How to Configure DSL Modems

It's not too difficult to configure DSL modems if you know the specifics of your service and have the right modem. On the flip side, connecting a DSL modem to a router can be an entirely different beast, so make sure you follow instructions carefully.

Know what kind of DSL you have, and find the right modem.
When you connect via DSL, you have two possible DSL options: ADSL, which is short for asymmetrical DSL, or SDSL, which stands for symmetrical DSL. ADSL provides faster download speeds and slower upload speeds, while SDSL provides the same connection speed both ways.

Make sure you get the right DSL modem for your connection type. Also keep in mind whether or not you want to configure DSL modems to computers via Ethernet or USB, and shop for a modem with the necessary connections. Many DSL providers sell or lease modems to subscribers, so consult your DSL provider to determine whether or not you need to buy a modem.

Use the phone filters on all lines.
When you configure DSL modems and use a DSL connection, you're using the same jacks as your phone line, but only some of the frequencies. Because of this, you need to install phone filters on all of your active phone lines; not just the lines connected to your DSL modem. If you don't use the phone filters on voice lines, you may experience problems using the phone.

Plug in the DSL modem, and follow your provider's instructions.
When you plug in the DSL modem for the first time, be sure that you have the right software from your provider. Most DSL providers issue discs with installation software to help you configure your modem. Follow the instructions with this software to configure your modem properly, and consult your DSL provider if you don't have the software you need or if you're having technical setup issues.

Connect your DSL modem directly to your computer.
Even if you plan to use your DSL modem with a router, connect it directly to your computer when you install it. Once you have an active connection on your computer and you know your service is working, you can follow the router manufacturer's instructions for installing a cable DSL modem.

It's important to establish the modem's connection with the computer first because most router installation discs search your computer for information about the connection in order to configure the router. If you skip this step, you'll have to configure the connection manually, and you may be in for a world of DSL issues.

Not all routers are alike when it comes to DSL service.
Unfortunately, not all routers are equally easy to set up with DSL service. Some Linksys routers, for example, require you to change the settings on your DSL modem firmware or follow other arcane installation instructions. Netgear seems to have routers that are easy to use with DSL, so consider using a Netgear router with your DSL setup. When you configure DSL modems, if you're having DSL issues with a specific router, consult your DSL provider for setup instructions, or try a different router.

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