Best DSL Modems in 2021 – For Speed, Efficiency, & Compatibility

Going out and buying a new modem should not be tedious, but it can be. There you are, standing in a queue waiting for someone to assist you.

You need ask the same questions for the millionth time and then remember what it applied to. All this shopping expedition has done is annoy you.

Besides, who can remember all the questions that you need to ask anyway?

This review will give you the ins and outs of some of the best DSL modems you can buy for your home. We will give you a breakdown of the speeds, functionality, added extras, and technical specifications.

No more standing in a queue or sitting behind your laptop for hours trying to figure it all out.

In the end, all you need to do is go armed with information and buy the best DSL modem suited to your individual needs. Let’s get started.

Best DSL Modems in 2021

1. Actiontec Verizon DSL Modem Router Combo – Latest Pick By Editors

How about getting benefited with three uses with just a single device? This is a modem + router that can act as a full-rate ADSL 2/2+ modem, 4-port switch and dual-antenna Wireless N router. Also, you must know that this modem works only with Verizon DSL. It is not compatible with Verizon FIOS. So, make sure you remember this point before you buy it.

3-in-1 device

The device will efficiently cater to all your network requirements as it comes with three powerful features. It can help you connect your wired devices through its 4-port switch, act as a wireless router and also serve its purpose as an ADSL 2/2+ Modem. It comes with built-in 802.11n technology that will permit you to connect at internet speed up to 300 Mb per second. The modem supports ADSL2+ with internet speed up to 24 Mb per second downstream. This will support IPTV services.

Easy to setup

You can easily set up the device in a few minutes without any hassles. You should just turn ON the Modem Router device and plug the DSL line into a phone port. Then, you can connect the computer to the Ethernet port for a wired connection. To support all computers, the device comes with built-in auto-configuration tools. This will enable easy set-up in a few minutes.

Additional features

The modem router is equipped with MIMO Smart Antenna to expand your network coverage. This will help you with the coverage when there is a weak signal. The brand will provide you with 24*7 customer support after the purchase. This will be of great use in case of any queries. The WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption and the fully customizable firewall will provide you with safe internet access by enhancing security.

Key Features
  • A 3-in-1 device that is a full rate ADSL 2/2+ modem, comes with 4-port switch and has dual-antenna for serving as Wireless N router
  • Advanced security features including WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption and fully customizable firewall
  • Built-in 802.11n technology with internet speeds up to 300 Mb per second
  • Supports ADSL2+ with internet speed up to 24 Mb per second downstream to support IPTV services
  • MIMO Smart Antenna will help you expand your network coverage and eliminate dead spots
  • Easy setup of the modem as it comes with the built-in auto-configuration tool; supports most computers and operating systems
  • Suitable for gaming, downloading, online streaming, binge-watching and more

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz
  • Band type: Single band
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • It is both a modem and a router with decent internet speed
  • The setup and installation process takes only a few minutes as it uses an auto-configuration tool
  • Comes with 24*7 customer support for technical queries
  • Equipped with WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption for secured internet access
  • Suitable for most computers and operating systems

Cons

  • Works only with Verizon DSL; not compatible with Verizon FIOS
  • Not dual-band router-modem

2. Netgear AC1200 (D6200) – Perfect Pick

The Netgear D6200 is a Wi-Fi DSL-enabled modem router combo that does not require any cables. Netgear has joined the calls for wireless with this model and has combined AC1200 802.11ac Wi-Fi with an ADSL2+ modem.

This modem router combo is a unique single-box solution that has all the bells and whistles needed to make your home fast and efficient.

Reliable Wi-Fi

Netgear produces top-quality DSL Modems and the D6200 does not disappoint when it comes to reliable connections. Beamforming+ technology focuses signals to your devices instead of bouncing them around trying to find them.

It will also constantly check that your signal is at optimum strength eliminating dead zones and allowing multiple device connections concurrently.

Speedy data transfers

Faster is always better for streaming and gaming and the Netgear D6200 will get you up to 300 + 867 Mbps download speeds.

11ac Wi-Fi and dual-band technology will give your entire home coverage that can be wireless or wired. You can also access fiber with a Gigabit Ethernet cable and AC1200 Wi-Fi.

Sharing and Range

Want to take a trip down memory lane? The USB storage functionality allows you to store and share files such as music, videos, photos, and more on your DNLA TV.

You can also wirelessly access and share any data stored through ReadyShare USB or share a printer with ReadyShare Printer. High-power amplifiers ensure that you get additional coverage throughout your home.

Key Features
  • Concurrent dual-band for more device connections with less interference.
  • Advanced Quality of service provides smooth HD gaming and streaming.
  • Guest access on a separate network.
  • Gigabit wired cable is optimal for gaming.
  • Netgear Genie allows you to manage your network, file transfers, and printers remotely.
  • EZ Mobile Connect allows you a QR Code to scan that gives you access to your home network.
  • An automatic signal will continually check your signal strength for the best service.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: USB 2.0
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPS, WPA/WPA2
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Convenient On/Off switch for Wi-Fi power.
  • Easy connection to Wi-Fi with WPS button.
  • Free parental controls allow you to manage your usage and content with the option to set timers for access.
  • Compatible with both wired and wireless networks.
  • Makes any printer AirPrint capable of printing to any iPad or iPhone.

Cons

  • 802.11ac speeds performed at below-par levels while 802.11n 2.4 GHz performance was substantially lacking.
  • No fiber optic broadband compatible.

3. Motorola AC1600 VDSL2/ADSL2+ MD1600 – Best DSL Modem On The Market

Motorola has been giving us quality products for a long time. The MD1600 modem router combo assures you of high-speed connection by putting together a VDSL2/ADSL2+ and a full-featured AC1600.

This super-fast DSL modem will have you streaming ad gaming lag-free for hours.

DSL Modem

The VDSL2VDSL2+ internet works with your existing telephone wiring to deliver speeds of up to 100 Mbps. You can connect a range of devices from computers to smartphones and gaming stations.

The MD1600 is compatible with most DSL service providers to give you all the networking functionality that you need to keep the whole family happy.

Built-in Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

Equipped with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, the Motorola MD1600 supports dual-band AC with a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidth. With these LAN ports, you have the option to connect your HDTV, tablets and game stations, or any other Ethernet-capable devices.

As a bonus, you have a USB port for additional storage across the network. You can share and store files with others.

Security

With cybersecurity in huge demand, Motorola has fitted this device with top-notch security such as the Advanced Firewall, WPA/WPA2 wireless security, and the Virtual Private Network that is built-in.

If you are looking for flexible network addressing, the MD1600 supports both IPv6 and IPv4. You can rest assured that your data will be secure no matter where you access it.

Key Features
  • Dual-band frequencies 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
  • Network Attached Storage is provided through the USB 2.0 port.
  • Setup wizard provides you with easy-to-follow installation and setup features.
  • Allows You multiple device connections with speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
  • You can share your media files with DNLA Media Sharing to multiple devices over the network.
  • The setup wizard will automatically detect your DSL connection type.
  • Combined ADSL and VDSL.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: USB 2.0
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • You can save space with less wiring and cabling with this DSL modem router.
  • Has 12 status LED light indicators to keep you informed.
  • Power and lighting surge protection.
  • Two-year warranty with phone and technical support.
  • Good selection for non-bonded and non-vectoring service providers.

Cons

  • This product does not work with bonded VDSL, ADSL or VDSL vectoring.
  • It is also not compatible with many cable services in this range.

4. Netgear N600 Dual-Band Wi-Fi ADSL modem Router (DGND3700) – HighSpeed Pick

If you are like many of us out there with a modem and a router and cables everywhere, there is good news.

One of the best DSL modems, the Netgear N600, combines both functionality and speed to bring you into the modern tech world.

Netgear Genie

There is nothing better than an easy setup and installation followed by uninterrupted streaming. The N600 brings it all with the Netgear Genie that is a home network management app.

Netgear Genie allows you to make printers AirPrint compatible and gives you access to find and play your media files over the network with MyMedia.

Service Applications

Enjoy a full range of functions from email, surfing the web, watching videos, and downloading music to HD streaming and gaming with the Netgear N600.

This dual-band wireless Gigabit DSL modem accommodates multiple players on a powerful network at home with fast and reliable connections. You can also have a secure guest network for outside users.

Versatile Connections

The N600 from Netgear comes with many connection options such as an ADSL2+ PORT, a USB 2.0 port, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connectivity. These ports are for PCs, Mac computers, and notebooks.

There is also a Gigabit Ethernet cable for fiber connection and an On/Off button to switch the Wi-Fi on and off when required.

Key Features
  • The DGND3700 has a built-in ADSL2+ modem with faster Wi-Fi speeds of up to 600 Mbps.
  • ReadySHARE USB allows you to access and share files remotely from the USB port.
  • Netgear Genie app gives you a complete home management solution.
  • You can rest assured and surf the web safely with Live Parental Controls.
  • Cable and fiber connection with Ethernet WAN port.
  • N600 is suitable for larger homes with improved range and signal strength.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: Two USB 2.0 ports
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2 – PSK
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • One USB port is in the front for easier access and connection of a printer or USB drive.
  • You can scan a QR code to connect to your home network with EZ mobile.
  • Concurrent dual-band reduces any interference that causes the connection to drop.
  • Advanced technology allows you to connect to your DNLA TV.
  • You can connect to iPads, iPhones Mac devices, and Android devices.

Cons

  • This modem router is not compatible with all cable providers so please make sure that it works with your internet service provider before making the purchase.

5. Arris Surfboard SB8200 – Best Quality DSL Modem

When looking for the best DSL modem router combo price and functionality need to work hand in hand to give you the best of both worlds.

The Arris SB8200 certainly is a crowd-pleaser with reliable and stable network connections that come at great speeds. This router-modem combo may be small but has huge benefits.

Broadcom Chipset

Switching from the Puma 6 chipset to the Broadcom BCM3390 chipset, Arris has made a much-needed upgrade in its technology.

The Broadcom chipset is well known to gaming enthusiasts for its reliable and effective performance. They have also enhanced their memory capacity with 3 GB RAM and a set of 128 MiB Spansion flash memory rounded off with 15 MiB Macronix flash memory.

Channel Bonding

The SB8200 is equipped with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology that offers channel bonding. Channel bonding allows the modem to use multiple channels to buffer the increase in traffic flow.

Essentially this makes one channel larger to accommodate heavy traffic. You can also game or stream with no latency with 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels.

Design

No one wants an eyesore on their desk that takes up a lot of space and they must look at it all day. The SB8200 is encased in white with a matte finish that compliments just about any décor in your home.

The outer casing is designed to make sure that no fingerprints are left behind with plenty of ventilation holes running along the side panels for cooling.

Key Features
  • Equipped with the latest DOCSIS 3.1 technology on this cable modem router combo.
  • Capable of the fastest download speeds.
  • Has 32 download and 8 upload channels for faster service.
  • This modem is perfect for Ultra-HD video streaming and virtual reality gaming.
  • Supports the latest internet browsing technology IPv4 and IPv6.
  • Surfboard Central app allows for easy installation and setup.
  • Compatible and approved by many major ISPs including Wave Broadband, Centurylink Internet connections etc.
  • Link Aggregation through multiple GE ports with a combined bandwidth of 2 GB.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: None
  • Ethernet Port: 2 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2
  • ADSL Compatible: No

Pros

  • The Arris SB8200 is compact and aesthetically pleasing.
  • You can build two LAN networks in your home with two Gigabit ports.
  • Ideal for gaming and streaming due to low lag times.
  • You have access to Spectrum Analyzer to keep you up to date on your network.
  • Additional bandwidth when using link aggregation.

Cons

  • This modem is not Wi-Fi compatible.
  • After some time of use, the modem tends to overheat therefore not good for a wall mount.

6. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (C7000) – Worth Each Penny Spent

When looking for a modem router combo that you consider to be the fastest DSL modem, there is bound to be an overlap in features. You need to think of what you need it for, speed, bandwidth, or surfing.

Will the modem suffer from interference, or will it break down under the pressure? The C7000 surpasses those requirements and then some.

Low-profile

The C7000 is pretty sleek and light encased in modern black plastic. There are an array of lights playing in tune with its operation on the front panel which offers assurance that it is working fine.

For an even more streamlined look, there are no external antennas on the back, they are built-in to the device which also sports a USB port and four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

No-Fuss

The Netgear C7000 is built to handle your network needs with no fuss. Once the easy installation has been completed, you can manage your network by setting parental controls, adding devices, and adjust wireless settings.

Running the network has easy and advanced settings for the more tech-savvy users where you can adjust connection or set dynamin DNS settings.

Ports and Speed

The C7000 offers you a USB 2.0 port as well as four Gigabit Ethernet ports for direct-wired connection to gaming consoles.

With dual-band connectivity and built-in antennas, this modem delivers up to 600 Mbps and 13000 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands respectively allowing it to keep up during peak times.

Key Features
  • Channel bonding for the fastest internet speeds during peak times with DOCSIS 3.0 protocols.
  • Beamforming+ technology directs the signal to devices to ensure better strength and range.
  • Three built-in internal antennas with high-power amplifiers enhance coverage.
  • You can set up a guest user on a separate network for added security.
  • This modem has a powerful 1.6 GHz processor for added support.
  • Enjoy dual bandwidths on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
  • Use ReadySHARE functionality through the USB port to share files.
  • Compatible with all major ISPs like Optimum, Wave Broadband, Atlantic Broadband etc.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: One USB 2.0 port
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2 – PSK
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Nighthawk app allows you to pause the internet, monitor your traffic, and set up guest networks.
  • Automatic signal management keeps your signal at optimum levels by checking with your devices.
  • There is an easy Push n connect button for Wi-Fi connections.
  • Uninterrupted HD streaming with 24 x 8 channel bonding.
  • This is a two-in-one cable modem router.

Cons

  • The C7000 lacks additional features that others in this range provide. It serves more as a data conversion device falling behind its competition.

7. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 D7000 – Perfect Value For The Money Pick

Following the amazing success of the R7000, Netgear joined the fad and released a modem router combo called the D7000 hoping to surpass its adversaries in the race for the fastest DSL modem.

Taking a different approach in design, this unit lies flat and is angular in shape with staggered airflow vents up the side.

Two for One

The D7000 is a DSL modem and an AC1900 Wi-Fi router rolled into one. It supports Auto Detection and is compatible with a wide range of VDSL and ADSL services through the Gigabit Ethernet port.

The dual-core processor boosts performance and you will get speeds of up to 1900 Mbps.

The Difference

The Netgear D7000 supports Beamforming+ technology for faster connection and has high-powered amplifiers with external antennas for extended coverage.

The latest USB technology is fitted with a USB 3.0 port for additional storage capacity and the ability to share files such as music, videos, and pictures across the network either directly or remotely.

You are Covered

To keep your network safe from outside phishing or spyware you need high-end security. The Netgear D7000 will keep your data safe whilst allowing guest users their own network.

With WPA/WPA2 for higher security levels, VPN Support will secure your home network while parental control in router allows you to block access and manage usage and content.

Key Features
  • Implicit and Explicit Beamforming provides your home with HD coverage for all devices.
  • QoS provides all users with uninterrupted video streaming.
  • VPN will allow you to provide remote access to your home.
  • You have the great benefit of printing from an iPad or iPhone. Netgear Genie makes any printer compatible with AirPrint.
  • The D7000 is Cable or Fiber compatible with the Gigabit Ethernet WAN port.
  • There is an easy push-button for Wi-Fi connection.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: One USB 2.0 and 3.0 port
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2 – PSK
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • You can have a real-time map of all the devices connected to your network.
  • Turbo transfer allows files to be transferred across devices 40% faster.
  • Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1900 Mbps can be achieved.
  • You get an increased range through the antennas and amplifiers.
  • The Netgear Genie allows you device-level control.

Cons

  • The D7000 is not equipped with MU-MIMO which means that multiple devices cannot be serviced at a time, only one.

8. Netgear Nighthawk AX6000 (CAX80) – People’s Choice DSL Modem

Netgear is featured again in the search for the best modem for DSL with the AX6000 with its unique design and built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.

This modem will cover your home with ultra-high speeds to enhance lag-free gaming and uninterrupted streaming. Your family will be happy with each one of them being able to do their online activities and have no fighting.

Wi-Fi 6

The AX8 sets the pace with a built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that will surprise you with its speed that will deliver multi-Gigabit internet across your home. You will have improved Wi-Fi performance and reliability throughout your home.

Supporting Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) your internet speeds will reach up to 6 Gbps surpassing most competitors.

8 Stream Connectivity

The AX6000 has 8 stream connectivity that will provide you with speeds of up to 6 Gbps, with the built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem but is also backward compatible with the DOCSIS 3.0.

With four Gigabit ports, you can aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports to further maximize your internet speeds.

More Wi-Fi, More Devices

Multiple connections allow up to 8 devices with OFDMA which gives you efficient data transmissions. The 1.5 GHz dual-core processor gives you smooth 4K UHD streaming and gaming.

Now when you are streaming and the kids are gaming, no one will have to suffer from lag or latency, the AX6000 sets itself apart from the rest.

Key Features
  • The USB 3.0 port will give you faster streaming access and backup functionality.
  • Your AX600 will use Smart Connect to intelligently choose the fastest band for every device in your home.
  • The Nighthawk app will give you access to your network remotely and allow you to manage your network.
  • Keep in line with the highest levels of security with VPN support.
  • You can utilize port aggregation with four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: One USB 3.0 port
  • Ethernet Port: 4 LAN ports
  • Security Protocol: WPA/WPA2

Pros

  • Give your family better performance for all your smart devices with OFDMA and a 1.5 dual-core processor.
  • Extended range throughout your entire home.
  • Pause your internet to any device with parental controls.
  • The app assists with setup and makes installation easy.
  • Backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.

Cons

  • The Netgear AX6000 is not compatible with all internet service providers, or any bundle voice services.
  • Connection and signal strength tend to fade.

9. D-Link ADSL2+ Ethernet Modem (DSL-520B) – Highly Reliable Pick By Editors

When you are looking for the ultimate internet connection for your home with high speed and reliability then this DSL modem review will help you.

For smooth traffic flow with QoS and a built-in firewall, this modem will get you high performance at high speeds.

ADSL2+

The D-Link ADSL2+ modem will connect to the internet using its integrated high-speed ADSL2+ interface allowing multiple concurrent connections to operate at high speeds.

With the dual functionality as a router, the D-Link will make use of QoS for smooth voice communication, online gaming, and downloading files, music, or videos.

Internet Defence

Preventing your internet from being accessed is a top priority for all homes, which is why D-Link has fitted the ADSL2+ with Stateful Packet Inspection, and Denial of Service.

The SPI will filter each incoming request and check it to make sure that there is no threat before allowing it to come through to your network. This filtering can be as specific as the device or IP address.

Design

Most of the router-modem combos that we have put in this DSL modem review have been octagonal with a string of LED lights on the front panel.

This router is flat with rounded edges and takes up minimal space whilst still being modern in a matt black finish. The encasing ensures that no fingerprints are left behind and has air vents that keep it cool.

Key Features
  • Local and remote management with 3 level login control.
  • D-Link has ADSL manual selection and auto fallback.
  • Ethernet port allows wired connection to devices.
  • Set up and Installation is easy with no technicians are needed.
  • High ADSL transmission for applications such as Voice over IP.
  • Ability to handle high traffic streams with up to 24 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.
  • ADSL2+ allows multiple device connections to enjoy the high speeds that the router is capable of reaching.

Product Specifications:

  • Bandwidths: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • USB Port: None
  • Ethernet Port: 1 LAN port
  • Security Protocol: QoS
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Quality of Service and Firewall protection.
  • Multiple computer connections can share the high-speed internet connection.
  • Smooth online gaming, downloading, and voice communication.
  • Firmware has been upgraded for better functionality.
  • Set up and installation is easy with CD instructions.
  • Traffic prioritization selects the correct bands for the devices being utilized.

Cons

  • The D-Link only has one Ethernet port which is far behind its competition.
  • There is no USB port available.

10. TP-Link ADSL2+ Modem Router TD-8816 – Best Budget DSL Modem On The Market

The TP-Link is a combo that has both a DSL modem and an Ethernet router. The look of this router is fairly plain encased in black with grooves along the top and the TP-Link logo embossed in the middle.

As far as features go the TP-Link is a good choice for anyone looking to stream movies or do gaming.

DSLAM

Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer is a device that aggregates your subscriber lines into a higher capacity uplink. In this case, the Ethernet port is used to connect you to your service provider.

This in turn will allow you to gain high-speed data transfers which make this DSL modem ideal for your gaming and HD streaming needs.

Built-in QoS

THE TP-Link has built-in QoS technologies which ensure that you get optimum performance out of your router by managing the traffic flow.

QoS will allow you to adjust your network traffic by prioritizing high-usage devices or applications like when you are gaming away and need that little bit of extra speed.

Remote Safety

The TD-881 is installed with the latest in security protocols with dual active firewalls SPI and NAT which will protect your network from any potential threats.

You can also enjoy the TR-069 protocol which will allow you to have safe remote access to your network and not have to worry about threats.

Key Features
  • You get superior performance with the latest ADSL2/2+ technology and standards.
  • The TP-Link will reach speeds of up to 24 Mbps downstream and 3.5 Mbps upstream.
  • As an added benefit the TP-Link is fitted with 6000V lightning protection to avoid unexpected damages on a rainy night.
  • This modem router combo supports IPv6 protocols.
  • QoS prioritizes traffic flow to ensure that you have smooth and uninterrupted VoIP calls.
  • Lag-free gaming is ensured with high ADSL performance.

Product Specifications:

  • Connectivity: Wired
  • USB Port: None
  • Ethernet Port: 1 LAN port
  • Security Protocol: QoS, SPI, NAT and Packet Filter
  • ADSL Compatible: Yes

Pros

  • Enjoy a high-speed DSL internet connection.
  • You will get additional lightning protection for 6000V to help you avoid damage during thunderstorms.
  • The modem supports the latest IPv6 protocols.
  • Double firewall protection with SPI and NAT.
  • Install with the universal plug n play.
  • Set up with an easy-to-follow setup wizard.

Cons

  • There is no USB port for this modem which is disappointing.
  • There is only one Ethernet port limiting wired connectivity.

Your Guide For Selecting The Best DSL Modem In 2021

  • Get the right modem for the right internet service

One of the first things that you need to consider when buying a new router-modem combo is what type of modem to get.

There are many different types out there and you need to match what your service provider offers to the modem you buy.

Types of connections for your modems: Cable internet that requires a cable modem with Ethernet ports, DSL modem that requires DSL internet, Fiber Optic internet which requires only a router.

  • Channel Bonding Capabilities

The more channels a modem has, the faster it is. You usually see 32 x 8 for example. That is 32 downstream and 8 upstream channels.

A modem can have:

  • 4 x 4 producing speeds of up to 100 Mbps,
  • 8 x 4 which gets speeds of up to 200 Mbps,
  • 16 x 4 with up to 400 Mbps speeds,
  • 24 x 8 showing speeds of up to 600 Mbps,
  • 32 x 8 going as high as 1000 Mbps.

It is important to consider the number of channels and the speeds you need for the modem you are selecting.

  • Voice Support Capability

Should you have a telephone line that operates on VoIP then you need to ensure that you select a modem that has voice supports.

Before you make this purchase, check with your internet service provider and ensure that they allow third-party modems that are VoIP enabled.

You can look at the back of the modem to identify if it is voice-enabled, it will display a V at the end of the model number.

What to consider when selecting a modem router combo

  • Ethernet Ports

Ethernet ports support speeds of 1 Gbps. If your internet plan exceeds this, you need to look for ethernet aggregation or 2.5 G ports.

Ethernet aggregation happens when two ethernet ports aggregate with one another creating one 2 Gbps port capacity.

  • DOCSIS 3.0 VS DOCSIS 3.1

DOCSIS 3.0 can get speeds of up to 1000 Mbps whereas the DOCSIS 3.1 can achieve speeds of up to 10 000 Mbps.

This is a huge difference and will play into the reason you are looking for a modem in the first place. If you simply need to work and want to browse, then DOCSIS 3.0 is plenty fast enough.

However, if you are looking to do some serious gaming and 4K HD streaming, then you will need the DOCSIS 3.1 modems.

  • Design

Oddly enough, the design of the modem you choose is an important feature not to overlook. If your modem is going to be in your room at night, then you want one that has the option to switch off the LED light indicators.

Mounting options are important as well. With limited space options, there are modems out there that come equipped with brackets or slots that make them easy to mount onto a wall.

Alternatively, if the modem will remain on a shelf or desk, look for non-slip feet at the bottom of the modem.

  • Security

We all know that keeping intruders out of our network is a primary focus. Work documents or even private files need to be kept safe.

Your modem should be equipped with WSP security protocols, WEP, and TKIP factors. Also, have a lookout for the chipset that your modem runs with, the best option is a modem that uses the Broadcom chipset.

Maintaining your Modem

  • Protect your data line

All homes are susceptible to power surges, and this negatively affects your modem. Some modems have built-in lighting protection, but it is advisable to add to that by installing DSL or coaxial surge protection.

  • Lights out

Turning off your modem at night can extend its life expectancy. There are many views on these options, some for and some against.

It is your personal choice, however, if you wish to extend the inner parts of the device’s life, switching it off when not in use may be beneficial.

You could use smart plugs that are attached to timers, this will automatically turn the router on and off alleviating you of the hassle of waiting in the morning for that reboot to happen.

  • Safe Place

You should consider placing the modem in an area that will avoid it being knocked over constantly causing damage.

A dry and shady area is best, you do not want excess moisture to get into the device or the sun to damage it. Another limitation is power, you need to keep it close to the power supply that will run the device.

  • Obstruction Free

Keep the space surrounding the modem free of obstructions. The air vents need to work sufficiently to keep the modem cool.

Avoid areas that make access to the modem difficult. If for any reason you need to do some troubleshooting or reboot the device, you don’t want to have to climb over or under anything to get there.

FAQs – All for DSL Modems Covered!

1. Why should I buy a modem router combo?

The biggest advantage of buying a router-modem combo is that you will save space with only having one device. This may be a slightly more expensive option, however, they tend to pay for themselves over time.

2. How important is my security password?

Being connected to the internet means that your modem is susceptible to viruses and malware. The only way to ensure that you protect your network and files is to select a password that is of a high difficulty level to crack.

Some ways to make sure you are secure are:

  • Always change the default password, this is usually a standard password and can be easily figured out.
  • Do not use your modem brand as a password, this is more common than you would think.
  • Use WPA2 encryption which scrambled the data flowing over your network making it difficult to access.

3. What is Link Aggregation?

Simply defined, link aggregation is when two Ethernet ports are bundled together to act as one. When this function is used between two devices, it balances traffic flow between them for less latency and fewer network interruptions.

4. How often should I replace my modem?

On average a modem will last you 4-7 years whilst a modem router combo will only last up to 3-4 years. The old saying “Don’t fix something that isn’t broken” comes into play here, unless you are having trouble with your modem, there is no need to change.

Let’s look at some reasons you do have for making that change.

  • The modem breaks and the warranty has expired.
  • You have recently enlisted the services of a new ISP and the router that you have does not support the new provider’s packages.
  • You are looking to upgrade the speed of your current modem
  • When you are looking for additional services that your current modem does not offer such as VoIP.

The final word

In conclusion, we have reviewed many DSL modem routers and have settled on the one we felt had the best features, performance, and design.

The Motorola AC1600 Gigabit router is designed with rounded edges and stands tall. Despite its broad front panel, the device is thin and compactly encased in a matt black finish that does not hold fingerprints.

Coupled with VDSL2 / ADSL2+ and a full-featured AC1600 Gigabit Router, the Motorola sets the pace with internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps, is easy to install, and will keep your data secure.

Ensuring that you don’t have to worry when the rainy season begins, the AC1600 is fitted with surge and lightning protection so that you don’t have to rush home to switch it off.

When you need that extra speed and uninterrupted network on a Friday night for the streaming marathon that you have planned, this router-modem combo will be there for you.

Categories Router

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