How do I Choose the Best Ethernet ADSL Modem?

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  • Written By: John Lister
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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An Ethernet ADSL modem is one of the simplest ways to connect to standard broadband services. Its main drawback is that it does not inherently share an Internet connection with multiple machines in the same way as a router. Ethernet is a type of cabling and socketry used for computer networking, while ADSL is the most common method for delivering broadband over a telephone line. As well as price, buyers need to consider the ease of configuration, how a modem coordinates with routers, and whether a model supports faster speeds.

As with most purchasing decisions, price is important when choosing an Ethernet ADSL modem. There is a wide price disparity as cheaper models are roughly half the price of more expensive models. As there are often few functionality differences between models, buyers can often save money by shopping around. The only real reason to avoid cheaper models is where the brand has a poor reputation for reliability, meaning it may be a false economy. Beyond this, two models that offer similar features are unlikely to have a major performance gap.


The configuration options of an Ethernet ADSL modem can be a good reason to prefer one model over another. Generally, the configuration is carried out through a web browser, which connects to the software inside the modem rather than to a website. Which configuration menu is best depends on your technical knowledge: casual users should look for models with auto-setting features, while more advanced users should look for more customizable models.

By definition, an Ethernet ADSL modem can connect via Ethernet to a router if you later want to add one to your system. Not all models do this as well or as smoothly as others, though. If you think you might add a router later on, you might want to check reviews to see if they mention that a modem is designed to easily hook up to a router.

Some Internet providers offer broadband delivered through ADSL 2 or ADSL 2+, both of which offer faster speeds than standard ADSL. If such a service is on offer, you should look for a modem that specifically supports these systems. This is necessary, as the amount of information that is passed through at any split second through ADSL 2 or ADSL 2+ is too much for a standard Ethernet ADSL model to cope with.


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