The Arris SB6141 is compatible with nine of the 10 largest cable internet providers in the United States. That is an excellent range of compatibility that few other cable modems share. You can use the SB6141 on all four of the biggest cable companies: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter and Cox – so you can continue to use it if you change internet providers in the future. The SB6141 offers a great balance between ISP compatibility, performance and design.
This cable modem features 8 x 4 channel bonding, which means that it has eight downstream data channels (for download) and four upstream data channels (for upload). This translates to a maximum theoretical download speed of 343 Mbps and an upload speed of 131 Mbps. These are good specs for a basic modem, but if you require something a little faster, take a look at the Motorola MB7420.
The housing is made of strong, rigid plastic that can take a beating, and it’s even fairly scratch-resistant. The housing protects the printed circuit board, where the modem's processor and other important components are. Overall, the SB6141 is well ventilated, with medium-sized vents on three sides.
The indicator lights on the front include:
- Power: A green light indicates the modem is properly connected to power.
- Receive: A green light indicates a downstream channel connection. A blue light indicates a bonded downstream connection (high-speed connection).
- Send: A green light indicates an upstream connection. A blue light indicates a bonded upstream connection (high-speed connection).
- Online: A green light indicates internet connectivity.
- Link: An amber light indicates a computer or router is connected to the Ethernet port and is operating in Ethernet or Fast Ethernet Mode. A blue light indicates a computer or router is operating in high-speed Gigabit Ethernet mode.
The SB6141 does not have a power button. What's more, it doesn't even have a reset button. This means that you have to unplug the SB6141 and then plug it back in every time you want to restart it. That said, not many other cable modems come with a power switch, either. However, some have a toggle for power, which is a much more elegant solution than unplugging unless the switch in question compromises connectivity, like it does on the D-Link DCM-301. The lack of a power button on the Arris modem is only a minor annoyance, to be sure, but it's still worth considering.
Arris offers a two-year warranty for the SB6141, which is more than enough time for you to notice any factory defects. Because cable modems are relatively simple devices, if yours works for the first couple of weeks, then you probably don't have much to worry about for several years. You can contact technical support through email, but keep in mind that you may want to communicate with your internet provider before contacting the modem's manufacturer. Usually, the problem lies with how your internet provider communicates with your modem, not the modem itself.
The Arris Motorola SB6141 strikes an excellent balance between compatibility, performance and design. While it doesn't have some of the best physical features, like a power button, the SB6141 is a great choice and will serve most people well. The low operating temperature, high ISP compatibility and high speeds make the SB 6141 a good choice for a basic modem.