10 Best DSL Modem Router Combo in 2020

Are you slowly seeing your money going down the drain because you’re throwing away over a hundred dollars every year on something that's not even the best DSL modem out there?

Is your modem and router rental from your ISP inadequate to handle your internet needs?

Don’t worry; you’re in the same boat as many other people. This is why we want to bring your attention to the best DSL modem router combo you can get this year

Do you want to simplify your network at home? Then the top 10 best DSL Modem Router Combo reviewed here can help. With the combo package, it takes the need of using a modem and router separately away and brings it into one device. 

So if you are a first-time buyer, spend money on one unique device instead of buying two separate ones.

10 Best DSL Modem Router Combo in 2020 | Complete Guide

1.  D-Link DSL-520B N300 DSL Modem Router

Though pretty much all of D-Link’s DSL routers are compatible with CenturyLink Internet, the D-Link DSL-520B is an excellent value at its current price.

Considering that this modem is used with an Internet protocol from the ’90s, it will only be as fast as your plan can provide for. This unit has an N300 router, which provides service to a medium-sized dwelling at most. It is easy to set up and manage thanks to a fairly simple UI.

The DSL-520B has a single DSL port and a single LAN port on its rear. It has an LED array on the front to help troubleshoot the different functions of this unit. All in all, it is a good pick if you are looking for a compact budget solution for DSL networking.

2. Zoom Telephonics ADSL Modem Router 5790

Zoom Telephonics is another reliable networking company that provides networking equipment on a budget. The Zoom 5790 modem/router is available to CenturyLink customers on an ADSL network for a serious budget price.

This is not compatible with faster VDSL connections, even though its N300 router would perform adequately on either connection. It provides a solid wireless range, but its speed is inhibited by the limitations of this older DSL technology.

With four ethernet ports (non-gigabit, unfortunately), an included DSL line filter, and standard firewall technology, you should have a pretty solid idea of what this gateway offers without too much elaboration.

For a CenturyLink modem, this is about as basic as they come. But with an appealingly low price, it is a solid option for anybody stuck in a more dated CenturyLink market.

3. Netgear Nighthawk D7000-100NAS Modem Router

The Nighthawk series is Netgear’s fastest and most angular. Their D7000-100NAS represents the top of the line performance you can expect from a compatible CenturyLink modem router combo.

Though this device is not on the CenturyLink approved list, it has been confirmed by many users to work fine on even the fastest CenturyLink networks. Just make sure that your service isn’t on a bonded VDSL line.

This router supports VDSL2 while remaining backward compatible with ADSL2/2+ service. Its dual-band AC1900 wireless speeds far exceed the possible transfer speeds of either protocol, though, so there is no need to worry about performance with this behemoth.

Netgear’s proprietary Beamforming+ technology also helps deliver the best wireless coverage throughout your home.

If you can look past the Nighthawk D7000’s hefty price tag, you will be able to set aside any worries about wireless speed or coverage. And if you use the Internet as much as I do, it is well worth the cost.

4. ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway

This vertical-standing VDSL (and ADSL2+) modem/router is an N300 wifi device, that lets multiple users connect wirelessly, along with 4 Ethernet users.

You can also set up basic website filtering, and again, some basic access scheduling, should you want to limit internet access.

The C1100Z also has TR-069 Remote Management support, enabling CenturyLink to remotely access the modem should you run into any difficulties. TR-069, also known as the CPE WAN (CWMP) Management Protocol, was created by the Broadband Forum, and works by allowing the modem (CPE) and ISP (ACS) to communicate with each other.

5. Motorola MD1600 Modem Router

The Motorola MD1600 Modem Router is a surprisingly modern modem-router combo that gets the most out of CenturyLink’s aged DSL infrastructure.

This unit combines an ADSL2+/VDSL modem with an AC1600 router to make for a fairly robust networking center that should meet the needs of most users. It is incredibly easy to set up thanks to Motorola’ Setup Wizard software. Let me just say that it is a rare treat for a piece of networking equipment to come with some decent software.

Just note that this device, like most on this list, do not support bonded DSL connections. It only has a single DSl input port and will need an adapter if you wish to connect a phone line to the same gateway. It has four ethernet ports out, a WAN out port to connect to a wireless bridge, and a USB 2.0 port to connect a network-attached storage device.

Its dual-band wireless signal is solid and can easily extend to all corners of a medium-sized home. Power users have access to advanced features like guest networks, port forwarding, VPN support, and QoS.

On top of all this, it is fairly compact and decently priced. If you are looking for a modem-router that will max out your rural DSL connection, then this is a great pick.

6. Linksys X2000 Wireless Modem Router

You may have noticed by now, but if you have the misfortune of being stuck with an ADSL2+ Internet connection, your wireless gateway’s range is far more important than its speed.

This is because your service acts as a bottleneck, hence why those who live in smaller homes might prefer the Linksys X2000 over our slightly more robust suggestions from Netgear.

This modem/router combo delivers more middle of the road wireless range, and can easily be found for under $100.

The X2000 has a built-in N300 router, which is on par with what a majority of ISPs will provide you as rental gear. Its range is nicely boosted thanks to an embedded MIMO antenna.

The modem portion of this device isn’t compatible with VDSL, so speed won’t be much of a concern. After all, ADSL services max out at 24 Mbps, well before your router will have to break a sweat.

Wired connections will be on the slower side as well, as the X2000’s three ethernet ports are fast ethernet rather than gigabit.

This gateway does not have a USB port either, so don’t count on being able to easily network a hard drive.

Ultimately, the most appealing element of this modem/router is its price tag. Its feature set still offers plenty for the casual user, so despite not having some more premium features, the X2000 is still a worthy pick.

7. TRENDnet TEW-816DRM AC750 Modem Router

TRENDnet’s TEW-722BRM modem/router is a fairly straightforward take on an ADSL2+ gateway that gets the job done for cheap.

This device is both a modem for mid-to-low tier CenturyLink connections and an AC750 router that can support a standard sized home.

Its wireless network is protected with multiple different encryption options. Standard features like a guest network and parental controls are available as well.

Setup is fairly easy when you follow the guided setup process, and adding new devices to your network is easy thanks to the included WPS button.

The TEW-816DRM has four ethernet ports, but they are not gigabit speed. It does not have any USB ports.

These shortcomings might frustrate users with advanced network setups, but for the price, there is little to complain about.

This unit even has some nice premium features like Dynamic DNS support and energy-saving GREENnet technology. When it comes down to it, this device proves that you can get some impressive performance out of a $70 wireless gateway.

8. TP-Link Archer AX6000 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router

As TP-Link’s first Wi-Fi 6 router, the Archer AX6000 makes an immediate impact. Beamforming and “Rangeboost” technologies help its eight external antennas deliver strong long-range signals. With 802.11ax operating on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands (802.11ac only operates on 5 GHz), this next-generation router supports speeds of 4,804Mbps at 5GHz and 1,148Mbps at 2.4GHz for a combined total of 6Gbps of throughput.

With many households now filled with multiple phones, tablets, 4K video streaming, and smart-home devices competing for download and upload capacity, Wi-Fi improvements need to be about more than range and speed.

The 802.11ax standard boasts four times greater capacity and performance, thanks to both uplink and downlink MU-MIMO working with OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division multiple access) technology to handle heavy wireless traffic much more efficiently.

The Archer AX6000 also has features aimed at the safety and security of all these gadgets and their users, such as adaptive antivirus, parental control profiles for groups of devices, and custom levels of active content filtering.

9. Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router

To the average person, routers are undeniably confusing. Between their multiple antennas, bands and inputs, they can be incredibly frustrating to set up.

So we’re pleased to recommend the Nighthawk X6 as not only one of our favorite long-range routers but one of the easiest to set up as well. With its tri-band technology plus beamforming, it smartly assigns each one of your devices to an optimal Wi-Fi band, ensuring they can connect at their max speed, up to 3.2Gbps.

As for its simple set-up? Our testing showed us that the Netgear genie app makes installation a snap. It supports a single sign-on (SSO) feature that lets you use one login for all of your Netgear accounts and also enables you to monitor, connect, and control your home network remotely from your iOS or Android phone.

 On top of that, it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can control your home network via voice commands

10. CenturyLink ActionTec GT784WN Modem Router

ActionTec’s CenturyLink-branded GT784WN 2-in-1 modem router sets the bar for compatibility. This modem-router also provides an impressive list of extra features to further entice.

Despite its generic and boxy look, this wireless gateway is loaded with plenty of useful ports. It has both a DSL and phone port built right in, eliminating the need for an in-line DSL filter.

It is compatible with all versions of ADSL from the original protocol up to ADSL2+. It is not compatible with VDSL services,

Connecting new devices to your network can be as easy as the push of a button thanks to a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button.

The GT784WN has four ethernet ports for wired connections. It is capable of handling more data transfer than CenturyLink Internet is capable of. It will easily reach the max ADSL2+ download speed of 24 Mbps.

It works with higher Internet speeds as well, but you simply won’t get them on a conventional DSL network.

Remember, there is no shame in buying a wireless range extender with your modem/router, especially considering how few solid options exist for the outdated DSL service.

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.

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.

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