ARRIS Surfboard (SBG8300) Cable Modem Router 2020 Detailed Review.
ARRIS Surfboard (SBG8300) Cable Modem Router: Internet technologies keep getting better. People want to stream in higher resolutions, listen to audio content at higher bitrates, or otherwise chew through more data. As that happens, internet technologies have to adapt and improve to keep up. For people who haven’t updated their modem or router for more than a few years, there might be some surprises in wait.
Most of the big advances to modem and router technologies have been in relation to bandwidth. But many of them have also been working on better methods of maintaining multi-device connectivity. As smart-homes begin to fill up with countless devices that connect through Wi-Fi, it’s becoming more important to choose equipment that can accommodate an increasing number of devices attempting to make connections to the web.
ARRIS Surfboard (SBG8300) Cable Modem Router Combo
The ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300 is essentially two devices and three tiers of technology, crammed into a single chassis. The first component is a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, which is pretty formidable in its own right because it’s making use of current-generation technologies. The second component is an AC2350 dual-band Wi-Fi connection, which is the sort of router equipment that you might expect to use inside of a larger household. And then there are all the features aimed at compatibility.
Design & Layout
The SGB8300 measures roughly 10 x 8 x 3.7 inches. Though the front and sides of the Surfboard look pretty much like an ordinary router, the backside shows a bit more character. Each section of the device makes use of color labeling instead of using words or symbols. The section that contains Ethernet ports is red, while the ports themselves are yellow.
The section that contains the coaxial cable connection is blue, and the section for the power port is green. It’s easy on the eyes, and simple enough for basically anyone to follow along with. Though I suppose, if you were totally colorblind, you might not find this system especially convenient.
If you haven’t been paying attention, the latest standard available through cable ISPs is DOCSIS 3.1, which is capable of supporting 32 downstream and 8 upstream DOCSIS channels. But with the ARRIS SBG8300, that’s actually more like a beginning for the device.
You’ll find there are also two downstream and upstream OFDM channels, which can be quite handy if you’re actually taking advantage of the higher bandwidth potential of this device. The SBG8300 Cable Modem Router Combo supports a theoretical maximum download speed of 10Gbps.
In practical tests, you’ll find it ride right up against that ceiling, though in practice most users will, of course, never get anywhere near using all of that 10Gbps. A little more importantly, the Wave 2 AC Wi-Fi speeds max out around 2350Mbps. And that’s actually quite a bit of bandwidth for a wireless connection. Though if you want to reach the upper echelons of bandwidth potential with a device like the SBG8300, you will need to start using those wired Gigabit connections.
Ease of Use
How much control over your router do you need? If you’re looking to stay hands-off, it helps to have an app… but it helps even more if you have voice controls. And with the SGB8300, you’ll find it’s possible to add the SURFboard into a smart-home network due to native support for Alexa.
Want to reset your router? What could be easier than asking Alexa to do it for you? And without having to shut-off the power to other devices in the process of power-cycling. Of course, for truly detailed changes to the settings and configuration of your router or modem, you’ll still have to break into the settings through an app. Or through a desktop PC.
From a firmware perspective, the SBG8300 is positioned excellently. It’s designed to be able to perform well for more than a decade to come — because DOCSIS 3.1 is a forward-looking and adaptable format. Even as internet standards continue to change and adapt, this Surfboard ought to be able to keep up for years to come. How about the physical hardware itself? Well, that’s a more involved question.
As is so often the case with a modem/router combo like this one, whether or not you’ll be able to take advantage of all the speeds promised really depends on a variety of circumstances outside of the router itself. For instance, the plan you’ve selected from your internet service provider, environmental conditions in your home that might make Wi-Fi signals especially difficult to manage, and so forth.
If you’ve got a gigabit Ethernet plan, then you’ve got a great reason to think about using a modem/router combo like the ARRIS Surfboard SBG8300. And if you have several high-bandwidth devices connecting to your network, then you’ll be able to appreciate a lot of the speed advantages for certain.