Motorola SURFboard SB5101 (515290-087-00) 38 Mbps Modem Reviews
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Motorola SURFboard SB5101 (515290-087-00) 38 Mbps Modem

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The SURFboard SB5101 is a very fast, capable and reliable cable modem.

Aug 14, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The SB5101 is a reliable cable modem and is an Internet bridge for your network.

Cons:It has no Wi-Fi or router capability, the default information status screens are cryptic.

The Bottom Line: If you have cable Internet access and pay a monthly fee to rent a cable modem, you may be able to purchase this modem and save the monthly fee.


If you are using dial-up, DSL or cable, one thing remains constant, the need to have a modem. The Motorola Surfboard SB5101 Cable Modem is designed for cable subscribers who have a high speed Internet option.

This SB5101 is a basic black and small size design which sits vertically in a relatively small space. It is quiet with few indicator lights. It's purpose is to convert the DOCSIS (Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification) signal which runs over your cable providers cables to the Ethernet standard which most networking devices use in a home. The SB5101 provides a basic high speed Ethernet output from your cable.

The Motorola Surfboard SB5101 Cable Modem works with the DOCSIS 2.0 standard, which means it will work with MOST current cable systems.

I use my SB5101 with Comcast HSI and have no problems with it. The SB5101 provides reliable, quiet, and fast connection to Comcast with no real work on my part. I plugged it in after the Comcast HSI splitter (which is installed by Comcast) and connected my router to it. My router is configured to use DHCP and is provided with an IP address by the SB5101.

To plug in a new cable modem, you need to call your provider and give them the modems MAC address. This is well identified on the side of the box the SB5101 comes in. Once you are provisioned by your provider you can begin to access Internet with your router / Ethernet network. Please note, this device has no wireless capability and is not a router. It is a basic modem type device.

The reason you'd want a cable modem, and this modem in particular, is to get the most out of your cable Internet experience and to eliminate monthly charges for cable modem rental. This modem costs about $50, and Comcast charges $3 per month for rental. Buying this cable modem results in a net savings over time.

The SB5101 is one of the most reliable and fast cable modems currently on the market. It works with Comcast PowerBoost technology, and is capable of providing reliable sustained high speed connections.

Buying a SB5101 will save you money over time, ensure a quality and reliable Internet experience.

The SB5101 requires access to your cable Internet service, a power source (120VAC) a power adapter is included in the box. This cable modem has no fan, and runs very quietly. Connection to Internet once provisioned is almost instantaneous.

You can see the status of your SB5101 by entering address http://192.168.100.1 in your browser. The status pages provided are both cryptic and weak in my opinion. However, there really is no need to use them as this device is very reliable. The only pages I ever reference are the status and log pages, and only when there is a problem. Which in 6 months has been exactly once. It turned out my cable was down due to a traffic accident nearby.


Recommend this product? Yes


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