cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Tutorials & FAQs: ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment


Choosing your ADSL equipment can be a difficult decision. Below is some information to help you choose.

There are three main types of ADSL hardware on the market, and an example is provided based on the VISP Full Name Hardware Starter Packs.


USB Modems


Voyager 105 USB Modem, provided with PlusNet standard starter packs from June 2004. Click image for specifications.

Advantages:
    Normally this type of modem is the easiest to install, just plug it in,
    install the included drivers and away you go.

    Can be moved easily between PCs as required.

Disadvantages:
    USB modems suffer from a common problem with power
    management, especially with SiS and VIA chipset motherboards.
    This can cause unreliable connections and dropouts. See here
    for solutions.

    Driver Support can be limited, meaning that getting these to work on
    some systems can cause problems. Mac, Linux and Windows
    compatibility should be researched before choosing your model.

    Relies on system resources (e.g. processor speed, RAM)... the less
    you have, the less speed you get (to a small extent).


PCI Modems


Dynamode A220, provided with PlusNet desktop starter packs. Click image for specifications.

Advantages:
    Lowest Cost ADSL Modem.

    Doesn't clutter up your desk.

Disadvantages:
    To install this you have to fit the card inside your PC. This work needs
    to be carried out by someone with experience of fitting internal
    components.

    No physical indications of its status; you have to rely on the software
    included for status.

    As with USB modems, they are reliant on your system resources.


Ethernet Modems/Routers
One Port Router

Solwise SAR130, provided with PlusNet Advanced starter packs. Click image for specifications.
Four Port Router

Binatone 2100, provided with PlusNet Advanced start packs
Advantages:
    Most reliable - Keeps your connection online even with all PCs
    switched off.

    Doesn't use the resources of your PC (USB and PCI modems do).

    Works on any equipment which has network support (Recommended
    for Mac and Linux users).

    Allows you to share your connection with more than one PC.

    Very flexible and future proof.

Disadvantages:
    More expensive than other options.

    Every PC needs to have a Network Card fitted and cabling needs to be
    done back to the router.

    With a single port router you will also need a type of Bridge to connect
    more than one PC.

Our Starter Pack support page has more information about the hardware we supply as well as downloadable user and setup guides.

You don't need to use the equipment provided by PlusNet - Other types of hardware are available for your ADSL connection and provided it supports the common ADSL protocols, it will work fine with a PlusNet connection. Many people are now choosing to use Wireless Access points with built in ADSL modems, although these are also easy to add to a router such as the Solwise SAR130. A number of hybrid devices are available which combine the features of a Router and a USB modem. They offer the ease of connection and setup of USB modems, but with some or all of the features of Routers. A great place to look for reviews of a wider range of hardware is the ADSLGuide Hardware Reviews page


A Micro-Filter for each Phone Socket

A micro-filter is needed for your phone socket. Its purpose is to separate voice from data and one must be connected to each phone socket in use in your house. If you do not have a telephone, or any device which uses the phone line, a micro-filter isn't required. PlusNet starter packs include two micro filters and additional units can be purchased from any good PC hardware supplier. If you have specialist requirements, or a noisy phone line, you may need to use higher quality line splitters available from specialist suppliers.

Some other common questions about micro filters are answered here and information on how to setup filters etc. is available at the Wires and Filters tutorial..
13 REPLIES
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

The SAR110 router has only one Ethernet port but it can be shared using only a hub, provided it is connected to an "uplink" port or it is connected via a crossover cable. I have a SAR110 shared across an old coax ethernet by using a hub as a cheap media converter.

I would add that Ethernet ports are increasingly becoming a standard feature even on retail PCs.

Alternatively it may be connected to a "Switch". I'm using the PCline 10/100 Networking kit which consists of two cards, cables and a switch yet costs less than many similar switches. Effectively the cards and cables are free.

It seems as if the term "bridge" has fallen into disuse.

BEWARE of devices sold as "Broadband Routers" that do not include a DSL interface.
beskar
Grafter
Posts: 159
Registered: 24-08-2007

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

I know that some 'ADSL' routers need an external USB ADSL modem, and others have them built in. Worth mentioning.

These Tutorial pages are a great idea, by the way.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Note: The Dynamode is no longer supplied as the USB modem. It's the Binatone ADSL 500 now.



See ADSL Starter Pack - Setup Guides for more details.

There are also 2 versions of the Binatone modem. The latest has 3 lights on the case and the older discontinued one only has 2. Also the 2 light version drivers install the modem as a dialup device like an ordinary 56k modem using DUN (Dial Up Networking), the newer 3 light version installs the modem as a network device.

Note: The version of Win98 that the drivers support has changed. The 2 light version works on win98 and win98SE, the 3 light version ONLY works on win98SE according to the user manuals.
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Quote
I know that some 'ADSL' routers need an external USB ADSL modem, and others have them built in. Worth mentioning.


Worse still are the "Broadband Router" boxes that are designed to use an external Ethernet ADSL modem. As far as I am aware Ethernet attached modems don't support PPPoA and so are rarely used in the UK.
beskar
Grafter
Posts: 159
Registered: 24-08-2007

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Our original combo was a Draytek Vigor 2200usb + external USB Fujitsu ADSL modem, which worked. But I see that Draytek have moved to an all in one model now, the 2600.

The trouble is that a lot of this terminology is being misused or poorly defined - especially if you look at the retailers' product lists.
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

If you require a ethernet modem, then I would sugest looking at the Xmodem.

This supports PPPoA, and is reviewed on the ADSL Guide website.
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Xmodem is very good and works great with BT ADSL as used by PlusNet. Its ethernet port can then be connected to your internal network.

I actually have it connected to an old computer running ipcop ( www.ipcop.org, a linux based Firewall, NAT router, DHCP server, VPN etc etc (also used smoothwall www.smoothwall.org ). You can also use the old Alcatel Speedtouch ("Frog") USB modem with these.
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Quote
Our original combo was a Draytek Vigor 2200usb + external USB Fujitsu ADSL modem, which worked. But I see that Draytek have moved to an all in one model now, the 2600.


I understand that the Draytek was developed to fill a very specific need, a router that would work with the USB boxes that some providers insisted that you use. It may have been targeted at Alcatel users specifically. Once the rules became relaxed it became irrelevant.

[Moderator's note (by acarr): Fixed quote tags]
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Quote
If you require a ethernet modem, then I would sugest looking at the Xmodem.

This supports PPPoA, and is reviewed on the ADSL Guide website.

I have tried using the X-Modem with my built in Lan and cannot get it to work........
was told to turn off the firewall(Norton)while setting up but still no luck.
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

If a product is advertised as a "Broadband Router" the it will not have a built in modem and is suitable for both a cable or phone line installation but requires an additional modem.

If you see advertised "ADSL Router" this should have abuilt in ADSL modem, but always check
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

I still maintain most UK ADSL subscribers should avoid these so called "broadband routers" altogether unless they have some very specific needs.

My understanding is that true ADSL modems don't support PPPoA, the "modem" that does (Xmodem) is really an ADSL router firmware-locked into a single-IP/Zero-IP/No-NAT configuration. The result is that the subscriber needs an ADSL router to connect their broadband router! They might then find that the ADSL router supports all the features the broadband router does. Then they might wonder what exactly the router is for.

OK so the things have some uses. They can share and firewall a cable internet service. They can subdivide a network so PCs in one part cannot access PCs in another. They can be used to implement a true DMZ on a home network. They would be usefull to anyone who has an ethernet connection to the internet.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Note: A post made by tandp has been split off into its own thread here.

Thomas
N/A

ADSL: Choosing your ADSL Equipment

Does the current single port usb modem/router offered by Plusnet include a built in firewall ?