Windstream modem and router guide: Should you rent or buy?

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.*

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.

Windstream-compatible modems and routers

While there are modems and routers that are compatible with Windstream’s DSL 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.

“We cannot guarantee these modems will be compatible with our Central Office equipment,” their website states.

“Windstream cannot provide technical support or assistance in setting up a non-supported DSL modem and recommends calling the modem’s manufacturer for further assistance.”

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 just 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 modems, you can contact their office at 1.800.347.1991.

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
  • VPI/VCI: 0/35

Non-CTC Customers

  • Type of Connection: PPPoE
  • VPI/VCI: 0/35
  • Authentication: PAP

Can I purchase a modem and router from Windstream directly?

No. Windstream only provides internet equipment for rent, not for 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!