Despite the work-from-home culture pushing networking devices’ sales upwards, a fastidious user in you might still be spoilt for choices when it comes to selecting a cable modem ally between the ARRIS SB8200 and the Motorola MB8600.
Regardless of the brand value, each is powerful, laden with the latest networking traits, and certainly good enough to stand tall in comparison with the other. But then, if you still cannot make a pick, continue reading.
ARRIS SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600: Comparison Chart
If you know a lot about the modem specs, then this quick comparison chart can be helpful.
|Traits||Arris SB8200||Motorola MB8600||Winner|
|DOCSIS Tech||DOCSIS 3.1||DOCSIS 3.1||Draw|
|Channels||32 x 8 / 2 x 2||32 x 8 / 2 x 2||Draw|
|Speeds||Up to 2Gbps||Up to 1Gbps||Arris SB8200|
|Ports||2 GigE||1 GigE||Arris SB8200|
|Compatible ISPs||Cox, Xfinity, RCN,|
WOW!, Midco, Sparklight,
|Cox, Xfinity, WOW!, |
Midco, Sparklight, CableOne.
|Dimensions||5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches||7.88 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches||Arris SB8200|
|Price (Value for Money)||$144||$160||Arris SB8200|
The Key Differences
Ports: While both these modems offer limited ports, Arris SB8200 takes the cake with 2-GigE slots, as opposed to a 1-GigE slot on the MB8600. Hence, the SB8200 allows you to pair two bandwidth-intensive gadgets as wired ports offer better speeds than wireless connections.
Wired Throughput: Despite both the modems supporting link aggregation, the SB8200 takes wired throughput to the next level by offering speeds of up to 2 Gbps, provided you make use of the 2 ports and collaboratively aggregate the same.
Data Rate: The SB8200 excels when networking speeds are concerned. Provided you have an accommodative ISP and a barrage of internet protocols to rely on, the SB8200 allows you to reach maximum router-feeding speeds of up to 2Gbps as compared to 1Gbps, exhibited by the MB8600.
Design: Although standalone modems usually exhibit vertical cases, the Arris SB8200 feels slimmer than usual and even ensures better heat dissipation, despite handling diverse traffic surges.
Gaming Performance: If you are invested in gaming, the Motorola MB8600 seems like a better choice, courtesy of the AQM support for further lowering the network latency.
RAM: This is where the Arris SB8200 scales beyond most of the other modems in the retail space, with 3GB RAM. A higher chunk of RAM guarantees better modem performance, making it more suitable for UHD streaming and easily handling multiple networking streams.
Overload Protection: If you stay in a locality where power surges are common, the MB8600 is a better modem to purchase courtesy of the circuit-protection support.
LEDs: The MB8600 comes with a bigger array of LEDs, with the front panel accommodating an additional LAN-specific LED, which seems to be missing on the SB8200. Plus, the rear panel comes with 8 LEDs i.e. two for each LAN port, exhibiting connection speeds and data flow.
Similarities Between ARRIS SB8200 and Motorola MB8600
- Both are among the most efficient DOCSIS 3.1 modems.
- DOCSIS 3.0 fallback is supported for standard internet services
- Each modem supports 2×2 OFDM/OFDMA channel bonding in case DOCSIS 3.1 speeds are sought after
- Full band tuning for improved energy efficiency and speeds
- Easy to configure interface
- Comparable flash memory for storing network details
- IPV6 support
- Broadcom chipsets for quick processing
- Comparable pricing
Design & Port Setup
Besides the key differences and resemblances, there are certain aspects that require further detailing. As you would be keeping the modem close to your workstation, the design is one of the major concerns. The Arris SB8200 comes in white with the modem dimensions reading 5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches.
Also, the SB8200 weighs a mere 2 pounds, which is quite acceptable, considering the excellent ventilation on display. Next in line is the Motorola MB8600, which might be a tad spread-out at 7.88 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches but weighs less than the SB8200 at 1.15 pounds. Contradictory, isn’t it.
Not exactly, as the black-colored chassis doesn’t exhibit hardened plastic and can be occasionally considered malleable. Port setup is quite straightforward, with Arris offering 2 GigE slots, a power button, and a slot for the coaxial cable.
While most of the rear-panel enhancements pertaining to the vertical layouts are similar for both the modems, however SB8200 outpaces the MB8600 with an additional Ethernet port.
Speed & Compatibility
Regarding data rates, the Arris SB8200 covers you for maximum ISP-provided speeds of up to 2Gbps. While a multi-gig plan internet plan is hard to find, unless you are planning to go with Xfinity, WOW, and a handful of other service providers, the SB8200 manages to hold its own if you choose plans offering higher data rates.
The MB8600 satisfies expectations and offers maximum speeds of up to 1Gbps. While the internal circuitry is to be praised, only one GigE port restricts the modem from assuming higher speeds.
Coming to compatibility, these modems pair well with leading ISPs like Comcast, Cox, Xfinity, and more, thereby putting one at loggerheads with the other!
Who Should Go with ARRIS SB8200?
Investing in the Arris SB8200 makes sense if you prefer:
- Multi-ISP and router compatibility
- Fast streaming performances
- Coverage for multi-gig internet plans
- IoT setups
- Home automation support
Who Should Go with Motorola MB8600?
This modem is a better bet if you are driven by the following:
- AQM support for high-speed gaming
- Multi-device streaming at home
- Setting up a larger network
- Competitive Pricing
- Usage in areas prone to voltage fluctuations and power outages
Now that I have compared two of the best modems in the retail space, I feel there isn’t a lot to choose between the two in terms of networking efficiency, usefulness, and specific pricing. While both these devices are future-proof, courtesy of the DOCSIS 3.1 support, the 32×8 channel bonding for DOCSIS 3.0 makes them household names.
Despite the networking similarities, I chose to dig deeper, only to chalk out the vital differences and existing similarities between the two modems, i.e. the Arris SB8200 and the Motorola MB8600.
During this detailed comparison, I tested each modem as my go-to networking ally for a week, only to assess the wired throughput, processing performances, actual speeds, router compatibility, and ease of usage.
While I was impressed by both the modems, I liked the Arris SB8200 a bit more, owing to the bigger chunk of RAM, 2 Gig-E slots, and its ability to easily handle multiple demanding networking tasks. However, this doesn’t take away the gaming prowess, massive speed capping, and additional indicative LEDs featured by the MB8600.
Overall, as a user, the final choice of modem depends on your preferences, pet peeves, and targeted professional requirements.
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