The D-Link DCM-301 is a great option for the budget-conscious cable modem shopper – it is the only modem in our buying guide that costs less than $40. If you are currently leasing a modem from Comcast, the DCM-301 will pay for itself in less than six months of ownership.
The DCM-301 is compatible with all the major DOCSIS 3.0 cable internet providers, including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Bright House. This adds to its investment value because you don’t have to buy or rent a new modem if you choose to switch to a different cable ISP.
This cable modem features 8 x 4 channel bonding, which means it has eight downstream data channels and four upstream data channels. This translates to a maximum theoretical download speed of 343 Mbps and an upload speed of 150 Mbps.
There are six indicator lights on the front panel:
- Power: A solid green light indicates a proper connection to the power supply. The light will blink during bootup.
- DS (Downstream): A solid green light indicates a non-bonded connection is successfully made. The light will blink while searching for a downstream connection.
- W/DS: A solid green light indicates a bonded connection is successfully made.
- US (Upstream): A solid green light indicates a successful upstream connection. The light will blink while performing upstream ranging.
- Online: A solid green light indicates connectivity to the internet.
- LAN: A solid green light indicates connectivity to your router or computer.
This modem has both a power switch and a reset button – resetting the modem without unplugging the power cable adds life to the internal power supply. The power switch is located surprisingly close to the coaxial cable connector, which may make that coaxial connection susceptible to breaking if you use the power switch often.
D-Link offers a one-year manufacturer warranty that covers your modem if it fails due to manufacturer defect or workmanship. If you have questions about your modem, you can contact the manufacturer by either email or phone. D-Link also offers a downloadable user manual on its website in case you lose the one supplied in the retail packaging.
The D-Link DCM-301 is a good low-cost option to replace a rental modem from an ISP. It is compatible with all the major cable providers, so you don’t have to worry about paying to replace it if you move or find a better service option.