All Docsis 3.1 ones are TDS compatible modems in general. However, not all of them perform equally well when it comes to establishing a reliable network and consistent speed.
Among lots of TDS compatible modems, I found 7 to be extremely user-friendly and reliable for their services. Customers of both TDS and other ISPs are quite satisfied with the performance of these 7 cable modems.
Whether you will be using the device for your home, office, or business internet, the list has modems to meet your requirements.
7 Best TDS Compatible Fiber Optic Modems
TDS service provider doesn’t have any specific list of modems that work on their network. However, these 7 modems below are tested and found compatible with their services.
1. Best Overall: Arris Surfboard S33
If you have been using cable modems for quite a long time, Arris shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you. They are one of the topmost brands in the cable modem industry. This modem here, Arris S33 is the latest one over their previous SB8200 model.
The latest S33 model comes with a different design as well as technical capabilities to justify the price.
Talking about ports, this one comes with only 2 ports; 2.5 Gbps and 1 Gbps Ethernet ports. So, technically, you can achieve up to 3.5 Gbps internet speed combined if your ISP provides a second IP address for the second port. Otherwise, you are good to run this model flawlessly, even using one Ethernet port.
As the TDS network is compatible with the Docsis 3.1 technology, you can get the most out of this cable modem. This unit can handle up to 1.2 Gbps of internet plans to make sure your smart home devices never slow down due to slow internet speed.
For Docsis 3.0, this model offers 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels. This would get you up to 1.2 Gbps speed easily. You must use the 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port to get this speed.
Now, let’s talk about the non-technical stuff this cable model comes with. Design-wise, it’s far better than the previous 8200 model modem from Arris. It’s smaller, compact, and has only one LED light. So, for small and dark rooms, the model will suit the best.
While running, the modem doesn’t feel hot. It feels a bit warm, which is expected. This also indicates that this model will last longer as the heat issue has to do with the longevity of electronic devices.
- Fast and consistent download and upload speed
- Internet speed is flawless no matter how many smart devices are connected to it
- Thin, lightweight, and compact form factor, perfect for small spaces
- Compatible with future proof Docsis 3.1 technology
- Only one LED light, less lighting
- Compatible with most IPSs in the U.S
- Doesn’t come with a network cable
- Price is a bit more than modems from other competitors
2. Best for Multi-Gigabit Internet: Motorola MB8611
Motorola MB8611 cable modem here is one of the higher end modems you can currently purchase. With Docsis 3.1 compatibility, your internet speed will be future proof if you choose the fastest internet plan. Compared to the Arris S33, it comes at a low price tag. But, let’s see how this modem can benefit you.
On its back, there’s a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port that can get up to 6 Gbps of internet speed if your ISP supports Docsis 3.1. As TDS already provides this service to their clients, so, yeah, you can get this much speed. The downstream speed will be up to 2500 Mbps, and upstream will be 800 Mbps.
Apart from the Ethernet cable, it got only a WAN port for connecting a coaxial cable. So, if it’s for only home use, this modem would be enough. For offices or businesses, this might not be the ideal option if you have to connect multiple devices via cables.
Another good reason to opt for this modem is its backward compatibility with Docsis 3.0 connectivity. However, you won’t get the advertised download and upload speeds as those are only regarding Docsis 3.1.
Motorola has been phenomenal for designing their smart devices, and this modem isn’t any exception to this. It’s designed pretty well, got a slim form factor. The gray color of it goes well with any room regardless of the decor.
- Docsis 3.1 compatible with 3.0 backward compatibility
- 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port delivers fast internet speed
- Performance and speed is pretty consistent
- Compatible with most routers available in the market
- Slim and attractive looking design
- One of the most value for money modem with Docsis 3.1 support
- Only 1 Ethernet port
3. Best for Gig Internet: NETGEAR Nighthawk CM1000
If you want to switch to a gigabit internet connection, but not more than 1 Gbps speed, this one from Netgear would be the ideal pick for the money. You can use Docsis 3.0 and 3.1 connections to get the most out of this modem for faster data transferring and downloading.
Design-wise this model is pretty similar to the CM600 model. The primary difference is that this one is compatible with Docsis 3.1. So, in terms of support and long-term sustainability, this newer model is much better.
If your internet plan is above 800 Mbps, you will get excellent performance from this modem. The connection is pretty stable with consistent internet speed, even during pick hours. With 30×8 downstream and upstream channels, you won’t face many issues playing online games, attending conferences, and streaming HD videos.
The modem has only one 1 Gbps Ethernet port along with a Coax port for connectivity.
Similar to most cable modems these days, this one also got a slim form factor. But the textured pattern on the house makes it different from others in the market. If you are someone who is very picky when it comes to the design of your devices, you won’t be disappointed at all.
- Up to 1 Gbps speed with 32×8 channels
- Docsis 3.1 and 3.0 supported, shouldn’t have any issue with faster internet plans
- Connection and internet speed seem pretty stable
- Compatible with most wireless routers available in the market
- Textured pattern on the housing gives it a different look
- Doesn’t get full 1Gbps speed, stuck within 950Mbps depending on the ISP
4. Best Future-Proof Modem: Motorola MB8600
Although this one is a comparatively low-end model when compared to the MB8611, it’s for those who want to use multiple Ethernet ports to ensure seamless internet connection in case when one network will be inactive.
The faster Ethernet port is a 1 Gbps one, which means you are limited to 1 Gbps internet plans. However, if your IPS is providing Docsis 3.1 support, this modem will have no compatibility issue. This means, in the future, when ISPs will switch to Docsis 3.1 technology, you won’t need to replace this cable modem.
And, of course, you can still use it with Docsis 3.0 connection without any issue. Streaming HD videos, along with playing online games, attending conferences, won’t be slowed down whatsoever.
Having multiple Ethernet ports allow you to use it for LAN coverage, connecting to multiple devices through cables, and whatnot. This is extremely useful in dorm rooms and similar places.
However, when considering the speed, it’s not as fast as 1.2 Gbps port for obvious reasons. Still, if you are looking for a modem for home or small office or business purposes, the speed will be quite satisfactory.
- Comes with multiple Ethernet ports
- Up to 1 Gbps internet speed
- Connection is stable, and speed is pretty fast
- Ideal for LAN coverage, can be connected to multiple wired devices
- Compatible with both Docsis 3.1 and 3.0
- Relatively low price compared to others of its class
- Can’t achieve the full speed of Docsis 3.1
5. Best Value for Money: Arris Surfboard SB8200
There are only a few Docsis 3.1 compatible cable modems with 2-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and this one from Arris is one of those. That being said, if you need a super-fast internet connection, which will provide you with a download speed of more than 1.5 Gbps, the SB8200 modem would be the right go-to option for you.
Each Gigabit port can go up to 1 Gbps of speed. If you are to achieve up to 2 Gbps speed, you would need a 2nd IP address from the ISP. Only then can you get the most out of this modem.
With Docsis 3.1 support, this modem is a futureproof one that can actually get you faster internet speed than conventional 3.1 compatible modems out there.
Playing graphics intensive online games, VR online games, watching 4K videos, live streaming, attending video conferences, won’t be bothered by the internet speed.
With Docsis 3.0, you will get 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels to enjoy seamless, fast internet for pretty much all internet activities.
From design and aesthetics, it’s another ordinary looking tower style cable modem. It’s only available in white color. If you position it in a place where people pass by, it will definitely grab their attention.
Thankfully Arris didn’t use the Intel Puma buggy processor for this model, unlike what they did in the SB6190 model. The Broadcom BCM3390 chipset makes this modem flawless regardless of heavy traffic during peak hours. From the hardware side,
- Two ports combined, up to 2 Gbps speed
- Multiple Ethernet ports
- Compatible with both Docsis 3.1 and 3.0
- Downstream and upstream speeds are pretty consistent
- Fairly easy to setup even for beginners
- Chipset inside performs without much drop similar to models with Intel chipset
- Boring kind of design and aesthetics
- Only available in white color
6. Best With Wi-Fi: Arris Surfboard SBG8300
Looking for a 2-in-1 cable modem and WiFi device? Arris 8300 model is one of the most popular choices among customers. The most selling point of this unit is its 4 Gigabit ports. So, for offices and businesses where multiple wired connections are required, this one can serve the purpose pretty well.
Similar to other devices on the list, this is also compatible with Docsis 3.1. Each port can get up to 1 Gbps speed. So, when you combine all 4 ports at a time, using different IP addresses from the internet service provider, you can achieve up to 4 Gbps speed.
With Docsis 3.0, the model provides 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels. Depending on the internet plan, you will get up to 900 Mbps of speed easily. Even without the latest 3.1 networks, you can get pretty decent speeds whether you will be using it for conferences, streaming, playing 4K online videos, or other purposes.
If VR gaming and online multiplayer gaming are your concern, you better use at least 2 Gigabit ports to get up to 2 Gbps speed combined.
The WiFi module in this modem is a dual-band one. When compared to standard wireless routers, the network range seems pretty low. You might have to use it with a mesh network or a WiFi extender to get the most out of it.
A considerable number of customers reported that the modem requires a restart or hard reset after each 5-7 days to get consistent performance from it. This might be a deal breaking thing for many users.
By its design, this is probably one of the best looking TDS compatible modems you can get. Keep in mind that it’s not a DSL modem.
- 4 1-Gigabit ports deliver up to 4 Gbps speed combined
- Dual-band wireless access point makes it a 2-in-1 device
- High speed downstream and upstream service
- Easy to install, no complicated stuff
- Great looking design and black color give it a stealth look
- Requires restart or hard reset after every 5-7 days
- WiFi signal isn’t that strong from a few feet away
7. Best for Versatility: ZyXEL C3000Z
The previously reviewed 2-in-1 modem has some reliability issues, but this isn’t the case for ZyXEL C3000Z model. If you use any of TDS fiber, DSL, cable internet service, you will find this modem extremely reliable for high internet speeds.
On the back, this modem got 4 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 WAN/LAN port, 1 DSL, 1 USB, and a power port. Each Ethernet port can get you up to 1 Gbps of speed as per your current internet plan. However, the real download speed was around 980 Mbps, and the upload speed was even faster.
For gaming, video conferences, 4K video streaming, and more stuff, the modem can deliver the speed you need.
If you use it as a 5 GHz wireless option, then you can get up to 1.7 Gbps max as your internet plan allows.
However, when switched to 2.4 GHz WiFi, it manages to get up to 450 Mbps with great consistency.
When it comes to controlling the WiFi settings, you won’t get full access to its MAC filtering, security configuration, and DHCP. So, it’s basically for those who will just plug and use it as it is.
But unlike the previously reviewed 2-in-1 modem from Arris, it doesn’t require frequent rebooting or restarting to provide consistent internet speeds. The performance is extremely stable regardless of the traffic of devices.
WiFi coverage is good enough for a modem of this size. But, you might need to connect an extender to get the signal in your extended garage.
Even though this one is for CenturyLink, you shouldn’t face any issue using it for the TDS network. In case you face any firmware issue, be sure to contact TDS telecom for configuration and support.
- Reliable performance for both DSL and WiFi networks
- 4 Ethernet ports, 1 Gigabit each
- Can be connected with multiple wired devices
- Decent WiFi signal considering its price
- Dual Band WiFi connection, 1.7 Gbps and 450 Mbps for 5 GHz and 2.5 GHz, respectively
- Can also be used as a TDS fiber modem
- USB port is useless
- Not much control for customers over the WiFi settings
If this is the first time you are to get a cable modem, you should consider the following aspects in mind to get the right equipment for your home or office.
As for the home, office, and business internet services, you will mostly use two types of modems – Cable and DSL modems.
A cable modem comes with a coaxial port to connect the cable from the ISP. This is typically used for high speed internet service. Most modems deliver up to 1 Gbps speed for each Ethernet port.
Whereas, a DSL modem comes with a port for WAN or LAN cable to connect, similar to what you see in landline telephone internet services. DSL internet speed is slower than cable-based internet services. People mostly use this type of internet service for noncommercial personal use.
If you want to make sure your modem still works in the next 10 years, you better opt for a Docsis 3.1 compatible cable modem. Docsis 3.1 technology can provide up to 10 Gbps of speed, which is 10 times faster than Docsis 3.0.
Even if the modem you get can’t deliver 10 Gbps speed, it will still be compatible with internet services that will shift to Docsis 3.1 within the next few years.
Number of Ethernet Ports
The number of Ethernet ports and how many of them you use will influence your internet speed. For example, you pay for a 5 Gbps TDS service plan. You can’t get the full 5 Gbps speed unless your modem has 5 1-Gigabit ports or 1 2.5-Gigabit port and 3 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
But, if your home network is limited to 1 Gbps or less, a modem with 1 1-Gigabit Ethernet port will be enough.
Integrated WiFi Module
Most cable modems don’t come with an integrated WiFi module. If you are to purchase a 2-in-1 modem with a WiFi feature, you will have to pay more for such a device. Besides, the WiFi network won’t be as strong as typical WiFi routers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use your own modem with TDS?
For using your own modem with TDS, you will have to contact TDS at 1-877-422-5282 to ask them to activate the internet service for that modem. However, you won’t get any technical support for this modem.
What modem do I need to run TDS telecom?
You can use the TDS internet service on any Docsis 3.1 compatible modem without any issue. They don’t have any list for TDS approved modems, but all Docsis 3.1 modems will function without any issue with their network.
Is TDS telecom DSL or Cable?
TDS Telecom has both DSL and fiber cable internet services.
Keep in mind that if you are using the internet for multiple wired devices, make sure the modem has multiple Ethernet ports. Thankfully, there are lots of TDS compatible modems out there with both single and multiple Ethernet ports. Otherwise, a single port cable modem will do just fine for a home network.
Choosing the right cable model for your home network or office shouldn’t be an issue for you if you have made it this far.