How to replace your modem

If you think your modem is broken and needs to be replaced, be sure you've done everything you can to resuscitate it. If it just won't come back to life, you have some options. Exactly which options are available depends on whether your modem is leased, where you purchased it and if it's under warranty.

Confirm you need to replace your modem

It's surprisingly easy to accidentally knock a modem offline. A loose cable, a damaged power cord or even one too many filters can cause big headaches but be easy to fix.

Before you go through the trouble of replacing your modem, double check that nothing simple is out of whack. Start with the basics:

You should also understand the ports and connection slots on your modem, and you might want to read what happens if you hit the RESET buttonbefore you hit it.

If you've already tried troubleshooting without success, chat with us. We're frequently able to fix modem problems without customers needing to send back their equipment. If we're unable to fix the problem, we'll talk with you about your options.

Review your modem replacement options

If you haven't had luck fixing your modem, what happens next depends on whether your modem is leased, where you purchased it and if it's under warranty.

If your modem is leased or under warranty

If you lease (or rent) a modem from us, you pay a small fee each month to use the modem. In return, we agree to replace it if it's defective. Alternately, if you purchased a modem from us, you automatically got a one-year warranty. If your modem is still under warranty, and we can't fix it, we'll replace it.

As part of the replacement process, you must speak with our technical support team to confirm your modem can't be fixed. If it can't be, you can have us send you a replacement modem immediately, or you can ship us your old modem first. There are couple things you want to consider before deciding what to do.

Option A: We ship you a replacement modem immediately.

  • PRO -- We ship you a replacement modem the same or next day (depending what time of day you call in).
  • CON -- Using the prepaid return label that we included with your replacement modem, you send us back your old modem and agree that if you don't get it to us within 30 days, you will be billed the purchase price for the modem. (Note: If you no longer have your prepaid return label, we can send you a new one.)

Option B: You ship us your old modem. Then, we ship you a replacement.

  • PRO -- You don't have to agree to being billed for a modem that you might not be able to return to us within 30 days.
  • CON -- You must ship us your old modem before we send you a replacement modem, which means you won't get your replacement modem as fast as you would with Option A.

Step 1: Get the prepaid return label

We send you a prepaid return label (USPS First Class Mail).

Tip: If you still have the prepaid return label that came with your old modem, you can use it to ship your modem back to us. Simply write -- the RMA number that CenturyLink Tech Support gave you or your account number/billing telephone number (BTN) -- on the shipping label.


7-10 days

Step 2: Package up your old modem

When you get the prepaid return label, package up your modem (including all the cables it came with), put the label on the box and ship it back to us UPS Ground.


3-5 days

Step 3: Wait for the replacement modem

Once we receive your old modem, we ship you a replacement modem next-business-day delivery.


1-2 days

If you modem's warranty has expired

If you purchased your modem from us, but your warranty has expired, our technicians can still help you troubleshoot the problem and confirm whether your modem needs to be replaced.

If it turns out that your modem needs to be replaced, you can order one from us. You can do this one of three ways:

  1. Log in to My Account and select the option for ordering Internet service. Since you already have Internet service, you'll see an option for ordering a new modem. Follow the prompts to order your modem.
  2. Chat with our customer service team. Our agents can process your order. They can also tell you about the latest promotions and other ways for you to get the best possible price.
  3. Visit a CenturyLink store. If you're purchasing from one of our stores, call ahead to make sure they have what you need in stock. (Note: Since our stores only carry our most current modems, you may get a different make or model than you've been using.)

Did you know? Some retail stores, like Best Buy and Walmart, carry CenturyLink-branded modems. If you want to purchase your modem from a retail store, call ahead and confirm they have the modem you need in stock. (Note: While a number of modems are CenturyLink compatible, some work better than others with local DSL technology. We recommend talking with a member of our technical support team before purchasing so you can get the best device for your area.)

If you bought your modem from someone else

If you're having problems with your modem, and it's been less than 30 days since you bought your modem, you should be able to return it to the retail store for an exchange or refund. If it's been more than 30 days, contact the device manufacturer directly for support. 

If you bought the modem from any other place or person (e.g., eBay), exchange and support policies will vary. Contact the seller for specifics. In this situation, you're responsible for troubleshooting the device, contacting the manufacturer to get it fixed and/or replacing it if it stops working.

Tip: If you purchased your modem from a retail store such as Best Buy or Walmart, and it has the CenturyLink logo on it, chat with us, and we'll try to help you troubleshoot the problem.