USB powered ADSL / DSL modem

nara48

Novice Member
Is there such a thing as an ADSL / DSL modem that is powered only through USB?

The only ones I found are dial up modem sticks, that can only deliver up to 56kb/s downstream. I'm looking for something that can deliver at least 500kb/s downstream, and ideally a little more. I currently have a 6mb/s adsl connection, but the modem uses a 12V AC power plug converter. I understand that no USB can deliver that much power, but maybe USB-C can deliver enough for a modem to do its magic? Especially when it doesn't need to power wifi or even ethernet, it just needs to be able to deliver the connection through the USB itself.

The problem is that when there is a blackout, cellphone towers can go down because of the blackout itself, and even if they don't, they can get overloaded because suddenly everyone in your area is using them instead of wifi. This can lead to an inability to connect to the internet even if you have a laptop or phone that's running on battery. However, the phone landline gets its power from the landline phone company which is far away (so it's unlikely to be hit by the same blackout) and always has backup generators and so it almost never goes down. But if you have no AC power, your modem won't be powered up, so all you can do is make phone calls, but no internet.

So what would be helpful is a modem that can be powered through usb alone, and is able to provide an internet connection to the laptop by connecting to the adsl / dsl phone landline directly. What I imagine is something that looks like a usb stick that you just plug into your laptop, and plug the phone landline on the other end. Or perhaps a larger sized modem that has one usb cable coming out to connect to the laptop, and has a receiver port for the phone landline.

It seems that perhaps there were a few old models but they may have gone extinct now that most people aren't using adsl / dsl connections anymore.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
A better solution would be a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for the router. It would just be a case of working out how much power your router requires & how long you need to keep it operating, then source a UPS of sufficient capacity.

A budget alternative would be a simple rechargeable 12V sealed lead-acid battery. Most routers run off 12V DC, so you'd just need a fused cable with the correct size DC jack plug & a car charger. Something like a battery for a mobility scooter, again matching the battery capacity to the router's power draw & the time it needs to run.
 

jamieu

Active Member
I don't think they're made anymore, but you used to be able to get little USB / ADSL modems like the BT Voyager 105 USB or D-Link DSL‑200. Although you might struggle finding drivers for modern PC/Macs.

Alternatively just look for a 5v ADSL modem/router and make up a power cable to plug into a USB power brick. Or even just use a 9v/12v rechargeable battery if that works better in terms of finding a small router.
 
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nara48

Novice Member
It seems like those models might do the trick jamieu! Now I just have to figure out if they will work with my connection and on windows 10.

RBZ, I had a cheap UPS but the battery died, but even when it was brand new, if all I hooked up to it was the modem, it wouldn't give it power since it seems the UPS thought there wasn't enough power draw to justify staying on.

RBZ/jamieu, if I go with a battery, is there something else besides the 12V DC that should match? The modem I have says it's 12V 0.8A. I also didn't understand why I need the car charger.
 

jamieu

Active Member
It seems like those models might do the trick jamieu! Now I just have to figure out if they will work with my connection and on windows 10.

RBZ, I had a cheap UPS but the battery died, but even when it was brand new, if all I hooked up to it was the modem, it wouldn't give it power since it seems the UPS thought there wasn't enough power draw to justify staying on.

RBZ/jamieu, if I go with a battery, is there something else besides the 12V DC that should match? The modem I have says it's 12V 0.8A. I also didn't understand why I need the car charger.
There's a bunch of D-LInk ones on eBay for ~£5 so could be worth a try.

In terms of powering a router via a battery, you'll need a battery that not only matches the voltage, but as you point out the amperage as well. You'll need to do some calculations to work out how long the battery can supply that output for. Although small modem/routers are low powered devices so a 0.8amp device is likely to last a few hours from even a small square rechargeable battery ie. very roughly a 12v 10ah battery should provide 12v @ 1amp (or ~0.8amp) for 10 hours.
 

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