Monday, May 2, 2011

Motorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem

Motorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable ModemMotorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem by MotorolaMotorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem by Motorola.

This review is from: Motorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem (Electronics)
I have worked a good year solid installing cable modems for Charter Communications in California and I can vouch for the ease of installation (no software is required honestly folks), the reliability, speed, and simplicity of the Motorola Surfboard. It is a class above other modems such as Toshiba, Terayon, D-Link (only customer supplied) and the most dreadful one of all, the Ambit.

Most times we were given Ambit modems to install (about 2 or 3 Ambit for every other type on a daily basis). Most times we had problems that were modem defect related, they were Ambit modems, however, that can't be chalked off to an average likelihood because they were installed more. Now, they failed in high numbers like about 1 out of 4 or 5 before an install could even be completed. To their credit, althought Ambits were what I see as unreliable (drop dead on a dime!), they did stretch the limtis of low signal way beyond cable co specs (+10 to -10 dBs) and sometimes worked (gag) even low as -14dB to (one particular occassion I remember -19dB where other modems could never lock on or would never stay locked on to the two frequencies. Although I can't describe the level of service they would provide at that point of signal degredation as anything better than "beats dial-up" when it would not achieve the "theoretical" maximum speeds of 3Mbps given customers but would get a more lackluster 300-600Kbps. Some customers were happy to be able to get that and more anxious to have that right away than to reschedule for another tech to come later and finish the installation after fixing line problems causing such low signals when it wasn't something that could be found and fixed within the alloted time for the original install.

Our second most installed modem were Motorola Surfboards. While they truly operated more inline with their published specs on signal levels (down to about -12dB usually, -15dB if the stars were aligned), they were definitely more tolerant of noise in my opinion and much more reliable than the other modems we had installed in terms of staying solidly connected and operational with consistent speed day in day out on any good line. The only time I ever had to remove a Motorola from service for a "modem problem" actually turned out to be a bad power supply that failed during installation, not the actual Motorola product itself! I can't say that for any other modem I've installed.

The other modems are usually more stylish, or a bit more sleek, but in my book written by a sometimes frustrated cable technician who has installed, moved, and replaced hundreds of HSCI setups locally, 3 style points aren't worth even 1 reliability point when it keeps customers (or me!) from getting pissed off, so I'd stick with Motorola every time if I had a choice which one to install on any given job because I knew I wouldn't get a bad report or call when others failed just back hours or days after installing them.

I'd stake all my experience in the field with all kinds of setups and problems with Motorola being undeniably the most dependable and functional. They truly are the kings of Cable modem. Read More HereMotorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem.