Among all multi-gig internet cable modems, Netgear CM1200 is quite popular for its affordable price tag. However, for a higher price tag, CM2000 cable modem offers more speeds even though it has only 1 Ethernet port. Both are Docsis 3.1 approved modems, making them future proof for your internet connection.
If you’re confused between CM1200 — one that offers more Ethernet ports, and CM2000 for its higher internet speeds, this comparison article on Netgear CM1200 vs CM2000 will help you to come to a conclusion.
First, I’ll mention the differences between these modems and then their similarities. Regardless of your internet use, by the end of this article, you can decide which one would be worth it for your investment.
Netgear CM1200 vs CM2000 – Comparison Table
32 x 8
32 x 8
Up to 2Gbps Gigabit internet
Up to 2.5Gbps Gigabit internet
4 ethernet ports
1 ethernet port
6.1 x 3.4 x 10.3 inches
6.8 x 3.7 x 8.2 inches
Mesh soft touch with tower style form factor
Glossy and hardened plastic with tower style form factor
Key Differences Between Netgear CM1200 and CM2000
To keep things simple and straightforward, let’s have a look at where the more expensive Netgear CM2000 differs from the CM1200 model.
Ethernet Ports and Wired Connectivity
The first and foremost difference between these two devices is the number of Ethernet ports available for the user.
CM1200 offers 4 Ethernet ports but doesn’t go above 2Gbps internet speed. Link aggression is available in only 2 ports. So, the other 2 ports are only available for a wired connection between multiple devices.
If you have multiple PCs, printers, game boxes, routers, and other devices that require a wired internet connection, the CM1200 is the best bet for you.
When it comes to the Nighthawk multi-gig CM2000 modem, it has only 1 multi-gig Internet port. But, this port alone can handle up to 2.5 Gbps of internet bandwidth. So, the Nighthawk multi-gig unit is generally faster than its counterpart.
So, there’s no need for you to establish a wired connection between devices, all you want is to connect it to your home wireless router or Mesh system, and speeds are your prime concern, the CM2000 modem is the right option for you to consider buying.
The most distinguishable difference between these two Docsis 3.1 compatible modems is their design aspect and form factor.
Although both CM1200 and CM2000 have a tower style form factor, their differences are easily noticeable. As CM2000 is a new modem model, it features a modern and more sophisticated design. The housing got an alien-looking design, which sets it apart from its counterpart.
Netgear used hard and glossy plastic to make the housing of the CM2000 modem. However, it still manages to be a bit lighter in weight than its counterpart.
Whereas, the counterpart got mesh material housing that somewhat feels smooth to touch.
The CM1200 modem, on the other hand, has Netgear’s identical design which is similar to CM1000 and CM1100 modems. It’s softer to touch with its mesh housing design. If you’re upgrading from CM1100, you can consider CM1200 if multiple wired internet connections are necessary.
From the heat dissipation aspect, mesh housing of the CM1200 helps keep the router decently cool. But it feels a bit warm from time to time.
Heat dissipation is managed from the bottom part of the CM2000 model. While using this modem under heavy load, it didn’t show any overheating issue whatsoever. 
When it comes to price, they highly differ from each other. The CM1200 model is available at $193. In comparison, the CM2000 modem will cost around $299.
From a budget perspective, CM1200 is the go-to option if a wired connection is your concern and you are happy with 2Gbps of speed with link aggregation support.
However, for the additional cost, CM2000 is a fair deal if you want to get the most out of your internet plan speed. But, if your internet service provider doesn’t provide more than 2Gbps, then the extra money won’t be worth it for you to spend on the CM2000 modem. 
Key Similarities Between Netgear CM1200 vs CM2000
Even though the price difference is a big thing, the new cable modem CM2000 and the older CM1200 have many things in common.
Hardware and Technology
Both these modems are powered by the Broadcom BCM3390 chipset, which performs extremely reliably. The overall performance seems reliable for both the routers without making their housing too warm.
With Docsis 3.1 network compatibility, download speeds will be pretty fast and consistent if your ISP offers Docsis 3.1 support. From 32 x 8 downstream and upstream channels, there won’t be gaming lags along with heavy HD media consumption at a time.
Like most other modems with Docsis 3.1 support, both these modems are backward compatible. So, you can switch between Docsis technology as per your ISP allows.
CM1200 would work with any low- and high-end wireless router with ease. However, to make sure you get the most out of the CM2000, be sure to invest in a Wi-Fi 6 wireless router with a 2.5 Gigabit internet plan.
Both CM2000 and CM1200 modems work flawlessly with high-speed and Gig internet plans. But the CM2000 modem handles faster plans better.
High speed plans from Comcast, Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and other similar ISPs will unleash great speeds for these router modems.
However, the CM2000 Nighthawk multi-gig can handle 2.5 Gig plans alone.
But, if you prefer using typical mid-range plans, still you will get the expected internet speeds consistently.
Apart from the above-mentioned ISPs, both the modems are also compatible with Optimum, Mediacom, RCN, Suddenlink, WOW Internet, Sparklight, and other cable companies.
Pros & Cons of Netgear CM1200
- Compatible with 2 Gig internet plan
- Docsis 3.1 support with backward compatibility
- Link aggregation between 2 ethernet ports
- Handles multiple wired connections well
- Doesn’t get too warm under a heavy load
- A bit heavier
Pros & Cons of Netgear Nighthawk CM2000
- Compatible with 2.5 Gigabit internet plan
- Docsis 3.1 support with backward compatibility
- 32×8 channel support
- Pretty lightweight, and aesthetically pleasing design
- Processor keeps the modem cool most of the time
- Only 1 ethernet port
- Expensive option
Who Should Buy the Netgear CM1200?
Based on the above-mentioned features and benefits, CM1200 router modem would be best suited for –
- Home or office that has devices requiring a wired internet connection
- Professional gaming purpose
- 4K streaming needs
- Have a 2 Gbps gigabit internet plan
- Budget isn’t above $200
Who Should Buy the Netgear CM2000?
Even though there are a lot of similar things in both these router modems, CM2000 Nighthawk multi-gig stands for particular internet consumers. The additional internet speed is worth the extra cost for a wireless network.
Hence, CM2000 would be the right pick if –
- You don’t have any need to connect devices via wires
- All you need is a superfast wireless network inside your home or small office
- Your ISP provides 2.5 Gigabit internet tech support
- Aesthetics of the modem is one of your concerns
- You don’t mind spending extras for a 2.5 Gig modem
Both these modems are equally good in their fields. If you need faster internet, go with the CM2000 modem if wired connectivity between devices isn’t your concern. For most home networks, it should be enough.
But for office or multiple wired connections, CM1200 is an excellent value-for-money router you can buy.
Hope, this comparison article of Netgear CM1200 vs CM2000 helped you make your priorities straight.