Recently we have been testing and reviewing one of the best cable modems on the market (some people consider it that way), the Netgear CM1000 cable modem. As while reviewing it, we came across a lot of good facts and specs that this modem comes with, but due to the price tag it has, this might not be suitable for all. So, that made us look for another cable modem that can stand next to it and give it a nice combination. Since we already had an Arris Surfboard SB8200 at our office that carries almost the similar specs and comes for a fairly similar price too, a comparison of Arris vs Netgear is a must.
Therefore, in this article, we will be going to talk a little about both the cable modems, Arris SB8200 vs Netgear CM1000, and try to find out which one justifies their pricing well. Since both the cable modems come for the same pricing, both have their own perks and flaws too. Although the names of the technology and numbers are the same in most judging aspects, we have tested the real-life performance of both the products.
Hence, if you are looking for a decent cable modem for your home or office, and these similar spec sheets seem confusing to you, then this comparison between SB8200 and CM1000 can be quite helpful for you to make a wise decision. Starting to discuss the Netgear CM1000 vs Arris SB8200 battle, we would like to introduce you with the key features of both these cable modems so that you can have ease while comparing them side by side.
Beginning with most people’s favorite Netgear CM1000 cable modem. No doubt, it performs exceptionally well and has all the latest features that one could ask for the price. Moreover, the engineering and performance of this cable modem clearly show what Netgear is capable of and surely reflects their DNA in this product as well. Hence, if you opt to choose the CM1000 cable modem for your home or office, make sure to pair it up with a Netgear router to have the best experience out of it.
Best features of Netgear CM1000
Unlike the basic table-top designs, Netgear has moved on to design their builds that can stand vertically upright. Not only does this look elegant, but also saves a lot of desk area as well. Although it does not weigh much, since the dimensions of the CM1000 cable modem are 8.8 x 5.4 x 5.9 inches, the vertical design is quite helpful.
Apart from that, the outer casing of the modem is more like polyhedron-shaped or diamond-shaped which gives it a nice futuristic look, and also allows you to mount it on the wall as well. In fact, at the front panel of the modem, you will find a bunch of LED indicator lights to guide you if the modem is functioning or not.
When a powerful chipset like Broadcom BCM3390 chipset is used in such a cable modem, heat management becomes a necessary part to consider. Still, Netgear is not using any fans inside to cool down the cheapest. Instead of that, Netgear had decided to make ventilation holes on the outer shell and design them in a triangular shape to maintain the looks and aesthetics of the overall modem. Seems like they have succeeded as well since we like this design a lot personally. However, there is nothing interesting to talk about on the backside as it just has one Ethernet port and another necessary port for cable connection and Power in-let.
2. Hardware and Performance
In terms of performance of the CM1000 cable modem, Netgear has not compromised in any hardware aspect as all the components and technologies used are by far the latest on this. As we have already mentioned, it comes with a Broadcom BCM3390 chipset with 128 MB of flash memory and 256 MB of RAM.
In fact, the modem can seamlessly handle speeds offered by the DOCSIS 3.1 standards since the advantage of having 32×8 channel bonding is also there. Although DOCSIS 3.1 standards allow the modem to have downstream and upstream speeds up to 10Gbps and 1Gbps respectively. However, this unit from Netgear has capabilities to handle up to 1Gbps only. This might be a disappointing factor for some people as the Ethernet port itself is capable of providing only 1000Mbps speeds, so using any better plan will still result in a bottleneck.
However, we can not call it bad either since even 1Gbps download speeds are not yet very widespread and are quite uncommon. So, you will still be enjoying one of the fastest internet speeds in your locality at least. Other than that, in some cases during peak hours, IPSs tend to cap the internet speeds to a minimum according to the network traffic. However, you should not face such issues with a modem like this since it has 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels. Thus, even in the peak hours of the day, you can receive satisfying speeds easily.
Talking about the compatibility of this CM1000 modem, all the well-recognized ISP brands such as Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, etc are supported by the CM1000 modem and you have complete freedom to choose any plan you wish. But, make sure the limit for this modem is only 1Gbps, so don’t go any further than that. Moreover, since Netgear has good relations with Comcast, your experience with that ISP will be good too.
4. Easy Setup
For the setup process, it is quite a normal procedure as all you need to do is connect some cables and activate the connection. Since there is only one Ethernet port at the backside, you can only connect one computer at one time. So, just connect your computer with the modem, plug in the connection cable that your ISP has provided you with, and turn the device on. Manage the rest of the work by contacting your ISP and activate your connection. Barely takes 10 minutes or so, that’s pretty simple to do.
Read more about Netgear CM1000 in our in-depth Netgear CM1000 Cable Modem Review.
Since the Arris SB8200 comes for very similar pricing as the CM1000, we will be reviewing all the features of this amazing cable modem to compare it with the CM1000 modem. As far as we know, it is the only competition in the market that has the potential to stand against the CM1000. Not only we are discussing CM1000 vs SB8200 here, but for some people, it is as interesting as the Arris vs Netgear competition entirely. So, let’s check out what are the features that Arris is providing at the same pricing, and are these features good enough to beat down CM1000 or not.
Best features of Arris SB8200
Talking about the design, we can clearly declare the CM1000 as the winner in terms of looks as the Arris SB8200 looks more like a traditional modem and has a very box-like shape. It does not look as elegant as the CM1000.
However, in terms of other physical aspects, the overall footprint is way smaller as you can get a nice idea with its dimensions – 5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches. In fact, it is even lightweight too, so the four rubber-pads given at the bottom give it a nice balance while standing. Yes, like the CM1000, it also comes in a vertical design and has more appealing and descriptive LED indicators at the front.
Moreover, for the ventilation to keep the processor cool, Arris has also taken the easy approach by offering small holes in the outer shell that does a pretty decent job, but it gets hot sometimes too. The blue lights at the front indicate about DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 whereas the green ones are for internet and power. Moving towards the backside, it feels great to see that it comes with two Ethernet ports, unlike the CM1000 that comes with just one. This opens up the opportunity for the users to take advantage of high-speed internet via Link Aggregation.
2. Hardware and Performance
Like the CM1000, the Arris SB8200 also boasts the same powerful chipset, Broadcom BCM3390. It has been a great move by Arris as earlier models had Intel Puma chipsets that were not as powerful as the current one, so it was a much-needed update that Arris has now started to provide.
Apart from that, with 128 MB of flash memory and 256 MB of RAM, the way this modem manages the 32 downstream and 9 upstream channels are quite remarkable since we have never experienced any performance drop while operating this modem. In fact, even at the peak hours of the day, there were no such issues as all the devices at work were working fine, even after connecting it with a basic specced router that matches the configuration.
You can also choose to pair any AC1900 router or better to use with this modem if you want to utilize it to the fullest. However, as for the wired speeds, it is mentioned that it offers speeds up to 1Gbps. But, there is a little plot twist since we have two Ethernet ports at the back, you are free to establish a dual-link between the modem and router to enjoy speeds up to 2Gbps out from this modem. That’s where an AC1900 router will come in handy. However, if you join it directly to a PC, the output will be the same as the CM1000, which is just 1Gbps.
There are no doubts that you can use the Arris SurfBoard SB8200 with all the leading ISPs like Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, etc without an issue. However, make sure the plan you choose must be offering speeds up to 1Gbps in case you are going to use it wired only. On the other hand, if you have a decent router with AC1900 configuration, you can choose plans with speeds up to 2Gbps as you can simply achieve that via link aggregation.
4. Setup Process
If you even have no technical knowledge about the setup process, you can still do it easily without anyone’s help as all you need to do is join the right cables in the right ports. For the first time setup, you will surely require a laptop or a computer that can connect to the modem with a LAN cable. So, simply connect your computer, join the internet cable into the modem that your ISP had provided, and plug the modem into a power source using the adapter that comes inside the box. Just wait for the modem to come alive and ask your ISP to activate the connection for you. That’s it.
Read more about Arris SB8200 in our in-depth Arris Surfboard SB8200 Review.
Netgear CM1000 vs Arris SB8200
|Netgear CM1000||Arris SB8200|
|Setup||Easier for Comcast users||Easier for Spectrum users|
|Design||Elegant Polyhedron-shaped Design||Box-like average Design|
|Channel Bonding||32×8 Channel Bonding||32×8 Channel Bonding|
|DOCSIS standard||DOCSIS 3.1||DOCSIS 3.1|
|Ports||1 Ethernet Port||2 Ethernet Ports|
1. Speed and Performance
The most important factor on which you can judge the Arris SB8200 and Netgear CM1000 is their speed and performance. Although both the modems boast the similar Broadcom chipset and both are compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 standard. Still, the Arris SB8200 can offer you speeds up to 2Gbps which is good enough for 4K content streaming. Whereas the 1Gbps cap of the CM1000 is simply half of what you get from Arris SB8200, hence you can only expect it to offer speeds suited for steaming lesser quality content only.
Recommended: Best Router for 4K Streaming
As far as the setup process is concerned, it is pretty much the same until the activation step. Before that, all you have to do is connect the cable right only. The setup process will be much easier as the Netgear CM1000 automatically does it for you if it detects the Comcast connection.
On the other hand, if you have a Spectrum internet subscription, the Arris SB8200 comes with a Spectrum Analyzer feature that will help you to set up the modem way quicker than any other ISP.
In terms of design, the clear winner is the CM1000 as its diamond-like design clearly outshines the box-like look of the SB200. Moreover, the CM1000 also allows you to mount it on the wall whereas the SB2000 can only be placed on a flat surface. However, the Arris SB8200 has a smaller form-factor so hiding it won’t be a big deal for you either. In fact, you should not be choosing to buy such components on the basis of their looks, as it is not any kind of style statement. All you need to look for is better performance.
Ports are a pretty interesting factor to check on a router. Mostly all the old cable modems have come with only 1 Ethernet port, and CM1000 is still following the trend. However, the Arris SB8200 is providing you with 2 Ethernet ports that allow you to use the internet on two computers simultaneously. Even you can make use of the two ports for link aggregation to double the transfer speeds on Arris SB8200.
Arris SB8200 vs Netgear CM1000 – Which one should you choose?
As far as what we have observed since both the modems come for the same price, there are some factors on which the Arris SB8200 appears to be outshining the CM1000. Whether it is the overall speed, or the features like LAG, or the availability of ports, the Arris SB8200 seems to be a clear winner until and unless we start to judge the products on the basis of their designs. Hence, if you are confused to choose between these two modems, the Arris SB8200 is a better option to pick if you are expecting to receive more value for your money.