Best DSL Modems

Review & Comparison, Last Update May 16, 2019
Internet service plays a huge role in our everyday lives, and many people use DSL service for their Internet needs. If you have DSL Internet service and don't want to rely on using your service provider's equipment, which often comes with an added monthly cost, then you may want to consider purchasing your own DSL modem. Read on for our reviews of our top 5 DSL modems and find the best DSL modem for your service. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Ports
Wireless Network Standards
Wireless Network Speed
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

In addition to standard WAN and ADSL ports, it also provides 4 LAN ports with speeds up to 1000 Mbps - this will allow you to organize your home network between multiple computers / laptops, as well as create an efficient DLNA Media Sharing service.

CONS

Difficult to configure.

OUR VERDICT

This model compares favorably with most routers thanks to amazingly high Wi-fi speeds, which can reach as high as 1600 Mbps. Ideal for people who plan to connect a large number of smartphones and various smart gadgets.

detailed parameters
Type

VDSL2/ADSL2+ modem

Ports

1 x ADSL (RJ11) port

1 x Wan (RJ45) port

4 x Lan (RJ45) ports

1 x 2.0 USB port

Wireless Network Standards

802.11b/g/n/ac

Wireless Network Speed

1600 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 300 Mbps + 5 GHz - 1300 Mbps)

Extras

Built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) capability, Network Attached Storage (NAS) support, DLNA Media Sharing support, DSL Filter/splitter included

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The Configuration Manager helps you effortlessly perform initial configuration of the modem and router, even if you have little experience with operating such devices. And the built-in intelligent assistant automatically determines the necessary DSL parameters.

CONS

Wi-fi network has relatively small coverage radius.

OUR VERDICT

If you purchase this productive ADSL2 modem from ZyXel, you can save significantly on the subscription fee in the future: having it, you will no longer have to pay monthly fees to an Internet provider for the rental of the equipment provided by them.

detailed parameters
Type

ADSL2+ modem

Ports

1 x ADSL (RJ11) port

4 x Lan (RJ45) ports

Wireless Network Standards

802.11b/g/n

Wireless Network Speed

2.4 GHz - 300 Mbps

Extras

Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall, Quality of Service (QoS) support

Warranty

2 years

PROS

QoS (Quality of Service) technology allows you to prioritize different classes of traffic to ensure a stable speed to the most important processes. The SPI-firewall performs additional verification of transmitted / received packets as belonging to an existing connection.

CONS

Only 1 LAN port.

OUR VERDICT

This inexpensive and practical ADSL2 + Modem from D-Link is designed for users who need to organize an Internet connection for 1 device (with a LAN port). Also suitable for people who already have a good Wi-FI router installed in their home.

detailed parameters
Type

ADSL2+ modem

Ports

1 x ADSL (RJ11) port

1 x Lan (RJ45) port

Wireless Network Standards

N/A

Wireless Network Speed

N/A

Extras

Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall, Quality of Service (QoS) support

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The case boasts the presence of multiple ventilation openings that prevent overheating of internal components and their failure even during intensive round-the-clock operation. The possibility of vertical placement will help save space.

CONS

LEDs are too bright and large.

OUR VERDICT

If you want to organize a reliable Wi-fi network with a large coverage radius, we recommend purchasing this model: 2 external antennas provide a powerful signal without "dead zones". The actual solution for large homes, as well as for medium-sized offices.

detailed parameters
Type

ADSL2+ modem

Ports

1 x ADSL (RJ11) port

4 x Lan (RJ45) ports

Wireless Network Standards

802.11b/g/n

Wireless Network Speed

2.4 GHz - 300 Mbps

Extras

Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall, Quality of Service (QoS) support

Warranty

3 months

PROS

Thanks to 2 x USB ports (version 3.0), you can connect flash drives or external hard drives to create your own FTP server. As a result, you get high-speed access to multimedia information from any device connected to a Wi-fi network.

CONS

Some users have noted the insufficient length of the power cord.

OUR VERDICT

This model combines an advanced VDSL2 / ADSL2 + modem with support for incoming Internet speeds of up to 200 Mbps, a switch for 4 ports, and a Wi-fi router with a maximum transfer rate of as much as 750 Mbps. Astonishing functionality for the device of this price segment.

detailed parameters
Type

VDSL2/ADSL2+ modem

Ports

1 x ADSL (RJ11) port

1 x Wan (RJ45) port

4 x Lan (RJ45) ports

2 x 3.0 USB port

Wireless Network Standards

802.11b/g/n/ac

Wireless Network Speed

750 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 300 Mbps + 5 GHz - 433 Mbps)

Extras

Built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) capability, Network Attached Storage (NAS) support, DLNA Media Sharing support

Warranty

3 years

Motorola MD1600

Great Name in Electronics

There are few companies over the last 50 years or so that carry the same name in electronics as Motorola. They have been at the forefront of the electronics industry, having created or perfected many of the technologies that we use today. Radios, mobile phones, and microprocessors have all greatly benefited from the advances that have been made at Motorola over the years, which is why they have been a household name for so long. This reputation continues with their line of DSL modems, which have been at the forefront of DSL technology for a while now.

The Motorola MD1600 VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem + WiFi AC1600 Gigabit Router continues this tradition of excellence by being a great DSL modem combined with a wireless router. This combo modem router hybrid is tailor-made for non-bonded DSL service providers, much of which are located in the Southwestern United States, and helps to bring high speed Internet service to many homes that otherwise would not have broadband Internet access. As this DSL modem supports non-bonded DSL, it should be noted that it won't work with DSL service providers that use bonded DSL service, such as Verizon or AT&T. However, it is perfect for those who use the CenturyLink or Frontier DSL services.

Review of Motorola MD1600 VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem + WiFi AC1600 Gigabit Router

Combined Technologies

This Motorola DSL modem combines the abilities of a normal DSL modem with that of a Gigabit Ethernet wireless router. This includes support for the 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless standards, which means that a wide variety of wireless devices that have been released over the years should be supported. Wireless devices using the latest wireless networking standards can achieve network speeds of up to 1600 Mbps, ensuring that all devices are connected at a high speed. This modem also includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, providing plenty of connectivity options for non-wireless devices such as desktop computers, and even includes a USB 2.0 port for Network Attached Storage, letting you set up a separate file server for your home network.

The DSL capabilities of this modem are also at the highest standards, with the modem capable of delivering DSL speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The modem's internal setup utility is quite easy to use, and is able to autodetect the settings for your DSL connection, meaning that it takes a minimal amount of time to get up and running. Also included are a built-in firewall for added network security, and even VPN support. With this leading edge DSL modem, anyone who uses non-bonded DSL service will have the ultimate home network setup.

Motorola MD1600 VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem + WiFi AC1600 Gigabit Router in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

ZyXEL P660HN-51R

Own Your Modem

Those who have used DSL Internet service for a long time know the score. Most DSL service providers often offer their own modems with their DSL service, many of which are very basic and don't include router capabilities. What's more, they often don't give you the equipment for free, either making you pay for the equipment with a large one time fee, or even worse, paying a separate monthly fee on top of the fee for your Internet service. The cost savings that many people find by using DSL service is quickly eaten up by these fees, which makes an aggravating situation for most DSL customers.

The ZyXEL P660HN-51R Adsl/Adsl2+ Wi-Fi Router is a great DSL modem that allows you to no longer be chained to your DSL provider's equipment. This combination DSL modem and router provides you with a fully functional DSL modem that provides the latest in both wired and wireless networking technologies, and gives you full freedom in how you set up your home network. This DSL modem is compatible with services from most DSL service providers, including those from CenturyLink, AT&T, and Verizon, along with many others, which means you can keep your modem and use it with your new DSL service should you ever move to another area.

Review of ZyXEL P660HN-51R Adsl/Adsl2+ Wi-Fi Router

Wireless Freedom

Having your own home wireless network is something that most people enjoy, as it provides them with the freedom to access the Internet from anywhere inside their home, and perhaps even for a short area around it. This DSL modem and router combination gives you that freedom, provided by the modem's support for the latest wireless network technologies, including the 802.11b/g/n standards. Also included on the modem are four LAN ports that let you connect computers or other devices that don't include wireless networking capabilities, giving you a full-fledged home network with both wired and wireless devices.

The modem includes a setup wizard that helps guide you through the process of configuring the modem, and includes intelligent detection technology that allows it to automatically detect the specific settings for your DSL service, which greatly simplifies the setup process. Along with this, the wireless network includes support for most wireless security standards, and a built-in firewall provides added overall protection for your Internet connection. If you are tired of paying monthly fees for your DSL equipment on top of the regular service fees, then purchasing this DSL modem will easily pay for itself in no time thanks to the money saved on your monthly bill.

ZyXEL P660HN-51R Adsl/Adsl2+ Wi-Fi Router in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

D-Link DSL-520B

Simple Low-Cost Modem

With the large rise in wireless networking that has occurred over the last decade or so, many people already have their own wireless routers that use regularly. Wireless routers tend to be pretty hardy devices and rarely need to be replaced, which in turn means that not everyone needs or even wants to switch their routers even if they change their Internet service provider. This creates a small problem for some who would like to continue to use their wireless router but also want to change to a new DSL provider. After all, having to reconfigure their wireless network across all devices can be a daunting task.

The D-Link DSL-520B ADSL2+ Modem is a simple, low-cost DSL modem that works perfectly as a stand-alone modem. This simple modem is just that, a DSL modem, and does not include router or wireless networking capabilities. For many people, this is fine, as they would prefer to continue to use their own dedicated wireless router, and some others may only have one computer and no wireless devices. Whichever is the case, this simple DSL modem works perfectly fine at being the gateway to your home for your DSL service, and is fully capable of working in conjunction with virtually any wireless router.

Review of D-Link DSL-520B ADSL2+ Modem

High Speed Capabilities

Although this is a simple DSL modem that simply serves as your connection to your DSL Internet service, it does this one job exceptionally well. This modem supports ADSL2+ technology and is rated to work with most ADSL service providers, which gives you a wide range of options when choosing a DSL provider in your area. The modem also includes support for most high-speed DSL connections without speed being a limiting factor, and also includes a firewall built in to provide extra security for your DSL connection. Also included is QoS support, which prioritizes the packets that are sent and received by the modem to make sure that the most important data is getting through at the highest speed.

Outside of the above features, the modem itself is pretty barebones. The front of the device contains the LEDs which display the status of your network connection, and the back contains a simple Ethernet port which is used to connect to either a computer or a separate router. As this modem contains few functions beyond being a DSL modem, the internal setup is pretty straightforward, requiring little more than the login credentials provided by your DSL service provider. All in all, this simple DSL modem does a fantastic job at providing you with a reliable connection to your DSL service.

D-Link DSL-520B ADSL2+ Modem in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Actiontec GT784WN

Good Modem for CenturyLink

CenturyLink, with a long and storied history as a telecommunications provider in the United States for many years, is the third largest telecommunications company in North America, and as such, has a huge base of subscribers for their DSL service across the country. This means that a large portion of DSL subscribers in the United States use CenturyLink as their Internet service provider, and as such, there is definitely a large market for DSL modems that are compatible with their service. However, as some of the other DSL providers use a different kind of DSL service than CenturyLink, it is vitally important for someone using CenturyLink to find a modem that is guaranteed to work on their service.

The Actiontec GT784WN ADSL Modem Router is a high-quality DSL modem that is fully compatible with CenturyLink's ADSL service. This combination modem and router is fully capable of taking advantage of the high speeds provided by CenturyLink's DSL service, with access speeds of up to 24Mbps downstream. This allows customers using this modem to be able to make the best of their high-speed Internet connection, making it great for such things as streaming video or online gaming that require a fast connection.

Review of Actiontec GT784WN ADSL Modem Router

Large Wireless Coverage

One of the best features of this DSL modem and router is its wireless capabilities, with full support for the 802.11b/g/n wireless network standards. The modem includes two separate antennas that help provide a strong wireless signal with a wide coverage area, making it perfect for large homes or offices. Those who suffer from wireless dead zones with other wireless routers will definitely be pleased by the strong wireless coverage provided by this model. The wireless network speeds are also great, with support for speeds of up to 300Mbps, fast enough for even the most demanding users.

The modem itself is high-quality not only with its internal capabilities, but with its external casing as well. The strong plastic casing makes it very durable, and the ventilation slots provide great cooling for the internal components, which goes a long way towards helping to extend the service life of this device. The modem setup is intuitive and provides auto-detection capabilities for your DSL service, helping to make the setup process a breeze even for the most inexperienced users. If you use the CenturyLink ADSL service and you need a high-quality modem and wireless router, this device will be a great addition to your home.

Actiontec GT784WN ADSL Modem Router in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

TRENDnet TEW-816DRM

Supercharge Your Internet

A large percentage of the population of the United States uses some type of DSL Internet service, and as such, it is important to have a good, high-quality modem. After all, the modem is essentially your gateway to the Internet, and if you have problems with the gateway, this will affect your Internet performance on the whole. Many modems are made just to give basic functionality, but few are made to really take full advantage of the high-speed capabilities of your DSL Internet service.

The TRENDnet TEW-816DRM VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem Router is a great solution for those who want more than just the basics from their Internet gateway. This combination DSL modem and router has been engineered to take advantage of the latest in DSL Internet technologies, and is made specifically for the fastest DSL connections, supporting Internet access speeds of up to 200 Mbps, making this one of the fastest DSL modems on the market. What's more, this modem supports both VDSL2 and ADSL2+ services, giving you a broad range of compatibility with most DSL Internet service providers. It should be noted, however, that this modem does not support bonded DSL services, so it is best to make sure your DSL service is non-bonded before purchasing this model.

Review of TRENDnet TEW-816DRM VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem Router

Outstanding Features

Along with the super fast Internet download speeds supported by this modem, the feature set included in this model is simply astonishing. The modem supports the 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless network standards, giving you wireless speeds of 433 Mbps through the ac band, and 300 Mbps through the n band, ensuring that you have blazing fast access even through your wireless devices. For computers or other devices that do not support wireless networking, the modem also has four LAN ports, giving you plenty of connection options. In short, this modem will allow connectivity to any and all devices in your house that support an Internet connection.

The features don't stop there, of course. Also included on the modem are two USB 2.0 ports, which let you connect USB storage devices that can act as FTP file servers on your home network. This allows for important files to be stored on the network, letting you access them from any device in your home. In addition, the wireless network supports all of the latest encryption standards, and the built-in firewall adds an extra layer of protection to your home network. If you are still searching for the best DSL modem to act as the hub and gateway for your home's Internet service, this model just might be it.

TRENDnet TEW-816DRM VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem Router in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What is a DSL Modem?

Internet service has become just as common of a utility as electricity and gas within the last 20 years. Although the early days of Internet service was primarily comprised of using dial-up modems to connect to the Internet, broadband Internet quickly became common about 15 years ago. Nowadays, most people connect to the Internet using either cable or DSL Internet service. These two competing technologies have both proven popular, with DSL often being a mainstay in areas with heavy phone line infrastructure.

DSL (short for Digital Subscriber Line) is a type of Internet service that utilizes the existing infrastructure of the traditional land line phone service, often referred to as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). DSL technology utilizes these phone lines to transmit a signal alongside the standard phone signal, which in turn is usually filtered using either an internal filter installed by the ISP (Internet Service Provider), or by filters installed on the phone lines in a residence. DSL service has remained popular due to its reliability, lack of shared bandwidth with neighbors, and due to its cost benefits in comparison to many cable Internet services.

If you have a desktop computer that you want to connect to a wireless network, and it doesn't have a wireless network adapter installed, then you may want to take a look at a USB Wireless Adapter.

What Features to Compare

DSL modems are pretty common devices to find in a home, especially homes that have DSL Internet service. After all, the Internet service can only be accessed through such a modem. There are a huge number of DSL modems available on the market, with many types of models available both through DSL providers as well as through retail channels. Not all DSL modems are the same, as a quick check through the basic characteristics of each model will quickly show. If you're confused by the huge number of models available, and you're not sure what to look for, the characteristics listed below should help you figure out which model is the best DSL modem for your Internet service.

Type

The first characteristic of any DSL modem that you should check is the type of DSL service with which it is compatible. There are two main types of DSL service - ADSL2+ and VDSL2. You will need to check with your DSL service provider to find out which type of service they use, and then make sure that the DSL modem you purchase supports that technology.

Ports

The type of ports included on a DSL modem are very important, as these will dictate what type of devices can connect directly to the modem. Many basic DSL modems may only include two ports, one for connecting to your home's phone line, and LAN port to connect either to a router or directly to the computer. DSL modems that have routers built-in, however, will often include one or more LAN ports for connecting multiple wired devices. If you need to connect more than one computer or device to the modem, and you don't already have a separate wireless router, it is highly suggested that you get a DSL modem with a router built-in.

Wireless Network Standards

For DSL modems with built-in wireless routers, it is important to know which wireless network standards are supported by the modem. Most DSL modem/routers will support the latest wireless networking standards, but it is still a good idea to check this to make sure that your existing wireless devices will be compatible. Along with this, the types of wireless standards supported will often dictate the wireless network speeds supported by the modem.

Extras

Finally, the extras included with the modem may be important to a lot of users. Many DSL modems with built-in routers will often include extra features such as built-in VPN (Virtual Private Network) capabilities, as well as QOS (Quality of Service) and firewall support to add security to your Internet connection. If there are any of these features that are important to you, you will want to make sure that the DSL modem you choose includes them.

DSL vs. Cable Internet Service

Most people who have high-speed Internet service use one of two types of Internet services - Cable and DSL. These two types of services have taken over the high-speed Internet market, and with the exception of some rural areas, both types of services cover the entire United States. This leaves those who are looking for a high-speed Internet provider with choices between the two types of services, but how is an ordinary person supposed to know the differences between them? To those who are not computer techs, there generally appears to be no difference at first glance, outside of how their Internet service is connected, but under the hood, there are some pretty vast differences in how they work. If you are trying to choose between one of these two types of Internet service, and you're not sure which one will be best for you, read on for some information about both types of Internet service.

Cable Internet

One of the very first types of home broadband Internet services that became available in the United States was cable Internet over 20 years ago, and ever since then, cable Internet services have become the most widely used home broadband Internet service in the country. Cable Internet service generally has quite a few advantages over DSL Internet, but along with these are a few drawbacks as well. The primary advantage of cable Internet service is in its access areas. Generally, anywhere that you have cable television access through a major cable provider, you will also have access to cable Internet. This contrasts with DSL services, where there are still large areas that don't have access to DSL, and in many of these areas, cable Internet service is the only option to people outside of dial-up or satellite Internet access, neither of which is ideal for most home users.

Another large advantage, at least on the surface, for cable Internet over DSL is in its access speeds. Most cable Internet providers are able to advertise faster speeds than their DSL service counterparts, but this comes with a caveat. Cable Internet service within a neighborhood is generally shared with your neighbors, meaning that many people won't have full access to the highest speeds when their neighbors are also using the Internet, especially during peak Internet usage hours. Although most cable Internet providers have done a good job in giving most of their customers fast speeds, one can only count on achieving those speeds in reality during off-hours. Regardless, the fast access speeds offered through cable Internet has won them many fans who refuse to ever switch over to DSL.

DSL Internet

Despite the advantages listed above that cable Internet has over DSL, there are still a number of advantages that DSL has over cable. One of the biggest advantages in general is in pricing. DSL service is often (although not always) priced lower than cable Internet services, which has helped increase its popularity. Another big advantage with DSL service is that each DSL subscriber has their own dedicated access to the service, meaning that unlike with cable Internet, they are never sharing their Internet bandwidth with their neighbors. The speed of their Internet service will almost always stay the same, even during peak Internet usage hours.

On the other hand, DSL does have a few large drawbacks in comparison to cable, the primary of which is in regards to access to the service. DSL access is only available to people who live within a certain distance to their nearest DSL exchange. Although many DSL providers have added a large number of exchanges to help combat this problem, this means that there are still quite a few people who simply do not have access to DSL. On top of this, many of those who live just within the coverage area will often get less than optimal speeds, whereas those who live closer to the nearest exchange will usually get faster speeds. And virtually all DSL subscribers will often have slower upload speeds than their cable Internet counterparts, which is definitely a huge disadvantage to those who need to upload lots of data for various purposes. Despite these disadvantages, though, DSL Internet still remains a very popular choice for many home Internet users.

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Publish Date: 2019-03-13 13:19:50