Arris SB6121 vs SB6141 vs SB6183 vs 6190

Arris SURFboard SB6121 vs SB6141 vs SB6183 vs SB6190 (Updated 2018)

When it comes to the internet world with all its fancy gizmos and gadgets, there is one company that stands out. Arris and their modems SB6121 vs SB6141 vs SB6183 vs SB6190. Arris has constantly been evolving its products to keep up with the demands of technology and it is this reason why they remain the favorites through the decades when it comes to the wireless routers and modems. But which modems should you invest in? If you want a budget option, is it better to buy Arris SB6121 vs SB6141? Or you want a high performance modem and you are wondering which one of SB6183 vs SB6190 is better for you?

The modem you use could influence your internet speeds. There are many models in the market; however, we’ve decided to narrow the search down to four options that help to explain why they are better than the previous models and how good they are for your internet needs.

We tested Arris SB6121 & SB6141 & SB6183 & SB6190 For 2 Weeks And Here Are The Results

Arris Surfboard Testing

Of course, we put these four modems to the test and compared what everyone online is looking for in a modem – their upload and download speeds, the number of channels and more. Hopefully, this comparison will shed some light on what you need – whether you are happy with the one you have or if there is a need to upgrade.

When it comes to the internet, most users have gotten used to faster speeds in data transferring and watching HD videos or gaming. With so much technology at our finger tips, it is no wonder that we have lost patience with slow and laggy internet, and indeed, why should we settle for slow when lightening fast is right around the corner? Also, do not forget that your modem has to be compatible with your ISP.

It is 2017, and it is time to step up our game. There is no need to be frustrated at watching your favorite TV show stream for ages or wait for that one important file take a long time to upload. Now is the time to avoid your work from suffering. We checked out the Arris SB6121, SB6141, SB6183 and SB6190 and took a closer look to see just how good these 4 modems brought to you from Arris SURFboard really were.

Arris SURFboard SB6121 vs SB6141 vs SB6183 vs SB6190





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1. Arris SB6121

172 Mbps



2. Arris SB6141

(Best Value Choice)

343 Mbps



3. Arris SB6183

686 Mbps



4. Arris SB6190

(Editor's Choice)

1900 Mbps



DOCSIS 3.0 Explained

DOCSIS, short for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification is the standard used by all telecommunication companies who provide internet service via a cable modem. This helps in the manufacturers as well as your ISPs to utilise a common standard so that the products manufactured and used can work in a compatible manner.

This standard has evolved as our gadgets and the technology behind internet service providers have improved. With that, new capabilities such as better internet speeds require higher technical standards, which is why there are different versions of DOCSIS.

DOCSIS 3.0 is the most commonly used standard as of now, and supersedes DOCSIS 2.0 as all modem that use the DOCSIS 3.0 standard can support higher internet speeds, which has become more common in many homes today.

What Is Channel Bonding

Data is transmitted through channels within a certain bandwidth. When two neighbouring channels within a bandwidth are combined, the throughput increases. Effectively, the data stream is doubled when two channels are combined, and this in turn helps meet the increasing demand for connections speeds from consumers.

Channel Bonding occurs in:

Wifi Channel Bonding: When 2 MHz channels within a certain frequency band are combined to create a larger MHz channel, doubling the throughput between the performances of multiple wireless devices.

DOCSIS Channel Bonding: The awesome speeds you enjoy over Cable are thanks to this. 24 channels of 6MHz, carrying 38Mbps, when bonded together gives you ramped up speeds of nearly 1Gbps.

Cellular Channel Bonding: This provides wider bandwidths to reduce crowded airwaves

VDSL2 Channel Bonding: You can get speeds 12x faster than ADSL, thanks to CB.

1. ARRIS SURFboard SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

One of the earlier models, the ARRIS SB6121 was released in 2010, and was considered new age technology in it time. The great price, compatibility with major ISPs and delivery of fast speed internet made this a favorite a few years back.

Arris SB6121 Speed:

Having a maximum download speed of 172 Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 131 Mbps was a big jump from the previous model. While this is great news for the majority of users who do not have access to high internet speeds of 100 Mbps and above, it is worth noting that after we tested it out, we noted that the speeds were considerably lower than the stated 172 Mbps. This could be due to heavier network usage and other factors.

Arris SB6121 Performance:

Having 4 download and 4 upload channels means you get slightly faster speeds and less congestion or lagging when using the internet. One point in SB6121’s favor is that the temperature it operates at is one of the lowest in our testing, running at 87.7°F. As with all electronic devices, you do want them to run at lower operating temperatures because this translates to your device lasting for a longer time, which is very important in the ‘short term’ life of electronic gadgets of today. As it is back compatible for people who have gadgets that can work only with DOCSIS 2.0 or lower, this is a good choice.

Arris SB6121 Best Use:

If you love watching your HD videos, you can forget about the days of buffering and lagging. Even gamers can happily play their games without interruptions. While this is not state of the art equipment, it is well worth the price and will definitely be a great buy.

Arris SURFboard SB6121 Pros

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Easy Installation
  • ​4x4 channels & 172 Mbps Upload and 131 Mbps Download speeds
  • ​Compatible with major ISPs
  • 2 year warranty

Arris SURFboard SB6121 Pros

  • ​Outdated software
  • Modem phased out with very few sellers

2. ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

SB6121 vs SB6141? SB6141 Wins In Many Ways

When it comes to shopping around the modem market and you’re on a budget, the Arris SB6141 is your best bet. When you compare SB6121 vs SB6141 it definitely wins over the previous model of the Arris SB6121 in many ways – which we will explain in a bit. Needless to say, this is proven to be faster, better and has overall better performance and should be great for your internet needs. This modem is compatible with major ISPs, which makes it a great choice if you ever think of moving – and the extremely affordable price makes this a great choice for those who don’t want to dig too deep into their pockets, while wanting a quality product that does the job well.

Arris SB6141 Speed:

The Arris SB6141 blows you out of the water with the improved speeds, which stands at 343 Mbps download and 131 Mbps. As we tend to download more content than upload it (like watching HD movies or getting past that hard stage in Counter strike or getting stronger opponents in League of Legends), we end up using more downstream data, so the Arris SB6141 definitely helps.

Arris SB6141 Performance:

With the higher downstream and upstream speeds, the Arris SB6141 also comes with 8 downstream channels and 4 upstream, which means that you get faster internet speeds with less congestion. As this is a cable modem, you don’t have to worry about not being able to access the fast speeds you are paying for because with 343 Mbps, you know you’re well within the limit. The well ventilated modem ensures that it operates smoothly, even when it’s working overtime as you stream your HD videos.

There is one point however, this modem does boot up a tad bit slower than the other modems we reviewed, but this is honestly not such a big deal when you think about its performance and speed.

Arris SB6141 Best Use:

Movie buffs who love watching all their favorite videos in HD or hard core gamers will love owning the Arris SB6141. It is definitely a step up from the Arris SB6121 – who wouldn’t love the improved faster speeds?

Arris SURFboard SB6141 Pros

  • Attractive price
  • 8x4 channels with faster download and upload speeds reaching 353 Mbps and 131 Mbps
  • ​DOCSIS 3.0 and supports IPv4 and IPv6
  • ​Easy installation
  • 2 year warranty
  • Compatible with major ISPs

Arris SURFboard SB6141 Cons

  • Have to buy a wireless router
  • No power off button

SB6121 vs SB6141. Does it make sense to buy SB6141 over SB6121?

Technology keeps evolving and to get the best speeds possible, you must upgrade your modem. The SB6121 is outdated and we’ll be very surprised if you manage to find a seller. Even if you do, we’d advise against purchasing the SB6121 simple because it is obsolete in every way. The technology is too old and it doesn’t support high speed internet.

Released in 2010, the SB6121 is no match when compared to the SB6141 as the latter outshines the SB6121 in every way. It offers faster download and upload speeds, and let’s face it, when our ISP is giving us high speed internet, there is no reason to use a modem which cannot handle it. Let’s take a closer look at the figures. The SB6121 offers 172 download speeds – which is the max it can offer, and the SB6141 offers double that. It really is a no brainer when it comes to choosing between these two.

If you did make the decision to go for the SB6121, which we highly do not recommend, you would be hard pressed to find a seller, or even if you do, you’ll end up paying more for it than actually purchasing the more advanced SB6141. In fact, due to competitive pricing in Amazon, more often than not you may end up paying less for the SB6141 than the previous version. The SB6121 vs. SB6141? We know which one wins in our eyes.

3. ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

SB6141 vs SB6183? Stick With SB6141

Welcome to the super fast Internet speed experience. One step ahead of the SB6141, the SB6183 doubles its download speeds but more or less every other spec remains the same. It runs on the most current DOCSIS 3.0 spec, and is just slightly more expensive than the SB6141. It does offer more downstream channels, which is great if you have many devices or connections in your home or if you live in a heavily populated area.

Arris SB6183 Speed:

What sets this apart from the SB6141 is the internet speeds it offers. Running on DOCSIS 3.0, the Arris SB6183 has 16 download channels and 4 upload channels which offer up to 686 Mbps download speeds. That’s quite a sizeable difference from the previous version. Because this is a cable modem and chances are high that you too have a cable internet, having a modem with more channels may not be such a bad idea.

If you live in a city or have neighbors that share the same cable connection, you could also end up sharing your bandwidth with them which may influence your internet speeds. The extra channels help to make your internet streaming smoother. Waiting for videos to stream is now a thing of the past, as we noticed when all HD videos played seamlessly, even though we tested it out with 4 devices.

Arris SB6183 Performance:

With such faster speeds being offered, it came as no surprise that the performance was flawless. Testing the speeds in an apartment in a city, with many neighbors who were also heavy internet users while a bunch of us were gaming, we found that it worked like a charm. No lags, interruptions, and a stable connection that allowed us to do what we wanted.

The easy installation makes it simpler for the not so tech savvy people, but this seems to be a standard specification in Arris modems. Also, the dual band definitely put a point in its favor. Having the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands makes a difference to your internet experience.

Arris SB6183 Best Use:

Because of the optimized performance, you can now enjoy a better gaming experience without compromising on cost. Game to your heart’s content and watch all the HD videos you want, this modem can certainly deliver.

Arris SURFboard SB6183 Pros

  • Compatible with major ISPs
  • Dual band
  • ​686 Mbps download and 131 Mbps upload speeds with 16x4 channels
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6
  • 2 year warranty

Arris SURFboard SB6183 Cons

  • DOCSIS 3.1 is out
  • Need to buy a wireless router

SB6141 vs SB6183. Does it make sense to buy SB6183 over SB6141?

When it comes to a choice from the SB6141 vs SB6183, it is a close call. However, you have to think about what you need your modem to do for you. What is your subscription plan? What is your internet usage? How many people will be connected to your network?

The reason why you should ask these questions is because even though it may be tempting to go in for the SB6183 modem, your ISP may not be providing speeds close to that. This will mean that you would’ve paid a lot for something that didn’t deliver more simply due to the constraints of your ISP. For example, your ISP may be running on the four channel bonding, which would mean that the 16 channels provided in the SB6183 will not be utilized. If that is the case, which we think is the most likely; there is no overall advantage in choosing to purchase the SB6183 vs SB6141.

Now it is true that the speeds are better, but if you’re not getting those speeds from your ISP, then it may make more sense to get the SB6141. Also, as the SB6141 is already DOCSIS 3.0, it’s not like you’re really future proofing. We would suggest waiting it out while working with the SB6141, because it can do mostly whatever the SB6183 can do, and this way you can wait until your ISP increases your speed, hopefully for free (which many companies are doing right now, in the spirit of competitiveness), and then you can make a better informed choice for which modem would suit you.

Also, the SB6141 is still as popular as ever, and we see no reason to move away from it, unless if you have a connection that gives you insane speeds, which we would then recommend a higher speed modem. Right now, SB6183 is like the in-between modem, neither here nor there. If you have it, we would suggest stay with it for now.

4. ARRIS Surfboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

SB6183 vs SB6190? Arris SB6190 Is Our Editor's Choice

If we had to choose a winner, this would be it. The 32 download channels does make it easier to choose, as well as the chance to receive the max download speed of 1.4 Gbps. Has your jaw dropped yet? Well, not only does this sweet piece of internet equipment come ready for high speed internet, which is in the near future, it also delivers on what works today – which is what we were looking for.

It’s all great if something looks visually appealing, but when the Arris SB6190 was tested and found to be exactly as what it says on the cover, we were pleasantly surprised. Now combine the easy installation process, high internet speeds, 2 year warranty into one neat and tidy package, you’ll probably be looking at the SB6190.

Arris SB6190 Speeds:

You may think this is over the top, but with download speeds reaching 1.4G bps and upload speeds touching 262 Mbps, streaming is now a dream come true and days of buffering and lagging are all a long distant nightmare. The Arris SB6190 has 32 download channels and 8 upload channels, which means that speeds are faster than ever before.

Arris SB6190 Performance:

If you love high speed internet and are lucky enough to have an ISP that provides out of the charts speeds then by all means the Arris SB6190 is the modem you need and the modem you want. It functions like a dream and it is so easy to set up that you feel like a tech nerd.

Arris SB6190 Best Use:

If you have a large family, a huge set of friends who love to watch different TV shows or movies in HD or love to play an intense game together would love the Arris SB6190. It makes no difference to the performance of the modem if you live in a sprawling mansion or you manage in a small apartment. Being the latest model and fastest modem available in the market today makes it a good choice for those who want to be on top of their game and do not want to settle for anything less than the best.

Arris SURFboard SB6190 Pros

  • 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels
  • Supports latest internet standard of IPv6
  • Reaches download speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps
  • Compatible with major ISPs
  • 2 year warranty
  • DOCSIS 3.0

Arris SURFboard SB6190 Cons

  • Need to get a wireless router
  • Requires cable service
  • Upfront investment

SB6190 vs SB6183: Does it make sense to buy SB6190 over SB6183?

When it comes down to SB6183 vs SB6190, it really becomes the battle for the best. Which one triumphs? When we did the research, it was clear to us that SB6190 won the battle and the war. When it came to comparing specs, SB6190 won hands down. From the amazing download speeds; to better and stable connectivity and more, the latest modem from Arris has taken the trophy home.

The SB6190 is far superior in terms of internet speed capacity, data transfer speeds, performance and more. If you’re looking to stay current or anticipate for the future, this modem may be just the gadget you need in your home.

Final Verdict

After reviewing the four modems from Arris, we came to the conclusion that there were only 2 possible winners. SB6141 vs SB6121 shows that SB5141 stands out. With speeds that have doubled, easy installation process and safeguarding your home from ancient history, this modem offers state of the art technology to be at your fingertips. In terms of a budget buy – Arris SB6141 is your best bet.

Even when it comes to comparing SB6183 vs SB6190 we feel that SB6190 stands out. This is also because if you are looking to purchase the best for your internet needs, you may as well get the SB6190. This is the latest upgrade in the modem world and this time, Arris has surpassed itself and delivered. In terms of performance and upload/ download speeds, the SB6190 really shines.

But which one you will need depends on how much data you will use. Will you only email friends and family, or do you love watching HD movies? Part of a gaming community? Live in a heavily populated are or in the suburbs? All these factors could greatly influence your buying power.

Hope this guide helped you make a decision.

About the Author tomas

Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.