CenturyLink, like many ISPs, will tell you that the best modem for CenturyLink DSL is the one that you rent or buy from them instead of using one that you purchase yourself separately.
Many users go with that idea as well because it just seems easier. But buying your own modem is easy and you can then have the choice of getting exactly what you need.
Renting a modem gets expensive quickly, charging you at least $10 a month to use a CenturyLink modem. If you invested in your own modem, you could end up saving money in the long run while your modem pays for itself within a short span of time
But where do you start?
You need to be sure that you are using the best modem for CenturyLink DSL and that you are getting the speeds and features that will meet the needs of your household. Luckily, we have reviewed the best CenturyLink modems that you can buy to make the process easier for you.
There are many modems and routers available, but what makes it the best Centurylink modem depends on several factors which we will reveal below. Keep these factors in mind when choosing your DSL modem, and if all these factors are checked off on your list, you’ll end up with the best modem for CenturyLink DSL.
Compatibility: Make sure that the modem and router are on the list of CenturyLink compatible modems. There are various types of DSL services such as ADSL, SDSL, HDSL and VDSL. Confirm with your ISP to check the modem’s specifications required by your ISP and be aware of modems recommended by your ISP.
Usage: How much usage will you be expecting out of your DSL modem for CenturyLink? Do you have many devices you want connected? You should look for a modem with Ethernet connections instead of just USB.
DSL Modem Speeds: If you have basic requirements such as checking your email and browsing, your choice will vastly differ from another person that wants to buy the best modem for CenturyLink DSL for streaming HD movies and playing online games.
DSL Modem Life Span: Technology updates at a fast rate and you don’t want your DSL modem to be obsolete a few months after you’ve bought it. Get a DSL modem which is up-to-date or has regular firmware updates.
With the limited amount of modem/router combos available for DSL, one option is to use a CenturyLink modem/router as the gateway, and use a third-party router for better wireless speeds. To do this, you will need to put your CenturyLink gateway into Transparent Bridging Mode.
Step 1: Find your PPPoE username and password from CenturyLink. You might need to call CenturyLink directly to get this.
Step 2: Go to 192.168.0.1 on your browser, which will take you to the modem’s settings. The login information is usually “admin” as the username and then a long password, normally printed on the outside of the modem.
Step 3: Go to Advanced Setup and click on WAN Settings.
Step 4: Locate the ISP Protocol and change it from Auto Select to Transparent Bridging. Click Apply.
Step 5: Unplug the modem from the Ethernet port and plug it into the new router.
Step 6: Now, open the AirPort utility and click on the Internet tab. Change the Connect Using to PPPoE and use the login information that we found before we started.
1. Linksys EA7500
Editor's Choice - Router
2. Zyxel C1100Z
Editor's Choice - Modem Router Combo
3. Motorola MD1600
4. Netgear D7000
5. CenturyLink C2000T
6. Netgear D6400
7. Actiontec ADSL
8. CenturyLink C2100
A 2 in 1 unit is cheaper than separate units: If you are looking to get a reliable home networking system, you will have to splurge more than you expect on a separate router and modem unit. However, a decent modem router combo model will only set you back half of what you may spend on two separate devices – of course, this depends on what price point and number of features and settings you are looking for in your unit.
Easier to Set Up: 1 less device to worry about and a faster configuration process.
Your ISP can control Updates: This is great for beginners or users who are not looking to dive deeply into advanced router settings. This way, you have fewer upgrades to handle and get the best firmware which is compatible with your ISP.
Better compatibility: Having a combo model ensures that you will not face compatibility issues with your modem and router.
Better Control and Performance: You can choose your router, and be able to access advanced settings and even be able to update your router with third party firmware to have more control over your dedicated router.
Less Expensive: The technology and hardware in modems rarely change much. However, routers technologies keep evolving rapidly. Having separate units enables you to stay up to date with the latest router upgrades, which could be cheaper than replacing an entire combo unit.
More Control: Those who are looking to get better wireless performance can opt for an advanced router to gain more control over their router.
Location: You can use Cat5 cable extenders to extend your home network, so that your router can be placed at an ideal location for better network coverage, instead of having to deal with Coaxial cables which your modem router combo will require.
For the best router for CenturyLink, look no further than the Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream. This CenturyLink compatible router is made to tackle the needs of the modern home network, including supporting many devices that stream simultaneously.
The Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream sits horizontally on your desk and has a black casing, which is pretty typical for modems and routers. It cannot be stood up vertically.
The design also features 3 high-gain antennas which can be pointed toward the devices that need a reliable signal. The signal is also helped by the Beamforming technology that is on board.
The design also includes a 3.0 port as well as a standard USB 2.0 port, which is ideal for smaller file transfers or even if you are connecting a printer directly to the router. You will also find that it has four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports as well as security options and protections, such as parental controls to block content and devices.
The EA7500 Max-Stream is also easy to set up and get running, essentially a plug in and go. It sets up through Linksys’s quick start guide and you are good to go.
The EA7500 Max-Stream is made to do some heavy lifting. It can support more than 15 devices connected at once, which is really ideal for the modern home network. With the MU-MIMO technology on board, more than one user can be connected and streaming on different devices at the same time.
Looking at the router’s coverage, you will find that you get about 1,500 square feet. This should cover most networks. It has two bands, including the 2.4GHz band with speeds up to 600 Mbps and a 5 GHz band with speeds up to 1,300 Mbps, giving you a combined speed of 1.9 Gbps. This will also work great for 4K HD streaming and gaming, especially if you have more than one device streaming at the same time.
A great mid-range DSL modem router combo that delivers on performance as well as being easy on the pocket, the Zyxel C1100Z comes from a company that has been producing networking hardware and related products since it was founded in 1989.
As with all our guides, we put this nifty gadget through a series of tests to determine whether the attractive price point equaled to value for money or just another cheap product on the market.
As per our tests for this guide, we placed it strategically in a three storied house and we found out to our surprise, that the Zyxel C1100Z was a pretty neat modem, making it our Editor's Choice as the best modem for CenturyLink DSL.
The set up process was fairly simple and I didn’t have to be one computer wizard to know how to get it set up. While our other Centurylink modems were fairly shifty in their range, with a few devices simply not recognizing the modem and our wifi getting slower with each passing day until we realized that our modem was at fault, this one fit the bill perfectly.
It provided a way better range than other modems and this is a great example of how a small investment can lead to huge improvements in your network.
The Zyxel C1100Z is built to reach super fast speeds of 300Mbps, so you know you can stream your favorite movies in a heartbeat. It runs on the 802.11n wireless standard and automatically detects Centurylink network setting configurations, which should make your life easier.
It is also designed so you can monitor, manage and provision remotely via TR0069. It does offer IPv6 and dual stack support with secure WLAN setup, so you know your network is as secure as it can be. The 2Tx2R antennas ensure that your signal is stable and your internet speeds are consistently fast.
It supports WPA2/APA/WEP encryption so your network remains secure.
In all honestly, it lacks a lot of features that our Editor’s pick has, but for its price, it’s a steal deal.
The Zyxel C1100Z uses the latest in DSL technology which is VDSL2, and this is the reason why you can enjoy fast speeds that can reach up to 300 Mbps.
When we tested the speeds of this modem, our speed tests revealed speeds that averaged to 212Mbps, which is really not bad considering we didn’t really need more than that for our online activities.
The Zyxel C1100Z delivers a very stable connection, so that you experience no drops or lags no matter if your are surfing the net, watching videos, playing online games or other high bandwidth hungry activities.
If you are looking at more budget friendly CenturyLink compatible modems, the Motorola MD1600 is a great choice. Not only is it easier on the wallet, but it also has a lot of amazing features that will not disappoint.
Just because the Motorola MD1600 is the most budget friendly choice of the best CenturyLink modems, does not mean that it will not still give you outstanding performance. The MD1600 supports speeds up to 100 Mbps, which really is about the best that you can rely on for a DSL connection.
This modem works with either a VDSL2 or an ADSL2+ service and is combined with an AC1600 Gigabit router, really giving you all of the performance that you could need at home. It was verified in a 2-story, 2,000 square foot house that the signal was constant without any dead spots.
The MD1600 comes with a USB 2.0 host port to attach a USB external device as an option and it supports DLNA Media Sharing. The design itself is sleek, making it easy to conceal if you wanted and not an eye-sore to be out in the open.
It also comes with a setup wizard that will help you get up and running without any headache. If you do have any trouble, however, Motorola has a great customer service team that can help walk you through it.
Complete with a built-in router, this modem has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, AC1600 wireless, a firewall, WPA/WPA2 wireless security, IPv4 and IPv6 support, and VPN capability.
The max speed for the Motorola MD1600 is 100 Mbps. While there are some other modems that boast 1000 Mbps, no service provider can actually offer that level of transfer speed, so it’s a little unrealistic to rely on it. That said, if you do require a high speed connection, this may not be the best selection for you.
Netgear has proven itself to be a reliable brand when it comes to internet accessories and the Netgear D7000 tops our list as the best modem for CenturyLink DSL to buy. The Netgear Genie App, extreme speeds and range, the readyCLOUD feature as well as being a modem router combo gives it super brownie points.
We tested this in a three storied house and the Netgear D7000 passed all of our expectations which makes this a high performance modem for CenturyLink DSL in the market. The signal strength was strong and stable on all floors, allowing us to really test it out. We streamed HD videos on all floors on multiple connected devices with a few colleagues playing a few online games and none of us faced any glitches. In fact, don’t be surprised if you get speeds above what you paid for, even with several wireless devices running simultaneously.
This modem for CenturyLink DSL has a built in iTunes server for those who are Apple fans and it also boasts a ReadySHARE USB port offering super speeds which means you can connect and stream your personal media anywhere in your home. This 802.11ac device offers improved connectivity and the powerful antennas and Beamforming feature allows you to access your internet at a farther range, without compromising on speed and stability.
The Netgear Genie App also gives you the freedom to control, manage and monitor your home network when on the go. Get automatic PC backups with the ReadySHARE Vault as well to keep your data safe and secure. In addition, it's one of the best modem router combos for CenturyLink that is currently available on the market based on our testing.
You can get speeds up to 1900 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and you can take gaming to a whole new level with the 1.0GHz dual core processor, 6 antennas and Gigabit wired port.
Featuring Wireless N technology, the C2000T is a great modem for CenturyLink DSL which packages all your DSL services into one neat device, while allowing you to utilise your existing wiring.
The set up process of the C2000T is fairly simple and takes, on average, about 10 minutes to get up and running. Our testing ground was a three storied house, and although the unit has a good range, with no dead spots, we did find a few areas that the signal was a little weak. Of course, if you are standing in the tool shed at the end of the driveway, you may find the walls, distance and umpteen gadgets all running can cause a little interference in the signal strength.
Even though it doesn’t use the latest wireless standard of 802.11AC, the N technology is enough for any household needs. If your area does not have fiber, the C2000T is a very good modem router combo to have. Speed tests on this unit remained consistent, over the 2 week testing period. Your speeds can average 20Mbps on the ADSL2+. 80Mbps through the VDSL2 and the GPON can deliver 1GBps. The BlueGadgetTooth team did notice that there were a few latency issues, which lowered nearing the end of the 2 week testing period.
The Netgear D6400 is designed so that it does not have to be hidden behind a shelf and its glossy surface along with its compact size, makes it look very attractive. Being able to broadcast on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands makes it useful if you have a mixture of old and new devices in your home. This makes it a great option as an entry level modem for CenturyLink DSL for your home.
While the D6400 definitely is a step higher from the standard wireless routers, we had to keep in mind that Netgear has two distinct lines – the Nighthawk which is the state of the art, top of the line premiums models and the D6400 does not fall in that category. Made to be affordable, it does have certain features that have been cut to make the price attractive.
When we tested the D6400, we found it to be more of a down-to-Earth DSL modem for CenturyLink which did offer excellent speeds at certain ranges. The 2.4GHz band didn’t offer top speeds, but when we switched to the 5GHz band, we got 100 Mbps and more up to a distance of 25 meters, which suggests this CenturyLink modem is great for small to medium sized homes.
However we were happy to find that we could still steam videos and game away to our heart’s content even with ten devices connected. That’s saying something for this nifty gadget.
The Netgear Genie App, proprietary to Netgear offers great parental control as you can remotely manage and monitor your home network. It has 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports and internal antennae and surprisingly, it has 2 x USB 2.0 ports but no 3.0 ports. It does offer guest network features which is good if you always have company and want to protect the security of your private home network.
Although this CenturyLink DSL modem router theoretically offers speeds up to 1600 Mbps thanks to the dual band system, what you actually get could be a whole different picture. The wireless speeds were alright, but nothing to write home about. It offered 9 Mbps at a distance of 10 m and that dropped to half as the distance doubled on the 802.11n mode. The 802.11ac mode offered faster speeds reaching 160 Mbps.
For those of you who are on a budget, but want a DSL modem for CenturyLink should look no further than the Actiontec GT784WN. This offers the all in one solution to your internet needs. With a built in firewall to protect your laptops against malware and absolute ease in the installation process makes this a great modem router to have. The 802.11n wireless standardensures that you can get top speeds while being backward compatible so that your older devices don’t get the boot from being connected to the internet.
Even though this is a budget buy, it can handle a lot. We wanted to test to see just how much it could handle and we were impressed. Imagine 4 smartphones, 3 laptops connected to various websites either downloading, streaming or just browsing and Netflix with 2 Xbox 360’s linked at the same time – with no lags or drops! This DSL modem for CenturyLink is a dream for those who want value for money without shelling out a lot. The Auto set up also made it a dream for those who were a little technology challenged. The machine more or less set it up itself!
The 300 Mbps wireless n router has a 4 port switch and is also backward compatible with older wireless standards. The parental control features along with the high grade firewall makes this great for people who don’t want to compromise on the security of their home.
As it runs only on the 2.4GHz range and does not offer 5GHz band, you will not get super fast speeds as compared to a top-of-the-line model. But with decent speeds and 11 channels, you can still surf the net and watch your favorite shows with no problems. You can connect both through the wired and wireless connection and can enjoy theoretical speeds reaching up to 300 Mbps.
This modem has a reliable and strong build that seems like it can withstand (most) things. When it comes to choosing the best CenturyLink modem, it stands to reason that selecting one that is created by the brand, will stand the test of time and internet speed. But what makes this a good candidate to be featured in our list for choosing the top Centurylink modem for your home?
It is not one of the top-of-the-line modems in the market, but the affordable price tag doesn’t stop it from exceeding our expectations. With most people living in condos and apartments, we thought it wise to actually test it in a real life setting. So here we were, in a ten floored apartment complex, in peak evening hours. We didn’t think this would be good.
The 2.4 GHz band gave a satisfactory performance, especially keeping in mind the amount of interference the frequency would be receiving, just due to the sheer amount of gadgets that everyone around us probably had that were using that band. But when it came to the 5GHz band, I have no complaints. There was no interference, with no signal drops (which we experienced with another router we tested) on the 10+ devices we had connected.
Being a modem router combo, it means that there’s one thing less you have to buy when it comes to getting connected to the great wide web. Using TR-069, you can now monitor, manage as well as provision your device remotely with ease. Set up is a breeze and the security features of the Centurylink C2100T make your network reliable and safe for the connected users, making this modem router combo one of the best DSL modems for Centurylink. The Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, when operating in DSL mode, can be utilized as a 5th Gigabit LAN port. The more the merrier!
This device has the capability to reach speeds up to 300Mbps. Now you may be thinking, that’s not so great, especially now when you’re hearing about Fiber and Gb speeds. But those days are still a ways away, and in all honesty, speeds that can reach 300 Mbps or close are pretty good speeds to have.
DSL is abbreviated for Digital Subscriber Line. Just like cable modems use the cable TV lines in your home, DSL modems use the telephone’s copper wiring.
This is a pretty smart thing, because unlike cable modems – where you have to share your bandwidth with your entire neighborhood, DSL uses the dedicated phone lines – which means less interference, better connectivity.
There is a lot of space in your phone wiring, and your actual phone conversations use up a very miniscule part of the wiring, leaving a lot of space for other uses like your internet connection.
This is the age of self reliance – when we want things done quickly, and when at times all we have to rely on is ourselves. Instead of waiting hours for a technician to come by your place to get your device installed, just following these steps will get your best CenturyLink modem installed and running in no time.
1) Step 1: Make sure you have all the necessary parts and equipment to get your modem set up.
2) Step 2: Connect your DSL filters to your phone jack. If you feel more are needed, contact your ISP.
3) Step 3: Power on your modem. This could be flicking the ‘ON’ of your power switch, or imply plugging in the AC power adaptor to an outlet. You’ll know it’s powered on by the power indicator on the front which will light up.
4) Step 4: Get your green colored phone cord connected, linking the DSL/ LINE port to your phone jack.
5) Step 5: Get your yellow Ethernet cord connected, linking your computer and modem.
6) Step 6: check that all cords are securely connected and all lights are green.
7) Step 7: Open a web browser to get your service activated. It should be a minute of 15 minutes max.
Both Cable and DSL are widespread throughout the country and both are easily available, no matter what you choose. However, there are certain reasons why our Geek team at Bluegadgettooth.com says that DSL has advantages over cable.
When it comes to the world of the internet, you get a certain peace of mind when you know that your internet connection is stable and reliable and this is exactly what best CenturyLink modem units offer. This form of an internet connection works through the existing telephone lines and most individuals can access the internet at no steep cost as compared to cable or fiber optics.
Modem for CenturyLink DSL doesn't restrict you from using your phone, which is great news if you want to browse and chat with a friend at the same time. For those who work from home, you are always connected at any time of the night or day and you will always have access to the internet as well as your phone.
Using your existing phone lines means that you do not have to shell out money for expensive upgrades and no extra installation of lines is required. You end up saving time as well as money. You never have to compromise on security as you get your own dedicated phone line for internet usage instead of sharing it with many other unknown computer users as what happens with cable.
As most internet users either stream videos, play games or browse, a DSL modem is best because it offers more download speeds than upload. Not many people upload a lot of data as compared to downloading data. But you can also opt for a more balanced download/ upload speed if you opt for asymmetrical instead of symmetrical service.
Also, when you use a modem For CenturyLink DSL, the biggest advantage is that it is widely available everywhere, so if you want to be connected, chances are that you will have access to high speed internet before you know it. Or at least before you can tap that pair of red shoes.
As there is a difference between a DSL connection and a cable one, it stands to reason that there would be subtle differences in their respective modems as well.
DSL: It is configured through your existing phone lines, and a DSL modem acts like the connecting point between your computer and your telephone connection which provides the Digital Subscriber Line service.
Cable: This is similar to a DSL, with the exception that it acts like the connecting point between your computer and your existing cable wring, converting the signal to be compatible for your connected devices.
As they each provide internet access for different types of wiring, they cannot be used with a different type of connection. A DSL modem cannot be utilised for a cable connection and vice versa.
Many Netgear modem/ routers don’t support bonded DSL or bonded VDSL lines, but there are units which support VDSL or standard ADSL and are perfectly compatible with CenturyLink. You should check which type of modem/ router you have/ are planning to buy on the list of compatible units at CenturyLink’s website to be on the safe side.
This is when two or more broadband connections are grouped together to provide better connectivity and faster speeds. When data is transmitted over multiple phone lines instead of a singular one, your internet speeds is given a huge boost. This is a great way of increasing your download and upload speeds without paying more to your ISP. As many homes already have multiple phone lines, creating a bonded DSL line should be fairly simple without added expense. This is also more reliable and a great alternative if your area has no access to fiber connections.
CenturyLink provides only DSL internet or fiber connections. It does not provide cable internet. Being one of America’s biggest telecom companies, CenturyLink has many internet plans for the avid and heavy internet user, as well as the causal internet user. Speeds can vary from location and CenturyLink’s infrastructure in that area, ranging from 20Mbps to gigabit speeds.
When it comes down to it, you are still better off buying a modem on your own than going with the modem that CenturyLink is offering for their DSL connections.
The best modem for CenturyLink DSL is our Editor’s Choice: the Zyxel C1100Z VDSL2 Wireless Gateway.
If you need something higher performing than the average user, however, that is when you should look into the higher performance models like the Netgear Nighthawk D7000 that might be able to handle a heavier usage.
If price is a factor in your decision, you can still get a reliable and quality modem from the Motorola MD1600.
Remember that CenturyLink is always going to suggest that you use the modem that they want to sell or rent to you. The only reason you would ever rent a modem is if you are using that internet temporarily, so just don’t even bother with it.
Using your own choice of modem gives you the freedom of having a modem that meets all of your speed, performance, and security needs. No two users will need exactly the same things from their modems, so when you are choosing the best CenturyLink modem you need the best modem for you.
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.