ARRIS Tech Talk: Modems, Routers, Gateways, and Extenders Demystified

Fact: We need fast, reliable Internet. And increasingly, we need it everywhere.

Nearly three-quarters of us believe that having high-speed Internet in every room of the house is either vitally important or very important. That’s according to our latest Consumer Entertainment Index study.

High-speed Internet is so important because it is related to almost everything we do, from image1video chatting with our family and friends to streaming movies on Netflix® and gaming over the Playstation® and Xbox One networks. A lot of things run expressly on the Internet, and the Internet, in turn, relies on the devices that deliver it throughout our homes.

Today we’re going to talk about the four most important ones: modems, Wi-Fi® routers, broadband gateways, and extenders.

The first piece of the puzzle is your modem: it brings the Internet into your home. Because it’s your home’s primary connection to the Internet, it’s arguably the most important device.

Of course, we all just want Wi-Fi without limits, and for that, you need a Wi-Fi router. It takes the Internet from your modem and creates a wireless signal that you can access throughout your home. But keep in mind that the strength of that wireless signal changes based on things inside your home, like the type of walls or floors it has to go through or how far away it is from the devices that it’s communicating with (i.e. tablets, cellphones)

A gateway is a device that combines the modem and Wi-Fi router into a single device. It brings the Internet signal into your home and also transmits it wirelessly.

So now we have our modem, router and gateway—but what happens when there’s a room in your home where the Wi-Fi is very weak or non-existent? There are many ways to improve the range of the Internet in your home, but one of the simplest and most cost-efficient is using a Wi-Fi network extender or repeater. It receives the wireless signal from your router or gateway and boosts it a further distance than the router may be capable of broadcasting on its own—like a megaphone does with your voice. But keep in mind that each wireless repeater cuts your bandwidth in half. So while it allows you to cover more ground, you’ll also lose some effective speed.

Now that we’ve talked about how these networking pieces work together, how do you know which one to buy? Check out our SURFboard web site for more information.

Update on our SURFboard SB6141 Modem

You may have seen articles over the weekend about our SURFboard® SB6141 cable modem. 2-big-SB6141_Left_SideWe want to provide some updates.

First and foremost, we developed a firmware upgrade to correct the issue affecting the SB6141. This firmware upgrade will be automatically sent to your device from your cable operator.

Second, we want to assure you that the issue affecting the SB6141 does not provide any risk to user data. IF you were impacted, you would have seen your modem reboot and been offline for a short period of time. Fortunately, we haven’t received any reported instances of this happening.

Third, we want to be very clear that the issue does not affect 135 million modems. Reports stating this number were incorrect, and we reached out to the publications that published them to address their inaccuracy.

Our company takes product performance very seriously. We continue to work actively with security organizations and our Service Provider customers to quickly resolve any potential vulnerabilities to protect the subscribers who use our devices.

Is it Time to Upgrade My Cable Modem? What you should know about DOCSIS.

DOCSIS is a telecommunications standard that allows cable TV networks to carry high-speed DOCSISBlogImage_24Nov2014Internet broadband services. In other words, it’s one of main the reasons you can get Internet from your cable provider.

Each cable modem has DOCSIS built in that allows it to deliver Internet service to your home. Since its inception, DOCSIS has gone through a few upgrades, getting faster and faster.

Although some may still have a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, today’s current standard is DOCSIS 3.0, and DOCSIS 3.1 is on the way.DOCSIS 3.0 represents a significant jump in upload and download speeds, which are important today with the increasing amount of data we consume across all of our devices and screens.

So what does that mean for you and your cable modem? Some cable providers require DOCSIS 3.0 for higher-speed tiers. And if you share, upload or download a lot of videos or if you are connecting several devices on the same network—like TVs, smartphones, tablets, and wearables—you may already need that kind of speed. And if you received some gifts during the holidays that pull you into the realm of multiplayer gaming or 4K TV, getting a DOCSIS 3.0 modem may be a good investment for your home network.

To learn more about faster and reliable data speeds, visit

Are you ready for a better Wi-Fi?

You normally don’t think about your wireless connection… until it stops working. And if you’ve WiFiTips_BlogPost_3Oct2014noticed that happening more and more often lately—as you stream movies from Netflix, multiscreen your TV, and level up your multiplayer gaming—the culprit could be your modem.

The easiest way to update your home network—and the first step to getting a flawless connection—is upgrading your cable modem. We offer a number of class-leading examples in our SURFboard line.

The second step is placement. While most people tend to tuck their modems away in the furthest reaches of the home, that’s usually not the best place when it comes to wireless networking. The fewer walls, floors, and general obstructions a wireless signal has to travel through, the better your signal strength is going to be. So get your modem out of the basement or broom closet and find a tasteful place to for it on the main floor of the house, in a reasonably centralized location.

The third step is extension. Larger houses present a unique challenge to wireless networks: more square footage means more ground for your modem to cover and more potential signal obstructions. Enter network extenders, like the ARRIS Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender WR2100. By placing these throughout a large home, you will be able to enhance existing Wi-Fi coverage and eliminate all of those dreaded “dead-spots.”

For more tips, tricks and general information on home networks and ARRIS’s wide range of networking products, be sure to visit

Everything You Wanted to Know About the World’s Fastest Modem

The ARRIS SURFboard® SB6183 is here, and it’s everything you hoped it would be and more… SB6183_Left_Side2It’s the world’s first modem to feature 16×4 bonded DOCSIS 3.0 channels, which means you get speeds of up to 686Mbps downstream and 131Mbps upstream. Everything you need for today’s multiscreen and 4K video, and all the speed you need for a long, long time.

We know you have a lot of burning questions about the SB6183, so we’ve put together a handy FAQ below:

When can I buy the SB6183, where, and for how much? The SB6183 will be available at the end of October 2014 at Best Buy. The MSRP is $129.99.

Will the SB6183 work with my cable provider? Yes, just like our other retail modems, the SB6183 is compatible with all major U.S. cable provider networks, including Comcast, COXTime Warner, and others. But if you have any doubts, call your cable provider and confirm.

What are my color options for the retail unit? The retail unit is available in a compact, sleek white design while a leased unit is available in black.

How does this compare to other ARRIS modems on the market?  Finding the right network solution for your home is important. Check out our handy Buyer’s Guide to help make your decision easier.

I’m happy with my current modem, why should I upgrade? It all depends on what you like to do online. If you are a gamer, stream video, download music and want to do it fast, then this modem is for you. With 16 download & 4 upload channels, you don’t need to worry about future speeds.

How do I set up my modem?  The SB6183 is easy to install, activate and use, but just in case you are stuck setting it up, we’ve put together a how-to video to help you out here.

If you have any other questions about our new SB6183, let us know in the comments or tweet us here.

Summer Streaming Made Easy with 802.11ac Wi-Fi

With Netflix’s summer premieres heating up, such as murder-mystery series “The Killing,” SBG6782-AC-heromaintaining a flawless connection is crucial. And what better way to make sure you are getting the most out of your home bandwidth than utilizing the fastest 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

802.11ac is currently the fastest way to deliver seamless streaming to your wireless devices in the home—whether that’s a gaming console, tablet, or TV. The ARRIS SBG6782-AC is the first gateway to incorporate this technology, and it’s a game changer for your connected experience.

As Netflix looks to launch the final season of “The Killing” on Aug. 1, make sure your home is ready to handle the binge-watching across all devices. And let us make it even easier on you – as you can find the SBG6782-AC @Best Buy and Amazon .

Also check out our latest video on the SBG6782-AC here.

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