The new entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router was announced at CES 2021.
By Ed Oswald
TechHiveJan 12, 2021 10:54 am PST
CommScope’s Arris brand will be familiar to many people with cable internet service. The company expanded with Wi-Fi 6 mesh networking models—the Surfboard Max Plus and Surfboard Max Pro—a little more than a year ago. It’s now positioning the Surfboard Max as a more affordable entry point.
The Surfboard Max is a so-called tri-band router that operates independent networks on the 2.4- and 5GHz frequency bands, bifurcating the 5GHz band to operate a third network dedicated to wireless data backhaul. On a busy network, having channels dedicated to communication between the router and its mesh network nodes frees up bandwidth for other clients.
The Surfboard Max will be priced at $250, or you can buy a two-pack for $400 and get a second mesh node if you need additional coverage for a larger home. CommScope says a two-pack should be sufficient to cover 5,500 square feet.
CommScope also announced the Surfboard Max Express, a plug-in Wi-Fi 6 node that will be sold in a bundle with a single Surfboard Max. Apart from not having ethernet ports, the Max Express offers the same features and performance as the Surfboard Max itself, including the dedicated data backhaul feature. The Surfboard Max Express is expected to be available some time in the first quarter, but pricing for this kit was not announced.
Corrected shortly after publication to report that the Arris Surfboard Max is a router, not a cable modem/router combo.