Trying to get to my "unplugged and seated" years
September 12, 2012 1:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to switch my laptop from a DSL to a wireless connection. I was told this would function as the modem/router I needed, and so ordered it. Today it came and although it works perfectly as a modem it doesn't seem to have wireless router capabilities. Please tell me whether it does, and if so how to set up a wireless connection, and if it doesn't, tell me what I should buy or do instead after I return it.
posted by orange swan to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
That's not a wireless router.

You can order this, to work in conjunction with it.

Or you can get an all-in-one unit, just search Wireless DSL Router.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Can you recommend a specific one for me please? The one I bought was the fourth result on your linked search page!

I'd like something as inexpensive as reasonably possible.
posted by orange swan at 2:03 PM on September 12, 2012

You might want to call your DSL provider. I've always had my routers sent to me by the phone company. We've got U-Verse now, so our blinky light box is a different color now.

A wireless router will usually have antenna on it, if that helps. If you look on the page where your router is, it says, FREQUENTLY BOUGHT TOGETHER and then it shows the Wireless device.

I've liked Linksys routers in the past.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:07 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: My ISP will charge me rent on whatever I use. I just discovered I'd been paying $3.99 a month for my Primus-provided modem for the past six years. I could have bought one at the outset and saved hundreds of dollars. So no, I want to buy a unit because it's more cost efficient long term.
posted by orange swan at 2:18 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Will this unit work for me?
posted by orange swan at 2:22 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Forget that one actually, it's reconditioned and I have to pay for shipping. This one looks like it might be better.
posted by orange swan at 2:57 PM on September 12, 2012

Those should both work.

Since a lot of providers give them away to their customers, there are a lot of used ones floating around, and you can try your luck on ebay or craigslist if you want. But it might be trickier to set up, and the chance of a lemon or something incompatible is higher.
posted by alexei at 3:10 PM on September 12, 2012

Yeah, I wouldn't buy a refurbished router/modem.

That last one you linked to should do the trick, although I've never heard of that brand myself. The last 3 I bought were Linksys.

This page at your ISP lists a bunch 3rd party routers. Whilst they (your ISP) are not saying they'll actually support the modem if you have problems, the fact that they list those models should mean they're compatible. Just make sure it's a wireless router AND modem.
posted by Diag at 3:10 PM on September 12, 2012

If you want one cheap, you can't beat your local thrift store. You can tell the wireless routers from their non-wireless counterparts by the fact that (most) wireless routers have antennas. The Linksys WRT54 series wireless routers are bomb-proof and extremely common.

If you plug it in and the lights blink, it probably works. When you get home, just use a paperclip to push in the reset button on the back and hook it up (out on the modem goes to in on the router). If you go this route and need a hand, memail me.
posted by zug at 3:16 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: This one seems to be the cheapest new, recognizable brand-name combination modem/router.
posted by orange swan at 3:40 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Hmm, the Netgear one I just linked to has bad reviews, while the cheaper Actiontec Electronics one has better reviews. I'll go with that, and send the modem back.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by orange swan at 4:02 PM on September 12, 2012

TP-Link and Edimax both make dirt cheap ADSL wifi routers that, in my experience, work reliably.

If you're a long way from your phone exchange, look for a router with a Broadcom ADSL chipset.
posted by flabdablet at 7:05 PM on September 12, 2012

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