If you’re in the market for cable modem products with a built-in Wi-Fi 6 router, you’ll be pleased to know that the previously dominant Netgear cax80 now has some competition from Motorola and Arris. With these new options, how is the competition shaping up for all-in-one cable modems with built-in Wi-Fi 6 routers?
In this article:
- Cable Modem with Wifi
- Motorola mg8725 and Mg8733
- Motorola Mg8725 vs Netgear cax80
- Netgear Cax30 vs Arris G36
Cable Modem with Wifi 6
For nearly a year, the dominant player in the market for Wi-Fi 6 router products with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem was Netgear cax80, while competitors such as Arris and Motorola did not release similar products until the end of the last quarter of 2021. Now, consumers have a wider range of options with all-in-one Wi-Fi 6 router products featuring built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems from both vendors.
Motorola has recently released two new models, the Motorola mg8725 and mg8733, following the success of their flagship product, the Motorola mg8702, which had been on the market for a few years. Meanwhile, Arris has released two new models, the Surfboard G34 and G36, in addition to their successful flagship product, the Surfboard sbg8300.
Motorola released the Motorola mg8725 and Motorola mg8733 after few years released its successful flagship product with Motorola mg8702; while Arris released Surfboard G34 and G36 following its successful flagship product, Surfboard sbg8300.
Motorola MG8725 and MG8733
Motorola has introduced two new models, the Mg8725 and Mg8733, which are nearly identical except for a few key differences. The main distinction between the two is that the Mg8733 includes two telephony interfaces, RJ11, which can be used with Comcast Xfinity, whereas the Mg8725 does not.
In addition, the Mg8733 is equipped with a UPS battery backup system (sold separately), which can provide up to 8, 16, or 24 hours of backup power. Because of the two phone line feature, the LED lights on the Mg8733 also differ slightly from those on the Mg8725, with additional LEDs for Tel1, Tel2, and UPS.
Both of these products are all-in-one Wi-Fi 6 ax6000 routers with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem representing the next generation of Wi-Fi technology. In general, both products share the same specifications and features, with the exceptions mentioned earlier for the Mg8733.
- Simultaneous dual band ax6000 wifi 6 routers with 8 data streams
- Wifi speeds up to 1200Mbps (4×4) @2.4GHz and up to 4800 Mbps (4×4) @5GHz
- Multi SSIDs, up to 4x SSIDs (2 SSIDs / band)
- Equipped with 4x internal dual-band antennas with power boost wireless amplifiers
- Comes with 1x 2.5Gbps LAN port and 3x Gigabit LAN ports with auto sensing technology
- Comes with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, supports up to 3,780Mbps downstream and up to 800Mbps upstream
- No USB port for storage disk sharing
- Ethernet LAN ports don’t support link aggregation
Given their impressive features, can these two products compete with other similar products in the market, particularly the widely popular Netgear Nighthawk cax80, which has been available for almost a year before Motorola released these new models?
Motorola Mg8725 vs Nighthawk Cax80
To be able to see the spec and feature differences between Motorola and Netgear products, you can refer to table 1 below to make it easier to see the strengths and weaknesses of each product. We take mg8725 instead of mg8733 since mg8725 doesn’t come with Telephone line port, so doesn’t cax80.
Both come with the same wifi technology, ax6000 wifi 6 with 8 data streams, each radio band supports 4×4 MU-MIMO technology.
Are there wifi card adapters that support wifi 6 technology available in the market today? Of course, there are many PCI-e adapters that support 2×2 mu-mimo dual band ax3000, such as the archer ax3000 adapter or the asus ax3000 adapter. See also Asus ax3000 and Archer tx3000 wifi 6 adapters.
If there are two desktops in your home with this Asus or Archer adapter installed, a 4×4 router like Motorola and Cax80 can send two data streams to two desktops at once, without having to take turns one by one so that your network is more efficient and latency-free.
When it comes to Ethernet ports, the Netgear Cax80 surpasses Motorola by offering an additional Ethernet port. The benefit of both products, however, is that they each offer a 2.5Gbps multi-gig port that can be used for wired connections to desktops with multi-gig ports or to NAS storage with multi-gig ports, such as the Asustor Lockerstor 2 AS6602T.
Another factor worth considering is that the Cax80 offers support for teaming ports or link aggregation, which combines two Ethernet ports to achieve faster multi-gig network speeds. To take advantage of this feature, simply enable it and connect to a compatible network device that also supports link aggregation, such as the QNAP TS-231K NAS with its two 1Gbps Ethernet ports. It’s important to note that link aggregation is disabled by default on the Cax80, so you will need to enable it before connecting to a compatible NAS that supports link aggregation.
Access your web browser and type http://www.routerlogin.net and from the basic home page you need to select ADVANCED > Advanced Setup > Ethernet Port Aggregation, you need to enable the LACP-IEEE 803.3ad (by default is disabled).
The Cax80 outperforms Motorola in yet another aspect: it offers a USB 3.0 port, which Motorola lacks. This USB port enables users to share USB disk storage across the network using Netgear ReadyShare technology. To access the connected USB disk from the router on Windows-based devices, simply select Start > Run and enter \readyshare in the dialog box. You can also map the drive with the usual drive letter for easy access across the Windows network.
On the other hand, the Motorola MG8725 does not come with a USB port that allows for external USB disk sharing across the network. Therefore, the Netgear Cax80 offers more advantages than the MG8725 in terms of storage sharing. However, with the absence of USB port you still can use NAS device for network storage.
Network protection is not offered by Motorola, but the Cax80 does provide this feature. Netgear offers a paid subscription for network security protection with its Netgear Armor, powered by Bitdefender. Motorola does not have such security protection available, so if you want to safeguard your network environment, you’ll need to use third-party network protection software, such as Bitdefender, Norton 360 Deluxe, McAfee Total Protection, or Kaspersky Internet Security.
For more details see the following spec comparison table for Motorola mg8725 vs netgear cax80.
Table 1 Motorola Mg8725 vs Netgear Cax80
Table 1 Motorola Mg8725 vs Netgear Cax80
|Netgear Nighthawk Cax80
|Simultaneous dual band ax6000 with 8 streams
|Signal rates: 1.2Gbps @2.4GHz 4×4 4.8Gbps @5GHz 4×4
|4x dual band internal antennas with power boost wireless amplifiers
|1x 2.5Gbps LAN; 3x Gigabit LAN ports ; with Auto-MDI/MDIX
|1x 2.5Gbps Ethernet LAN port; 4x 1.0Gbps Ethernet LAN ports, dual gigabit Ethernet port aggregation
|1x USB 3.0 for storage device
|1.5GHz Dual core processor
|Wireless Security: WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2,TKIP/AES, WPS, 802.1x
|Netgear Armor Powered By Bitdefender: 30-day free trial; Supports WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols
|4x SSIDs (2 SSIDs / radio band )
|One network name or each band
|DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem;2×2 OFDM 32×8 Channel bonding DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
|Dimension and weight
|8.8″ H x 5.7″ W x 3.5″ D Weight: 32 Ounces
|10.4 in x 8.5 in x 4.3 in / (264 mm x 215 mm x 110 mm) 2.55 lb (1.16 Kg)
|Price in Amazon (Mar 2023)
|$369.99 (MSRP: $424)
The prices are almost the same, not so much difference at the first time the products were released to the market. Generally the prices will drop when new products released with better technology. You may also like to consider Motorola MG8733 series, the same series as mg8725 with the addition of two phone lines.
Click the product’s link below to see current price and learn more details in Amazon (#ads).
- Click here to SHOP Motorola mg8725 / OR Motorola Mg8733 Or see in Best Buy
- Or Click here to SHOP Nighthawk Cax80 OR Check this product in Best Buy
Apart from Motorola and netgear, Arris also released two series of wifi 6 cable modem products after surviving for a long time with its flagship product Surfboard Sbg8300 that still based on wifi 5 technology.
Arris Surfboard G36 vs Cax30
Similar to Motorola, Arris has also released two models of Wi-Fi 6 routers with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems. ARRIS is a well-known manufacturer of cable modems, and two of their recent series are the Surfboard G36 and G34. Both modems offer impressive performance and are designed to work with most cable internet providers.
These two models are identical, except for the G36’s inclusion of a multi-gig 2.5Gbps port. Unlike Motorola and Cax80, which are both based on ax6000, Arris has released these two models based on ax3000.
In our previous discussion, we compared the Motorola MG8725 and the Netgear Nighthawk Cax80, which were comparable as they both operate within the same ax6000 network segment. This time, we’ll be comparing the Arris Surfboard G36 with the Netgear Nighthawk Cax30, which are also comparable as they both operate within the same ax3000 network segment.
Please note that Arris has revealed its ultimate cable modem router product based on the next generation of wifi 7 technology – the Arris Surfboard G54, its a quad band BE18000 wifi 7 router with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that supports multi-gig internet speed up to 10Gbps, and comes equipped with 1x 10Gbps Ethernet LAN port in addition of 4x 1.0Gbps LAN ports..
Table 2 below shows you spec comparison between Arris Surfboard g36 and Netgear Nighthawk cax30s (the affix s means the purchase includes 90-days Netgear Armor network security subscription).
Slightly different specs
Both of these products operate on the same network segment, although there is a slight difference in the signal rate at the 2.4Ghz radio band. However, the signal rate is the same at the high band of 5GHz. The Netgear Cax80 series is designed for the middle-class product segment, while the Netgear Cax30 series is designed for the entry-level product segment.
When compared to the Cax30, which lacks a multi-gig Ethernet port, the G36 comes equipped with a 2.5Gbps Ethernet LAN port. However, unlike the Cax30, the G36 does not have a USB port. If you do not require high-speed NAS capabilities using the multi-gig port on the G36, the Cax30’s USB port can be used to share USB disk storage across the network.
Table 2 Arris Surfboard G36 vs Nighthawk cax30s
|Simultaneous dual band ax3000 wifi 6
|Simultaneous dual band ax2700 wifi 6 with 6 streams
|1,200Mbps @2.4GHz; 1,800Mbps @5GHz 3×3
|0.9Gbps @2.4 GHz 3×3; 1.8Gbps @5GHz 3×3
|Built-in DOCSIS 31 cable modem OFDM 2×2 + 32 x 8 Channel bonding
|Built-in DOCSIS 31 cable modem OFDM 2×2 + 32 x 8 Channel bonding
|1x 2.5Gbps LAN Port; 4x Gigabit LAN ports
|4x 1.0Gbps LAN Ethernet Ports, dual gigabit Ethernet port aggregation
|1x USB 3.0 port for share storage
|1.5GHz dual core processor
|10.87 in x 9.92 in x 3.31 in (276 mm x 251,9 mm x 84 mm)
|10.0 in x 8.3 in x 4.3 in / (254 mm x 211 mm x 110 mm)
|3.15 pounds / 1043 gram
|2.10 lb / 0.95 kg
When considering whether to purchase a separate cable modem with a WiFi 6 AX1800 router or an all-in-one device like the Surfboard G36 or Cax30s, which option is more cost-effective?
If we do the calculations, a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, such as the Motorola MB8611 or Surfboard SB8200, costs around $150, and a WiFi 6 AX1800 router costs around $100. Therefore, opting for the Surfboard G36 or Cax30 all-in-one device would be more economical and help reduce the number of devices cluttering your room.
See also comparison between Netgear cm2000 vs Motorola mb8611.
However, if you opt for an all-in-one device, you may lose the flexibility to upgrade your WiFi network for faster speeds, since the cable modem cannot be separated from the router.
Click the product’s link below to learn more details in Amazon (#ads).
- Click here to SHOP Arris Surfboard G36 or See it in Best Buy
- Or you may like to SHOP Netgear Cax30s in Amazon
Wondering how good is wifi 6e products are, the enhancement of wifi 6 technology, see Linksys Hydra Pro 6e vs Netgear raxe500 and also new mesh wifi 6e product Orbi rbk963 quad band mesh wifi 6e router. Or the lower end model of Linksys Atlas Pro vs Orbi rbk752.