Best ADSL Wireless Modem: How to Choose?

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When choosing a wireless ADSL modem, consider the supported wireless standards and network cards. Gamers should look for Quality of Service (QoS), while VOIP users may prefer a VOIP modem. Multiple protocol support is useful for older computers. QoS can improve data flow for games and VOIP. A built-in telephone adapter can be useful for VOIP users. ADSL2 support future-proofs the investment. Prices vary but a quality modem can be purchased for around $100 USD or less.

To choose the best wireless ADSL modem you should consider the wireless standards it supports along with the standards of the network cards already installed in the computers that are to be part of the network. Gamers might look for a feature called Quality of Service (QoS) when choosing an ADSL wireless modem, and Voice Over IP (VOIP) users might prefer a VOIP modem.

Wireless communications are standardized so that manufacturers can build interoperable hardware. In this application, the wireless modem must communicate with the wireless network cards installed in the computers that are to be part of the network. They must speak the same language, or protocol. Wireless standards are designated as 802.11 with a letter following to indicate the exact protocol, such as 802.11g or 802.11n.

If you’re building a network from scratch, buying both the machines and the wireless ADSL modem at the same time, it’s easy to make sure that all the hardware supports the same 802.11 standard. In this case it will not be necessary for the modem to support the older protocols.

In most cases, however, a wireless modem is added retrospectively and the computers to be connected are of varying ages. Some internal wireless adapters may support an older wireless protocol, while others may support a newer protocol. To choose the best ADSL wireless modem, you can opt for a model that supports multiple wireless protocols. This will avoid the added expense of having to upgrade older network cards, which can be prohibitively expensive in larger networks.

For a home network that only has a few computers to take on board, you may want to purchase upgraded network adapters for older machines, then purchase a wireless modem that only supports the newer protocol. Network adapters are available as USB dongles and are also made for the ExpressCard® expansion slot found on most laptops.
Gamers can choose the best ADSL wireless modem by looking for a feature called QoS. Quality of Service prioritizes certain types of data or specific applications to prevent delays and improve data flow. This should make the game run smoother. VOIP users (eg Skype®’ers) can also benefit from QoS, although some modems go a step further to accommodate VOIP services.
For those who use VOIP services extensively, you can choose the best ADSL wireless modem by choosing a model that separates VOIP administration and incorporates a built-in telephone adapter. Plug in a handset and your VOIP calls will ring on your ADSL connected phone, (assuming you have an active internet connection).
To access the wireless modem settings and options, you use a browser and call up the modem by its assigned network or IP address. From the modem menus you can name the network, set a password and enable encryption. Many other settings are also available, such as opening specific ports for games or remote desktop applications. A built-in firewall is usually standard to prevent unwanted internet traffic from entering your network.
ADSL2 is a faster and newer version of ADSL. To future-proof your investment, it may be wise to purchase an ADSL modem that also supports ADSL2. Prices vary widely, but a quality ADSL/ADSL2 wireless modem with QoS and a built-in VOIP phone adapter can be purchased for around $100 US Dollars (USD) or less.

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