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Discussion Starter #1
We are in the boonies and AT&T is our only available internet provider and supplies us with dsl that has been very reliable. Several years ago we dropped our land line along with dial up internet and opted for dsl 6.0. An AT&T service tech ran the incoming dsl cable to the room where we have our computer and also replaced the old wall jack. Fast forward we considered changing to AT&T U-verse and when the AT&T service tech came to install it he vigorously recommended we stay with dsl for the reliability, go figure. We kept dsl.

I would like to add wi-fi if it's even possible and have looked at a couple of units that appear to wire inline with our existing set up but am unsure if they would even work here or are they what we need. We have the basic dinosaur set up: one end of a green cable plugs into the AT&T dsl side of wall jack, then it plugs into a Motorola 3360 modem from there an ethernet cable from the modem plugs into our Dell desktop running windows 8.1.

I am requesting any recommendations for the most dependable yet cost effective equipment we would need based on our current set up.
I would also like to know if the wi-fi service is free after purchasing the equipment needed or do the makers charge monthly subscriptions for using wi-fi service through their equipment.

Thanks in advance for any help and recommendations.
 

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I haven't kept up with brands and whatnot so can't make any recommendations.

Basically a wireless router with wifi option would plug into your existing modem and your existing computer would plug into the router. (wireless routers also have ethernet jacks on them) So that connection remains the same, just passing through the router. You can then use wifi connected devices as well by logging into the router. (which passes your connection out through your DSL.) The router will come with instructions on how you would log into it and password setup, security features, etc.

There should not be any extra monthly charges, but be forewarned, if you have issues and call at&t they may not help you because you added a piece of gear they didn't supply into the setup... If you get a wireless router from at&t they will likely charge you monthly for that.
 

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In the same boat, but with Sprint DSL.
Only other option is I have to go with satellite. Which I will not do.

In my case I was having trouble with the DSL going off and on last year. Called in to report problem, tech came out, looked at DSL modem, and said he had not seen one of those in awhile, and installed a new DSL modem/router. Was no charge to me, and no extra billing.

New one has 4 x RJ-45, Ethernet inputs, for hard wire and also does Wi-Fi.
I disconnected the Enet wire on my laptop and let it connect wireless to the network. That way I can move it anywhere in the house. No problems. A added plus was my kids can connect via Wi-Fi on their smart phones to the network when they are here and not rack up download minutes or amounts.
I would think AT&T would want you on the newest equipment. Might be worth it to call and report you are having troubles. I think all companies only install the newer DSL wireless modem/routers these days. And you have to have the tech turn on the hardwire ports if you are going to use them. Just keep in mind AT&T is a monster and you need to ask questions to be sure there will be no new charges on your bill.

Only thing the tech told me was if I switched to a different service within a year, they might bill me for the modem. But since there really is no other option here, I do not see me switching any time soon.
 

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I would replace a leased modem with an integrated modem/router, since a standalone router will cost just as much (around $50). It will require some basic setup, but should pay for itself in mere months. Many folks don't know that you don't have to lease a modem from an ISP. Even if you need to pay someone like Geeksquad (is that still a thing?) to hook it up, it's worth it.

I have done this for probably 10 years and have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars on BS leasing fees.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TD-W8961N-300Mbps-Wireless-RouterTD-W8961N/dp/B00RK5VU5M/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=ADSL2+router&qid=1564502249&s=electronics&sr=1-10

Even if you don't want to replace the ol 3360 don't lease a wifi router. Waste of money that can be applied toward tractors and implements!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I haven't kept up with brands and whatnot so can't make any recommendations.

Basically a wireless router with wifi option would plug into your existing modem and your existing computer would plug into the router. (wireless routers also have ethernet jacks on them) So that connection remains the same, just passing through the router. You can then use wifi connected devices as well by logging into the router. (which passes your connection out through your DSL.) The router will come with instructions on how you would log into it and password setup, security features, etc.

There should not be any extra monthly charges, but be forewarned, if you have issues and call at&t they may not help you because you added a piece of gear they didn't supply into the setup... If you get a wireless router from at&t they will likely charge you monthly for that.
Thanks Greybeard you hit the nail on the head with AT&T; in the past when I called they did not want to offer much help because we were still on dsl rather than U-verse. I did finally manage to get help but required calling several times and reaching different techs. I have reached out to https://eero.com/technology and also https://www.linksys.com/us/c/cable-modems-and-modem-routers/ for added input.


In the same boat, but with Sprint DSL.
Only other option is I have to go with satellite. Which I will not do.

In my case I was having trouble with the DSL going off and on last year. Called in to report problem, tech came out, looked at DSL modem, and said he had not seen one of those in awhile, and installed a new DSL modem/router. Was no charge to me, and no extra billing.

New one has 4 x RJ-45, Ethernet inputs, for hard wire and also does Wi-Fi.
I disconnected the Enet wire on my laptop and let it connect wireless to the network. That way I can move it anywhere in the house. No problems. A added plus was my kids can connect via Wi-Fi on their smart phones to the network when they are here and not rack up download minutes or amounts.
I would think AT&T would want you on the newest equipment. Might be worth it to call and report you are having troubles. I think all companies only install the newer DSL wireless modem/routers these days. And you have to have the tech turn on the hardwire ports if you are going to use them. Just keep in mind AT&T is a monster and you need to ask questions to be sure there will be no new charges on your bill.

Only thing the tech told me was if I switched to a different service within a year, they might bill me for the modem. But since there really is no other option here, I do not see me switching any time soon.
Thanks JP, yeah you are correct that AT&T is a monster; every time I call it is harder and harder to get help because they want me to change plans. I see an AT&T van constantly buzzing around here so I may just outright ask the guy next time I see him. From what I understand U-verse is raising havoc in our area. On top of that the fiber stub is on the street corner next door and they even ran the fiber wire underground thru our yard a few years ago..lol.

Well, you could always rent the modem from AT&T U-verse or you could buy one. Depending on how much AT&T charges for the modem, you could recoup the money from buying one in around a year.

This one is highly rated:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F0DD0I6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&linkCode=sl1&tag=approvedmodem-20&linkId=335e388d50e6fd34f0d9122803cb2520&language=en_US
Thanks Flaken, AT&T's monthly modem rental is higher than my flat rate internet charge and would over double our monthly bill. I will surely buy one out right because the cost would be recouped in about 3 months from what I saw on AT&T's website.
I looked at the modem you listed and will try to get more info as to whether it is compatible with our AT&T dsl set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would replace a leased modem with an integrated modem/router, since a standalone router will cost just as much (around $50). It will require some basic setup, but should pay for itself in mere months. Many folks don't know that you don't have to lease a modem from an ISP. Even if you need to pay someone like Geeksquad (is that still a thing?) to hook it up, it's worth it.

I have done this for probably 10 years and have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars on BS leasing fees.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TD-W8961N-300Mbps-Wireless-RouterTD-W8961N/dp/B00RK5VU5M/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=ADSL2+router&qid=1564502249&s=electronics&sr=1-10

Even if you don't want to replace the ol 3360 don't lease a wifi router. Waste of money that can be applied toward tractors and implements!
Thanks robhay, that's another definite possibility to consider. I'm not sure if the Geeksquad is still around either but they hooked up our 50" Panasonic Viera plasma tv many years ago and I was/am well pleased for no more than they charged.
 

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Make sure you get the terminology right (highly simplified but should help straighten it out):

modem = DSL/cable/fiber/etc. to ethernet
router = "splits" ethernet to multiple ethernet and/or wifi

These two pieces of hardware can be combined or separate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Make sure you get the terminology right (highly simplified but should help straighten it out):

modem = DSL/cable/fiber/etc. to ethernet
router = "splits" ethernet to multiple ethernet and/or wifi

These two pieces of hardware can be combined or separate.
Got it. I heard an ethernet connected signal is more reliable than wireless so if a router could wire in line with our old modem then could possibly connect the computer via ethernet cable as it is now if the router has a bypass but also have wireless capability for our smartphones and any other wireless add on component down the road such as laptops, Amazon Alexa, etc. correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You guys have to understand I'm not tech savvy in the least. My wife and I just got our very first smartphones and I was tempted to go down to the elementary school and ask any 2nd grader to show us how to use them...:sidelaugh
Thanks to youtube videos we are on our way though.
 

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Got it. I heard an ethernet connected signal is more reliable than wireless so if a router could wire in line with our old modem then could possibly connect the computer via ethernet cable as it is now
Correct...

but also have wireless capability for our smartphones and any other wireless add on component down the road such as laptops, Amazon Alexa, etc. correct?
Yes...


Now, just to be clear. This wifi connection via your wireless router is only good within range of that particular signal. Typically just within the house and maybe parts of the yard.

None of this is going to help you make and receive phone calls or access the internet on your new smartphones while you are at the store, or elsewhere. That's a whole other ball of wax.
 

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Got it. I heard an ethernet connected signal is more reliable than wireless so if a router could wire in line with our old modem then could possibly connect the computer via ethernet cable as it is now if the router has a bypass but also have wireless capability for our smartphones and any other wireless add on component down the road such as laptops, Amazon Alexa, etc. correct?
Do not worry about a lack of tech savvyness. Tech has advanced very quickly, possibly too much so. I have a BS in electrical engineering and sometimes it is my neice who shows me the next new thing. It's great you want to learn. The more you can handle yourself the less you have to deal with most everyone's customer support!

Back on topic:
Wired ethernet is technically a more robust connection, however modern wifi is really just as good for the vast majority of users. Still, I run a cable if the equipment is stationary, is near the router and has an ethernet port.

You refer to a bypass, but that's not really what is happening. The connection is the same (RJ45 ethernet cable), but the digital "stuff" happening on the router's "ins" and "outs" are different. The router acts as a controller of sorts, effectively "splitting" the signal for use among many additional devices, but with no inherit loss of signal (like a cable splitter).

Wifi enabled devices will work with a wifi router. As greybeard points out, "wireless" more correctly refers to a tower based, cellular network.

Your smartphones can use either a nearby (about 50ft or less indoors) wifi network OR a cellular "wireless" network as a data connection. Some networks/phones allow wifi used for calling as well, but if you have this it will be automatic and you wont have to address it.

Sorry for all the quotes but I'm shielding myself should an IT pro be on the forum to pick my explanations apart. :tango_face_smile_bi
 

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Think of it this way, simply: The Wi-fi adapter is like a wireless transmitter that runs off the signal that you already have at your modem, it just broadcasts internet, as mentioned with a range that will usually cover the house and out to the yard a bit. You can also run cable from one or more of the antenna outputs to relocate antennas say, maybe one out under the eaves on the deck or something if your signal is weak there, or to the side of the house where the garage is if it's far from the main unit.

Ours is a TP-Link and it works very well, covers the whole house and a good bit of the near yard @both 2.4 and 5G. Very fast (but we have a 1Gb/sec hard connection)... when looking at speed capability you don't need anything faster than what your hardline can handle, or will in the conceivable future.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You guys are awesome!!!! Thank you very much for explaining it so clearly that even my feeble brain understands how it works.
Now the hunt begins; we will be in Hattiesburg again on Thursday for another doctor's appointment and a Best Buy store is on the way to the clinic so we'll stop by on the way back home. :thThumbsU
 

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the Netgear that Flaken posted would be fine as long as you don't have a brick house or a old house with plaster and lath.

if you do I would recommend this

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/netgear-nighthawk-x6-ac3200-tri-band-wifi-router-r8000/apd/a7831522/networking

We have a brick house built in the 60s and I had to get a nice one to get through the walls and reach all the rooms.

You need a HS age relative to come set it up using the instructions. Give them $50.

Start with this one. If it doesn't cover your house take it back and upgrade.

IMO Netgear makes some of the best routers.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-ac1750-dual-band-wi-fi-5-router-black/9054017.p?skuId=9054017

If you have a small home you could try this one.

NETGEAR - RangeMax N600 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router - Black
 

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Discussion Starter #16
the Netgear that Flaken posted would be fine as long as you don't have a brick house or a old house with plaster and lath.

if you do I would recommend this

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/netgear-nighthawk-x6-ac3200-tri-band-wifi-router-r8000/apd/a7831522/networking

We have a brick house built in the 60s and I had to get a nice one to get through the walls and reach all the rooms.

You need a HS age relative to come set it up using the instructions. Give them $50.

Start with this one. If it doesn't cover your house take it back and upgrade.

IMO Netgear makes some of the best routers.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-ac1750-dual-band-wi-fi-5-router-black/9054017.p?skuId=9054017

If you have a small home you could try this one.

NETGEAR - RangeMax N600 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router - Black
Thanks for that; we do have a large brick home so a better one would be in order. Will definitely check out Best Buy this Thursday.
 

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Not to start a wi-fi wrestling match... but ours punches through 10" of solid concrete down into the Underground Lair no problem. That Best Buy model looks very similar to ours though... not that looks mean much but...

*Now*... with that said I'll admit with things changing so fast and new models, I dunno what has the most torque, especially over on that side.

Hopefully you can talk to someone at the point of sale who is familiar with the latest, ask questions and don't be satisfied with someone trying to get you 'out the door'.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not to start a wi-fi wrestling match... but ours punches through 10" of solid concrete down into the Underground Lair no problem. That Best Buy model looks very similar to ours though... not that looks mean much but...

*Now*... with that said I'll admit with things changing so fast and new models, I dunno what has the most torque, especially over on that side.

Hopefully you can talk to someone at the point of sale who is familiar with the latest, ask questions and don't be satisfied with someone trying to get you 'out the door'.
You are so correct with things changing fast and especially hoping to get someone who is familiar with the products. Recently after using basic phones for years my wife and I bought our very first smartphones, believe it or not. I dropped my wife off at one of our carrier's stores and I went to Harbor Freight. When I got back she had settled on a phone that the sales associate assured her was a smartphone so we got 2 being both were free with trade in of our old phones. After we got home it turned out they were only smartphone based and couldn't even download apps; my wife almost went ballistic.
I called our carrier's headquarters to ask what we could do and they apologized for our bad experience and told us to return them plus they offered each of us a $200.00 discount on any other phone.
We found a model that fit our budget in the carrier's store that was marked $499.99 but was advertised on their website for $299.99. The online associate even applied the $200.00 discount so we bought 2 Google Pixel 3a XL phones for $99.99 + tax each and both were delivered to us free within 2 days. We were instructed to take the other phones back to the carrier's store and have them activate the 2 new ones plus transfer all contact info to the new ones. We are very happy with them so far.
 

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I'd cue up a Joe Pesci line here but no... this forum is family friendly. :tango_face_angel:

Definitely you have to be more vigilant when shopping these days, especially for electronics... the 'help' ain't quite what it used to be fo' sho'.
 

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You remember, rudedawg, those days of old when you grabbed that guy you really didn't like much, to go car shopping with you because he could get the best deals out of those salesmen. Buy him lunch, put up with him, but you did get a sweet deal on the car and once you dropped him off never saw him again.

It's quite the same with shopping for the personal electronics for us old folk these days. Grab one of your younger relations and take them shopping with you and the wife. That younger relation would be able to test out right there in the store anything the sales said and help you make the better choice.

Back to the wifi, you have to be very realistic of just how far you want the range of that signal to reach. Laptops and tablets don't do well in shop/garage environments. Not because you can't use them there, but because they are much more fragile and very, very easy to break something. Just even setting the laptop/tablet on the table on the back patio, then getting up to do something else while the sun just cooks it is something that will happen.
I have a brick house and my wifi signal will travel 200 feet into the back yard and/or all around the house. That's from the standard new box from the cable company.
 
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