New modem or new router?
January 16, 2013 8:39 AM   Subscribe

I have a Zhone wifi router/modem which I purchased from my ISP. It drops connection occasionally but regularly (a couple-few times a month) which can be fixed only by restarting the modem which is sort of a pain. Googling around suggests that my modem is a crappy router. Is it better to purchase a different router/modem or just to buy a wifi router and turn off wifi on the modem or to buy the wifi router and to run the modem in bridge mode (I have access to the web UI)? If one of the latter two, what is the current first choice for routers?
posted by jeather to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
When "It drops the connection", can you reach the router/modem, or other devices on your network, from your computer?

Because if the connection it's dropping is the DSL on the outside lines, then it's likely that a new router alone won't solve your problem. If it's dropping the WiFi connection, then it's possible that running the bridge modem will work.
posted by straw at 8:49 AM on January 16, 2013

I honestly don't remember whether I can reach anything else because it's been happening for a long time and I figured out ages ago that the only solution is to restart the modem, and I don't know how to cause it to happen for testing purposes. However, other people with this modem have noted that it does do this on occasion, and I'm about 99% sure that the problem is with the modem and not the lines. I can always return a new modem or router if it turns out not to solve the problem.
posted by jeather at 8:57 AM on January 16, 2013

I have similar problems from time to time with a separate modem and router, and the issue has always been the modem (and restarting fixes the issue every time). If you buy a new router, you very well may not fix the problem at all, and then you'll have to go buy a new modem as well.
posted by markblasco at 8:59 AM on January 16, 2013

Also, a way to test this is fairly simple. The next time your modem/router stops letting you use the internet, take your laptop and plug it into the box with an ethernet cable. If you still can't access the internet, than the issue isn't the wifi, and therefor is an issue with the modem.
posted by markblasco at 9:00 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I upgraded to a faster DSL speed a few days ago ant have started to see a few disconnects from the internet every day. Most times when the modem reconnects everything is fine, but sometimes the modem says its connected but I still can't get to the internet and I have to restart the modem. I have an old Westell modem from my ISP (probably 4-5 years old) and I've wondered if getting something newer would help with staying connected, or at least not need to be reset to restore the connections to the computers.
posted by DarkForest at 9:38 AM on January 16, 2013

It's not the modem, as I just plugged my computer directly into the modem/router when the wifi died and could get online to post this comment. Of course, I had by then given up on getting the problem to recreate itself and ordered a new (20$) modem. Now I just have to hope I can figure out how to recreate the settings.
posted by jeather at 2:22 PM on January 19, 2013

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