Do Modems Affect Internet Speed? (2023)

Most of the time, you’ll need a modem to connect to the internet. It mainly helps your device communicate with your internet service provider (ISP) and gives internet connection to your Wi-Fi-ready devices, like computers, laptops, smartphones, etc. But, some internet users have wondered, “do modems affect internet speed?”

Do Modems Affect Internet Speed?

Typically, you should use a modem that fits your current internet setup. This guide will show you if modems affect internet speed and whether a cheap modem has the same speed as other modem brands. Read this guide to know more.


Table of Contents

What Does a Modem Do?

Before knowing if a particular modem will improve your internet connection, you should know what a modem does on your current internet setup. A modem or a modulator-demodulator is a device that translates signals transmitted from your ISP and utilizes them to let your devices connect to the internet.

Without a modem, your devices cannot connect to the internet, and communications from your ISP won’t be used either.


Does a Modem Affect Internet Speed?

The short answer is yes. Modems can indeed affect your internet speed. For instance, if your internet plan’s maximum speed is 400 Mbps, but your modem only supports 200 Mbps at its peak speed, only 200 Mbps will be transmitted to your router. Your internet speed will be capped at 200 Mbps, significantly limiting your internet performance.

That’s why choosing a suitable modem for your current setup is essential. If your current plan has a maximum speed of 400 Mbps, you should pick a modem that supports the maximum or greater modem speeds.


Will a New Modem Increase Internet Speed?

Yes, but it depends on your internet plan. Your modem will only depend on what speeds you have on your current internet plan. For instance, if your modem supports 300 Mbps, but your ISP can only provide 100 Mbps, your internet speed will be capped at 100 Mbps. So, before picking a new modem, it’s important to know your maximum internet speed from your current plan.

To know the maximum data rate of your internet plan, you can directly contact your ISP, look at your recent internet bills, or visit speed tests on the internet. If your internet speed is too low, contact your ISP to ask for an upgrade suitable for your current modem and router.

You may also be interested in our articles “Why is my internet so slow?” and “Why is My Upload Speed So Slow?” which show how to speed up your internet.


Will a Better Modem Improve Wi-Fi?

Yes. While the right modem will significantly affect your overall internet connection, a better router will also improve your Wi-Fi in terms of coverage, device management, and maximizing your internet speed. Like your modem, your router should also support internet speeds on your plan.

If you’re using an old router, you can upgrade to a new one that’s appropriate for your current plan and your modem. Also, it’s crucial to have a router that has excellent Wi-Fi coverage. If there are several floors in your house, you can use an extender or mesh Wi-Fi system to eliminate dead points.


What to Consider When Buying a New Modem

Whether you’re deciding to pick a branded modem or a cheap modem due to budget constraints, try considering these factors to make the most out of your current internet setup:

  • When possible, upgrade your modem. If you’re using an old modem from your ISP, ask for a free upgrade. When you have the budget, buy your own modem.
  • Ensure your modem is compatible with your current internet plan and connection type. If unsure, you can contact your ISP to ask for more details.
  • Buying a modem supports your maximum internet speed.
  • Buy a standalone modem instead of a modem/router combination.


Final Thoughts

Modems are critical devices to your internet connection. It helps to receive and transmit data from your ISP to your internet-supported devices. Having a suitable modem will positively impact your overall internet connection. Hopefully, this guide helps you to know if modems affect internet speed and what to consider when buying a new modem.