With the dramatic increase of internet users resulting from the long quarantine periods of 2020, the demand for cable internet has skyrocketed. That has caused a rise in new cable modems entering the market in succession. Among the very few consumer approved modems is the Arris Surfboard S33 and Arris SB8200.
These two modems have been going head-to-head for a while for the best cable modem title since they both deliver unfaltering and fast speeds with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 standard. As they are both future-proof with up to date technology, the comparisons of Arris S33 vs SB8200 are constantly being made.
Table of Contents
Arris S33 vs SB8200
Both DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 compatible
Only supports DOCSIS 3.1
32 x 8
32 x 8
2.5Gbps and 1Gbps (2 ports), Multi-gig
1 Gbps (on each 2 ports), Consistent
Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN,
Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN,
5.14 x 1.8 x 4.74 inches
5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches
If you’re in a dilemma between the two modems and don’t know which one is worth the purchase, I’ve made the decision easier to make with the following article — in which I weigh the features of both cable modems in terms of max speed, service, compatibility, hardware, price, and more.
Arris Surfboard S33 Review
The Surfboard S33 is one of Arris’ best-selling modems, mainly for its incredibly fast speed brought out by its DOCSIS 3.0 ISP compatibility. It also includes a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port that supports network speeds of more than 1Gbps, giving it the ability to deliver service quicker than most modems.
Out of all the great features of this cable modem, here are some of the notable ones –
The Arris Surfboard S33 supports the standard DOCSIS 3.1 with its future-proof technology as well as the dated DOCSIS 3.0, making it backward compatible.
Even though most cable internet providers haven’t made the complete transition to this latest standard, ISP compatibility still doesn’t come across as a problem as the modem can connect to any ISP service.
If you’re worried about having to go through the trouble of finding an internet service provider that provides support for the latest DOCSIS 3.1 standard, don’t fret. With all the leaps and bounds of the telecommunications industry, it is predicted that this new standard will be more accessible in the next few years or so.
Through its multi-gig Ethernet port, the Arris SURFboard S33 can provide super-fast network speeds of up to 2.5Gbps, making surfing the internet a breeze.
This adds to its future-proof technology — as I expect internet service providers to make multi-gig speeds widely available in the future, the Arris SURFboard S33 would only increase in bandwidth.
For instance, with an internet plan from Comcast, you can expect stellar speeds of over 950Mbps, even during peak internet usage hours. So, when multi-gigs finally become the norm, you can expect even faster browsing speeds.
Regardless of future progressions, you still get to browse at faster speeds compared to Wi-Fi, courtesy of the Arris SURFboard S33’s 1Gbps gigabit Ethernet port. Ethernet in and of itself works much faster than Wi-Fi.
Even though most Wi-Fi speeds advertise to max out at speeds higher than 6Gbps, the results are usually below 1Gbps.
On the other hand, this modem’s Ethernet port can work at a continuous 1Gbps with little to no faltering periods, making it much more reliable than your Wi-Fi.
And if the future of telecommunications sees an upgrade, you can choose between one of the two ethernet ports to heighten your internet surfing experience, which brings us to our next point.
As you already know, the Arris SURFboard S33 cable modem features two Ethernet ports. One is a 2.5Gbps multi-gig Ethernet port, while the other is a 1Gbps gigabit Ethernet port. Ultimately, you have to choose to use either of the two, as the Arris S33 does not support link aggregation.
Link aggregation is when two or more Ethernet ports are used simultaneously for connecting static IPs from different cable internet providers. Since Ethernet bandwidths are always progressing to a newer generation, it can get costly once a certain speed hits a bandwidth ceiling.
That is where link aggregation solves the issue by combining multiple Ethernet links to increase the bandwidth while still making it cost efficient. Because of this, it might be difficult to keep up with the progressions of Ethernet bandwidths in the future.
Aside from the link aggregation issue, the Arris SURFboard S33 has ports that support both Auto Negotiate and Auto MDIX technologies that ensure proper cable connection at all times — which is a plus for the best browsing experience.
Even without using multiple ports simultaneously, you can experience an excellent performance from this cable modem at maximum speeds as supported by the ISP. Compared to all the router options in the Arris SURFboard lineup, the Arris SURFboard S33 is the highest in applicable internet plans of 2.5Gbps speed.
It also has the most impressive max download speed of around 2.5Gbps on a multi-gig Ethernet port and caps out at 1Gbps at a singular Ethernet port. As we’ve already detailed above, you can browse through any media with little to no load time at this speed.
However, there’s a downside to this high speed. Since the cable modem can reach maximum speeds that other router devices struggle to compete with, it occasionally overheats. It is usually more common when kept in tightly packed areas in the house, such as closets or cabinets, so steer clear of those.
The Arris Surfboard S33 is reasonably simple to set up, much like most other modems. It uses an online user interface as well as a mobile application. Connecting the device to the relevant ports and giving its MAC address to the internet service provider may be all that is required to complete setup.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Arris Surfboard S33
- Multi-gig Ethernet port to deliver a max speed of up to 2.5Gbps with a stable connection
- Future-proof allows the combining of multiple Ethernet ports to increase speed
- Two ports for Ethernet, users can choose between multi-gig and 1Gbps
- Supports both the latest DOCSIS 3.1 standard and dated DOCSIS 3.0 standard
- Performs faster and is more reliable for long term use than most router devices
- Easy to set up, uses an online user interface as well as a mobile app
- Overheats in packed areas
- It does not support link aggregation
Arris Surfboard SB8200 Review
At neck to neck with the Arris SURFboard S33 is the SB8200, one of the most consumer approved modems in the market. It’s probably one of the few best cable modem options built for future use, with its support for the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard.
Since the latest standard is relatively accessible in the US, you can easily make higher-tiered internet plans. If this alone has piqued your interest in this modern cable modem, here are more impressive features –
As we’ve mentioned already, the Arris SB8200 is DOCSIS 3.1 compatible, making it more modern and future-proof than a router.
The only setback is that it does not support DOCSIS 3.0 standard.
Even though the average internet plan does not provide compatibility with the new standard, the telecommunications industry aims to make this standard widely accessible in the next few years.
However, if you’re in the US, this isn’t an issue, as most ISP services accept DOCSIS 3.1 running modems. The cable modem is compatible with popular US service providers such as Cox, Tds, Comcast, and more, excluding CenturyLink, AT&T, and Verizon.
With its up to date technology, the modem can bring out the most impressive network speeds. For instance, the cable modem includes 2 gigabit Ethernet ports that not only allow you to connect two devices at the same time but experience fast browsing speeds on both.
With a highly efficient internet speed of 2Gbps, the Arris SURFboard SB8200 can carry out an excellent internet surfing experience. It can provide up to 10Gbps downstream speeds and caps at 1Gbps in upstream DOCSIS download speeds.
Once the second Ethernet port is activated, you can use both ports simultaneously by connecting to more than one device. However, this requires the attention of your internet service provider. Also, more devices consume more bandwidth, so I recommend using each device in moderation.
Unlike the Wi-Fi we’re all used to, this cable modem is ideal for VR gaming as well as streaming 4K Ultra-HD videos with no lag. This makes the modem much more reliable for future use.
The Arris SURFboard SB8200’s hardware includes a coaxial cable port and two Ethernet ports, just like the S33. Both Ethernet ports are 1-gigabit, situated on the back panel. With these two, the modem is able to provide link aggregation (using two IP links at the same time), adding to its futuristic build.
Due to the modem’s link aggregation feature, it allows you to browse at higher network speeds of more than 1Gbps, which Wi-Fi router devices fail to do.
This not only makes the modem well-equipped for the future (when Ethernet generations will upgrade to higher speeds) but make it more reliable than the S33 in terms of longevity.
Since the SB8200 is able to bring out impressive browsing speeds of up to 2Gbps via its Ethernet 1-Gigabit ports, the cable modem is the perfect choice for fast internet surfing. Plus, with its up to date DOCSIS 3.1 standard, the cable modem is able to provide superior performance in comparison to most router options.
The possible setback of this cable modem is the lack of built-in Wi-Fi capability, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re looking for an upgrade, preferably to Ethernet connectivity.
Overall, the SB8200 is a great investment for the future and provides more security and reliability than the average Wi-Fi connection can.
Just like the S33, the SB8200 is also very easy to set up. It only requires a few minutes of your time to activate your ISP’s portal and make cable connections to set a stable office or home network.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Arris Surfboard SB8200
- Supports link aggregation, can connect two separate internet plans into one
- Does not overheat device, has improved heat dissipation compared to S33
- Reliable, supports DOCSIS 3.1 standard, and works faster than Wi-Fi
- 2 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports allow for multiple device connectivity
- Up to 10 Gbps downstream speeds, caps at 1Gbps in upstream DOCSIS download speeds
- Compatible with popular US service providers such as Cox, Comcast, and more
- Does not have built-in Wi-Fi capability
- It does not support DOCSIS 3.0 standard
Which One Should You Get?
Even though both cable modems are exceptional options from Arris, they both differ in their own ways and are better than one another in some aspects. To know which one to choose, you need to know what your expectations are for the cable modem.
For a future proof, high speed, and multi-gig internet plan modem, I suggest trying out the Arris SURFboard S33. However, I would not recommend it if you’re looking at the price tag. While the S33 is definitely a bit pricier than the SB8200, it’s much well-equipped for the future of telecommunications.
On the other hand, for a cheaper yet secure link aggregation feature, good browsing speed, and high fidelity connections, the Arris SURFboard SB8200 is the best choice. It might not be as future-ready as the S33, but its networking speeds are out of this world and definitely worth the investment.
All in all, what matters the most is what your workspace requires. So, please look through our comparison table before you click out for a clearer outlook on the two modems.
After reading through all of this, you should now have a clear cut idea of how the modems are both similar and different from one another. Overall, I think both of these cable modems are great picks from Arris, and each is able to provide satisfactory service, so the Arris Surfboard S33 vs SB8200 debate concludes here.
I hope that this post has given you enough information to help you choose between the two cable modems. If you’re still undecided, take a quick look through our comparison chart to pinpoint your expectations for your ideal cable modem.