Best Buy is the largest brick and mortar retailer for televisions, computers, and other electronics in the country. They offer a number of cable modems that Internet users can install to connect to the Internet. Installing a cable modem requires no technical experience, and the entire process should take about 15 minutes.
Advantages to Buying Cable Modems from Best Buy
Internet service providers supply all of the necessary equipment to connect to the Internet, so why should customers pay extra to purchase their own equipment? These Best Buy cable modems are priced $60 to $120, but they only require a one time fee. Modem rentals from ISPs typically cost $5 a month, so a purchased cable modem will pay for itself in 1 to 2 years.
However, Best Buy offers a number of additional benefits that customers might not find at other retailers. The company recently introduced a price match guarantee on its entire inventory. Many stores have price match guarantees, but they usually only apply to other brick and mortar retailers. For the first time, Best Buy will apply a price match guarantee to online retailers as well.
Best Buy customers can shop online or at their local stores for additional convenience. In-store pickups can eliminate shipping costs, and most Best Buy branches are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone support is available 24/7, and customers can also take their electronics into the store for qualified Geek Squad members to repair.
Motorola SURFboard SB5101
The Motorola SURFboard SB5101 is perhaps the most popular cable modem in the history of high speed Internet. With speeds up to 38 Mbps, the SB5101 brought broadband Internet into tens of millions of homes a decade ago.
While it remains a very capable modem, the SB5101 struggles to keep up with newer DOCSIS 3.0 modems that support speeds up to 304 Mbps. Fortunately, cable customers who receive speeds of 38 Mbps or less don’t need to upgrade to newer hardware.
It’s not future proof, but the SB5101 is more than sufficient for Internet users who stream standard definition video, play casual video games online, and perform basic Internet tasks. At $59.99, the SB5101 is the most affordable Best Buy cable modem.
Internet users who demand more speed must upgrade their modems to support the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. The Zoom 5341J is a capable DOCSIS 3.0 modem that gets the job done. It supports 8-channel DOCSIS 3.0 connections, but it’s also backwards compatible with older DOCSIS 2.0 connections.
Like other DOCSIS 3.0 Best Buy cable modems, the Zoom 5341J supports speeds up to 343 Mbps. Actual network speeds hover around 304 Mbps due to overhead, but that’s still around 10 times the speed of the average cable connection today.
Other technical upgrades boost the 5341J’s performance. The modem supports full 1000Base-T Ethernet connections to take advantage of the faster Internet speeds; customers who use 100Base-T cables will be capped to just 100 Mbps. The 5341J also supports both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, so Internet users can connect to IPv6 websites.
Motorola SURFboard SB6141
The SB6141 demonstrates why Motorola is always at the cutting edge of networking technology. On the surface, the SURFboard SB6141 is the same as the Zoom 5341J. It also supports speeds up to 343 Mbps, and it’s compatible with IPv4 and IPv6 network addresses. However, the similarities end there.
For just $20 more, the SB6141 offers numerous features that the 5341J lacks. The SB6141 supports AES for secure connections, and it uses a 1 GHz low-pass filter to reduce network interference, which increases signal reliability.
Network administrators will also love the integrated network management utilities. Residential users and IT experts alike can use the browser-based software to troubleshoot problems and restore Internet service even without a working Internet connection.
Most Best Buy cable modems can only connect to one device. If Internet users want to connect multiple computers, video game consoles, and other devices to the Internet, they must purchase separate wireless routers.
The Zoom 5350-00-03 cable modem and router combo integrates two devices into one box. With maximum downloads of 304 Mbps and uploads of 108 Mbps, the Zoom 5350-00-03 is fast enough for single users and office buildings alike.
To connect to the Internet, users simply need to connect their coaxial cables. After configuring their new modems with their ISPs, they can use Zoom’s included software to set up their Wi-Fi networks, which support up to 253 separate 802.11b/g/n devices. Because 802.11n devices support transfer speeds up to 600 Mbps, Wi-Fi networks are nearly as fast as gigabit Ethernet connections.
However, users can easily switch to 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet networks with the push of a button for slightly faster speeds. Customers will also appreciate how well the Zoom 5350-00-03 works. Because Zoom designed both the modem and router components, users won’t run into any compatibility issues. The software allows users to manage their Internet and LAN connections from one convenient location.