CenturyLink is one of the largest technology companies offering DSL network and security services. DSL technology varies widely such that compatibility is always an issue. Most DSL modem manufacturers make them specifically for a particular ISP. Therefore, the best way to be certain that a modem is compatible with CenturyLink is to visit their website. Some CenturyLink approved modems are better than others. But, how can you know which is better? This long list of approved modems can make it difficult for you to make a choice.
CenturyLink charges as much as $10 per month for modem rental. Buying one can help you to save up this rental money. CenturyLink offer 6 subscription plans namely; Life 15 (15 Mbps), Life 20 (20 Mbps) Life 40 (40 Mbps), Life 80 (80 Mbps), Life 100 (100 Mbps), and CenturyLink Fiber Internet (940 Mbps). These numerous data plans make it more complicated for users who want to buy their own modem. This is because your modem of choice need to be compatible with your data plan. Carefully analyzing all these factors, we present to you the best CenturyLink modems.
Review of the Best CenturyLink Modem
You can’t always be sure of the modem that CenturyLink will send to your door when. However, when you buy one yourself, you have the privilege of choosing exactly what you need. DSL modem with a router makes it easier for you to connect newer devices to the internet bearing in mind that newer electronic gadgets are designed for wireless networks. That said, let us look at the best CenturyLink modems.
Actiontec C3000A – Best Overall
The most impressive feature of Actiontec C3000A that will catch your interest at a first glance is the Wi-Fi coverage.
It makes use of the advanced 802.11ac technology with dual-band. The 5.0 GHz frequency band to 820 feet. This makes it suitable for small to medium homes. This modem has robust security settings including IPv4 and IPv6 firewall as well as NAT, and UPnP. These should be able to stop unauthorized access to your network.
Thankfully, most of the DSL modems that are compatible with CenturyLink come with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Whether you are working with wired or wireless connection, you will never run out of space. There is also a USB port that lets you share files on your hard drive across devices connected to the network. The ADSL and ADSL2+ can reach 20 Mbps while the VDSL2 is 100 Mbps. It is also suitable for CenturyLink Fiber Internet.
The main disadvantage of this modem is the huge price. If you are not going to stick with CenturyLink for more than a year, it may be a better option to rent than to buy Actiontec C3000A. However, it has some of the most advanced features such that if there are any future network upgrades, you will likely not be affected.
- Dual Wi-Fi band
- Robust security infrastructure
- Compatible with all the common DSL types
- Allows vectoring upgrade
- Extremely expensive
- Lacks CBRAS compatibility
Technicolor C2100T – Best DSL modem for CenturyLink
Technicolor C2100T has front-facing LED indicators that allow you to determine the status of your modem at a glance. This modem comes with a dual-band router; the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. this makes it easier to customize your network depending on the device in use. This CenturyLink compatible modem also uses WPA2-AES encryption to protect your network from unauthorized access.
Behind this modem are 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports that allows you to connect to more devices. It has a USB port for sharing of files. Technicolor C2100T’s ADSL can reach a speed of 7 Mbps while its ADSL2+ can reach 20 Mbps. It also has Very high-speed Digital Subscriber Line 2 (VDSL2) that can reach 80 Mbps. It supports bonded ADSL2+ and VDSL2 to deliver 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps respectively.
Technicolor C2100T is compatible with CBRAS (short for CenturyLink broadband remote access server). This allows for the convergence of multiple Internet traffic into a single network. It allows for vectoring upgrade too. This modem is relatively affordable. Except for the slightly lower speed, it is one of the best DSL modem for CenturyLink.
- Combines DSL modem with router
- Supports vectoring upgrade and bonding
- Slightly affordable
- Suitable for 1Gb plan
- Slightly lower ADSL speed
- Complains about durability
Zyxel C1100Z – Best for Wi-Fi range
Lots of customers have had a positive experience with Zyxel C1100Z and we found a handful of reasons that makes it worthy to be on this list. Firstly, it is easy to set up if you follow the instructions thoroughly. This device combines a DSL modem and a router together. The single band (2.4 GHz) still has an appreciable range. Nevertheless, its Wi-Fi technology is the 802.11b/g/n which is becoming obsolete.
Zyxel C1100Z runs slower (7 Mbps) on ADSL when compared to Actiontec 3000A. However, it compensates for this by being six times cheaper. It is also compatible with VDSL2 and GPON, running 80 Mbps and 1 Gbps respectively. Like all the modems on this list, this one comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port. It supports vectoring upgrade and CBRAS which may affect your future experience in one way or another.
Zyxel C1100Z is compatible with IPv6 technology which is the latest in the industry. However, this modem router combo has a few limitations that may be huge for some users. To start with, it lacks bonded feature. This feature can be used to boost speed. The absence of it means you have to make do with what you have.
- Easy to setup
- Combines a DSL modem and a router
- Comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port
- Compatible with IPv6 technology
- Supports vectoring upgrade and CBRAS
- Highly affordable
- Lacks bonded feature
- Runs slower on ADSL
- Wi-Fi architecture is becoming obsolete
Westell 7500 – Approved CenturyLink modem
When you are on a low budget, you are often left with no option but to settle for the minimally approved modem. Westell 7500 is one of the CenturyLink approved modems that simply pass the minimum requirement. It is highly affordable and comes with 4 Ethernet ports that expand the number of wired connections you can have at a time.
Another huge plus with this DSL modem is that it comes with a 2.4 GHz band Wi-Fi router. Most devices are made for wireless connections and this modem prepares you for them. Westell 7500 runs at 6 Mbps for ADSL and 10 Mbps for ADSL2+. This is significantly lower than you would get from other modems. However, it’s still better than nothing.
Westell 7500 has myriads of limitations. It doesn’t support VDSL2, GPON, and bonded technology. Also, unlike most of the DSL modems, it lacks a USB port. Other features that will not be available to you include vectoring upgrade and CBRAS. The long list of lacks on this device can make it feel like a huge disappointment. However, when you budget determines what you can have and what you can’t, Westell 7500 allows you to have something.
- Combines DSL modem and 2.4 GHz band router
- Highly affordable
- Comes with 4 Ethernet ports
- Not compatible with VDSL2, GPON, and bonded technology
- Speed is disappointing
Zyxel FR1000Z – Best DSL modem with USB-C port
USB port C is the future of connection and Zyxel FR1000Z prepares you for that future. It comes with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB C port which ensures faster data transfer. This modem can reach a download speed of up to 500 Mbps. In addition to these, Zyxel equips it with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi router running on the 802.11b/g/n technology.
Zyxel makes use of dual Ethernet firewalls namely NAT and SPI. These ensures adequate protection of traffic from the LAN and WAN. Unfortunately, this modem is not compatible with ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL2. It doesn’t support bonded technology too. Regular device updates can help fix bugs as well as improve security. Unfortunately you can’t do that with Zyxel FR1000Z because it doesn’t support vectoring.
Another feature that this device doesn’t support is bonded technology. However, it makes up for these shortfalls by being highly affordable. One thing that most customers have complained about is significant drop in speed when using the Wi-Fi router. Cable connections are always faster. You need to bear this in mind when making your purchase.
- Combines modem and router
- Dual Ethernet firewall protection
- Download speed of up to 500 Mbps
- Highly affordable
- Not compatible with ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL2
- Vectoring is not supported
Technicolor C1100T – Best CenturyLink fiber optic modem
The Technicolor C1100T has bright LEDs that tells you the operational status, start-up sequence, and connectivity status of the device. It is specifically designed for CenturyLink VDSL2 technology. It also supports ADSL and ADSL2+ offering 7 Mbps and 20 Mbps respectively on both channels. You will have access to 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port. This pairs with 2.4 GHz router to give you a broad connectivity option.
On GPON connection, the speed of Technicolor C1100T can reach 1 Gbps. This is because it has CBRAS ability. It supports vectoring which means you can upgrade the firmware. This modem doesn’t support bonded technology. Thus, the speed of the ADSL and ADSL2+ channels cannot be improved. If you are environmentally sensitive, it will interest you to know that this device was designed according to the latest ECO standards.
Technicolor C1100T is not perfect. One of its greatest flaws is the high price. If you are not going to be using CenturyLink for up to a year, renting their modem will be a better option than purchasing this one. However, it pays for the huge cost over prolonged usage, thanks to its rigid and highly ventilated design which improves its durability.
- Combines DSL modem and router
- Supports ADSL and ADSL2+ technologies
- Firmware upgrade is possible through vectoring
- Designed to the latest ECO standard
- Lacks support for bonded DSL technology
Zyxel C3000Z –Best modem router combo
If you are looking for the best modem router combo for CenturyLink, Zyxel C3000Z should be among your top picks. It is compatible with all the DSL technologies and the speed is just as spectacular. On ADSL and ADSL2+, you will get a speed of 20 Mbps which are the highest you will get on that technology. On VDSL2, you will get 80 Mbps. However, it uses bonded technology to extend this to 100 Mbps.
Zyxel C3000Z supports GPON at 1 Gbps. Like most of the modems on this list, you will get 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port. It comes with an inbuilt Wi-Fi router which should significantly improve the disappointing Wi-Fi connection people usually experience with DSL modem router combo. The 5.0 GHz band makes use of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology which is several times faster than the previous models.
Other features you will get with Zyxel C3000Z include vectoring, CBRAS, and compatibility with Prism TV. All these features come at a huge price. Unless you will be using this modem for a very long time, renting may be a better option. However, if you are keen on getting better Wi-Fi reception and speed, consider the price a small sacrifice.
- Combines DSL modem and dual band router
- Maximum speed on ADSL and ADSL2+ channels
- Compatible with 1 Gbps data plan
- Supports vectoring, CBRAS, and Prism TV
- Bonded technology is only possible on VDSL2
Actiontec C1900A – Best bonded modem
This is definitely one of the best DSL modems among the Actiontec C series. The ADSL speed is slightly slower at 7 Mbps but the ADSL2+ speed is at 20 Mbps which is the highest you will get. It offers VDSL2 technology at 80 Mbps. However, this can reach 100 Mbps through bonded technology. It supports GPON technology at 1 Gbps. These features make it compatible with all CenturyLink data plans.
You will get 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port for your various connections. Actiontec C1900A supports vectoring which allows you to upgrade your firmware whenever new updates are available. You should get better Wi-Fi speed with this device, thanks to the dual-band 802.11ac and 802.11n wireless technology. It is also important to mention that it has front-facing LED lights that tell you the status of the modem at a glance.
Actiontec C1900A does not make use of CBRAS technology which is a minor letdown. Also, bear in mind that it is not compatible with prism TV. However, its low price allows means you will start reaping the benefit of owning your own modem rather than paying for rental within a short time. In terms of bonded technology, it is a trustworthy device.
- Combines DSL modem with router
- Improved speed with bonded technology
- Supports vectoring
- Front-facing LED indicators
- Lower speed on ADSL channel
- Lacks support for CBRAS
Zyxel PK5001Z – Best CenturyLink compatible modem
The first thing you have to bear in mind is that this modem works with only ADSL and ADSL2+ technologies. If you are using any other form of DSL network, this is definitely not for you. The speed of the ADSL2+ connection is 20 Mbps which is practically the highest you will get. However, its ADSL speed is only 7 Mbps. Some modems offer up to 20 Mbps on this technology.
Zyxel PK5001Z comes with 4 Ethernet ports and 1 USB port. However, they are not Gigabit ports. Their maximum speed is 100 Mbps. It doesn’t support VDSL, GPON, and bonded technology. This means there is no way to improve the speed of the connection. Therefore, this modem is not suitable with CenturyLink Gigabit plan. This modem has an inbuilt router which supports WPA2, WPA, and WEP encryption.
The presence of dual Ethernet firewalls SPI and NAT further helps you to identify and manage malicious contents and applications. Zyxel PK5001Z doesn’t support vectoring and CBRAS. However, it makes up for these shortfalls by being more affordable. It’s still one of the best CenturyLink compatible modems on the market.
- Comes with 4 Ethernet ports and 1 USB port
- Dual Ethernet firewalls SPI and NAT
- Supports WPA2, WPA, and WEP encryption
- Ethernet ports offer 100 Mbps max speed
- Lacks vectoring and CBRAS support
- Not suitable for all DSL technologies
Greenwave C4000XG – Fastest modem router
Greenwave C4000XG makes use of the Wi-Fi 6 with dual-band. The 5.0 GHz band offers 802.11ax technology which is the fastest. It has Dynamic QoS which allows for prioritization of internet traffic. Compared to all the other CenturyLink approved modems, you will notice a significant boost in wireless speed and coverage. However, it is only compatible with GPON technology at 1 Gbps speed. It also supports CBRAS technology which can be used to significantly boost speed. Obviously, this modem was created for speed.
Apart from the quality of the wireless connection, Greenwave C4000XG is also superior to other CenturyLink approved modems when it comes to ports. It comes with 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 USB port. You can link up more devices and experience slightly uniform speed on both wired and wireless connections.
Greenwave C4000XG comes with the GRX5500 Intel Dual Core processors. It supports fiber speed of up to 2.5 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload. All these features come at a huge cost. Also, it has a single LED status display which can be a bit confusing. C4000XG doesn’t support vectoring too. However, the unique design will add aesthetic value to your shelf.
- Dual Wi-Fi band with 802.11ax technology
- Comes with 5 Gigabit Ethernet and 1 USB port
- Supports CBRAS technology
- Great processor
- Not compatible with ADSL, ADSL2+, and VDSL
- Lacks vectoring and bonded capability
Buying Guide for the Best CenturyLink Modem
DSL technologies have evolved over the years. The newer technologies are usually faster than their predecessors. There are a number of features that you need to consider when making your choice. Ultimately, your choice will be strongly affected by your data plan and the type of DSL technology offered by CenturyLink in your area. Take a look at the most important features and how they will affect you below.
The DSL technology has different generations namely ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2, and GPON or fiber internet. You need to consider the generation of DSL technology offered in your area and go for a modem that supports that feature. Make sure that the modem you intend buying supports your data plan too.
Interestingly, all the modems on this list come with inbuilt wireless router. However, if you desire a decent wireless speed, you need a modem with dual band. Modems with routers that broadcast at 5.0 GHz frequency offer better speed and more stable connection. The most advanced wireless protocol is the Wi-Fi 6. This will offer nearly the same speed as your wired connection. Routers with 802.11n technology have a coverage of only 460 ft. The more advanced 802.11ac will travel up to 820 ft. Depending on where you want to place your modem, you need to pay good attention to this feature. The only alternative would be to buy a separate router for your connection.
All the modems on our list comes with at least 4 Ethernet ports. However, the speed of these ports vary from one modem to another. Some modem have Gigabit Ethernet ports while in others these ports cannot go beyond 100 Mbps.
Vectoring upgrade allows you to access the most up-to-date version of your modem’s firmware. CenturyLink provides the step-by-step guide on how to update modem firmware. Some modem lack this feature. It is always better to choose a modem with vectoring capability because it allows you to stay in tune with future network changes. Without this feature, your modem can suddenly become non-compatible with your network.
This stands for CenturyLink Broadband Remote Access Server. This specialized server allows multiple sources of internet traffic to aggregate into a single network. If you are going to be using your modem for video conferencing, HD streaming, or any other activity where speed is crucial, CBRAS is an important feature to look out for. Configuring a CBRAS connection should only be done by a qualified technician.
With the rise in the activities of hackers, a robust security infrastructure is not an option, rather, a necessity. Make sure that your wireless network has an encryption protocol to prevent unauthorized access into your network.
If you are not going to be using CenturyLink network for over a year, a modem of over $150 is expensive. In the end, the goal of saving on rental fee will be defeated. In this case, it would be better to rent a modem from CenturyLink. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a modem with better Wi-Fi technology, be prepared to pay huge for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What modems are compatible with CenturyLink?
CenturyLink has at least 31 compatible modems that you can use with their DSL services. CenturyLink provides a full list of compatible modems on their website.
- Can I use my own router with CenturyLink?
You can use your own modem on CenturyLink as long as it is supported by CenturyLink Technical Support. When you are using your own modem, you may need to contact CenturyLink support to get Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) login credentials. Using your own modem allows you to save on rental fees which can build up overtime.
- Which CenturyLink modem is best?
The best modems for CenturyLink DSL service are Actiontec C3000A, Zyxel C1100Z, Zyxel C3000Z, and Technicolor C1100T. You will get optimal performance on CenturyLink DSL service when you use one of these modems.
- Is Netgear Compatible with CenturyLink?
Apart from bonded DSL, Netgear modem or router can work with standard ADSL. Newer Netgear devices can work with VDSL networks too. However, you may not be able to get Netgear support.
- What is the best DSL modem router for CenturyLink?
Actiontec C3000A and Zyxel C3000Z are the best modem routers for CenturyLink. They both offer 20 Mbps speed on the ADSL channel. Also, they come with dual-band wireless routers with the 802.11ac technology. This ensures better speed and a wider coverage area.
- How much does CenturyLink charge for modem?
CenturyLink charge $9.99/ month on Wi-Fi modem. However, if you want to purchase your own modem from CenturyLink, that will cost you $99.99.
The speed listed for each modem under each DSL technology is the maximum speed the technology can accommodate. The actual speed will likely vary depending on a number of factors. Buying a certified CenturyLink modem is a smart option. This is because they have been tested and guaranteed to perform optimally on the network. They are also easy to setup because CenturyLink has provided all the setup detail for all their approved modems. CenturyLink approved modems also comes your free 24/7 tech support. Note that CenturyLink Gigabit speed is not available in all locations. However, the chances are high that you will not need this for day-to-day use.