How to maximize your fiber internet experience

A fiber connection can deliver an exceptional experience across all connected devices and systems. To optimize your fiber experience, start with some basic information about your connection, and read answers to a few commonly asked questions.

What affects my fiber speed?

There are a few important points to help you maximize your fiber internet speed.


It's most common to use the internet over WiFi. However, a wired connection is the best way to see the maximum available speed for your internet service. Here are some other factors that can affect your speed.

WiFi connections

In thinking about speed, you can’t ignore the impact of WiFi. The everyday performance of your devices can be limited by wireless connections, which tend to lose signal strength (meaning reduced bandwidth) when compared to the wired connection that enters your router.

For CenturyLink Fiber service, a wired connection can reach speeds up to 940 Mbps. Over WiFi, however, speed on any single device may max out at around 300 Mbps.

Device speed

No matter how fast your internet connection is, each device you use has a limit to how fast it can deliver information.

“Devices” are all the electronics that rely on an internet connection (usually wireless), including laptops and desktop computers, tablets, gaming consoles and smart devices such as TVs, phones, security systems, home assistants, ovens, refrigerators… and the list goes on and on. It’s a good idea to check the specific speed capabilities of your different devices.

The type of processor (CPU), operating system, and browser version running on each device also impact how fast it can deliver data over the internet, as do security firewalls and anti-virus software. For the best possible speed performance, you’ll want internet-connected devices that were made within the last two years.

Number of devices

When multiple devices are connected to your network, either wired or wirelessly, they share your internet connection, or the total amount of data that can be downloaded or uploaded at one time. Each device uses a portion of your allotted bandwidth, which in turn affects the speed of each device. 

Distance between router and devices

The farther away a device is from the WiFi router, the slower the speed will be. Physical obstructions like walls, floors and doors can also reduce the speed. You will get a better wireless signal closer to your gateway and with fewer devices running. 

Other WiFi networks

When multiple WiFi networks are working in close proximity, such as in an apartment building or business complex, the different signals can interfere with each other. This can sometimes cause performance issues. 

Internet backbone congestion

No, it’s not a medical condition. Internet congestion within the “backbone” or larger network generally occurs in the late afternoon and evening, when more people are using the internet. Going online or streaming during peak periods may limit the speed you experience. This congestion can occur outside of one provider’s network, across peer networks that are interlinked to deliver internet services.


Just as with devices, not all websites run at the same speed. Here are a few things to consider as you surf the internet: 

  • A website’s server capacity can impact the speed of that site.
  • Website owners may use different internet service providers to deliver content to you, which can also impact speed.
  • Visiting websites during peak hours, such as in the evenings and on weekends, may also result in lags and slower performance.

Commonly asked questions 

We highly recommend using a CenturyLink router (gateway) for your in-home Fiber service. This will ensure maximum speeds for downloading and uploading data.

If you wish to add a gateway to the CenturyLink router, you will need to enable “bridge mode” on your CenturyLink router.

Follow these tips to optimize your wireless performance:

  • Place your CenturyLink router in a centralized location in your home, away from devices that generate signal frequencies (microwaves, refrigerators, baby monitors, etc.)

  • Make sure the router has a clear path to where most of your wireless devices will be operating.

  • Minimize the number of wireless devices connecting to the router by turning off devices when not in use.

  • Use the 802.11ac radio setting with the 5GHz channel enabled. On newer routers, this will automatically be set, but in some cases you may have to enable the setting on individual devices. Check each device’s manual for instructions.

Recommendations for a Windows/PC-based device:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-3320M quad-core CPU running at 2.60GHz or faster
  • Memory: 16 GB of RAM or more
  • Network interface card (NIC): 1 Gbps-enabled Ethernet port
  • Browser:
    • Firefox 55 and above
    • Google Chrome 70.0.3538.77 and above
    • Microsoft Edge


Recommendations for a Mac OS device:


  • Operating System: OS X 10.13.6 and above
  • Processor: Quad-Core Intel Core i7 or faster
  • Memory: 16 GB of RAM or more
  • Browser:  Safari 11.1.2 and above
  • Network interface card (NIC): 1 Gbps-enabled Ethernet port

Yes. Standard WiFi extenders or mesh devices (those labeled as being in compliance with IEEE 802.11ac standards) are compatible with the CenturyLink gateway. That means you can use them together with your wireless router to extend wireless access to your fiber internet connection throughout your home.

If you do use a WiFi extender or mesh network, be sure the WiFi channel frequency is consistent with the setting on your CenturyLink router. You can find the wireless frequency under the “Radio Setup” option in the Wireless Settings menu of the router’s user interface. Check the user manual for your extender or mesh device to learn the potential speed of data transfer and follow the product’s instructions for correct configure and placement within your home.

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