Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) modems are similar in both form and function to cable modems – the biggest difference is how data is delivered to the device. DSL providers use landline telephone infrastructure. The advantage of using telephone lines is that DSL providers can offer internet service in less populous areas where cable infrastructure is not available. If you have cable internet, you need a cable modem like the Arris SB6141.
The average cost to rent a modem from a DSL provider is around $8 per month. The Netgear DM200 costs less than $60, so it can save you money within the first year of ownership.
The DM200 is compatible with the major DSL providers, including Century Link, Frontier and Windstream. The two most popular delivery methods for DSL service are ADSL and VDSL, and the DM200 is compatible with both. However, this modem does not support bonded ADSL or VDSL, which means downloading and uploading are done through a single channel.
The maximum download speed of the DM200 is 200 Mbps. DSL providers can’t deliver content at the speeds of cable or fiber providers, but they do offer wider coverage areas in small, rural communities across the U.S. If you're in the market for both a modem and a router, the Netgear AC1600 advertises faster speeds than the DM200, but it's not a cost-effective option if you just need a modem.
The front panel has three LED status icons:
- Power: Solid green LED indicates the modem is ready. Solid amber LED indicates the modem is starting. A blinking amber LED indicates the modem is in the process of upgrading firmware or is restarting with the default factory settings.
- DSL: Solid green LED indicates the modem is connected to a DSL service and the connection is ready. A blinking amber LED indicates the modem is trying to connect to a DSL service and the connection is not yet established.
- LAN: Solid green or solid amber LED indicates a powered-on device is connected to the Ethernet port. Blinking green or amber LED indicates data is being transmitted over the Ethernet port.
The back panel on the vertical-standing housing has a power button and input for the power adapter housing. Below the power section is the reset button. When pressed for five seconds, the button resets the modem to its factory settings. After you reset the modem to factory settings, the username is “admin” and the password is “password.” If you lose track of changes you may have made to the modem settings, the reset button erases those changes.
Netgear offers a one-year manufacturer warranty. If you have questions, you can contact the company’s support staff by phone, email or live chat. The chat feature is useful if you need answers fast.
If you are tired of paying rental fees to your DSL provider, the Netgear DM200 is one of the best replacement options. Purchasing this modem can save you money in the first year of ownership.