Renting a cable modem from your service provider can be a costly affair. More so when you opt for Internet + Voice plans from ISPs like Comcast Xfinity. Being a frequent collaborator with Xfinity and other cable services gives Arris cable modems an advantage over others. If you’re looking for the best Xfinity modem with voice support, you must check this review of the Arris T25.
For users who rely on voice calling for their office, small business, or even home network, Arris T25 comes across as one of the few cable modems with telephone ports. It future-proofs your internet with Gigabit speeds. The upgrade to the latest Docsis technology allows it to support higher data speeds and seamless phone calling, courtesy of an improved Intel Puma 7 chip.
This comprehensive Arris T25 review will drill into the details that make it a strong competitor for high-speed internet and voice plans. But before looking into how the Arris T25 specs fares in its performance, the one factor that gives a unique advantage over its close competitors like Netgear CM1150v is the comfort of the SurfBoard Manager mobile app.
- Technology: DOCSIS 3.1
- Downstream/Upstream: 32 x 8
- Ports: 2 Ethernet + 2 Telephone Ports
- Suitable Service Package: Up to 1.2bps
- Compatible ISPs: Comcast Xfinity only
- Modem/Router Combo: No
Arris Surfboard T25 Review: Best Gigabit Telephony Modem?
Before I begin, let me tell you that I have thoroughly used this Arris voice modem for more than two months with a diverse set of internet activities. The Arris T25 modem was tagged up with the Extreme Pro+ plan from Xfinity to test its voice quality, download/upload speeds, bandwidth handling capabilities, overall consistency, and reliability.
1. Speeds & Throughput
Being one of the DOCSIS 3.1 modems improves its potential to support speeds of over 10Gbps. However, the absence of multi-gig ports limits its capacity to a maximum of 2Gbps. It has 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream stream channels that let the Surfboard T25 deliver the speeds at its disposal.
Arris T25 speeds were impressive, with the 940 Mbps plan of Xfinity. While using a wired PC via the Ethernet port, I could log over 640 Mbps download speeds during the non-peak hours. However, the upload speeds varied between 5-20 Mbps, contingent on the bandwidth usage. The impressive throughput can power larger homes with multiple devices running simultaneously.
2. ISP Compatibility & Plan suitability
It may sound strange, but this Arris cable modem with voice support can’t work with multiple service providers. That’s because it’s primarily designed to use with Comcast Xfinity. Although this Xfinity Arris modem can handle multi-gigabit speeds, it is an ideal choice for Xfinity’s fastest 1.2Gbps service package.
3. Design & Connectivity
The Arris Surfboard T25 review is incomplete without discussing its design aesthetics and how it fits into the household. A simplistic black plastic body comes with resourceful LED indicators lined up vertically on the front. The power port, coax-cable input, two telephony ports, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports find themselves on the device’s rear side.
The device weighs 2.1 pounds and measures 10.1 x 10.2 x 3.25 inches. ARRIS leaves the base broad enough to accommodate its weight and keep it stable. The rest of the body tapers into a narrow rectangular structure. You’ll hardly notice the Surfboard T25 heat up, thanks to the ventilation vents on both sides of the modem.
The minimalistic design of the Arris Surfboard T25 Docsis 3.1 gigabit cable modem looks pleasing to the eye, and intelligent aesthetics make it easier to blend into any household.
You’ll be able to use the telephone ports right away with an active voice subscription. The two gigabit Ethernet ports support Link Aggregation, which allows you to combine two separate internet connections. It translates into an extended capacity to be shared with the gadgets you share via the router.
4. Hardware & Technology
Previously, the Intel Puma 6 chipset had raised latency-related concerns in Reddit threads. It even led some models to be marked as bad cable modems. Rest assured, the new and improved Intel Puma 7 back the strength of its multi-core ARM & Atom-based processing to deliver an impressive performance.
In addition to the Arris T25 chipset, the modem puts together an adequate combination of 512MB of operating memory and 128MB of storage giving it the capacity to handle high-speed internet on multiple devices.
Tag it with a capable dual/tri-band WiFi router, you’ll be able to share your high-speed internet with smart TVs, gaming consoles, PCs, tablets, and a bunch of mobile phones within your household. Be it multiple instances of 4K streamings or high-graphic VR gaming activity and other smart gadgets operating in tandem, and the setup will breeze through it.
Complement it with Netgear Orbi or Eero Mesh systems if you’re in an automated home setup. The combination of Arris T25 and the mesh system will bring great capacity and coverage to large homes or office premises.
It would be a shame to miss out on the highlighted advantage of the telephony modem while reviewing the Arris T25, i.e.., its ease of setup and management. Whether it’s the Arris T25 setup or combining it with a Wi-Fi router, things don’t get any easier. Use the web interface or the Surfboard Manager mobile application to set up the device.
Your Xfinity Arris modem package will have the requisite power cord, an ethernet cable, and the Arris T25 manual in paper form. If you’re using cable TV, you might need a splitter or additional ethernet cables in case of any other wired devices like a gaming console or smart TV, etc.
Configure devices to your network, and set up passwords through your mobile application. The setup and access to information are easy and quick. Don’t miss out on this information if you are a novice user who finds it challenging to navigate networking setups.
|Arris T25 Manual||View / Download (PDF)|
Pros & Cons of Arris SURFBoard T25
- 32 x 8 Channels
- Docsis 3.1 Technology
- 2 x 2 OFDM Channels
- Surfboard Manager App
- Link Aggregation
- Compatible with Xfinity only
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the Arris Surfboard T25 DOCSIS 3.1 gigabit cable modem needs a router. It does not come with an inbuilt router. You can connect a wired device to the modem, but you’ll need a quality MU-MIMO compatible WiFi router to share the high-speed internet within the devices at home.
No, Arris T25 is not an End of Life or a discontinued product. The Intel Puma 7 chipset used in the Arris telephony modem for Comcast had a few issues during its initial release. Intel subsequently released a new firmware to fix the issues in collaboration with the service provider. Now, Xfinity lists T25 as one of its recommended devices.
No. Currently, the Arris T25 modem is only compatible with Comcast Xfinity internet and voice plans while being recommended for the gigabit speed plans.
Yes, if you want to get rid of the monthly equivalent rental fees. It makes more sense to own the Arris T25 modem if you’re in possession of a solid wireless router. It will also be a great device to future-proof your household for high-speed connections up to 1.2Gbps.
Don’t let the past issues of the Intel Puma 7 chipset downplay the value the T25 modem brings. The latest technology, access to high-speed internet, easy app-based setup & management, and voice telephony. The features and the savings of monthly rentals far exceed the value of the premium price paid upfront.
Arris Surfboard T25 Review $238.99
The Review Summary
ARRIS Surfboard T25 is a DOCSIS 3.1-powered cable modem that enables telephone connectivity.
With 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels, the gigabit modem with voice support offers excellent performance. Intel Puma 7 chipset powers the device, and it runs without any hiccups, unlike Puma 6 powered devices. Still, I’d not recommend it solely for gaming. Other than that, the Arris T25 specs readily deliver consistent speeds and throughput.
As for the speeds and ISP compatibility, I tested the Surfboard T25 with the Extreme Pro+ plan from Xfinity. I witnessed over 640 Mbps download speed and 5-20 Mbps upload speed, depending on the file size and destination server’s capacity. The only downside is that it doesn’t work with service providers other than Comcast Xfinity.
The T25 featured well-ventilated sides, and the rear panel boasts 2 x Telephone ports, 2 x Ethernet ports, and other legacy ports like cable and power jack. What makes it more interesting is the Link Aggregation support, followed by 2 x 2 OFDM channels. On top of that, it is easy to set up and manage, thanks to the Surfboard Manager mobile app.
- Speeds & Throughput: 4.4 / 5
- ISP Compatibility: 3 / 5
- Design & Looks: 4.5 / 5
- Price to Performance: 4.3 / 5