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Do We Need Both Modem and Router for Xfinity?

Last Updated Jun 27, 2022
Internet speed test on phone

Xfinity is a common service provider in many homes, but few understand what’s necessary for a high-speed WiFi network. For example, you may wonder if you need a modem and router for a successful wireless connection with Xfinity.

The modem and router are different devices that perform specific functions with Xfinity. The modem is responsible for connecting users to Xfinity, while a router provides the WiFi network for your home devices. For this reason, you need both a modem and router to operate Xfinity.

Below, we’ll discuss these two devices in more detail and highlight how they work. Keep reading to learn more about modem and router use with Xfinity!

Do I Need to Use Both a Modem and a Router with Xfinity?

You can use a modem without a router, but a router cannot perform without a modem. Originally, users had to purchase both a router and modem, then connect them to Xfinity separately. However, technology has improved in recent years, and some systems now host modems and routers in the same housing.

Your home devices connect to the modem through the WiFi connection provided by the router. When you choose Xfinity as your internet service provider, you can choose between purchasing your own modem and router or renting them monthly.

What is the Function of a Modem and Router with Xfinity?

Your wireless connection and signals are sent through the Wide Area Network (WAN). The link starts in the router, goes through the modem, and travels to your home devices. The router monitors all transactions between these devices, and the modem ensures the receiver gets particular messages.

Your modem and router are compatible with almost every device, including smart TVs, laptops, and printers. These devices share files and media through the Local Area Network, or LAN.

What is the Function of a Router?

A router is responsible for managing the traffic in your home network. They perform many critical functions within an Xfinity system, some of which you can find below.

  • Setting parental controls
  • Creating the LAN network
  • Assigning local IP addresses
  • Controlling your network traffic
  • Strengthening security through firewalls

The router functions highlighted above are essential to ensure a smooth connection with your Xfinity system.

What is the Function of a Modem?

Every modem has a built-in public IP address, which allows it to pass and receive signals. The modem works by interpreting signals received from Xfinity and sending them to your home devices.

Although a modem cannot provide you with access to the internet without a router, the device does serve its own purposes. Highlighted below are the core functions of a modem.

  • Helping to compress data
  • Transmitting and decoding signals
  • Serving as a translator for the router
  • Controlling flows in connected devices
  • Correcting errors and grouping information

The above modem functions provide the best WiFi connectivity for devices that use an Xfinity network.

How to Choose a Modem and Router for Xfinity

Speed and price are the most significant factors when choosing a modem and router for Xfinity. Both devices are responsible for your internet speed connection. The first thing to consider is whether you’ll buy or rent a modem and router.

It is typically more cost-effective to buy the devices than rent them, as long as you can afford the one-time payment. Remember that if you rent the devices, you will need to give them back if you decide to switch internet providers.

Your purposes for using the internet will also play a role in how you choose a modem and router. Whichever model you choose should be compatible with your internet speed. If the speeds are non-compatible, your internet’s performance rate will suffer.

If you’re buying a modem and router, you will need to device whether you’ll purchase a system that includes both a modem and router or buy them separately. Purchasing a system that includes both devices is usually more cost-effective.

However, if you do choose to purchase the devices separately, you will need to set them up to work together. Follow the steps below to set up a modem and router with Xfinity.

  • Place the modem on a tabletop or desk to strengthen the connection in your home.
  • Connect your router to the modem through the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Ethernet cable.
  • Lastly, connect your modem to your devices via an Ethernet cable. Connect one end to the device and the other to the modem.

Purchasing a separate modem and router may be the best choice if your Xfinity performs more effectively under a mesh connection.

What Are the Most Compatible Modems and Routers for Xfinity?

If Xfinity is your internet service provider, you must understand its specific speed and compatibility details. Xfinity internet connections operate under strict rules and specifications.

Xfinity will not function unless you are using both a modem and router, and different models work best for different versions of Xfinity. The table below will highlight a couple of routers and modems that are compatible with Xfinity.

DeviceDevice TypeMaximum Speeds
Linksys Velop MeshRouter5,300 Mbps
TP-Link Archer A8Router1,300 Mbps
NetGear CM 2050VModem1,200 Mbps
Arris SURFboard SB8200Modem2,000 Mbps

If you don’t want to purchase your own modem and router, the xFi Gateway modem and router combo is available for rent through Xfinity for a monthly fee.


The modem and router perform different tasks to connect you to the internet via Xfinity. The modem takes your home to the internet space, while the router connects the internet to the house. For this reason, you need both devices for top-notch Xfinity performance.

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