ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway Review

Gateway devices prove to be convenient and economical since they combine two functions. They act as modems and routers, and the ZyXEL C1100Z does precisely that. Here is a detailed review.

Wi-Fi technologies and standards have come a long way, and each new standard comes with an extra feature and faster speeds. The latest, the 802.11ax supports lightning fast speeds and outdoes all its predecessors in a big way. I like a bit of old school, and to date, I use a gateway device that operates on the 802.11n standard. I will tell you for certain, I have never been disappointed by the ZyXEL C1100Z gateway that works as a modem device and router at the same time. Here is why.

ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway Review and Breakdown

As earlier mentioned, the ZyXEL C11001 Wireless Gateway operates on the 802.11n standard, but it manages to deliver great speeds none the less. It runs on VDSL2, a digital subscriber line that provides high transmission speeds and works better than the previous VDSL and ADSL.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of this device is that it works as both a modem and router. This way, users do not have to get two separate devices to achieve broadband internet in their homes. As an added advantage, this device allows you to save a good deal of money since they do not have to pay rental fees for a modem every month. It is estimated that the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway saves you up to $600 every 5 years.

When it comes to performance, this gateway device comes with 2 2T x 2R antennas which are excellent for boosting the range and speed of transmission across your home. When surfing over the internet, you will enjoy comprehensive coverage in all rooms and all levels of your homeand experience no lag or dead zones.

It proves extremely efficient for persons who have a 300Mbps data plan. With this kind of speeds, this gateway device comfortably supports high speed gaming on multiple consoles and 4K video streaming across a number of devices at the same time. As with other devices where internet reliability gets affected when many devices are connected, the ZyXEL C1100Z maintains its cool even during intense activity.

What we liked;

  • Acts as a 2-in-1 modem and router
  • Runs on VDSL2 for faster and more reliable speeds
  • Comes with 2 2T x 2R antennas for comprehensive coverage
  • Supports 300Mbps data plan
  • Supports high intensity activity

What we did not like;

  • It is not a DOCSIS compatible device
  • Does not support 5GHz bandwidth
  • A bit bulky

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ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway Specifications

ARRIS Touchstone DG3450
Cable modem + Router (Gateway)
VDSL Compliance
Internet transmission speeds
2 2T x 2R antennas
VPSN Passthrough, URL Blocking
Router frequency bands
Ethernet ports
1 WAN, 4 LAN, USB, Phone, DSL
Key features
Meets DOCSIS 3.1 specifications, High internet speeds, flexible configuration and control, quick set up

ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway Features

Design and Build

Modems and routers often times come with different designs and builds, and there is no drawing the line as far as looks can go. The ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway combines simplicity and sophistication, an aspect that allows it to blend in with most surroundings and home décor with ease. When it comes to size, this gateway device measures 10.6 inches highby 10.1 inches long x 2.6 inches deep, making it quite large and bulkier than most other devices. However, you will notice that it has a slim build which is convenient for slipping the device through small spaces.

For stability, it comes with a flat base and considerably wide footprint. This way, you can be certain that it will not easily topple even when installed in high places. The ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway has wide side panels. They have many small cutouts that help to break the monotony of a plain wide surface and to keep the device cool. This ensures that your device does not sustain damage associated with heat from intense use and extremely hot conditions.

Speed and Performance

Even though this device is a Wi-Fi 4 gateway, it manages to perform quite well. It makes for a great acquisition for persons that use a 300Mbps data plan and who like to have fast internet speeds. With this device, activity such as high speed gaming on multiple consoles and 4K video streaming becomes quite easy. As an added advantage, this device supports IPv6 which adds to the quality of streaming experience.

Bear in mind that this device is specifically made for CenturyLink users, an indication that it is incompatible with other ISPs in the current internet market. Interestingly, the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway operates as a single band device. Internet is transmitted from a 2.4GHz band at high speeds.

When installed, this gateway device ensures that your entire home receives high speed internet, thanks to its 2 powerful 2T x 2R internal antennas. They work to boost the range and speed of internet transmission throughout the home to eliminate dead zones and lag during high intensity activity.

Ports and Connectivity

Ports and Connectivity

Ports make up an integral part of a modem or gateway device, and the ZyXEL C1100Z does not disappoint in this regard. On the back panel of this device, are several ports that prove efficient for multiple connections. The first is a WAN port that doubles up as a LAN port in case you need an extra one. Next to this WAN/LAN port are 4 LAN ports. These are ideally meant to facilitate Gigabit Ethernet connections to devices such as gaming consoles, smart TV, laptop and desktop computers, a printer and other device that are internet enabled.

Just below the LAN ports are a phone port and DSL port that supports VDSL2 for extremely fast internet speeds. Additionally, the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway comes with a USB port that allows for USB connectivity. Other than these, there is a power inlet and a reset button, all on the back panel of the gateway device. The front panel carries LED lights that indicate such parameters as Power, DSL, internet, WAN/LAN connectivity, ethernet connectivity, USB and wireless connectivity on the 2.4GHz band.

In case of any malfunction, you can call your service provider for tech support and assistance. However, CenturyLink has provided a remote management feature called the TR-09 that allows them to monitor and manage your device remotely for optimal performance at all times.

Who is it best suited for?

Having established that this device acts as both a modem and a router, it goes without saying that it makes a great acquisition for people who want to eliminate the cost of purchasing two separate devices. Additionally, it saves you a lot more when used as a replacement for a rented modem from your service provider. The ZyXEL C1100Z is also great for people who would like to increase the internet speeds in their homes. This device, even though a single band gateway, delivers good speeds that support high intensity activity and wide coverage without struggling.

Are there alternatives to the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway?

Yes, there are. It is possible to find gateway devices that bear the capacity to transmit internet at high speeds, cover a wide area and also support high intensity activity. Seeing that the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway is something of old technology, you can replace it with newer technology devices like the ARRIS SURFboard SBG8300, Netgear Nighthawk C7000 and the ARRIS Touchstone DG3450. They are all gateway devices and you will have no need for a separate router.

Features of alternative Gateway devices

Netgear Nighthawk C7000
ARRIS Touchstone DG3450
Cable modem + Router (Gateway)
Cable modem + Router (Gateway)
Cable modem + Router (Gateway)
Bonded Channels
24 x 8 DOCSIS 3.1
32x 8 DOCSIS 3.1
32 x 8 DOCSIS 3.1
Internet download speeds
Up to 1,900Mbps
Up to 4Gbps
Up to 5,000Mbps
Internet upload speeds
Up to 131Mbps
Up to 1Gbps
Up to 1,000Mbps
Router throughput speeds
Router frequency bands
2.4GHz and 5GHz
2.4GHz and 5GHz
2.4GHz and 5GHz
Ethernet ports
Key features
Meets DOCSIS 3.1 specifications, High internet speeds, supports channel bonding, quick set up
Compatible with all ISPs, Multi-Gig internet speeds, supports IPv6, meets DOCSIS 3.1 specifications
Meets DOCSIS 3.1 specifications, High internet speeds, flexible configuration and control, quick set up

 Verdict: So, should you buy the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway?

Even though this device works quite well, it may not exactly be the best acquisition for you, especially in this day and age. Technology keeps changing, and the 802.11n standard will become obsolete sooner than later. It would be a smarter move to get a device that supports the 802.11ac standard for a better experience. If you want great reliability and even better speeds, go for one of the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway’s alternatives.


  1. Does the ZyXEL C1100Z Wireless Gateway come with a mobile app?

No, it does not.

  1. Is the ARRIS Touchstone DG3450 compatible with voice bundle services?

No, it only supports ISPs.

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