Routers and modems are state-of-the-art digital devices that allow you to access the internet from your home or office consistently. Using a router along with a modem goes a long way in boosting the signal strength, extending the range of the internet. Simply put, supplementing routers with modems facilitates internet access over a larger area.
However, the biggest downside of installing a modem and router separately is that these gadgets could occupy too much space. On the other hand, setting routers and modems independently or individually could be quite challenging and complicated. This is precisely where a modem/router combo comes to your aid, helping you to resolve the issue as both gadgets arise as a single combined unit.
Opting for a router/modem combo package offers you some practical benefits. For instance, the combo pack requires lesser storage compared to the space needed for setting up the devices separately. Then again, mounting and connecting the devices reduces assembly time as well as minimizes clutter.
You can gain internet access via DSL broadband connection, Wi-Fi, or GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) mobile data standard. If you’ve have subscribed to the DSL (digital subscriber line) service of your ISP and experiencing net connectivity issues, then you can go for a DSL modem router combo.
What exactly is a DSL Modem Router Combo?
A DSL modem or simply a DSL is a device that comes in handy for establishing a connection between your router or computer and a phone line (a landline). Your ISP or internet service provider routes the DSL service via the phone line for enabling net connectivity and access. Such a mode of accessing the internet is referred to as DSL broadband or direct subscriber line connection.
The DSL service provider gives you a modem for accessing the internet via the landline telephone connection. The DSL modem converts the digital data into analog signals, and after that, the same is transmitted through the telephone line. Once the signals are at the receiver’s end, they’re reconverted to digital format to enable the digital devices to interpret them.
Thus the DSL modem functions both as a demodulator and modulator converting analog signals into digital data and vice versa. Hooking up a router with this DSL modem helps in accessing the net simultaneously from several devices, including your computer, smartphone, and tab. A DSL modem/router combo can enable exclusive access wirelessly through Wi-Fi or via Ethernet cables.
A DSL modem/router combo is a single embedded unit comprising the router and modem, allowing multiple digital devices to access the internet through a landline phone.
Is a particular router essential for DSL?
A DSL or digital subscriber line needs a unique or distinctive modem rather than an expensive router. Unlike a cable-based internet connection, a DSL transmits signals via a telephone line. So it follows that a DSL requires a modem that has been specially designed for enabling the conversion of analog signals into digital data.
On the other hand, broadband signals are transmitted to a cable modem (via coaxial cables) that, too, has been exclusively designed for cable internet connectivity. Hence DSL modems are compatible only with DSL connections, and cable modems only work with cable connection.
Talking about routers, your DSL line can do without one for providing you access to the internet. The function of a router is to simply boost the strength of the signals received by a modem so that other digital devices can intercept the signals. Nevertheless, these days, DSL service providers are providing a modem, router, switches, and ports in a single combo pack, thanks to strides made in broadband technology.
Opting for a modem/router combo pack saves from you the hassle of installing numerous gadgets that create unnecessary clutter. But keep in mind that only a DSL-compliant modem/router combo will work with your DSL connection.
So that you have a memorable experience using your modem/router combo, there are certain aspects you should consider while shopping for the same.
Combo vis-à-vis individual or separate equipment
You’d want a modem/router combo mostly because of the convenience that such a package offers. Both the modem and router are embedded in a single pack, which not only occupies much less space but also lets you efficiently manage the devices. However, the most glaring drawback of a combo pack of modem and router is that you don’t have the leeway of choosing your preferred router.
The topnotch individual or standalone routers tend to be more potent in comparison to the routers included in a combo package. If you want to take advantage of standalone routers that are upgradable, then it is better to have separate devices.
Routers versus Modems
A modem receives the broadband signals transmitted by your ISP (internet service provider) and sends them to different digital devices. A router, on the other hand, is connected to a modem for amplifying the signals received by the latter. So you use a router basically for accessing the net via various devices over a larger area in your home or office.
The leading purpose ISPs put the modem and router together in a box is to offer you more convenience. However, this handiness comes at the cost of upgradeability and flexibility.
Support for internet speed
If you are using a gigabit plan with high-speed internet offered by your DSL provider, then you should buy a compatible modem/router combo that supports it. Going for an outdated version or a cheap modem/router combo model will not enable you to enjoy the blazing speed of a Gigabit plan.
Best DSL Modem Router Combo in 2021 Reviews
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 DSL modem router – Best for gaming
If you’re looking for a reliable replacement for your existing router or modem/router offered by your service provider, then choose the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi VDSL/ADSL modem/router. The auto-detection wizard functionality boosts the versatility of the Nighthawk AC1900, enabling you to go online in a jiffy via your fiber internet service provider with a landline.
A heavy-duty dual-core processor makes the Nighthawk AC1900 incredibly performance-oriented, letting you make the most of Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1.9Gbps. Beamforming+, external antennas, hardwearing and robust amplifiers go the whole hog for boosting up Wi-Fi range and consistency. Nighthawk AC1900 is compatible with VDSL/VDSL2 and ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+ technologies.
At the same time, this Netgear DSL modem router combo is companionable with any ISP through the Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. You can also remotely access your home network via the OpenVPN, and use ReadyCLOUD for secure cloud access. Additionally, you can manage the modem/router from afar by exploiting the genie App.
The Nighthawk AC1900 is perfect for lag-free gaming and streaming, thanks to its powerful dual-core processor, superior QoS, and excellent Wi-Fi speeds. Features including high-speed USB ports and integrated iTunes tuner servers facilitate the streaming of personal media in your entire home. You can share almost anything from streaming media to music and archived photos via your network.
A simple button push with push n contact lets you hook up your digital devices to the Wi-Fi network.
- Real-time dual-band Wi-Fi up to 600 + 1300Mbps
- Modem integrated with VDSL2/ADSL+2 for supporting high-speed DSL
- Dual-core processor for enhanced performance
- Dual USB ports
- Gigabit configured
- Powerful antennas, Beamforming+, and heavy-duty amplifiers for boosting Wi-Fi coverage
- Dual-core processor enhances WAN-to-LAN, wired, and wireless performance
- ReadySHARE USB for wireless access and sharing of content on compatible USB hard drives
- Netgear Genie app facilitates network management
- Unable to offer high-speed internet access
2. Actiontec Verizon High-Speed Internet DSL Wireless N Modem and Router -Best of the Best
Verizon Wireless is the leading provider of wireless services and products in the US, including routers and modems. The Actiontec High-Speed Internet DSL N Modem and Router is the most upgraded and updated of all versatile Actiontec DSL modems. To date, Actiontec Verizon has sold more than 22 million modems and routers worldwide, making it the top seller of internet access gadgets in the US.
There are several good reasons to go for the Actiontec Wireless N Modem and Router. For a start, the integrated 802.11n technology enables you to surf the net at blazing speeds of up to 300Mbps. So, you’re able to access the net at rates that are at least six times faster compared to the best speeds of earlier generations.
Then again, the MIMO smart antenna-802.11 facilitates the employing of MIMO smart antennas, eventually magnifying the reach of wireless signals. Therefore, you’re able to connect to the internet over a more substantial or broader area in your home or office without experiencing any signal drop or dead spots. The 802.11n technology being fully backward compatible lets you comfortably access the net from your older Wi-Fi gadgets.
The GTN84WNV wireless N modem and router from Actiontec are reinforced with WPA/WPA2 Wi-Fi SSL encryption with a customizable firewall. This feature guarantees complete peace of mind while surfing the net as you don’t need to worry about the misuse of your personal or sensitive information. You can also benefit from the company’s round-the-clock customer support both online and over the phone.
- Three-in-one combo product pack
- Subjected to strict quality control checks for guaranteeing comprehensive compatibility
- Designed especially for syncing with Verizon high-speed internet service
- Comes with built-in encryptions, protection, parental controls, and premium firewalls
- Reap the benefits of three products in one: dual-antenna wireless N router, 4-port switch, and full-scale ADSL2/2+modem
- Compact modem/router combo takes up minimal storage
- Reduces clutter
- Offers downstream speeds of up to 24Mbps for supporting IPTV services
- Set up is fast and straightforward
- Many customers and users have faced slight UI issues
- Upload and download speed is almost the same as with any standard modem
- Not compatible with Verizon FIOS
If you subscribe to ADSL/VDSL services of Fairpoint, TDS Telecom, Windstream or Frontier, then go for the Motorola MD1600 DSL modem/router combo. MD1600 is an ADSL2+/VDSL2 modem-cum- AC1600 Wi-Fi Gigabit router that deploys super-speed internet to all your Ethernet and Wi-Fi gadgets. The Motorola MD1600 supports speeds of up to 100Mbps, depending on the rates offered by your VDSL or ADSL service provider.
The MD1600 DSL modem router combo is compatible with your telephone line, delivering blazing speed internet for Wi-Fi and Ethernet devices. This DSL modem-cum-router comes with a built-in USB2.0 port for plugging in new USB sticks supporting DLNA media sharing facilitating smooth sharing of audio/video files across your network. You can refer to the QuickStart guide for setting up the MD1600 easily and quickly.
- The integrated router has 4-gigabit ports, VPN support, and IPv4/IPv6 support
- The router has a built-in firewall and WPA/WPA2 wireless security
- Wi-Fi gigabit router for high-speed internet over Ethernet and Wi-Fi devices
- Router combines with a VDSL2/ADSL2+ modem
- Comes with a limited 2-year warranty
- Connects with all your Ethernet and wireless devices
- Includes a built-in USB2.0 host port that supports NAS which in turn is compatible with DLNA media sharing
- Modem/router combo package reduces clutter and saves space
- Not compatible with AT&T
- Offers support for just one Wi-Fi band
This Netgear package includes two items- one high-speed broadband DSL modem (DM200-100NAS) and one N300 Wi-Fi router with high power 5dBi external antennas. The high-speed broadband DSL (VDSL/ADSL) modem from Netgear offers you a cost-effective and convenient way of linking with your ISP’s DSL internet service. Setting up this DSL modem which is compatible with the leading ISP providers in the US (Verizon, Century Link, and AT&T) is a breeze.
This modem is companionable with VDSl, VDSL2, ADSL, ADSL2, and ADSL2+ and features auto-detection for universal DSL compatibility. You’ll need to follow three simple steps for making the most of this Netgear DSL modem. First, you’ll have to link the modem with your telephone line.
After that, you’ll have to make arrangements for supplying electrical power to the DSL modem. Finally, you’ll have to configure and install the modem in modem +router mode for accessing the internet. On the other hand, the Netgear N300 Router with external antennas delivers high-speed downloads, enabling you to enjoy gaming and media streaming without lags.
The N300 router has been designed to deliver fast Wi-Fi speeds of up to 300Mbps, making it perfect for medium-sized and small homes.
- Push-N-Connect for adding devices to Wi-Fi network
- Netgear Genie for managing your home network
- 5dBi antennas for boosting Wi-Fi reach
- Failsafe wireless security with WPA/WPA2 encryptions
- Companionable with ADSL connections and with built-in VDSL
- Modem compatible with leading DSL providers like Verizon and AT&T
- Easy and fast set up with Smart Wizard
- Auto-detection for enabling across-the-board DSL support
- 32MB RAM, five fast Ethernet ports, and 4MB flash
- Separate network/internet access for guests
- Does not offer support for bonded VDSL or ADSL
- Non-Gigabit Ethernet ports
For this review on the “best DSL modem router combo,” we chose two products from Netgear and one product each from Actiontec Verizon and Motorola. Selecting the four best DSL modem/router combo brands for this review was quite challenging as there are many other high-quality products. If you are budget-conscious, then you can buy the Netgear WNR2020v2 DSL modem/router combo.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quality product for a specific purpose like gaming or media streaming, then the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is your best bet.