If you’re looking to compare the Arris Surfboard SB6183 vs. SB6190 and even the SB6141 cable modems, you’re on the right track because these are great Motorola ARRIS SURFboard cable modems. They range in speed from 686 Mbps up to 1,400 Mbps.
Let’s take a look at the main differences. The SB6190 is the newest version with higher bonded channels. The SB6183 is the older modem with 16 bonded channels while the SB6190 has 32 bonded channels. But will that matter to you?
Arris SB6183 and SB6190 Differences
You can see the differences between the two modems in the chart below. The more bonded channels the device has, the stronger the concurrent connections, the higher the capable speed and throughput bandwidth. The Sb6183 is the older modem with the newest fastest modem being the ARRIS SB6190. However, it is not approved for gigabit speeds. Only the SB8200 is.
Compare Current Prices
- SB6141 – No longer approved, End of Life
- SB6183 – Approved up to 250 Mbps. Amazon Price
- SB6190 – Approved up to 400 Mbps. Amazon Price
- SB8200 – Only modem approved for Gigabit speeds. Amazon Price
- If you want the actual best modem, you’ll need a DOCSIS 3.1 Modem
- If you have a voice package, a voice modem is required
- Don’t forget the wireless router or combo modem router!
SB6183 vs SB6190 or the SB6141?
In pretty much all cases I would recommend the SB6183 and in some cases the SB6190. The SB6183 will work fine on current speed packages(not 1Gbps) and save you money. However, the SB6190 is future proofed for higher speeds. The SB6190 also has 8 upload channels. That’s double the upload channels making it much faster for uploading. The Sb6190 is the true way to go, but I would recommend the ARRIS SB6183 if you are trying to save money.
Will the SB6190 work for Gigabit speeds?
In that case, all of this info goes out the door. Yes, the SB6190 boast “speeds up to 1.4Gbps“, but it’s all for marketing. For one, the ethernet port is only 1Gbps so that extra 400Mbps is impossible. But second, it is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem and gigabit packages require a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. Basically there is only one modem approved for that so far, the SB8200. That’s it, nothing more so you get it or you don’t. Other DOCSIS 3.1 modems have been made but are not on the approved list, meaning do not buy them because you can’t use them.
But the ARRIS SB6141 is much cheaper
Sure the SB6141 is the cheapest of the modems, but it only has 8 bonded channels and the providers won’t even provision it for over 100Mbps because they know it will have connection issues. Even now Comcast does not list the SB6141 on its list of compatible approved modems, meaning it can only be end of life now.
But what about the similarities? Well, they are all from the same superior family of modems, the Arris Motorola SURFboard series. They are all DOCSIS 3.0, the current standard in cable internet for all major providers. However, they have evolved and are capable of higher speeds now as you can see. With the increase in download channels, came the increase in download speeds. We have all benefited with newer technologies and faster speeds. The SB6190 has more download and upload channels making it the faster modem. Even if your package can’t handle it now, it will be able to someday as cable companies are constantly upgrading their network infrastructure. This is a huge reason to get the ARRIS SB6190. As Gigabit speeds are rolled out, slower packages under 100Mbps will be done away with. One major ISP claims it will have a minimum of 250Mbps plans for all customers, at the same price as their current 30Mbps packages. If this were to happen to you, you would be required to have the SB6190.
Arris Motorola Modem Similarities
- IPv4 and IPv6 compliant
- Current DOCSIS 3.0 Network
- Simple plug and play installation
- Gigabit ethernet port for router connection
Channel Bonding makes the difference
When you compare these Arris Motorola modems, you notice the big difference is the number of bonded channels, and it’s true. The higher the number of bonded channels, the faster the modem. So in this case, the SB6190 with 32 bonded channels is much faster than the SB6183 with only 16 bonded channels. The 6190 also has double the upload channels of the 6183 which is huge for someone like me, a gamer.
I should repeat this, if you have a speed of 250mbps or less, the 6183 will be fine for you. You do not need the 6190 unless you want those extra 4 channels for gaming. And even then, it’s not going to make a huge difference. Likely the difference with your ISP will be from 5mbps to 10mbps. Also useful if you do a lot of video uploading. But useless to most internet users so get the Arris 6183 to save money.
SB6163 16×4 Bonded Channels: This is actually good enough for just about all current internet packages. At the time of writing, this will work for all Comcast speeds up to Blast at 250Mbps.
SB6190 32×8 Bonded Channels: This will work for almost all current packages, however, there is a trick to this modem. It says it can get speeds up to 1.4Gbps, but the ethernet port is only 1Gbps. It’s marketing, and not true. In fact, they won’t even provision it for their 1Gbps packages. You must get the approved DOCSIS 3.1 modem. So this is good for up to 400Mbps with Comcast.
These are cable internet modems that work with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter and so on. However, they are cable only modems and do not work as voice modems or as DSL modems. In that case, you can not purchase these DOCSIS 3.0 modems; they are not telephony EMTA modems. You absolutely must buy a voice modem.
ARRIS Modem Comparison Conclusion
It’s obvious by now that the Arris SB6183 is going to be the modem of choice for most people. You would only want the SB6190 if you needed more upload channels, say if you are a gamer. The 6183 is capable of handling all speed packages up to 250Mbps and will reign the champion for a long time. However, gig speeds are here so for many the SB8200 is going to be the modem of choice. It is ready for the next generation of internet speeds and the only approved modem.