Customer Review

68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear ... What a Disappointment!, 27 April 2013
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This review is from: TP-Link TD-8817 ADSL2+ Ethernet/USB Modem Router for Phone Line Connections (Accessory)
I bought a TP-Link TD-8817 modem in conjunction with the Asus RT-N66U router, as the two in combination was highly recommended by many Amazon reviewers and in other forums. I had decided to update my home network as my existing Netgear DGN5500 modem/router was creaking under the strain of a home demanding a lot from its wireless network, causing frequent wireless dropouts: quite a common problem these days where there are many tablets, phones, laptops etc. all trying to connect in the same household at the same time. There are also a lot of 2.4 GHz wireless networks operating in my local neighbourhood, adding to the problem. The Asus RT-N66U router has a dual band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless capability and as there were not many 5 GHz wireless networks currently operating in my neighbourhood the theory was dual band would significantly improve my network capability and give me access to an uncluttered band. A separate modem / router would also give me more versatility and less future redundancy.

So, I placed my order. Delivery from Amazon was prompt as usual.

The TD-8817 modem is quite functionally rich given its price. The GUI is simple to understand. I followed the setup & installation instructions per the supplied manual / disc. That didn’t work, so I then tried using the advice that other Amazon reviewers had been kind enough to post previously. This time around, I got the required connection and then proceeded to connect my Asus RT-N66U router to my TD-8817 modem. This went smoothly. Excellent, I thought. Job done!

Then the problems started. The TD-8817 modem wouldn’t hold the connection for more than a minute or two. I obviously had more internet forum research to do! But without a stable network connection, how could I do this? I disconnected the new TD-8817 modem and reconnected using my old Netgear modem / router.

After many hours of research - often having to compare / contrast seemingly conflicting advice (such are forums these days) - I identified that some different settings were required on the TD-8817 modem. So, I disconnected my Netgear (again), re-installed the TD-8817 modem (again) and the Asus RT-N66U router (again) and bingo – stable connection. This connection was stable over night through to 3pm the next day. Then the problems started again. Now, I know network speed tends to suffer when the schools turn out. The kids come home, check their Facebook accounts, start playing on-line games etc. But, the TD-8817 modem was completely incapable of holding a connection and when it finally refused to connect at all, I decided enough was enough! I decided that the TD-8817 modem needs to go back as it’s not fit for my purpose and I didn’t want to waste any more time researching, disconnecting, reconnecting etc. However, as I am impressed with the Asus RT-N66U router, I’m still using it, albeit with my Netgear DGN3500 operating in bridge mode. However, as I really want to use the Netgear DGN3500 as a wireless repeater, which clearly I can’t do at the moment, I’m now looking for another modem – although there aren’t many to choose from. Time will tell whether I keep the Asus RT-N66U router or whether it goes back as well.


Having subsequently carried out more research, it seems that the problem I have experienced with the TD-8817 modem is quite common. Basically, without going into the specifics of SNR, line attenuation, ADSL 2+, VPI/VCI settings etc., the TD-8817 modem is completely useless if you are more than 2.4km away from your local telephone exchange (telephone line length that is, not line of sight) because of the chipset the TD-8817 modem uses. I need a modem which uses a Broadcom chipset, which holds long-line connections much better. My old Netgear modem/router uses this chipset, which is why it’s working brilliantly in bridge mode. The frustrating thing about this whole experience is that TP-Link should be more honest with its customers and tell people that its TD-8817 modem is unsuitable for customers who have long line lengths from their telephone exchange. Especially since, given the TD-8817 modem’s price point, it’s likely to be bought by customers who are not network savvy – which I wasn’t until I had to go through this experience! I’m now a real bore at the pub, trying to impress everyone with my newly found knowledge on home networking! Don’t make the same mistake I did! Either do your research thoroughly and get a separate modem/ router appropriate to your particular networking requirements or get a combined router/modem combination and save yourself a lot of hassle.

So in summary, if you have a long line length from your local exchange (there are websites which will calculate this for you), don’t buy this modem.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jun 2013 23:45:10 BDT
Agent Fruit says:
This is a really helpful review - I live miles from my exchange. What would be even more helpful would be if you could post what the solution is. Have you found a modem that works?

Posted on 20 Nov 2013 22:20:21 GMT
I have a TD-8817 and have over 4km line length from the switch (Exchange). It is perfectly stable and has been for well over a year. I use it with a cheap Tenda W311r+ router and all works like a charm. I am an IT professional by trade and find both TP-Link and Tenda although inexpensive work well and get no comebacks from clients over the reliabilty and performance.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2013 20:18:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Nov 2013 20:19:12 GMT
He said in the review that he's using his old combo modem/router, but in bridge mode. "Bridge mode" is essentially "modem only" mode when used on a combo modem/router, meaning you can connect a better router to it and use that for wireless et al.

So, if I understand correctly, he has his fancy new Asus router (Just bought the same model, actually!) providing the LAN, DHCP and wifi, and that's hooked up to his old Netgear router, which is only being used for its modem. Hope that helps!

Posted on 11 Dec 2013 12:15:49 GMT
P. G. Scott says:
I have the 8816 (no USB) version on a 4.5Km 63.9dB attenuation line currently at 332 hours since re-sync (I have rarely got over 3 weeks, whatever modem/router), so the chip set does work. However, it is my second unit as the first developed a fault where it would re-sync at relatively short intervals and was replaced, no quibble, by Amazon. At the same SNRM a Broadcom unit is 3 to 5% faster on my line, but the 8816 will hold lower SNRM levels better, in my experience.

Posted on 3 Jan 2014 16:45:34 GMT
HTF says:
I have a 4km line length and it works fine. I did have an issue with the cables that came in the box though, once I replaced those I had no problems.

Posted on 13 Jan 2014 10:03:14 GMT
The best modems for long distance are made by 2 wire such as used by BT business service 2700 hgv they are rock solid on noisy lines and are employed extensively in India etc where reliability is an issue.

Posted on 31 Jan 2014 14:00:30 GMT
Vel says:
Thank you for the pretty handy review. I was about to buy this same combination, now I won't.Thanks.

Posted on 25 May 2014 10:48:58 BDT
I purchased the TD-8817 about 5 months ago. I configured it in 'bridge' mode, acting as a modem for my IPCop firewall. All worked fine until about a month ago, then it started losing connection several times a day.
My predicament isn't an easy one to fix as the site is 6,000 miles away via a VPN circuit, which clearly isn't working at the moment. Asking someone to re-power the TD-8817 always fixes the problem.
The site is probably 3 or 4 miles from the exchange but I don't know that this is the reason for the problem, given that it worked without any issues for four months.
My other sites use IPCop with a Netgear DG834 and I will probably do the same in the case of the TD-8817 site, replace it with a Netgear DG834.
I have used TP-Link for other wireless applications and have been satisfied with their performance. Maybe in the case of the TD-8817 I should have been prepared to spend a little more on something a little better.
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