New modem. Any recomendations?

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
Post Reply
rmorgen
Forum Member
Forum Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:58 am

New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by rmorgen » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:54 am

I have an iMac late 2009 version, 10.7.4. My modem is an Action Tec. DSL Gateway GT701. It's about 6 years old and drops off the line way to often. CenturyLink said to replace it with theirs which is also an Actiontec. any ideas or recommendations?

User avatar
Stephen Hart
Forum Member - Level 5
Forum Member - Level 5
Posts: 3140
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:09 am

Re: New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:22 am

The one I have is a ZyXEL PK5000Z. It's Qwest labeled. It's been excellent as a DSL modem and has excellent wifi as well. The web interface is easy to use. I also replaced an aging ActionTec.
We're literally on the end of the copper phone pairs, so we probably have some of the weakest DSL in the county.

Note, however, that if you are losing the DSL signal frequently, you may have a wiring problem. This happened to us recently: some nearly 30-year-old phone cable, from the company's box outside the house just through the wall developed an intermittent short. CenturyLink will send a tech out to check that for you, though if the tech comes inside to try to find an inside problem, they're supposed to charge you for it.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

User avatar
Richard Serkes
Forum Member - Level 5
Forum Member - Level 5
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:21 pm
Location: Port Angeles, WA

Re: New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by Richard Serkes » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:11 pm

You can buy and use any DSL modem you want to but CenturyLink doesn't have to support it. Considering how many manufacturers there are and with each manufacturer making multiple models you can understand why CenturyLink can't possibly keep up. However, if you buy and use the modem CenturyLink sells, their techies will be able to trouble shoot any modem problems. It makes things a lot easier on you if you use the modem they sell and if you do an I'Net search you'll find that the CenturyLink price is comparable to most. You don't have to buy from them but you probably won't save much by buying from someone else.

Stephen's right about the wiring situation. CenturyLink is responsible for the wiring to and including the junction box but from the junction box to and through your house is your problem. Older homes can have wiring issues. When I set up my DSL service the standard service call fee was $85. That was a few years ago so I wouldn't be surprised if the cost is over $100 these days. But if you have a service policy with CenturyLink everything is covered including interior wiring. If you have a problem they come to your house and fix it at no additional cost to you. I think that policy is less than $10/month which is a lot less than even one service call. If you think you're going to need your house's wiring dealt with then you could sign up for the service policy and when things are working to your satisfaction you could cancel the policy.
---
Always burn your bridges. You never know who's coming up from behind.

User avatar
Stephen Hart
Forum Member - Level 5
Forum Member - Level 5
Posts: 3140
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:09 am

Re: New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:01 pm

The tech who discovered the short in our wiring did come inside to figure out where the short was, and didn't charge me. He could have, though.
Normally a short would be in the box in the wall behind a jack somewhere, not in the middle of a cable run. He disconnected everything inside the house and was puzzled about why that didn't fix the issue.

In the case of the short we had, there must have been a pinch point in the 3 or so feet of cable between the exterior box and the interior one. The tech was able to switch to the other pair of wires (your whole DSL and phone service only requires two very thin copper wires, cables have four or six [or more in commercial settings]). Once I knew what was going on, I replaced the stretch between the inside box and the outside box with two separate new cables.

He said he advises everyone to disconnect all the interior wiring you can and just use one jack for DSL and plug a cordless phone into the DSL modem. Most houses have a junction box where the service comes in, and you can disconnect most of the interior wiring there.

The techs generally won't do anything but string a new cable along the outside of the house between the service entrance and the room you want the jack in. They just drill holes through the exterior walls.

I built my house, and I wired it with lots of phone jacks, but that was back in the day before cordless phones. Now I have all but the DSL jack disconnected. And the DSL jack has two heavy-duty cables running to it from the service entrance.

Of course, shorts and bad connections can occur at any point between the central station and your house. That can be dozens of boxes that need to be checked. All of that is CenturyLink's business.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

User avatar
Ray Bentsen
Administrator
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:22 pm
Location: Sequim, WA

Re: New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by Ray Bentsen » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:41 pm

In reply to the original question, I replaced my old Actiontec with the newer Actiontec PK5000, and have had no issues.
An old Norse adage: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

User avatar
Richard Serkes
Forum Member - Level 5
Forum Member - Level 5
Posts: 1027
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:21 pm
Location: Port Angeles, WA

Re: New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by Richard Serkes » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:52 pm

I'm still using the original Actiontec M1000 I got when I first signed up for DSL and it's never given me any trouble. But because of its age I doubt that it's still being manufactured.
---
Always burn your bridges. You never know who's coming up from behind.

rmorgen
Forum Member
Forum Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:58 am

Re: New modem. Any recomendations?

Post by rmorgen » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:33 am

Thanks for the help. I think I will go with Centurylink's modem.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests