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May 27, 2016

With DOCSIS 3.0 (which is backward-compatible with older standards), the speed capacity of a single channel remains 43Mbps down and 31Mbps up, but the modems are now capable of handling multiple channels at a time (channel bonding). A typical DOCSIS 3.0 modem generally offers four or eight channels for downloading, resulting in a speed cap of 172Mbps or 344Mbps, respectively. For uploading, they generally support four channels to offer a speed of up to 124Mbps. Relatively soon, there will be DOCSIS 3.0 modems that can handle even more channels.

Your actual broadband speed at home also depends on what you pay for; the faster you want, the more expensive the monthly cost. If you're paying for a cable Internet plan with a download speed of 30Mbps or less, chances are you'll be fine with a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, which costs almost half the price of its DOCSIS 3.0 counterpart. More specifically, if your cable Internet plan is called Lite, Basic, Starter, Essential, or Standard, you'll probably need just a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, but if you opt for a higher tier plan, which have names like Turbo, Preferred, Premier, Extreme, or Ultimate, a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with four or even eight download channels is a must.

All broadband services offer a much slower upload speed than the download speed. Most of the time, for residential broadband plans, the upload speed caps at just 10Mbps. Also, aside from making sure the modem is of the DOCSIS standard, make sure you get one that's on the Internet provider's approved list, or it might not work at