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SavoirFaire's avatar

Recommendations for a DSL modem/wireless router?

Asked by SavoirFaire (28803points) May 17th, 2014

After ten years, my DSL modem/wireless router has finally stopped working (or at least, the wireless part has). I am interested in whatever recommendations the collective might have for a replacement.

Our needs: a single device that will work with DSL service and act as both a modem and a wireless router. We’re not very knowledgeable about this technology, so feel free to say what else we should be looking for.

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18 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Your ISP probably only supports a few types of modems so you will have to get one of the ones on the list of ones they support. They should have a list of supported devices on the ISP’s website. For example here is the list of supported modems by my ISP.

edit: I should add that I was able to pick up a cheap on Craigslist for 30 bucks and that saves me 7 bucks a month in modem rental fees.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@johnpowell What are the chances that my ISP has simply stopped supporting my old router and that it’s not actually broken at all? Would that explain it stopping suddenly?

Though I suppose that doesn’t really matter at this point.

gailcalled's avatar

I got my modem for a medium DSL from my provider and paid a flat fee…no monthly rental fees. It’s mine until death do us part…years now. I use a $99 Apple Airpoint for the Wifi.

johnpowell's avatar

@SavoirFaire :: The odds are pretty low they stopped supporting it. Imagine the support nightmare when thousands of modems suddenly stop. If they did that they would probably have mailed you a new one first.

Routers and modems fail a lot. If you have a computer that has a Ethernet port I would try plugging that straight into the modem. If that works then just buy a separate router. Then you just plug the wire from the modem into the router and you would have wireless again. It would be a hell of a lot cheaper.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Is it possible that you need a firmware update? You could probably just call the maker of the router and they’ll let you know what its status really is.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@johnpowell The Ethernet port works. Any advice on separate routers, then?

@dappled_leaves The maker doesn’t exist anymore. I’ll look into who owns their remains, though.

johnpowell's avatar

I’m using a NETGEAR WNR1500 and it has been running for around a year and has never even had to be restarted. And it has removable antennas so I plugged in one of these. It is working well.

I have owned a few Netgear routers and haven’t had a problem with either.

gailcalled's avatar

I use a Smart RG, powered by Clear Access. I haven’t a clue whether this is helpful information or not. It’s a workhorse, or at the very least, a Clydesdale

johnpowell's avatar

Oh.. I just thought of this and it should be added. If you replace the modem you will have to call your ISP and give them the MAC address of the new modem and it will take between a few hours and a day for that to get updated. During that time the Internet will probably not work. At least that is how it has went down for me.

Again, I suggest just getting a new router.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Thanks, everyone! This has all been very helpful.

Coloma's avatar

I’m not much help, I have U-Verse, they just set things up and I am clueless but everything works great. haha

jerv's avatar

I’ve had good luck with my Netgear WPN824N, though it seems to need to be restarted about every month. Still, 4 years isn’t bad, and it’s performance is good enough that when it does die, I’ll probably replace it with another Netgear. The way I see it, if their low-end models are as good as mine has been to me overall, it’s a brand worth sticking with.

dabbler's avatar

“ISP has simply stopped supporting my old router” That happened to me when they upgraded their interface to DS3.

If your ISP recommends a handful of routers consider those first, at least find out what standards they’re running on their interface before you buy. There was a wave of really discounted routers when the DS standard got bumped up. If your ISP had upgraded you could have just bought an obsolete device.

jerv's avatar

@dabbler That’s actually why I like running a separate modem and router over an all-in-one. That way, when one half breaks or gets superceded, I only replace the broken/obsolete part.

johnpowell's avatar

@jerv :: I do the same.

Modem on top going to a Netgear router that my Mac Pro, Raspberry Pi, and Fire tv go to with wired connections. I use wireless for the iMac, Ubuntu boxes, and iPhones.

jerv's avatar

@johnpowell Isn’t the CAT5 plug half the size and twice the weight of the Raspberry Pi? And cost almost as much?

LadyMarissa's avatar

I had my cable modem for 6 years without even a hiccup. Then one night it went out & when I rebooted it no longer worked. Since I owned the modem outright, my cable company wouldn’t give me support to get it back up & running but the girl who was assisting me did tell me that my modem was so far out of date that it was no longer compatible with their service. She suggested that I either get one of their modems or go to their website & look at the list of compatible modems & replace my current modem. Since you are intimidated by the current technology, it might be worth the rental fee to get your service providers equipment. If you really need to save the money, go to your service provider’s website & see if they don’t have a list of compatible modems so you’ll know what you need to buy. For me it turned out to be the same modem I had before but I needed the new & improved version. That helped as I was somewhat familiar with the product & felt more comfortable or familiar with it while setting it up.Call your service provider & tell them you’re wanting to upgrade your modem & need to know if they have any specific recommendations. They should direct you to the list on their website & see if they don’t have an upgraded version of what you have now.

Best wishes & good luck!!!

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