Good/Bad USB ADSL modems - opinions?

Posted on 2004-09-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
first, a disclaimer.  I'm not a fan of USB ADSL modems, and am well aware of the perceived wisdom that they are bad and resource intensive.  But...

I help out in my neighbourhood with broadband installs, and plenty of folk just want to get their pc onto broadband without the cost of routers, etc.  And a USB modem will meet their needs and price point.

So, are there ones out there that are better than others?  any comparative reviews?  Some of the pc's I look at are somewhat challenged on the hardware front, and I don't want to add to their load....

I'm in the UK btw, but most kit that you can get in the States or Continental Europe is available here - and finally, another disclaimer, I posted this first to the Wireless forum on ee, but I think this is more of a High Traffic Area!
Question by:Danny Child
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 200 total points
ID: 12134626
Something to do some reading on: http://www.adslguide.org.uk/reviews/

Accepted Solution

tpilg earned 400 total points
ID: 12135533
When I got my new ADSL modem, (as indeed any new bit of kit I'm not sure about), I went to www.ebuyer.co.uk and looked at all the competing products and the reviews that went with them. I actually went for 55543 , which is now discontinued. I used to have a USB ADSL modem, and if you want to take the load off a machine, go for ethernet. My USB one supplied by my ISP would crash several times a day for no apparent reason and only a reboot would bring it back.  Once I moved off USB, the machine (a Windows 98) became more stable and the ethernet one has been up and running continuously for weeks.

I paid a bit extra and got one with a firewall. Worth thinking about if you leave a system with a novice - they may not think about keeping software firewalls running and up to date. My model also had a wireless router so I could work in the garden in summer - made me think, why don't neighbours share a broadband account?
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

rid earned 200 total points
ID: 12135724
I think tpilg has a few valid points, about load on the machine and the security issues with a system directly connected to the internet.

The time wasted on crashes, reboots, driver hassle and machine cleanout and reinstall is not without its value. For a broadband internet connection in the present situation with all sorts of probes for any vulnerability (I assume windows users here...) a router is probably paying its way within a few months. So, for cost-effectiveness and speed/stability - go ethernet and use a router.
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Assisted Solution

Raidenennis earned 200 total points
ID: 12138203
Have a look at www.netgear.co.uk

They have some basic dsl modems up to routers and wireless, they are very competitive for pricing and are very stable, I have been using them on installs for 2 years now and never had one back or a complaint.

LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 12141417
thks guys.  Callandor's link was good, but their USB reviews are a bit dated.  tpilg - ebuyer was a good catch - I hadn't seen their user reviews before.  rid - I always set up zonealarm, but the warning boxes can be a pain, and I agree personally with choosing a router personally.  raidennis - I've found netgear wireless stuff to be good, and it's good to hear that their USB is good too.  
LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 12141422
points bumped up a bit, cos it was all good stuff.  ta!

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