ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Arris SB6141 or SB6121 - when not to buy

Updated on November 22, 2017
Other alternatives to Motorola SB6141 or SB6121?
Other alternatives to Motorola SB6141 or SB6121? | Source

If you have read my review on the Arris Motorola SB6141 vs SB6121 you will realized that both cable modems are some of the most robust and best cable modems available in the market at the time when they were introduced.

However there may be times that even as good as they are; you should not buy them because they may not meet your requirements.

I would like to go through with you on this hub and answer a lot of commonly asked questions so that you will be very clear if you should or should not buy either the Motorola SB6141 or Motorola SB6121 and look at other devices instead.

By the way, if you are not very familiar with either modems, I highly recommend that you go through my comparison review hub on the Arris Motorola SB6141 vs SB6121 first to give yourself a good idea on the capabilities on both cable modems. (In fact there is so much interest on the topic that there has been more than 100,000 views on that hub since it was first written.)

Then making your decision will be much easier.

By the way, I have placed many links in this hub for you to read on the topics of interest which I have written before. This is because where possible, I do not want to repeat those information.

Clicking on those links should bring you to another tab so that you can easily come back and resume from where you left off.

Don't buy Motorola SB6141 or SB6121 when...
Don't buy Motorola SB6141 or SB6121 when... | Source

When... you should not buy SB6141 or SB6121

Apart from getting a robust as well as a very fast cable modem, many people are also thinking of saving money by buying the Motorola SB6141 or SB6121 to replace their rented modem from their service provider.

If you just need a cable modem only, then no problems. Those two are very good,

However do note that both Motorola SB6141 or SB6121 does NOT have a phone jack!

So if you have been using a telephony modem to make your voice calls and is thinking of upgrading, do note that you cannot connect a phone to either of these two modems as both are not EMTA (Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter) devices i.e. no direct voice capability.

As such, if you need a modem that also allows you to use your phone i.e one that comes with a phone jack then the Arris TM822G Ultra high speed telephony modem is a good modem that you should check out.

The TM822G is similar to the Motorola SB6141 in that it is an 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 modem but on top of that it also has telephony capabilities.

Click on this link to find out more about the Arris TM822G if what you need is a EMTA modem or a cable modem that also allows you to connect a phone to it.

Ooma Telo
Ooma Telo | Source

What about other alternatives?

Other voice alternative includes the use of the Ooma Telo VOIP (Voice Over IP) system together with either the Motorola SB6141 or SB6121.

You get clear voice calls as the Telo is robust and allows you to make free voice calls in the US and relatively low international voice call rates over your cable.

However do note that this is an add-on solution. Like I mentioned earlier, you will still need either the Motorola Surfboard SB6141 or SB6121 together with the Telo for you to get voice.

If you are using DSL or FIOS

Then you should definitely NOT BUY either the Motorola SB6141 or Motorola SB6121. This is because both are pure cable modem.

If you need a DSL modem, then you may want to check out the TP-LINK TD-W8980 N600. DSL modems like the TP-LINK TD-W8980 N600 also frequently include wireless router functions as well.

The TP-Link TD-W8980 N600 is an all-in-one device. It is a great value as it comes with an ADSL2+ Modem, a N600 Dual Band Router, a 4-Port Gigabit Switch and a USB Print Server - all in one box.

Dude, give me speed...
Dude, give me speed... | Source

What if the Motorola SB6141 is not fast enough for you?

Technology always moves. If you are one of those early adopters or a person who needs super speed and find that the Motorola SB6141 is not fast enough for you, then go for the latest ARRIS Motorola SurfBoard SB6183 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem!

This Motorola Surfboard SB6183 was first made available at Amazon late July 2014 - more than one and half years after I have written a very popular hub comparing the Motorola SB6141 with the Motorola SB6121..

The workings of the Motorola SB6183 are similar to what I have explained with regards to the Motorola SB6141 or SB6121.

However the difference is in the increased download speed. Based on what can be provisioned by your cable service provider, the Surfboard SB6183 can theoretically provide you with a whopping internet download speeds of up to 686 Mbps while its upload speeds can go as high as 131 Mbps; the same as those of the Motorola Surfboard SB6141 and SB6121.

Instead of the 8 channels of the Motorola SB6141, the Motorola SB6183 has twice that of the SB6141 i.e. 16 download channels while the upstream channels remain the same at 4.

If you don't mind spending around 50 bucks more than the Motorola SB6141 to get the latest and fastest cable modem, then go for the Motorola SB6183.

This cable modem will definitely take you a long long way...

Latest Update - Aug 2016:

If you are looking for a speedster, then you may want to check out to see how the SB6183 compares with the latest SB6190 here.

ARRIS SURFboard 16x4 SB6183 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem- Retail Package- Black
ARRIS SURFboard 16x4 SB6183 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem- Retail Package- Black

The Motorola SB6183 is the latest of the Arris Motorola Surfboard DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem family from Arris. If you need a very fast cable modem, then it is well worth to spend that little extra over the SB6141.

Come to think of it, this is the amount that I paid for my Surfboard SB6141 when I bought it way back ago. Now for the same amount money you get twice the download speed of the SB6141. Definitely value. It will also take you a long long way.


Ok. If you bought the Motorola SB6183, then you have got one of the fastest cable modem available in the market but even if you have got the Motorola SB6141 or SB6121, do you know that in order to get all that data to your devices, you still need another piece of equipment?

This equipment is the router - wired or wireless. However due to the flexibility of the wireless router, the wired router is no longer popular anymore.

The Motorola SB6183, Motorola SB6141 or the Motorola SB6121 does not have a routing or WiFi capability. As such, if you are also looking for a seperate router, click on the link here to find out how to select the best home wireless router.

If you are into gaming and is looking for that little extra boost in a wireless router for gaming, then check out the link below:

Is there a combined modem and as well as a router in a box?

Yes. There is.

This is also known as a "gateway" whereby you can conveniently have both the cable modem and wireless router in the same box.

If you are interested to find out more and how this device compares with the Motorola SB6141 then check out this comparison of the Motorola Surfboard SBG6580 vs SB6141.

If you want to get the Motorola SBG6580, click on the link below:

ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/ Wi-Fi N300 2.4Ghz + N300 5GHz Dual Band Router - Retail Packaging Black (570763-006-00)
ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/ Wi-Fi N300 2.4Ghz + N300 5GHz Dual Band Router - Retail Packaging Black (570763-006-00)

Some people like to have a "two-in-one" package as it saves space and also uses one less wall power socket. The Motorola Surfboard SBG6580 is a combination of the Motorola SB6141 equivalent cable modem together with a wireless router. It can turn out to be a cheaper option as the cost of a unit of the Motorola SBG6580 is usually less than the combined prices of the Motorola SB6141 and a good branded wireless router.


If you are looking for a gateway with MoCA, then click on the link to find if Arris Motorola SBG6782AC gateway is a suitable device for you.

Finally, after going through all that and you find that either the Motorola SB6141 or SB6121 still suits you, then go ahead and get it from Amazon and enjoy your new found speed!

So what did you get?

What kind of modem or gateway have you decided to get?

See results

Did you find what you are looking for in this hub?

See results

If you find the information presented here useful, please help others by sharing it using the social media buttons on the left edge.

If the answer is No, can you share with me what you are looking for so that I may include that in the future...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tcramer11 2 years ago

      Hi James- doing a new house construction and having trouble figuring out which way to go based on your post. Should I put in the EA-AC87 wireless media bridge + SB6183 + SB6183 and lay just coax to use Moca? Or if I have Moca I dont need the media bridge? Love to have broad wireless coverage that spills out to yard as well. Not sure if I am duplicating something by going with Wifi + moca?

    • James Causian profile image

      James Causian 3 years ago from Huston, Texas

      What you actually get is generally dependent upon what your ISP can provide. Many a times you will not get that max speed that you have signed up for due to various reasons. Sometimes you get more :)

      Your TG862G/CT is capable of up to 320 Mbps download. So you may want to see if there is a faster package from your ISP instead of changing your modem.

    • profile image

      3 years ago

      Do you need to have an equivalent "speedy" subscription with my ISP in order to enjoy the maximum practical DS throughput? Say, if my ISP tells me that I'm subscribing to a 105 Mbps DS throughput service. I currently have a TG862G/CT that's capable of up to 8 ch bonding, and on an average day, my DS speed is only 40+ Mbps. On a good day: about 80Mbps. Will buying a "newer, better and faster" model of the same modem increase my DS throughput at all?