Arris SBG8300 is one of the best-rated gigabit modem/router combos available in the market. It is a highly reliable, fast, and stable internet equipment and is also highly compatible with majority of the cable internet providers in the US.
Are you planning to get hold of an all-inclusive internet and wireless setup for your home or office setup without having to purchase a modem, router, and extender separately. In that case, it is time to get the Arris SURFboard SBG8300, a gadget that services as a DOCSIS 3.1 modem whilst doubling down as a potent router.
- 32x8 channels pertaining to DOCSIS 3.0
- 2x2 OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 downstream and upstream channels
- 4 Gig Ethernet slots
- AC Wi-Fi Router
- Best for internet plans above the 1gbps mark
- Separate antenna configuration for 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz wireless bands
- IPV6 compatible
- Comes with built-in security specs
- Easy installation
- The speed limit for up to 10gbps for downstream modem usage
- Compatible with in-house Alexa setup
- A decent set of front panel LEDs
- Doesn’t into USB ports
- Limited support for customization
- Router lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
After using the SBG8300 for 11 weeks, I’m here with an in-depth review to help you decide if it’s worth the premium price. But before I begin with the post, I’d like you to know that it’s a gigabit modem/router combo so only get this if you are already having a gigabit service package or are planning to get one.
- The Review
- Where To Purchase It?
- Arris SBG8300 Alternatives
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
It is strictly a cable modem offering gigabit connectivity support. You don’t have to purchase a standalone router as the gadget also doubles down as a standard Wi-Fi router with an equivalent speed limit of 2350mbps.
In this detailed review, I shall take every aspect of the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 into account whilst coming up with inferences supporting or opposing the adoption of this modem-router combo, based on the internet service package, highest speeds offered by the ISP, and the willingness to future-proof the setup.
Design & Build
The upright layout of the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is worth applauding as it doesn’t sit through like a usual, horizontally-aligned device.
While the gadget weighs slightly north of the 3-pound mark, the overall design is strictly conventional yet eye-pleasing. Starting with the rear, the color labeling strictly adheres to the port arrangement, with yellow showcasing Ethernet slots encapsulated within a reddish space. Besides, it also has a separate section for the coaxial cable and a dedicated power port.
In case you are concerned about the lights or LEDs, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 offers two separate indicators. Each of these LEDs showcases the functioning of the Arris SBG8300. They also showcase the strength or persistence of the Wi-Fi signals, traffic availability, and more.
As far as the output slots are concerned, you get access to four dedicated Ethernet ports, each having a certain kind of gigabit capability. Therefore, if bandwidth is your concern, each of the available wired connections can be directly fed into the machine. However, the closeness of the ports happens to be an issue in case you are reliant on improved latency against the highest possible bandwidth on offer.
Therefore, this might just be the wrong device to purchase if streaming and gaming are your preferences. Besides, there are two additional and requisite slots to account for, rendering support to the coaxial cable connection and the power cable.
Before we start talking about the compatibility issues, it is important to gauge the possibilities and competences of the gadget.
However, it is not advisable to purchase this gadget if your ISP provides internet services via Fiber cables. Therefore, the likes of CenturyLink, ATT, Verizon, and other DSL ISPs are incompatible and do not sync at all with the Arris SURFboard SBG8300.
Then again, the maximum and supported ISP speeds vary depending on the hardware and architecture of the concerned network. For instance, COX internet service providers can keep up with this combo for 4gbps or speeds lower than that.
The same ballpark extends for the Xfinity service providers. On the other hand, Spectrum allows you to get maximum modem speeds of up to 1gbps, or slightly slower. Regardless of the usage, it is advisable to cross-check the ISP compatibility and the supported plans to confirm compatibility.
Hardware & Technology
When it comes to the associated technologies, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 boasts of a pretty extended palette, comprising of the following:
1. DOCSIS 3.1
Firstly, we shall be keeping the review and relevant explanation simple to ensure every individual understands the associated technologies. The SBG8300 is among the best-rated DOCSIS 3.1 modems.
The DOCSIS 3.1 technology is best attributed to the OFDM and OFDMA, 2×2 channels, which in turn ensure better traffic transmission whilst keeping attenuation, frequency fading, and other issues at bay which is a reasonable improvement over the previous DOCSIS 3.0.
The 2x196MHz OFDM channels also ensure backward compatibility, especially if you are in the market for a backward-compatible device. However, we shall be discussing the DOCSIS 3.0 compatibility, and channel spread later in the discussion.
When compared to the Netgear C7800, the backward compatibility is reliable and in line with the better speeds and channel width.
Besides, the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification or DOCSIS 3.1 standard allows your network to reach the highest possible speeds of up to 10gbps, provided the router, and the ISP is capable enough of handling the same.
Read our DOCSIS 3.0 vs 3.1 comparison if you’re interested in learning the differences between both the technologies.
2. Dual-Band Wireless Technology
Despite the highest possible speed limits supported by the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 modem, it is necessary to understand that the wireless network technology throttles the same to a maximum of 2350mbps. While the Wi-Fi AX (WiFi 6) technology is amiss, the dual-band technology takes care of the existing speeds.
Therefore, the router can automatically juggle between 3×3 or 4×4 band selections to automatically offer the best speeds over the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
When compared to the Netgear C7800 that features 4 dedicated antennas regardless of the band, Arris SBG8300 allows you to use the 3×3 or 4×4 antenna arrays, based on the requirements.
3. MU-MIMO Technology
As far as antenna technology is concerned, it is the MU-MIMO that comes under consideration. This technology empowers the gadget to use multiple data streams, 3×3 or 4×4, in the case of the Arris SURFboard SBG8300. Paired with Wi-Fi AC, this technology allows the combo gadget to connect multiple devices at once, especially when high-density internet networks are concerned.
4. OFDM and OFDMA
These adequately comparable technologies allow the device to access beefed-up carriers, based on the time domain and even frequency domain in case of the latter or the OFDMA technology. Put simply, these DOCSIS 3.1 sub-premises ensure that modem-router combo can selectively check the best-in-class data carrier and transmit traffic, accordingly, in case there is some sort of network congestion for single carriers.
5. IPV6 Compatibility
The latest IP protocol associated with the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 comes with a host of benefits, including support for auto-configuration and improved multicast routing, if and when necessary. In case you are looking to make the best use of the QoS, IPV6 comes forth as a reliable resource. Despite being an inherent technology, IPV6 compatibility speeds up routing and ensures that the lack of NAT or Network Address Translation support in the absence of USB ports is never an issue.
6. Wave 2 technology
Here is a wireless addendum that takes 160MHz bandwidth into consideration, unlike the single band carriers, like 20MHz, 40MHz, and 80MHz, respectively. Wider channel ensures larger bandwidth, allowing the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 router to connect with several gadgets at once whilst encouraging better wireless performances.
As far as the processing conglomerate is concerned, Arris SURFboard SBG8300 involves multiple chipsets for handling modulation-demodulation and even the wireless routing to the best of its capabilities. The inclusion of the ATOM processor and ARM chipset ensures that the modem and even the integrated router manage to handle multiple processes with ease.
The powerful processor works alongside the DOCSIS 3.1 technology and allows you to stream 4K videos with precision, provided the ISP accommodates the same.
In case you have a VR ready computing resource in play, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 processor takes the jitters and lags out of the way. Most importantly, the processor and coprocessor ensure that connecting multiple devices is never an issue.
The DOCSIS 3.0 backward-compatible technology makes room for the Channel Bonding technology via the 32 x 8 downstream and upstream configuration.
The best thing about the channel bonding support is that the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 uses multiple packets to transmit internet traffic in the most harmonious manner without getting affected by congestion and latency.
The 32×8 channel bonding support across the DOCSIS 3.0 standard ensures that the modem always has multiple lanes for transmitting data packets. Clubbed with the MU-MIMO antenna support for the routing segment of the device, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 ensures the fastest possible connections with zero lags and interferences to account for.
When the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is concerned, 2 adjacent channels, downstream and upstream, work in cohesion to increase the overall throughput.
Most importantly, this technology also extends to the Ethernet connections as the single-port bandwidth can be deployed in unison to increase the available speeds, provided the ISP permits the same.
For speed-related issues, this gadget is capable of supporting up to 10gbps download speeds and 1gbps when upload speeds are concerned. Therefore, if you are considering connecting the computing device via the Ethernet ports, you can get speeds of up to 4gbps, provided the ISP has the technology to offer the same.
However, the router comes with dual-band Wi-Fi AC technology at the helm, allowing you to reach decent speeds for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
According to experts, the Wave 2 wireless standard supports close to 1900mbps for the 5GHz band under ideal circumstances. However, the available speeds are close to 700 to even 900mbps ballpark. The 2.4GHz allows you to reach speeds close to 200mbps, which helps you reach gigabit speeds even while taking attenuation into account.
When it comes to the router range, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is capable of covering almost 3000 sqft of open and enclosed space. Despite the highest possible range, it is the MU-MIMO wireless technology and followed by the Wave 2 compatibility that determines the functionality and quality of the connections.
Most importantly, the 3×3 antenna support for the range-independent 2.4GHz is an excellent addition as it works efficiently with the dual-band and concurrent wireless standard to be able to connect almost 45 devices at once.
While you might never be able to take complete advantage of the underlying technologies and the bandwidth-centric potential of this router due to the restricted ISP plans, it isn’t advisable to pair the same with an extender.
11. Modem Functionality
As a DOCSIS 3.1 compatible modem, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 features a host of additional resources, as compared to a DOCSIS 3.0 variant! As far as the throughput is concerned, the 4096QAM technology allows you to assume close to 1.86Gbps for each 192MHz channel.
Developed by CableLabs, the concept of DOCSIS 3.1 is precisely meant for future-proofing your home and office setup. Therefore, even though the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 doesn’t support fiber cable, the coaxial connection speeds are still worth it, considering the role of ISP.
However, if your internet service provider like COX has the Gigablast plan or other high-bandwidth packages to rely on, the DOCSIS 3.1 seems like a pretty good choice. Besides, this modem also uses the data spectrum wisely and efficiently while offering a wider transmission channel to send across additional data packets to combat congestion.
Moreover, if you do not want to use the router functionality, the 4 gigabit Ethernet ports can be directly connected to the device to make the most of the channel bonding technology. However, channel bonding works the best if you have connections from different ISPs to consider, as you cannot achieve speeds that a standalone ISP doesn’t guarantee.
12. Router Functionality
As a router, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is no pushover, despite the lack of full-fledged Wi-Fi AX support. The dual-band wireless connectivity ensures that you can very well reach real-time speeds of up to 1gbps. Moreover, you can either use the same gigabit Ethernet router or a standard wireless router with ideal speeds close to 2.30gbps.
Then again, it is necessary to get the device firmware updated to ensure that the modulating-demodulating and routing segments work just fine. The Wi-Fi range at close to 3000sqft is more than acceptable, but pillars do contribute to speed, and connection drops as reviewed by our experts,
In case you want to pair an extender, the device latches onto the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum, thereby lowering the speeds. Router functionality can be determined by the front-facing lights and LEDs.
13. Ease of Usage
This discussion concerns setting up the device, controlling the same using the dedicated SURFboard app, and even checking the vitality of the WPS or Wi-Fi protected setup switch associated with the same.
For starters, the first step involves powering the gadget and connecting the coaxial cable, as supplied by the concerned ISP. Once the connection is active, you can configure the existing wireless setting by logging on to the web-based platform. Once you have assigned the home network IP and other details, it becomes easier to initiate the process and access an unhindered internet connection.
Upon setting up seamless connections, it is necessary to rely on the SURFboard manager application to take it from there. The best thing about this application is that it specifically manages the wireless functionality of the routing segment of the gadget. The application offers parental control to the Arris SURFboard SBG8300, allowing you to monitor the connections as per accessibility.
Besides, the SURFboard application also comes with strength monitoring capabilities, allowing you to pinpoint the weakest and strongest connections with ease. This application allows you to pair Wi-Fi extenders if and when necessary. The dedicated app associated with the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 also offers complete hands-off control while allowing you to run diverse speed tests and connect with the ISP for rectification.
The application allows you to use a dedicated stream or Spectrum to connect with the home-bound Alexa network. In case you are connected to Alexa, you can instruct the digital assistant to reset the combo without impacting other gadgets in the same network. However, if you seek a higher degree of control, it is necessary to work on the PC and use the same in cohesion with the SURFboard application.
The desktop application also allows you to make complete use of the integrated security standards, starting with the WPS support. To gain access, you must enter the panel by feeding in the Username and Password, accessing the sub-menu link, and add-in a specific WPS security standard to manage the connections in a safer and more controlled fashion.
To start with, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is more of a future-proof gadget that relies heavily on the DOCSIS 3.1 functionality. While some might still argue about the relevance of this combo in 2020 when a majority of ISPs are barely offering speeds in excess of 1Gbps. However, the gadget still comes with a host of period-independent benefits, including:
- Excellent Wi-Fi download and upload speeds
- Easy, app-centric troubleshooting support
- Easy to understand user manual
- Excellent wireless range
- SURFboard application supports remote access
- Comes with integrated parent controls
- DOCSIS 3.1 technology has you covered for the next 5 years, at least
- An integrated combo that cuts down additional costs related to separate purchases
- Takes automatic firmware updates, if and when necessary
- Latest technologies that aren’t limited to DOCSIS 3.1 standards and include MU-MIMO, Wave 2 support, OFDMA, and more
- One of the easiest gadgets to set up
- Comes with IPV4 and IPV6 support
- Comes with auto-uplink support
- Four Gig Ethernet ports are more than sufficient
Despite the excellent feature set and reliable attributes, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 doesn’t come without its share of bottlenecks. These include:
- Not the best modern-day router for streaming 4K movies and games
- Isn’t compatible with some of the leading ISPs
- Few of our in-house reviewers experience connection drops, especially in the 2.4GH band
- Certain refurbished models encountered structural issues
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support, which might restrict higher speeds
- Costs aren’t justified in case the ISP doesn’t offer relevant speeds
- Lacks USB ports for doubling down as NAT modules
Where To Purchase It?
The Arris SURFboard SBG8300 was launched way back on the 21st of June, 2019, and since then, the company has ensured several options to facilitate seamless purchases. This cable modem-wireless router combo is up for grabs from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, eBay, and even reliable offline stores. However, most online stores offer decent discounts on the concerned gadget especially with the festive season around the corner.
However, before making the purchase, you should ensure whether the concerned retailer is offering every feature, as mentioned by the company. This includes the 2-year warranty on the product. Furthermore, you should also be on the lookout for the lowest prices and purchase accordingly.
Arris SBG8300 Alternatives
In case you aren’t on board with the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 and looking for alternatives that offer a similar set of benefits whilst eliminating a majority of bottlenecks, here are the options to consider:
1. Netgear c7800
- COMPATIBLE WITH ALL MAJOR CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast and COX. NOT compatible with Spectrum, Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and any bundled voice service
- SAVE MONTHLY RENTAL FEES: Model C7800 replaces your cable modem and WiFi router saving you up to $150/yr in equipment rental fees
- BUILT FOR ULTIMATE SPEED: Best for cable provider plans up to 2 Gigabits speed
- FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 3000 square feet wireless coverage and 45 devices connected with AC3200 speed (up to 3200 Mbps)
- VERSATILE CONNECTIONS: 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 hi speed USB 3.0 ports give you fast wired connections to your computer, printer, game box, storage drive, and other devices
The Netgear c7800 is a powerful and efficient modem-router combo, boasting of COX and Comcast compatibility. Much like the Arris SURFboard SBG8300, this combo also supports the DOCSIS 3.1, channel bonding, and OFDM technologies. As far as router speeds are concerned, the Netgear c7800 supports 3.2Gbps, which is at least 900Mbps higher as compared to the Arris variant.
Besides, there are two USB 3.0 ports to rely on, followed by 4 Ethernet ports. Not just that, the routing hardware comes equipped with Beamforming support.
2. Arris SB8200
- DOCSIS 3 1 Cable Modem best for cable internet speed plans up to 2 Gbps. Note, a 2nd IP address is required from your cable internet provider to reach 2 Gbps.
- 32 downstream x 8 upstream DOCSIS 3 0 bonded channels, 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM DOCSIS 3 1 channels
- Two 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports capable of link aggregation
- others Not compatible with ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink or other DSL or Fiber internet providers
- Cable internet service required Does not inlcude Wi-Fi and does not support cable digital voice service
In case you are looking at an alternative that supports a host of ISPs, including COX, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, and Time Warner, the SB8200 from Arris is a decent option to rely on. While there are only two Gig Ethernet ports to rely on, the link aggregation support makes up for the same. Besides, this is a modem, and you need to purchase a router separately. However, if you are into gaming, this is a better gadget to consider for lowering gaming ping and reducing interference.
3. Netgear Nighthawk CM1200
- Compatible with all major cable internet providers: Including certification by Xfinity by Comcast, COX, and Spectrum. NOT compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and any bundled voice service.
- Save monthly rental fees: Model CM1200 replaces your cable modem saving you up to dollar 168/yr in equipment rental fees.
- Built for ultimate speed: best for cable provider plans up to 2 gigabits speed.
- Works with any wifi router: Connect any WiFi router to this modem's Ethernet port to support all your wireless devices.
- Versatile connections: 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports give you fast wired connections to your computer, separate WiFi router, printer, game box, and other devices.
Here is another DOCSIS 3.1 alternative that is a modem with channel bonding support to rely on. This is a plug-and-play device with the company focusing on secured firmware and advanced security standards.
4. Nighthawk CAX80
- COMPATIBLE WITH MAJOR CABLE INTERNET PROVIDERS: Including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and more. NOT compatible with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, DSL providers, DirecTV, DISH and any bundled voice service
- BUILT FOR ULTIMATE SPEED: Best for cable provider plans up to 6Gbps
- FAST WIFI 6 PERFORMANCE: Up to 3,000 sq. ft. wireless coverage with dual-band WiFi 6 (AX6000) speed (up to 6Gbps)
- VERSATILE CONNECTIONS: One 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB 3.0 port give fast wired connections to your computer, printer, game box, storage drive, and other devices
- MODEM TECHNOLOGY: DOCSIS 3.1 and 32x8 channel bonding
The Nighthawk CAX80 is an advanced modem-router combo boasting of the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol. However, the Wi-Fi AX support steals the show, followed by the availability of the 2.5Gig+ port for the more enthusiastic gamers.
Frequently Asked Questions
The lack of USB ports restricts you from connecting external storage devices or peripherals like printers and more. Therefore, your only option would be to deploy the wireless connectivity for accessing the peripherals and legacy devices.
Any computing device flaunting the Windows 10, Windows 8, 8.1, or the Windows 7 SP1 can run the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 and allow you to access the router functionality via the desktop app. In case you are planning to use the same on a MacBook or Linux-powered computers, macOS Catalina or anything equal to or higher than the 10.4 is supported, followed by UNIX and LINUX platforms.
The Arris SURFboard SBG8300 comes equipped with two LEDs, i.e., the Blue LED and the Green LED. In case the Blue light is turned on, you can be sure that the power is connected. The steady green light indicates client availability but zero traffic, whereas the fast blink indicates active 5GHz or even dual-band with WPS turned on. Fast blue light blinking either means access to upstream channels and active router traffic deployment across the 2.4GHz band. Blue and Green status also reveals that the gadget is downloading firmware.
In conclusion, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is strictly a futuristic gadget for connectivity enthusiasts. As reviewed and tested by our experts, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 is compatible with several ISPs that support coaxial cable connectivity. Therefore, if you have an internet plan with promised speeds lower than 1Gbps, the Arris SURFboard SBG8300 might not be the best choice.
However, if your existing internet setup demands a well-deserved upgrade, this modem-router combo might just be the perfect gadget to consider, courtesy of the exceptional speeds, performances, channel bonding technology, and the proper segregation of the Ethernet ports.