for less hassle in the future.
Check your Comcast internet package. Routers have a limit as to how much throughput they can supply, which is stated in the product description. Make sure the router fits your bandwidth package. If you get a router that can’t handle the Gbps supplied by your package, you’ll pay for bandwidth that you can’t use. Conversely, you’ll pay extra for a 6E router, but if you don’t have devices or an internet package with those speeds and abilities, the added technology won’t do much good.
For example, if you have a top of the line 8K TV, you need a router that can deliver that data volume. A tri-band model with access to the 6 GHz band is one that would work and still leave room for the rest of your devices to run unhampered.
Everything from smart bulbs to game consoles and streaming devices will run through your router. Consider how many smart devices you have in your home and how often you use them. If the devices in your home are largely smart, connected, and used daily, you may need a router that can manage 40 to 60 devices or more. The router not only provides the bandwidth but also prioritizes these devices.
Q: How much does a router cost?
Routers can cost as little as $100 or over $500, depending on the features, range, and the number of bands. A basic dual-band router that covers 1,500 square feet and manages ten devices or less is on the low end of the price range, while quad-band models that cover 3,500 square feet and manage over 70 devices are at the upper end of the price range.
Q: Which mesh router works best with Comcast?
The Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System (RBK852) is one of the best options for the easy setup and control and expandable coverage. You can add towers as needed, increasing coverage up to 2,500 square feet per tower. Through the app, you can do speed tests, manage devices, or set alerts when new devices connect.
Q: What is the most updated Comcast router?
Comcast offers their own routers, with the most updated being xFi Advanced Gateway. This router contains the latest 6E technology to open up the 6GHz band. However, you need devices capable of using the 6GHz band to take advantage of this router.
Q: Why does my Comcast internet keep disconnecting and reconnecting?
A number of factors could cause connection problems, from an issue with Comcast’s service to the modem or router. Check your internet speeds and run diagnostics on the modem and router to narrow down the cause of the problems. If both the modem and router are functioning properly, contact Comcast. However, if there’s no problem with your service, your router or modem could be reaching the end of its life. Slowing speeds, frequent disconnections, and running hot could indicate that the router or modem needs replacing.
Q: Is it better to buy a modem and router separately?
A separate modem and router are a great option if you replace your devices every few years or add smart devices on a fairly regular basis. Router technology tends to change faster than modem technology. If you have separate devices, you can replace your router but keep your existing modem.
Q: What router does Comcast recommend?
Comcast recommends a number of third-party routers outside of the routers they offer themselves. Customers can log into their Xfinity accounts and do a search to find compatible routers.
The TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router has the speed, control features, and band options to support the average home. It can handle several streaming devices, a host of smart devices, and good coverage, too. If you’re on a tight budget and are a light internet user, the TP-Link AC 1750 Smart WiFi Router is an option that saves money but still has good speeds at close-range and isn’t hard to set up.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.