Arris SurfBoard SB8200 Review (DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem)

When you make the decision to purchase your own modem, you’re not only powering your small office or home network with the latest technology- you’re also saving a great deal of money on modem rental fees!

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem is currently one of the most popular cable modems in the market right now- and it’s all for the right reasons.

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. DOCSIS is the newest technology that is currently being offered by many cable providers.

DOCSIS technology has been massively adopted by cable providers as it enables fast, reliable, and highly efficient internet speeds.

The modem has 32 downloads and 8 upload channels, making it the perfect cable modem for Gigabit speed internet plans.

Additionally, it’s designed to handle 4K Ultra-HD video streaming as well as Virtual Reality gaming with great ease.

The SurfBoard SB8200 is without a doubt one of the best investments you’ll ever make for your home or small office network.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive and unbiased review of the Arris SurfBoard SB8200 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem.

Arris SurfBoard SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Review

1.    Design

Usually, most cable modems don’t have a fancy design. Most of them are often white or black or a mixture of both with binky lights. Plus they are always rectangular.

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 modem is no different. If you look closely, the SB8200 cable modem dons a white plastic casing that is covered by a matte finish.

The SB8200 looks no different from the previous modem releases by Arris.

For example, if you take a close look at their last three releases- the SB6141, SB6183, and the SB6190, they are no different from the SB8200.

This is a clear indicator that Arris just wants to stick with the current design, which we can say looks really good and is very distinct.

The modem’s casing gives the impression of two different pieces. There is an external part of the casing that seems to wrap around a smaller rectangular piece. The two distinct pieces leave two narrow canals-in between several ventilation holes.

We’ve figured that the reason for this design with narrow canals in between ventilation holes is to prevent overheating.

Overheating has always been a huge problem with cable modems and although this does not entirely affect its performance, its performance could over time reduce.

However, with the ventilation holes in the SB8200 cable modem, this reduces the chances of overheating, which is a good thing.

The back of this modem is characterized by a fairly colorful background. There are two Ethernet ports alongside two LED indicator lights.

The green light indicates that there is a GigE data connection while the amber light indicates that there is a 10/100Mbps data connection.

The front of the modem features four LED lights that indicate the status of the Power, Receive, Send, and Online.

The Power LED light indicates that the modem is on.

If the Receive light shows green, then this is an indicator that there is a high-speed internet connection that is using the DOCSIS 3.0 channels.

If the light is blue, then it’s a clear indicator that it's using bonded DOCSIS 3.0 channels.

There is a Send light that indicates green when using DOCSIS 3.0 channels and blue if using DOCSIS 3.1 channels.

And finally, the modem has an Online LED light that turns green when it’s connected to the internet.

Although the LED lights in this cable modem are significantly less intense, the device is still vibrant especially with its beautiful and colorful background in addition to its distinct design.

As stated earlier, the Arris SB8200 cable modem comes with two Ethernet ports that are located at the backside of the device.

A cable modem with two Ethernet ports is quite rare. The main reason for including two Ethernet ports is to allow the connection of two devices at the same time.

In this case, the ISP must provide a new IP address for the second device.

Unfortunately, the Arris Surfboard SB8200 DOCSIS modem does not have a built-in WiFi capability.

You’ll need to purchase a separate router to be able to create a wireless home or office network.

However, it’s important to note that the Arris Surfboard SB8200 uses link aggregation, so be sure to choose a router that supports this functionality.

The modem itself is quite big compared to regular modems. It measures 5.13 x 1.75 x 5.25 inches and weighs 2.41 pounds.

Overall, the SB200 cable modem has a simple yet aesthetically appealing design.

Coupled with the fact that the modem is designed with maximum ventilation to help it stay cool, we applaud Arris’s innovative design.

2.    Performance and Compatibility

The Arris SB8200 is the first DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem in the SurfBoard lineup. As stated earlier, DOCSIS 3.1 is a relatively new technology that is currently being offered by cable providers.

With the DOCSIS 3.1 technology, the Arris SB200 cable modem has become one of the best cable modems with the fastest, most reliable, and highly efficient internet speeds.

The Arris SB200 modem is perfectly capable of offering lightning internet speeds of up to 2Gbps.

This makes it ideal for things like 4K Ultra-HD Video Streaming and Virtual Reality Gaming.

The modem’s 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports allow for the connectivity of two devices at the same time.

However, the second Ethernet port may need to be activated by an operator as an addition to your internet service. You can get in touch with your internet service provider for more information.

As far as compatibility is concerned, the Arris Surfboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem is compatible with major US cable providers like Comcast, Cox, and many others.

The modem is however incompatible with AT&T, Verizon, or CenturyLink. It’s also not compatible with bundled voice services, not to mention that it does not have a telephone port.

As far as the speed performance is concerned, the Arris Surfboard SB8200 offers super fast and reliable internet speeds.

It’s capable of providing the fastest internet speeds- up to 10 Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream DOCSIS download speeds.

This makes the modem ideal for streaming 4K HD Videos and for Virtual Reality Gaming. No lagging whatsoever.

However, in most cases, the actual cable operator network speeds may vary and will be a little bit less compared to the calculated maximum possible speeds.

This is often due to various factors like your network traffic, available network capacity, available network capability, as well as the services offered by your cable provider.

If you’re experiencing slow internet speeds, for example, your network is probably unable to handle the available network capacity, therefore overloading your network traffic.

And while the Arris SurfBoard SB8200 cable modem supports DOCSIS 3.1 and is backward compatible with the DOCSIS 3.0, you should know that it does not support the maximum possible DOCSIS 3.1 speeds.

The Arris cable modem also provides 32 download and 8 upload channels. Additionally, the device supports IPv4 and IPv6 internet browsing standards.

As we’ve discussed earlier, the actual network speeds may be affected by factors such as the available network capacity and capability.

Therefore, the more devices you have, the slower your network can become.

Technically, a higher number of devices consume a high amount of bandwidth, thereby overwhelming your network capacity.

Still, on the speed, you should also know that older hardware on your network may deliver slower speeds compared to newer hardware.

So if you’re experiencing slower speeds, you may want to look into the hardware of the devices connected to your home or small office network.

Perhaps the only drawback with the Arris cable modem is the fact that it does not have any built-in WiFi capability.

This means that you’ll have to purchase a separate router. The modem uses Link Aggregation, so you need to ensure that the router you purchase supports this function.

Overall, the performance of the Arris Surfboard DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit cable modem is top-notch.

It’s one of the most popular cable modems right now, thanks to its lightning-fast and reliable internet speeds. 

3.    Hardware

The Arris SB8200 cable modem is equipped with a Broadcom BCM3390 chipset.

It also has a 3gb ram, a 16MiB Macronix MX25L12805D SPI NAND flash memory, as well as a 128MiB S34ML01G200TFV00 Spansion, flash memory NAND.

4.    Set Up-Quick and Easy

The Arris Surfboard cable modem is very easy and quick to set up. It only requires you to make a few cable connections and a quick activation on your ISP’s portal and your home or small office network will be up and running almost immediately.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to set up the Arris SB8200 cable modem;

1.

Connect the Cables

Use the included coaxial cable to connect the modem to the cable wall outlet.

Next, use an Ethernet cable to connect the Arris SB8200 modem to a computer or a router.

And of course, connect the power adapter to the modem to power it up.

2.

Activation through ISP

Next, go to your Internet Service Provider’s self-activation web portal and complete the activation process. In case the activation fails, you can get in touch with your ISP who will help you complete the activation process.

3.

Connect to a WiFi Router

Next, you’ll need to connect the modem to a Wifi router to set up each one of your devices within your home or office network.

Like we discussed earlier, you’ll have to purchase a separate router to connect multiple devices wirelessly.

Since you’ve already connected the modem to your router, you’ll now be able to set up devices within the network.

Arris SB8200 Comparison with Netgear CM1000

We cannot conclude this review without comparing the Arris SB8200 cable modem with another well-known cable modem, the NetGear CM1000.

In this section, we are going to take a look at the major differences between Arris SB8200 and Netgear CM1000.

Arris SB8200 vs Netgear CM100 Cable Modem

Design

The Netgear CM1000 retains much of its predecessor’s design features.
However, this new model features a few key improvements that set it apart from its predecessors.
For example, the CM1000 features a polyhedron-shaped case, has slightly curved edges, and is covered by a black matte finish. Arris on the other hand has a similar design as the three older models.

It features a white plastic case that is covered by a matte finish. Both models have taken the issue of overheating very seriously. The Netgear is completely covered with small triangular cut-outs.

Arris has also ensured maximum airflow to prevent the device from overheating as it also features small cut-outs which keep the device cool, even during prolonged use.

As far as the size is concerned, the Netgear CM1000 is notably bigger compared to the Arris SB8200. Both devices are lightweight though.

Although both modems have all the necessary ports, LED indicators, and good heat management, the Arris comes with a second Ethernet port which increases the possibility of enjoying lighting fast speeds from your ISP. 

Compatibility and Performance

Both the Netgear CM1000 and Arris SB8200 cable modems are compatible with Comcast (using the Xfinity Service), Cox, and other major US cable providers.

Both modems also use the new powerful DOCSIS 3.1 technology which guarantees highly efficient, fast, and reliable internet speeds.

So in terms of speed, both devices do deliver exceptional performance.

Another notable similarity is the fact that both Netgear and Arris do not have built-in WiFi capability.

You will, therefore, need a separate router to set up and connect your home/office Wifi devices to the internet.

Ease of Set Up and Use

The hardware installation of both the Arris SB200 and NetGear CM1000 is quite simple and straightforward.

In both cases, it requires the attachment of the Coaxial cable from the wall outlet directly to the modem, attaching the Ethernet cable for connecting the modem to a PC, and then attaching the modem’s power adapter to a power outlet.

There is also the self-activation process where you’re supposed to activate the modem to begin using it.

If using Comcast Xfinity, the activation is usually done automatically for both models. If activation is still required, you can easily do it through your ISP’s self-activation portal.

Both modems offer a web-based utility that allows you to view in real-time the status of your internet connection.

The web utility also allows you to make any modifications to the modem.

To access the web utility of both the Arris SB8200 and the Netgear CM1000, simply type https://192.168.100.1 onto your favorite browser. Both modems use a similar default login IP address.

Simply login and configure the settings as you wish. Please bear in mind that each one of these modems has its own set of options.

The Arris’s web interface is a little bit different from the NetGear one since it includes a Spectrum Analyzer.

The Spectrum Analyzer is a crucial tool that helps you identify any possible issues with the modem.

Overall, both cable modems are easy to set up and activate. However, because the Arris offers access to the Spectrum Analyzer, it does take the win in this round.

Price

Both modems are sold at reasonable prices. Netgear CM1000 in particular is available at different prices depending on the maximum download speeds you choose.

The Netgear CM1000 modem with maximum download speeds of up to 1000Mbps goes for around $219 on Amazon at the time of writing this.

Arris SB8200 is much less cheap at $169 at the time of writing this.

The Arris SB8200 cable modem is cheaper compared to the Netgear CM1000.

But then, Netgear does offer many pricing options with different download speeds.

So you get to select a modem that best suits your speed and performance needs.

Arris SurfBoard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem Review-Bottom Line

The Arris Surfboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem is without a doubt one of the most powerful cable modems in the market right now.

This is all thanks to the integration of the newest and highly advanced technology, the DOCSIS 3.1 technology that delivers the fastest and most reliable internet speeds.

This makes it perfect for uninterrupted 4K Ultra-HD video streaming, gaming, and other bandwidth-consuming tasks.

The modem is also fully compatible with most major US cable providers, so chances are that it’s compatible with your current provider.

If you want to connect more than one device, you’ll need to purchase a WiFi router separately. The modem does not feature a built-in Wifi capability.

Once you set up your router and connect it to the modem, you’ll be able to connect multiple devices and enjoy blazing fast speeds.

The set up is easy and hassle-free as all that is required is a few simple cable connections and a quick visit to your ISP’s self-activation page to get it up and running.

Overall, the Arris SurfBoard SB8200 cable modem offers exceptional performance as far as internet speeds are concerned. Not many cable modems can match up to their standards!

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