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Should I get a combo Router/modem?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by axeman61, Apr 25, 2010.

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  1. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    Hey guys. I was wondering if there was some buying advice you could give me on a modem.

    I have ADSL service with ATT, and upgraded to a 6 Mbps package at the tail end of last year. However, I've had DSL since the early 2000s, and the modem (Speedstream 5360) is so old it can't really keep up. The DSL connectivity will sometimes blink off and then back on, and it really flares up when I play online video games. I get dropped from games left and right. I've already had an ATT technician down here to see if it's the wiring in the phone jack or the modem. He said it was the modem, which I believed. He suggested an ATT 2Wire combo modem/router. I didn't buy it, as it got slammed on amazon. But that got me thinking, since I need to replace my router (Airnet AERO14) too. Maybe I should kill two birds with one stone:

    1.) Should I get a combo Router/Modem? What are the pros/cons?

    2.) If a combo does work, do you guys have any recommendations? I was looking at this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DSL-2540B-4-Port-Ethernet-Router/dp/B000O0XW7E/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
    But I'm all for anything that's cheaper, and people have been talking on that router's review pages like it has a problem with ATT (my provider).

    If you guys need any more pertinent information that will help me, let me know. The maximum budget I'm working with here is 70 bucks.
    I'm on Windows XP w/Service Pack 3.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'm not a fan of combo units myself. I'm somewhat surprised that AT&T doesn't provide a box that is capable of keeping up with the service they're selling you! I'd press them for a decent modem first. That modem claims to support 8000 kbps down / 800 kbps up in the specifications, FWIW.
     
  3. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    It probably does, but it's been used for so long it's slipping.

    Wait, are you talking my current modem (Speedstream 5360) or the one I'm looking at?

    If it was the 5360, then I'm getting the feeling ATT doesn't really cover modem replacement when there's nothing technically wrong with it.

    Edit: Wait, I looked around and you seem to be right. The modem is supposed to support 10 Mbps. I'll have to call about this sometime tomorrow.

    But in case there's nothing I can do to get a decent modem shipped back from ATT, I'd still appreciate suggestions on the router/modem combo.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Terry Moderator

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    The only pro I can think of is that the initial cost will probably be less than for an equivalent modem and router separately. If you are limited to $70 and buying new a combo is probably all you will be able to find at this time.

    The cons include that when one part breaks the other part will likely be unusable and if some day you get another service, say cable, the entire unit becomes obsolete (for you), not just the modem.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I also like separates because it makes it easier to debug the connection.
     
  6. axeman61

    axeman61 Thread Starter

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    I would go with separates as well if I had the cash for it.

    However, my modem is so old and my router so crappy that I'm betting even routers or modems from a few years ago would work out. Is it even possible to get a good separate router and modem combo for under $70? If the answer is "of course, yes," then are there any good combinations you guys would recommend?
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I don't know much about the combo units, but I doubt you'll get a modem and a separate router for $70.
     
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