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Pros / cons of separate router device (separate from modem)?

Posted on 2010-08-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
When someone with either DSL or cable internet service is buying a router, nowadays we have the option of buying  the modem built in with the router. Some companies might require that the modem device be purchased from them. But in cases where we are given a choice, what are the pros and cons of buying the modem (dsl or cable) built in with the router, as opposed to having two separate devices?
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Question by:dgrrr
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Expert Comment

by:ruthannbasnillo
ID: 33480081
Using separate modems and Wi-Fi routers, or combined units

You can use a combined modem and Wi-Fi router, or separate machines, either way you’ll get an ADSL Wi-Fi signal within your home or office. If you are changing to a new ADSL2+ service and thus need a new ADSL2+ modem, it may be easier to get a combined model, as separate routers are usually only available through electronics shops.

source: http://www.comparebroadband.com.au/article_578_The-pros-and-cons-of-BYO-ADSL-or-ADSL2-modems.htm




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aleghart earned 50 total points
ID: 33480281
PRO: your own router takes the WAN as an Ethernet connection.  You can change ISPs in a matter of 1-2 minutes by plugging in to the new modem.  I just did this at a residence switching from ADSL to cable internet.  All LAN and wireless LAN stay the same...no changing of passwords.  Plus, the cable company wanted $10+/month for their router...over 3-5 years, that would buy a new computer.

CON: installer will not help you.  If you don't know what you're doing, or can't figure it out, you end up making a service call for them to drop of the ISP-provided router and probably have to pay extra.

The only ISP-provided router I've been satisfied with is the Actiontec from Verizon FIOS.  It's not the greatest, but it was free and no monthly charge.  It started off with coax connection, then I changed to Ethernet.  Changed from dynamic IP to static, then to multiple static IP addresses and upgraded to 25/25Mbps.  All with minor changes to the router config.  Not bad for a "free" device.

PRO: Integrated modem/router devices have a huge problem.  If you mess up the router config, you have no way to troubleshoot the problem.  You can't just plug in another router or plug a computer straight into the modem.  You are forced to wipe the router/modem clean and start from there.  Not easy for the average consumer.  If you have VoIP service, this takes out the phones.  With a separate modem, you can always plug your ATA device into the modem.
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by:dgrrr
ID: 33493583
aleghart: those two "pro's" are huge
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Expert Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 33493865
That's my usual justificatin for installing a cheap wireless router from day one.   The monthly cost alone would pay for a "consultant", even if only the neighbor's kid for an hour to connect the wires and connect all the devices in the house with the correct wireless passwords.  Even higher paid services are around $100-150.
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