on June 12, 2014
This review is for: TP-LINK TD-W8980 N600 Purchased 10 June 14.
(Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router, 2.4GHz 300Mbps+5Ghz 300Mbps, 2 USB Ports for File Sharing, IPv6 Compatible)
Summary: Great modem, provided you set it up correctly. Pay attention. You MUST set it up correctly. Probably true for any similar device.
Update on 4 December, 2014, originally bought it on June 5, 2014
Still working fine. Occasionally due to noisy phone lines it resets.
We feed two computers hard wired and 2-4 wireless. Sure if someone is streaming a movie, it slows down for the others.
I love the look and feel and build and buttons and lights and cool running. All is good (except for a crappy noisy phone service)
Update on 24 Aug 2014, I originally bought it on June 5, 2014.
What I find is that it slows down over time. Videos don't stream fast enough. I just reset and all is OK again.
I will keep an eye on this problem and report back. Because of this I am dropping a star.
It's everything I was looking for.
Most problems with DSL modems are:
1. Bad phone lines in the house
2. Bad phone lines in the street
4. Just plain cheaply built modems
If you can't solve #1,2,3 you won't have good connections. I had to work with the phone company A LOT to get them to fix the lines in the street! Don't overlook that when you have modem problems to solve. Modems also will just fail over time due to heat. If yours runs hot, get a cooling fan.
I think this modem is a good solid modem. The only problems I have is with my lines and that's from time to time now that the phone company made improvements to the lines in the street.
I followed a previous reviewers comments (thank you greatly). But here I added a couple of steps that weren't listed but are critical. This is for Century Link but may work with others if you follow this list and change based upon your provider:
1. Call Century Link to get user name and password, unless you know it already. Tell them it's not their modem and ask if you should know anything else.
2. Do not load the manufacturers CD
3. Otherwise Connect everything per TP-Link Instructions, especially your internet cable to the back of the modem to your PC, and the power to the modem and turn it on.
4. Open IE (will show unable to connect to internet). I used Mozilla Firefox and it worked fine.
5. In URL address bar, of your internet explorer, type 192.168.1.1 It will connect to the modem and show an interface on the PC screen
6. For Username type in: admin and for Password type in: admin
7. Choose Quick Setup
8. These are the important things you need which Centurylink will refuse to provide:
But for me they did! and it changed to Centurylink changed the settings from VPI: 8, VCI 35 to VPI: 0, VCI 32
VPI: 8, VCI 35, WAN Link Type: IPoE, and it's a Dynamic IP Protocol (you will have places on the setup where you choose this information)
9. Set the network/ settings/ dsl modem type to ADSL2+ and Annex type to A
10. If you are plugged into your phone jack you should be getting all the correct lights on the front and you should get internet service.
11. I did NOT update the firmware. The next firmware was for subtle fixes to the 5 Ghz wireless from their website. Not an issue. I didn't want to risk.
12. Make sure you have no noise in your phone lines. If you do insist the phone company fixes it. Took my 4 times!
The setup was very fast and easy and the modem appears to work very well. I am only a day into it but I've load-tested the modem and the wireless. Under similar loads my ActionTec would have problems by now, lose synch and stop and try to restart or I would have to manually power down for reset. For this new unit, All seems fine! Range is at least as good as my old Actiontec PK5000. I got wireless services to the far reaches of my property.
I did call CenturyLink and they were very helpful, even with a modem that wasn't theirs.
I did call TP-Link, the line was always busy. Finally I got through. She was foreign (tiny bit hard to understand) but very helpful. Her help improved the bandwidth by 3X at least. Key was step # 9 above. Thank you!
I tried their web site and it is too busy and wouldn't load. You have to time it when not too many users are trying to get on line.
NOTE: before I set step #9 the unit was slow, even wired directly. So it slowed down the bandwidth and videos didn't work very well, stopping to load. I almost sent it back! But once I set #9, it runs great and fast enough. I ran two PC's downloading movies simultaneously and it was fine. When I added a wireless smartphone to download a third movie, that would stop a bit, but not that bad and the two PC's movies were not affected. That's great results even though I have the slowest DSL in my contract and the lines to my house are really old and very marginal. I had called the telephone company 4 times to fix it. They found a lot of problems! In the street, in the connections down the road, etc. I had to really persist!
My ActionTecs, all of them, they drop out and resynch rates were high. This one hasn't dropped out at all yet. It seems to handle my marginal phone lines well.
At this point I do highly recommend this modem.
Some reviewers didn't understand, this is for phone line connection only. DOESN'T work on cable. I think some other reviewers didn't set up everything in the interface completely. It is critical! The modem doesn't run hot, it is quite cool to the touch. The ActionTec ran hot even with a fan I bought. I hope this is a good sign of longevity.
The unit is twice the size of the Action Tec PK 5000 that it replaces and really well built, rugged, clean, even professional and beautiful. It sits solidly flat. I love all of that.
The three antennas are VERY well built. MUCH better built than the cheap fragile build of the ActionTec line. Solid.
It has everything in the unit one would expect, all the indicator lights. It has a shut off button on the back. I like that. I got tired of unplugging to reset the marginal ActionTec.
I haven't really examined the internal capabilities fully. It has a firewall but I didn't try it.
My status when I log in reads like this:
Current Rate (Kbps) 1032 1556
Max Rate (Kbps) 1032 12756
SNR Margin (dB) 5.9 22.8
Line Attenuation (dB) 15.1 42.7
Errors (Pkts) 0 0
Update 13 June 2014 after about 48 hours of testing non-stop. Overnight the unit "slowed down". The lights don't indicate a problem but the downloads were slow and incomplete. I shut it off with the handy switch on the back and turned it back on after only a couple seconds, I didn't unplug anything. When she booted up, everything was running "full speed". I am not sure why modems do this but it can be annoying, especially if it becomes frequent. Unfortunately I didn't log in to see if it recorded the problem. Upon reset, the status resets also. Maybe next time I will log in prior to reset and see if there is any indication as to why it "slowed down" and required a power down/ power up. So far, I still think this is a really nice modem overall. I plan to keep it unless things degrade. Now on 22 June 14, we rarely have to reset, the modem normally comes back on its own. But I am quite certain it is due to the bad lines. Lines to the phone company vary with time of day. I still like this modem
I think it is worth trying and buying but follow the instructions we reviewers are giving you.
on December 26, 2013
Set-up was straightforward... I've set up many routers. I post this to remind you to get your DSL providers' VCI, VPI, and connection type before you open the box. Otherwise, you'll have no internet service while your old modem is off-line and you're waiting for your wireline carrier TS to answer. This unit took about 3 minutes to sync, so have some patience.
I also replaced all three antennas with directional antennas since my hotspot is in an end room.
on May 18, 2014
So, I initially used another person's suggestion and information from their experience in setting up this modem router as they have CenturyLink as I do, but it didn't work. I did have to call TP-Link 2 times and CenturyLink 2 times, but on the last call to CenturyLink the modem connected and has been working ever since.
Recommendations (These are in the directions too, but I just thought I'd put extra emphasis on these 2 items):
1. Make sure that you know the VPI/VCI numbers. That information was populated automatically for me but ended up being the information that was corrected on my last call to CenturyLink to get it to work.
2. Make sure that you know the Connection type. CenturyLink is PPPoE for the connection but you MUST GET the Username and Password from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Hope this helps you out!