IntroductionADSL connections are many times faster than standard 56Kbps modems, and call charges are reduced for even moderate usage, with a monthly fee of between £21-30 covering all ISP and call costs. All you need is an ADSL modem – preferably in a router/gateway – and for your local BT exchange to be enabled.
Many ADSL routers are buggers to setup because the manuals either neglect to mention the Mac or leave cryptic instructions on page 281 of a PDF technical document. Netopia's latest products come with clear instructions for both Mac OS 9 and OS X, and setup is simplicity itself. Even the cables are colour-coded to help those people who don't know the difference between USB and Ethernet.
Netopia's Cayman 3341 Smart Modem is a single-port Ethernet router with an additional USB connection to add a second PC or Mac. USB ADSL connections are required for computers without a LAN link, but as all Macs have featured Ethernet for many years, the only real benefit is if you want to add a PC that has no network card. Usually, ‘dumb' USB Internet connections require dial-up – but the Cayman's USB driver operates Ethernet over USB, so the USB connection is seen as the same LAN interface as the 10/100baseT port, and the broadband link is ‘always on'.
As a router for up to two Macs, the 3341 is an easy-to-setup solution that's matched only by Netgear's DG814 and ADSLNation's AMX-64 – read Macworld's roundup, November 2002.