To test cable modems, we connected each to our network using Comcast Xfinity’s 400 Mbps speed plan. The Linksys CM3016, like every product we tested, handled four simultaneous bandwidth-heavy applications at top network speeds without difficulty. We streamed Netflix at 4K resolution and downloaded three large game files to a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and a gaming PC while monitoring the network on a separate laptop.
Because all the modems performed similarly in our lab, our rankings take factors like value and ease of use heavily into account. Value-wise, it’s best if the cost of buying the modem is less than the rental fees for the term of the warranty. In this case, the Linksys CM3016 has a one-year warranty, and it costs less than one year’s worth of rental fees from Comcast, which charges $132 per year. Although it saves you money, it isn’t the greatest value when directly compared to other products on our list. Many products we evaluated have two-year warranty terms compared to the Linksys’ one. Our top-ranked product, the Motorola MB7621, has a longer warranty, costs about the same, is rated for higher speeds than the CM3016 and includes useful features and functions that the CM3016 lacks.
With 16 x 4 upstream and downstream channels, the Linksys CM3016 is capable of easily handling internet speeds up to 250 Mbps. In our tests, it worked well on Comcast’s 400 Mbps plan, but we’d recommend it for 300 Mbps or slower plans. For anything above 300 Mbps, a 24 x 8 channel modem better ensures that you get the fastest speeds possible.
We liked that the front-facing indicator lights are labeled. Many others display icons instead, which aren’t as easy to read as clear labels. The CM3016 is identical to the Linksys CM3024 which is a 24 x 8 modem, therefore, the CM3016 is rather large compared to other 16 x 4 modems. The exterior is black plastic with ventilated side panels.
Unlike our top picks, the CM3016 does not have a power button, so you must plug and unplug the device to turn it on or off. More disappointingly, our testers couldn’t find the modem’s online user interface, which was a very easy process for every modem except for the two Linksys products on our review.
Overall, the Linksys CM3016 is a solid DOCSIS 3.0 16 x 4 cable modem that can handle your home network at speeds up to 300 Mbps. If you happen to find it on sale, and you don’t mind the size or omission of a web user interface, this is a good purchase. Otherwise, there are faster, cheaper, smaller and generally easier-to-use modems.