When to replace a modem

Hi guys.

I recently upgraded our line to a 10MB ADSL on an MWEB capped account, and for the most part haven’t seen much of a difference in actual line speed.

We get about the same speeds as we did when we were on a 4MB line (peak of about 1.2mbps down). The router has always been connected at a 10MB line speed (we have 40mbps available in our area), just the account used to be throttled to a 4MB line equivalent.

So now that we’re on a 10MB line account, surely we should be getting MUCH better speeds? I’ve checked the line quality and seems good to me (Attenuation: Down - 11, Up - 4) and (Margin: Down - 19, Up - 8).

Could it be that our modem is just too old and not really capable of squeezing out anything more? It’s a Telkom Mega 100WR which we’ve had for about 8 years. In it’s defence it has been rock solid and has very good wireless range. But once some heavy downloading happens, you can actually hear it working hard - a kind of high pitched squeal/hiss. Very soft but noticeable, like the sound you used to get on old CRT TVs. There, I’ve gone and given my age away… :frowning:

I know there are a myriad factors that can affect line speed, but our distance to exchange (less than 800m) and line quality seems good enough to achieve better than we’re getting.

What do you think?

The high pitch squeal is “coil whine” and possibly some capacitors that are struggling. It happens with all electronics (aging). Replacement time :smile:

So far among us geeks we have come to the following conclusion:

D-link: Rubbish
Netgear: Rubbish
TP-link: Okay
Asus: Rubbish
Hauwei: Okay
Totolink: Okay but firmware update is needed.
Billion: Okay

thanks Flea
I actually got a D-Link a few years back as a replacement but ended up sending it back. Wireless range was terrible and the slightest crackle on the line caused it to drop connection. This old thing managed far far better, so went back to it.

Will begin the search for a suitable replacement

Scratch the totolink: bad

I’ve narrowed it down to that for my horrible lag in BF4.
It’s not even my ADSL line thats causing the lag, its the WIFI connection to the router.
My cheap (Okay the TOTO is also cheap) TP-Link was waaay better than this pos.

I’ve gone with a Billion router - it was a Takealot deal, so HAD to buy it :smiley: - R869
Billion Wireless-N VDSL2/ADSL2+ Firewall Router

Has the right amount of hardware features and WAY more ability to customise settings than I will ever need (certainly more than the previous router had).

Wireless range is good enough for what I would imagine are most home applications. The router is tucked away in the corner of the study and we still get a solid signal upstairs in the bedroom about 10m away - that requires penetrating some double thick walls and a cast concrete slab about as thick as my waist ( … right about now you’re trying to figure out if that’s a good or a bad thing)

Only thing I’m a little disappointed in is the USB slot - which I was hoping to plug our non-network printer in and make networkable - doesn’t seem to work with our printer. I suspect though that it has more to do with the printer than the router, so just count it as tough luck.

But so far so good, and no high pitch squealing anymore! yay

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Glad you found a decent modem. How’s the sync compared to the previous one?

Sync is good and keeps a steady +9MB down and 1MB up. The older one was all over the place.


Thanks for the advice all. It’s working great. That’s my very technical review.

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Yeah… My Toilet Paper Link (TPLink) has started being dodge… Losing packets etc. Internet intermittent. I reset to defaults, then reconfigure and it works a while and then back to it’s old tricks…

My experience is that ADSL routers last about 2-3 years. Then they start to go flacky like you have described. I have now had almost every make (at least it feels that way) and they are all similar in that respect as far as I can see.

When Uchi started looking for a modem, didn’t you still say ASUS was good. What issue was reported with them? cause i also looked at one…

I have to retract my previous comments on the Totolink, I got a firmware upgrade directly from the manufacturer which fixed all of my issues, been running very well since then.


I like the Asus, it’s simple, stable and easy to setup. Ideal for home usage. However, TG had issue with his Asus, which caused packet loss on his line. I installed a few at some of our remote sites, but never had hands on testing. Installed, worked, left site.

There’s only preferences, as @gus mentioned, they all go sooner or later. Personally, I just bought the cheapest one I found because I had the Mikrotik doing all the routing & wifi work. I just needed a straight forward DSL modem.

The list above was on actual geeks testimonies. (tried and tested and used)

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I can recommend the Billion as well. In the 8 months we’ve had it, not once have I had to restart it for any reason (and it is constantly on and constantly working - hardwired and wireless)