If you are a regular reader of our website, you would already know that we keep testing a couple of routers and modems to find the best one available out there. It not only helps you guys to see the actual performance of a router, but it also helps us upgrade to a better product. This time, we are not after any high-end router meant for gaming or anything else. Instead, we have decided to spend some money on this Motorola MB8600 modem. It’s been quite a popular one since the day it launched, and we have heard mostly good things about it from other people already using it. But, is that the actual truth? Or does it perform like any other ordinary modem?
Specifically, we wanted to test it out for Comcast cable connection as there are quite a few modems available out there that can handle the Gigabit cable speeds. According to our knowledge, the Motorola 8600 modem works have Ultra-fast DOCSIS 3.1 coupled with 32×8 channel bonding of DOCSIS 3.0 along with it. Hence, this Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 modem is well capable of managing high-speed internet up to more than 1Gbps. So, all such features are seeming quite amazing right? Well, it is just the beginning. To know more about the Motorola MB8600 modem, stay tuned as we will be mentioning its all blissful features and the flaws as well, right here in this Motorola MB8600 review.
|Channel Bonding||32 Downstream, 8 Upstream|
|DOCSIS Standard||Compatible With DOCSIS 3.1 & 3.0|
|Speeds Up to||6 GBPS|
|Ethernet Port||1 Ethernet Port|
- High internet speeds
- Ideal for Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and many more
- Works with any router
- DOCSIS 3.1 compatible
- AQM is exceptionally useful
- Only 1 Ethernet port
- Hard to reach 6Gbps speed limit
- Expensive deal
Motorola has been doing a pretty decent job for the past few years to provide its customers with the best possible products. But, since the competition is too tough, the MB8600 Motorola modem is just another hope for them to stay in business. Well, as per the spec sheet, it surely has plenty of features to offer, but are all such features worth the price it demands? No doubt, it is an expensive buy for most people out there as you can simply purchase a modem-router combo for this price.
However, finding a modem compatible for almost all the leading ISPs such as Verizon, Cox, Spectrum, etc., is hard to find. Thus, let’s take a look at what appealing features did Motorola include in this build.
First of all, we think that this Motorola MB8600 review would be incomplete if we leave out on its sophisticated looks. Like the Motorola MT7711 Modem Router, this one showcases the same vibes. Well, there is no doubt that Motorola has some kind of obsession with round designs as we can notice it on every other product from this brand. Well, that is good in many ways as it seems quite sober and goes well with any router that you choose to pair this up with. Although the dimensions of this Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem are 7 7/8” tall x 2 1/4” wide x 7 1/4” deep, the vertical design helps a lot to save the desk area and gives it a modern, stylish vibe.
The stand of this modem comes in a glossy plastic finish that does a good job to keep things together in one place. As far as we know, it is not going to drop that easily even if you accidentally move or shake the desk. Moreover, there are black accents that go very nicely with its grey outer body. And, the Motorola logo at the front side just pops up nicely as well. Just below the branding, there is a vertical LED panel that showcases all the important indications about the functioning of the modem. On the rear, there is not much to mention as it comes with only 1 Ethernet port, 1 Coax port where your connection wires will go, and just a simple power on/off switch.
Inside this elegant looking shell, there rests a powerful Broadcom BCM3390ZRKFSBG chipset that comes with 512 MB of RAM and 128 MB of storage memory. All thanks to the powerful processing of this chipset that we can experience exceptionally high-speed internet from this MB8600 modem. As you might already know, it is compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 technology; it does not miss out on the 32 downstream and 8 upstream channel bonding from DOCSIS 3.0. The modem is also backward compatible with all the other previous DOCSIS standards such as 2.0 and 1.0 as well. So, using this modem with any ISP is a cakewalk.
Actually, it’s a great step to ditch the old generations Intel Puma chipsets and move on to a more reliable and better Broadcom ones. So, with hardware like this, there are no complaints from our side as it totally justifies the price as well. In fact, there are an additional 2 OFDM channels available that work in accordance with other channels from DOCSIS 3.0 to provide you with the best Gigabit speeds. So, it has made us feel good about it already, you can decide for yourself too.
Other Modems with Broadcom Chipsets:
3. DOCSIS 3.1 technology
The new Motorola MB8600 firmware is perfect and works well with DOCSIS 3.1 as well. In the early stages, it was not that stable, and the speed tended to fluctuate a bit. But, as of now, all the issues with this modem have been fixed. The DOCSIS 3.1 provides it 2 additional OFDM channels along with DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 channel bonding. It has become an easier job for this modem to provide internet speeds in Gigabits. As a result, it is one of the fastest functioning modem out there which offers almost 46 times faster speeds than any other ordinary modem working on DOCSIS 2.0.
Moreover, the Motorola MB8600 modem is compatible with the latest IPv6 protocols and even comes with Broadcom Full-Band Capture digital tuner that drastically improves the performance of your internet. Thus, if you love to stream HD content online or often spend your time playing competitive games online, you will not be complaining about latency issues any time soon. Well, we can’t assure you about the ISP, but the modem will not disappoint you at all.
The Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 modem tells a lot about it just by the name of it. As you can see, Motorola is boasting about the DOCSIS 3.1 standard everywhere; it also makes use of the helpful AQM technology that stands for Active Queue Management. The AQM is very handy when multiple tasks are going on a device with heavy internet demands. Basically, managing the internet bandwidth in such a way that the connection works better and loads up stuff faster. A great application of AQM can be seen while playing online games or streaming content as low packer loss and lower latencies are required in such tasks.
With DOCSIS 3.1, even the upload streams can reach speeds up to 1 Gbps quite easily while the download streams on this modem can get your speeds up to 3.8 Gbps. However, if you are a Comcast subscriber, you can easily enjoy the 1 Gigabit plans without even thinking twice. The DOCSIS 3.0 standard was only capable of managing speeds up to 1Gbps, but with the addition of DOCSIS 3.1, it can reach a maximum of 6Gbps speed as mentioned in the specs. However, the real-time results differ, and it is hard to reach the speed limit. Still, it is good enough to enjoy a high-speed internet experience as there will be no such problems as ping spikes or buffering while streaming content.
For such high-speed modem, you might require high-speed routers. We have listed some of the high-speed routers below. Do check out them to read their in-depth reviews.
- Tp-Link Archer AX11000 Review
- Arris SURFboard mAX Pro Mesh Wi-fi 6 (AX11000) Review
- Netgear Nighthawk X6S AC4000 (R8000P) Review
- Netgear Nighthawk AX3000 (AX4) Review
- Asus RT-AC88U (AC3100) Review
If you are tired of paying monthly rental fees for an ordinary modem provided by any of the top-tier ISPs. We suggest you try out this modem for sure. Since the latest Motorola MB8600 firmware update has come out, it is quite ready to be on your desk serving you while saving almost $120 per year. Of course, it will feel like a big investment at first, but it will be beneficial in the long run. As for the compatibility, the ISP you use does not matter; the Motorola MB8600 modem is the most ideal option to choose if you want to have the best possible experience even from ISPs like Spectrum, Cox, Comcast, etc.
If we talk about platform compatibility, this Motorola Spectrum modem can work flawlessly on any system including Mac, Windows, Gaming consoles, or HDTVs. The only prerequisite is that it should have ethernet connectivity. In fact, there are no restrictions related to routers too. It can simply work with any router that has a WAN port. But make sure you choose a router that is compatible to handle speeds according to this modem’s potential and your plan subscription.
In terms of connectivity, if you look at the older models of this Motorola 8600 modem, there are 4 ethernet ports. But, there were slight issues with them at the beginning. And, users were only allowed to use only one port at a time. So, basically, users had 4 ports physically, but only one could work at a time. Hence, after the recent updates to its design and build. Motorola has decided to fix it in a way that we personally didn’t like. Now, the latest models of this Motorola modem come with only a single 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) LAN port. So, all you have is this one port; killing many opportunities that this modem could have with 4 ports.
Simply removing 3 ports is not an ideal choice because what will the users do if the single port stops functioning? Not just that, link aggregation could have been done as well to get more speeds on this router. But, you are left with only one Ethernet port here, that’s slightly disappointing considering this as a high-end modem.
7. Easy Setup
Next on this Motorola MB8600 review, we would like to discuss how easy the Motorola MB8600 setup process is. Truly, it didn’t take us more than 5 minutes to get it started. The one mentionable thing is that the packaging comes very nice and clean, and as soon as you take this out of the box, you just have to follow some simple steps to get it started. If you are a current Xfinity subscriber or have any other ISP like Cox or Spectrum, you must already have a modem. Just remove the coax cable from that old modem and connect that into this brand new MB8600 router of yours. Afterwards, just plug in the power cord and switch on the power button present at the back. You are almost set, wait for the modem to configure your connection, and that’s it. Right after that, simply connect any of your devices to this modem using the single 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) LAN port and enjoy your high-speed internet connection.
From the design aspect of it to all the decent features, the Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem just outshines every other modem in its competition. In fact, attention to detail, along with a powerful Broadcom chipset makes it an all-rounder product. In a nutshell, it is good enough to serve you with Gigabit internet speeds with the lowest latency possible, which is ideal for Netflix, YouTube, and other video streaming, and online gaming as well.
So, this was the Motorola MB8600 review from our side. Although it is slightly expensive and not all readers would like to spend this much on a modem. But, those who are pleased with all such features, it will not be a bad decision spending your bucks on this product unless you care more about that single Ethernet port. So, if you liked this article or have some more suggestions for us, feel free to discuss it in the comments section below.