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Best DSL modem under $100 (preferably under $50)

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I'm having modem trouble lately. I had an old ActionTech GT-701 that worked for over 15 years, but I can't get it to even lock on to the DSL signal, let alone internet staying on. I even tried with an identical model that was brand new a Qwest guy sent me for free years ago, but it won't work either.

CenturyLink repair dept claimed my line is fine, and that I just need a new modem. One of their repair dept guys out of the blue offered to send me a new modem for free. Instead it's a C1000A ActionTech that's refurbed. The current model is C1100. I've already had a problem not being able to connect to any sites a few hours after I hooked it up, and just now. That's twice in less than 3 days.

It's fine when it's working, and the speed tests good and sites pull up fast, faster than the older model. When it goes down, it does it out of the blue, with all lights on and green, and no problems showing on the modem login page. It seems to just correct itself out of the blue too, usually within 20 minutes.

I've read a lot of reviews on this model of modem and it gets a 4/5 star rating, but the ones that have problems with it usually talk of it not staying connected. I only have 15Mb/s speed, so I don't really need anything fancy. I just want something that can handle that speed, and stay connected reliably.

Right now I'm trying to get through to CenturyLink's Loyalty Dept in hopes to get this worked out, but I've already had to call 3 times due to a couple of their idiots not sending me to the dept they said they would. The last one I spoke to said they send out refurbed modems a lot. I wonder if some whom are paying for new ones or renting them have refurbed ones.

[Edited]
Did a bit of research after talking at length to 4 CenturyLink people, and had a chance to look at this review and the customer reviews on 2 of the models listed.
https://www.lifewire.com/best-routers-under-50-4038819

I've so far narrowed it down to the TP-Link TL-WR940N, and ASUS RT-N12/D1, both just under $30.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704050

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320168&cm_re=Asus_RT-N12-_-33-320-168-_-Product

Anyone know if these would be good for my needs? The last C-Link Loyalties guy I spoke to said he was going to send me a new (vs refurbed) modem, though he wasn't sure which model it would be. I assume ActionTech C1000A again. He said the refurbed ones are typically used for rental modems. Imagine that, you're paying them more in the long run, only to be getting a used model that may or may not work properly.
 
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I'd say the TP Link over the asus, Ive had too many asus routers go bad. I am on a Netgear DGND3700V2 which is a dual band, ADSL2+ model. I presume your Telco/ISP is using ADSL (ADSL/2+) or do you know if they are using VDSL? By the way sometimes the protector and the splitter in the NID (Outside Phonebox) can go bad and cause issues.
 
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I'd say the TP Link over the asus, Ive had too many asus routers go bad. I am on a Netgear DGND3700V2 which is a dual band, ADSL2+ model. I presume your Telco/ISP is using ADSL (ADSL/2+) or do you know if they are using VDSL? By the way sometimes the protector and the splitter in the NID (Outside Phonebox) can go bad and cause issues.
Pretty sure it has to be ADSL, since our apt building doesn't even have fiber, just copper.

I have no splitter connected inside my apt, and as far as I know, even the phone lines inside the electrical room out back are all just plugged into a big phone panel. I'm not even sure if we have NID here.
 

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Pretty sure it has to be ADSL, since our apt building doesn't even have fiber, just copper.

I have no splitter connected inside my apt, and as far as I know, even the phone lines inside the electrical room out back are all just plugged into a big phone panel. I'm not even sure if we have NID here.
ADSL Topology is fiber to the node whether its Remote Terminal or CO based DSLAM to the end user it is over copper whether 500-3000 feet (Remote Terminal DSLAM) or 10,000+ Feet(CO DSLAM). VDSL is Fiber to the Node (Fiber from CO to VRAD/VDSLAM- Copper to the Home).

How Old is your apartment complex?

Whats interesting is your current modem can work on both ADSL or VDSL.

I don't see anywhere it states about using Bonded Pair Service.

At 15 Mbps you must be pretty close to a CO or your apartment complex has a RT DSLAM without requiring a bonded pair for ADSL to get 15Mbps over a single pair. Otherwise you could very well be on VDSL which is VRAD/DSLAM based anyway.
 
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i own cheaper TPlinks than that one, and for DSL they do they job just fine.

the bandwidth control makes them preferable to any other brands for me, i love being able to cap bandwidth heavy devices on a limited speed connection
 

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i own cheaper TPlinks than that one, and for DSL they do they job just fine.

the bandwidth control makes them preferable to any other brands for me, i love being able to cap bandwidth heavy devices on a limited speed connection
Same here with mine. I'm pretty lucky for my connectivity as there is a DSLAM the next block over from where I live. I only need 6Mbps here. Even though I could probably get 18Mbps or switch to VDSL and get 25-50-75
 
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I used a Netopia 3341 ADSL2+ Gateway for years and it still works. I don't know if there's any modern equivalents to it but I paid $99 about a decade ago.

Motorola bought out Netopia in 2007 and now apparently sells the devices under the Arris brand:
http://www.arris.com/products/areas/homeandbusinessconnectivity/
 

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I guess that's kind of a dead end then...


Here's one very similar to what I have, used:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OI6KIY/?tag=tec06d-20

Only difference by the looks of it is the integrated switch.

The model I have is going for $160 used.

I'd look for something that is just a gateway with NAT support. No switch, no wireless, no nothing.
 

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I guess that's kind of a dead end then...

Maybe?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007FH5M/?tag=tec06d-20

Says it is Cayman but all the description text says Netopia.

Here's one very similar to what I have, used:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OI6KIY/?tag=tec06d-20

Only difference by the looks of it is the integrated switch.
most VDSL modems out now can switch to ADSL, so might as well get one.

The Netgear unit I have replaced a unit from Windstream and runs great. I get reception throughout the home on 2.4 or 5.0 freq bands (I use 5.0 for myself and 2.4 for the rest of the house)
 

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i just noticed... that TP link doesnt actually have a DSL modem, its just a router.

are you bridging from another modem, or was that just a mistake on your end?
 

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Newegg only has two ADSL Gateways:
D-Link DSL-520B (ADSL) and Netgear DM200 (ADSL/VDSL)

Both devices have only 3.5 stars on Amazon. They both seem to be okay but the power supplies that come with them are not. I would keep looking...


...I think I'd go with a used Netopia. Seriously, everyone is pumping out garbage today.
 
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^Ugh, you're right, that article was on routers not modems. That TP-Link doesn't even have a phone line port.

Back to the drawing board. How do I know whether my service is ADSL or VDSL though? Is there anything in the modem login page that would show it?
 

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What's your connection speed? Better yet, what is the maximum your internet plan supports? ADSL2+ caps out at about 24/3.3 where VDSL starts at 55/3.

Doing some research on the device you have could also tell you what its capabilities are.
 

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Newegg only has two ADSL Gateways:
D-Link DSL-520B (ADSL) and Netgear DM200 (ADSL/VDSL)

Both devices have only 3.5 stars on Amazon. They both seem to be okay but the power supplies that come with them are not. I would keep looking...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0085MRFVW/?tag=tec06d-20

$40 for a straight non "Gateway" modem.

Yeah, I'd Say TP-Link

@FordGT90Concept , VDSL can be as low as 1.5/3Mbps or as high as 75Mbps. It all depends on how far you are from the node. 1.5/3.0 going the furthest, 75 going the shortest.

@Frag Maniac, the modems settings pages might specify it. Otherwise you might need to call the ISP and ask how far is your signal traveling from the DSLAM, whether the DSLAM is CO based or Remote Terminal based.
 
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That looks mighty attractive but not VDSL capable. The bad reviews look like idiots that don't know what they're doing.
I've gone through three of these. The first two worked great for the first year or so, then I started to get lock ups, more and more frequently that I could not stay online more than 24 hours without doing a hard-power reset. Unfortunately, in both cases, well beyond the warranty period. The third less than a month before the same deteriorated reliably started to happen. I just ordered the Netgear DM200-100NAS, I should be able to move my settings over and hopefully stay online for awhile.
Rubbish!


Bare in mind that, to connect to a DSL network, you have to know the username and password. In my case that is the full primary email address + password for that email.
 
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^Yeah that model certainly gets better reviews than this cheaper TP-Link I saw.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0031SUB4S/?tag=tec06d-20

Gonna wait and see how the new one they just promised to send me works first.

@Frag Maniac, the modems settings pages might specify it. Otherwise you might need to call the ISP and ask how far is your signal traveling from the DSLAM, whether the DSLAM is CO based or Remote Terminal based.
Not sure if you're aware how numb in the skull most CenturyLink staff are, even in repair. I'd probably have to wait a week to hear back from them after they consult their tech dept, and even then, with the way they've been handling phone calls lately, I'm not even sure I'd hear back from them at all.

BTW, this is where I read about ADSL vs VDSL, and it contradicts what you said.
http://deucethemes.com/whats-the-difference-between-adsl-vdsl-and-fibre-internet/

I also found a forum thread where a response to an identifying ADSL vs VDSL stated...

ADSL2+ is G.992.5
VDSL is G.993.1

(Source: http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/672906-Do-I-have-VDSL-or-ADSL2)

...but I've yet to see any such numbers on any of my modem pages. You're mostly spewing Greek to me, as net tech is not one of my fortes.

[Edited]
Just found connection type listed near the top of the DSL Status page. It says "Broadband Mode Detected: ADSL2+". That's what I thought it was, but at any rate, mystery solved.

I just hope the new modem they're sending me works right, because I really don't relish the idea of modem shopping.
 
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Mussels

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I have a DrayTek Vigor 120 modem. This is very good, reliably holding a fast and stable connection for me of about 19Mb/s.

It is strictly a modem though and must be used with a hardware firewall that supports a PPPoE connection or your Windows PC is likely to get hacked into within minutes due to the raw internet connection.

Only ports on it are power, ADSL and Ethernet so it's very basic. Note it runs quite warm so must be given suitable ventilation.
 

FordGT90Concept

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Unfortunately that brand looks like it is exclusive to Europe. :(

I definitely recommend the standalone commercial class gateways.
 

eidairaman1

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^Yeah that model certainly gets better reviews than this cheaper TP-Link I saw.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0031SUB4S/?tag=tec06d-20

Gonna wait and see how the new one they just promised to send me works first.


Not sure if you're aware how numb in the skull most CenturyLink staff are, even in repair. I'd probably have to wait a week to hear back from them after they consult their tech dept, and even then, with the way they've been handling phone calls lately, I'm not even sure I'd hear back from them at all.

BTW, this is where I read about ADSL vs VDSL, and it contradicts what you said.
http://deucethemes.com/whats-the-difference-between-adsl-vdsl-and-fibre-internet/

I also found a forum thread where a response to an identifying ADSL vs VDSL stated...

ADSL2+ is G.992.5
VDSL is G.993.1

(Source: http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/672906-Do-I-have-VDSL-or-ADSL2)

...but I've yet to see any such numbers on any of my modem pages. You're mostly spewing Greek to me, as net tech is not one of my fortes.

[Edited]
Just found connection type listed near the top of the DSL Status page. It says "Broadband Mode Detected: ADSL2+". That's what I thought it was, but at any rate, mystery solved.

I just hope the new modem they're sending me works right, because I really don't relish the idea of modem shopping.
UVERSE is FTTN (fiber to VRAD, latches onto Copper at SAI/SAC) or FTTP (uses a BPON or GPON), FIOS is FTTP afaik.

My service from Windstream is RT based DSLAM not CO based, however with them advertising Kinetic TV (IP TV service) that means my DSLAM is VDSL capable. I am also <500 Feet for my loop from the DSLAM

Yeah I used to work for "Ma Bell".

I'm glad you were able to find out what signal was being pushed- Easier to pick a Modem Now.

My family had UVERSE Triple Play (TV,VOIP,HSIA) since 2009, they had a 3MB connection at the time, they are less than 1000 feet from a VRAD (DSLAM).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video-ready_access_device

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSLAM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serving_area_interface

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarcation_point#United_States

Minimum Point of Entry Room

(what your complex may have unless if it has a street cabinet like a VRAD/DSLAM. (66 or Split 50 blocks suck)
 
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(what your complex may have unless if it has a street cabinet like a VRAD/DSLAM. (66 or Split 50 blocks suck)
Yes that's what it is, only more of a vertical arrangement than spread out horizontal like that. I saw it up close when I had to let one of the techs into that room back when I was backup res manager on weekends many years ago.

You know so much about this stuff that I feel like one of the people on a Scorpion episode whom after hearing the geniuses talk is like, "Huh"? :oops:
 
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eidairaman1

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Yes that's what it is, only more of a vertical arrangement than spread out horizontal like that. I saw it up close when I had to let one of the techs into that room back when I was backup res manager on weekends many years ago.
Youre all good, just understand this, CO to fiber to VRAD or RT DSLAM, copper- cross box/ MPOE room/cabinet- to terminal to nid or jack.

You know so much about this stuff that I feel like one of the people on a Scorpion episode whom after hearing the geniuses talk is like, "Huh"? :oops:
Youre all good, just understand this, CO -fiber to VRAD or RT DSLAM,-copper- cross box/ MPOE room/cabinet- to terminal/ mc10 box to nid or jack, to jack or smart panel.

Those blocks caused nothing but issues, id wind up ripping pairs out of them to scotchlock them together for a better connection.
 
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