Although most phone and internet companies provide modems of their own, you still have to pay for its purchase and maintenance, not to mention the additional costs of it having to get serviced every once in a while. If you’re smart, however, you can definitely invest in a DSL modem of your own, one that is preferably better than what your local internet provider will set up for you as part of your contract.

You can nowadays find a good DSL modem at a reasonable price if you go looking, or a quite ingenious one if you have the budget for it. Most of the people who buy DSL modems do so in order to replace defective units they already have, but you can also buy one to increase your internet connection’s speed and reliability. Like we said, most ISP give you the option to lease a modem, yet those devices aren’t exactly high-end by any means.

As long as you take the time to figure out what characteristics best describe a quality DSL modem, you can expect your browsing speed to double if your unit is properly configured. Even though it still largely depends on your ISP’s infrastructure and the package you signed up for, it definitely couldn’t hurt to at least have a DSL modem you can rely on. To help you in that regard, we put together a list of the ten best DSL modems the market has to offer for you to look at.

Best DSL Modems – Reviews

10ZOOM 5790-00-00AG

With the high-performance ZOOM 5790-00-00AG modem router combo, you get to enjoy optimized ADSL download/upload speeds and a reliable internet traffic. This device delivers top-speed access to various systems, among them laptops and e-readers. It also comes integrated with network safeguards like a reliable firewall, and utilizes the WDS (Wireless Distribution System) to work with wireless repeaters. Moreover, ZOOM 5790-00-00AG works with wireless N-technology as well as Broadcom ADSL systems. Not only that but it is compatible with most of the popular ADSL systems today.

9Zoom Telephonics 5363 AC1900

The Zoom’s Telephonic 5363 might not be the best-looking modem or router model, but it provides a lot greater performance than most other models out there. Designed to support 13,000 Mbps data, this internet device also integrates Broadcom TurboQAM technology plus a dual-band system to allow operation on 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz bandwidths. It might not be the most popular either, but going by its performance power and efficiency, it is definitely one of the best options, what with it boasting a dual-band capability.


For a high-value modem-router combo, you can trust the NETGEAR AC1200. Designed to sit upright and work with any ADSL providers, this device integrates Beamforming technology for boosting internet connection speeds while providing a lot of reliability, range. Further, it has a good performance USB port for use with shared USB hard-drives, and also an innovative QoS system for providing smoother online streaming and gaming experience and stronger wireless accessibility.

7TP-Link TC-W7960

With the TC-W7960, you can save yourself the costly monthly internet rental fee and get reliable Wi-Fi internet of the highest standard. It is a high-quality cable modem that doubles as a router, eliminating the need for an IPS rental modem while supplying powerful home Wi-Fi. The TP-Link’s TC-W7960 is very simple to set up, while its 8 by 4 channel bonding capability keeps your internet connections so reliable in speed and strength, allowing you to watch movies game and also download files at a consistent speed.

6Motorola SBG6782-AC SURFboard eXtreme

With 4 functional Ethernet ports and a convenient WPS button for quick, reliable hardwire and also wireless systems connections, the SURFboard eXtreme offers an incredibly strong transmission range. It is also backward compatible, making it suitable for use with older generation wireless systems. Moreover, it features a great MoCA networking port—Ethernet Networking over Coaxial Cable—to ensure even greater utility and also integrates Beamforming technology for focusing the signal to other devices, delivering optimal internet connection efficiency.

5Actiontec 300 Mbps GT784WN

The GT784WN by Actiontec is a wireless performance modem router combo to reckon. A 3-in-1 product, it is a full rate ADSL 2/2+ modem, 300Mbps wireless-N router with dual antenna, and a 4-port switch. Designed to work with all established DSL service providers, it auto-detects particular settings to allow users of any technical level to enjoy easy and fast setup. A rigorously tested product, this device delivers the highest performance and compatibility levels and comes with various cyber protection and encryption features.


Made by NETGEAR, the CM500-1AZNAS is a simple modem router combo system yet it offers powerful speed and great internet capability. It works with any major internet provider and features a functional USB port to support sharing your hard drive with your other systems. This combo unit utilizes a Netgear Genie system for greater efficiency and easy installation to your office or home network. Integrating a DOCSIS 3.0 technology, it can operate consistently up to 8 times faster relative to normal internet download speeds.

3NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 AC1900

For a device that guarantees you a more reliable internet speed and functionality, you can consider the Netgear Nighthawk C7000 as one of the very best. Although only compatible with the Comcast platform, this is the only modem router combo model that sets up on the powerful 24 x 4 channel bonding. Nighthawk C7000 also has 4 ethernet ports featuring gigabyte capacity for allowing you to hardwire various types of equipment as required. It is indeed one of the best, fastest modems you can get today for a quicker and stronger internet connectivity.

2ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580

The ARRIS Surfboard SBG6580 N300 is among the best DSL modems the market has to offer at this point in time. Compatible with any major internet providers, this high-performance device offers incredibly high internet connectivity speed. It is a reliable and versatile unit that features 4 functional Ethernet ports for easy hard-wiring. Moreover, it is designed to allow a fast WPS setup and boasts a stylish look casing. The ports and push buttons are also easily accessible, which is definitely something to look for in a modem of any kind.

1NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300

No other DSL modem operates at the high standards of NETGEAR C3000-100NAS N300, not in regards to speed or reliability. Offering power and speed in plenty, this bestselling modem/router combo can be used with any major cable network providers with no limitations whatsoever. It is a versatile and easy setup system that uses push-button connections and features 2 ethernet ports and one USB port for you to employ. Not only that but it is also a lot more affordable than most modems of a similar standard.

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A Guide To DSL Modems

Anyone who uses a DSL service for their Internet has two distinct options when it comes to modems. They can either use the one that they lease from their ISP, or they can purchase a different one altogether. Although many of the models provided by DSL ISPs are sufficient for uploading and downloading files, surfing the web, and jumping on social media, they often lack the power and efficiency provided by third-party modems. And if the consumer tries to configure their ISP’s modem to draw out more power, then most likely, they’re simply out of luck. Which is why most people will want to buy a different modem than the one they’re given by their Internet provider.

Finding the best DSL modem isn’t very easy to do, especially if a person doesn’t have a lot of technical skill. Even though we listed ten of the best modems available up above, not everyone will know which one of them might be right for them. To solve that problem, we went ahead and wrote this guide, so know everyone can buy one of these devices with confidence. In this article, we’re going to start with the reasons why a person should buy a new DSL modem, and then we’re going to find out how to buy the best one available.

Why Buy A DSL Modem?

If most people look at their Internet bill, they’ll most likely see that they’re paying anywhere from $5 to $10 a month (or in some instances, even more) renting a model from their DSL service provider. That’s the price of a fast-food meal and a cup of coffee. And they’ll continue to pay that, month after month, even if they have it for years. That means that DSL providers could be potentially making hundreds upon hundreds of dollars they’re leasing to the consumer. And we find that to be completely unacceptable.

After all, aren’t people already paying enough for DSL service? Why should they pay additional fees like a modem lease? Instead of paying the average cost of what the ISP is going to charge them for a DSL Modem (which is north of $500 on average), the consumer can simply purchase their modem. Sure, consumers will have to pay more money upfront then they will with a modem lease, but they’ll save hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Saving money isn’t the only reason to buy a new DSL modem, however. There are other reasons for the consumer to replace their DSL’s modem with a new one. A big reason is that many of the modems provide by ISP service providers are running out-of-date firmware, especially if the consumer has had the service for a couple of years. And what makes it even worse, many of these Internet service providers modify their leased modems in a way that prevents the consumer from upgrading the firmware. Some of them even go as far as to prevent the consumer from using the modem’s Web-based user-interface to make significant changes to how the modem operates, and this can prevent the consumer from improving their Internet speed or at least their connection’s latency.

How Do DSL Modems Operate?

Before we discuss how to buy the best DSL modem available, we would like to give everyone a brief explanation of how DSL Internet works and how these modems link up to these systems. Although people who are already familiar with the operation of their service will probably want to skip to the next section, consumers who are unfamiliar with DSL Internet might want to take a few moments to follow along with us. DSL Internet service works over the same phone lines that are used by landlines–they just use the unused frequency spectrum that’s not used by the telephone. That allows the ISP to offer Internet speeds of up to 10 Mbps, although some DSL services offer speeds up to 45 Mbps. DSL modems simply communicate over the line the way that older dial-up modems did, except different parts of the wire. However, since the copper wire of the telephone line has a limited distance, most consumers have to be in a certain range of their ISP substation for it to operate as advertised. And as the distance away from the substation increases, the speed of the consumer’s DSL service can decrease.

Buying A New DSL Modem

Now that we’ve taken care of why a person should buy a different DSL modem then what their ISP provides and have given a brief overview of how DSL modems work, it’s now time to turn our attention to informing consumers how to purchase the best DSL modem possible. Below are some tips that will help the consumer achieve that aim.

Check With Your ISP Provider

Before purchasing a DSL modem, the consumer should take the time to find out the rules and regulations set down by their Internet Service Provider to make sure that they’re capable of replacing their leased modem. Although most of the major providers will allow consumers to buy their modem, that might not be the case with smaller DSL companies, so it’s always good to check. It’s also a good idea to check the ISP’s list of approved or recommended models to make sure the new modem is compatible with their service. All of the major service providers provide that information on their website for the consumer to see.

Check The Modem’s Compatibility

The one thing that many consumers don’t realize is that not all DSL service providers provide the same “type” of DSL. There are different standards, and certain DSL modems will only work with certain standards. To figure out which DSL standard their ISP uses, they can simply check the provider’s website or even call them. As a general rule, most business DSL lines use either a VDSL or SDSL DSL standard, while consumer lines use either an ADSL, ADSL2 or even a new ADSL 2+ standard. Since most DSL modems are backward compatible with older DSL standards, consumers may want to consider buying a modem that supports a new standard so that when their ISP upgrades their service they’ll be ready for the change.

Some Final Things To Consider

The above points are a good starting point that gets consumers on the road to buying the best DSL modem available, but it’s only a start. The consumer does have a few other things to consider before they buy one, and we’ve listed some of those other points below.

Other DSL Modem Considerations:

  • Speed
  • Number of ports
  • Ease of Use
  • WiFi settings