CenturyLink modem vs. Netgear

CenturyLink is the third largest communication network in the US and offers a range of internet services via DSL, cable and fiber. The company has over the years expanded its growth to the point it has acquired smaller companies like Embarq, Qwest, and this has enabled it offer ADSL, VDSL and fiber to over 40 states.

When you connect to an ISP you have the option of either renting out a modem at $15/month or purchasing it. Both practices have their own pros and cons. If you do not plan on staying with a service provider for long then renting may make more economical sense. This is because it may not be feasible to carry your modem to another service provider as they may not be compatible. You can purchase a modem when you feel you are going to be with them for a long time. The average cost of purchasing a modem is around $200. If you have a modem that you want to try out with CenturyLink network you can go to their website and check out whether it is compatible.

Whether you go with ADSL or VDSL will determine the kind of modem you go with. For fiber you will need a special optical network terminal (ONT).

Here are a list of CenturyLink compatible modems

Motorola MD1600 modem router

This compact modem-router combo will get you through the CenturyLink infrastructure. The unit combines an ADSL2+/VDSL modem with an AC1600 router. This helps meet some of the network challenges you may encounter. The modem is easy to setup via the Motorola setup wizard software.

You should note that the modem does not support bonded DSL connections. This is because it comes with a single DSI input port. If you want to connect to your phone line you will need an adapter. The MD1600 comes with four Ethernet ports out, USB 2.0 port and WAN out port to connect to a wireless bridge. The modem is dual-band and this enables it to expand to all places of a medium sized home. Users have access to advanced features like port forwarding, guest networks, QoS, and VPN support.


  • Easy setup
  • Provides good range
  • USB + 4 Ethernet ports
  • Combines an ADSL2+/VDSL


Does not support bonded DSL

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CenturyLink Prism C2100T Modem router

The Prism is one of CenturyLinks’ list of recommended equipment. It comes with various user-friendly features to help you automate your setup and support. With its innovative WPS button it is capable of connecting quickly to new devices without the need for a password. The Prism also supports TR-069 remote management. With this the tech team at CenturyLink are able to know your problems and help solve them. The Prism supports two VOIP lines, bonded VDSL+ with one DSL line. However, it is not backward compatible with ADSL. You also get a USB 2.0 port and four Ethernet ports. With the high number of ports it also means that you get many dashing front LED lights. The Prism supports IPv6 firewall support and forwards to guest network setup.


  • TR-069 remote management for easy tech support
  • WPS button for easy connection to devices
  • USB 2.0 and four Ethernet ports


High price tag

Netgear Modems for use with CenturyLink

Netgear Nighthawk D700-100NAS modem-router

The nighthawk is one of the fastest modems/router combo in the market and it will work with your CenturyLink internet plans. Many users have confined the suitability of this modem for use with CenturyLink networks though you won’t find it in the company approved list.

The nighthawk will support your VDSL2 while still remaining backward compatible with ADSL2/2+ service. Since it is dual band you should expect exceptional speeds and you will no longer need to worry about performance. In addition, you have Netgear beamforming technology that helps you get the best coverage in your house. The modem comes with USB 3.0 port that enables you connect to NAS device. It can also be synched with ReadyCloud service.


  • USB support with cloud service
  • Dual band wireless router
  • VDSL2 compatible with ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible


You will require a DSL filter for telephone services

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 modem

The nighthawk is compatible with CenturyLink non-bonded VDSL. It is not compatible with upgraded vectoring CenturyLink DSLAM. With this router you get access to speeds of up to 1.9Gbps and due to its powerful dual core processor you are guaranteed of increased router performance.

To boost your performance the router comes with high-powered amplifiers, and external antennas. You also have access to beamforming technology that helps you increase range and reliability. The nighthawk supports ADSL/2/2+ and VDSL/VDSL2 technologies. Most of its compatibility connections are done via a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. The router also offers you advanced features like ReadyCLOUD, OpenVPN, and reliable backup to USB HDD.

The nighthawk operates two simultaneous bands – 600Mbps and 1,300Mbps. With the built-in iTunes server and super speed USB port you are capable of streaming lots of media files. You can stay connected to your mobile devices via the 802.11ac Wi-Fi network


  • Supports CenturyLink non-bonded VDSL
  • Dual band router with fast speeds
  • Latest beamforming technologies


Quite expensive


Modem are critical to convert signal sent by your ISP to your devices. CenturyLink offers its modems for rental and purchase. However, you can use your own modem/router if it is approved for use by CenturyLink. You can check out their website for certified modems including some from Netgear


Can I use my modem to connect to CenturyLink internet services?

It will depend on whether your modem has being approved for use by CenturyLink. You can check this by logging to their webpage for certified modems. The company also offers its own set of modems for sale

Which is better – renting or purchasing modem?

It will depend on how long you are going to be with the service provider. For shorter durations you may choose to rent one but for periods over one year purchasing a modem will make more sense

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