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 routers for CenturyLink internet.
Are you a current CenturyLink customer, or are you 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.
Many of the Centurylink-approved modems only support DSL speeds up to 100 Mbps, so customers on faster CenturyLink fiber plans won’t be able to take full advantage of their speeds if they purchase the wrong modem.
What’s the difference? DSL is an internet service accessed through phone lines, which do not support the higher bandwidth you get from cable or fiber, so DSL is often best for 1-2 moderate users who stream, browse and game. It typically hits speeds up to 400 Mbps, depending on the provider and your location.
Fiber will give you much faster speeds up to 1000 Mbps, and with some providers like AT&T or Xfinity, speeds are offered in certain locations between 3000 Mbps and 6000 Mbps. A fiber plan will keep your smart home full of power internet users playing games, video chatting, streaming and more, simultaneously.
Centurylink modem/router winners
|TP-Link AX3000 WiFi 6 Router||$$$||Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Speeds|
Compatible with Alexa
|CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit|
|Zyxel C3000Z Modem||$$$||Wi-Fi 5 technology |
Dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11 4 Ethernet ports
|CenturyLink DSL up to 40 Mbps|
|C4000LG CenturyLink Modem by GreenWave||$$$||WiFi 6 technology|
Wireless speed up to 3 Gbps
|CenturyLink DSL and Fiber plans|
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
Lower monthly bill
Choice of any equipment
You’re responsible for device repairs and replacement
High upfront cost
No CenturyLink support for device
How we chose the best modem/router for CenturyLink
When narrowing down the best CenturyLink internet modems and routers, our goal was to find the best value. We compared a variety of options based on criteria such as speed, price, features, customer reviews and what plan it’s best for.
CenturyLink provides DSL internet, which isn’t compatible with all internet routers and modems on the market. All of the devices on our list are on CenturyLink’s approved list of devices to ensure the best compatibility.
Best wireless router for CenturyLink fiber gig plan: TP-Link AX3000
The TP-Link AX3000 WiFi 6 Router supports CenturyLink’s Fiber Gigabit plan with Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 speeds. Compatible with Alexa, the dual-band router cuts latency and jitter for power gamers and working from home experts.
What we like
Dual core processor.
Simple connection procedure.
4.4 out of 5 Amazon star rating; great tech support cited.
Things to consider
Must have CenturyLink’s most expensive plan to get the most out of the device.
HomeCare is available for a six-month trial to use features like parental controls, but then requires a paid subscription after the trial.
Reviews cite some speed instability and overheating issues.
Best modem for CenturyLink DSL Wi-Fi 5: Zyxel C3000Z
The Zyxel C3000Z is one of CenturyLink’s top recommended modems for its DSL internet service. It has IPv4 and IPv6 compatibility. It also comes with vectoring, which provides for increased performance and range.
What we like
Has both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
4.2 out of 5 Amazon star rating; ease of installation, ease of use and strong Wi-Fi signal were cited.
Things to consider
Limited to 40 Mbps DSL plans and below.
May need a range extender if your space is over 1500 sq. ft.
Best modem for flexibility: Greenwave C4000LG
The Greenwave C4000LG Wi-Fi 6 xDSL modem offers up to 3 Gbps of speed and four internal antennas to reach every part of your home.
What we like
Supports both CenturyLink DSL and Fiber plans.
90-day money-back guarantee on refurbished versions.
Backward compatible: Wi-Fi 6 supports current Wi-Fi devices.
Things to consider
Pricey for a renewed model.
Only 3.5 out of 5 Amazon star rating; missing pass code cited on renewed model purchase.
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, you must 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 maximize the internet service you’re paying for.
- Security: You must 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 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