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The answer as to which modem to use is like anything in life...it depends. How do you intend to use your system, the resources available, ease of use, and money all factor in. The best answer may be very simple...the free modem. BellSouth/AT&T Southeast offers some of it's modems for free (after rebate). Check here to see if you qualify. Although many other modems may work, they may require additional configurations and will not be supported by the HelpDesk.

Modems rated on a scale of 1 to 5 "Thumbs Up"
(5 being the best)*



2 Wire 2701HG-B
The 2 Wire 2701HG-B is the current modem/wireless router shipped for the residential Wireless Home Networking service. The router provides 802.11G WiFi, ADSL2+ capability, and 4 ethernet ports for wired networking. It supports G.DMT speeds up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps upstream. It also supports ADSL2+ which can increase speeds up to 25Mbps (when it becomes available). Although interface is not as user friendly as most, it does have a firewall (stateful packet inspection & NAT), and detailed line statistics. Modem is configured by default to use PPPoE (it also supports PPPoA).
Shipping Status: Currently shipping
HelpDesk Support: Yes




Verdict:
"A good ADSL2+ modem, 802.11G wireless router, 4 port ethernet switch, and firewall."



Motorola 2210-002-1006
The Motorola 2110 is the current modem/router shipped for standard residential DSL service and provides a single ethernet port for connectivity. It supports G.DMT speeds up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps upstream. It also supports ADSL2+ which can increase speeds up to 25Mbps (when it becomes available). The BellSouth supplied Motorola 2210 has a unique user interface and features that are different from the 13 state SBC model. The modem is also a router with a built in PPPoE client that eliminates the need for any connection software on the PC. This modem is configured by default to use PPPoE (it also supports PPPoA) Since it is a router, networking is as easy as adding a hub or switch.
Shipping Status: Currently shipping
HelpDesk Support: Yes


Verdict:
"A small and reliable ADSL2+ modem with advanced router features that are easy to manage. It gets hot, so don't impede good airflow or turn it upside down to vent it better."



Westell 6100
The Westell 6100 was the primary modem/router supplied to residential customers from May 2004 to late 2007. It has both ethernet and USB connectivity. The BellSouth supplied 6100 (Models B90-610030-06 and C90-610030-06) are specifically designed with a unique firmware, interface, and features that are different from the standard retail 6100 models. Although they are physically different from the BellSouth Supplied 2100/2200 modems they have basically identical interfaces and functionality. The modem is also a router with a built in PPPoE client that eliminates the need for any connection software on the PC. Since it is a router, networking is as easy as adding a hub or switch. The 6100 features an improved chipset featuring DMH (Dynamic Multi-Hybrid) technology that provides better performance on marginal lines however that makes it more susceptible to lightning strikes/interference. It can support G.DMT speeds up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps upstream. It also supports ADSL2+ which can increase speeds up to 25Mbps (when it becomes available). More information is available here.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2007
HelpDesk Support: Yes



Verdict: 3/4
Better marginal line connectivity, smaller size, ADSL2+, built in router, and more reliable than previous Westells."



Netopia 2241N
The Netopia 2241N had a short life-span and shipped from fall 2006 through mid 2007 for residential and some small business customers. It provides a single ethernet port and a single USB port for connectivity. The BellSouth supplied 2241N are specifically designed with a unique firmware, interface, and features that are different from the standard retail Netopia models. The modem is also a router with a built in PPPoE client that eliminates the need for any connection software on the PC and networking is as easy as adding a hub or switch. Additionally, it supports Static Routing and IP Mapping for advanced networks. It can support G.DMT speeds up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps upstream and ADSL2+ which can increase speeds up to 25Mbps (when it becomes available).
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2007
HelpDesk Support: Yes


Verdict: 3/4
"ADSL2+ capability, IP mapping, static routing, small size, and Netopia reliability."



Westell 327W (Wireless)
The Westell 327W shipped between mid 2005 through late 2007. It has both wireless (802.11g+) and 4 port ethernet connectivity. The BellSouth supplied 327W is specifically designed with a unique firmware, interface, and features that are different from the standard retail 327W models. The modem has router capabilities with a built in PPPoE client that eliminates the need for any connection software on the PC. Since it is a router, wired or wireless networking is easy. It supports G.DMT speeds up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps upstream. It also supports ADSL2+ which can increase speeds up to 25Mbps (when it becomes available).
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2007
HelpDesk Support: Yes



Verdict: 1/2
"It's got 802.11g+ wireless, 4 ethernet ports, a built in router, great reliability, and an easy to use interface."


Westell 2100/2200
The Westell 2100/2200 were the primary modem/routers supplied to all new BellSouth residential customers between August 2002 and May 2004. It has both ethernet and USB connectivity. The BellSouth supplied Westells (Models A90-210030-04 or B90-220030-04) are specifically designed with a unique firmware, interface, and features that are different from the standard retail models. The modems are also a router with a built in PPPoE client that eliminates the need for any connection software on the PC. Since it is a router, networking is as easy as adding a hub or switch. The chipset is more sensitive then most modems which makes it desirable for people with long loops or marginal lines, however it lacks detailed line statistics to monitor the loop. It can support G.DMT speeds up to 8 Mbps downstream and 800 Kbps upstream. More information is available here.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2004
HelpDesk Support: Limited



Verdict:
"Even though it lacks ADSL2+, it has a built in router and is pretty reliable."



Alcatel SpeedTouch Home (STH)
The Alcatel STH is a "bridge modem" with ethernet only connectivity. It was shipped for residential and small business service until mid 2002. Since it is a simple bridge modem it requires a PPP client either on your PC(s) or router for connectivity. It uses ethernet connectivity (as opposed to USB or PCI) that frees up pc resources and makes the modem not OS specific so it does not require any modem drivers. Even though it has a good reputation for reliability, it has a habit of delivering flaky speeds and eventually dying altogether. It has very detailed line monitoring and diagnostics compared to most newer modems, however its chipset (designed in the mid 1990s) is not up to par with the newer modems available. It can support G.DMT speeds up to 8Mbps downstream, 832kps upstream. More information on the STH is available here.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2002
HelpDesk Support: Very limited



Verdict: 1/2
"Standard bearer for years, but is easily out-classed by newer modems. The lack of a PPP client means it's only reasonable when used in conjunction with a separate third party router."




Alcatel 1000
The Alcatel 1000 is a "bridge modem" with ethernet only connectivity. It requires a PPP client either on your PC(s) or router. This modem was the original ethernet modem distributed by BellSouth and was mainly used by "bridged customers" that used MAC addresses for authentication.It does not require any drivers on the PC to function, but its chipset is outdated and inferior in its ability to connect on marginal loops.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2000
HelpDesk Support: None



Verdict:
"Very dependable, but it is no longer being supported (even by Alcatel). The lack of a PPP client also earns it a place in that old box in the basement with the 2400 baud modem and Laser Disc of "Revenge of the Nerds" that you still have for some reason."



Alcatel SpeedTouch USB
The Alcatel USB was designed for a single user with no need for networking. The modem has a single USB port for connectivity and requires drivers that are OS specific. It will not work with all OSs and can not be easily networked. The modem can utilize PPPoA and RFC1483 connectivity. The modem is a high power drain device that may cause problems with other USB devices. Many users have eliminated power supply problems by installing a self-powered hub, which provides the USB with a separate power source. It can support G.DMT speeds up to 8Mbps downstream, 832kps upstream.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2002
HelpDesk Support: None



Verdict: 1/2
"Cheap and plentiful...but for a reason. It seems like all of your "friends" are willing to give you their old one (or an entire pallet of them) for free. Remember the old saying about Trojans bearing gifts."



Efficient 4060 External USB
The Efficient 4060 was designed for a single user with no need for networking. The modem only has a single USB port for connectivity and requires drivers that are OS specific. It can not be easily networked and will not work with all OSs (many people report problems with Windows XP). The Modem can utilize PPPoA and RFC1483 connectivity. The modem is a high power drain device that may cause problems with other USB devices. Many users have eliminated power supply problems by installing a self-powered hub, which provides the USB with a separate power source.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2001
HelpDesk Support: None


Verdict: 1/2
"Not even as reliable or popular as the Alcatel USB...so that says something. On the positive side, the bold shape and muted colors do qualify it as a post-modern piece of art that can be used as a coffee table conversation starter."



Efficient 3060 Internal PCI
The 3060 is an internal PCI modem that provides no networking capabilities. Since it is an internal modem it tends to cause occasional problems with IRQ conflicts, especially if you have a Sound Blaster audio card. The modem requires drivers that are OS specific. It can not be easily networked and will not work with all OSs (many people report problems with Windows XP). The Modem can utilize PPPoA and RFC1483 connectivity.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2000
HelpDesk Support: None


Verdict:
"If you are still using this modem it's probably because you lost some goofy fraternity bet. I wouldn't give one to someone I hated!"



3Com Home Connect Internal PCI
The 3Com is an internal PCI modem that provides no networking capabilities. Since it is an internal modem it tends to cause occasional problems with IRQ conflicts, especially if you have a Sound Blaster audio card. It utilizes PPPoA and RFC1483 connectivity, but requires specific drivers depending on the OS and is no longer officially supported by 3Com.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2000
HelpDesk Support: None



Verdict:
"Use it if absolutely nothing else is available, it's an emergency, and the fate of the entire universe depends on it (just don't tell anyone)."



Cayman 3220-H
The Cayman combines a modem, 4-port router, and 10Mb ethernet hub in one package. It's a very reliable, highly configurable unit with all the features you would expect on a high end business router. It has very detailed monitoring and diagnostics. They have a reputation for bad power supplies, but were once a favorite cornerstone for building reliable networks. This modem supports PPPoA and PPPoE.
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2004
HelpDesk Support: Very limited (Business HD only)


Verdict: 1/2
" A full featured modem, router, hub all in one...couldn't ask for more (except a lower price and better power supply). They are however easily out-classed by newer models. "



Netopia 3346
The newest 4 port modem/router with 10/100Mb Ethernet switch. It is currently available through BellSouth for Business Class customers only. This router is smaller than most 4 port hubs yet adds even more to the capabilities and reliability of the previous generation Caymans at a lower price. Offers advanced features like Network Address Port Translation, DHCP Relay, DNS proxy, and VPN passthrough (PPTP, L2TP, & IPSec). New chipset offers improved performance and detailed monitoring and logging capabilities. This modem supports PPPoA and PPPoE.
Shipping Status: Current
HelpDesk Support: Yes (Business HD only)


Verdict: 1/2
"One of the smallest, full-featured 4 port routers around. Top notch reliability with all the advanced bells and whistles."



Netopia 3347W and 3347NWG
The 3347W is the older 802.11b ADSL wireless gateway modem/router that also features a 4 port 10/100Mb Ethernet switch. The 3347NWG is a newer 802.11b/g ADSL wireless gateway modem/router that also features a 4 port 10/100Mb Ethernet switch. It is currently available through BellSouth for Business Class customers only. This wireless router is smaller than most 4 port hubs yet has enhanced "3-D Reach technology" that provides great coverage. It offers advanced features like Network Address Port Translation, DHCP Relay, DNS proxy, and VPN passthrough (PPTP, L2TP, & IPSec). This modem supports PPPoA and PPPoE.
Shipping Status: Current
HelpDesk Support: Yes (Business HD only)


Verdict:
"Holy Cow! A small wireless router that has great coverage and all the advanced features and functions you could want! Recently replaced sliced bread as one of the best things ever."



2Wire HomePortal
The HomePortal is a modem, router, and HPNA (home phone networking adapter) device initially offered for the BellSouth Home Networking service. It has both Ethernet and USB connectivity. The HPNA capabilities allow the use of existing phone wires to network multiple computers and eliminates the need to run Cat5 wiring throughout the house. You must purchase separate HPNA adapters for every computer that is to be networked. Although the interface is not as user friendly as most, it does have very detailed monitoring, firewall (stateful packet inspection & NAT), and parental controls. This modem is configured by default to use PPPoE (even though some HomePortals support PPPoA).
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2004
HelpDesk Support: Very limited


Verdict: 1/2
"A modem, router, firewall, and HPNA device that allows networking without running new wires. I wish they were smaller, had a better chipset, and were easier to set up."



2Wire HomePortal Wireless
The Wireless HomePortal is a modem, wireless router, and HPNA (home phone networking adapter) device previously offered for the BellSouth Wireless Home Networking service. It has since been replaced by the Westell 327W as of mid 2005. It has both Ethernet and USB connectivity. The router uses 802.11b WiFi specifications. The HPNA capabilities allow the use of existing phone wires to network multiple computers and eliminates the need to run Cat5 wiring throughout the house. Although interface is not as user friendly as most, it does have very detailed monitoring, firewall (stateful packet inspection & NAT), and parental controls. This modem is configured by default to use PPPoE (even though some HomePortals support PPPoA).
Shipping Status: Discontinued ~2005
HelpDesk Support: Limited


Verdict: 1/2
"A modem, 802.11b wireless router, firewall, and HPNA device that allows networking without running new wires. I wish they were smaller, had a better chipset, and were easier to set up."



Unsupported Modems
This list shows modems qualified to work with FastAccess DSL, but which are not supported by the BellSouth Help Desk. Questions or problems with these modems will have to be referred to the modem manufacturer. Adjustments or changes may be needed to function properly with BSFA.

    Efficient Networks SpeedStream 3061 (Internal PCI)
    Efficient Networks SpeedStream 5667 (External Ethernet DSL Modem)
    Efficient Networks SpeedStream 5667 (External Ethernet)

    Eicon Diva 2430, 2430SE (External Ethernet & USB DSL Modem)
    Eicon Diva 2440 (External Ethernet & USB DSL Modem)

    ITeX ITeX Apollo 3 (Internal PCI DSL Modem)
    ITeX ITeX Apollo 2 (Internal PCI DSL Modem)

    Westell WireSpeed DMT (External Ethernet DSL Modem)


* Ratings are purely subjective and only one person's humble opinion.



Andy Houtz DSL


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last modified: 2009-05-28 10:12:04