7 Best DSL Modem in 2021 [Reviews and Buying Guide]

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Any modem you buy, you have to pay for its purchase price and maintenance. Hence, investing in the quality DSL modem makes sense. You can inevitably save a lot of rental on the modem provided by your ISP by replacing it with a quality DSL modem. However, finding a reliable DSL modem is not easy when lots of manufacturers offer a variety of devices with distinguished features. 

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Even though ISP infrastructure and the package you choose dominantly affect your internet speed connection, quality DSL modem can double your browsing speed. 

What is a DSL Modem?

A DSL modem is a device used in connecting the router or computer to the telephone line for achieving the internet connection. This connection is often referred to as DSL broadband. It is faster than analogue dial-up. The upload speed is generally much slower than the download speed to prevent the users from hosting high-traffic web servers. Compared to the cable service, a DSL modem is relatively slower.

What is DSL Modem used for?

DSL technology is one of the most used technologies for broadband access. Following are some of the applications for which DSL modem routers are highly used:

  • Bundling internet plan with home phone service

Users can receive or make phone calls over the internet using VoIP and 2 FXS ports by connecting a DSL modem to their existing telephone setup.

  • DSL Internet Access

DSL modem router ensures stable internet connection by working as a modem and router to meet your home connection needs.

DSL Vs Modem connections

One of the common questions which are dug-down by the users while buying a specific modem is its speed. When compared to Modem connections, DSL is much faster. A low 1 MB DSL connection when compared to a typical modem at speed of 48 Kbps provides 20 times faster connectivity.

DSL Vs Cable Internet

Under cable services, digital signals are transmitted via a coaxial cable which is generally used for cable television. A phone line is used to send the digital signal to the DSL modem using DSL technology. Cable Internet connection is much faster but when there are too many people on this network, the speed goes slow. But DSL does not require sharing a line to the central office. 

Best DSL Modem Reviews

1. NETGEAR Cable Modem CM500

It is a budgeted modem which gives a tough competition to some of the expensive modems in the league. It is a great cable modem which successfully surpasses the speeds up to 300 Mbps. It works well even when four network-hogging applications run simultaneously. It comes with quick-start instructions and Ethernet cable. The front-facing LED indicators to help the users to monitor the modem operation.  

Netgear’s online modem interface provides advanced diagnostics which are easy to use and useful. The modem assures you to save money on modem rentals to ISP after 7 months of use.IT has 1 Gigabit Ethernet port equipped with auto-sensing technology. (16 x 4) 680Mbps download & 132Mbps uploads are its downloads and upload speeds respectively. It comes with IPv6 next-generation Internet addressing support and simple CD-less installation.

2. NETGEAR C7000

It is one of the best modem router combos which is impressing the users for its compatibility and convenience. The winning features of this device make it a preferable choice. It is equipped with beamforming technology which makes it stand out from the competition. It has extended Wi-Fi coverage and higher speed with its hi-tech design. It has double firewall protection, DoS attack prevention, and separate guest network. IT comes with 32X8 channel bonding where 32 channels are dedicated for downloading and 8 channels are employed for uploading.

It is highly recommended for home use. It has an outstanding design and great functionality. It comes with simultaneous Dual Band WIFi Tx/Rx 3×3 (2.4GHz) + 3×3 (5GHz)and built-in high-speed DOCSIS 3.0. Up to 1.9 Gbps combines Wi-Fi speed which makes it appropriate for streaming and gaming. It has a powerful set of features like streaming media and USB storage access with ReadySHARE USB.

3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

It is a certified refurbished modem router combo which is tested and certified on the parameters like functionality testing, inspection, repackaging and basic cleaning. It arrives in a generic box and works like new. The product has minimal scratches and comes with at least 80% of the battery capacity. The accessories may not be original but are fully functional and of high quality. If the user is not satisfied, it can be replaced within 90 days of receipt.

It comes with Three-in-one DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem + AC1900 WiFi Router+ 4 Gigabit Wired Switch. It has a stellar performance on 5GHz band. It is one of the top-notch home networking devices within an affordable range. It also passed a 48 hours stress test successfully and has an exceptionally long range. It can effectively work from a distance of up to 20 feet. It can be successfully connected to 64 devices with 32 devices on each of its dual-band. 

4. CenturyLink ZyXEL PK5001z

It is a feature-rich device that is priced moderately to fit the stringent budget. It is sufficient for basic use as it has a lower end wireless signal strength spectrum. It has a built-in N300 wireless router. It efficiently supports DSL2 and ADSL2/2+ Internet which keeps you worry-free about the type of version you should choose. A WPS button is provided at the front along with the LED indicators to track its operations. Features like QoS and port forwarding are quick and easy to set up. 

There are four Ethernet ports at its rear which are useful in establishing wired connections. The in-built router in this modem supports WEP, WPA2, and WPA encryption. To identify and manage the malicious content, dual Ethernet firewalls NAT and SPI are provided. It is one of the best CenturyLink compatible modems. It does not support CBRAS and vectoring. ADSL speed in this modem is only 7 Mbps.

5. NETGEAR N600 Dual Band Wi-Fi ADSL

The modem comes with 64 MB of RAM and flashes memory size of eight. The special features of this modem make it user-friendly. It has an overall improved performance with the dual-band setup which offers a speed boost of 300 + 300 Mbps. Dual technology also provides a stronger connection with reduced interference. The extended range of this modem makes it appropriate for medium to a large home.

It gives access to the parental control to set up the parameters for internet access. Broadband usage meter helps in monitoring the usage by connected devices. Users can customize the settings for every device. You can also set up a guest network or for specific users in your home. To ensure the best experience, it automatically optimizes the performance.

6. TP-LINK ADSL2+ Modem Router TD-8816

An efficient router with greater stability and reliability. The classy and compact design of this modem makes it stand out. It is an excellent combo of router and modem so that you are not required to purchase any additional device. You can download at the speed of 25 Mbps with a high-speed DSL connection. It works well for video streaming and games. It comes with a 2-year warranty which certifies its satisfactory quality. 

It is easy to set up and the user-friendly interface of this router makes it ideal for the novice users. If you are looking for a budget modem with high performance, this modem is highly considerable. When it comes to consumer networking solutions, it is second in the league after ASUS. Overall, it is a good choice for home use at the given price.


It is an entry-level wireless router which is compatible to connect with multiple devices to a 5GHz network. It delivers a Wi-Fi at 300+867 Mbps speeds which ensure reliable gaming and HD streaming video. It boasts high-speed internet gateway with an incredible speed up to 3 times faster than 802. It comes with advanced features like ReadySHARE Cloud to ensure remote access to a USB hard drive. 

It is compatible with next-generation Wi-Fi devices. It is easy to set up for tablets, computers, iPad and smartphones. Easy push-button Wi-Fi connection is provided for quick start operations. It has a live parental control facility to filter the web for all connected devices. It is ideal from medium to large-sized houses. If the user wants to download a large amount of data and is looking for a strong connection, this device is for you.

Best DSL Modem Buying Guide

Choosing the right DSL modem is crucial for smooth internet operations. With the variety of DSL modem available in the market, it is important to consider the features which you require. Here are some of the factors which a user should consider before buying a DSL modem:

The DSL unit you are choosing is high-speed Ethernet and a reliable to connect it with computer devices to ensure reliable speed. Extra features such as USB ports play essentially an important role for multi-purpose functionality as well as easy use. To connect a standard telephone line, all the Ethernet ports you purchase must have RJ45 and one RJ11. 

Take a demo of the product before you purchase it. It helps to understand the features of the product and the complications associated with its use. No matter if you are a novice user or a technical pro, you must be able to handle the device easily. Features like LED indicators help in monitoring the operations of the device. Easy-to-access ports and buttons, as well as a detailed user manual, are some of the features which a user should look for.

A device you choose must be compatible with DSL service. Make a direct enquiry from your DSP service provider or ISP to confirm its compatibility. 

There are several rules and regulations set by your ISP provider that should allow the user to change their leased modem. While most of the providers allow the users to buy their modem, smaller DSL companies may not allow. Check the list of approved models by ISP which are compatible. 

There are certain DSL modems which are compatible with specific services. Check the DSL standard on the provider’s network. Most of the DSL is backward compatible with old DSL standards. However, the users must also consider buying the modem with new standards which are compatible with ISP upgrades.

There are DSL modems broadly with WI-Fi and without Wi FI features. The modem with Wi-Fi facility allows wireless connection and is suitable to be kept at any place.  

Every added feature to a modem comes at a considerable cost. Hence, it is judicious to invest in those features which you are going to buy.


DSL uses traditional copper wires for data transferring. These wires are considered as the older means of communication and people relate this theory with DSL as well, considering them as outdated. The fact is, DSL is still used widely among the most advanced technologies. Most of the DSL modem is updated with advanced features to make them compatible with the advancing technologies.

There are different kinds of DSL modem available in the market which includes ADSL, SDSL, RADSL and IDSL. Before buying a DSL device, it is important to check its compatibility with your existing ISP service. 

The average age of a good quality DSL modem is 4-6 years. Factors like change in data transfer and other technical factors may adversely affect the life-span of a modem. Fibre-based technology is used for the latest modems to help them last longer.  However, it does not assure the compatibility of a modem with the latest and advancing technology.

Cable modems use TV cables and DSL modems use telephone lines to transport the signal. You cannot use them interchangeably as they are designed for a specific purpose and meant to work in a specific mode. Hence, you cannot use a cable modem for DSL.

The purpose for which they are used is the core difference between the two. For a DSL modem, you get an internet connection which is connected to a telephone line. For a router, you can connect multiple devices to a specific internet connection. A modem can work without a router but a router cannot work with a reliable DSL modem.

Yes, DSL is a great option for HD video streaming and gaming. However, not all DSL work equally well. Check the data transfer rate before buying a DSL modem to ensure that it is good for streaming. For the small to medium-sized house, you at least need 200 Mbps data transfer.

Final Verdict

Before finalizing any DSL modem, it is crucial to check its compatibility with the existing ISP providers. Most of the DSL modems are backward compatible but should also be able to upgrade with the advancing technologies. Buying a DSL modem is a judicious decision in the long run as it cuts down the rental cost required to be paid to your ISP provider for a leased modem. Also, these DSL modems are equipped with the latest technologies which help in improving your internet speed.  

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