dsl modem/router choices
November 11, 2012 10:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for advice on a dsl modem/router thingy and rural connectivity...

I live rurally and have had somewhat poor internet connectivity for a long time; first through Verizon and now with Frontier (after they bought out Verizon's land lines). I had Westell modem/router combos that they gave me with my service, and while I don't know much, I could at least check the connection log and see the connection would just drop randomly. I now think that's an issue with their crappy infrastructure, but I made many calls to customer service to see if there was anything else going on. Sometime in September they said "we'll send you a new modem" which they did. It's a NetGear 7550 and from the start it would drop the wireless constantly (I can't find if it's related to service drops because there's no connection log I can access). I've called about 10 times and after having me change the channels or fiddle with little settings or resetting the modem finally they said they were going to send another one, but that now I'd have to pay the 6.99 a month modem fee that I hadn't before. For some reason.
So. I'm probably better off just buying something myself, but then there's no tech support for issues with it (not that they've been particularly helpful in the past). I'm wondering if there are any modem/routers that have an interface where someone with limited knowledge can at least troubleshoot problems, or am I better off paying 85 bucks a year for their "help". I worry that the connectivity problems are hard to separate between network issues and my hardware issues and there might be less possibility of isolating them.
I'd rather just have an internet connection that works, but out here in the sticks I'm probably dreaming.
posted by Red Loop to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
It might be worth buying a separate modem and router so that you can diagnose issues with the DSL separately from issues with the wireless router. There are a variety of types of DSL modems but you can buy them quite inexpensively, and a good wireless router can be had for around $50.

I've had good luck with Motorola modems and Linksys (Cisco) routers, but YMMV. If there's a problem with the connection, their tech should be able to come to your place and diagnose the line.
posted by iamscott at 2:11 PM on November 11, 2012

I'm on Frontier about 60% of the time and they supplied me with a Siemens SE567, which is not a bad DSL modem/Wireless router. Its interface is also pretty simple--and I know it's a device Frontier is already using.
posted by yellowcandy at 4:10 PM on November 11, 2012

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