Arris Surfboard SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600

Comprising DOCSIS 3.1, which is the most up-to-date technology available from cable companies. Both the cable modems have no built-in Wi-Fi (you will need to get a separate one) and neither of them has a built-in telephone port.

Heres what’s going on with these 2:

The SB8200:

  • is better in terms of compatibility with various ISPs.
  • takes the lead with 3GB of RAM as compared to its competitor’s 512 MB of RAM.
  • is a low-cost and affordable way to connect to the internet.
  • Device’s some features can’t be used today as most ISPs don’t offer them yet.

The Motorola 8600:

  • has better design and build quality.
  • is large in size as compared to its rival, making it stable enough.
  • and offers 4 GigE ports as compared to the 2 GigE of the Arris SB8200.

If we talk about the common things between both modems:

  • They both offer network, power, and cable interfaces.
  • Both of them are backed by a two-year warranty.
  • Both support link aggregation, so there is no upper hand.
  • And both use the same chipset, which is better than many other chipsets.

The Motorola Mb8600 is a high-quality networking and communication cable modem that consists of features that make it really future-proof, so you won’t have to change modems for new features in the time to come. It supports Active Queue Management (AQM), which decreases internet latency. It uses a very convenient chipset that ensures bug-free functioning.

Side By Side Comparison

If you are looking for something more practical for the moment and smaller for home networking, you can consider the Arris SB8200. The Motorola modem may have faster upload and download speeds, but the SB8200 is more comfortable to use and it’s favored by almost every ISP out there.

Arris Surfboard SB8200
Arris Surfboard SB8200
Motorola MB8600
Motorola MB8600

Comparison Table

ManufacturerArrisZoom tele phonics
Downstream channels × Upstream channels32×832×8
Ethernet portsTwo 1 GigabitFour 1 Gigabit
Warranty2 years2 years

Exterior Design of both devices:

The Arris SB8200, following the form of its previous Surfboard line peers, comes in a white rectangular plastic case with a matte surface.

This vertical case is covered with exterior band on the sides that assures the smoothness and roundness of the edges. Its dimensions are 5.24 multiply 5.24 multiply 1.65 inches, making it small enough to fit on your desk without occupying excessive space.

However, with its small size comes its light weight, weighing only 2.1 lbs. It’s also a drawback as it simply flips over and won’t be stable enough due to its lightweight.

The Motorola MB8600, on the other hand, has a unique approach towards its exterior and design. The case comes with a grey matte surface and a rounded elliptical shape that gives it an elegant and dust-free look.

While the top and the built-in stand are given a sleek black finish, it is larger in size as compared to its rival, with dimensions measuring 2.2 x 7.0 x 7.2 inches.

It will consume more space, but due to this it will also allow more stability compared to its palm-sized competitor, though it weighs 1.15 pounds.

Heat Dissipation of both:

As far as the temperature is concerned, the Motorola MB8600 ensures good airflow and runs cooler as compared to many other well-known cable modems.

The case comprises many cutouts on the sides and on the top that help lower the temperature for reliable performance.

On the other hand, the Arris SB8200, due to its small size, has a hard time lowering the temperature and keeping good airflow as compared to the former, despite being covered with lots of holes.

LEDs differences:

Arris includes four LED lights in the front that indicate the status of power, receive (DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels are green, while DOCSIS 3.1 bonded channels are blue), send and online (indicates an Internet connection).

The LEDs of the Motorola Mb8600 are in charge of power downstream. LAN (green LED indicates that ports are connected).

No. of ports in both:

For high-speed connections, the Arris SB8200 has two 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

On the other hand, the Motorola MB8200 was mistakenly known to have only one Ethernet port for a long time. Until it was discovered that it, too, has many ports just beneath the yellow plastic label.

The modem takes the win by offering 4 Ethernet Gigabit ports, so you can connect many devices for a faster connection. Each Ethernet port is capable of transmitting data at speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second.

From the above features, we can deduce that the Motorola MB8600 outpaces the Arris SB8200 in both design and build, as well as the number of ports.

Hardware differences:

Both devices use the bestselling Broadcom BCM339C chipset (instead of Intel’s Puma, which is often affected by latency glitches and bugs.).

Arris SB8200 comes out on top with a bigger chunk of RAM.

It offers 3GB RAM, 16 MB of SPI NAND flash memory with 128 MB of NAND flash memory.

On the contrary, the Motorola MB8600 has 512 MB RAM and 128 MB NAND storage memory.

Using the earlier DOCSIS 3.0 technology, both the cable modems can handle up to 32 downstream download channels and 8 upstream bonded channels, and while using the newer DOCSIS 3.1 technology, they can support up to 2 OFDM upload and download bonded channels.

Wi-Fi Router IncludedNoNo
Number of Lan ports24
Other portsCoaxialCoaxial
Power on/off buttonNoYes

Both the cable modems use same chipset. However, the SB8600 outpaces its competitor with additional RAM and better equipment.


There isn’t much of a difference in performance; as previously stated, the Motorola MB8600 has four ports with a maximum download speed of 3.8 GBs, but practically both the modem’s normal speed is roughly 1000 Mbps, which is limited by the ethernet connector.

However, both of the modems can be used to support internet plans, doubling that. It may be done by link aggregation.

Link aggregation: also known as “port bonding” or “ethernet aggregation.” is a feature that allows you to reach 2000 MBps by combining the ethernet ports into one single stream. With this, you can achieve high performance on both modems. But this feature requires a router, provided your ISP supports it. Both the cable modems support this feature.

However, link aggregation in cable modems is still a technology of the future, as no ISPs presently offer more than 1Gb on the Internet, making it impossible to fully utilize LAG on the home network site.


  • Internet Standards

Both the modems support IPv4 and IPv6, which helps them reach an endless number of addresses.

  • Internet Service Providers (ISP’s):

Motorola MB8600 is compatible with and has been approved for:

  • Comcast Xfinity
  • Cox
  • Armstrong
  • Grande
  • Charter spectrum
  • WOW
  • Medicom
  • Atlantic broadband
  • Sparklight
  • Suddenlink
  • Midco

However, it has some issue with these ISPs:

  • Optimum
  • RCN

Arris SB8200 is a better option in this case, as it is compatible and approved by all the above-mentioned ISPs, including Optimum, RCN, and other major U.S. cable internet providers, unlike MB8600, which lags behind in terms of compatibility. However, it is better to be aware of the approval of your ISP before going for either of the two.

Interfaces  SB8200MB8600
Cable InterfaceF connector, female 75 ΩF connector, female 75 Ω
Network Interfacetwo-one-Gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet portfour-one-Gigabit (10/100/1000) Ethernet port
Power InterfacePower adaptor input = 115V – 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz Power adaptor output= 12V/2APower adaptor input = 100V – 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz Power adaptor output= 12V/2A


Both the cable modems provide a 2-year warranty.

The ARRIS warranty covers items purchased directly from an authorized ARRIS store for a period of two years.

The Motorola MB68600 is also backed by a 2-year warranty and is certified by CableLabs.