PROS / This cable modem has 16 x 4 channel bonding, which means very high download speeds.
CONS / The cable internet compatibility list for this modem is quite short.
VERDICT / The Netgear CM500 is a capable cable modem that is, unfortunately, limited to a relatively small user base.
Netgear's CM500 is a more powerful version of the CM400, which is the third-best cable modem on our lineup. That means it's capable of giving you access to even faster download speeds. However, the upgrade comes with some less-than-desirable trade-offs. For example, the CM500 has a short list of compatible cable internet providers. In short, the CM500 is a very capable device that many people can't use.
Out of the four largest cable internet providers in the United States, the CM500 only works with Comcast. While Comcast serves a large portion of the population, the lack of compatibility means that if you move out of state, the chances of the CM500 working with your new provider are slim. Out of the 10 largest cable internet providers, the CM500 also works with RCN and Cable One. Overall, this is a pretty small compatibility list and is the biggest drawback of this DSL modem.
If your internet provider has plans for 500 Mbps internet or faster, then you should consider the CM500. Due to its 16 x 4 channel bonding, this DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem has a theoretical maximum download speed of 686 Mbps. While you won't get the full theoretical speed, because of network congestion and overhead, the CM500 should be able to handle just about any speed tier your internet provider has.
Netgear provides a one-year warranty with the CM500, which is standard for cable modems. Some manufacturers offer two-year warranties, but that isn't really necessary. These are relatively simple devices, and if they work for the first two weeks of operation, then you probably won't need to worry about them for the next few years. Should you have any trouble, you can contact the support team through email. You can also talk to Netgear's support via live chat, which can be a great way to get information quickly.
The Netgear CM500 is a solid and capable internet modem. Unfortunately, its small range of internet provider compatibility keeps it from being one of the very best cable modems. Still, if you subscribe to Comcast, RCN or Cable One, you should consider the CM500 – especially if you want access to the highest-speed tiers of internet service.