SBG6700AC: Is This AC1600 Gateway Good Enough for You?
A Quick Take on the Arris SBG6700-AC
Do you enjoy online movie streaming but find that your current speed is not fast enough? Play games and down load big files?
With a download speed of up to 343 Mbps and a total Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1600 Mbps, the latest Arris SBG6700-AC will not disappoint you.
In fact the Arris Surfboard SBG6700-AC creates a lightning-fast Internet that you will experience like no others in the market today.
This compact little box of 5.3 x 2.2 x 5 inches contains not only two but three products - a DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, dual-band Concurrent 802.11ac Wi-Fi Access Point and 2-Port Gigabit Ethernet Router.
As such with a three in one function in a single box, you can forget about the traditional cable modem and wireless router ensemble.
On top of that you also get the beamforming technology to ensure maximum Wi-Fi coverage and performance which also helps to eliminate possible dead spots.
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What Makes the Arris Motorola SBG6700-AC So Fast?
There are many things involved that will help a gateway like the Arris Motorola SBG6700AC to be as good as it is. However the two main technologies used in this gateway that I would like to highlight in more detail here are:
- The DOCSIS 3.0 technology on the modem side
- The 802.11 AC technology on the wireless router side
DOCSIS is the acronym for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification and it is the international standard to define how data is to be transmitted at a high speed on your existing cable TV.
Standards are normally defined so that manufacturers can have a common guideline for them to follow when they design their products.
So why is DOCSIS important for the modem function of your Motorola SBG6700-AC gateway?
It is important because it helps you channel the data via your provider in such a manner so as to give you the maximum speed.
The use of the latest channel bonding techniques specified in DOCSIS 3.0 allows the Arris Motorola SBG6700-AC to bond up to eight downstream and four upstream channels. This in turn provides an astounding download data rates of speeds up to 343 Mbps and upload speeds up to 131 Mbps.
Compare to the previous version of DOCSIS, that is DOCSIS 2.0; the DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem as it is able to download up to 8 times faster than the older DOCSIS 2.0 cable modems.
Oh, by the way, you pay for what you get. So you have to subscribe to the appropriate broadband package otherwise your Arris SBG6700-AC may be underutilized; unless of course, your intention is future proofing.
While DOCSIS helps in the download speed of the cable modem function of the Arris Motorola SBG6700-AC, the 802.11 standard governs the speed of the wireless router side.
You may have seen older routers with numbers such 802.11 A,B, G etc but these can be considered outdated as they have been superseded by the "N" and "AC" standards.
Right now the "N" standard is very popular but it will be a matter of time before it becomes obsolete as well.
You will understand why if you look at the comparison of the speeds that can be managed by each of the standards below:
- 802.11b can go up to 11 megabits per second (Mbps)
- 802.11a and 802.11g can go up to 54 Mbps
- 802.11n up to 300 Mbps
- 802.11ac up to 1,000 Mbps or 1 Gbps
Here is a chart on the speed and theoretical range:
Hence the AC at 1,000 Mbps is roughly 3 times faster than the N.
With the proliferation of online streaming, on-line video gaming with realistic pictures, bigger and bigger files to transferred, the "AC" device at 3 times faster than the "N" will definitely be the preferred choice.
You Also Get Technologies Such As
- 2.4/5.0 GHz Dual-band Concurrent Wifi
- 2x2 MIMO antenna array on 2.4 GHz and 3x3 MIMO antenna array on 5 GHz spectrum to enhance wireless connectivity
- Wi-Fi beamforming
- 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports – 10/100/1000 Mbps
- Support for IPv4 and IPv6 which are the Internet's latest standard
How Do Dual Bands Help?
Dual band routers are especially useful when you have crowded air waves.
It works by having two different bands for multiple end user devices and operator segregation of video distribution. They generally transmit on the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless bands.
The 2.4 GHz is more popularly used and hence susceptible to interference from devises such as other Wi-Fi access points, microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, etc. All these increases interference and degrades performance.
By the way, all 802.11B and G devices run on 2.4GHz only.
The 5GHz channel on the other hand is much cleaner with less interference. As such it is more suitable for applications like Video streaming and Gaming which are very sensitive to packet loss and delays.
It is important to take note the the Motorola SBG6700-AC has a simultaneous dual band function. What this means is that you can use both bands simultaneously and the dual-concurrent radios ensures that you will have an interference-free network.
What is WiFi Beam Forming?
Beam forming technology helps especially when you have many devices such as smartphones, tablets, notebook computers etc that need to be connect to the internet.
A beam forming wireless router works by directing its signals toward each mobile client as compared to a normal wireless router that broadcast data radially in all directions (see the diagram on the right). In this way the beam forming wireless router ensures that it targets its data transmission towards the mobile clients where ever the clients are.
The additional benefit of the the focused signals is that it also increases the network's range as well as bandwidth utilization.
Beam forming in the Motorola SBG6700-AC is achieved through the use of its 2x2 and 3x3 internal MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) antennas respectively on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Can I Connect My Phone to the Arris SBG6700-AC?
No. Sorry, you cannot do that because it does not have a phone jack.
If you really must have a phone connection, then you should look at the Arris TG862G if you are looking for a gateway.
If you are looking for a modem only that allows you to your phone to it, then look at Arris TM822G.
On the other hand if you really like the Arris Motorola SBG6700-AC and would also like to make calls with it, then a way to do that is to connect a VOIP device like the Ooma Telo to it. Spend an additional one time cost of less than $100 to get an Ooma and you can make and receive crystal clear free calls via your SBG6700-AC.
The Motorola SBG6700-AC vs SBG6782-AC? Which Should I Buy?
I have been posed this question - "I know Motorola has released a model prior to the Motorola SBG6700-AC, the Motorola SBG6782-AC. I am confused. Which of these two should I buy?"
In my opinion, there is actually not much difference between these two Motorola gateways.
To make it easier for you to compare the Motorola SBG6700-AC vs SBG6782-AC, I will put the major features side by side in the table below and then you can decide for yourself which device better suits you:
Technology has also come a long way that it is no longer necessary to have two separate boxes to enjoy the best of your internet and wireless experience and both Motorola devices are equally solid gateways.
As you can see, both are capable of downloading up to the maximum theoretical 343 Mbps on the modem side. The upload speeds are also the same for both gateways at 131 Mbps.
Main difference of the Motorola SBG6700-AC vs Motorola SBG6782-AC
5.3 x 2.2 x 5
11.8 x 4 x 10.5
The major differences are the size of the box, additional Ethernet ports, slight difference in WiFi speed and the MoCA support on the Motorola SBG6782-AC.
There is only a sight difference in price of around a few dollars between the two models at the time of writing.
Whilst some people prefer the newer and smaller Motorola SBG6700-AC; especially when they don't need MoCA or the two additional Ethernet ports for wired connections. Others preferred the Motorola SBG6782-AC.
So, which is suitable for you?
In conclusion, both the Surfboards SBG6700-AC and SBG6782 are simple to setup and use.
Their plug-and-play installation procedures have gone through so many product cycles already (through the many earlier models) that it makes setup a snap.
Motorola has also included the popular Wi-Fi Pairing button to ensure that you have a quick and secure connection for your wireless devices at a press of a button.
As with most of the latest wireless router offerings from other manufacturers as well, the support of the IPv6 standard ensures that you are using the latest Internet browsing standard.
What do you get with the Arris Motorola SBG6700-AC?
- DOCSIS 3.0 Certified, 8X faster than DOCSIS 2.0 and backwards compatible to DOCSIS 2.0, 1.1 and 1.0
- Channel bonding of 8 downstream and 4 upstream channels to give you speeds of up to 343 Mbps for downloads and 131 Mbps for uploads; great for online games, streaming and huge file downloads
- Supports both IPv4 and IPv6 which are the latest Internet standards
- You get Wi-Fi beamforming for maximum performance and coverage
- The 802.11 AC Gigabit Wi-Fi is 3X faster than Wireless N and is backwards compatible to wireless 802.11 A/B/G/N
- Its 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual-concurrent radios are capable of a total combined Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1600 Mbps
- It has a 2x2 MIMO antenna array on its 2.4 GHz and 3x3 MIMO antenna array on its 5 GHz spectrum enhance wireless connectivity
- Its two Gigabit Ethernet ports gives you flexible, high-speed connectivity at 10/100/1000 Mbps
- It provides support for multiple guest SSIDs for segregated networks
- Its firewall protection incorporates Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) and Network Address Translation (NAT) for maximum security
- It is compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Unix operating systems
- It is able to work with major U.S. cable providers such as Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable (TWC), Cox and others. If you are with Charter or Bright House, call the customer service to check if it is already supported
If the above features are what you are looking for then go ahead to get the SBG6700AC.
If you need MOCA and two additional Ethernet ports
Then it is recommended that you get the Motorola SBG6782-AC. By the way, for those of you who do not know, MoCA stands for Multimedia over Coax Alliance. MoCA is the universal standard for home entertainment networking.
The benefit with MoCA is that both data communication and the transfer of audio and video streams are carried out via the coaxial cable which you already have if you are on cable; hence no additional cost.
If you need two additional Ethernet ports or MoCA, then the Arris Motorola SBG6782-AC is more suitable for you. The flip side is that the SBG6782AC comes in a very big box; that is about twice the size of the Motorola SBG6700AC.
Check out this link if you need to find out more about MoCA or the Arris Motorola SBG6782-AC.
If you need MoCA and two additional Ethernet ports, then you should get the SBG6782-AC.
Which is suitable for you
If you find that both the Arris Motorola SBG6700-AC and the Motorola SBG6782-AC are not suitable for you, then you may want to check out an earlier model which is also very popular i.e. the Motorola SBG6580.
If that is the case, check out my comparison review of the Motorola SBG6782AC vs SBG6580 so that you will have a good idea if either the Motorola SBG6700-AC or the Motorola SBG6782 is still suitable for you.
All these Motorola gateways are solid devices and will not disappoint you.
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Still can't decide?
If you still can't decide, perhaps you want to give it another shot and check out the Motorola MG7550 16x4 high speed gateway? This is the latest cable gateway from Motorola at this moment and is pretty solid as well.