Pros / This cable modem maintains a cool operating temperature.
Cons / It's only compatible with four of the 10 largest cable internet providers in the United States.
Verdict / The Netgear CMD31T is a decent cable modem that will work as long as your ISP supports it.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 reviews on Cable Modems here.
Netgear has several different models of cable modems, including the CMD31T. Even though the CMD31T isn't quite as capable as the other two Netgear modems on our lineup, it's a good cable modem for the right people. It's certified by CableLabs and UL, and it has a cool operating temperature. Netgear also offers live chat support, which can be very useful. However, the CMD31T isn't as fast as most of the other modems on our lineup, and it isn't compatible with many cable internet providers.
Of the four largest cable internet providers in the United States, the CMD31T only works with one – Cox. You won't find this cable modem on the compatibility lists for Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Charter. However, the CMD31T does work with some smaller internet provides. If you subscribe to Bright House Networks, Suddenlink Communications or RCN, then you might want to consider using this internet modem.
The CMD31T maintained one of the coolest operating temperatures during our testing. On average, the cable modems on our lineup ran at 92.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The CMD31T managed to stay cooler than that at 89.4 degrees. These are temperatures we measured on the plastic housing of the CMD31T. The fact that this cable modem runs cooler than many of the other modems on our lineup indicates that it is efficient with the power it uses.
As far as download and upload speeds are concerned, the CMD31T is at a bit of a disadvantage compared to most of the other modems we tested. This DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem only has 4 x 4 channel bonding, whereas most of its competitors have at least 8 x 4 channel bonding. A couple even have 16 x 4 channel bonding. What this means is the CMD31T has a maximum theoretical download speed of 172 Mbps, which is significantly slower than what you would get from an 8 x 4 modem. Still, most people don't have access to truly fast cable internet, so the CMD31T probably won't hold you back much.
The Netgear CMD31T isn't as fast or as capable as the best cable modems on our lineup, but it maintains a relatively cool operating temperature and should be fast enough for most people. The real restriction is that the CMD31T is only compatible with four of the 10 largest cable internet providers in the United States. Still, if you subscribe to Cox, Bright House Networks, Suddenlink Communications or RCN, then the Netgear CMD31T may be a good fit for you.