Arris SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600: Which One Is Better?

Arris SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600

The revolutionary DOCSIS 3.1 is an industry changer; it seats pretty at the top of cable network speed and is something everyone should go out for.

They are few modems that can boast of DOCSIS 3.1; Arris Sb8200 and Motorola MB8600 come top of this class. 

These two Modems are renowned for dishing out blazing gigabit internet speed, with resources to support intensive gaming and high multi-4k streaming with little to no delay or buffering time.

They are equipped and ready to reach the future 10+Gbps speeds, which might not be seeing the light of day in at least three years. 

RouterArris SB8200Motorola MB8600
Highest Possible Transmission Speed3.8Gbps2Gbps
Gigabit Ethernet ports24
Link AggregationYesYes
Power buttonNoYes
Modem TypeCable DOCSIS 3.1Cable DOCSIS 3.1
Size5.24 × 5.24 × 1.65 inches7.0 × 7.2 × 2.2 inches
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“Arris SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600” What to look out for?

Getting a suitable modem sometimes causes a severe dilemma, and many of us can relate to this. If you have streamlined your options and are faced with Sb8200 vs MB8600 confusion, it is understandable. 

These awesome modems are pretty similar; the power button and close similarity in LED indicators are physical features both possess.

Please don’t fret; in this Arris Sb8200 vs Motorola MB8600 comparison article, we have you covered. 

1. Design

The first noticeable part of every modem is its design. This section will talk about how both devices are designed, especially if you have no clue what they look like.

Knowing their design is essential knowledge to grab, especially if you’ve not seen both the modems.

Equipped with how both modems look, you’ll have a clue of how much of your work table you’ll need to modify to accommodate the modem.  

Arris SB8200 toes the line of other SURFboard from Arris, so if you are no stranger to the Arris SURFboard series, you wouldn’t have a hard time recognizing the Sb8200 parent series.

Typically, new devices or models should have that novelty design. However, it appears that Arris said they are sticking to what we are used to. 

Arris SURFboard series

It is possible to mistake SB8200 for the SB6183; this is understandable due to its strong resemblance. The color is most certainly the apparent feature. Its plastic white colored case is enclosed with a matte finish making it resistive to fingerprints. 

It is rectangular with rounded corners to avoid it looking like a small white box; thus, smooth corners add some style to this beauty.

The size (5.24 × 5.24 × 1.65 inches) is small, which appears as an added advantage because you won’t have to search for too much space to place it.

However, the weight which is shyly around 1.85 LBS – 2.1 LBS, makes it one lightweight device that could be tumbled easily when faced with a bit of force. 

They made it possible for this device to be mounted on the wall using a unique designed feature on the right side.

I’ll advise you shouldn’t since it doesn’t give enough ventilation means. Nevertheless, we credit its color, which provides it with some spec of elegance. It also features four LED lights which indicate its Power, Receives, Send, and Online status. 

The Power LED indicates Arris Sb8200 is on, while the Send and Receive indicators are for downstream and upstream; when they turn green, they indicate a DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channel while blue indicates a DOCSIS 3.1 bonded channel.

The last button is the Online button to show there’s a connection with the internet. Most modem LEDs are often bright and could bring unnecessary attention to themselves; the Arris Sb8200 doesn’t do this. 

The Motorola MB8600 comes in with its style. It is first of all bigger and taller than the Arris Sb8200. Its case is characterized by round corners making it elliptical-cylindrical.

Like Arris Sb8200, it is laced with a matte finish making it resistive to fingerprints; however, it is primarily grey with glossy black in some spots like the built-in bottom stand and the indicator lights section, amongst others. 

Motorola MB8600

It stands at 7.0 × 7.2 × 2.2 inches which goes to say it would require a good amount of space on your working table.

To balance its height, Zoom made this device weigh around 18.4 ounces; this isn’t that heavy, but it is perfect for giving the MB8600 enough stability.

We can’t leave out credits to its cuts-outs at strategic places to ensure adequate airflow; this gives it an edge not only above Arris Sb8200 but above many other modems. 

Many expected MB8600 to be one big oven; Zoom, however, proved them wrong. It doesn’t fall short with the LED light feature giving its users Power, Downstream, Upstream, Online, and LAN LED lights. 

We have the Power LED to indicate that the device is on. The Downstream and Upstream lights indicate the same but for their respective features.

When it blinks in green, it means that the modem is scanning for downstream or upstream channels, while a solid green indicates it has connected to a channel.

On the other hand, when it blinks blue, it indicates that MB8600 is scanning for multiple channels; the keyword here is the Multiple

The Online LED, when green, indicates there’s a DOCSIS 3.0 connection, while blue indicates there’s a DOCSIS 3.1 connection.

The last LED, which is the LAN led, shows solid green to inform you that the ports have been linked but not bonded, while the solid blue LED indicates that the ports have been linked and bonded.

Just like the Arris Sb8200, the MB8600 doesn’t give out an annoyingly bright light. 

2. Setup

One of the many valid reasons people settle for personal modems over modems or modem-router combo devices rented from their ISPs is cost.

Getting your modem instead of renting is advice everyone should take; however, we need to note that you’ll be responsible for setting up the modem yourself.

If you aren’t willing to overwork yourself in this field, let’s see Sb8200 vs MB8600, which comes best here. 

Well, it isn’t difficult to set up modems generally, so the fear of dealing with something too techy can be relaxed. Both Sb8200 and MB8600 are pretty easy to setup.

With your coaxial cable connecting the power outlet and the cable modem, to your Ethernet cable linking the modem to your computer and then visiting your browser, it shouldn’t take you up to an hour to get any of these devices up and running; its a simple plug and play setup. 

Xfinity, for example, automatically activates your new modem. You may need to ring up other ISPs and give them the info (like your MAC Address) they need to connect your modem. 

Both modems have a web-based interface you can check out on your browser through this link (; copy and paste it in your address bar.

From there, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of your connection status, including its Downstream and Upstream bonded channel.

The Arris Sb8200 offers a Spectrum Analyzer which you can access from here 

Motorola MB8600 has something similar, which you can access from here

With this Spectrum Analyzer, you can effectively monitor your connection and fish out any problem. When it comes to setting them up, both devices pass with A’s. 

3. Broadband Chipset 

The MB8600 and SB8200 are the same; both devices use the unique Broadcom BCM3390 chipset, a solid point for both modems.

This gives both exceptional protection from denial-of-service attacks. When compared to Puma 6, the BCM3390 is miles ahead. To date, it hasn’t been plagued by any known incident, something the Puma 6 can’t boast of. 

4. Compatibility

You can’t pit Arris Sb8200 vs Motorola MB8600 when it comes to compatibility since both modems are equipped to handle significant ISPs like Grande Communications, Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum (Sb8200); however, Charter or WOW isn’t compatible with both modems.

If any of these ISPs offer Gigabit services, be rest assured that both modems can handle them. 

5. Speed

blazing speed

Since both devices are DOCSIS 3.1 enabled, you can count on blazing speed. Currently, there’s seldom any network that offers over 1Gbps of internet speed.

The Sb8200 claims to reach a whopping 10 Gbps; this is not only untrue but impossible. For a start, Arris Sb8200  has just two gig Ethernet ports, so if by chance your ISP offers up to 10 Gbps, you can’t make use of it. At most, its 2 Gig Ethernet ports can simultaneously give something shy of 2Gbps. 

The Motorola MB8600 makes 4 Gig Ethernet ports available and can boast of reaching 3.8Gbps with a unique feature called link aggregation (present in the Sb8200 also), which binds all ports present on it.

You can also use all ports on any of these devices if your ISPs allow multiple IP addresses, a feature primarily available for corporate and business purposes. 

The downside of the Link Aggregation (LACP) feature is that there aren’t many routers compatible with it.

Based on speed, both routers would give you the best of the best currently available. Although Motorola MB8600 has the possibility of reaching a whopping 3.8Gbps, which should theoretically make it the fastest, it currently can’t since no ISPs offer this service.

So, therefore, both score braces with speed. 

6. Ports and Other Features 

Equipped with Active Queue Management (QAM), both modems are built to increase internet browsing page load, boost online gaming while eliminating latency, and reduce buffering with streaming videos. 

Yes, they both have the renowned DOCSIS 3.1 bonded channels; they still have features compatible with DOCSIS 3.0, which means it can go backward to accommodate connections using this channel. 

Arris Sb8200 has 3GB RAM; this is miles ahead of Motorola MB8600’s 512MB. If you are someone who deals with numbers, it’s evident that Sb8200 is miles ahead of MB8600; however, if you know your “modem” well, you’ll agree this is irrelevant, at least for the time being. 

With the distinctive Broadcom chipset, they are already doing fine; 3gig worth of RAM seems like overkill, I think; many have linked the Sb8200 overheating to its gigantic RAM so, you can take this point with a pinch of salt. 

Another feature you should look out for is that Motorola claims MB8600 is armed with advanced surge protection and lightning protection; if this is practically true, then its a no brainer that MB8600 is a machine to snatch. 

From everything, we can deduce that Arris Sb8200 has just two 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, which you are open to Link Aggregation.

In comparison, Motorola MB8600 has four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports and is capable of Link Aggregation. However, since no ISP offers such feature or speed yet, the speed here is a tie. 

Final Verdict 

Having MB8600 vs Arris Sb8200 battle themselves out would result in a close call. Both are formidable modems that offer fantastic features.

While the Arris Sb8200 is designed to be small and lightweight, the Motorola MB8600 is built to be taller and a bit heavier. “Small modems” are characterized by being overcrowded inside; I mean, they are a lot of things a modem needs. 

We can also note its gigantic 3GB RAM, which is rumoured to cause heat; nevertheless, this device is perfect when it comes to managing space. 

Motorola MB8600 is taller and weighs heavier, overheating hasn’t been recorded to be a problem with this modem as it has cuts in strategic places to enable easy ventilation. It is heavy enough to bolster stability. Both modems give excellent colors and also have available LED indicators which aren’t overly bright. 

They both make use of Broadcom chipset, so internet speed isn’t an issue. As DOCSIS 3.1 modems, they sure would give you Gigabit speed on all compatible ISPs that allow that.

Although the number of ports varies with Arris Sb8200 having 2 Gigabit Ethernet and Motorola MB8600 having four until the nearest feature, they tie it with ports since the currently available internet speed is barely 1Gbps. 

In summary, both devices are unique. I’ll go for the Motorola MB8600 because of its ventilation and its inbuilt surge protector (which might never come into use). Still, the Arris Sb8200 is the only worthy competitor out there. 

Check Motorola MB8600 Price on Amazon

Check Arris Sb8200 Price On Amazon


Q. Is Arris better than Motorola?

The SURFboard modem brand is the most popular globally; you can see this with the number of loyal customers it has. Motorola, on the other hand, is renowned for making devices of this nature. 

When it comes to performance, we can’t put the whole companies against each other as they are some models Arris wins over Motorola and the other way around, you can only compare based on product vs products (e.g. Sb8200 vs MB8600 like you saw above). In simpler words, both companies are exceedingly good at what they do, and we can’t quickly put our thumb on it and decide which is better than which.