Originally Posted by brandor
I might be missing something, but why would you need a linux driver for a DSL modem?
because it's a usb modem, not an ethernet modem. and because it's a usb modem, a hub/router/switch solution won't work either. and also because it is usb, it will require a driver to work.
if you are in a position where you will need to purchase your own modem, netgear is as good a name as any other. netgear, linksys, dlink, buffalo ... all good names to pick from. some people will prefer netgear over linksys, and some will prefer linksys over dlink for example, but for the most part, there's not much difference.
as long as you have an ethernet card in your laptop, and an ethernet based connection, there will be no drivers necessary to make your internet work.
i wouldn't suggest using a laptop as a router/firewall. this will require significant up times where the computer will be on for days and days. as a general rule, this type of service is not very healthy for a laptop. if you wish to make a linux firewall/dhcp server, my suggestion to you is to pick up an old desktop computer. most distributions have directions to get a server online even without a monitor attached (headless installs).