Arris Surfboard SB6141 Modem Review
Ryan Bloom / Oct 6th, 2015 No Comments
If you’re like most people, you pay a small monthly fee to your internet service provider to “rent” a modem. For many, this $5 or $10 monthly sum is a necessary evil in order to have internet access in their homes. However, your ISP will likely not tell you that you can drop this fee and improve your internet performance by purchasing a modem.
Available at around $89.99, the Arris Surfboard SB6141 is an affordable way to boost your internet setup at home. Heavy internet users may need to step up to a pricier model, but the Surfboard SB6141 is the perfect modem for most internet consumers.
Riding the Waves
The SB6141 is compatible with all cable internet providers, including Time Warner, Cox and Comcast. You will likely need to call your ISP to activate the modem before it can be used, but setup doesn’t require a technician. Simply screw in the cable wire, connect an Ethernet cable from your router, and plug in the modem. The Surfboard’s design makes this easy by only having these three connections in the back. It would be nice to have multiple Ethernet ports, but this can be solved by hardwiring devices through a router. Your cable router may have also served as a WiFi hub, but this modem will act as a gateway for your devices to access the web.
Available in white or black, the Surfboard modem features an unassuming design. Perforations on each side of the modem allow heat to escape, a solid design feature that positively impacts performance. Built with cheaper materials, the Surfboard doesn’t withstand the test of time in terms of aesthetics, but trying to hide it behind displays or desktop items could cause overheating or even affect internet speeds (if the router is also hidden).
Surfing the Web
It may not appear cutting edge and sleek, but the way the SB6141 performs makes up for what it lacks in looks. Arris advertises that the DOCSIS 3.0 modem can handle download speeds up to 343 Mbps. Most consumers are not able to obtain those speeds, but the Surfboard gets the most out of your internet capabilities.
During our testing, the modem consistently achieved download and upload speeds slightly faster than the selected tier from our ISP. Tools that read internet speeds showed that wireless internet was reaching speeds 1-3 Mbps faster than the cap of our ISPs. For instance, on 15 Mbps internet the modem was helping our internet reach speeds nearly 17 Mbps. This carried over to upload speeds.
There were no connection outages or lag issues even when wirelessly streaming HD movies and playing games online. This does not mean that you should expect an immediate boost in your internet service — factors such as your router also need to be taken into account — but the Surfboard SB6141 delivered blazing fast internet.
As modems and routers continue to evolve, the designs are getting much sleeker. The Arris Surfboard SB6141 isn’t following the trend, but that’s OK. What makes it a top-rated modem is its performance. When combined with a solid router, the SB6141 delivers reliable, high-speed internet. The high quality, affordable modem will have make you question why you ever paid modem rental fees in the first place.
The Arris Surfboard SB6141 was reviewed using a modem provided by Arris.
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