Best CenturyLink Approved Modems

Here is a list of CenturyLink-approved modems with short reviews of the five best from that list. 

CenturyLink-approved modems

As a Network Engineer, I have been in contact with CenturyLink and researched to find out which is the best modem for CenturyLink. 

And I have concluded that the CenturyLink C3000A is the best Centurylink compatible modem. 

Source: Actiontec.com

CenturyLink C3000A – Editors Choice’s

Best Overall

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded) & GPON
  • Work For: 940 Mbps or below
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11 ac
  • Warranty: 90 days

But it will not work for every CenturyLink customer. 

Because you must know what type of DSL internet you have and get a modem that supports it. To determine your DSL type, either look at your plan or ask CenturyLink.

Keep reading to learn more. 

Top 5 CenturyLink Approved Modems

Here are the 5 best CenturyLink-approved and compatible modems. 

  1. CenturyLink C3000A (Editor’s choice)
  2. GreenWave C4000LG (Best Performer)
  3. Technicolor C2000T (Budget-Friendly)
  4. ZyXEL C3000Z (Runner Up)
  5. Actiontec C2300A (Best G-Fast Modem)

5 Best CenturyLink Compatible Modems

Here are overviews of the best-compatible modems for Centurylink. 

#1 CenturyLink C3000A (Editor’s choice)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded) & GPON
  • Recommended for speed: 940 Mbps or below
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11 ac
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Chosen as: Best Overall

The Centurylink C3000A is compatible with any Centurylink plan up to fiber internet. This is because it supports most of the DSL technologies that Centurylink uses. 

The router supports 802.11 ac or Wi-Fi 5, which means it has a 2.4GHz network and a 5GHz network. [1]

This is good because 2.4GHz has a better range while 5GHz is faster. And with Smart Technology, the router will automatically choose the best network for your device. 

The C3000A is, however, not the cheapest, and if you have one of the slower Centurylink internet plans, it’s not necessary.

That is as long as you don’t want to future-proof your modem. 




#2 GreenWave C4000LG (Best Performer)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+, VDSL & GPON
  • Recommended for speed: 100 Mbps or below & fiber (940Mbps)
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11 ac
  • Warranty: 30 days
  • Chosen as: Best Performer

The GreenWave C4000LG will work for every DSL plan up to 100 Mbps and with fiber. But it will not work with bonded ADSL and VDSL. 

The router also supports Wi-Fi 5, or 802.11 ac as it’s also called. This makes it able to support 2.4GHz and 5GHz, with 2.4GHz having better range while 5GHz is faster. 

Wi-Fi 5 can also handle more devices connected to it at the same time compared to previous versions. 

Overall, the router in this device is one of the most advanced in the list of Centurylink-compatible modems. 

The thing is that this device is best for Centurylink fiber, and for this, I recommend getting a third-party router instead. 

But if you want a modem from the approved modem list, this is the best device for CenturyLink fiber. 




#3 Technicolor C2000T (Budget-Friendly)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded) & GPON
  • Recommended for speed: 300 Mbps or below
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11n 
  • Warranty: 30 days
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly

The Technicolor C2000T will work for every Centurylink speed, including fiber (940 Mbps). I would, however, not recommend using it with fiber internet.

This is because the router only supports 2.4GHz with the Wi-Fi standard 802.11n. Thus it only has a max speed of around 300 Mbps. 

This still makes it a good cheaper option for the slower internet connections. It is also a perfect modem if you are planning on bridging it to a router.  

Unfortunately, you have to buy these modems as refurbished or used, and it is at the end-of-life cycle, so CenturyLink will phase it out.

Therefore, the warranty is also much lower, and there will be problems if you want to return it after more than 30 days.




#4 ZyXEL C3000Z (Runner Up)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded), GPON
  • Recommended for speed: 940 Mbps or below
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11 ac
  • Warranty: 30 days
  • Chosen as: Runner Up

The ZyXEL C3000Z will work for all CenturyLink speeds, including fiber. And due to it supporting 802.11 ac or Wi-Fi 5, it’s a modem you can use efficiently with fiber internet.  [2]

It, like many of the other modem/router combos, has a dual-band. Supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. 

This is good because, like already mentioned, 2.4GHz has a better range while 5GHz is faster. [3]

Overall the C3000Z is similar to the first modem in this list, the C3000A. So, if either is out of stock (which DSL modems tend to be), you can get the other. 




#5 Actiontec C2300A (Best G-Fast Modem)

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: G-Fast, ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded), GPON
  • Recommended for speed: 940 Mbps or below
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11 ac
  • Warranty: 30 days
  • Chosen as: Best G-Fast Modem

The ActionTec C2300A is the modem on this list that works for most types of CenturyLink internet. 

This makes it the best option to buy if you don’t know what type of DSL internet. Because sometimes it’s hard to get a straight answer from CenturyLink.

It also supports Wi-Fi 5, which gives it a better capability to handle more devices. 

The most unique thing about this modem is that it’s the only modem on the approved modems list which supports G-Fast internet. 

This makes it your only option if you have it. 

I would, however, avoid this modem for fiber. As the router needs reconfiguring to work with it. 

And people have had problems with getting Actiontec to reconfigure it.




List of All CenturyLink Certified Modems

Here is a list of CenturyLink authorized modems. All tested and approved by CenturyLink for their internet. [3

BrandModel #Wi-FiADSLADSL2+VDSL2GPONG-FastEnd-of-Life
ActiontecC1000A802.11nYesYesYesNoNoYes
ActiontecC1900A802.11nYesYes*Yes*YesNoYes
ActiontecC2000A802.11nYesYes*Yes*YesNoYes
ActiontecC2300A802.11 acNoYes*Yes*YesYesNo
ActiontecC3000A802.11 acYesYes*Yes*YesNoNo
ActiontecPK5000802.11nYesYesNoNoNoYes
ActiontecPK5001A802.11nYesYesNoNoNoNo
ActiontecQ1000802.11nYesYesYesNoNoYes
AdtranC424G802.11 acNoNoNoYesNoNo
CalixC844G802.11 acNoNoNoYesNoNo
Cisco2200DDR802.11 b/gNoYes*NoNoNoYes
GreenwaveC4000BG802.11 acYes*Yes*Yes*NoNoNo
GreenwaveC4000LG802.11 acYesYesYesYesNoNo
GreenwaveC4000XG802.11 acNoNoNoYesNoNo
TechnicolorC1100T802.11nYesYesYesYesNoNo
TechnicolorC2000T802.11nYesYes*Yes*YesNoYes
TechnicolorC2100T802.11 acYesYes*Yes*YesNoYes
Westell7500802.11 b/gYesYesNoNoNoYes
ZyxelC1000Z802.11nYesYesYesNoNoYes
ZyxelC1100Z802.11nYesYesYesYesNoYes
ZyxelC2100Z802.11nYesYes*Yes*YesNoYes
ZyxelC3000Z802.11 acYesYes*Yes*YesNoNo
ZyxelFR1000Z802.11nNoNoNoYesNoYes
ZyxelPK5000Z802.11 b/gYesYesNoNoNoYes
ZyxelPK5001Z802.11nYesYesNoNoNoNo
ZyxelQ1000Z802.11nYesYesYesNoNoNo

* means that the modem also supports bonded technology. 

End-of-life means that the modem is soon to be retired from CenturyLink’s internet. It’s hard to know in how long, but in the coming future. [4]

What to Consider Before Buying A CenturyLink Approved Modem

Here is what to specifically consider when buying an authorized modem for Centurylink. For a more general guide, check out the modem buying guide. 

Compatible with CenturyLink

Buying a modem for CenturyLink’s internet is harder than for most other ISPs. This is because they use more than six different types of DSL technologies across the country. 

This means that when you buy a compatible modem, it needs to support the right DSL technology that your region and plan are using. [5]

Therefore, you need to contact their support before buying a certified modem and ask what type of DSL technology your home uses.

You can then make the right choice when picking a modem from the approved modems list. 

You can also guess what type of DSL you have by the speed of your plan. Below you can see the sort of internet and the download speed they support. 

TypeMax Speed
ADSL8 Mbps
ADSL+20 Mbps
Bonded ADSL2+40 Mbps
VDSL240 Mbps
Bonded VDSL2100 Mbps
G-Fast100 Mbps
GPON (Fiber)940 Mbps

Modem/Router Combo or Separate

Usually, when you buy a modem, you can get separate devices or a modem/router combo. 

A modem/router combo being a modem and router as one device, while separate has them as two. 

But when it comes to CenturyLink compatible modems, there only exists modem/router combo (gateways). 

This, however, doesn’t make it impossible to use separate devices. Because you can put a gateway in something called bridge mode.

This turns off the router in the device and enables you to connect it to another router. 

Both combos and separate have their pros and cons, but in this case, I would say that using the router in the modem will be enough. 

I would only get separate devices with CenturyLink if I wanted a particular feature in the router or had a large home. 

Because the routers in the DSL modems often are older and weaker. 

You can check out my article on modem/router combo vs. separate if you want a more in-depth overview of the pros and cons of each option. 

Note, if you want a third-party modem and are about to order a CenturyLink Internet plan, you need to contact the support to bypass getting a modem from them. 

CenturyLink Fiber

If you have CenturyLink fiber, you don’t need a modem. This is because CenturyLink provides an ONT for free that translates the fiber optic signal into a digital signal. 

You will, however, need a router for your fiber internet, which you either rent for $15 a month or buy. 

Don’t get confused by the fact that CenturyLink recommends many modem/router combos for fiber. Because if you have fiber internet, you will only use the router function in the gateway.

I will write an article on the best routers for CenturyLink in the future. But for now, I recommend the TP-Link AX6000 for CenturyLink fiber. 

Tp-Link AX6000
Source: Tp-link.com

Tp-Link AX6000 – Best Router For CenturyLink Fiber

Best For Fiber

  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Max Speed: 5952 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11 ax
  • Warranty:  1 year

Rent Vs. Buy CenturyLink Modems

CenturyLink has three options for its internet equipment. These are:

  • Rent a gateway from them for $15 a month
  • Buy a gateway from them for $200
  • Get an approved modem from a third-party source

If you do the math, you realize fast that renting is the worst option by far. In just 14 months, you will have paid more for renting than buying. [5]

This begs the question if you should buy a modem directly from CenturyLink or a third-party source. 

If you buy it from CenturyLink, you can be sure that the modem will work with your type of DSL internet. 

But if you get a modem from a third-party source, you can choose any approved modem. Allowing you to pick either a cheaper one or a better one. 

If you want to delve deeper into the subject, check out renting vs. buying your modem

FAQ

Here are some common questions regarding CenturyLink and its network equipment

What does approved for CenturyLink mean?

It means that the modem has undergone tests on CenturyLink’s internet. And thus, CenturyLink is guaranteeing that the modem will work as intended with their internet.

What’s the difference between a modem and a router?

A modem modulates and demodulates the signal from analog to digital and vice versa. While the router distributes this signal in your home, most often with Wi-Fi. 

For more info, check out router vs. modem

Bottom Line

Much research went into figuring which modem is best for CenturyLink. 

But in the end, I concluded that the C3000A is the best option for most. That is as long as it works with your DSL connection. 

Because CenturyLink uses more than six different types of internet across the country. Therefore, you must learn what sort of internet you have before choosing a modem. 

Either by asking CenturyLink or guess based on your plan’s speed. 

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