Docsis 3.0 8×4 vs 16×4

It is astonishing how internet became so fast in a few years. Well, DOCSIS 3.0 is one of the reasons. This protocol introduced gigabit speeds, which are 100 X faster than fast internet. Stay around for this Docsis 3.0 8X4 Vs 16X4 review to find out more.

There is nothing as frustrating as slow internet when someone is waiting on you for an urgent feedback.The power of super-fast browsing, gaming, downloading/uploading videos and documents was actually introduced by Docsis 3.0 protocol in 2006. The protocol ensures that you enjoy fast speed internet using channel bonding. This works through aggregation or combination of several downstream and upstream channels to provide high speed, efficient and reliable internet. In other words, data transmission speed is increased by spreading the data over a number of streams or channels e.g. 8X4. This is very similar to lanes on a highway.Docsis determines the number of simultaneous channels supported and the speed.

What are the Differences betweenDocsis 3.0 8×4  and16x4?

Docsis 3.0 8 x 4
Docsis 3.0 16 x 4
Speed: download
Up to 343 Mbps
Up to 686Mpbs
Speed: Upload
Up to 122 Mbps
Up to 122Mpbs
Channel Bonding
8 downstream channel and 4 upstream channel
16 downstream channel and 4 upstream channel
Modems with the channel bonding
Arris surfboard SB 6141

Motorolla MB7220

Netgear CM500

Docsis 3.0 8×4 vs 16×4? – How Do They Compare?

Docsis stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. Starting 1997, there have been 6 versions of the Docsis namely Docsis 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and 4.0. Docsis 3.0 released in 2006 is the one that drastically increased both upstream and downstream data rates, and introduced support for IPv6 and the channel bonding.

The most common channel bonding combinations for Docsis 3 modems are 4×4, 8×4, 16×4, 24×4 and 32×4. More advanced modems have even higher up stream channels.Both 8 x 4 and 16 x 4 are suitable for providing fast speeds for down streaming andup streaming. They come with a few differences:

Number of Channels

Modems with Docsis3.0 have numbers by channels. These numbers refer to the channels a modem has for downloading and uploading information. This means that a Docsis 3.0 with 8 x 4 channel indicatesthat the modem can use 8 channels to download information, video or photos. It however only has 4 channels for uploading any information, videos or photos to the internet.

If you are looking to download a lot of information from the internet then a modem with 16 x 4 channels will be ideal. A modem with 16 channels indicates that it has sixteen channels for downloading information, videos, photos etc. from the internet and 4 channels for uploading information, videos, photos and documents to the internet. This therefore makes the 16 x 4 more superior than 8 x 4.

Internet Speeds

When looking for a modem to buy it’s important to consider the number of channels the modem has because the more the channels the faster the speeds you will enjoy during downloading and uploading. A modem with 16 x 4 channels will have higher speeds in downloading and uploading content as compared to a modem with 8 x 4 channels.  A 16 x 4 channel specifications is ideal because it leaves room for upgrades. Should service providers increase internet speeds, a modem with this specifications will still be able to match up to the new speeds.

A 16 x 4 cable modem offers speeds of up to 686 Mbps, for downloads. This is sixteen times faster than the previous version of DOCSIS 2.0. Conversely a 8 x 4 modem can offer cable internet speeds of up to 145Mbps. The speeds will vary depending on your service provider and the brand in use. Both the 16 x4 and 8 x 4 modems offer the same speed when uploading content onto the internet. These speeds are up to 122Mbps. The highest possible speed that can be achieved by a DOCSIS 3.0 modem is 1Gbps, also known as the ‘Gigabit internet.’

DOCSIS 3.0 8 x 4 vs 16 x 4 – A Comparative Overview

DOCSIS 3.0 8 x 4

Modems with 8 x 4 channel bonding have8 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels. They can support a theoretical maximum of 343Mbps down streaming and a maximum speed of 122mbps for up streaming. These speeds are 8 times faster than the earlier DOCSIS 2.0 version


  • 8 downstream channels
  • Support high speeds of up to 343Mbps
  • Available in all leading brands


  • Slower compared to 8 x 4

DOCSIS 3.0 16 x 4

A DOCSIS 3.0 16×4 modem has 16 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels. These modems generally top out at around 680Mbps for downstream and 122mbps for upload stream data. This makes them 16 times faster than DOCSIS 2.0. The speeds discussed are however, theoretical maximums. In addition, different ISPs may only support certain modems up to a certain speed. It is therefore important to check the ISP’s compatibility list before making decisions based on theoretical numbers.


  • High internet speeds of up to 686Mbps
  • 16 downstream channels
  • Accommodates future internet speeds from service provider


  • Expensive compared to 8 x 4


Purchasing aDocsis 3.0 modem can be daunting, but knowing what you want makes it easy.  Before settling on the modem you wish to buy, it’s important check whether your ISP can work with the specification on the modem. Both 8 x 4 and 16 x 4 modems are good. The 16 x 4 is however superior. It provides faster speedsand has potential to still be functional through future upgrades by ISPs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes DOCSIS 3.0 better than DOCSIS 2.0?

DOCSIS 3.0 brought significant changes by introducing channel bonding which allows for aggregation or combination of several downstream and upstream channels to provide high speed internet across the board.

Why do we have the same number of channels on the upload on both 16 x 4 and 8 x 4?

The number of channels normally indicate downstream x upstream example 16 x 4. It’s common for people to frequently download large amount of information from the internet than uploading. The number of downloads channels will therefore, always be larger than the number of upload channels.

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