Homeowner content is free. We may earn a commission when you click links through our site. Advertiser Disclosure
Netgear CM1200 Review

Nighthawk CM1200 is the latest addition to the CM series of Netgear modems. What upgrades does it bring from its predecessors? How does it compete with other Gigabit-capable modems in the market?

It makes sense to save time and effort by replacing the modem you’ve rented from the internet service provider. But then, CM1200 is an expensive device, so it’s important to understand its capabilities before investing in it. Here we go:

Netgear CM1200 Specs

TechnologyDOCSIS 3.1
Backward CompatibilityYes (DOCSIS 3.0 Fallback)
Downstream Upstream Channels32 x 8
Ports4 x Gig Ethernet
Phone JackNo
Modem Router ComboNo
Supported Internet PlansUp to 1000 Mbps
Compatible ISPsComcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Optimum, Sparklight, Mediacom, and WOW Internet.
IPv6 SupportYes
ProcessorBroadcom MCM3390
NAND Storage128 MB
Dimensions6.1 x 3.4 x 10.3 inches
Weight1.22 pounds

Netgear CM1200 Review: 1 Month Later!

In the coming sections, I shall touch upon every important trait I could test while using the CM1200 as my primary setup for one month. Just so you’re aware, I’ve also compared it with CM1100 to see what differences and upgrades were made.

Let’s begin without any further ado!

Netgear CM1200 Speed

Although CM1200 is compatible with all routers, the maximum throughput it can support is only 1000 Mbps, which can vary depending on the internet provider. This is disappointing, especially considering the price.

Nevertheless, it features DOCSIS 3.1 tech to offer higher uplink throughput for managing critical uploads. I tested it with the TP-Link Archer AX80 (a tri-band multi-gig router) on a Spectrum Gig Internet package. It offered close to gigabit speeds:

Netgear CM1200 Speed

At 20 feet from the internet equipment, my MacBook Air clocked 932 Mbps in download and over 34 Mbps in upload. Moving to the 40 feet distance, the respective speeds achieved were 652 Mbps and 24 Mbps.

With support for 2 x 2 OFDM/OFDMA channels, the speeds were quite stable, even during peak hours. Also, I realized that QoS feature works perfectly and prioritizes traffic well.

I could stream Netflix on my HiSense 55″ TV while three of my family members were browsing the web and social media. Additionally, many smart home gadgets operated simultaneously, but the internet didn’t dip even once.

Compatibility with Internet Providers

Netgear CM1200 is one of the few modems that work seamlessly with several players. Plus, DOCSIS 3.0 fallback with 32 x 8 channel bonding support makes it relevant even for mid-range internet plans.

Here is a list of ISPs & associated plans that are compatible with Netgear CM1200:

  • Charter Spectrum – Internet Gig (1 Gbps)
  • Cox Communications – Go Super Fast (1 Gbps)
  • Comcast Xfinity – Superfast (800 Mbps)
  • Optimum – 500 Mbps
  • Sparklight – Internet 500

Note: The CM1200 does not support voice services as it lacks a voice port.

Design & Ports

Netgear CM1200 Design

The Nighthawk CM1200 offers the typical design. Sporting a vertical meshed layout, it is one of the sleekest options, with dimensions measuring 6.1 x 3.4 x 10.3 inches.

Netgear brings plastic into the mix, hardened enough to withstand a few drops and bumps. It includes a triangular stand to lend solidarity to the modem, followed by ventilation vents on its sides that maximize heat dissipation.

Furthering the structural insights is the port arrangement.

Netgear CM1200 Ports

As shown in the image above, there are four Gig ethernet ports and a coaxial slot for feeding in the actual cable. So, CM1200 allows you to host several wired connections.

Furthermore, there’s support for Link Aggregation. This functionality allows the modem to reach multi-gig speeds using port aggression. However, for this to work, the ISP needs to assign two IPs in the first place.

Installation & Activation

Setting up Netgear CM1200 is slightly more complex than that of a router. It starts with connecting the cable modem to the wall outlet using a coaxial cable and waiting for the status lights to turn on.

Next, connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on the modem and the other end to the device or router you wish to connect.

Once the cables are securely connected, you will need to register/activate the modem with your internet service provider by logging in to the web portal using the provided credentials.

Processing Setup

The hardware internals affect the overall performance and stability. Netgear CM1200 addresses every hardware-specific requirement with a pretty reliable processing setup led by the standard Broadcom MCM3390 processor.

Coupled with 256 MB RAM, this modem can keep interference and network congestion out of the question. Plus, the throughput boost cannot be any more evident.

Frequently Asked Questions

How effective is the physical structure of the Netgear CM1200?

The meshed layout and the solid stand bolster the horizontal design exhibited by the CM1200. While the former helps keep the device cool, the stand ensures form stability.

Can I use the CM1200 without a router?

While using a modem with a compatible router for security concerns is always recommended, you can always connect the CM1200 directly with 3 to 4 smart devices like Smart TVs and Play Stations to maximize bandwidth availability.

Which is the best router to pair with this modem?

As the Netgear CM1200 is a cable modem, you want to get something as good as the TP-Link AX6600 to worm with it. This way, you will get maximized speeds and lower latency.

Final Thoughts!

Netgear CM1200 is a high-speed cable modem that works with several internet providers. It offers strong and stable connectivity, provided you have a good router and internet service. However, I feel it doesn’t justify its premium price.

Although Port Aggregation supports multi-gigabit speeds, it cannot be paired with multi-gig internet plans. Also, it only supports true 1 Gbps speeds from select service providers such as Cox and Spectrum.

Therefore, consider checking out its top alternatives: Motorola MB8611 and ARRIS SURFboard S33.

Netgear CM1200
Netgear CM1200
Check on Amazon