Though towards the bottom of our recommendations, the Linksys CM3024 is a decent modem that keeps up with fast speeds and is compatible with major cable providers. It passed our hands-on tests and was easy enough to set up. Two factors majorly impacted its rank at the bottom of our list of the best cable modems: its high price and the lack of an online user interface.
The Linksys CM3024 is a 24 x 8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with max downstream speeds up to 960 Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 122 Mbps with channel-bonding technology to maximize data-transfer efficiency. We tested it on Comcast Xfinity’s 400 Mbps speed tier, and it worked without issue while we simultaneously streamed and downloaded multiple large files. Its performance was typical for our tests, as all the modems we tested handled the same setup with very little variation. Still, if you’re subscribed to internet speeds above 300 Mbps, the CM3024’s extra channels give it an advantage over 16 x 4 modems like the Asus CM-16.
The exterior of the modem is black plastic with vented side panels and a wide base to keep it standing upright. The indicator LEDs on the front panel are conveniently labeled, which we prefer over lighted status icons that are difficult to decipher. The back panel houses the modem information, reset button, power input port, gigabit Ethernet port and coaxial connection. Each of the ports are close together even though there’s plenty of unused space, which is mildly inconvenient.
Another inconvenience is the Linksys’s apparent lack of web user interface. Our testers have experience hooking up dozens of modems and other home networking equipment, but we didn’t manage to find the interface. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, but it’s more difficult for most users to easily access it. This is disappointing, as the user interface is an extremely useful tool for gathering information about the modem and reconfiguring settings.
Overall, the Linksys CM3024 is a solid modem with a relatively high price and is missing some helpful features. It is still less expensive than renting a modem from your ISP, but when directly compared to our top pick, the Motorola MB7621, it falls short in value and ease of use.