Did you know that you can save quite a lot of money by buying your own cable modem instead of leasing one from your ISP? Also, if you are one of those thousands of people who keep blaming your ISP for the low internet speed, you may need a good quality, capable cable modem to improve this.
The Arris SURFboard cable modems improve your internet speed, data transfer rate and performance immensely. This series of modems are the ones preferred for both home and business networks.
One of the top picks from the series is the Arris SB6190. The SURFboard SB6190 delivers the most reliable connection and the fastest speeds to the internet. It is actually the first Gigabit+ cable modem released on the market.
The SB6190 can download content with a speed of up to an amazing 1.4 Gbps. This is sufficient for downloading a bunch of HD quality movies in under a minute.
It comes to no surprise that more than 130 million of SURFboard SB6190 modems have already been sold.
This powerful cable modem is approved by most major US cable internet providers including Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, Mediacom, Cox, and Suddenlink.
It requires an internet service and a recommended internet plan of 250 Mbps or more. The modem has 32 download along with 8 upload bonded channels which can download at speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps and 262 upload speeds.
Please note, that the Arris SB6190 is a cable modem only and doesn’t have a Wi-Fi router or a VOIP telephone adapter. The modem supports the latest internet standards including IPv4 and IPv6.
It uses a Gigabit Ethernet port for connection to the PC or the router.
The SURFboard SB6190 is compatible with just about all operating systems including Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 10, Macintosh 10.4 or higher as well as LINUX and UNIX.
Overall, this is the perfect modem to own if you enjoy a lot of gaming, Ultra HD movie, and video streaming or if there are multiple devices in the network which are downloading and uploading a lot of content at the same time.
Purchasing a modem like this is the best way to futureproof your network and internet connection.
Why choose an ARRIS SURFboard modem?
Ever since the first SURFboard modem was released back in 1997, this brand has become one of the leaders in the market. People have been buying them to save money from their monthly rental fees and to ensure the quickest download and upload and the most reliable internet cable connection at home or in the office.
ARRIS has a 60-year-old history which includes the invention of digital TV, and the introduction of the use of wireless internet via a cable modem gateway to homes in the US and around the world. It is one of the leading services which internet providers choose to use to connect the people on a global level to the World Wide Web.
The SURFboard cable modems made by Arris which include the predecessors of the SB6190 – SB6121, SB6141, and SB6183 have all been hugely successful and popular. Based on their success, today the SB6190 relies on the power of the DOCSIS 3.0 tech to combine up to 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels in order to provide people with advanced multimedia services which can reach a data rate of an unmatched 1.4 Gbps download and a 262 Mbps upload, depending on the specific internet provider they are using.
Such a speed allows for seamless streaming of HD and 4k Ultra HD video, gaming, VR gaming, downloading, shopping, peer-to-peer networking, top quality video and voice conferencing and working at a speed which is faster, more efficient and realistic than you have experienced ever before.
The main features of the ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 cable modem
The Arris SB6190 has been the top choice for the best fast, reliable and top quality modem for millions of people around the world. Not only is its design impressive, but its features are definitely remarkable, and some of them are still unsurpassed by other modems.
Here are some of the main specifications of this brilliant modem by Arris:
- It is the first consumer class Gigabit Cable modem introduced to the market
- It is based on the DOCSIS 3.0 technology
- It offers 32 upstream and 8 downstream modem channels
- The download speed can reach up to 1.4 Gbps for downloads and up to 262 Mbps for uploads
- Although this is a cable mode without Wi-Fi or VOIP it has a 1-Gigabit Ethernet port so you can connect it to your Wi-Fi router or PC
- It works with most US major cable internet service providers
- The modem supports the newest IPx4 and IPv6 standards
- It is sold with a 2-year limited warranty
- In the long run, it will cost you less than paying rent to your internet providers for a cable modem
- It works with all of the major operating systems including Macintosh 10.4 or higher, Windows 7 or higher, Linux and UNIX
- It is twice as fast than its hugely successful predecessor the SB6183
- It can handle internet speeds of 300-400 Mbps provided by the ISPs
- It supports all of the newest technologies and standards and thus is future proof
- It will allow multiple users on multiple devices on your network to stream 4k content, play games and make video and voice calls seamlessly and at the same time
- The upload high speed is essential if you have a smart home and all of your IoT devices need to upload data to the cloud constantly
The design of the SURFboard SB6190
Although the SB6190 is an updated and improved version of the previous models in the SURFboard series, its design is still very clean and simple. Its faceplate has a recessed border which makes it look pretty good. The cooling vents of the unit look like special visual effects rather than vents.
Overall, for years it has been obvious that Arris is an expert in designing perfect looking and working equipment, which is part of the reason why its products are always of such strong interest among the users and buyers.
The Arris SB6190 has four LED lights which indicate the power, network traffic as well as the internet access.
The cable modem may be compact in size but it is a piece of high performance, state-of-the-art equipment.
The SURFboard SB6190 has the following technical specifications:
- Up to 1.4 Gbps download speeds
- Uses DOCSIS 3.0 protocols and specifications
- Compatible with IPv4 and IPv6
- 32 download channels
- 8 upload channels
- Compatible with the most popular US cable provider
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- HD and 4k Ultra HD multimedia streaming capability
- High-performance gaming online including VR gaming
- Energy saving Ethernet
- Wired connectivity technology
- External form factor
- Features TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access)
- Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Data Link Protocol Ethernet
- Compliant with IEEE 802.3az, IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3ab standards
- Line coding in 128 QAM, 16 QAM, 32 QAM, 64 QAM, 8 QAM, QPSK
- Nominal voltage: AC 120/230V
- Compliant with FCC Part 15 Class B, UL 60950, RoHS, CB, WEEE, MoCA
- Operating temperature range from 21 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Operating humidity range from 5 to 95%
- 2 (W) x 5 (D) x 5 (H) inches in size
- 99 oz. in weight
- Service and support: 2-year limited warranty
Why are Channel bonding and DOCSIS so important?
If you are new to modems you may be wondering why these two terms keep coming up in this Arris SB6190 review.
So, here is a brief explanation regarding both of them.
Channel bonding is the process in which two or several channels are combined together for an increased network output and input. Just like a water pipe, if you connect several small ones, the water flow will increase several times.
DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It is a standard in modern telecommunications which is designed to allow high bandwidth transfer of data via cable TV systems.
DOCSIS 3.0 is the reason why the SURFboard SB6190 is able to bond the channels and reach up to 32 channels for downstream and 8 channels for uploading. Plus, DOCSIS 3.0 supports the latest UPv6.
DOCSIS 3.0 introduced a significant increase in both download and upload rates up to 1.2 Gbps for downloads and up to 200 Mbps for uploads. This was absolutely astounding when this new standard was first introduced in 2006.
But today, more than 10 years after it was first introduced, very few people and businesses can enjoy such speeds, mainly due to budget reasons as well as the inability of the internet service providers to support and deliver such fast rates.
Recently, a newer DOCSIS 3.1 was introduced which supports up to 10 Gbps download and 1-2 Gbps upload, as well as the DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex standard which allows for even higher transfer rates of 10 Gbps for download as well as upload rates. But rarely are there internet service providers who can supply you with such data transfer speeds which require Gigabit cable modems.
At the moment, the DOCSIS 3.0 standard is perfectly sufficient for just about any user – be it for personal needs or for work.
Even though the number of channels which can be bonded depends on your Internet service provider, your modem should also be capable to bond them.
So, if your ISP can provide you with the sufficient channels to bond, with the Arris SB6190 you could be able to get channels amounting to 32 for downloads and 8 for uploads, which is massive.
You should check with your internet service provider whether such a service is available and whether it can work with the SURFboard SB6190 modem before buying it.
Arris mobile apps
With a modem like the Arris SURFboard, you can manage your home network via an easy to use mobile app – the ARRIS SURFboard Manager App. You can monitor and manage the rules and availability and quality of your home or business network. With the ARRIS SecureInternet by McAfee app you can receive notifications if somebody is attempting to access your network too, and about any devices connected to it.
ARRIS is one of the leading suppliers of innovative connectivity solutions and is in close partnership with the world’s leading ISP and Enterprises which provide connectivity options.
The company has been operating for over 60 years and has become one of the most innovative players in the IP, broadband and video technologies on a global level.
In fact, Arris has been part of the history of the modern technological communications and was the first to propose, test and prototype an extended DOCSIS system, the first to introduce a wireless broadband gateway and an all-digital HDTV system, and has over 5,000 patents in the sphere.
Arris has been manufacturing cable modems and other top quality networking gear for quite a long time. It has been focusing on providing the best and most advanced solutions to its customers at the best price possible.
The SURFboard modems are an excellent example for this.
Are you choosing between the SB 6183 and the SB 6190?
These two modems from the same SURFboard series are pretty similar which is why many people are facing the dilemma which one to buy.
The fact is that although there are a lot of similarities between them, the SB6190 is nearly twice as fast as the SB6183.
Overall, the Arris SB6190 has 32 download channels while as the SB6183 has only 16, and the former has 8 upload channels while the latter has 4. This means that the SB6190 can reach a download speed of 1400 Mbps and an upload speed of 262 Mbps, while the SB6183 can download at 686 Mbps and upload at 131 Mbps tops.
The manufacturer recommends the SB6183 cable modem for HD video streaming and for intensive online gaming by several devices in a network simultaneously.
While as, Arris recommends the SB6190 for 4k Ultra HD streaming and gaming on multiple devices. Ultra HD has four times the resolution of HD and the speed for streaming such media files needs to be much higher and more reliable if you want a seamless viewing experience, especially if there are several of you on your network who are streaming, playing or conferencing at the same time.
So, if the people in your network are heavy internet users, and tend to download large files a lot, watch a lot of Ultra HD movies and videos, or play heavy online games simultaneously, you definitely could benefit from a modem like the Arris SB6190.
This modem is perfect for households where several people are streaming and watching ultra HD or high definition movies, shows and videos on several separate devices at the same time.
So, if your ISP can provide you with enough channels (32 download), the SB6190 is the one to pick. On the other hand, the older brother – the DB6183 is much less expensive and can satisfy the needs of an average household without the need of ultra-high data transfer speed on multiple devices and one which has an internet connection of less than 300 Mbps.
Things to keep in mind when you are buying a SURFboard SB6190 modem
It may sound like the perfect modem, and it is, but only in case all other conditions for its use are met. So, make sure you check out the following factors before purchasing one:
- Do you use cable internet service? The SB6190 is a cable modem and will not work with satellite, DSL or other technologies.
- Does your ISP support this modem? Please, check with your Internet Service Provider or with Arris whether the SB6190 is supported by them. Although it is supported by most of the major ISPs in the US, it is still isn’t supported by providers like AT&T, Verizon or CenturyLink.
- Does your ISP provide a sufficient number of channels? If your ISP doesn’t support as many channels as you need for your new modem to bond, you may want to switch to a new provider that does.
- Do you have a wireless router? Since the SB6190 doesn’t have a wireless router or a VOIP telephone, you need to have your own wireless router to connect it to the SB6190 via its 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- You may need to contact your internet provider and tell them the MAC address of your new modem so that they can activate and enable the internet service.
How to install your SURFboard SB6190 modem
When you purchase your Arris SB6190 cable modem you will want to install it properly in order to start benefiting from the faster speed and the more download and upload channels it offers.
Hardware and software requirements for installing the Arris SB6190
First of all, make sure that your computer or laptop has all the system requirements for its installation.
You need a Pentium class or better processor, as well as all of the latest service packs installed on your Windows, Macintosh, Linux or UNIX system.
You also need to have a 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet adapter and the appropriate driver installed on the computer.
You need a 75-ohm coaxial cable with F-type connectors to connect the modem to the cable outlet.
Naturally, you will need to have an activated internet cable service by your ISP.
A step-by-step guide to the installation of the modem
Here are the steps to take when you ensure that your computer has all of the required software and hardware installed:
- Set the TCP/IP setting in network connections to “Obtain IP automatically” on your computer
- First, connect the coaxial cable to the TV cable wall outlet or splitter which is grounded before proceeding to plug it in your modem, and always unplug it from the wall first when disconnecting the modem to avoid potential shock
- Check the coaxial connector for any static charge before connecting it, and if there is refrain from doing so and contact your ISP
- Tighten the connectors by hand carefully so as not to damage them
- Plug in the power cord in the SB6190 power connector
- Plug in the power cord in an electrical outlet – this will turn the modem on
- Allow the SB6190 to search for and lock all of the necessary communication channels which can take from 5 to 30 minutes
- Connect the Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port of the modem and the other end to the Ethernet port of your computer
- When it is properly set up, the indicator Online LED light should be green
Note that the SURFboard 6190 is sold with an Ethernet cable, a power adapter and safety and regulatory information as well as the 2-year limited warranty for the modem.
Troubleshoot problems with the installation
- If the power LED indicator is off, check whether the power adapter is properly plugged in the modem and in the electrical outlet
- If the Receive LED light Is blinking – this means that the downstream receive channel cannot be acquired
- If the Send LED light is blinking then the upstream send channel cannot be acquired
- If the Online LED light is blinking – the online IP registration is unsuccessful
In case of one or more of these problems during the setup, you can try fixing it by shutting down the computer, unplugging the modem from the power outlet and waiting for a minute before plugging it back in and wait until all of the LED lights are solid. Then you can restart the computer.
If all this doesn’t work, you may want to perform a factory reset of the modem by entering http://192.168.100.1 in the address box of your preferred browser to access the modem’s settings, and choose Restore Factory Defaults from the Configuration link in the menu on the top.
Features to consider when buying a cable modem
If you have decided that you want to save money from renting a cable modem from your internet service provider are not too happy with the internet speed at home and want to buy a cable modem such as the Arris SB6190 or other, there are some features to consider.
First of all, cable modems connect to the residential cable line of your ISP and to your home network. They connect to a broadband router via Ethernet or USB and also to a wall outlet which leads to the cable feed.
So, you should get a cable modem only if you use cable internet at home, rather than getting it through DSL or fiber.
Here is what to look for when buying a cable modem.
The Price and warranty
Since you will be investing hard earned money in your own cable modem, make sure that it comes with at least a 1-year warranty. The Arris SB6190 comes with a limited 2-year warranty which is even better. Of course, there are cheaper cable modems out there, but given the number of bonded channels and the data transfer speed which the SB6190 provides, it is absolutely worth your money. Plus, you will be investing in the future with a network device like this, so this is a long-term investment for you.
Choose a modem which will fit your space and will blend in with your other network hardware. Also, you may want to check out the type, number, and brightness of the indicator lights of the modem in case you will be sleeping in the same room as it.
The DOCSIS versions and speeds
As mentioned previously, the DOCSIS standard is used for all cable broadband connections, but keep in mind that there are several different versions of the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification standard.
The DOCSIS versions 1.0 and 1.1 are from the late 1990s. They are now almost obsolete, and modems like this support only up to 38 Mbps for downloading and 9 Mbps for uploading.
The DOCSIS 2.0 version supports the same 38 Mbps speeds for download but has an increased upload speed of up to 27 Mbps.
The DOCSIS 3 – versions 3.0 and 3.1 support IPv6 and can handle much higher bandwidth connections over 100 Mbps. They are compatible with all of the previous networks and older DOCSIS versions. A cable modem like the Arris SB6190 which supports DOCSIS 3.0 is a future-proof solution, which you should pick when investing in a cable modem. Your ISP may charge you higher fees for the use of a DOCSIS 3.0 modem because of the increased traffic it can generate, so make sure you check this out too.
The difference between DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1
The highest possible speed of DOCSIS 3.0 modems is 1Gbps (Gigabit Internet), and the highest speed of the DOCSIS 3.1 is a whopping 10Gbps. If you are currently on a Gigabit Internet plan, please check with your provider about the modem you should buy. If it requires a DOCSIS 3.1 modem then you should opt for it, but otherwise, if you are on a Gigabit Internet plan which doesn’t require such an expensive modem, you should be perfectly OK with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem such as the SURFboard SB6190.
Also, check out the number of upstream and downstream your DOCSIS 3.0 supports. Most of the other DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems offer a more limited number of channels including 16 downstream and 4 upstream and a total of 680 Mbps for downloads, while others (8×4 modems) offer half the channels and half the speed. On the other hand, the Arris SB6190 cable modem supports up to 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels and a download transfer rate of up to 1.4 Gbps, so it is definitely the one to choose if your ISP can provide so many channels to be bonded by the device.
When don’t you need to buy a cable modem?
There are some factors which you need to consider when deciding on purchasing a cable modem.
Keep in mind that your internet service provider may have a requirement that you use only modems which are supplied by them.
Also, your internet package may require the use of a wireless gateway device rather than a modem.
Last but not least, if you are planning on moving and switching to another provider you may want to wait before doing so to ensure that the cable modem will continue to be of use for you in the future as well.
When to rent and when to buy a cable modem
If you don’t own a cable modem, you are most likely being charged for renting one from your ISP. Check your monthly fee to see what your provider is charging you per month. In some case, such as with Cox, you may be using a modem for free after bundling up your internet with your TV and phone, so check that out too.
So, if your ISP is charging you a monthly fee for using their modem, you can actually save between $60 and $120 per year if you decide to buy your own modem. So, even though you will have to invest in a cable modem like the SB6190, you will get your investment back in a year or less.
Make sure that you inform your ISP when you get your modem and return theirs so that they can remove the fee for rent from your monthly bills.
But since cable modems like the SB6190 and most others do not come with a wireless router, you may need to invest in one of these too if you don’t own one already.
One of the benefits of renting a modem is that it will be replaced in case it stops working or when it becomes obsolete. Your ISP will take care of any problems which occur with the modem if it is theirs too.
Plus, some ISPs include the cost of the modem in your package which means that you have already paid for it, so you won’t actually save money by buying one.
Also, if you use a home phone service, you will need a modem with a phone port.
Check with your internet provider whether you can use the cable modem of your choice before rushing off and buying one!
The Arris SB6190 is definitely a cable modem which is perfect not only for now but will be an excellent piece of hardware in the future.
It is the first of its kind to offer such high data transfer speeds, so many bonded channels, and which will work with all older DOCSIS standards as well as the new DOCSIS 3.0 ones.
Not only will you be saving a lot of money by investing in such a modem rather than paying a fee to your ISP, but you will also ensure that all members of the household or office network will be able to enjoy seamless streaming of the highest resolution and quality media content, including Ultra HD simultaneously on different devices, and that your online game will not be interrupted if somebody else is streaming a movie or having a video conference call, for example.
The SURFboard SB6190 is definitely the way to go if you want to be making a long-term investment into the future of ultra-fast internet connections, data transfer, and use.
If your home is becoming smarter every day and all of the devices connected to the IoT are constantly uploading data to the cloud, this cable modem will allow them to do that without burdening your own internet use.
It is a piece of hardware which you can rely on to keep you and all of the other people connected to your internet network happy, no matter how heavy internet users you all are!