What Do You Need for DSL Internet?

By Daisy Cuinn

Make sure you have the right equipment to set up DSL in your home.
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Digital subscriber line high-speed Internet requires some special equipment, most of which will be provided to you as part of the DSL package from your telephone service provider. Typically, you will place your order for the service first and then receive the equipment in a couple of days in the mail or through a service person. Once everything is set up, you should be able to access your DSL service right away.

Phone Line

DSL is a service of your telephone service provider, and it works through your home's landline. DS doesn't interfere with the use of your telephone, because the digital line can be split off from the voice line, allowing simultaneous use of the phone and Internet. A designated phone line may also be created for users who do not use a landline telephone at home, otherwise, DSL lines go through the same jacks as the voice lines.

DSL Modem

You will need to connect your computer to a DSL modem, which the phone company will provide as part of your DSL service package. The modem may be built into the router, or it may stand alone. The phone line will plug into the modem, and the modem will plug directly into your computer, or into a router for household wireless DSL use. Your modem will have lights that indicate whether it's working properly or not. If a problem is indicated, such as a connection light that is flashing, check the wires, then turn the unit off and restart it. The phone company typically offers technical support for modem issues.


In most cases, the phone company will provide a router for your DSL service; if not, routers are available at most electronic stores. One thing to be mindful of, telephone companies often do not provide service for a stand-alone router if it stops working. Instead, you will need to contact the company that manufactures the router, which should have its own technical support line. The phone company can give you the number for router tech support if they provided the router to you.

Line Filter and Splitter

Line filters remove the DSL data from the line for phone use. To use a single phone jack for both phone and DSL, you'll need a splitter, available at electronics retailers, which plugs into the jack, providing two open jacks instead of one. The same line will go through both jacks, but one will have a filter attached, to which you will plug the telephone. The unfiltered jack plugs into a line that leads to the modem.