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DSL routers and modems can fail, or drop connections, for many reasons. The best solution is to talk to your ISP.

I have a Westell Model A90, etc. modem router given to us by Frontier to bring DSL into our home office. It's relatively new and it's constantly dropping the connection both to the wired computers and to the wireless. I'm tired of using this apparently cheap, unreliable product. Do you have a list of good router modems that I can look into?

In this excerpt from Answercast #73, I look at a case where a DSL modem is constantly dropping a connection.

DSL routers and modems

No, I don't and unfortunately, I can't.

The problem is that the modem side of it isn't really standard. There are many standards, but we don't know which one (for example) Frontier, your ISP might be using. In reality, to connect to DSL provided by your ISP, or by your phone company, you need to coordinate with them to get the right equipment. They need to either provide it or tell you specifically which piece of equipment you can get that would be compatible with their network.

So I can't give you a list. All I can really tell you is that you should talk to Frontier.

Work with your ISP

Now, having said that, I would suggest you talk to Frontier anyway.

It may not be the modem. It is possible that your DSL connection itself is simply dropping - and that could be for any number of reasons. It could be because the modem is cheap and not worth it. It could, however, also be because of problems with your phone line or with the telephone company itself.

I had this exact problem. What the phone company found when they came out was that my underground telephone wires, the particular pair that they had used for my DSL, had some water in there. That was causing enough electrical noise on the circuit to cause the DSL connection to be unreliable.

I'm not saying that that's what's going on with your situation. What I am saying is that those kinds of things can happen and those kinds of things are only detectable and correctable by the phone company.

So, get in touch with Frontier. Tell them you're having this problem. See if they can help you diagnose the problem; perhaps isolate it to the modem... and if that's the case, they should then be able to provide you with a replacement modem or direct you to something that you can use instead.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6072 - November 26, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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