Cable Modem FAQs

Can I use a Zoom cable modem with my cable company’s Internet service?

Zoom cable modems are certified by the official testing authority used by cable services throughout the United States, CableLabs®. Some cable services also require additional testing to certify use for their services, and Zoom arranges for this testing as well.

Most cable modem services provide significant savings, typically $8 to $10 every month, for subscribers who purchase rather than rent a cable modem. Comcast®, Cox®, Time Warner Cable®, Bright House® and most other cable service providers offer a savings; but Mediacom®, Charter® and Cablevision® currently do not.

For more information about cable modem certifications, please click here.

Are Zoom cable modems compatible with the phone services provided by Comcast and Time Warner Cable?

Zoom cable modems and cable modem/routers do not have a phone interface and cannot be used with the telephone services from the cable companies. However, you can use equipment and service provided by Ooma®, Vonage®, magicJack® and other broadband phone services. Please see www.zoomtel.com/voice for more information.

What is a cable modem?

A cable modem is a device that connects your computer or other devices to the Internet over cable television (CATV) cables. Cable modems use special channels on these cables that are dedicated to Internet service. You need to arrange for Internet service from your cable service provider in order to connect to the Internet with your cable modem.

Cable modem Internet connections are always on. Whenever your computer is on, it will connect to the Internet instantly.

Cable modem Internet service can provide fast and reliable Internet connections for all contemporary needs, including streaming media such as TV shows, movies, videos and music, high intensity gaming, and large file transfers such as photos. Cable modem Internet service also facilitates fast navigation of complex websites, and near instantaneous delivery of email and other messaging services.

What are the benefits of using a Zoom cable modem?

Zoom cable modems are designed to provide reliable service at very high data rates, faster than the service speeds available in all but a very few areas of the US. In addition, Zoom’s cable modems that include WiFi® compatibility typically have high speeds and significant range, along with all of the advantages of a high-performance router. In addition, a Zoom cable modem/router/wireless combination saves desk space, simplifies setup, reduces cable clutter, and eliminates the points of failure created by wiring connections between separate devices.

Many cable service providers charge a monthly rental fee – typically adding up to about $100 or more per year – for cable modems that they provide to you. By purchasing and installing a Zoom cable modem, you can save this monthly rental fee. Over a relatively short period, you will likely save many times the cost of your Zoom cable modem.

What is the difference between different Zoom cable modems and cable modem/routers?

The main difference is whether a wireless-N router or a higher-speed wireless-AC router is included with the DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. Please click here for a comparison of the features in each Zoom product.

What is DOCSIS and how will it benefit me?

DOCSIS – Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification – is a cable modem standard developed by cable modem vendors and cable system operators. When cable operators began offering data over cable service many years ago, there were no standards in the industry. Cable services each required proprietary cable modems to work with their services. This created incompatibility issues.

The cable industry worked together to define a standard that would unify equipment specifications and allow interoperability of equipment across the United States. The governing body, which certifies cable modem vendors, is called Cable Television Laboratories or CableLabs. The DOCSIS standard and close derivatives have been adopted in other countries around the world.

Currently, CableLabs is certifying DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems. Zoom DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems are backwards-compatible with earlier DOCSIS revisions 2.0 and 1.1.

Can I watch TV while using a Zoom cable modem?

Yes. Cable modems use a separate "channel" for data. Of course, you can also use that data channel for Netflix and other TV services, some of which have a monthly service fee.

How do I log on to a cable Internet service provider?

You don't have to "log on." A great benefit offered in cable modems is the "always on" feature. Once the cable modem is turned on and registered with the cable service provider, you will enjoy an "always on" connection with no need to dial up or hang up. The cable modem should be left on and connected. It will be ready to serve your needs in an instant the next time you want to access the Internet.

Can I use a Zoom cable modem with my existing cable service?

Yes, for most service providers. Please see the discussion and list of cable service providers under the first FAQ entry above, Can I use a Zoom cable modem with my cable company’s Internet service?

Will my computer or device work with a Zoom cable modem?

Zoom cable modems will connect to any computer or device that has an Ethernet port, including computers running any version of Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Models 5363, 5360, 5354, and 5352 have a built-in wireless router for connection to any WIFi-compatible wireless devices such as televisions, tablets, e-readers, handhelds, and smartphones. Models 5345 and 5341J do not have built-in router functionality, but can connect to a router easily through their Ethernet ports.

What support does Zoom offer its cable modem customers?

Founded in 1977, Zoom has many years of experience supporting users who connect to the Internet. Our support begins with intuitive user manuals and includes experienced support specialists based in Boston.

Do I need cable TV to get High-Speed Internet Service?

No. Although there are usually discounts for customers who subscribe to both cable TV and High-Speed Internet Services, you are normally not required to purchase cable TV service to get High-speed Internet Services.

If my house isn't wired for cable, how do I get set up?

If your home hasn't been wired for cable TV or cable modem service, you will need to arrange this with your cable company when you sign up for service. A cable technician will wire your home as needed when he or she sets up your service. There may be an additional charge.

Is there a special connection for the cable modem?

No. The cable modem can connect to the same type of coaxial cable connector that’s used for cable TV. Sometimes a splitter is used, so that a TV and cable modem can connect at the same place.

For more information, please see "Can I install a Zoom cable modem myself?" below.

Can I install a Zoom cable modem myself?

Zoom’s cable modems come with clear instructions, and cable modem service often provides a useful starter kit that describes installation. You will connect the cable modem to a cable jack and to power via the cable modem’s power cube.

Can I have more than one computer connected to my cable modem?

Yes. Connect your cable modem to a router, and then connect your computers to the router. The standard way to connect your computers to the router is via Ethernet cables. If you use a wireless router, you may connect your computers to the router via their wireless interfaces. The Model 5352 and 5363 have a wireless router built-in, which saves space, improves reliability and reduces cord and wiring clutter.

Does my computer need to be in the same room as my TV?

No. Your computer can be located almost anywhere in your home.


The CL CABLELABS CERTIFIED and Design mark, and the terms “CableLabs Certified” or “Certified by CableLabs” are certification marks of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. and cannot be used without authorization of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.


© 2015 Zoom Telephonics, Inc.  All rights reserved.