5 Best CenturyLink Compatible Modems in 2023

This is our review of the best compatible modems for Centurylink in 2022. 


As a Network Engineer, I have talked to CenturyLink and researched to find the best modem for CenturyLink. 

And I have concluded that the C3000A is the best Centurylink-approved modem. 

Source: Actiontec.com

Actiontec 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 won’t be the best option for everyone. Since it depends on your internet plan and the type of internet you have.

So, keep reading to learn more. 

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

  1. Best Overall CenturyLink C3000A
  2. Best PerformerGreenWave C4000LG
  3. Best Budget-FriendlyZyxel PK5001Z
  4. Runner UpZyXEL C3000Z
  5. Best for Fiber Optic InternetGreenWave C4000XG

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

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded) & Fiber
  • Recommended for speed: 500 Mbps or below
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Chosen as: Best Overall


  • Compatible with all types of Centurylink internet
  • Decent speeds


  • A bit slow for Gigabit speeds
  • Lacks features

The Centurylink C3000A is the modem I recommend as an all-around option. Because it’s compatible with every single Centurylink internet type. 

That said, if you have the 940 Mbps fiber optic Internet plan, you should know that this modem/router will not deliver you that speed.

This is because it is a Wi-Fi 5 router with a single 5GHz band. And from my testing, no Wi-Fi 5 router ever reached more than 600 Mbps in Wi-Fi speed.  

Nevertheless, if you have a 500 Mbps plan or less, this modem/router is likely your safest bet. Because no matter what Centurlylnk internet you have, it will work.

One drawback with the router is that it lacks advanced features such as QoS or Parental controls. Which allows you to prioritize bandwidth and control your kid’s activities online.  

If you want this, your best bet is to get a separate modem and router. You can learn more about this in the buying guide. 

Overall, the Centurylink C3000A is a solid modem/router for any Centurylink customer with an internet plan below 500 Mbps. 

Centurylink’s overview of the C3000A. 

#2 Best Performer – GreenWave C4000LG

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+, VDSL & Fiber
  • Recommended for speed: 100 Mbps or below DSL & fiber (940Mbps)
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Chosen as: Best Performer


  • Good speeds (due to Wi-Fi 6)
  • Can be used for both DSL and Fiber


  • Lacks features
  • Don’t support bonded ADSL or VDSL

The GreenWave C4000LG is an option for you with either ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL, or Fiber Optic internet. 

Or in other words, if you have less than 100 Mbps, or if you have Fiber internet. 

This modem is best to get if you currently have a slow DSL plan but know that you will change to CenturyLink fiber in the future. 

Because this device uses Wi-Fi 6, the newest Wi-Fi standard. And therefore, it will be able to deliver you the Gigabit experience. 

However, the C4000LG lacks extra features such as QoS and Parental Controls. A theme in the modem/router that works for CenturyLink. 

Also, don’t get this modem/router if you have either bonded ADSL or VDSL. As it doesn’t support them. 

Altogether, the GreenWave C4000LG is a solid device for you that know that they will get fiber optic internet in the future but don’t have it yet.

Centurylink’s overview of the GreenWave C4000LG. 

#3 Best Budget-Friendly – Zyxel PK5001Z

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ 
  • Recommended for speed: 20 Mbps or less
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 4
  • Chosen as: Budget-Friendly


  • Inexpensive


  • Only supports ADSL/ADSL2+ (20 Mbps)
  • Slow (due to Wi-Fi 4)

If you have a really slow internet connection and don’t plan to upgrade it, consider the Zyxel PK5001Z.

It’s a modem/router that’s only compatible with ADSL internet. Meaning if you have a faster DLS internet plan than 20 Mbps, you can’t use it. 

And honesty, it’s for the better. Because the router is equipped with Wi-Fi 4, an old wireless standard, which most likely couldn’t give you much more than 20 Mbps anyways. 

This means that this modem/router will probably be best if you live in more rural areas. With little access to anything faster than what you currently have. 

Overall, the Zyxel PK5001Z is only for you with ADSL type internet, anything else, and it won’t work. If you don’t know what you have, contact CenturyLink and ask. 

Centurylink’s overview of the Zyxel PK5001Z. 

#4 Runner Up – ZyXEL C3000Z

  • Type: Modem/Router Combo
  • Modem Technology: ADSL/ADSL2+ (bonded), VDSL/VDSL2 (bonded), Fiber 
  • Recommended for speed: 940 Mbps or below
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Chosen as: Runner Up


  • Compatible with all types of Centurylink internet
  • Decent speeds


  • A tad slow for Gigabit speeds
  • Lacks features (such as QoS and Parental Controls)

The Zyxel C3000Z is very much like the C3000A, and if either is out of stock, you can confidently get the other.

But like the C3000A, I don’t recommend using it with a fiber plan exceeding 500 Mbps. Because the wireless standard on the router is Wi-Fi 5, which from my experience only reaches about 500 Mbps.

Nonetheless, if you have an internet plan at 500 Mbps or below, the C3000Z is a great option. 

The modem/router also makes a good choice if you plan to bridge it (turning off the router). Because it’s very easy to do with the C3000Z.

Bridge mode is necessary to use a separate modem and router. You might want this for better performance with faster internet plans and extra features. 

These features could include QoS and Parental Controls, which allow you to prioritize applications and restrict your children’s activities online. 

Things that the no of the modem/router in the list has. 

Overall, the Zyxel C3000Z is a solid modem/router that will work for every type of internet. Just avoid it for internet plans exceeding 500 Mbps. 

Centurylink’s overview of the ZyXEL C3000Z. 

#5 Best for Fiber Optic Internet – GreenWave C4000XG

  • Type: Preconfigured Wi-Fi Router
  • Modem Technology: Only for Fiber
  • Recommended for speed: 940 Mbps or less
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Chosen as: Best for Fiber Optic Internet


  • Preconfigured for Centurylink (201 tagging)
  • Good speeds (due to Wi-Fi 6)


  • Only works for Fiber Optic internet
  • Lacks features (such as QoS and Parental Controls)

The GreenWave C4000XG is for you with a Fiber-optic connection, anything else and the device won’t work for you. 

This includes all the ADSL and VDSL standards, both bonded and none-bonded. I repeat, do not get this modem with any of them, only fiber.

The router is Wi-Fi 6, so you can use this router for any internet plan. Even the Gigabit plan.

That said, the best part about the device is that it’s preconfigured for CenturyLink’s internet. Meaning you can just plug it in, and you are ready to go. 

But know that if you are prepared to do some simple setup, you can use a better router for a lower price.

Because if you change the Tagging to 201, you can set up any router with your fiber optic connection.

You can learn more about this under “Fiber” and in our article on the best routers for Centurylink. 

Centurylink’s overview of the GreenWave C4000XG. 

Link to Router Page

What about a standalone Wi-Fi router?

If you got a Fiber-optic connection or simply want to use a separate modem and router, then you might want to get a new router as well. Luckily we got you covered in our article on the best routers for CenturyLink

If you have fiber, you can learn more about only using a router below

Here is a list of authorized modems. All tested and approved by CenturyLink for their internet. [1]

BrandModelWi-Fi StandardADSLADSL2+VDSL2FiberEnd-of-Life
Actiontec C1000AWi-Fi 4YesYesYesNoYes
Actiontec C1900AWi-Fi 4YesYes*Yes*YesYes
Actiontec C2000AWi-Fi 4YesYes*Yes*YesYes
Actiontec C2300AWi-Fi 4NoYes*Yes*YesNo
Actiontec C3000AWi-Fi 5YesYes*Yes*YesNo
Actiontec PK5000Wi-Fi 4YesYesNoNoYes
Actiontec PK5001AWi-Fi 4YesYesNoNoNo
Actiontec Q1000Wi-Fi 4YesYesYesNoYes
Adtran C424G Wi-Fi 5NoNoNoYesNo
Calix C844G Wi-Fi 5NoNoNoYesNo
Cisco 2200DDR Wi-Fi 4NoYes*NoNoYes
Greenwave C4000BGWi-Fi 6Yes*Yes*Yes*NoNo
Greenwave C4000LGWi-Fi 6YesYesYesYesNo
Greenwave C4000XGWi-Fi 6NoNoNoYesNo
Technicolor C1100TWi-Fi 4YesYesYesYesNo
Technicolor C2000TWi-Fi 4YesYes*Yes*YesYes
Technicolor C2100T Wi-Fi 5YesYes*Yes*YesYes
Westell 7500Wi-Fi 4YesYesNoNoYes
Zyxel C1000ZWi-Fi 4YesYesYesNoYes
Zyxel C1100ZWi-Fi 4YesYesYesYesYes
Zyxel C2100ZWi-Fi 4YesYes*Yes*YesYes
Zyxel C3000ZWi-Fi 5YesYes*Yes*YesNo
Zyxel FR1000ZWi-Fi 4NoNoNoYesYes
Zyxel PK5000ZWi-Fi 4YesYesNoNoYes
Zyxel PK5001ZWi-Fi 4YesYesNoNoNo
Zyxel Q1000ZWi-Fi 4YesYesYesNoNo

* Means that the modem also supports the bonded version of the technology.

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

Buying a modem for CenturyLink’s internet is harder than for most other ISPs. This is because they use more than five different 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. [2]

Therefore, you might need to contact their support before buying an approved 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 internet and the download speed they support.

TypeMax Speed
ADSL7 Mbps
ADSL+20 Mbps
Bonded ADSL2+40 Mbps
VDSL2100 Mbps
Bonded VDSL2140 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 is a modem and router as one device, while separate has two, one router and one modem. 

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

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

As many of the routers in the DSL modems are using older internet standards and are thus slow. 

That said, if you have a Fiber-optic connection, then you should consider getting a router only. As that’s really all you need. You can learn more about this under “Fiber.” 

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. 

If you have Centurylink’s fiber internet, then you actually don’t need a modem at all. 

All you need to get rid of it is a bit more configuration. 

Basically, you need to change the 201 tagging on your router, which you can do in one click from the admin panel. 

You can learn everything you need about not using a modem for fiber internet in the video below (skip to 12:43 for how to do the configuration)

And if you need help picking a router, check out our article on the best routers for Centurylink.

CenturyLink has three options for its internet equipment. These are [3, 4]:

  • 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. 

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

If you purchase 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


Here are some common questions regarding CenturyLink and its network equipment:

What does CenturyLink’s approval mean?

CenturyLink’s approval means that the modem has undergone tests on their internet. And thus, they are 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

Our Verdict

Much research went into figuring which was the best modem for CenturyLink. 

But in the end, we concluded that the C3000A is the best option for most. Because it’s compatible with every type of DSL internet and fiber. 

Just don’t get it if you have more than a 500 Mbps internet plan. 

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