Best ADSL Routers – 2021 Guide

Austin
| Last Updated: February 8, 2021

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Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line or ADSL is one way to get high-speed internet access. It uses copper telephone lines to receive and send data, but just because it uses a phone line, doesn’t mean it performs the same as dial-up.

A good ADSL router makes all the difference in how the wireless connection performs.

Our Top Picks for Best ADSL Routers

  • Fast data transfers
  • Management app
  • Wide coverage
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  • Versatile router
  • Safe, secure
  • Easy to use
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  • Best for the Money
  • Safe, secure
  • Fast ports
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Comparison of the Best ADSL Routers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Up to 1750Mbps data transfer rate
  • TP-Link tether app included for easy WiFi Management
  • 3 WiFi antennas included to improve coverage
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  • WiFi and wired connection options available
  • Makes use of Tkip and AES wireless security methods
  • High grade firewall and auto-detect services
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  • Best for the Money
  • WPA and WPA security frequencies used
  • Fast USB 2.0 communication ports included
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  • WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security protocols used
  • Up to 1900 Mbps data transfer rates
  • Up to 3 WiFi antennas included to improve coverage
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  • 5 x DBi high gain antennas included for better coverage
  • 300Mbps wireless N speeds
  • A firewall is built-in to improve security options
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What is an ADSL Router?

An ADSL router has multiple components that direct traffic through the network, making sure that all the signals get where they’re supposed to go. ADSL internet speed is not as fast as cable internet, but it’s suitable for streaming, downloading large files, and some gaming.

What is a Dual Band ADSL Modem Router?

A dual band router transmits in two different frequencies, essentially giving you two wifi networks. Some only work on one wifi network at a time, while others allow you to choose between one and the other on your connected device.

What is ADSL2?

ADSL2 is an enhancement to ADSL technology that provides higher speeds. The maximum speed for an ADSL connection is 8 Mbps; for ADSL2, it’s 24 Mbps.

Are All ADSL Routers The Same?

No. Some have ADSL only, some ADSL2. Some are dual-band, some are not. They also have varying levels of security built-in. More advanced versions can also be used with Alexa and controlled via smartphone apps, whereas others are pretty basic.

Generally, there’s an ADSL router for anyone, you just have to know what features you want and how much you’re willing to spend. Whether you want something bare-bones and simple or something that integrates with the latest technology, there’s an ADSL router for you.

What is an ADSL Router Used For?

An ADSL wireless modem router can be used for a lot of things. It creates a local area network that allows devices to share with one another in small areas, like a home or an office. Here are some specific uses for an ADSL router:

In the Office

You can use an ADSL in the office, but these features also come in handy at home. An ADSL router allows all devices in the network to wirelessly connect to a central printer and lets one user share files directly with others.

At Home

ADSL routers let everyone in your home connect their devices to wifi, making it easy to stream video, listen to music, and share files.

Security

ADSL routers also up the security of your internet connection. They allow multiple recognized devices to share a secure connection while preventing unrecognized users from getting into the network. Some also have firewalls to protect against hackers as well as strong WPA encryption to protect data. ADSL routers may also have parental controls so you can stop children from getting onto websites they’re not supposed to be on.

Quick Take - Best ADSL Routers

Just looking for the three best ADSL routers? Here they are:

  1. TP Link AC1750
  2. Actiontec GT784WN
  3. Netgear D6200-100NAS

Review of the Best ADSL Routers

If you use DSL internet in your home or business and are in the market for an ADSL router, you’re in the right place. Here are a few of our favorite products.

Best Overall:
TP Link AC1750

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control, QoS

PROS

  • 3 external antennas for long-range wifi
  • Works with Alexa and other wifi devices
  • JD Power Award in customer satisfaction
  • 2-year warranty and free 24/7 tech support
  • Fast speeds ideal for 4K streaming and gaming

CONS

  • Glitchy software
  • Wifi cuts out occasionally

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers are very happy with this product. Installation seems to be pretty simple, and those who had trouble mentioned that tech support was extremely helpful. Users report that the connection is fast, but that it can be unreliable at times.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One reason this router stands out to us is the three high-gain antennas. They’re one of the first things you notice when you first look at the router, and you’ll love the difference they make. You get up to 2,500 square feet of wifi coverage, which means you have wireless internet access in your living room, backyard, and any other room of your house.

The powerful CPU meets the demands of multiple devices, and the fast speed ensures smooth gaming and video streaming. With parental controls, guest access, and wireless encryption, this router also keeps your family and your information safe and secure.

Bottom Line

It’s easy to see while this is our pick for the best overall router. The coverage area, speed, and power provide everyone in your home the wifi they need, and the router is set up to help your connection stay secure.

Actiontec 300 Mbps Wireless-N ADSL Modem Router (GT784WN)

PROS

  • Tested on all major DSL providers
  • Supports older and newer devices
  • Preconfigured for simple setup and auto-detects service settings
  • Compatible with ADSL CenturyLink and major DSL service providers
  • Includes high-grade firewall, parental controls, and a variety of encryptions for safety

CONS

  • Poor instructions
  • Reports of product arriving with damage

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have split reviews. Some rave about this router, saying it does exactly what it says it’s going to and that they were impressed with the ease of setup. Others complained that it arrived appearing to have already been used or didn’t work at all.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like that this router is easy to set up. Some users mentioned that the instructions weren’t very good, but the setup guide was more than enough to get most people up and running. The AutoDetect wizard makes things easy, too.

This router has excellent speeds and we were impressed with the safety precautions. WPA and WPA2 encryption, content filtering, a robust firewall, and hacking protection are all included. You can use this router with old and new tech, too.

Another thing we liked is that it was tested on all major DSL providers, which makes it less likely that you’ll have a hard time getting it up and running.

Bottom Line

If you use DSL internet, this router is a great choice. While some people have some issues with quality and installation, most people were happy with this router’s performance and impressed by its safety features.

Best for the Money:
Netgear D6200-100NAS

NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi DSL (Non-Cable) Modem Router 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit (D6200)

PROS

  • Wifi router and modem in one
  • Ideal for HD streaming and gaming
  • WPA and WPA2 for high-level security
  • Boosts speed, reliability, and range of wifi
  • USB 2.0 port to share and access HD drives

CONS

  • Poor instructions
  • Range isn’t as big as expected

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviews on this router are mixed. Some people had no problem getting it set up and felt the performance was great. Others reported that it arrived with no instructions and that setup was tricky, even with the help of tech support.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main thing that stood out about this router is that it’s a modem, too. It’s dual-band, so it allows HD streaming and gaming and is great for larger families with multiple devices connected to the wifi.

We also like that it’s compatible with older and newer devices. Not everyone updates to the latest tech regularly, so it’s nice to know that this router is backward compatible.

Again, note that this router is only compatible with DSL internet, not cable. If you’re not sure what kind of connection you have, contact your internet provider to be sure it will work with this device. We know we said that before, but it’s an important distinction to make.

Bottom Line

This router is a great choice if you have a DSL connection. Dual-band speeds make it ideal for streaming and households with a lot of devices. WPA and WPA2 provide excellent security, too.

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 VDSL/ADSL Modem Router Certified with CenturyLink - Non-bonded, DSL Internet Only (D7000)

PROS

  • Works with Netgear Genie App
  • Auto-detection wizard for easy setup
  • Functions as both a router and a modem
  • Dual-core processor boosts performance
  • Manage the network from a PC, smartphone, or tablet

CONS

  • Difficult setup
  • Poor technical support

What Recent Buyers Report

Some users report that this router works great and that, while the installation is a little tricky, it’s not impossible. They mention that connectivity is reliable and that this is a good option for people who are mostly interested in streaming. That said, it was not uncommon for people to have problems getting it set up.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What we like about this router is the improved range and reliability it provides. It uses external antennas and high-powered amplifiers to boost speed and connectivity. The dual-core processor makes it a great choice for streaming and gaming in households with multiple devices.

Another nice thing about this one is that it’s easy to manage with the Netgear Genie App. Use your PC, tablet, or smartphone to set parental controls, track data usage, and block access to devices outside of your home.

That’s not all, there are a built-in iTunes server and a super-speed USB port for you to stream your favorite songs and personal videos easily. You can also wirelessly access content from USB hard drives and wireless printers.

Bottom Line

This router has a lot of great features and creates a reliable and fast connection for homes with multiple devices. The Netgear Genie app makes controlling security settings and monitoring internet usage simple as can be.

Honorable Mention:
Netis DL4323

Netis DL4323 300Mbps High-Speed Wireless N ADSL2 and Modem Router Combo | 4-Port NAT Router and Wireless N Access Point with High Gain Antenna

PROS

  • Great for HD video streaming
  • Router, modem, and wireless N access point in one
  • Port mapping function for improved IPTV experience
  • One-step solution to sharing internet across many devices
  • Built-in firewall for increased security against internet attacks

CONS

  • Poor instruction manual
  • Poor tech support and customer service

What Recent Buyers Report

While some people were disappointed in the performance of this router, others appreciate it for what it is: an older, slower, extremely affordable router that works. DSL routers are a little hard to find, and this one is a great choice if you’re looking for something simple and affordable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The thing that stands out the most about this product is the price. It’s the most affordable option on our list, but that comes with a few caveats. First, this router is not going to be able to compete with those that are two, three, or even four times the price. Second, it’s not made to last forever.

We like that it includes a built-in firewall for increased security and that it enhances HD streaming. We wish installation was a little easier, though, and that tech support was a little more, well, supportive.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an ADSL router that will fit into any budget, this is the one for you. It’s not as fast or reliable as some of the more expensive options, but it’s a great option for the price.

Why Did These ADSL Routers Make Our List?

Here are the main things we considered when choosing ADSL routers for our list:

Security

Security is one of the main reasons for using a router in the first place, and a lot of the options we chose came with some pretty impressive features. Look for a router with strong firewalls to prevent people from getting into the network and good encryption to stop them from getting your data.

If you’re worried about parental controls and monitoring internet usage, routers can help with those things, too, and some even make it easy to do.

Easy to Install

Nothing is worse than investing in a new piece of tech and not being able to figure out how to use it. Some of these routers have autodetection to help get everything set up. You should also look for a brand that has good tech support, just in case you need some extra assistance.

Reliable Performance

Everyone knows how frustrating reliable internet is, so we looked for products that provided reliable connections. Some of them aren’t perfect but perform well considering the affordable price.

Compatible Technology

Some of these products are not set up to work with modern technology while others are optimized for Alexa, streaming, and iTunes. Whether or not you need this depends on the technology you use in your home.

TP Link AC1750

How Does an ADSL Router Compare?

If you’re still figuring out which ADSL router is right for you, take a look at some direct comparisons to help you make up your mind.

ADSL vs Broadband Router 

The biggest difference between an ADSEl and a broadband router is the type of internet connection each one works for. As mentioned, an ADSL router works with a DSL internet connection that travels through a copper phone wire. A broadband router works with broadband internet, which uses cables instead of phone lines. 

Broadband is generally faster than ADSL, depending on the connection. The biggest perk to ADSL over broadband is that, since the ADSL uses a phone line, it’s more universally available than broadband.

Wifi Router vs ADSL Router

A router is a device that facilitates communication between internet hook-up and other devices. As we mentioned, routers in general also add multiple layers of security. Firewalls help prevent people from getting in, encryption protects your data, and some even allow you to set parental controls and usage limits.

So, a router is a router. An ADSL router is a router that works with a DSL internet connection. A wifi router is any router that allows devices to wirelessly connect to the internet. Most ADSL routers are wifi routers, but wifi routers also work with cable and other types of internet connection.

ADSL vs ADSL2

ADSL2 is an improved version of ADSL. The biggest difference between the two is speed. ADSL can only reach speeds of 8 Mbps while ADSL2 can read 12 Mbps. ADSL2 also has a better range than ADSL and is more resistant to noise and other interference, which makes for a more reliable connection.

One of the best things about ADSL and ADSL2 is that ADSL2 is backward compatible with ADSL. That means that all ADSL2 equipment will work with an ADSL connection, which makes it easy to upgrade.

If you have ADSL2, be careful when choosing a router. Not all routers are compatible with ADSL2.

ADSL vs DSL

DSL is the name of any internet service provided through a telephone line and a modem. ADSL is a kind of DSL. Because ADSL is asymmetrical, meaning that the sending and receiving speeds are not guaranteed to be the same as each other, and they can change from time to time depending on the bandwidth provided by the provider.

ADSL vs VDSL

VDSL is another form of DSL. It stands for a very high bitrate digital subscriber line and is another improvement to ADSL. These two connections are implemented in very different ways, and in most cases, they cannot share equipment. The biggest difference between the two is that VDSL is much faster than ADSL. VDSL can reach speeds as fast as 52 Mbps compared to the 8 Mbps you get from ADSL.

The one downside to VDSL is that the further it gets away from the telephone exchange, the slower it becomes. If you don’t live close to the phone company that’s providing the VDSL, then you won’t be able to take advantage of the increased speed.

How to Install an ADSL Router

If you’re considering an ADSL router, you might be curious about installation. Note that every product is a little different and you should follow the instructions that came with your router. That said, here’s a general guide for how to do it.

How to Connect ADSL Router

1. Locate the DSL port on the back of the router and plug in the phone line.

2. Use an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to one of the LAN ports on the back of the router.

3. Look at the router’s display lights to make sure the power is on and that the SYS and DSL lights are blinking.

How to Connect DSL Router to ADSL Modem

Before you get started, the first thing you need to do is make sure the router and the modem are compatible. Remember, there are multiple types of DSL and they are not all compatible with ADSL.

1. Make sure that everything is turned off.

2. Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the modem and the other end into the router.

3. Connect the router to your computer using another Ethernet cord.

4. Turn everything on. Your computer should automatically pick up the router and install the software.

5. Launch your browser. Type the router’s address into the address bar and begin setup.

Conclusion

We hope this information helped you learn a little more about ADSL routers and how to choose the one that’s best for you. All of the products on our list are great, so think about what you need for your home and choose the one that works best for you.

Netgear D6200-100NAS

People Also Ask

If you still have questions, don’t worry, we’re here to help. These are some of the things that people wonder about the most when shopping for an ADSL router.

How Do I Know if My Router is DSL or ADSL?

The best way is to look at the documentation that came with the router. You may also be able to find this information on the box that the router came in or on the label on the router itself.

How Do I Check My ADSL Speed?

The best way to do this is to go to Speedtest.net and click the tab that says “begin test”. It will take a few seconds to ping the server and give you the information. Speedtest.net will tell you the upload and download speeds as well as latency.

How Long Do ADSL Filters Last?

There’s no real way to tell how long an ADSL filter will last. There are no moving parts and they don’t clog up, so you should be able to get several years out of one.

Do Routers Get Slower Over Time?

They do. This is primarily because the technology just keeps advancing, and routers can’t always keep up. You can sometimes prevent them from slowly too much by keeping up with firmware updates, but eventually, the router will be outdated and you’ll need to upgrade.

How to Increase WiFi Range of ADSL Router

There are a few things you can do to try to increase your wifi range. First, make sure the router is positioned so you’re getting the most out of it. The center of the room is better than sticking it in a corner. Some routers allow you to change antennas, which can boost the signal. Remove any objects away from the router, and consider getting a repeater or a second router.

How to Use ADSL Modem as WiFi Router Only

You can’t use a modem as a router unless it’s specifically designed for both purposes.

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Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.