DOCSIS 3.0 vs. DOCSIS 3.1: Which modem is right for you?

January 9, 2023

If you currently have a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, or if you are considering purchasing one, you need to read this article!  Many people are unfamiliar with the differences between DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 technology in modems.  The biggest misconception is that there is not much difference between the two technologies – that could not be further from the truth.  Read on to get informed!


The differences between DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1

All cable modems have a DOCSIS standard, which determines how fast your Internet connection will be.  Your cable modem is what connects you to the Internet and may be the most important piece of equipment you will own.  The two biggest differences between DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 is speed and performance.

With DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology, the top theoretical speed is the lowest guaranteed speed offered by DOCSIS 3.1. That means that DOCSIS 3.1 is still MUCH faster than what you can hope to get at maximum with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. That should tell you something right there.

The top 3 things to focus on when comparing 3.0 to 3.1 are:

  1. Maximum download speed (receiving)
  2. Maximum upload speed (sending)
  3. Compatibility with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)


Here is the breakdown to compare 3.0 vs 3.1 in each of these categories:


DOCSIS 3.1 vs 3.0 – Max download speed

  • DOCSIS 3.1: 10 Gigabit (Gbps)
  • DOCSIS 3.0: 1 Gigabit (Gbps)


DOCSIS 3.1 vs 3.0 – Max upload speed

  • DOCSIS 3.1: 1 Gigabit (Gbps)
  • DOCSIS 3.0: 216 Megabit (Mbps)


DOCSIS 3.1 vs 3.0 – Compatibility/availability with ISPs

  • DOCSIS 3.1: Supported by all (SpectrumXfinity, etc). To know specific availability and compatibility per device model, contact your ISP.
  • DOCSIS 3.0: Not likely. 3.0 is considered old modem technology. Most ISPs consider it end-of-life (EOL).


DOCSIS 3.1 has many other advantages as well:

  • Channel bonding for higher bandwidth capacity for data transfers (supports up to 32 channels, broken out as twenty-four downstream, eight upstream).
  • The only technology that can deliver multi-Gigabit speeds
  • More advanced security protection than 3.0
  • Offers a “future-proof” Internet connection
  • Reduces latency and is more energy efficient
  • Uses OFDM and OFDMA for more efficient performance


Which is modem right for you?

It’s almost guaranteed that the answer is DOCSIS 3.1.

The differences between DOCSIS 3.1 and 3.0 technologies are significant. For more in-depth information on DOCSIS technology to help better inform you before purchasing devices, check out this DOCSIS comparison guide.

To really experience the best Internet you can, you need upgraded devices. That means upgrading to a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Hitron’s CODA DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem is available on Amazon. The CODA has DOCSIS 3.1 to deliver the fastest multi-Gigabit speeds to your connected devices.  Learn more about cable modems or cable modem routers by reading Hitron’s ​Learn Page​.

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