Cable modem for Comcast 2016

I had Comcast come to the house and they determined that the cable modem in my house is actually theirs, lol! I thought it was mine. Anyhow, I think it makes sense to buy one, because otherwise I have to pay 10 bucks a month to rent for the rest of my life.

Now I just have to figure out which one to buy.

The Comcast guy, a really nice knowledgeable dude name Jason, said he couldn’t recommend, but that a lot of customers had Arris Surfboards. I found this one on Amazon. The confusing thing is this: Jason said get 150 megabits per second (for around $60-80), but I can’t find that spec on this one. Is that the same as download speed? Because then it looks like I want the the faster one (not the one linked here), which is a higher price point than what Jason said.

Their 6141 is the one the Wirecutter likes, which is what I have. Never had any issues with it. It’s been rock solid.

We’ve had an Arris CM820 Docsis 3.0 8x4 for 3 years and have never had a problem.

From what I’ve seen, pretty much any Docsis 3 modem on the Comcast approved list that otherwise meets your needs should be OK. I WOULD recommend staying away from a massively integrated WIFI / VOIP / etc gateway, however. When any one of those bits needs upgrading or breaks you’ll dump a relatively more expensive piece of gear.


Oh, thanks Lee, especially for linking the write up. Here is the Amazon link for the 6141, for the benefit of others who might want to buy. It’s actually cheaper and looks like the download spec may not be the relevant one for the 150 mps that Jordan spoke of, as this one is even lower than the one I posted above.

That is the exact model I have (the SB6183) and it’s great. Tops out at 686 mbps, so no worries about handling 150 or really any sane speed anyone is likely to need in the near future, but obviously if you were to get gigabit you’d need to upgrade.

I might be a little dyslexic this morning. For some reason, it didn’t click for me that 150 mbps is slower than 686 mbps (or even 343 mbps for the 6141). I blame a lack of coffee. Ignore my blathering about specs above!

I have read that the ability to lease more channels, besides increasing the maximum speed the modem supports, might also make for more consistent speeds and/or getting closer to the assigned speed for your service. Anyway that was the theory on which I got the 6183. (There wasn’t a higher model at the time, I don’t think.) Dunno if that’s true. I’m generally getting about 125-130 mbps of the 150 rated and Comcast said that was doing quite well.

Thanks everyone! I just bought my new modem. I went with the 6141, because it’s cheaper and that’s how I roll. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to help me with this purchase.

Huh. That’s something to keep in mind. I’m going to see what I get with the 6141 and post back. If it’s a big deficit, I might have to exchange it for the other. Pennywise, etc.

Did he tell you when they’ll be upgrading to DOCSIS 3.1 in your area ?

It may be worth renting for a few months…oops too late.

He didn’t mention anything about this. What does this improvement offer, I wonder? The 6141 linked above has this capability, but I’m not even sure what it is.

Gigabit over COAX:

Comcast’s gigabit-over-coax Internet requires a new kind of cable modem. That device is charmingly classified under a new DOCSIS 3.1 standard,
an acronym for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. And
while it looks like any other black box, this new standard is capable of
pumping data at 10 Gbps over existing coaxial cable. Still, Comcast is ushering in its new service with only a tenth of that power—currently offering one gigabit per second downstream speeds with 35Mbps upstream.


And, as if on cue:

I wonder how much it will cost. I’m trying to get my bill to go down, but I’m not sure this will help. I’m all for faster, but I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for it.

From what I can tell it runs 130 or 140 per month, unless you have a competitor with gigabit in the area, then you can get 70 per month with a three year contract (at least, this is what they are doing in their current areas). The caveat to that is that you can’t bundle the service with triple play, so if you currently have bundled service, it would wind up costing you more than that. Unfortunately, while CenturyLink has some gigabit service in Seattle, it isn’t in our area.

What is the justification for 1G speeds? I can get movies pretty fast with standard cable modem speeds, which are like, what 150 Mbps? Faster is always better, but how do people justify it?

I’m not trying to sound critical of anyone’s choices here, but I’m just curious. DSISCLAIMER: My twin kids both just went to college so I may still be in sticker shock mode.

It’s a pretty niche thing in most markets, but I think a lot depends on the pricing. Last I heard Google Fiber didn’t charge any more for gigabit service than I’m paying now for 150 mbps with Comcast. Under those circumstances I don’t know why I wouldn’t.

No idea.

Yes, that’s where I’m at. If I can get it for the same price, no doubt go for it. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify.

That’s the kind of speed you need for commerce, I suppose, but there are much better ways to host a commerce server than putting it in your own home.

In some markets, Comcast also offers a 300 Mbps tier for $60/mo. With unlimited data, it’s a pretty good deal, if you can tolerate a three year contract.