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Arris TG862G: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Updated on April 23, 2017
The Arris TG862G telephone gateway
The Arris TG862G telephone gateway | Source

Are you trying to find the right modem?

Many people find it rather confusing when they have to decide on the right "modem" that they are supposed to have.

However they don't have a choice as they need this particular gadget in order to be connected to the internet, make phone calls, stream video and music, upload and download data etc

They are not interested in the technical nitty gritty and nuts and bolts of the modem. All they want to do is to make sure that they buy the right modem and the modem works for them.

Is the Arris TG862G the right device for you?
Is the Arris TG862G the right device for you? | Source

If you are in this category, I hope this Arris TG862G review will help to clarify things for you to enable you to make the right decision on this latest (at time of writing) EMTA gateway modem from Arris.

By the way, the word "modem" is strictly not a correct definition of the Arris TG862G. This is because the TG862G is much more than a modem as you will find out when you read on.

So as to avoid confusion, I will refer to the Arris TG862G as a "modem" until I introduce all the appropriate definitions whereby it will be very clear that the Arris TG862G is very much more than a modem.

So for those of you techies out there, thanks for being patient!

What makes the Arris TG862G works?
What makes the Arris TG862G works? | Source

As there will be people with different level of technical knowledge reading this hub, I will try to make it as simple as possible.

I will first explain the unavoidable jargon associated with a technical device like the Arris TG862 such as EMTA, DOCSIS, gateway etc so that you will know what I am talking about.

I hope you will have a very good understanding on what the Arris TG862G is and will be able to make the appropriate decisions on whether the Arris TG862G is the right device for you at the end of this hub.

To also cater to those who like to delve deeper into the technical aspects of the subject, I will include links where appropriate to other websites or other hubpages where you can get more technical information.

For the record, the official name for the Arris TG862G is Arris TG862G DOCSIS 3.0 Residential Gateway with 802.11n, 4 Port Router and 2 Voice Lines.

What are all those abbreviations?
What are all those abbreviations? | Source

What is EMTA, DOCSIS and Gateway?

EMTA stands for Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter. In layman terms what this means is that the device, for example this Arris TG862G is a device that allows you to connect an analog phone to it to make calls.

Compare this to other modems, for example the Arris Motorola SB6183, Arris Motorola SB6141, Arris Motorola SB6121 etc are purely data modems only; used for carrying data, video and audio data, other data over the internet.

You cannot plug your phone into those to make calls. This is because those modems do not have a phone jack for you to plug your phone into it. As such if you need to connect a phone to your modem, then take note that modems like the Motorola SB6183, SB6141 or SB6121 will not work for you unless you add another device with a VOIP (Voice over IP) function such as the Ooma Telo.

How can DOCSIS help?
How can DOCSIS help? | Source

DOCSIS is the acronym for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification.

In simple terms, why the DOCIS standard, particularly DOCSIS 3.0 is important for you is because the DOCSIS standard is an international telecommunications standard that allows the addition of high-bandwidth data transfer to existing cable TV (CATV) system. The various standards are sometimes abbreviated to Dx, as in a "D3 modem" for a DOCSIS 3 modem.

The DOCSIS standard is important because over 80% of households in the US use cable, initially for TV signal transmission. However due to the availability of its huge bandwidth, many cable television operators also use the same cable to provide Internet access. This has now become very popular.

If you are interested to find out how the DOCSIS standard works in very simple terms, please check out the following link on the hub I wrote titled Is It Better To Buy Arris Motorola SB6141 over SB6121?

Why is the Arris TG862G a gateway? What is a gateway?
Why is the Arris TG862G a gateway? What is a gateway? | Source

What about the gateway?

The gateway in this case generally refers to a modem that also provides a router function.

In a very simplistic term, what this means is that your "modem" is also capable of providing WiFi.

Why "residential" in the official name? Well, this is to denote that the use of the gateway is mainly for households or SOHO environment as compared to the heavy duty use in corporate LAN environment.

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The Arris TG862G makes a good home telephony gateway
The Arris TG862G makes a good home telephony gateway | Source

What is the Touchstone TG862 Telephony Gateway?

Ok, now that we have got the terms (or jargon) out of the way, I will refer to the Arris TG862G as a gateway as it truly is rather than just a modem.

The Arris Touchstone TG862 Telephony Gateway incorporates a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, wireless router and EMTA all in one box. Right now the DOCSIS 3.0 gives you the fastest speed. The Arris TG862 is an 8x4 Channel Bonding cable modem. So it is capable of speeds of up to 320 Mbps. That is very fast but not the fastest.

Right now the fastest cable modem in the market is the Arris Motorola SB6183 which is capable of 16x4 bonding which makes it two times faster than the Arris TG862G. However note that the Motorola SB6183 functions as a cable modem only and does not have telephony nor wireless capabilities like the TG862G.

When talking about speed, do note that speed comes at a price. Yes, that is the dollar cost of the plan that you subscribe from your service provider. You get what you pay for. For example even if you modem is capable of a faster speed, your top speed is capped by what you paid for by your provider.

The Arris TG862G supports two analog lines
The Arris TG862G supports two analog lines | Source

The TG862 offers full support for a variety of voice codecs such as HD Voice and multiple call signaling methods such as NCS, Legacy SIP, and PacketCable 2.0 IMS.

However don't worry about all that gobbledygook but take it that it is an EMTA or telephony modem that you can just plug in your phone and use it to make calls - this is of course on an assumption that you have already sign up with a service provider; for example Comcast.

In the case of the Arris TG862, you can even use two phones if you subscribe to two lines. A common practice is to use one line for voice and the other for fax.

The Arris TG862 also functions as a 4-port Gigabit Router and a 802.11n wireless access point. This means that you do not need a separate wireless router. Note that the highest wireless standard here is "N" and not "AC". AC is currently the fastest wireless standard.

Can I have my cuppa please?
Can I have my cuppa please? | Source

I heard that I get free coffee with the Arris TG862G as well?

It says that it comes with Moca...

Well, unfortunately no. You don't get free coffee when you buy the Arris TG862.

Even though it sounds nearly the same as your favorite brew, MOCA stands for Multimedia over Coax Alliance.

MOCA is the technology used to extend Wi-Fi connectivity within the home through the use of your existing cable network in your house.

MOCA is beneficial to you because it uses your existing house's TV cable network. So that means that you can extend the use of these existing cable without additional rewiring cost.

MOCA is a worldwide standard for high performance and high reliability in the cable connected home, and has been adopted by many cable, telco/IPTV and satellite operators not only here in the US but also worldwide.

Again, I have done a detailed description on how MOCA works in a very simple to understand hub, so I will not repeat it here. If you are interested, you may check out my Hubpages review of the Motorola SBG6782AC via that link.

Here are the top 10 questions that you may have and need clarification before you make your decision.

10 Top questions on the Arris TG862 answered.

No
Question
Answer
1
Is is approved for use with Comcast?
Yes. This modem is approved for use by Comcast for its Triple Play Services. Many owners reported that they were able to successfully provision the modem online without human intervention. If you want to be ultra sure, you can check with Comcast at http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net
2
Can I use the Arris TG862G for my landline phone?
Before you can make any calls, you will have to first subscribe to a provider, for example Comcast. The Arris Touchstone Telephony Gateway TG862 has ports for two analog lines for which you can plug in your phone to make calls.
3
How fast is the Arris TG862?
Speed is relative and it also depends on the service package that you have with your provider. However, theoretically, you can get up to 320 Mbps (8 x 4) for downstream and up to 130 Mbps (4 x 4) for upstream.
4
Can I stream movies, for example, Netflix, with it?
Yes you can stream movies to your devices like your tablet, Smartphone, Smart TV etc.
5
Can I connect the TG862G to my desktop and also wirelessly to my other devices?
Yes you can. In fact it has 4 router ports so that you can hardwire connect up to 4 devices. It also acts as an access point so that you can simultaneously both wired (up to 4 devices) and wireless devices to it.
6
Is battery included with the device?
This all depends. Look at the specs when you buy it. If it does not include a battery, then you have to purchase one separately. The battery is used for backup purposes; just in case your power goes off and it saves you the trouble of reconfiguring the device. I would highly recommend that you get a battery if it does not come with one.
7
Does it have MOCA?
Yes it is MOCA enabled.
8
Can it work with Apple devices?
Yes. No problems with iPad, MacBook, iPhone or any other wireless devices. It is basically a wireless router and you need to set the client devices to connect to it.
9
Apart from Comcast, will it work with TMC (Time Warner Cable), Cox, Brighthouse, WOW etc
It is best to check with your provider first before you buy to make sure that it works.
10
Do I need a separate router to get WiFi?
No. This gateway device has both wired (up to 4 devices) and wireless router capabilities.

Situations when you should not buy the Arris TG862G telephony gateway

Some people absolutely do not like gateways i.e. a modem that also has a router build in the same box. Their reason is that if something goes wrong in that box, then your whole network goes down.

They prefer a separate modem and router. To me it is a matter of preference because on the second scenario, if either the modem or router does down, your whole home network will also be down as well until you fix either of the devices that caused the problem.

The other reason why you may not want to buy the Arris Touchstone TG862G is when you already have an existing router. As the TG762G includes a router, you will of course have to pay more for it.

So if this is the case, then I recommend that you look into the Arris TM822G or the older TM722G as both TM822G and TM722G are pure telephony modems without any build in router.

However I would recommend that you spend a few dollars more on a newer device; especially a modem.

Arris Touchstone TM822G DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 Ultra-High Speed Telephony Modem
Arris Touchstone TM822G DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 Ultra-High Speed Telephony Modem

The Arris TM822G is one of the best Telephony modem available at the time of writing but it does not have a build in wireless router. Buy this only if you intend to use a separate router or already have an existing router - otherwise you should get the TG862G.

 

If you get the Arris TM822G and want to attach it to a new wireless router, then a good recommendation is to get the Asus RT-N66U. Otherwise check out the following link to get tips on how to buy the best home wireless routers to find out how to select a router that is suitable for you.

If possible, also don't buy the refurbished Arris TG862G...

For those of you who think that you could save a few dollars by buying a refurbished Arris TG862G telephony cable modem router, my general advice is not to do so.

It is not that all refurbished devices are bad but many people who have gone that route to buy a refurbish device encountered problems when they try to activate their units.

It is not worth saving that few dollars if you so happened to buy a problem unit.

Don't buy refurbished TG862G if you want to avoid problems
Don't buy refurbished TG862G if you want to avoid problems | Source

The reason for this is that generally for a small device like a telephony cable modem gateway, most of the "brains" of the gadget are on the motherboard.

If something goes wrong, the manufacturer will generally replace the whole motherboard as it would be too time consuming and costly in manpower terms to troubleshoot the faulty gadget. So the refurbished gadget could continue to have problems if it is not fixed by the manufacturer and you will never know the true situation...

The other problem happens when people knowingly or unknowingly sell off their rented device that belongs to the service provider. So when you try to register it, your cable company may tell you that it has already been registered!

Of course, unknowingly buying stolen devices will also gets you into the same problem.

So unless you are a risk taker and really want to save that few dollars, my advice is to get a new device!

Ports on the Arris TG862G
Ports on the Arris TG862G | Source

What do you get with the Arris TG862G?

Ok. Now you know the reasons why you should not buy the Arris TG862, find out what you will get if you have it.

  • Enjoy life on the fast lane. The experience of many owners is that the Arris TG862G is very fast even as they simultaneously talk over the phone, download applications, streaming video or doing things over the internet - this is on the assumption they are subscribed to the appropriate bandwidth package from their provider. Using multi-processor technology, the TG862G can achieve high bandwidth performance without affecting voice quality
  • Hook up to two phone lines or like many people do, a phone and fax line; very convenient if you are in a SOHO environment
  • As it is an all-in-one device, you get internet, phone and WiFi in one box. That saves you some real estate space as well as uses only one wall socket. It also saves you money as you don't have to buy a separate modem and router
  • Use it as a LAN hub through the four wired Ethernet connections as well as the wireless 802.11b/g/n feature

In summary you will get reliable wireless connection to all of the web enabled devices in your home network such as your desktop, notebook computer, tablet, game console, smart TV, smartphone and and other smart entertainment units.

ARRlS TG862G Telephony DOCSlS 3.0 Wireless Modem, 4 Port Router (Xfinity Triple Play)
ARRlS TG862G Telephony DOCSlS 3.0 Wireless Modem, 4 Port Router (Xfinity Triple Play)

If you are looking to connecting your phone to your modem and at the same time enjoy build in wireless router functions, then the Arris TG862G is a good device to get. It is one of the best residential telephony gateway available in the market today. If you are subscribed to Comcast, buy the CT model (below).

 
ARRIS DOCSIS 3.0 Residential Gateway with 802.11n/ 4 GigaPort Router/ 2-Voice Lines Certified with Comcast (TG862G-CT)
ARRIS DOCSIS 3.0 Residential Gateway with 802.11n/ 4 GigaPort Router/ 2-Voice Lines Certified with Comcast (TG862G-CT)

Buy this model if you are with Comcast. Arris technical support recommended the CT model for Comcast customers. They claimed that the CT (ComcasT) model will work 100% with Comcast without any problems.

 

It also has a battery backup feature so that you don't have to reset everything should your power goes off.

Even though you do not need the battery except in the case of a power outage, I strongly suggest that you get the battery to save you unnecessary troubles should the power goes out.

The battery backup feature is just like your life jacket. You may not need it 99% of the time but for that very rare 1% of the time, you will be sure glad that you had the life jacket!

I need your help to guide me...

I love to write and I love to share what I know. However I also need to know that I am going in the right direction.

So could you do me a favor and spare me a few seconds to just answer a few simple questions to help guide me to ensure that my future reviews will be beneficial to my readers.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy reading this hub.

Was the information presented here about the Arris TG862G sufficient for you to make a decision?

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If you find the information presented here is useful, could you please share it so that others can benefit form it as well? You can use the social media share button on the left edge to share.

News flash! News flash!

A newer telephony gateway has just been released by Arris. Check out the following link if you would like to see how the new Arris Surfboard SVG2482AC compares against the Arris TG862G.

Kindly put your feedback here as I would love to hear from you...

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    • profile image

      Carol 13 days ago

      Is the netgear n300 usb wifi extender compatible with this

    • profile image

      Rafael 3 months ago

      Hello. I have the Arris TG862G/CT but the signal in the back of my apartment is very weak. Is there a compatible access point or repeater that would work seamlessly to improve the signal? Thank you.

    • profile image

      Joe Szczerbowski 7 months ago

      I was glad the writer covered the CT portion. I assume the CT has a simple code that will mate directly with Comcast equipment, because they seem incapable of providing quality tech support.

    • profile image

      Psssr3 9 months ago

      The second phone line of this residential gatway is often used for FAX? When, 1995?

    • profile image

      Ernie Oliveira 9 months ago

      Can I turn OFF the wireless router in the 862ct? I already have a great AC Cisco router that works great and is to of it's class. Can I turn the wireless service in the cable modem OFF??

    • profile image

      Diane Krebs 10 months ago

      If this TG862G-CT's router doesn't reach the other end of my house well, can I use it as a bridge to a more powerful AC router? (Sorry if my terms are not quite correct)? I want this for Triple Play by Comcast, and other modems don't seem to have the telephony.) So I'm thinking this might be the best way to go. Is this correct? Appreciate your article very much. Thanks.

    • profile image

      jodyjay 11 months ago

      I already have the Arris TM822G with the Asus router you recommend, but Comcast is telling me I should get the TG822 to get the full benefit of DOCSIS 3. But if I understand you article, the two modems have the same specs, except one has the router feature and the other does not. Am I understanding correctly? And moreover, my router has wireless AC. So I have no reason to make the change, correct? Thank you.

    • profile image

      Pfirsisch 11 months ago

      I was here to find out what specific battery I should purchase for the ARRIS TG862G-CT. There was nothing herel as far as what is recommended, and of course, combing through Comcast yields nothing.

    • profile image

      lindahlbob@yahoo.com 11 months ago

      How many wireless devices (reasonably) will this support before you start to see a large drop off in internet speed. It has 4 hard wire connections limit. But does not describe a limit on wireless. Just looking for an approximate for the average family of 2. I know there are many variables. Again just looking for a an approximate guess.

    • profile image

      Ned 13 months ago

      Which is better Arris TG862G or Cisco DPC3939 (XB3)? I am trying to buy either one and DPC3939 has 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz mode, but do not know if Arris does? Any help would be appreciated as i just signed up with comcast and want to own my own model with phone!

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 14 months ago from Huston, Texas

      Get the Arris TG862G if you need MOCA.

    • profile image

      David Naimark 14 months ago

      Thanks very much for this article. Is the Arris TM822G also MOCA enabled? I can't find that information anywhere I've looked.

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 14 months ago from Huston, Texas

      Both the Arris TG862G and the Xfinity model Arris TG862-CT have the same functions except for the fact that the TG862-CT is 100% compatible with Comcast according to an Arris rep. So if you are with Comcast do not want to take any risks, it is recommended that you get the CT version.

    • profile image

      leftbrain99 14 months ago

      The pic at the top of the article doesn't match the caption - that's a TM822, not a TG862

    • profile image

      Cheng 15 months ago

      How do you compare Arris TG862G with the Xfinity model Arris TG862-CT that also has modem, router and phone included??

    • profile image

      Billchang2 15 months ago

      James, nicely, written.

      do you have any info on the current Comcast Xfinity TG1682G? It's a leased gateway which I am thinking of replacing with a TG-862G or TG862G-CT but want to know what I might be losing to do so. Is the 1682G an 8 X vs. a x X? What else can you tell us?

    • profile image

      VICTOR L 16 months ago

      In easy terms what is the difference from the TG862G and the TG862G-CT, what is the meaning of that CT. Thank you for your help.

    • profile image

      jcausian 17 months ago

      I am glad it was helpful to you. I aim to make my "technical" hubs as simple as possible so that it can help ordinary folks to make informed decisions.

    • profile image

      Cindi 17 months ago

      This is my first time here. I was impressed by the fact that I could UNDERSTAND what you are talking about. I have this router and just wanted some info because it has worked well until recently. Before the cable / internet guy comes today I want to be on my toes. Great article. Easy to understand for us plain ol' folk. Thank you!!!

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 18 months ago from Huston, Texas

      I am glad the info helped you to make the correct decision.

    • profile image

      Al Smith (real name) 18 months ago

      Very good article n the basics: Thank you very much.

      I had to search in your article, but finally found it, to quote.

      "The Arris TG862 also functions as a 4-port Gigabit Router and a 802.11n wireless access point. This means that you do not need a separate wireless router. Note that the highest wireless standard here is "N" and not "AC". AC is currently the fastest wireless standard."

      That is waht I was trying to find! This cable modem/router is the older "N", not the more recent and current , can I say it it, "best" for routers.

      So, I'll take my purchase of the Arris TG862G back. Then drive miles, or buy online, and ACC compatible with what I have and my cble provider Wave Broadband in the West Coast.

      Again, thank you for you sincerely for the clarity in your article.

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 20 months ago from Huston, Texas

      Arney444, Yes you are correct. I never said this modem is a true 16x4 modem. In fact I mentioned it is a 8x4 in at least 2 places in the hub! I suggest you read the contents carefully first before jumping into a conclusion.

    • profile image

      Arney444 20 months ago

      You avoided to address an issue that is extremely important to Comcast customers. As you probably know, Comcast has been hiding a fact that it does NOT support full DOCSIS 3 spec. As a result, in order to get a speed in excess of 60 MB per second, the modem shall be 16 x 4. You never said whether this modem is a true 16 x 4 modem.

    • profile image

      Daniel 23 months ago

      What is the difference between a TG862G and a TG862G/CT ? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Jim Mallerdino 23 months ago

      Hoping you can help me.

      I already own a wireless router and a cable modem. I just purchased the Arris TG862G. Subsequently I no longer need the router and cable modem.

      Can I connect the wireless router via Ethernet cable to the Arris TG in order to strengthen my home wireless signal on the second floor of my home or will this not work? Any help is appreciated in advance.

    • profile image

      Aaron 2 years ago

      Are there other telephony gateways to consider? What would the next upgraded model be?

    • profile image

      momma 2 years ago

      so if i get this i will still have to pay 4 an home phone line service to send a fax?

    • profile image

      Heckelphone 2 years ago

      We have a Comcast Arris862G, and a Roku3 for our tv set (across the condo). Just upgraded the cable service (speedtest now shows 180 MBs download) hoping to kill the frequent buffering on the Roku: watching Amazon Instant, we get like 10 minutes of video, followed by 5 minutes of buffering. Should I bridge in a faster router?

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 2 years ago from Huston, Texas

      There could be many factors involved. Check with Arris support and they may be able to help you.

    • profile image

      Larry 2 years ago

      My Arris 862 will not connect to my smart tv in the basement, one floor down from the Arris.

    • profile image

      WallyS 2 years ago

      Ever since I connected this combo system I am unable to use my phone booth with its pay phone. It still rings and can answer on it but do not get a dial tone and cannot call from it. It worked before this modem. Comcast is no help.

    • James Causian profile image
      Author

      James Causian 2 years ago from Huston, Texas

      Yes. It is approved for triple play.

    • profile image

      harry cook 2 years ago

      i need it to handle comcasts triple play and wifi. will the tg862g do the job?