Customer Review

740 of 765 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surpassed expectations with TWC, July 2, 2012
This review is from: Motorola SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 High-Speed Cable Modem (OEM Brown Box) (Personal Computers)
I have Time Warner internet in the Raleigh/Durham area of NC. This is a DOCSIS 3.0 area.

My download speeds have been shockingly unreliable ever since I started my internet service about 6 months ago. It is supposed to be 20 mbit down. Sometimes, it is actually better than this (25+ for short times), but more often than not, it is much worse (at times < 5, usually around 10-12). It also fluctuates wildly on a minute-by-minute basis. One minute I'll have great speed, the next it crawls. Even during a single speed test, it would fluctuate between about 5-25 mbit.

TWC support was predictably unhelpful. The best I got from them was "that should not be happening." I pointed out that their own FAQ page says that a DOCSIS 3.0 modem is required for my service tier (so-called "turbo"). They said no, the old DOCSIS 2.0 Motorola SB5101 they gave me was fine. I got the same BS from the "normal" reps as well as the so-called "level 3".

I asked if they would give me a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, even though they claim it is not "required". They said no, I would have to upgrade to "extreme," which would add $10/month for the service and another $2.50/month for their DOCSIS 3.0 gateway.

So instead of doing that, I bought this modem (which is on the TWC approved device list). I called them, gave the MAC address, and I was up and running. When the modem connected, the downstream LED turned blue, which according to the manual, means that the channel is bonded. This is a very good thing.

With this modem, I get 20 mbit on the dot, 24 hours a day. Every speed test I have run confirms (including the 200 MB test on testmy.net). Last night, I downloaded about 15 GB of data with a sustained 20 mbit rate the entire time. It's pretty amazing how effective it is.

My speed is never ABOVE 20 anymore, but it is NOT BELOW either. I believe that the channel bonding makes it easier for the ISP to enforce bandwidth caps, but it also makes the connection more reliable. I'll take that deal any day.

I HIGHLY recommend this modem for TWC customers in DOCSIS 3.0 areas. Don't believe the customer service reps -- it absolutely is required. It sucks that TWC won't provide the hardware we actually need to fully use their service, but that's just the way it is.
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Comments

Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 46 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 10, 2012 5:47:38 AM PDT
i wish i'd read your post yesterday morning... just wasted 6hrs of my life explaining to 3 service centers and an "escalated" tech that their website states turbo needs docsis 3.0.. unbelievable how awful twc is!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 7:24:22 AM PDT
Jonah B. says:
They really are pretty terrible, aren't they? I think they accidentally told the truth on the website, and the customer service reps are simply lying.

My advice: just buy this modem. It's really worth it. The alternatives are 1) continue dealing with unreliable internet and TWC support, or 2) upgrade to the next tier, adding $12.50 to your monthly bill. I actually bought my modem from ssdeals on ebay, I think it was $85. At that price it pays for itself in less than 7 months.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 8:02:40 AM PDT
C. Drysdale says:
We have been dealing w/TWC on so many issues issues with our Internet service. With living in Hillsborough, our service providers are extremely limited. Ordered this modem based on your comments & can't wait to get it up & running! Thanks for your input, hopefully others will see & also benefit.

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 5:35:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 10, 2012 6:31:47 AM PDT
Sweetessence says:
Thank you all for your comments regarding TMC, they really are raggedy to deal with. I just got off the phone with a TWC rep who told me that I could not use the 3.0 Motorola modem unless I upgraded to the Turbo, Extreme or Ultimate service. I gladly informed her that that was not true as the information on the box of the modem clearly states that it is a backward compatible modem. Meaning I can use it if I have (which I do) 2.0 (Standard) Internet speed.

I told her that TWC website which tells us which modem's are approved for us to buy states that we should buy a 3.0 modem to cover our selves if we want to upgrade our internet speed in the future. I really dislike dealing with misinformed customer reps, uninformed reps or just simply lying reps from TWC.

Damn shame how Ted Turner corner's the market on these types of services and I believe many landlords are being paid under the table to force apartment dwellers to keep TWC and not allowing FIOS or a Dish service to enter the building. We should all get together and file a Class Action suit against TWC.

Somebody needs to do something. Enough already.

When I really think about it, the only thing I really need (and the family members too whether they know it or not) is the internet service. We all have great no contract or free cell phones so the cable phone service isn't needed. However, Verizon throws in the phone service almost like for free so I can take it. In addition, they charge you a one time fee for the modem/router of $39.99... And it wouldn't be crazy to get rid of TWC for their cable service because I have a great HD Amplified Antenna in two bedrooms. Yes, it would take getting used to since we've all kinda been attached to cable tv for the last 18 years but I'm willing to do it and deal with the sad looking faces in my house 'cause I'm just about done!

Posted on Oct 12, 2012 1:11:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 29, 2012 10:33:09 PM PDT
Redhead says:
Just want to warn people that the price should not be more than $99.95. As of October 08, 2012 The companies selling these are price gouging people and trying to get much more than they are worth. I bought one for $89.00 from #$%$#@ in September when the price was really dropping fast.
Hope this helps you to not pay too much.

UPDATE: SOON YOU CAN BUY WITH A WARRANTY....read below

This just in: I was so nervous about buying more of these Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modems knowing that there is no valid warranty when buying on http://amazon.com or ebay due to the fact that these are not authorized resellers. What I did was finally contacted Motorola corporation and asked them about this. The response was very good to know so I thought I would share. I was told that the SB6141 Modem was a rental unit only and was just finishing up testing for the mass market. I was also told that they now plan on mass producing these and should be widely available by the end of the year in all of the major brick and morter stores. This is good because the price always drops fast when the stores start to stock electronics. I hope the price will finally come back down to $90 like it was priced in late August.
I hope this helps folks that wish they could buy for less and have a warranty.....YES
It's coming soon :0)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 1:51:21 PM PDT
turk621 says:
Interesting that before TW announced they would charge monthly for their modem, the 6141 was $99 here at Amazon. After the announcement, the price went to $104, then $114, then $124, now it's $129 over the course of a week. Also interesting is that I tried swapping my 5101 modem at a TW office for a 3.0(they don't carry the 6141), they said I had to upgrade from RR Turbo to Extreme. I have the same issues as Jonah with the 5101 and Turbo, my download speeds fluctuate wildly. When I tried to explain this to the TW rep when I tried to upgrade my modem without upgrading my service, she was steadfast, wouldn't upgrade my modem, and finally said she wasn't going to argue with me about it and walked away. TW recommends buying a 3.0 6141 for Turbo, but won't supply a 3.0 modem to "rent". Typical TW BS. If they're interested in customer satisfaction, they should have just given me the 3.0 modem and sent me on my happy way.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2012 1:56:05 PM PDT
Jonah B. says:
This is pretty much exactly what happened to me. It really is utter BS. What's unfortunate is that most people will never notice this or know the difference between DOCSIS 2/3. TW is counting on their customers being ignorant. I guess that works out for them financially, but it screws over people like us.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 6:02:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 26, 2012 12:42:04 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 11:26:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2012 11:27:20 AM PDT
owookiee says:
I just got this modem for TWC in NC. The previous rental was a Toshiba PCX2600. In the past month or two the Toshiba would drop internet just about every day until I rebooted it, so with the rental fee coming in, I figured I'd just buy one. Well, my download speed was 25-30mbs with the Toshiba, half an hour later after they activated the SB6141, I am now religiously capped at my paid-for 10mbs. So I traded bandwidth for reliability (well, yet to be seen I guess). Makes me wonder if they're purposefully making connections to old modems unreliable so customers will upgrade to a newer modem they can bandwidth limit more easily.

Also, I had to get transferred from the main number, to the local office, to a tier 3 specialist to get it done. Took about 30 mins on the phone.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012 2:30:58 PM PDT
I also haveTWC in the Chapel Hill area and had the same symptoms mentioned. My downlink speeds were usually in the 4-6Mbps range and my laptop would indicate my level of service was excellent, good, and poor within short periods of time(and my laptop is used at a docking station). This modem has resolved all issues provide reliable 20 down/2 up service which is what my plan calls for.
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