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What do I need to look for in a modem / router?

I know DSL Extreme does not recommend this, but what specifications do I need to look for in a DSL modem / router / wifi combo unit that will work with the 6 Mbps ADSL service using DHCP?

For example, I'm looking at a unit from Actiontec. The specifications say full-rate ADSL 2/2+ modem. I assume that means it works with services up to ADSL2+ and is backwards compatible.

Do I need to look for some special indicator that it will work with DSL Extreme or do all modems nowadays work with DSL Extreme?

Thank you.

Winnetka, CA
Assuming that you want a modem/router combo, all modern combo units are compatible with our service. Just make sure the modem you buy isn't locked to another ISP. Those modem's usually state that they are "for use with BrandX ISP only" or words to that effect. Otherwise, there are no compatibility issues that I know of.

Personally, I would avoid modem/router combos and instead, use a separate modem and router. Our experience is that modems (being relatively simple devices) rarely fail. Routers, on the other hand, fail far more frequently. When a modem/router fails, it's usually the built-in router that fails, unfortunately, when the router fails, you usually have no access to the internet even if the modem in the unit is working. With a separate modem and router, if the router fails, you can still temporarily connect one computer to the internet (by bypassing the router) before you get your replacement router. Plus, replacing one component can be cheaper than replacing a combo device.

This is just my opinion based on many years of seeing the problems caused when a combo unit fails. I'm sure others here will have some opinions and recommendations as well.


Thank you for the info and feedback Steve.

I have an old G Linksys router dating back to almost a decade that I'm looking to upgrade now with an N router for better/faster WiFi. I came across an N router that also has a built in modem so I'm currently leaning towards that for two reasons; one it's less clutter on the desk, and two the Comtrend modems have a very annoying buzz noise which DSLX kindly sent a replacement last year but had the same issue.

In any case, I won't return the modem (until I need to end service) and will keep it as back up should a combo unit fail as you described.