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Which Arris modem is best? 

There are plenty of options when it comes to internet connections, but you don’t have to use the default hardware bundled with your subscription. The routers and access points your provider supplies are often inadequate, leading to dead Wi-Fi coverage or slow download speeds.

This is where an Arris modem, such as the Arris Surfboard G36 Multi-Gigabit Cable Modem and Wi-Fi Router, can make all the difference. You simply attach your cable connection to the modem, and the built-in Wi-Fi function spreads the signal throughout your home.   

What to know before you buy an Arris modem

Ensure that it’s compatible

Unlike other routers or traditional Wi-Fi devices, you must ensure that you get an Arris modem compatible with your internet service provider. For example, the SB82000 is compatible with 17 ISPs while the T25 is only compatible with one provider. Whether a modem will work depends on the speed and technology used by the ISP.

The best option is a cable and Wi-Fi combination

Depending on your home setup, you probably received a modem with your connection. These often don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities or are woefully inadequate. An Arris cable and Wi-Fi combination replaces your current setup by having two devices built into one gadget. The cable connection comes in, and the Wi-Fi pushes it to mobile devices. If you already have a good-quality Wi-Fi router, an Arris cable modem can improve the speeds your ISP supplies.

Consider your internet speed

It’s great when you go for the fastest available technology, but not only does the modem need to be compatible with your ISP, it also needs to be in line with your expected internet speed. Getting a modem that accommodates faster speeds than your connection is much better than getting a modem that can only handle half of that.

What to look for in a quality Arris modem

Easy setup

The last thing you want to do when you get a new modem is to struggle. Setup should be relatively easy. A good-quality Arris modem comes with detailed instructions on how to set it up, where to place it for optimum coverage and which additional equipment you may need.

Ethernet ports for stable connections

Wi-Fi can notoriously be spotty sometimes, and the best way around that is an Ethernet cable. A good-quality Arris modem has multiple ports so you can hard-wire a gaming console, computer or smart TV to the connection. Often you also find that internet speeds are much faster over an Ethernet cable than through Wi-Fi.

So look for a modem that has at least two Ethernet ports compatible with your internet connection’s speed. For example, the G36 has one port of 2.5 gigabits per second and four ports capable of 1 gigabit per second.

Mobile app for monitoring

When something doesn’t seem right, you don’t want to sit in front of a computer diagnosing the problem. It’s far more convenient if you have a mobile app at your fingertips to quickly see what the problem is. All Arris Surfboard modems are compatible with the Manager App where you can keep track of connected devices, enable parental controls and test the speed of your Wi-Fi. 

How much you can expect to spend on an Arris modem

The price depends on the modem’s technology and additional functions. An entry-level cable modem that doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi costs $80-$90, while a Wi-Fi and modem combination costs $150-$250.

Arris modem FAQ

Why are some modems labeled as DOCSIS?

A. Any Arris modem labeled this way uses Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification technology. This is a standard used by cable providers for the highest internet speeds.  

Why would you want to buy an Arris modem?

A. The default modem that comes with your internet package is usually not good enough, especially after a few years. Also, when you cancel your service, you usually have to return the modem. Buying an Arris modem ensures that you get the latest connectivity technology — and you get to keep it.

What’s the best Arris modem to buy?

Top Arris modem

Arris Surfboard G36

Arris Surfboard G36

What you need to know: This cable modem is an excellent all-in-one solution as it has a built-in Wi-Fi transmitter and a super-fast 2.6-gigabit per second Ethernet port.

What you’ll love: Compatible with DOCSIS technology, the modem can easily handle combined download speeds of 6.5 Gbps. There are four additional Ethernet ports on the back, and the Wi-Fi can reach speeds of 3 Gbps.  

What you should consider: While it will work with Spectrum and Xfinity, it isn’t compatible with AT&T, Verizon or CenturyLink.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Arris modem for the money

Arris Surfboard SB6190

Arris Surfboard SB6190

What you need to know: If you need a faster modem that doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi, this gadget can reach up to 800 megabits per second.

What you’ll love: It has one 1 Gbps Ethernet port and is easy to set up through the Surfboard mobile app. It’s perfect for smaller homes that don’t require the far-reaching signals of a dedicated Wi-Fi router. 

What you should consider: The modem doesn’t support cable digital voice services.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Arris Surfboard SB8200

Arris Surfboard SB8200

What you need to know: This is an excellent choice if your internet speed is below 2 Gbps. 

What you’ll love: It doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities but it has two Ethernet ports at the back that are capable of reaching 1 Gbps. There are helpful indicator lights on the front to monitor your network activity.

What you should consider: It doesn’t support cable digital voice services and isn’t compatible with AT&T, Verizon or CenturyLink.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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