CenturyLink-compatible modems and routers

Lisa Iscrupe

May 13, 2020 — 5 min read

CenturyLink may let you rent a modem, but what if you want your own? Learn about compatible modem & router options!

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Are you a current CenturyLink customer, or considering getting CenturyLink internet at your home? Having a quality modem and router is key to taking full advantage of any CenturyLink internet plan with Wi-Fi. 

Renting a modem and router from CenturyLink typically costs between $10-$15/mo.* However, you may decide that purchasing your own modem is a better option. Whether you are looking for top-of-the-line technology or just want to save on recurring monthly fees, we can help you learn all you need to know about modems compatible with CenturyLink service.

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Best CenturyLink DSL compatible modems and routers

Before you purchase your own CenturyLink equipment, there are a couple of steps you might want to take to make sure you get the correct CenturyLink-compatible modem.

  • Speak with a CenturyLink technical support team member to learn about your local technology requirements, as certain modems and routers may only work with specific connection types.
  • Check out a Best Buy or Walmart in your area because they may carry CenturyLink-branded modems.

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A complete list of modems compatible with CenturyLink

The three CenturyLink compatible modem and router combinations above are popular options, but they’re certainly not the only compatible modems out there. Here’s a complete list of modems that will work with CenturyLink DSL internet, and all listed have built-in Wi-Fi.

Internet connection type glossary

ADSL/ADSL2+ (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)

These DSL lines deliver internet on frequencies not used for voice calls. ADSL lines can deliver download speeds of up to 8 Mbps, but upload speeds are much slower, typically under 1 Mbps. ADSL2+ is a newer version of ADSL lines, available to those who live near a telephone exchange. ADSL2+ can deliver download speeds up to 24 Mbps.

VDSL/VDSL2 (Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Line)

VDSL and VDSL2 lines offer internet speeds up to 50 and 100 Mbps, respectively. These faster speeds can support more activities, such as streaming in HD video quality. VDSL2 uses a process called “vectoring” to reduce interference and produce a better quality internet connection.


A bonded internet line is a type of DSL line that tends to be applied to ADSL internet lines, but can be applied to VDSL lines as well. Also called channel bonded broadband, bonding is twisting copper lines to increase bandwidth and how far the DSL network can reach. 

GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network)

GPON is a fiber-optic internet connection type that can maintain fast speeds over a further distance than copper DSL connections. It has a maximum download bandwidth of over 2,000 Mbps.

Depending on the area, CenturyLink uses all of the DSL broadband networks listed above. So, before you purchase a new modem, ask a CenturyLink technician what type of DSL network is in your neighborhood.

CenturyLink fiber compatible modems and routers

CenturyLink is continually expanding their fiber footprint to more communities nationwide. 
Check your address to see if CenturyLink is offering gigabit speeds in your area to enjoy blazing fast speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. If you select a CenturyLink fiber internet plan, you’ll have the opportunity to use a CenturyLink-provided modem and router gateway, or provide your own.

CenturyLink fiber modem, The Optical Network Terminator

When CenturyLink installs fiber internet at your home, they’ll first install an Optical Network Terminator (ONT). The ONT is a device about the size of a small pizza box that converts fiber-optic light signals into Ethernet. Essentially, this device will function as your modem.

CenturyLink will also provide you with a gateway (a modem and router combo), but that gateway will only be operating as a router to provide your home Wi-Fi signal, since the ONT is taking the place of a standard modem.

CenturyLink router options with an ONT 

If you want a different router than the CenturyLink provided one, you have a variety of Wi-Fi router options.

Since the ONT is a modem, you simply need to connect a router to it. You can buy any router of your choice, you are not limited to a CenturyLink-branded device. Be aware that setting up your own router and configuring the connection could take some time. Plus, you may need to contact CenturyLink customer service to obtain Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) login credentials.

If you choose a new router or try to use a router you already have at home, double-check the maximum speed the router supports. Fiber internet performs at faster speeds than DSL, so make sure you aren’t limiting your home internet speed by connecting a less efficient router.

CenturyLink modem tips

Whether you have DSL or fiber internet with CenturyLink, using a CenturyLink compatible modem and router from the list of CenturyLink verified equipment is a smart decision. CenturyLink has already tested that list of modems, and their tech support team can help you troubleshoot any issues that might arise.

Interested in switching to CenturyLink high-speed DSL or fiber internet? Allconnect can help find plans available near you and the best equipment to maximize your Wi-Fi at home.

Lisa Iscrupe

Written by:

Lisa Iscrupe

Writer, Broadband & Data Content

Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. In Lisa’s Words: Ever… Read more

Trey Paul

Edited by:

Trey Paul

Editor, Head of Content

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