While CenturyLink gives you the option to rent a modem for $15 per month*, you may decide that buying a modem is better for you than renting CenturyLink provided equipment. Whether you’re looking into a new CenturyLink internet plan or debating whether you should replace your current CenturyLink modem, we can help you learn all you need to know about modems compatible with CenturyLink service.
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 07/15/19.
Top CenturyLink DSL compatible modems and routers
If you choose to purchase your own CenturyLink-compatible modem, the company suggests checking out a Best Buy or Walmart in your area because they may carry CenturyLink-branded modems.
They also recommend talking with a CenturyLink technical support team member to learn about your local technology requirements. Certain modems and routers may only work with specific connection types, and a technical support team member can clarify which internet connection type you have.
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1. Actiontec C1000A modem and router – $$$
Available on Amazon or on Best Buy, the Actiontec C1000A modem receives excellent ratings from customers. It’s one of the models CenturyLink has sent new DSL customers.
Some CenturyLink customers have replaced other company-provided modems with the Actiontec C1000A modem and were very pleased with faster, more stabilized speeds. Plus, it supports VDSL and ADSL connections, so it should work with most CenturyLink plans. Make sure you ask a technician about its compatibility with your specific plan because it doesn’t support certain DSL connection types.
2. ZyXEL C1100Z modem and router – $$
The ZyXEL C1100Z is a combined modem and router that can be purchased on Amazon. It’s a model that CenturyLink sends to customers leasing or buying equipment, and ZyXEL actually manufactures modems specifically for CenturyLink.
Customer reviews note that it works well and that set up is easy as long as you read the instructions thoroughly, otherwise it can be difficult to get connected. The ZyXEL C1100Z modem is also compatible with both VDSL and ADSL connections. However, if the modem stops working at any point, refunds are not done through Amazon and you must go through ZyXEL.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 modem and router – $$$$
The NETGEAR Nighthawk isn’t a CenturyLink-provided modem, but it is a well-rated product. The router has Wi-Fi amplifier antennas to help extend Wi-Fi coverage to your whole home. Plus, the Nighthawk is compatible with ADSL and VDSL connections, so it should work with a variety of CenturyLink DSL networks.
Customer ratings say that the router has a fair Wi-Fi signal range. The only caveat is for users who typically enjoy resetting and configuring router settings, such as gamers. Reportedly, buyers have had a difficult time finding Netgear’s functionality and altering settings on it.
A complete list of modems compatible with CenturyLink
The three CenturyLink compatible modem and router combinations above are popular options, but they’re certainly not the only compatible modems out there. Here’s a complete list of modems that will work with CenturyLink DSL internet, and all listed have built-in Wi-Fi.
|Model name||Connection compatibility|
|Actiontec C1000A & C1000A-D||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2||$$$
|Actiontec C1900A||DSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$$
|Actiontec C2000A & C2000A-D||VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$
|Actiontec C2300A||VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$$$
|Actiontec C3000A||DSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$$$
|Actiontec PK5000||ADSL, ADSL2+||$
|Actiontec PK5001A||ADSL, ADSL2+||$
|Actiontec Q1000||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2||$
|Cisco 2200DDR||ADSL2+, GPON, Bonded||$
|Technicolor C1100T||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2||$$
|Technicolor C2000T||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$
|Technicolor C2100T||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$$$
|Westell 7500||ADSL, ADSL2+||$
|ZyXEL C1000Z||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2 ||$
|ZyXEL C1100Z||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON||$
|ZyXEL C2100Z||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$$
|ZyXEL C3000Z||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON, Bonded||$$$$
|ZyXEL PK5000Z||ADSL, ADSL2+||$
|ZyXEL PK5001Z||ADSL, ADSL2+||$$$
|ZyXEL Q1000Z||ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2 ||$
Internet connection type glossary
ADSL/ADSL2+ (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) – These type of DSL lines deliver internet on frequencies that aren’t used for voice calls. You can get fairly fast download speeds and companies using ADSL technology don’t have to install any special wires. However, upload speeds are slow. ADSL2+ is a new version of ADSL lines that’s specifically available if you live within 2 kilometers of a telephone exchange.
VDSL/VDSL2 (Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Line) – These lines tend to be faster than ADSL lines up to around 1 mile. After that distance, speeds are comparable to ADSL lines. VDSL can support more activities, such as streaming and HD video quality, than ADSL can. VDSL2 specifically uses vectoring to remove internet connection interferences that come from crosstalk, or a bunch of copper lines running beside each other.
Bonded – A bonded internet line is a type of DSL line and tends to be applied to ADSL internet lines, but can be applied to VDSL lines as well. Bonding is twisting copper lines to increase bandwidth and how far the DSL network can reach.
GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) – This type of line is a fiber-optic internet connection type. It can maintain fast speeds over a much further distance than copper DSL connections and has a maximum download bandwidth of 2.5 Gbps.
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 or area.
CenturyLink fiber compatible modems and routers
If CenturyLink offers gigabit speeds in your area via their growing fiber network, then you’ll love the option to choose blazing fast speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. If you select a CenturyLink fiber internet plan, then you’ll have the opportunity to use a CenturyLink provided modem and router gateway or use your own.
The Optical Network Terminator, your fiber modem
When CenturyLink installs fiber internet at your home, they’ll first install an Optical Network Terminator as well as a “modem.” The Optical Network Terminator is a large, boxy device that converts fiber-optic light signals into Ethernet.
CenturyLink will also provide you with one of their modem and router gateways, but that gateway will only be operating as a router since the Optical Network Terminator functions the way a modem does, which is different from a router’s function. You’re welcome to rent it or buy it for its router functionality, and CenturyLink may include it at no cost with specific promotions.
Using a CenturyLink ONT opens up your router options
If you want a different router than the CenturyLink provided one, you have a variety of options.
Essentially, you can buy any router of your choice, not just a CenturyLink compatible router. Since the ONT is a modem, you simply need to connect a router to it. However, depending on your router, configuring the connection could take some time, and it may require you to call CenturyLink 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 your router can keep up with your new speeds so that you get the full benefits of your fiber connection.
Final CenturyLink modem tips
Whether you have DSL or fiber internet with CenturyLink, using a CenturyLink compatible modem and router from the table 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.
If you’re looking to switch to CenturyLink’s high-speed DSL or fiber internet, then Allconnect can help you find which plans are available near you. After you find the right internet package for your home, use this modem and router guide to maximize your Wi-Fi at home.
Originally published 01/17/19. Last updated 07/15/19.