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ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 Review

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Next-Generation ARRIS Surfboard SB8200 Review

ARRIS SB8200 is the first modem in the SURFboard lineup. It is based on the newest technology DOCSIS 3.1 as provided by cable providers. This modem is best suited for performing tasks such as virtual reality gaming and 4K Ultra high definition video streaming. It is designed with two Gigabit Ethernet ports. ARRIS SB8200 is fully compatible with some of the top cable providers in US that include Comcast, Cox, etc.

As present-day modern homes demand speed, this modem is sufficient to power your entire home network as well as provide you with the fastest possible speeds and the most trusted connection on the Internet. By purchasing your own modem, you can save a lot on expenses incurred on paying rental fees to the internet service providers.

How will this product model benefit me?

ARRIS SB8200 is a high performance, fast speed and reliable modem that is designed to provide several advantages to its users. Some of them have been mentioned below as:

  • Capable of delivering quickest download speeds from cable providers
  • DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem is based on the latest and the most advanced technology that is currently offered by cable providers
  • This modem offers 32 download x 8 upload channels
  • It is ideal for Virtual Reality Gaming, 4K Ultra HD Video Streaming and Gigabit+ speed packages provided by cable providers
  • It comprises 2 one Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • It offers assistance for the two very popular Internet browsing standards such as IPv6 and IPv4

ARRIS SB8200 Review

ARRIS is considered as the leading cable modem manufacturer in the world. ARRIS SB8200 is fully compatible with top US cable Internet providers. To know more about this device, let us look into its features in detail.

Features

Design

Like its previous models ARRIS SB6183, SB6141, SB6190, the latest SB8200 model shares pretty much same design. Here also you will find the same white colored plastic case that is covered with a matte finish. The case provides an impression of two separate pieces, the external part wraps around a small rectangular section, thereby forming a series of ventilation holes. Overall this modem provides a simple design that features white or black colored rectangles with blinking lights.

The placement of light indicators and ports is also simplified. At the back side, you will find two Ethernet ports, coax cable connector, reset button, and a power port. In the front side, you will see 4 LED indicators. These indicators are vertically positioned from top to bottom. They are meant for power, receiving signal, sending signal, and an online indicator.  In the entire design of the modem, you will find several vents. All these vents aid in efficient air circulation and keeping this modem cool.

On the right-hand side of the model, you will see a recessed rectangular sized band that is positioned in the center with various special spaces. All these spaces assist in proper mounting of the modem on the wall. Though the modem is portable that allows you to put it in a closed case, it is advised to mount it on the wall so that it gets some space for air circulation. By wall mounting your device, you can avoid it from getting hot and experiencing any blockage of air vents too.

Ease of Use

Overall, the setup and use of this modem are very simple. You do not need any software to deal with it. Firmware updates are also applied by your chosen service provider. You will only need to register your modem with the internet provider. You can even call the ISP to register the modem over the phone.

Once your ARRIS SB8200 is registered and connected, you are done. You can easily create a wired connection and begin experiencing its speed and performance. If you wish to go wireless, then you will require a good performance router. Though router setup may need some work but it will also be easy.

Hardware

On unboxing the case, you will find a Broadcom BCM3390 chipset, 128MiB Spansion flash memory NAND, 3 GB of RAM, and 16 MiB Macronix SPI NAND flash memory. The SB8200 has remarkable capabilities to deal with downstream bonded channels to a maximum of 2 OFDM or 32 SCQAM and upstream bonded channels to a maximum of 2 OFDMA or 8 SCQAM.

DOCSIS 3.1 standard provides support to 5+ Gigabit download speed. The output obtained by the Gigabit ports is two Gbps combined. This is a clear sign that ARRIS SB8200 can provide up to two Gbps, but only via aggregation of link.

Compatibility and Performance

Though ARRIS SB8200 is a brand-new device, but it is fully compatible with the most recognized and reputable Internet Service Providers.  Prior to buying this cable modem, it is needed that you ensure that this device is fully compatible with your ISP. It is a good idea to check their website for a complete list of compatible modems. The SB8200 has inbuilt novelty features that are appropriate for the data plans that are offered by your ISP.

Setup

The process of installation of hardware is quite straight-forward and simple. It uses a coaxial cable that helps in making the connection of the cable wall outlet to the modem. An Ethernet cable help in connecting the SB8200 modem to a PC or router as well as the power adapter to charge the device. If you find that the activation process does not happen automatically, then you require to contact your ISP to activate the modem.

Later, you can even visit the web manager of cable modem by typing the IP address of the LAN (192.168.100.1) in a web browser. On doing this, you will see a status screen that displays the status of the startup procedure, the upstream and downstream bonded channels.

You can even access the information of product such as software information, hardware related information, standard specification compliant, version of software and hardware, the MAC address, the Up Time and the Serial Number), the Configuration, the Event Log, the Serial Number, the HFC MAC Address, and last but not the least the Help section.

Besides accessing the web-based facility offered by ARRIS, you can even acquire access to a “Spectrum Analyzer page”. This can be done by typing 192.168.100.1:8080 in the browser. You can insert the username and password to ensure that the port is fully opened and not congested by the router.

The Spectrum Analyzer is highly beneficial in identifying any sort of cable modem issues by showing a live status of the RF. It also permits the user to modify several different parameters such as adjustment of the span, frequency, amplitude, measurements and bandwidth.

Performance

Though the ARRIS SB8200 performs well, the result that you are going to get would depend on the number of hardware, and devices connected to it and other factors. Before you understand the performance of the device, it is essential to learn about the several factors that play a role in achieving the quickest download speeds possible.

  • The ARRIS SB8200 won’t do any good wirelessly if you do not possess a router to connect it. For a wireless connection, you need to have a router.
  • You need to learn about download speed for which you will be paying. If you are paying for a hundred Mbps, then you are not going to receive more than that.
  • Another factor to consider in your network is the number of devices present on the network. Each of the connected devices consumes a portion of bandwidth which reduces the actual speed that you are going to get from it. From laptops to gaming consoles to smartphones, the more devices you have connected, the slower your overall network will become.
  • Lastly, it is also essential to check that not all hardware will aid in receiving the quickest download speed. If you are having older hardware model on the network, then there are chances that you won’t get the same speed as new hardware.
  • Price is again a very important criterion to consider when making a buying decision. ARRIS SB8200 is fared very well. It also outperforms old DOCSIS 3.0 modem significantly.

Price or Value

The good news is that you can get it at a very reasonable price online. This price may look like a big investment, but it would be lessen than the overall cost that is charged to you by renting a modem. On buying this modem along with a decent quality router, you will definitely save a lot of money in the long run.

Specifications

Technical specification of ARRIS SB8200 is mentioned below:

  • This modem is presently approved for Comcast and Cox Cable. It is also compatible with a few other key Cable Providers in the U.S. It is not compatible with: AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and bundled voice services
  • Offers two Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • HD Multi-Media Streaming
  • High-Performance Online Gaming
  • Energy-Efficient Ethernet
  • No port for telephone connection
  • Two years of limited warranty
  • DOCSIS: 3.0 and 3.1, where DOCSIS 3.1 being an advanced technology based downstream x upstream channels 2×2
  • Broadcom BCM3390 Chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • Two Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • 32 download x 8 upload channels
  • Offers assistance for IPv6 and IPv4 Internet browsing standards
  • 4K UHD video streaming

Pros

ARRIS SB8200 comes with its own share of advantages and disadvantages. Some of them  being:

  • Small design
  • Easy to set up
  • Save paying a lot of money paid on modem rental from Comcast
  • Support Up to 10 Gbps speed
  • Two Ethernet Ports
  • Easy Installation
  • Future-Proof

Cons

  • Slightly boring design
  • Expensive
  • Has a few features that can’t be used at present
  • Does not have any inbuilt wireless capabilities. You would need a wireless router to properly connect it to the modem.

FAQ

To aid users in operating ARRIS SB8200, this sample questionnaire will surely help in solving their queries.

How to use the 2 Ethernet ports on the back side of SB8200 cable modem?

The SB8200 cable modem comes with 2 Gigabit Ethernet that supports (10/100/1000) ports located on the back panel of it.  For a characteristic setup with a single computer, you need to make a connection between the Ethernet port on the computer and Ethernet port 1 located on the back side of the SB8200 cable modem via Ethernet cable. This will allow smooth and uninterrupted access to the Internet.

When there are several client devices present in the home network, then ARRIS advises connecting the client device to a “Wi-Fi router” to offer web access. With SB8200 cable modem, you can even connect two devices. However, the cable service provider should offer Internet IP address to each and every device for web access.

Final Verdict

The SB8200 is going to give you the best performance with a good quality router paired with it. If you are looking for Gigabit internet, then this modem along with a good router would be an excellent investment. If you slower speed like 100Mbps or lower work well, then you may find DOCSIS 3.0 perfect for your needs.

ARRIS SB8200 is one of the high performances and well-built devices that has earned customers’ trust. The great internal hardware built into the system supports the entirely new DOCSIS 3.1 standard. It assures its users of a fabulous speed and performance in the later years.

Please state whether you would recommend this product and why?

As DOCSIS 3.1 is being implemented by top internet service providers. To take benefit of the 2 ports, you need to use “link aggregation”. If you do not have an adequate access to Gigabit plans, then SB8200 can even overkill. In such a scenario, it is advised to look for cheaper alternatives present in the market. It is a little bit expensive that makes it appropriate for tech enthusiasts than for an average user.

SB8200 is a good device that is most secured future-proofed cable modems present on the market currently. I will have to give 4 stars to this product. SB8200 is better as compared to its previous versions, as it does not suffer from any latency-bug. If you wish to achieve higher download or upload speeds, then SB8200 will be the most relevant long-term choice for you.

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