With internet connection speeds becoming faster and faster an important piece of your network is often overlooked and should be evaluated. Your cable modem can often be a bottleneck limiting your download speeds if you pay for high speed internet. Data Over Cable Service Specification or DOCSIS is the international telecommunications standard that permits high-bandwidth data transfers and it is important that your modem’s DOCSIS version matches that of your internet’s speed. The Netgear CM500 cable modem is a DOCSIS 3.0 capable modem that supports up to 680 Mbps download speeds for today’s ultra fast internet speeds.
Netgear’s CM500 modem is one of the few modems that is certified by Xfinity for use with their services and they make it known by having their logo on the front of the box. This feature makes set up super easy but we’ll get to that later.
Inside the CM500’s box is pretty bare. Inside is the modem itself inside of a plastic bag that is positioned in an egg crate type material. Also inside is a yellow network cable for connecting the modem to your network or PC and the A/C power adapter for powering up the device. Also inside is a quick start guide and some legal documentation.
The modem is covered in a thin plastic film that you will need to peel off before use that protects it from scratches except for on the front. There were some slight scuff marks on the front of the modem we received so there probably should have been some there too.
The bottom of the modem contains all of the useful information you may need to set up or configure it. MAC address and default log in information are just some of the things included there. The top is ventilated to let heat out so that it stays running cool.
The rear of the CM500 contains all the connections required to use the modem. The top connection is for the A/C adapter, the middle for the Ethernet cable to connect your network to and the bottom is for the CATV cable. The bottom also includes ventilation and the feet raise the unit enough to ensure air flow.
The CM500 measures 185mm x 113mm x 28mm witht he feet stretching 60mm across. The glossy finish encompasses the entire unit and fingerprints are easily left on it’s surface unfortunately.
Overall the Modem feels a little cheap, being light and plastic. Most of the modems we have dealt with feel more substantial and while this may not affect it’s performance it would have been nice if it had a more premium feel for the price.
After hooking everything up an Xfinity set up page automatically came up after about 30 seconds in the browser window we already had open. A nice touch since calling your cable provider is hardly ever easy and never at all fun.
After entering your Xfinity account number and your phone number you used when you created your account you are taken to the next page. On this page the modem tries to connect to Comcast’s network. After the modem successfully connects and you go to the third and final page you will get a notification that the modem was successfully activated. It was as simple as that to get reconnected after plugging in the modem.
If you wish to further configure the CM500 you can open your favorite web browser and enter 192.168.100.1 into the address bar to log in to the modem. use the username and the password on the bottom of the feet to log in.
The configuration menu is pretty barebones but contains information that may prove useful if you find yourself diagnosing a problem later on.
After your modem is all set up it is a good idea to perform a speed test. Our favorite speed test website is the popular Speedtest.net. A quick test shows that we are getting the speeds we should from the internet connection that we pay for. 124Mbps out of Xfinity’s Speedboost which is rated at 105Mbps.