CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States, and it offers Internet services at a variety of speeds.
The company has merged with smaller companies like Qwest and Embarq, and accordingly, offers either VDSL, ADSL, or fiber across all fifty states.
But no matter which service you use, this massive ISP acts like renting equipment is still the norm. What they don’t tell their customers (and honestly should) is that it is insanely easy and inexpensive to purchase your own 2-in-1 unit to replace it.
The average cost of a combo unit that serves as both a DSL modem and router is about $100. If you instead pay a rental fee of $10 per month, you’ll be overpaying in less than a year.
Setting up a new DSL modem is easy, too. All you have to do is plug your modem/router into the DSL line, switch it on, and open a web browser to automatically start the process.
As for getting rid of your rented equipment, you simply call and ask for a pre-paid shipping label to return your rented gateway.
You can reference the CenturyLink Modem Compatibility Table to get you started with a selection and tried and tested options.
However, judging by the number of approved products that are no longer manufactured, CenturyLink hasn’t updated this list in almost decade.
That’s why we did the hard work for you and researched the ten best gateways for CenturyLink DSL.
Be mindful that whether you are on VDSL2 or legacy ADSL depends on which service is provided locally, and will be a determining factor in which modems will work for you.
If you are on CenturyLink fiber, you will need a special optical network terminal (ONT), which will be provided for you. In this case, you are best off simply purchasing one of the best AC routers instead.
Whichever option you need, you’ll find it among our top picks, which have been selected for their combination of performance, features, and value.
Without further ado, let’s get started.1. CenturyLink ActionTec C1000A Modem Router
ActionTec’s CenturyLink-branded 2-in-1 modem routers set the bar for compatibility. Their C1000A model also provides an impressive list of extra features to further entice.
Despite its generic and boxy look, this wireless gateway is loaded with plenty of useful ports. It has both a DSL and phone port built right in, eliminating the need for an in-line DSL filter.
It is VDSL2 compatible and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible, meaning it will work with any DSL plan, regardless of which service your area offers.
Connecting new devices to your network can be as easy as the push of a button, thanks to a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button.
The C1000A has a USB port for a network-attached storage (NAS) device, and four ethernet ports for wired connections. It is capable of handling CenturyLink Internet speed up to 40 Mbps up and 20 Mbps down.
It will work with higher Internet speeds as well, but as previously mentioned, you’ll need something beefier than a 2-in-1 unit that uses N-band wireless for faster Internet speeds.
the C1000A has decent wireless range, but if you live in a larger house, you will probably have a couple dead zones without proper placement.
Remember, there is no shame in buying a wireless range extender with your modem/router, especially considering how few solid options exist for the outdated DSL service.
Price: $149.00Buy the CenturyLink ActionTec C1000A Modem Router here.
Pros:VDSL2 compatible and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible USB and phone support WPS button for easily connecting new devices
Cons:N-band wireless limits high speed plans So-so wireless range Find more CenturyLink ActionTec C1000A Modem Router information and reviews here. 2. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Modem Router D7000-100NAS
The Nighthawk series is Netgear’s fastest and most angular. Their D7000-100NAS represents the top of the line performance you can expect from a DSL modem router combo.
Though this device is not on the CenturyLink approved list, it has been confirmed by many users to work fine on even the fastest CenturyLink networks. Just make sure that your service isn’t on a bonded VDSL line.
This router supports VDSL2, while remaining backwards compatible with ADSL2/2+ service. Its dual-band AC1900 wireless speeds far exceed the possible transfer speeds of either protocol, though, so there is no need to worry about performance with this behemoth.
Netgear’s proprietary Beamforming+ technology also helps deliver the best wireless coverage throughout your home. You’ll have a strong wireless connection pretty much everywhere but inside your fridge.
The Nighthawk D7000 has a USB 3.0 port to connect an NAS device, which can also be synced with the ReadyCloud service. This router even supports OpenVPN for easy remote access.
If you can look past the Nighthawk D7000’s hefty price tag, you can set aside any worries about wireless speed or coverage. And if you use the Internet as much as I do, it is well worth the cost.
Price: $274.78Buy the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Modem Router D7000-100NAS here.
Pros:Dual-band AC1900 wireless provides great range USB support with cloud service VDSL2 compatible and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible
Cons:High price tag DSL filter required for telephone services Does not work with bonded VDSL Find more NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Modem Router D7000-100NAS information and reviews here. 3. TP-Link Archer D7 AC1750 Modem Router
If you are on a mid-to-low tier CenturyLink Internet plan that still uses ADSL2+, TP-Link’s Archer D7 AC1750 Modem Router is one of few combo units that will provide both a solid wireless range and top transfer speeds.
When it comes to the older ADSL2+ standard, transfer speed isn’t a huge obstacle, as the max rate at which signal can be sent to your home is only 24 Mbps.
While even low-end equipment can easily reach this speed, this leaves users left to struggle with mediocre wireless coverage throughout their homes.
The Archer D7 is the solution to this conundrum, its powerful AC signal will easily cover larger households. And when it comes to speed, this unit’s dual-band AC1750 wireless speeds is truly overkill for the setup it accommodates.
You will likely only see these higher speeds if you utilize its four ethernet ports for VLAN, or if you use its two USB ports for NAS purposes. The Archer D7 does not have a phone port, but it comes with a DSL line filter for connecting a phone line to the same DSL jack.
This gateway offers other regular features for a device of its class, including a guest network, a built-in firewall, and a quick setup wizard software to help optimize performance.
Aside from being a little bulky, there are no major downsides to using the Archer D7, except that it only works on weak ADSL2+ Internet.
But no laughing, city dwellers, a huge percentage of CenturyLink customers live more than a mile away from a DSLAM (a neighborhood node), and ADSL2+ is all they get.
Price: $149.60Buy the TP-Link Archer D7 AC1750 Modem Router here.
Pros:2 USB ports for NAS or FTP Dual-band AC1750 wireless provides high speeds and great range Included DSL line filter
Cons:Bulky form factor Not compatible with VDSL Low 24 Mbps maximum downstream speed Find more TP-Link Archer D7 AC1750 Modem Router information and reviews here. 4. NETGEAR N600 ASDL2+ Modem Router DGND3700
Though the Netgear DGND3700 pales in comparison to their Nighthawk D7000, this modem/router is yet another solid option to do away with rented equipment for good.
This is yet another device built for compatibility with the older ADSL2+ standard. Because this DSL standard’s max transfer speed is 24 Mbps, the DGND3700 cannot utilize the higher performance of AC-band wireless. Instead, it meets in the middle to offer solid N-band range at a fair price.
The DGND3700 has a dual-band N600 router built-in, which provides reliable range in medium to large homes. It also ensures you’ll get the maximum performance from your Internet plan.
This modem/router comes with an in-line DSL filter to connect a phone to the same port as its DSL line. It has four ethernet ports and a USB port for connecting other networking and storage devices.
Setup is incredibly easy thanks to Netgear’s free Genie app. Once you have your device set up with CenturyLink, you can easily connect new devices to your network using the WPS button.
Netgear doesn’t manufacture as much DSL equipment as it used to, so this specific models can be hard to find new. But even if you go with a used DGND3700, it will do you a lot better than renting equipment for one more month.
Price: $174.95Buy the NETGEAR N600 ASDL2+ Modem Router DGND3700 here.
Pros:Included DSL line filter Easy setup with Netgear Genie app Dual-band N600 wireless provides solid range
Cons:Not compatible with VDSL Low 24 Mbps maximum downstream speed Find more NETGEAR N600 ASDL2+ Modem Router DGND3700 information and reviews here. 5. Linksys X2000 Wireless Modem Router
You may have noticed by now, but if you have the misfortune of being stuck with an ADSL2+ Internet connection, your wireless gateway’s range is far more important than its speed since your service acts as a bottleneck.
And that is exactly why those who live in smaller homes might prefer the Linksys X2000 over our slightly more robust suggestions from Netgear.
This modem/router combo delivers more middle of the road wireless range, and can easily be found for under $100.
The X2000 has a built-in N300 router, which is on par with what a majority of ISPs will provide you as rental gear. Its range is nicely boosted thanks to an embedded MIMO antenna.
The modem portion of this device isn’t compatible with VDSL, so speed won’t be much of a concern. After all, ADSL services max out at 24 Mbps, well before your router will have to break a sweat.
Wired connections will be on the slower side as well, as the X2000’s three ethernet ports are fast ethernet rather than gigabit. This gateway does not have a USB port either, so don’t count on being able to easily network a hard drive.
Ultimately, the most appealing element of this modem/router is its price tag. Its feature set still offers plenty for the casual user, so despite not having some more premium features, the X2000 is still a worthy pick.
Price: $85.29 (15 percent off MSRP)Buy the Linksys X2000 Wireless Modem Router here.
Pros:N300 wireless with MIMO antenna provides solid range WPS button for easily connecting new devices Low price tag
Cons:No USB port Non-gigabit ethernet ports Not compatible with VDSL Find more Linksys X2000 Wireless Modem Router information and reviews here. 6. TRENDnet N300 Wireless TEW-722BRM Modem Router
TRENDnet’s TEW-722BRM modem/router is a fairly straightforward take on an ADSL2+ gateway that gets the job done for cheap. This device is both a modem for mid-to-low tier CenturyLink connections, and an N300 router that can support up to a standard sized home.
Its wireless range is boosted by a MIMO antenna, and like all devices on this list, it is protected with multiple different encryption options. Of course, standard features like a guest network and parental controls are available as well.
Setup is fairly easy when you follow the guided setup process, and adding new devices to your network is easy thanks to the included WPS button.
The TEW-722BRM has four ethernet ports, but they are not gigabit speed. It does not have any USB ports. These shortcomings might frustrate users with advanced network setups, but for the price, there is little to complain about.
This unit even has some nice premium features like Dynamic DNS support and energy-saving GREENnet technology. When it comes down to it, this device proves that you can get some impressive performance out of a $30 wireless gateway.
Price: $32.49Buy the TRENDnet N300 Wireless TEW-722BRM Modem Router here.
Pros:Low price tag N300 wireless with MIMO antenna provides solid range Reduced power consumption
Cons:Not compatible with VDSL Non-gigabit ethernet ports DSL filter required for telephone services Find more TRENDnet N300 Wireless TEW-722BRM Modem Router information and reviews here. 7. ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway
Taiwanese company ZyXEL always provides solidly built and economically costed networking equipment.
Their C1100Z Wireless Gateway is a CenturyLink-branded modem/router that offers both VDSL2 and ADSL2/2+ support for compatibility in any market.
This device is designed to automatically detect CenturyLink network setting configurations, making setup a breeze. The C1100Z has a built-in phone jack to connect a handset without issues.
You also get four ethernet ports, though this device does not have a USB port for NAS use. In any case, you will mostly be using this for its wireless functions, and with a potential for higher speeds from a VDSL2 line, this becomes an important matter once again.
The C1100Z has the output of your average N300 router. N-band wireless is nothing special, but it will provide adequate range and performance for most uses.
This unit does suffer from one minor issue that you might run into when using this router in an older market, which can cause first time setup to fail. Amazon reviewer John Willis describes the issue in a more technical detail, explaining that an undefined authentication policy can cause your device’s rapid requests to the server to trigger a lockout period.
Of course, it you’ve set up any networking equipment before, then you know that issues like this are fairly common. It’s more rare to know exactly why it happens.
Thankfully, the C1100Z is compatible with TR-069 Remote Management, allowing for easy remote problem-solving from CenturyLink when you run into more common issues.
If you rely on support from your ISP to solve problems you encounter, then you are definitely taking a step in the right direction by purchasing a CenturyLink branded device like the ZyXEL C1100Z or the ActionTec C1000A.
Price: $102.99Buy the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway here.
Pros:VDSL2 compatible and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible WPS button for easily connecting new devices TR-069 Remote Management offers easy tech support
Cons:No USB port No auto-connect timeout control Find more ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway information and reviews here. 8. Zoom Telephonics ADSL Modem Router 5790
Zoom Telephonics is another reliable networking company that provides networking equipment on a budget. Their 5790 modem/router is available to CenturyLink customers on an ADSL network for under $40.
This is not compatible with faster VDSL connections, even though its N300 router would perform adequately on either connection. It provides a solid wireless range, but its speed is inhibited by the limitations of this older DSL technology.
With four ethernet ports (non-gigabit, unfortunately), an included DSL line filter, and standard firewall technology, you should have a pretty solid idea of what this gateway offers without too much elaboration.
This modem is about as basic as they come, and with an appealing low price, it is a solid option for anybody stuck in a more dated CenturyLink market.
Price: $38.81Buy the Zoom Telephonics ADSL Modem Router 5790 here.
Pros:N300 wireless provides decent range Low price tag Included DSL line filter
Cons:Not compatible with VDSL Non-gigabit ethernet ports Low 24 Mbps maximum downstream speed Find more Zoom Telephonics ADSL Modem Router 5790 information and reviews here. 9. D-Link Wireless N300 DSL Modem Router DSL-2740B
In ADSL’s heyday, D-Link was a top choice among networking brands. The company might have fallen short in providing top quality networking gear for the 21st century, but its DSL-2740B still works great if you are stuck on this Internet protocol from the ’90s.
This unit has an N300 router, which will provide decent service to a medium-sized home or smaller. Its speeds are adequate for the service for which it’s built.
This compact unit manages to fit a DSL port, a phone port, and four ethernet ports (non-gigabit) onto one side without too much cramping.
At its current Amazon price, this unit should be far from your first pick. But if you can find this modem/router at a deal, then it is a solid option for dropping CenturyLink equipment rental.
Price: $76.95Buy the D-Link Wireless N300 DSL Modem Router DSL-2740B here.
Pros:N300 wireless provides decent range Phone port Compact form factor
Cons:Not compatible with VDSL Non-gigabit ethernet ports No USB port Find more D-Link Wireless N300 DSL Modem Router DSL-2740B information and reviews here. 10. NETGEAR DM200 + RangeMax WNR2020v2 Bundle
If all of the above options seemed too simple for your needs, then you would likely be better off combining a DSL modem with a wireless router for a more versatile in-home network.
Combining two separate pieces of equipment is usually a little pricier, but offers you flexibility and usually higher overall performance. Thankfully, this Netgear modem and router bundle leverages the higher price of this method with a killer deal.
For $80, you get both a modem that is VDSL2 compatible and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible, and an N300 router, which can handle the needs of most casual Internet users.
The router has a WPS button, four ethernet ports (non-gigabit), and it works with the Netgear Genie app for easy mobile setup. Don’t like one element or the other in this bundle? Then create your own bundle.
This entry is really here to show you how easy it is to buy your own DSL modem and make an informed router purchase to match.
Just remember that independent DSL modems are few and far between these days, hence why we’ve found so many combo units for you to settle on if you find yourself lost once more.
Price: $79.98Buy the NETGEAR DM200 + RangeMax WNR2020v2 Bundle here.
Pros:VDSL2 compatible and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible Low price tag Easier to upgrade when you move
Cons:Non-gigabit ethernet ports Does not support bonded ADSL or VDSL Find more NETGEAR DM200 + RangeMax WNR1000 information and reviews here. Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.