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dsmail
Grafter
Posts: 61
Registered: 03-08-2007

New User

Hi,

I'm expecting BT to enable ADSL on my line next Saturday, so I should be on plus.net by then. Question is what brand of modem should I get? I 'll probably go for PCI version of whatever I do get as I have space enough and they are a little cheaper. Price appears to vary hugely from £20 on ebay to £60+ on the high street. Is it worth spending the extra on the big name brands or will the less expensive efforts do the same job for half the price? Don't want to needlessly waste my hard earned cash. Anything I should steer clear of?

Any thoughts or advice?

Dave
21 REPLIES
N/A

New User

I've just ditched a pci modem for a combined modem/router. Had constant disconnections, sometimes every few minutes before but now my connection is rock solid even my wireless connection which I'm currently using is more reliable than the PCI Modem used to be.

Since I'm not a gamer it didn't matter too much to me 'cause it just re-connected within seconds. For some people tho' it would be unuseable.

The pci modem came from +Net when I first went onto bband.
madswitcher
Grafter
Posts: 235
Registered: 01-08-2007

New User

Dave, welcome.

If can stretch to it, I would suggest that you get an external modem with a router/firewall and with built in Ethernet switch. Dlink seems to be popular and are pretty reliable.

The reason being that is highly likely that at sometime in the future you are going to want to share your connection with your partner/kids/housemate - you get the picture - at which point you are going to have to either buy a new one or use Microsoft ICS and leave your machine on while anyone wants to connect to the Internet. The use of an external firewall using NATs, plus whatever you install on your pc will make it a bit safer and certainly more flexible later

Happy surfing, Mike
N/A

New User

Certainly go for an ethernet modem router. Less problems than USB or PCI modems and you can use some games consoles (Xbox etc) with them it well.
They may cost a little more, but well worth it in the long run.

As with anything, USB/PCI modem or router, don't go for cheap models, you get what you pay for. Go for a branded name that has a decent web site with firmware updates and help etc.(Belkin, Dlink, Netgear, Linksys, USR etc)
N/A

New User

Zyxel are a very good make. They don't offer some of the big features of other routers, however, the quality is second to none.

Your talking professional basic access devices.
N/A

New User

Quote
<snip> help etc.(Belkin, Dlink, Netgear, Linksys, USR etc)


You'll get diddlysquat in terms of help from Linksys Evil
Belkin Tech Support is very good Smiley
dsmail
Grafter
Posts: 61
Registered: 03-08-2007

New User

Thanks for all your advice. Looks like I'll have to rethink hardware purshase!

Dave
N/A

New User

I highly reccomend the Alcatel Speed Touch PCI modem.
I'm using it with XP, and have never had 1 single problem with it, and it was easy to set up.
dsmail
Grafter
Posts: 61
Registered: 03-08-2007

New User

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Dave
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

New User

Again it depends on your future plans. If you may get additional PCs and want them all hooked up the the internet then an external 4 port adsl modem router should be purchased.

There are also several good single port modem/routers with Ethernet connections that would also be worth considering. This then leaves all the work and compatibility issues in the router itself. Even PCI modems can have problems with drivers etc.
dsmail
Grafter
Posts: 61
Registered: 03-08-2007

New User

I have no plans or need to expand. I just want to use broadband on a single PC. Think I'll settle for a quality/big name USB modem. Perhaps one day I'll want to expand into networking and sharing broadband connections etc but by that time there will probably be a whole new generation of ISPs and "speed of light" connection hardware.

Dave
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

New User

A quality USB modem will not guarantee a working solution as your mobo may not be able to supply enough power. Wherever possible I stear clear of USB connected modems and always recommend this when asked.
dsmail
Grafter
Posts: 61
Registered: 03-08-2007

New User

So, PCI and USB modems alike could present problems. If mobo can't supply enough power to USB modem, would connecting through a powered hub help? or would this cause even greater potential problems? What's my best path then, considering, as I said, I don't need the facility to share connections or get involved with networking? Is it back to the router? This seems unfair as I have to pay for functions and facilities I don't need. Thanks for for your ongoing advice, glad I asked!

Dave
N/A

New User

Just thinking about cost verses reliability (chances of it working 1st time out of box and keep working), a router is still the choice.
Powered hubs are no guarantee, as some do not actually supply more current to the modem and can be considered just "pretty lights" when trying to solve USB power problems.
If you insist on going USB, put a USB2 card in the PC and run the modem from that.. USB2 has different power handling capabilities and can help. However, you need an operating system and updates that will run USB2.

A good USB modem and a USB2 card can cost as much as a network card and router - so you will not be paying more. If you have to update your OS, then it is certainly cheaper to go router.
dsmail
Grafter
Posts: 61
Registered: 03-08-2007

New User

Thanks for your in depth insight. Do you mean a standard USB 1.1 modem going through a USB 2 card. I know usb2 is back compat with usb1.1, but you're saying that a 1.1 device would benefit from the improved power handling capacity offered by a usb2 card and therefore better the chances of a more stable connection? Guess I could try with onboard 1.1 usb and if no good, then get usb2 card add on. I can get those cheaply at work.

Dave