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SBG6782AC: Is This Gateway Good Enough For You?

Motorola SBG6782-AC Surfboard Extreme 3.0 Cable Modem and Wi-Fi Router

Motorola SBG6782-AC Surfboard Extreme 3.0 Cable Modem and Wi-Fi Router

Are you looking for a fast cable modem supporting the latest DOCSIS 3.0 standard that comes together with an equally fast dual band WiFi router and an inbuilt MoCA adapter so that you can get blazing fast download speeds, large coverage, smooth video streaming as well as stable online gaming?

If you are, then you should take a very good look at the Motorola SBG6782-ac Surfboard Extreme cable modem router combo.

If fact the Motorola SBG6782ac is not only a two in one combo but a three in one combo as it also incorporates a little known but prevalent technology called MoCA that you can use with very little additional cost.

Motorola SBG6782AC is a solid and dependable gateway

Motorola SBG6782AC is a solid and dependable gateway

The Motorola Surfboard SBG6782ac device will distribute your digital multimedia content throughout your house via both existing cable through MoCA and wireless methods.

If you are confused by acronyms such as DOCSIS, MoCA etc, don't worry as I will explain all the relevant important terms in as simple as possible way so that by the end of this Motorola Surfboard SBG6782-AC review, you will have a very good understanding of all these technologies and decide whether the Motorola SBG6782AC combo is the right networking device for you or not.

Even though the Surfboard SBG6782AC may be the best gateway at the time of writing, is it necessary the best device for your needs?

Read on and I will provide easy to understand information to help you make your decision and also highlight the pros and cons so that you can decide if the Motorola SBG6782 AC is the best device for you.

DOCSIS Standard

DOCSIS Standard

What is DOCSIS?

I have done a more in-depth discussion of DOCSIS in one of my hubs and if you are interested in the details, you can check out this link Is It Better To Buy Motorola SB6141 over SB6121?

However for now, just know that DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification and it is the international specification of high speed data transfer mode for existing cable TV.

The DOCSIS standard is required so that modem manufacturers can have a common guideline for them to follow in their design of their products.

DOCSIS is important for you here because you will be using cable to access and distribute your digital contents if you use the Motorola SBG6782 AC.

Its all about speed...

Its all about speed...

DOCSIS has gone through several revisions since it was first published in 1997 and the latest version of DOCSIS now is version 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.0.

Through the use of channel bonding techniques via DOCSIS 3.0, the Motorola SBG6782AC's modem is capable of channel bonding of up to eight downstream and four upstream channels to provide an astounding download data rates of speeds up to 343 Mbps and upload speeds up to 131 Mbps; based on your cable provider service. Remember, you only get what you pay for!

Again, if you are interested in how channel bonding works, please check out the link I mentioned before but right now take it that theoretically you can get a download speed of up to 343 Mbps and upload speed of up to 131 Mbps, which is very, very fast for the technology that is available today!

Where possible, always go for DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem as it is able to download up to 8 times faster than the older DOCSIS 2.0 cable modems.

The 802.11 IEEE wireless standard

The 802.11 IEEE wireless standard

What is 802.11ac Wifi?

The number 802.11 is the standard that governs the speed of your router.

If you have seen older routers, you would have seen the numbers such as 802.11a,b, g etc.

Right now these are no longer popular as they have been superseded by the latest "n" and "ac" routers.

There are also others e.g. "ad", "af", "ah" but currently "n" is the most popular. However the "ac" standard is fast catching up in popularity and will eventually overtake the "n".

How does these alphabets behind the 802.11 numbers affect you? Well it all has to do mainly with speed and theoretically here is how fast each can go:

  • 802.11b can go up to 11 megabits per second (Mbps)
  • 802.11a and 802.11g can go up to 54 Mbps
  • 802.11n up to 300 Mbps
  • 802.11ac up to 1,000 Mbps or 1 Gbps

So as you can see, the 802.11ac router is theoretically 3 times faster than its "n" counterpart. With the increasing amount of media that we are streaming, files getting bigger and bigger, newer video games; I think you will understand why we need ever faster speed routers.

Dual band router

Dual band router

Dual Band

Dual band routers are useful especially when you have crowded airwaves. The bands are generally in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range.

You use the two different bands for multiple end user devices and operator segregation of video distribution.

It is important to take note the the Motorola SBG6782-AC has a simultaneous dual band function. What this means is that you can use both bands simultaneously and the dual-concurrent radios ensures that you will have an interference-free network.

Beam forming

Beam forming


In today's environment where you have many portable devices like your smartphone, tablet, notebook computer etc that needs to connect to the internet for their content, the beam forming technology in the router will help to ensure that these portable devices will always be connected.

How beam forming helps - whilst normal wireless routers broadcast data radially in all directions, a beam forming wireless router directs its signals toward each mobile client and thus ensures that it targets its data transmission towards the mobile client where ever the client is.

By doing that, beam forming also increases the network's range as well as bandwidth utilization. Beam forming in the Motorola SBG6782-AC is achieved through the use of its internal MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) antennas.

What is MoCA?

Many people are aware of powerline connections for their internet access but they have not heard about MoCA before.

Probably this could be due to the fact that MoCA was only established in 2004. Its aim is to promote the whole home distribution of high definition content over the existing coaxial cabling.

MoCA stands for Multimedia over Coax Alliance and is the universal standard for home entertainment networking. With MoCA, both data communication and the transfer of audio and video streams are carried out via the coaxial cable.

Currently all three pay TV segments in the US, namely cable, satellite and IPTV uses the MoCA standard to support multiple streams of HD video with up to 175 Mbps net throughput.

Since approximately 90% of homes in the US use cable and the coaxial connector supports MoCA, all you need to do is to attach MoCA adapters at the end points to add more wired devices to the home network. This is truly an excellent way to expand a home network for the 90% of us who have our homes wired with coaxial TV cables.

It is also a great way to carry data signals due to the fact that Coaxial cable is resistant to interference and has a large capacity.

Have you heard about the MoCA technology before?

Rear of the Motorola Surfboard SBG6782-AC

Rear of the Motorola Surfboard SBG6782-AC

What is the Arris Motorola SBG6782-AC?

Ok, now that you have gone through most of the important technology that goes into the Motorola SBG6782 AC, let me elaborate more to you about this cable modem router combo.

Like I mentioned in my intro, the Motorola SBG6782-AC Surfboard Extreme is actually a three in one device. It is actually a cable modem, wireless router as well as a MoCA adapter in one box.

Here are 10 key technologies that goes into the SGB6782AC to make it one of the best consumer class networking device you can get today:

  1. DOCSIS 3.0 - the modem in the Arris Motorola SBG6782-AC uses the latest DOCSIS standard to give you the fastest modem upload and download speed available in the market today
  2. It is also a wireless 802.11 AC router - the "ac" is also the fastest speed available in the market today as far as a wireless router is concerned. It is capable of delivering up to a total of 1750 Mbps Wi-Fi speed
  3. Dual band - gives you the flexibility to assign devices that performs different functions to each band to avoid congestion and interference. The 2.4GHz bandwidth is 802.11n compliant while the 5.0GHz is 802.11ac compliant
  4. Beam forming - technology to focus the data stream to you mobile devices
  5. It has a 3x3 internal MIMO antenna design capable of delivering a range of more than 450' while eliminating drops and dead zones
  6. MoCA - this is a big advantage that many people don't realize. If you are a gamer or need to stream large chunks of contents and you want to be ensured that there are no disruptions, then MoCA is the perfect answer. Just add a MoCA adapter and connect the Ethernet cable from your device to the adapter and you have a wired LAN!
  7. There are four Gigabit LAN ports for connecting wired clients
  8. Even though it doesn't have a USB port for you to connect your printer, it has wireless printing capability without cable clutter
  9. It has WPA, WPA2, WEP and WPS for wireless security to ensure that your information is secure with VPN pass-through to ensure that your private information is safe
  10. It uses the latest IPv6 Internet standard for multiple, simultaneous browsing sessions on multiple devices

Check out this review of the Arris Motorola SBG6782-AC from CNet as well.

What are the Pros and Cons?

All products will definitely have their own pros and cons. However depending on individual requirements and needs, some pros may not be "pros" while some cons may not be "cons" to you.

So I would like to advice that you use your own individual judgment based on your needs to decide if those are actually the pros or cons to you.

Lets start with the cons first.

The Cons of the Arris Motorola Surboard SBG6782-AC

  • It is a big box with the dimensionof 8.8x2.1x10.1 inches or 224x54x256 mm (hwl). However you must remember that inside the same box is a cable modem, wireless router and a MoCA adapter
  • It does not have a USB port for connecting storage and printers. However it does support wireless printing
  • It does not have any WAN port, meaning you can’t use it as a standard router for other Internet services such as DSL or satellite disk
  • It runs a little warm. So you have to make sure you place the SBG6782 AC in a place where there is airflow

The Pros of the Arris Motorola Surboard SBG6782-AC

  • It incorporates three networking devices namely a cable modem, a wireless router and a MoCA adapter in one box
  • you only need one power outlet instead of three
  • it saves "horizontal space" - three device combined into one
  • As a true dual-band device, it also supports all existing Wi-Fi clients on the market simultaneously
  • You don't have to worry about connecting the modem or router or MoCA adapter to each other as they are all in one box
  • Easy setup
  • A press of its Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button allows you to quickly add WPS-enabled devices to your Wi-Fi network
  • Don't have to trouble shoot each individual unit to determine which is faulty
  • It has four Gigabit LAN ports for connecting wired clients
  • Combine the use of the wireless function with the MoCA to avoid deadspots and extend the range
  • Stable - through the use of MoCA adapters
This is how the MAC address of the SBG6782 looks like

This is how the MAC address of the SBG6782 looks like

Who are the providers who have approved the use of the Motorola SBG6782AC?

Almost all major cable providers such as Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Mediacom, Bright House Networks now have the Motorola SBG6782AC on their modem approved list.

(By the way, I mentioned "modem" to reference to the modem part of this three in one combo)

Some early adopters reported that their provider does not have this modem on their approved list but they easily solved the problem by mentioning that their device is the Motorola SBG6580.

However I believe this problem should no longer be happening anymore as the Arris Motorola SBG6782AC has now become very popular.

If you are not sure, all you need to do is to make a call and check with your provider.

Before you call, make sure that you note your MAC address (which is found at the bottom of the unit), as you will most likely need to provide them with your MAC address.

Once that is done, you will find that your unit will be activated in no time. It is that simple!

On your right is a sample of how the MAC address of your Arris Motorola SBG6782-AC may looked like. Image courtesy of Cox.

What is the verdict?

If you are subscribed to high speed and bandwidth; is looking for BOTH a high speed modem and wireless router, then the Motorola SBG6782-AC is definitely a good buy.

This is because the cost of the Arris Motorola SBG6782 AC is cheaper than a combined cost of a high end consumer cable modem and wireless router. Plus you also have a MoCA adapter thrown in.

Not only that, you get a top notch networking device with all the latest technology aimed to give you the best user experience. At the point of writing, I felt that the $220 plus price tag for the Motorola SBG6782AC to be reasonable. However right now, I believe the price should be much cheaper, which really makes it a steal.


Click on the link below to find out more or buy from Amazon.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, then you may want to check out the Zoom 5363. At the time of writing, the Zoom 5363 is approximately $50 cheaper than the Motorola SBG6782.

If you don't need an AC class wireless router portion on the gateway, then you may also want to check out the Netgear N600 C3700 which gives you pretty good value for money.

However do note that prices are subjected to change by the retailers without notice.


On the other hand if you are just looking for a good replacement for your cable modem, then I highly recommend that you get either the Motorola SB6121 or the Motorola SB6141 for they are the most cost effective and technically, best consumer class cable modem in the market today.

If you really feel that you do not want to spend the additional $20 to $25 premium of the Arris SB6141 over the SB6121 and do not mind looking through another review, then check out the link below and it will help you make the decision:

  • Is It Better To Buy Motorola SB6141 over SB6121?
    Avoid the confusion over whether to buy the Motorola SB6141 or SB6121. Find out which of these two excellent cable modems gives you the best value for your money in this very easy to understand hub.

On the other hand, if you are the techie that is always looking out for the newest, fastest and best gadgets to have, then you should find out more about the Motorola SB6183 modem (by the way, this is a modem only) that has just been released recently. You can get an amazing 16X download speed with this speedster.


OK. Now you have got yourself a good cable modem. If you need to look for an excellent and easy guide to get yourself a good wireless router, click on the link below to find out more:

  • How to buy the best home wireless router
    Want to get the best user experience with your home wireless router but not spending unnecessarily money for it? Find out how to get the best deals by smartly picking top wireless routers here.
  • How to buy the best wireless router for gaming
    Whether you are a seasoned or novice gamer, find out how to buy the best wireless router for gaming to truly enjoy your online gaming in this easy to understand and non technical hub.

If you need to extend the coverage of your network through MoCA, here are some MoCA adapters that you will need:

On the other hand, if you still prefer the wireless way, you may want to look into getting a wireless client adapter like the Asus PCE AC68. Currently, the Asus PCE AC68 is the fastest client wireless adapter with a speed of up to 1300 Mbps. Click on the link to find out more.

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We love to hear your feedbacks. Share with us your comments

James Causian (author) from Huston, Texas on August 13, 2015:

Yes. I hope they will change their policy.

A disappointed customer on August 09, 2015:

I purchased the Arris sbg6782-ac after researching all the great pros of the device. The main feature that sold me on the router modem combo was the "Up to 343 mbps download rates." The only thing I wasn't able to discover before my purchase was the fact that; although my Internet service provider, Time Warner Cable will allow me to use this device as an Internet gateway, they have NOT approve this device to operate over 100 mbps through their service. As of now, if you use an arris sbg6782-ac through Time Warner Cable, you will NOT be able to download faster than 100 mbps regardless of your service plan. I hope that changes soon. Very disappointing...

Guensoo on December 26, 2014:

I just bought this modem and got rid off the SBG6580 due to it's weak weelirss signal, plus i already own a good dlink weelirss router.Called time warner cable, gave them the mac address and it was up n running in a less than a minute =] it totally rocks!TWC was charging me 7 bucks a month for the sb6580 rental fee, i live in los angeles and i can confirm this new modem works with TWC internet.

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