Modem Died

Yesterday Eric and I installed his wi-fi router instead of the one I had. His is newer and the range is supposed to be better, so it should reach to his room better than my router does. The DSL modem I have had been getting very temperamental lately, and if you moved it even a little, it would cut the power to it and then make it restart. After installing the new router, everything worked fine for a little while, but then the DSL connection was lost for some reason. I went to check on it and the modem started flashing all of its lights when I could even get a consistent power connection, which wasn’t that often. I ended up calling tech support and they said my modem was probably faulty. They would sell me a new modem for $75 plus $15 shipping. I said that was too expensive. They then tried to upsize me into a modem that also had wi-fi built in. I said no thanks and asked if I could buy a modem on my own. They said it was possible, but they wouldn’t support it. I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money because I don’t even know how long AT&T will continue DSL service before making people switch to U-verse.

I wanted to research modems, but I didn’t have internet, so that made it kind of difficult. Then I thought there must be a lot of people who have switched from AT&T or Bellsouth DSL to something else that probably have modems they aren’t using anymore. I wanted to post something on our neighborhood bulletin board. But, again, no internet. I even called the next door neighbors and asked if I could get the password to their wi-fi, which they gave me, but it was complicated and I never got it to work. So Eric and I head to Fry’s. We found a combination DSL modem and wi-fi router for about $90. We kept looking and found a DSL modem by D-Link for $50. Looking further, we found a DSL modem by TP-Link for $30, so I got that one. It was a third of the price of the one AT&T wanted to sell me and I would get it today.

I brought it home and it had some instructions for AT&T installation using an installer program. I had to run the installer from a mini CD-ROM which was a little complicated because my DVD drive wasn’t working. I think I had turned it off when I had power supply problems. But I turned it back on in the BIOS and it works fine. The installation was pretty straightforward. I gave it my username and password for AT&T service and I was on the internet pretty quickly. Then I just had to add Eric’s router between the modem and my computer and we were back up and running. Eric had me go to Speed Test to check how fast the connection was and he said it was significantly faster than the last time he measured it (I think it was about 1.2 megabits/sec download speed). Pretty good.

2 thoughts on “Modem Died

  1. I don’t know how you did any of this (bios reset, modem config) *without* the internet. I can’t even fix my dishwasher without the internet. (New inflow valve just installed.)

    My iPad has cellular data access (currently off) that can be enabled month-to-month for $10. I can loan that to you next time. Or you can just borrow my iPhone for the night next time!

    • The modem has been spotty for years, so hopefully the new one will be better. I was without internet for less than 24 hours. I was worried Frys wouldn’t have a modem that would work with AT&T, but worst case was I could still get one from AT&T for $90. If I had to pay $90, I felt like maybe it would be a good time to go to Clear and buy their equipment instead (I had researched this before and had a copy of that blog entry stored offline), but it worked out.

      Otherwise it wasn’t so bad not having the internet. The “store” I went to worked kind of like Amazon except instead of typing in the URL for Amazon, I had to drive 30 minutes up to Frys. Then instead of entering the item in the search bar, I would walk around inside the building looking for it until I found it, which is kind of like scrolling through a long list of everything Amazon sells. I was also able to chat in real-time f2f with a sales associate, who tried to get me to buy a more expensive modem. However I was also doing a “search” for a micro-HDMI adapter and some neodymium magnets (not related) and was unable to find them, which took a long time since HDMI cables and accessories were in at least 4 different places. Once you find the item you want, you check out and have the item instantly (though you still have to drive home before you can use it).

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