Surfboard SB6141 vs SB6183 Router Comparison

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In your household, the modem is the glue that keeps every smart device connected together. It’s an essential piece that facilitates your internet usage, but very few people know anything about it. Most often stick to the basic modem handed to them by their ISP, which is a shame since those aren’t exactly very good.

So let’s say you’ve finally seen the light and are now planning to upgrade your modem, but you’re not sure where to look? Well, today we’ve got two modems that are excellent entry level choices that have strong features and are leagues ahead of your terrible ISP provided modem, those being the Arris Surfboard SB6141 and the Surfboard SB6183.

We’ll be comparing them to see which one comes out on top, as well as discuss the specific strengths and benefits of both devices. Then we will evaluate the two options to see which one comes first. So, let’s take a closer look at the SB6141 vs SB6183 to find exactly which one is your best option.

Arris Surfboard SB6141 Rundown

The Arris SB6141 is compatible with nine of the 10 largest cable internet providers in the United States. On top of its vast compatibility, it also features 8 x 4 channel bonding allowing for 8 downstream data channels for downloads and four upstream data channels for uploads. For speeds, it has a theoretical download speed of 343 Mbps, and an upload speed of 131 Mbps.

These specs aren’t bad at all, and if you were to install this for someone with only a surface level of understanding regarding routers, they’d find it pretty good. It’s not exactly the fastest out of the bunch, but it’s no slouch either, a nice average device that does its job reliably well.

So, what about the design and build here? Design-wise, you’re looking at a relatively simple package that has an emphasis on function over form. Coming in all white, there aren’t many embellishments and it’s very sparse for a design. It’s not going to sit pretty on a desk, but that’s not what it was designed for in the first place.

The housing is made of strong polycarbonate plastic, and it’s tough. It’s quite thick, and it doesn’t scratch easily either. This is important since that thick, protective housing is the only thing keeping the printed circuit board inside the device safe. We’ve also got three vents on sides of the modem, keeping it cool under heavy load.

Over on the front of the device, we find its indicator lights which are nice, big and clear to see. Over on the back, we find all the ports that the modem needs to function. Unfortunately, there’s not really any power button on the device, not a reset button of any kind. If you want to restart your SB6141, you’ll need to unplug it every time. It’s not an elegant solution, but as a cost cutting measure it’s not too bad.

Now that we’ve done a rundown, you should know enough about the SB6141. But the question is, how does it stack up in the SB6141 vs SB6138 match-up?

Arris Surfboard SB6138 Rundown

Perhaps the first thing you’ll come to notice regarding the SB6138 is how similar it is to the SB6141, and that’s because they’ve got basically the same hardshell design. The main different is that the SB6183 comes in a much sleeker black, while the SB6141 comes in the more charlatan white. We have to say, although it’s a small change, the black makes for a much nicer looking router than the white.

But enough about that, what’s the performance like? Well, like its sibling, this modem is also compatible with most U.S. cable internet providers. The speed of the internet depends upon your ISP, though the modem comes equipped with data rates of up to 686 Mbps downloading speeds. These are much higher than its sibling, making it suitable for demanding applications like streaming and games.

The Surfboard SB6138 modem also supports the latest internet protocols and standards, which makes this device faster and more efficient than ever. It’s very stable thanks to the Broadcomm chipset inside it, though this can also lead to poor heat distribution and bottlenecked performance if the vents are ever covered. Just a design problem that pops up in modems from time to time, so it’s not much to worry about.

Build quality here is excellent just like the SB6141, which should come as no surprise. Sharing your chassis with a different model is a great way to cool draw the most out of your resources without wasting or jacking up the prices for new designs. It’s somewhat silly, but we can’t deny it’s a smart move.

We’ve also heard some issues that the SB6138 can have, primarily in its LED system. There are reports that the lights can be too dim sometimes, while some others claim they’re too bright for use in darker room. Thankfully, they’re smaller issues that can be overlooked.

SB6141 vs SB6138: Conclusion

So, let’s answer the burning question, SB6141 vs SB6138, which one is the better option? We’ve done enough digging at this point, but it’s important to note that both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Frankly, you really can’t go wrong with either option, they’re both solid choices. For our money though we’d go for the SB6183. It’s the faster performer between the two, and though it has minor issues with heating, they’re easily circumvented by just not covering the vents on its side. The black also just looks better, and we wouldn’t mind it sitting on a rack in the open at all.

However, if you’re looking for reliability, slightly more affordable prices and don’t mind the white, the SB6141 might just be the better choice for you. It runs cooler which means you don’t need to check in on your modem the way you need to with a faster performer. On top of that, it’s not exactly a slouch at all, so you’ll still be enjoying nice and fast internet speeds.

So, there’s the answer, it essentially just boils down to what you need in a modem as opposed to one being clearly better than the other. If you are looking for a more robust option you can read our Arris Surfboard SB8200 review. We hope this was an informative read for you, and helps you make the right choice for yourself.

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