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Motorola Surfboard SB5100 Cable Modem

3.9 out of 5 stars 435 customer reviews
| 43 answered questions

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  • DOCSIS 1.1 and 2.0 Certified
  • Integrated A-TDMA and S-CDMA technology--capable of providing up to 30 Mbps upstream data rate
  • USB and Ethernet connectivity
  • Front panel status LEDs and built-in HTML-based diagnostics for quick and easy troubleshooting
  • Compatible with Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, NT, XP, Mac OS, Linux, and UNIX
5 new from $23.99 37 used from $5.20 1 refurbished from $28.99

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Motorola
  • Model Number: 501209-001-00
  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Connectivity Technology: ethernet, usb
  • Data Link Protocol: Ethernet // Fast Ethernet
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Product Description

Motorola's next generation SURFboard SB5100 Cable Modem incorporates the latest DOCSIS 2.0 Advanced Time Division Multiple Access (A-TDMA) and Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (S-CDMA) technologies to provide up to three times greater upstream capacity than DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 systems. Packed with power, the SB5100 is interoperable and backward compatible with DOCSIS 1.0 and 1.1 for a fast and timely transition - operators can deploy the SB5100 today without a service interruption.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 3 x 7 x 6 inches
Item Weight 1.3 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.3 pounds
Domestic Shipping Item can be shipped within U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Item model number 501209-001-00
Customer Reviews
3.9 out of 5 stars 435 customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #12,021 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
#107 in Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Networking Products > Modems
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at March 25, 2003

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FIXM Computer on January 27, 2006
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.
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By A Customer on April 23, 2003
I got this cable modem for my folks a short while ago rather than have them continue to pay a monthly rental fee to Comcast. I chose the Motorola 5100 based on the reputation of Motorola, the price (although it wasn't as good as this Amazon price), and the technology.
Installation was easy with a quick start guide as well as a full manual (on cd). For the price, you can't beat it. It has the latest technology- DOCSIS 2.0 but is backward compatible with the older standards DOCSIS 1.0 and 1.1 used by mostly all cable internet providers. (Please be sure to check with your cable internet provider first before buying any modem to make sure they support the DOCSIS standard and modem you are considering buying.)
The Motorola has both USB and Ethernet connections so you can directly hook up 2 computers without having to buy extra networking hardware. Another nice feature is the STANDBY button at the top which you can use to temporarily cut off the internet. Also, it is relatively compact (roughly 6"H x 2"W x 6"D), so it won't take over your valuable desk space.
Performance-wise, I can't say I noticed much of a difference from their old modem but cable bandwith can be variable depending on the number of users in the neighborhood. At least it wasn't any slower.
Based on all this, I figured why buy a modem with older technology for more $$ that probably can't be upgraded when you can have the latest and greatest now for cheaper- a rare combination.
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I'm a comcast user and I've been using motorola for the past 4 and a half years now. Before Motorola, Comcast gave me 3 different RCA modems within a period of 2 weeks (all would reboot by themselves at least 3 or 4 times a day). After telling them to take their p.o.s. modem back, I purchased a SurfBoard 4100. It ran without a hitch for 3 years straight, before the internal power supply failed (opening up the box and connecting my own power supply in it's place proved so.) However, being in the school that believes when one part fails everything else is bound to fail, I decided to replace it with another modem. Motorola had just released the 5100, so being that I had great luck with the prior 4100, I bought it. It's been a year and a half now, and the modem is still running beautifully. Comcast just recently bumped up their speed to 4 mbps down and 384 kbps up, but I opted for the 6 mbps down and 768 kbps up package. On my iMac G5, I average 5.9 down and 740 up with Firefox and Mac OS X 10.3.7. When doing the same test on my hybrid Win2k/Linux box, it received 4.8 down and 720 up in Windows and 5.8 down and 730 up in Linux (AMD Athlon64 3700+). While older computers may not reflect the performace that these recent machines have, the connectivity is what really shines with Motorola. With an exception of signal interference and an outage during the system upgrade, it stays connected no matter what. I added packet8 phone service recently, and it's just perfect. This modem is one of my favorites (the other two being the Arris Touchstone series and the Toshiba 2600), and is the best value on the market today.
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This little modem replaced our Motorola SB4100. It's better looking and takes up less space, at about the size of a portable CD player. This model uses new technology (A-TDMA & S-CDMA) that triples the upstream capacity to 30Mbps. It is also DOCSIS 1.1 & 1.0 compatible and will work with older technology. I've been using this modem with Adelphia PowerLink with great results. And, if for no other reason, it's worth getting to save the five dollar monthly rental fee. Pays for itself really.
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