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ARRIS SURFboard mAX Gets a Parental Control-Enabled Mobile App

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I reviewed the SURFboard mAX Pro—the very first purpose-built Wi-Fi 6 mesh Wi-Fi system—at its launch late last year and found it well-performing yet sorely lacking in features and settings. That might change today.

CommScope, the parent company of ARRIS, announced just now the availability of an all-new app for the mesh system, the ARRIS SURFboard Central. It replaces the current SURFboard mAX Manager.

Starting immediately, when you launch the old app, which has been the only way to control the mesh system, you’ll be prompted to download the new app. You can’t use the two alongside.

ARRIS mAX Pro Hand
The ARRIS mAX Pro is the first tri-band 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 mesh system.

Parental Controls are finally here

With this new app, CommScope says it’s now “helping parents stay on top of their connected life with new parental controls right at their fingertips.” Indeed, the app has a built-in web-filtering engine that helps parents control their kid’s time being online.

New Arris Central App
You’ll be prompted to get the new SURFboard Central app when launching the old SURFboard mAX Manager on your phone.

Specifically, the SURFboard Central app allows for setting up a time for certain connected clients to get connected based on a schedule or manual control as needed.

One app for (almost) all SURFboard devices

CommScope says the ARRIS SURFboard Central will be the official app for all existing and future SURFboard products. They include the SURFboard mAX Pro and SURFboard mAX Plus Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems.

There are some exceptions. The app doesn’t work for all legacy products, including:

  • All SURFboard RipCurrent routers
  • Legacy Broadcom-based DOCSIS 3.0 gateways (SBG6400, SBG6700, and others)

More updates to come

It’s excellent news that the SURFboard mAX Pro is now no longer an utterly feature-spartan system. Still, it’s unclear if the addition of the Parental Controls feature help boost is useability.

Parental Control is a common feature available in most mesh systems and router. It’s not universally-necessary, however, since not everyone has small children.

But for the ARRIS SURFboard product lines, the new ARRIS SURFboard Central app seems to be a promising new start, signaling more much-needed positive changes to come in the future.

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