Cable Modem Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by DJLC, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. DJLC macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    North Carolina
    So I had the Arris SB6141 for quite a while — loved it. But when TWC upgraded my package to 200Mbps for no extra charge, it became apparent that the 6141 didn't support enough channels to get to those speeds. It seemed to cap out between 100 and 120 Mbps.

    So I just purchased and installed the Arris SB6183. However, it seems a little bit inconsistent and in reading over several other forums I see there are isolated issues with the 6183 on Time Warner. Sometimes I'll get a speedtest at <10Mbps, other times it jumps up into the 100s. It doesn't seem to ever exceed 150Mbps or so, save one outlier test at 180Mbps. I'm sure part of that could be coax line quality and/or LAN connection quality, but all the levels reported on the modem's status page seem to be within the ideal range, and my clients are all either wired or on 802.11N or AC reporting 300Mbps+.

    Does anyone have any specific recommendations re: the best cable modem to buy to get to 200Mbps on Time Warner? I'm toying with exchanging the 6183 for something else at Amazon, perhaps a Netgear of some variety.

    FWIW my main router and the WAP for my deck are both ASUS units. I don't expect those are the issue.

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    If you haven't already, try using a different test server. 200 Mbps is a lot of bandwidth and there's a good chance the test server just isn't able to push that much data out.

    Also, try at off hours in case your area's uplink is saturated, since the uplink is shared by many people in your area.

    FWIW, I get 160 Mbps on my 150 Mbps Comcast plan through my SB6141 and very few test locations will give me that result. There is one near me that will provide that number pretty consistently.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I've been using that modem with TWC for a while and there were some issues when it first came out, but subsequent firmware updates seem to have fixed it. I have zero problems with it and I have not read in the forums here about people having any more trouble with that modem.

    I suspect your troubles are elsewhere. Have you tried a ethernet cable direct into the modem to take the router out of the picture?
  4. DJLC thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    North Carolina
    TBH, if others are having success with the 6183 these days, I'm betting it's more router and/or coax infrastructure related. To be fair, I also installed a new router alongside all this (ASUS RT-AC68W, and repurposing the old RT-N66U as an AP). The modem was delayed a few days, and the new router was doing fine with the 6141 in the meantime. Just wanted to make sure I hadn't made a stupid decision when I bought the 6183! Buyer's remorse is hard when you see so much conflicting information, and TBH I didn't really research other modems before I bought it.

    I'm gonna do some more tracing and testing. Of course I do take a hit during peak hours, but I'm typically testing late at night. Just wanna make sure I'm getting what I pay for; if I can't for whatever reason, I'll downgrade my plan. :)

    Thanks guys!
  5. Cordorb macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    I have had good results with the 6183 and the user tips at
    The modem was all ready when the downstream channels went from 8 to 16 as part of the MAX change over.
    I even got about 10 % faster before the change.
  6. r8ders2k macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2009
    I've got Comcast Blast at 150 Mbps with an Arris SurfBoard SB6190 cable modem and an AirPort Extreme 802.11ac. Using, my 2008 MacBook Pro's Wi-Fi gets about 170+ Mbps and my wired Apple TV (Gen 4) gets 90+ Mbps.
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I suggest to save money and not pay rental fees to ISP do some things for yourself! If you want the latest with 16 channels down turn get the Arris-Surboard SB6183. When you get home come home with your current router turn it off and disconnect for 3 minutes. Then connect the new modem and after three minutes turn it on.

    Also have your ISP number to call on your cell phone to see why it didn't register.

    Now if you want a VOIP phone is a harder because their are so many different VOIP providers. The important is 911 sevice along with voicemail and cell phone intergraded along with price in case the power goes out! Icing on the cake is sevice that notifies or forwards to your cell phone!
  8. DJLC thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    North Carolina
    FWIW, I finally had a TWC tech out and it turned out there was a trap on my line knocking out the higher channels. Which made the new 6183 go insane. Once they removed the trap it stopped going in and out and I'm getting my full 200Mbps.

    So: to anyone else experiencing issues with the 6183 (or 6190 for that matter), it might be worth having a tech out to check your lines. A trap might not have caused issues with a modem using ≤8 channels, but once you upgrade to a 16+ channel modem it can kill everything.
  9. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    My brother had the same a few years back! It even affected their HD Channels. After the tech found the pole trap it all came good!
  10. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    I had to do the same, my old modem was rated for 100 Mbps and I had to upgrade to one with at least 300 Mbps. The best suggestion I can give is this.

    You'll need to consider:
    1) The increase of internet speeds over time
    2) The modem's maximum speed
    3) The price you're willing to pay
    4) The brand quality
    5) Device and carrier compatibility.
    6) How many TVs you have in your house.

    Since TWC just upgraded your line to 200 Mbps, consider if there are others with faster speeds than 200 Mbps (for residential) in your city. If there are, you might get bumped to those speeds sooner rather than later.

    Modem's come in speeds (relevant to your case) in 300 Mbps, ~650+- Mbps, ~970+- Mbps (which is what I got) and 1.4 Gbps. (that I've seen). You'd probably be good with the 300 Mbps but if you think you'll be getting faster speeds in the lifetime of the modem then go bigger. (Saves you that cost later) This leads us into

    Modems aren't expensive, but they also aren't cheap, look at spending $60-$180 for a modem to cover those speeds, pricing is based on speed, number of channels (for data transmission), and quality (doesn't mean that the most expensive (~$170) is the best).

    Brand quality is arguable, but when I talk about this, I'm talking about the quality differences that you'd see along their entire lineup of products, if they are known for making terrible devices, might want to let them stew on why their sales are down, might save you from hardware trouble in the future.

    Of course it should have the TWC seal of approval on the box, if it doesn't you can see a modem compatibility list on their website before buying it. Device compatibility - I've had Macs that did not talk to the Arris wireless router so I tend to stay away from those just for compatibility. If you have your own router, device compatibility shouldn't be a problem, it's only when you buy a modem router combo is when you should be selective.

    You might be wondering why I included this and I was informed by an electronics engineer about why channels matter. The modem I got was a Netgear CM600 ($120), it has 24 channels instead of the higher 32 channels that was offered by the Arris SB6190 ($170), even though the 6190 offered a 1.4 Gbps bandwidth beating out the CM600 the CM600 wouldn't have as much of an issue sending HD broadcasting to TVs. Especially if you have a lot of devices talking on the Internet at once. It's highly unlikely anyone has 20+ TVs in their house, but if you are using this for a sports bar, you might run into those issues.

    I'm satisfied with my CM600 (900 Mbps $120) and it would be my first suggestion, although I will say I had to call TWC because I was upgrading from another personally owned modem to switch it out.

    For you this might be overkill but if the speeds ever jump up before the CM600 dies you don't have to change anything, you just come home and your speeds are already upgraded. For you, you could save money and go with a CM400 (300 Mbps $60) or a CM500 (600 Mbps $100) if you go with Netgear, but expect to pay those prices from just about anywhere.
  11. McRumour, May 23, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2016

    McRumour macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2013
    You've described my situation as well.
    The SB6183 will be delivered on Wed. Meanwhile, I've been reading on other forums about the disabling of IPv6 by TWC on the 6183 because of bug for which they haven't yet pushed out the firmware update and about the humongous number of Correctables and Uncorrectables on its Status Connection page (which has also been the case with my old SB6580).
    Have you been bothered by those problems?
    The Netgear600CM doesn't appear to have those issues (or any others that I've read about). A bit more pricey though.

    How has the 6183 been working out for you since you last posted?
    I can still "refuse delivery", not be charged for return shipment and get the Netgear instead.

    That's GREAT info about the line trap. Thanks for the heads up about it.....
  12. DJLC, May 23, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2016

    DJLC thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    North Carolina
    Not sure about IPv6 — AFAIK it has never been enabled in my area. I don't think it worked with the 6141 before, and it isn't enabled with the 6183 now (per For laughs I'm attaching a screenshot of my current Status Connection page; I think I've only rebooted once since the tech removed the trap. I still find that it's touchy every now and then, but it's still MUCH better than it was before. Faster than the 6141 for sure, albeit slightly less reliable (one outage last week after trap removal not related to Time Warner's network; vs. every day with the 6183 and the trap; vs. never with the 6141).

    As far as SB6183 vs. Netgear, I'm not sure what to say. I've never had a Netgear cable modem. No idea if it would be any better or not; but I'd note that a trap on your line may still cause issues with any modem using more channels than you're using now.

    Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 5.45.58 PM.png
  13. Glideslope, May 24, 2016
    Last edited: May 24, 2016

    Glideslope macrumors 603


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
    I recently set up the new Moto MB7420. It's 16/4 and IMO, handles channels better than the 6183 I was previously using. It's on an Airport Extreme with 10 devices always active.
    I'm on TWC (Spectrum) 100mbps. It's the best value/performance today IMO for 100mbps and above. :apple:

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