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Question Need advice on which DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem

mscifiwriter

Junior Member
Feb 14, 2020
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Hey everyone,

I apologize in advance for being a little to wordy here, I'm just trying to provide the best information possible to get the best feedback possible. And I really could use feedback on which DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem to get. As I've been trying to figure this out for a week. Also a quick side note, I've verified with my ISP that they support the cable modems I'm considering. Does anyone here have experience whether good or bad, with the Arris SB8200 or Netgear Nighthawk CM1200 cable model? Or if there's a different cable modem you'd suggest?

Also something I'm trying to understand, my ISP said to make certain the modem I choose is able to support 16 or more downstream channels. which itself is clear cut. But when I looked at the Arris product page it gets confusing, as for the downstream for the SB8200 it says:

"32 downstream DOCSIS 3.0 bonded channels, OR 2 downstream OFDM DOCSIS 3.1 channels"

So does that mean for the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol there are in fact only 2 downstream channel?

Where as the Netgear product page for its Nighthawk CM1200 cable modem, it says:

DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Up to 10X faster download speeds than the DOCSIS 3.0 standard. Fully backwards compatible with previous DOCSIS standards. Supports 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels.

So does that mean the Netgear is indeed better on the DOCSIS 3.1 protocol, or is the Arris information just worded more confusingly?


 

SamirD

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Jun 12, 2019
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Unless you need to have a 3.1 modem for gigabit+ speeds, I wouldn't bother with those top end models and just go with a sb6183 or sb6190. I have 2x sb6190s and they're great, and the 6183 has a solid reputation as well if you don't need the top speeds of the 6190.

Whatever modem you get will only be as capable as what the isp makes it to be with their firmware. Every isp loads up their own configuration into your modem so it runs just like their own hardware. Nothing you can change on it even though you own it.
 

mscifiwriter

Junior Member
Feb 14, 2020
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I appreciate that, but as a want and a need I'm specifically looking at Docsis 3.1 approved cable modems, so that I can take full advantage of the internet service I'm paying for.

In fact I own the SB6183 and it has been a good modem. But I can tell it is creating a bottleneck as it isn't Docsis 3.1. As I only have a fraction of the speed and bandwidth I'm paying for with my service. So again, I appreciate your input, but I'm just looking at Docsis 3.1 approved cable modems.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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No experience.

But Spec sheets for both products.
Netgear CM1200 - mentions multi-gig
Arris SB8200 - mentions 10G

Both offer

32 downstream and 8 upstream QAM channels (DOCSIS 3.0) AND
2 OFDM Downstream channels and 2 OFDMA Upstream channels (DOCSIS 3.1)

DOCSIS 3.1 only uses OFDM (downstream)/OFDMA(upstream)

Review

==

Motorola MB8600 can get up to 6Gbps.

 
Last edited:

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
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I've been using the netgear 1150v which is the 3.1 modem with voice support for comcast and is 2 gig capable. No big problems so far, and usually getting max speeds. Its basically the only modem with voice support that comcast approves of that I could see.

Might check the forums on dslreports for more user reports for your ISP.
 
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SamirD

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Jun 12, 2019
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I appreciate that, but as a want and a need I'm specifically looking at Docsis 3.1 approved cable modems, so that I can take full advantage of the internet service I'm paying for.

In fact I own the SB6183 and it has been a good modem. But I can tell it is creating a bottleneck as it isn't Docsis 3.1. As I only have a fraction of the speed and bandwidth I'm paying for with my service. So again, I appreciate your input, but I'm just looking at Docsis 3.1 approved cable modems.
So what is your plan then? Because you already have 16 downstream channels like your isp recommended. And yet they are also recommending that you need a docsis 3.1 modem? Now I'm confused. Even the the top 1Gbps plans work find on my sb6190 units.

But if you're dead set on a modem, you know how well the Arris runs--and the 8200 is no different--just another dead reliable Arris product. That would be my choice if I had to buy something. But I won't for a long time as there's not going to be 1Gbps+ when they can't even get the upstream to 100Mbps.
 

mscifiwriter

Junior Member
Feb 14, 2020
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Ah, DSLreports forum! Thank you, Ranulf! This is by far the most helpful feedback I've received yet from all those I've asked! Also thanks for letting me know about your experience with a similar type of Netgear modem, as this is the type of feedback I've been trying to get!

I've been using the netgear 1150v which is the 3.1 modem with voice support for comcast and is 2 gig capable. No big problems so far, and usually getting max speeds. Its basically the only modem with voice support that comcast approves of that I could see.

Might check the forums on dslreports for more user reports for your ISP.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
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No problem. My research led to the conclusion that for 3.1 DOCSIS modems that can do 1gig or better that you had two choices, the Netgear line or the Arris 8200. Basically modems using Broadcom chips. I have no desire to test out Intel's latest puma7 chip after all the nonsense with puma6/32channel modem chips they made. I've been following that disaster since I bought an Arris 6183 in mid 2016. Which Comcast sadly rates at 300-400 mbps max on their system by the way.

Downloads wise, Steam and Epic are only getting 50 MB/s speeds for me so far. Tests have me usually in the 80-90 MB/s. Rockstar and Uplay were hitting 65-80 MB/s speeds. Bigger problem I've had lately is my netgear router seems to have known issues with wifi system dying randomly on the newer firmware.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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So what is your plan then? Because you already have 16 downstream channels like your isp recommended. And yet they are also recommending that you need a docsis 3.1 modem? Now I'm confused. Even the the top 1Gbps plans work find on my sb6190 units.

But if you're dead set on a modem, you know how well the Arris runs--and the 8200 is no different--just another dead reliable Arris product. That would be my choice if I had to buy something. But I won't for a long time as there's not going to be 1Gbps+ when they can't even get the upstream to 100Mbps.
Some ISPs use docsis 3.1 to serve gigabit over lines too long or noisy to serve it with docsis 3.0. I upgraded to an Xfinity gigabit plan and my 6190 could only pull down 600-700 mbit. When I got the 8200 it was able to pull down 940 no problem.

I picked up the 8200 from Amazon warehouse deals with an extra 20% off coupon for $80. The first one I received died 6 hours in, so they sent me a replacement that's been working flawlessly.
 

SamirD

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No problem. My research led to the conclusion that for 3.1 DOCSIS modems that can do 1gig or better that you had two choices, the Netgear line or the Arris 8200. Basically modems using Broadcom chips. I have no desire to test out Intel's latest puma7 chip after all the nonsense with puma6/32channel modem chips they made. I've been following that disaster since I bought an Arris 6183 in mid 2016. Which Comcast sadly rates at 300-400 mbps max on their system by the way.
There are modem limits, and isp limits, and it's the second one that matters. Even if you modem is capable if your isp is purposely making different models slower, you have no choice but to upgrade even if technically you wouldn't need to. It's either that or stick with their equipment, which aside from the fee and hidden hotspots, is pretty decent.

The puma scare was just that--a scare. I actually have two sb6190 that have a latency sensitive link between them and they work flawless. Both modems also passed the dslreports puma test too. One I bought new at Best Buy and another I got from someone who was dumping it because of the scare. Broadcom isn't the best chipset maker either as many servers that used to use them no longer do, and they're not even competing in the 10G space--even realtek is doing that.
 

SamirD

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Some ISPs use docsis 3.1 to serve gigabit over lines too long or noisy to serve it with docsis 3.0. I upgraded to an Xfinity gigabit plan and my 6190 could only pull down 600-700 mbit. When I got the 8200 it was able to pull down 940 no problem.

I picked up the 8200 from Amazon warehouse deals with an extra 20% off coupon for $80. The first one I received died 6 hours in, so they sent me a replacement that's been working flawlessly.
That makes sense as the line rates are higher so there would be less loss. Still, if the 6190 was on the supported list for gigabit, it would have been the isp's responsibility to make sure the signal was sufficient. This is why it's always best to go with isp equipment until everything is settled so they can't point fingers at your equipment and cut corners on their end of the deal.
 

Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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That makes sense as the line rates are higher so there would be less loss. Still, if the 6190 was on the supported list for gigabit, it would have been the isp's responsibility to make sure the signal was sufficient. This is why it's always best to go with isp equipment until everything is settled so they can't point fingers at your equipment and cut corners on their end of the deal.
Xfinity does not have any docsis 3.0 modems on the supported modem list for their gigabit cable plan.

I upgraded my tier without upgrading my modem to see if I actually needed it and I genuinely did.

I'm just adding my experience that despite the modem specification being sufficient, some ISPs rely on and require docsis 3.1 to deliver gigabit.

The OP hasn't said if his ISP requires a docsis 3.1 modem for his gigabit plan but they might.
 

SamirD

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Xfinity does not have any docsis 3.0 modems on the supported modem list for their gigabit cable plan.

I upgraded my tier without upgrading my modem to see if I actually needed it and I genuinely did.

I'm just adding my experience that despite the modem specification being sufficient, some ISPs rely on and require docsis 3.1 to deliver gigabit.

The OP hasn't said if his ISP requires a docsis 3.1 modem for his gigabit plan but they might.
Thank you for the additional information. That's interesting because when they first came out with the plan the 6190 and 8200 were the only 2 approved modems. Looks like a moving target now. :rolleyes:

I wonder if the cable companies are getting kickbacks from the modem makers?
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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Thank you for the additional information. That's interesting because when they first came out with the plan the 6190 and 8200 were the only 2 approved modems. Looks like a moving target now. :rolleyes:

I wonder if the cable companies are getting kickbacks from the modem makers?
I think in xfinity's case, they probably increased the requirement across the board so they could rollout gigabit cable to more customers. Since they only have one central compatibility/supported device list, it would be hard to require some customers that are in busy/crowded areas or too far from a node to get a docsis 3.1 modem and others to get by with a 3.0.

In reality, I'd assume the customers who were in a position they were able to get gigabit speeds with a 3.0 modem probably still can. I think it's the network conditions.

It's a good thing for the customers like me - there was no gigabit option offered where I live when I moved here just 6 months ago.
 

SamirD

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I think in xfinity's case, they probably increased the requirement across the board so they could rollout gigabit cable to more customers. Since they only have one central compatibility/supported device list, it would be hard to require some customers that are in busy/crowded areas or too far from a node to get a docsis 3.1 modem and others to get by with a 3.0.

In reality, I'd assume the customers who were in a position they were able to get gigabit speeds with a 3.0 modem probably still can. I think it's the network conditions.

It's a good thing for the customers like me - there was no gigabit option offered where I live when I moved here just 6 months ago.
That does make sense as they don't have regional requirements. Just sucks that there's yet another moving target with constant upgrades in IT. As if there wasn't enough of this already.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
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Thank you for the additional information. That's interesting because when they first came out with the plan the 6190 and 8200 were the only 2 approved modems. Looks like a moving target now. :rolleyes:

I wonder if the cable companies are getting kickbacks from the modem makers?
Comcast has down rated various modems for years on advertised speed capabilities and what Comcast would guarantee. Even if you ignore the 6190's problems its a 4.5 year old modem now and was likely never going to be that reliable for 1gig speeds, at least on Comcast.
 

SamirD

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Comcast has down rated various modems for years on advertised speed capabilities and what Comcast would guarantee. Even if you ignore the 6190's problems its a 4.5 year old modem now and was likely never going to be that reliable for 1gig speeds, at least on Comcast.
It's funny that they keep doing that while their speeds don't really change. I push over 500Mbps through both my 6190s, one on Comcast, so I think they would be fine for a 1Gbps plan.

Comcast also has a habit of updating their list, but that older modems that were okay to work before will still work, depending on the market. The 6141 got hit like this even though it's still find for 100Mbps plans.
 

Ranulf

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Jul 18, 2001
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Depends on the market and how many modem channels they're offering. I had a 4channel surfboard in 2016 that they would still let work on their network but I would no longer get the provisional speeds. I got the 120 I paid for but no 150 boost. If I remember right they were still using 16x only in my area when I upgraded to a 16x modem.
 

Makaveli

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Feb 8, 2002
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Just make sure you are looking at a broadcom chipset modem and not intel puma if not you will regret it.
 

SamirD

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Just make sure you are looking at a broadcom chipset modem and not intel puma if not you will regret it.
The Puma scare is fake ime. I have 2x sb6190 modems that have a latency sensitive link across them. I bought one new at Best Buy and another from a forum member that didn't want it anymore because of the puma scare. Both passed dslreports puma test and have been working flawlessly for years.
 

Makaveli

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Feb 8, 2002
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The Puma scare is fake ime. I have 2x sb6190 modems that have a latency sensitive link across them. I bought one new at Best Buy and another from a forum member that didn't want it anymore because of the puma scare. Both passed dslreports puma test and have been working flawlessly for years.
Being someone that has used a Puma 6 and 7 chipset modem and is now on fiber I highly disagree with you.

There is a reason this thread is 312 pages boss.

Your example is not enough to refute that much data.

 
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SamirD

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Being someone that has used a Puma 6 and 7 chipset modem and is now on fiber I highly disagree with you.

There is a reason this thread is 312 pages boss.

Then you have some sort of other issue going on. There's no way the units would even be selling if everyone was having the type of issues discussed in that thread.

It's 312 pages because people want to believe there's a problem. There's God knows how many units out there that people have had zero issues. And my sampling of two random units from two completely different sources is enough for me to say they work fine. Especially when even an additional 10ms latency is something I will literally feel as I'm on an rdp session across an ipsec vpn tunnel on mine 24x7. It's a scare. Both modems pass the dslreports test too, so what's the problem--nothing.
 

Makaveli

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Feb 8, 2002
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Then you have some sort of other issue going on. There's no way the units would even be selling if everyone was having the type of issues discussed in that thread.

It's 312 pages because people want to believe there's a problem. There's God knows how many units out there that people have had zero issues. And my sampling of two random units from two completely different sources is enough for me to say they work fine. Especially when even an additional 10ms latency is something I will literally feel as I'm on an rdp session across an ipsec vpn tunnel on mine 24x7. It's a scare. Both modems pass the dslreports test too, so what's the problem--nothing.
lol its 312 pages because all those people are in denial and don't know what they are talking about.

Or you are in denial because you don't want to believe the data?

And as I said i use to be on cable I've experienced it first hand.

And there is many units out there and people don't even know they have the issue because most people are computer illiterate and even worse when it comes to networking.

It's a known issue and the proof is there you believe what you will.
 

SamirD

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lol its 312 pages because all those people are in denial and don't know what they are talking about.

Or you are in denial because you don't want to believe the data?

And as I said i use to be on cable I've experienced it first hand.

And there is many units out there and people don't even know they have the issue because most people are computer illiterate and even worse when it comes to networking.

It's a known issue and the proof is there you believe what you will.
No, I believe they have some sort of other issue going on. Initially, I found the dslreports test showing problems. But then I literally disconnected everything to the modem but the system running the test and everything was fine. If you have other traffic on the network, the test fails. And people will always have traffic on their network.

I have first hand experience that the issue non-existent. I replaced 2x isp modems with these across the same link and saw absolutely no difference in performance. And I have monitors on my isp connections as well as the a box that just monitors the ipsec tunnel latency. Nothing is attributable to the modems.

I you've got experience with an issue, share it because I'd be interested in what configuration gave the trouble.

Yes, you're right, most people are ignorant to these things and probably wouldn't even notice. But there are enough people that game these days that a lot more people would have had issues--issues to the point that Best Buy and others would have stopped carrying that model due to higher than normal returns.
 

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