TP-Link TD-W8980 DSL Modem Gateway Vs DSL-N55U

TP-Link offers TD-W8980 – a wireless N600 DSL modem gateway. How does it perform compared with Asus DSL-N55U?

Why wireless DSL modem gateway?

Should you build a wireless network in home with DSL broadband internet, what your requirements are DSL modem plus a wireless router. You need to configure both the modem and the wireless router individually. However, you need to be careful that typically the DSL provider provides you a compact modem gateway for rent. A modem gateway is modem with NAT (router) feature, so you need to add a wireless access point to share the internet wirelessly. You cannot add a wireless router to the modem gateway device unless you require configuring it to operate as a wireless AP. Some types of wireless routers can be configured as the wireless AP.


It is therefore, a wireless DSL modem gateway is designed to let you build a wifi network with a single device – an all-in-one device to create a wifi network in home. TP-link W8980 is one of the wireless DSL modem gateway devices you can consider for your home network with DSL services.

Should you subscribe Cable broadband services, similar all-in-one device you may consider for your wifi environment in home is Surfboard SBG6580 wireless N300 selectable dual band or the latest version Surfboard SBG6872 wireless AC cable gateway which is based on the 5th generation of wifi technology.

Let’s have a look at TP-link product – the TD-W8980 wireless N600 DSL modem gateway.

What this product does

TP-link W8980 is an all-in-one device to help you build a wifi network in home with DSL services, a wireless router with built-in DSL modem. Get rid off the clutter of devices, the modem and the wireless router and replace them with a single compact device with simple configuration.


TP-link TD-W8980


It is easier to manage one device than two devices. However, all-in-one device is prone to a single point of failure. If the modem part is failure, the system is not functional. With two devices i.e. modem and wireless router, you can isolate the problem whether the problem lies on the modem or on the router so it is easier to replace the failure device.

Main features

  • Built-in ADSL modem
  • Comes with wireless N600 simultaneous dual band technology
  • 3x detachable external antenna with High power amplifier for longer distance coverage
  • 4x Gigabit LAN ports with one port as EWAN (interchangeable WAN port) connecting to Cable, VDSL or Fiber modems
  • Twin USB ports
  • Supports up to 10 native IPSec VPN tunnels

Its competitor is Asus DSL-N55U or Netgear DGND3700 which are also designed with the same N600 wifi technology. How good it is compared with Asus? Have a look at the following comparison table between TP-link and Asus.

Comparison table DSL-N56 Vs TP-link W8980

Asus DSL-N55U TP-link TD-W8980
Wireless technology Wireless N600 dual band, up to 300Mbps each band Wireless N600 dual band, up to 300Mbps each band
Antenna Detachable dBi dipole antenna x 3 with ASUS Ai Radar , high power amplifiers for each 2.4GHz and 5GHz 3x 5GHz 5dBi detachable antennas (RP-SMA)

2x 2.4GHz 3.5dBi internal antennas

Ethernet interfaces 4x Gigabit ports 4x Gigabit ports
WAN port N/A, but 3G failover Gigabit interchangeable Ethernet or WAN (EWAN) port
USB ports 2x USB 2.0 ports for 3G/4G sharing, file sharing, printer sharing, and iPad charging using multi-functional 2x USB 2.0 ports

Storage Sharing (Samba or FTP), Media Server, Print Server and multi accounts support

IPv6 ready Yes Yes
Guest network 3x SSIDs each band No
VPN support PPTP server and

VPN Pass through

Up to 10 native IPSec VPN tunnels
Price Around $ 170 Around $ 90


There are view main spec differences between the two modems, even though both modems have the same physical model with three external antennas.

WAN options

Indeed both Asus and TP-link modems come with built-in DSL modem, but each device has different WAN connection option.

With W8980 you can utilize the gigabit EWAN port (interchangeable port either as LAN or WAN port) to connect to the Cable modem should you switch from DSL to Cable services. On the other hand, Asus DSL-N55U comes with USB port that allows you to share 3G/4G network. You can share the cellular internet anywhere you can access cellular network. N55U can become a wireless mobile router you can use in an impromptu outdoor activity such as behind the stage of music concert or in an emergency response of natural disaster where you cannot access wired internet services.

Guest network

In some cases, guest network is important to allow you segregate the network for security reason. TP-link 8980 doesn’t support guest network, but Asus N55U does. In small offices, creating network segmentation is sometimes important. For example you need to isolate finance department in separate network, while other users use different network.

In home, you can create multiple guest networks with different security settings such as internet filters and schedule for each individual network for your small kids, and different network for the folks.

VPN support

Unlike Asus DSL-N55U that supports PPTP VPN server, W8980 supports up to 10 IPSec VPN secure tunneling. You can create two W8980 devices to create site-to-site VPN tunnels as shown in the following figure, or you can create the secure tunnels using different VPN router devices up to 10 IPSec secure tunneling.

W8980 VPN Diagram

You can share network resources between two separate LANs or between branch offices using two W8980 modems in secure manner.

Prices are different; Asus DSL-N55U is almost twice as much expensive as TP-link W8980. For small office deployment with branch offices, W8980 would be more benefit with its IPSec VPN feature. For home environment, both modems are ideal for multimedia with its DLNA Media server support and two USB ports. TP-link 8980 is well worth the price to purchase for home wifi environment with DSL service.

Now, which one meets your need?

Other solution

New technology is getting better and better, even though ADSL modem router is beginning to be replaced with cable and fiber optic. But in some other sides of the country ADSL is still existing. So that’s why upgrade your ADSL modem router with new wireless AC technology. Motorola offers MD1600 ADSL/VDSL modem wireless router.

MD1600 is VDSL2/ADSL2 Modem with built-in wireless ac1600 gigabit router. Eliminate your exiting ADSL modem and replace it with Motorola MD1600.

Motorola MD1600 VDSL2/ADSL modem router AC1600

To learn more detail you click the link below, spec details, current price and rating in Amazon.

Click here for Motorola MD1600 ADSL2/VDSL modem router

Or you may upgrade your wifi environment with mesh wifi router when your internet service is cable.


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