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In this discussion, I have compared two top-of-the-line cable modems, i.e., Arris S33 and Arris Surfboard SB8200. Despite being similar in several aspects, each modem has a separate user base and a few nuanced differences in size, hardware, ports, and more.

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Arris S33 vs Arris SB8200: Comparison Chart

Arris S33Arris SB8200Winner
Arris SB8200
Docsis TechnologyDOCSIS 3.1DOCSIS 3.1DRAW
Channels32 x 832 x 8DRAW
SpeedsHas 2 ports
2.5 Gbps on 1 port
1 Gbps on 1 port
Has 2 ports
1 Gbps on 1 port
1 Gbps on 1 port
Arris S33
RAM1GB (512MB x 2)3GBArris SB8200
Ports & Speeds2 Ethernet Ports
(1 x 2.5 Gigabit, 1 x 1 Gigabit)
Total Power: 3.5 Gbps
2 Ethernet Ports
(2 x 1 Gigabit)
Total Power: 2 Gbps
Arris S33
Link AggregationNoYesDRAW
Compatible ISPsCox, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN,
Midco, Sparklight, WOW!, Mediacom
Cox, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN,
Midco, Sparklight, WOW!, Mediacom
Dimensions‎5.14 x 1.8 x 4.74 inches5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inchesArris S33
Price (and value for money)$198$140Arris 8200

The Key Differences

The key differences between Arris SB8200 and Arris S33

Wired Throughput: Arris S33 supports maximum wired speeds of up to 2.5Gbps for a single port, as opposed to the standard 1Gbps offered by the Arris SB8200. The former is, therefore, better equipped to handle high-bandwidth requirements like gaming and 4K streaming.

Link Aggregation: Arris SB8200 tries to match up the wired speeds of the S33 courtesy of exclusive link aggregation support. Therefore, if you have two active internet plans to deploy, the SB8200 is a better bet for achieving multi-gig speeds. However, if you have two active plans (1 plan at 2 Gbps + 1 plan at 1 Gbps), the S33 would be a better option because it has one ethernet port that supports 2.5 Gbps speeds.

Port Setup: Arris S33 and SB8200 have two ethernet ports, but the S33 is more future-proof as it comes with the following configuration: One 2.5Gbps port and 1 Gbps port, whereas the SB8200 comes with two 1 Gbps ports.

Color Coding: If you are into aesthetics, I would recommend the SB8200, courtesy of the color-coded back panel, which is strictly basic in the case of the S33.

Realized Bulk: The S33 from Arris is slimmer and weighs 1.5 pounds. This attribute makes it more portable as compared to the 2.1-pound SB8200. 

Cost: The S33 is priced slightly higher than the SB8200. Therefore, if you want a sub-$150 DOCSIS 3.1 modem, the SB8200 is the one to consider.

Processing Setup: The SB8200, courtesy of 3GB RAM, is great at managing network congestion and offering consistent speed. While S33 features 1GB RAM and the same amount of NAND flash. Despite less RAM on the S33, real-time performance is no different.

Similarities Between Arris S33 & Arris SB8200

  • Comparable dimensions
  • 32×8 channel bonding support for DOCSIS 3.0 standard
  • Both modems support DOCSIS 3.1 with DOCSIS 3.0 backhaul
  • Ports support Auto Negotiate and Auto-MDIX technologies
  • Indicative LEDs for specific DOCSIS modes
  • At least one 1G Ethernet port
  • Full-band digital tuner
  • 2×2 OFDM/OFDMA support for the DOCSIS 3.1 standard

Design & Port Setup

In addition to enlisting the elementary differences and similarities, it would now be appropriate to talk about the form factor, aesthetics, and the port arrangement pertaining to each modem.

Arris SB8200 weighs a tad north of the 2-pound mark and measures 5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches. The white-colored modem assumes a rectangular form factor, involves hardened plastic, and features four indicative ports and a well-ventilated structure.

I feel that despite featuring similar dimensions, Arris S33 is the more aesthetic of the two, owing to the rounded edges. The port arrangement isn’t drastically dissimilar as both the modems come equipped with 2 Ethernet slots, coaxial cable input, and a power slot.

However, the S33 features one 1G and one 2.5G Ethernet port, making it a better fit for 4K consoles, gaming stations, and other bandwidth-intensive gadgets.

Speed & Compatibility

As per the OEM, the SB8200 can handle internet plans that reach up to 2Gbps. However, I could test it with a 1Gbps plan from Comcast, only to get speeds of up to 980Mbps, via the wired port.

If you want to use the 2 Gbps potential using the link aggregation support, you would need to get the ISP to assign another IP to you as a different connection.

As far as compatibility is concerned, the SB8200 can work perfectly with the likes of Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and other leading ISPs. The S33 from Arris can assume maximum speeds of up to 2.5Gbps, courtesy of the dedicated, multi-gig Ethernet port.

 While testing it with the same internet plan from Comcast, I could experience speeds of up to 944Mbps, during peak hours. Therefore, if the ISP can offer multi-gig speeds in the future, the S33 seems a better modem to invest in.

Also, regarding compatibility, even this modem supports the likes of Cox, Xfinity, and more. I recommend pairing a gig or multi-gig plan with either of these modems to justify the investment.

Who should buy the Arris S33?

You can consider investing in the Arris Surfboard S33 if you are looking for:

  • The ISP to launch a multi-Gig cable internet plan soon
  • Portable Modem
  • Future-proof specs sheet
  • One 2.5G port for connecting gaming consoles
  • Excellent customer care

Who should buy the Arris SB8200?

Arris Surfboard SB8200 seems like a better bet if you are interested in:

  • Link aggregation to connect two separate plans as one
  • High-fidelity connections
  • Improved heat dissipation


In this discussion, I placed two top-rated Arris-branded modems side-by-side and eventually compared them based on real-time speeds, port arrangement, ISP compatibility, aesthetics, and more.

However, I feel that the specs sheet associated with any of the two modems is top-of-the-line, and therefore if you have one, you need not make a shift at this time.

But then, if you are using a DOCSIS 3.0 modem and looking to upgrade to a more future-proof device with bigger traffic transmission channels, you can pick a modem of choice by looking at the differences, similarities, and even detailed explanations.

Regardless, if I were to choose, I feel that the SB8200 is a more balanced device at the moment and also for the next few years as it has more powerful hardware and a standard port setup that makes more sense for the Gig internet speeds.

However, the Arris S33 seems like a future-proof device because it has two ports, of which 1 port is single-handedly capable of handling speeds upto 2.5 Gbps.

Arris Surfboard S33
Arris Surfboard S33
Arris Surfboard SB8200
Arris Surfboard SB8200