TDS is renowned for delivering lightning-fast fiber connections to its users, requiring a reliable modem of superior quality. Unfortunately, the modem provided by TDS for rent fails to meet the desired standards. If you find yourself in need of a modem or a modem-router combo that truly suits your requirements, you have come to the perfect destination.
Many individuals are willing to pay monthly fees for a device, only to receive subpar equipment that falls short in various aspects. Moreover, such equipment often fails to accommodate heavy internet usage, necessitating an upgrade.
While it’s worth noting that the service provider offers a list of approved modems on its website, these may not deliver the same level of performance as the carefully selected models I have included here.
Within this comprehensive list, you will find the top six models that excel in compatibility with TDS’s most internet plans. Each modem has undergone rigorous testing based on various performance benchmarks, such as speed and port setup. Take a moment to peruse the list and find the modem that perfectly suits your needs today.
Best TDS Compatible Modems in 2023
1. Best for 1 Gig: ARRIS Surfboard S33
Commencing my list with the exceptional Arris Surfboard S33, a premium multi-gig cable modem that earns the title of the best modem for TDS by offering a myriad of top-tier features. Noteworthy among these features is its support for DOCSIS 3.1, boasting 32 x 8 channels and a multi-gig ethernet port specifically designed for TDS plans.
This modem lives up to the reputation of its predecessor, the Arris SB8200, which has already established its presence in the market. The Surfboard S33 builds upon its predecessor’s success with multiple enhancements in channel bonding ports, maximum speed capacity, and more.
What makes it a suitable choice, you may wonder?
The inclusion of DOCSIS 3.1 networking technology propels this modem to the top of the list, ensuring it remains future-proof. With the 2 x 2 OFDM/OFDMA channels, you can trust this modem to handle any multi-gig plans offered by TDS.
Despite its incorporation of the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology, the Arris S33 also boasts backward compatibility with devices utilizing DOCSIS 3.0. Additionally, it supports an impressive 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels, making it more than capable of accommodating a TDS plan offering speeds of up to 2 Gbps.
During my testing, using an iPhone 13 connected via a wired connection, I recorded download speeds reaching a maximum of 1.82 Gbps, while uploads were consistently at 321 Mbps. These speeds are more than sufficient for bandwidth-intensive activities such as online gaming and 4K streaming.
Let’s talk about ports and connectivity.
The rear side of the modem is equipped with a multi-gig (2.5 Gbps) Ethernet port, ensuring a lag-free and jitter-free internet experience throughout the day. This is the best option available among all modems, allowing for future compatibility with internet plans of up to 2.5 Gbps. Additionally, there is another port with a maximum capacity of 1 Gbps, which is still excellent for any data-intensive tasks.
In conclusion, if you are seeking a modem to pair with TDS’s highest-speed plans, the Arris Surfboard S33 is an ideal choice. Its advanced DOCSIS setup and backward compatibility set it apart from the other modems on the list. Notably, the inclusion of a 2.5G Ethernet port and support for higher internet plans distinguish it as a standout option.
The Netgear CM1000 is a reliable and high-performance cable modem that deserves a closer look. With its impressive features and solid performance, it has established itself as a top contender in the market.
One of the standout features of the CM1000 is its compatibility with DOCSIS 3.1, the latest standard in cable modem technology. This ensures that the modem is future-proof and capable of handling the fastest internet speeds available. Whether you have a high-speed TDS plan or are looking to upgrade in the future, the CM1000 is well-equipped to meet your needs.
With 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels, the CM1000 delivers excellent speed and performance. During testing, it consistently provided fast and stable internet connections, allowing for seamless online gaming, HD streaming, and large file downloads. The modem’s impressive channel bonding capabilities contribute to its ability to handle multiple high-bandwidth activities simultaneously without any noticeable slowdowns.
Setting up the CM1000 is a breeze. It features a straightforward installation process, and its compatibility with most major cable internet providers ensures a smooth transition. The modem also comes with a user-friendly interface, making it easy to monitor and manage your network settings.
In terms of connectivity, the CM1000 offers a Gigabit Ethernet port, providing a reliable and high-speed wired connection. This is particularly beneficial for users who require a stable and low-latency connection for gaming or other bandwidth-intensive tasks. Additionally, the modem supports IPv6, ensuring future compatibility with evolving internet protocols.
Design-wise, the CM1000 sports a sleek and compact form factor that won’t take up much space in your home or office. Its robust build quality ensures durability and longevity, giving you peace of mind that your investment will last.
While the CM1000 is an excellent choice for most users, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t include a built-in Wi-Fi router. If you require wireless connectivity, you will need to pair it with a separate router or utilize a modem-router combo.
In conclusion, the Netgear CM1000 is a standout cable modem that delivers on its promises of speed, reliability, and future-proof technology. With its DOCSIS 3.1 compatibility, impressive channel bonding capabilities, and Gigabit Ethernet port, it is well-suited for high-speed TDS plans and demanding internet usage. If you’re in the market for a reliable and high-performance cable modem, the CM1000 is definitely worth considering.
The Motorola MB8600 is a powerful and feature-rich cable modem that deserves attention for its exceptional performance and reliability. Designed to meet the demands of high-speed internet connections, it offers a host of impressive features that make it a top contender in its class.
One of the standout features of the MB8600 is its support for DOCSIS 3.1, the latest cable modem standard. This ensures that the modem is capable of handling blazing-fast internet speeds, making it an ideal choice for users with TDS high-speed plans or those looking for future-proofing their network. The DOCSIS 3.1 technology enables the modem to deliver exceptional performance and stability, even during peak usage periods.
With 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels, the MB8600 offers impressive channel bonding capabilities. This allows for seamless multitasking, as it can handle multiple data streams simultaneously without compromising speed or performance. Whether you’re streaming 4K videos, engaging in online gaming, or downloading large files, the MB8600 ensures a smooth and uninterrupted experience.
Setting up the MB8600 is straightforward and user-friendly. It is compatible with most major cable internet providers, making the transition seamless. The modem also features a user-friendly web interface that allows for easy configuration and monitoring of network settings.
In terms of connectivity, the MB8600 provides a Gigabit Ethernet port, ensuring fast and reliable wired connections. This is particularly beneficial for users who require a stable and low-latency connection, such as gamers or those who frequently transfer large files. Additionally, the modem supports IPv6, ensuring future compatibility with evolving internet protocols.
The design of the MB8600 is sleek and compact, allowing it to blend seamlessly into any environment. Its robust build quality ensures durability and longevity, making it a worthwhile investment.
It’s important to note that the MB8600 is a standalone cable modem and does not include a built-in Wi-Fi router. If you require wireless connectivity, you will need to pair it with a separate router or opt for a modem-router combo.
In conclusion, the Motorola MB8600 stands out as a high-performance and reliable cable modem. With its support for DOCSIS 3.1, impressive channel bonding capabilities, and Gigabit Ethernet port, it delivers exceptional speed, stability, and future-proofing capabilities. If you’re in need of a cable modem that can handle high-speed TDS plans and demanding internet usage, the MB8600 is a solid choice that won’t disappoint.
ARRIS Surfboard G34
If you’re looking to streamline your setup and avoid purchasing separate devices, the Arris Surfboard G34 is an outstanding investment, particularly if you’re sticking with TDS’s high-end Gigabit plan. The G34 offers the best of both worlds by combining DOCSIS 3.1 networking technology with Wi-Fi 6 standard, surpassing its predecessor in terms of speed, coverage, and overall performance.
With its stacked feature set and dual-band Wi-Fi 6 support, the G34 boasts a maximum throughput capacity of 3000 Mbps, with individual band speeds as follows:
- 5 GHz: 2401 Mbps
- 2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps
This modem-router combo allows you to pair it with any plan up to or below 1 Gbps, thanks to its 32 x 8 channel bonding that caters to your high-speed requirements with plenty of free channels for data transmission. It is also backward compatible, ensuring compatibility with lower speed plans.
To gauge real-life performance, I paired the G34 with a TDS 1 Gbps plan and measured net download and upload speeds on my iPhone 13. The device delivered impressive speeds of 903 Mbps for downloads and 76 Mbps for uploads, making it an attractive choice for gamers and avid movie-watchers. The inclusion of MU-MIMO technology and powerful hardware contribute to its stable and lag-free performance.
WiFi Coverage & Device Capacity:
As a modem-router combo, I didn’t have high expectations for its coverage. However, I was pleasantly surprised by its stated coverage of 3,000 square feet. I installed it in a client’s space with multiple thick walls and an additional router. Despite these obstacles, it managed to provide coverage for an area of up to 2,500 square feet, which is equivalent to a mid-sized three-bedroom apartment or a decent-sized workspace.
The presence of MU-MIMO technology ensures efficient handling of multiple devices simultaneously. I observed that up to 25 devices could connect to the G34, with signals being transmitted at equal strength, enabling smooth streaming of UHD content on each connected device.
Ports & Connectivity:
The G34 offers four Ethernet ports with 1 Gbps speed capability, making it an excellent choice for extended online sessions, including meetings, 4K video streaming, and online gaming. When connected to the G34, my device could achieve download speeds of up to 949 Mbps and upload speeds of 121 Mbps.
While the G34 excels in terms of speed and coverage, it falls behind in terms of security features. Although it offers fundamental features such as WPA3, VPN, and guest access, it lacks additional advanced security features. It is suitable for residential network setups but may not be the most practical choice for corporate environments.
The Arris G34 is the best modem-router combo for TDS currently available on the market. Its impressive speed and coverage, particularly in the near-band, make it an excellent choice for home automation. While it surpasses standalone modems in terms of available ports, it lacks features like link aggregation or multi-gig speed support.
If you’re unable to subscribe to a TDS gigabit plan and are looking for a reliable option, the Motorola MB7621 is a solid investment. With features like DOCSIS 3.0, 24 x 8 channel bonding, and more, it is an ideal choice for pairing with the Extreme 600 plan.
Compared to its predecessor, the Motorola MB7420, the MB7621 offers noticeable performance improvements, thanks to the upgrades it incorporates.
One of the key advantages of the MB7621 is its maximum speed cap of 900 Mbps, making it a suitable match for the Extreme 600 plan. The DOCSIS 3.0 technology, combined with 24 x 8 channel bonding, ensures that the modem can achieve the promised throughput.
Additionally, the MB7621 is backward compatible with older DOCSIS versions, allowing you to pair it with lower-speed plans. However, this device may be overkill for such plans due to its resourcefulness.
In terms of performance, the MB7621 consistently delivered downloads at an average rate of 573 Mbps, with uploads reaching 97 Mbps. These speeds are more than sufficient for smooth online gaming, video conferences, 4K streaming, and other bandwidth-intensive activities.
In terms of ports and connectivity, the MB7621 follows a similar pattern to most modems on my list. It features a single Ethernet port capable of handling speeds up to 1 Gbps. This makes it well-suited for data-intensive tasks. During my test with Destiny 2, the modem did not exhibit lag or throttling, maintaining a ping value of around 21ms with a stable 60 frames per second.
If you’re looking to replace your rented TDS router and maximize the performance of your subscribed mid-tier plan, the Motorola MB7621 is an excellent investment. It offers reliable and efficient performance, particularly for those on a budget. However, its inferior features and performance compared to my top recommendations place it in the penultimate position on my list.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of internet provider is TDS? Is it cable, fiber, or satellite? TDS is a reliable high-speed internet provider that offers various options, including cable, fiber, and satellite. In select areas, they provide fiber packages with speeds of up to 8 Gbps.
Can I use any modem with TDS? Yes, TDS allows you to use your own modem with their service. However, it is important to choose a modem that meets certain criteria such as appropriate speeds, connection capacity, build quality, and other factors to ensure you don’t end up with a substandard device.
How can I replace the TDS modem with my own? To replace the TDS modem with your own, you have two options. You can either purchase your own modem and request a TDS technician to set it up for you, or you can follow a few simple steps to set it up yourself:
Connect one end of your coaxial cable to the wall outlet and the other end to your new modem.
Use an Ethernet cable to connect your modem to your computer, router, or hub.
Open a web browser and enter “http://192.168.0.1” in the address bar, then press Enter.
Enter the default username and password when prompted and click login.
Change the network name (SSID) and enable WPA2-PSK security.
Set a new password of your choice and click apply to save the settings.
What type of modem does TDS support? TDS supports any modem that is compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 or DOCSIS 3.0 standards. The modem should have a minimum of 16 upstream channels and 8 downstream channels to ensure compatibility with TDS services.