Motorola SB6141 - The Latest Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Is Here

Expert Author James Causian
First of all before I tell you about the Motorola SB6141, the latest DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem from Motorola in this review, it is important to at least have a high level of understanding of what the DOCSIS 3.0 specification is and what are the advantages it provides to a modem that is built to that specification.
DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. As you can tell from the version number, the 3.0 specification is the third and the latest version of DOCSIS; the 3.0 specification was actually released way back in August 2006 by a consortium of technology companies led Cablelabs of which Motorola is a member to use channel bonding technologies to provide ultra fast broadband services.
So how does this channel bonding technology helps to improve the data transfer speed? In simple terms, a modem like the SB6141 utilizes the channel bonding technology together with the DOCSIS 3.0 standard to cleverly harness the extra unused bandwidth capacity to provide the boost to users.
Imagine combining eight already large data pipe of 40 Mbps of data per channel to give you a theoretical total downstream capacity of 320 Mbps? In the theoretical or optimal case, you could utilize data rates of more than 320 Mbps downstream and 160 Mbps for upstream channels.
However do note that like all modems, actual data throughput will generally be less due to physical layer overheads e.g. error correction coding, burst preamble, guard correction etc
Also do note that you get what you pay for. For example if you subscribe to a 20 Mbps package from your ISP, you will not be able to take the full advantage of the SB6141's data capacity due to the capping from your ISP.
Even though users cannot make total use of its theoretical through put, most users of the Motorola SB6141 would feel the speed surge immediately when they switched over to the SB6141.
The Motorola SB6141 supports both IPv4 and IPv6 and is also backward compatible to the original DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS and includes an internal filter to eliminate potential interference from MoCA signals' inter modulation beats.
The Pros and Cons of the Motorola SB6141
No matter how good a product is, there will always be some weakness. However the SB6141 is an excellent product that has evolved from its solid predecessors the Motorola SB6121 and SB6120, so there are few flaws. In fact these should not be termed "Cons" as it is not the weakness of the Motorola SB6141 but rather the accessibility provided by the ISP Comcast:
  • Comcast does automatically not support the SB6141 at the point of writing. However some customers have managed to get Comcast to manually provision their SB6121 for them. Once that has been done, s reset signal will be sent to the modem and you have to repower it to get it working. Also to make sure that you buy the appropriate Comcast package to make full use of the Motorola SB6141's capabilities i.e. you pay for the speed
These are some of the Pros of the Motorola SB6141
  • It now supports AES traffic encryption for enhance security
  • Easy to set up
  • Has a build-in internal filter to reduce potential interference from MoCA signals' inter-modulation beats
  • Cheaper than its predecessors the Motorola SB6121 and Motorola SB6120
  • Capable of channel bonding up to eight downstream channels and four upstream channels. This offers a potential increase in data rates of over 300 Mbps for received data and over 100 Mbps for sending data
  • Shares the same firmware image as the hugely popular SB6121 and SB6120. This helps to reduce operator qualification time and eliminates configuration management problems for the ISPs