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The 3 best modems and routers for CenturyLink


Jun 3, 2021 — 4 min read

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

When you sign up for your CenturyLink internet plan, you’ll have the option to either buy or rent your modem and router. While there are some advantages to renting, purchasing your own equipment gives you the most control over your device and saves you the most money in the long run. To help you make the most of your internet plan, we’ve rounded up a list of the best internet modems and routers for CenturyLink internet.

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. 

Centurylink modem/router winners

Best modem/router for CenturyLink 40 Mbps or below: Zyxel C3000Z

The Zyxel C3000Z is one of CenturyLink’s top recommended internet routers for its DSL internet service. This Zyxel model has both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. It has IPv4 and IPv6 compatibility. It also comes with vectoring, which provides for increased performance and range.

Zyxel’s device has more than 500 reviews on Amazon, with 4.2 out of 5 stars. Customers’ favorite features include ease of installation, ease of use, and strong Wi-Fi signal.

Best modem/router for CenturyLink 100 Mbps or below: Actiontec C3000A

The Actiontec C3000A is another of CenturyLink’s most highly recommended internet devices. It comes with dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi technology and can support speeds up to 100 Mbps on VDSL (or 200 Mbps for pair bond). It also includes IPv4 and IPv6 compatibility, along with vectoring to increase your range and performance even more.

This Actiontec device has nearly 200 reviews on Amazon, with 4.2 out of 5 stars. The most highly-rated features include ease of use, technical support and ease of installation.

Best modem/router for CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit: Greenwave C4000XG

The Greenwave C4000XG is the newest modem/router available for CenturyLink internet plans and has some features that really make it stand out. First, the device comes equipped with Wi-Fi 6 technology, with dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11ax. It automatically selects the fastest band of each device, so you can feel confident you’re getting the fastest speeds available. The Greenwave device is well-suited to CenturyLink’s Fiber Gigabit plan.

The Greenwave device is relatively new and doesn’t yet have much feedback online, but the features that customers cited as their favorites include ease of installation, a strong Wi-Fi signal and technical support.

Should you rent or purchase your CenturyLink equipment?

When you sign up for your CenturyLink internet plan, you’ll have the ability to choose between buying and renting your equipment. While renting is the obvious choice for many, buying your own equipment actually has some serious advantages.

Pros and Cons of renting

  • Low upfront cost

  • Customer service for device

  • CenturyLink is responsible for device repairs and replacement

  • Compatibility with internet plan

  • Higher monthly payment

  • Higher long-term cost

  • Perpetual device payments

Pros and Cons of buying

  • One-time cost

  • Long-term savings

  • Lower monthly bill

  • Choice of any equipment

  • You’re responsible for device repairs and replacement

  • High upfront cost

  • No CenturyLink support for device

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.

What to look for in a CenturyLink compatible modem 

While there are many advantages to buying your own internet modem and router rather than renting, it also requires additional research on your part to find the devices with the best features that also fit your internet plan. Here are a few things to consider when you’re choosing a CenturyLink router and modem:

  • DOCSIS: Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification — otherwise known as DOCSIS — allows data to transfer over existing coaxial cable systems at a high bandwidth. Cable modem DOCSIS usually ranges from 1.0 to 3.1, with the best devices having 3.0 or 3.1.
  • Speed compatibility: When you shop around for internet devices, it’s important that you find those that are compatible with your internet plan. For example, if your internet plan has up to 200 Mbps download speeds, be sure to shop around for devices that allow for at least 200 Mbps speeds. Choosing a device with slower speeds means you can’t really maximize the internet service you’re paying for.
  • Security: It’s critical that you have a safe and secure internet connection. After all, a secure internet connection helps to keep your personal information safe. A good rule of thumb is that your devices should have password encryption of at least WPA2 or WPA3.
  • Channel bonding: Channel bonding is a way to maximize your internet speed by combining two internet channels simultaneously. The higher your channel bonding, the more traffic and speed it can handle. Devices can often go up to 32×8 channel bonding, meaning 32 downloading channels and eight uploading channels.

Need a faster internet plan?

One of the best ways to improve your internet speeds is to shop around for a better internet plan. That could mean upgrading to a faster plan with your current internet service provider, though it could also mean switching service providers altogether. You can check availability on our site to find the best internet in your area.

The bottom line

Choosing the right internet modem and router for your CenturyLink internet plan is critical for maximizing your speed and having the best overall experience. There are many modems, routers, and modem/routers to choose from, and it can feel overwhelming to choose the right one. While buying your devices instead of renting might be more work to find the right fit, it’s worth it in the long run.

By Erin Gobler