D-Links ADSL Ethernet Modem
It is a small black unit 11cm wide and 10cm high and, although it is only 4cm deep, the attached cables add to the space it takes up. Nevertheless, it just sits inconspicuously on the corner of one’s desk where you can see its four status LEDs. It is supplied with the cable (and the associated filter) to connect to the phone line; the Ethernet cable to connect to the PC and the power cable.
Unlike USB modems it does not require any drivers and is easy to set up. This can be done by either accessing it directly via one’s normal web browser or by using the setup software on the supplied CD. Using the Wizard, it was straightforward to use the former. Furthermore, this is the route that one is likely to use later on if one wants to change any of the settings.
As the modem incorporates an extensive list of ISPs, and their connection parameters, both in the UK and overseas all you need to know to get up and running is which ISP you have signed up with and your own username and password even though as one of the first stages in the setup is a prompt which asks you to change the default password, which is 'admin' to something more secure.
This basic setup and then checking that one is able to connect to the Internet is only the work of a few minutes. Consequently, it is easy to overlook the need to go to the 'Advanced' tab where one finds a range of security and other settings. These include security features such as firewall, inbound and outbound filtering as well as QoS.
With each of the advanced items there is a helpful explanatory note. For example, it says that QoS is a very useful feature for sensitive applications such as VoIP where it will assist in preventing dropped calls. These notes go quite a way to help explain these features and so make it more likely that users will look into the options and, consequently, less likely that they will leave their machines vulnerable and unprotected.
At £15.50 on Amazon, this ADSL modem is a useful and cost-effective means of providing Internet access via the Ethernet on a PC. Equally well it could feed the Internet port on the router at the centre of one's network. In this context it could be a useful stepping stone, and a relatively painless upgrade, for those considering upgrading to FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) when it would be used to provide the ADSL connection to a sophisticated gigabit wireless router today and then would be replaced by the new modem provided by the ISP when the upgrade is implemented.
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