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Setting up internet service isn’t always as straightforward (or cheap) as selecting a plan and turning it on. Often there’s equipment to be set up and rental fees associated with said equipment. For instance, Windstream internet customers must rent a Gateway modem-router combo for up to $11.99/mo.*
*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 05/27/20.
Can you use your own Windstream modem and router? Technically, yes, but there are some things you should know before you purchase your own modem or router.
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Windstream-compatible modems and routers
While there are modems and routers that are compatible with Windstream internet service, the company doesn’t maintain a list of approved internet equipment you can purchase on your own. Instead, lists of Windstream-compatible modems and routers are usually generated based on user input on Amazon, forums and review sites.
Windstream states on their website that they offer “very limited support” for broadband DSL modems that haven’t been approved or issued by them.
“Windstream can advise you of the connection type and the basic settings your device will need,” their website states. “ However, Windstream won’t know how to walk you through setting up routers or modems that aren’t current ones provided by Windstream.”
With that being said, you can still purchase your own equipment. Just be aware that you’re on your own when it comes to tech support or glitches in service due to your modem.
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Best Windstream-compatible gateway routers
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router
Speeds: 1900 Mbps
Wi-Fi bands: 2
Enjoy speeds up to 600 Mbps on the first band and 1300 Mbps on the second with dynamic network traffic prioritization for your favorite streaming apps, including YouTube and Netflix. Connect this smart router to your smart home hub to manage your home network using your voice and upload the Nighthawk app to your smartphone to control things on-the-go.
Motorola MD1600 VDSL2/ADSL2+ Modem plus AC1600 Gigabit Router
Speeds: 100 Mbps
Wi-Fi bands: 2
This gateway device is rumored to deliver internet speeds up to 100 Mbps depending on your Windstream DSL service. Four gigabit ethernet ports allow users to support multiple internet-connected devices without service interference.
Actiontec GT784WN DSL Modem Wireless Router
Speeds: 300 Mbps
This modem is known for its easy installation and an affordable price. The Actiontec gateway device is not only a modem and router but a four-port switch as well.
TP-Link TD-8816 ADSL2+ Modem Router
Speeds: 24 Mbps
Wi-Fi bands: 0
This 2-in-1 device functions as a high-speed DSL modem and a one-port 10/100 Mbps NAT router with a hardwired connection. IP QoS features allow you to control your internet traffic and prioritize bandwidth. Your device also supports the latest IPv6 internet protocol so your device works well into the future.
Windstream modem and router FAQs
What if I still want to purchase my own modem and router to use with Windstream internet?
You can purchase your own modem and router to use with Windstream internet service, but know that you may not be able to rely on Windstream’s technical support team if you ever have issues. If you’re interested in Windstream internet service and want to use your own modem to save on the monthly fee, you can contact their office at 800.347.1991.
What should I do if I have issues with my purchased modem and router?
If you purchased your own modem and router to use with Windstream internet and are having technical issues, you’ll need to contact the equipment manufacturer directly. When speaking with the manufacturer, please provide them with the following information:
Former CTC Customers
Type of Connection: DHCP
Type of Connection: PPPoE
Can I purchase a modem and router from Windstream directly?
No. Windstream only provides internet equipment for rent, not purchase. As such, renting a Windstream modem and router will cost you a monthly fee, plus a one-time internet activation fee. Select plans and promotions may waive the one-time activation fee.
Can I self-install my Windstream modem and router?
Yes. You may opt to self-install your Windstream internet equipment at no additional cost. Professional installation, however, does require a one-time fee. If you choose self-installation, Windstream will ship you your modem, installation instructions and information on technical assistance available via phone. Visit their self-installation page for more information.
My internet seems slow. Am I getting the speed I’m paying for?
If your Windstream internet connection seems slow or you’re encountering a lot of buffering, you’ll want to run a speed test to measure your download and upload speeds. For the most accurate results, be sure to run your test while using an Ethernet cord without any other devices on the network.
If you’re not getting the speed you’re paying for, you may need to contact Windstream. They can help troubleshoot the problem and, if you’re a renter, let you know if you need an equipment upgrade. However, if you purchased your own internet equipment and aren’t getting within 80% of your plan’s advertised speeds, your modem or router may not be fully compatible.
For more information on Windstream modems and routers, call our internet experts today… and for all your broadband news, stay connected to our Resource Center.
Originally written 6/20/2019. Last updated 5/28/2020.
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