Using a non-CenturyLink modem

When we say "bring your own modem" with CenturyLink internet service, this can describe two very different scenarios:


  1. Re-use a CenturyLink modem. Maybe you have one on hand from previous service, or maybe you got one from a friend. If it's a newer modem and the technology and speed are compatible with your type of service (DSL vs. fiber, etc.), this is likely to work because it was built and tested for our network.

  2. Use a non-CenturyLink modem (also referred to as a "third-party modem"). Please be aware that most third-party modems don't work (or don't work well) because they aren't configured or tested on our network.  

Please note that modems from cable internet providers do not work with CenturyLink internet service.


We recommend using one of our certified CenturyLink modems, which are tested and approved to work with our high-speed internet technology. To order a CenturyLink certified modem, or to check compatibility of a modem, chat with customer service.

Important information about using third-party equipment

Two points about third-party equipment

  1. Modems from cable internet providers do not work with CenturyLink internet service.

  2. In order for a non-CenturyLink modem to work with our service, it must support VLAN tagging 201.

If you want to try using a non-CenturyLink modem, please read the following FAQs closely to understand how the process works.

Our modems are maintained by our systems, including software (firmware) updates, which are important to fix bugs and keep up with security demands. We work to achieve the best experience possible with our equipment, and all CenturyLink modems are tested and certified to work with the CenturyLink network.

There are some risks that you should understand when choosing to use a third-party modem:

  • Many third-party modems will not work with the CenturyLink network, because they have not been tested or configured correctly.
  • You will receive only limited technical support from CenturyLink if you have service issues related to a third-party modem.

  • Third-party equipment is not covered under CenturyLink’s equipment replacement program.

  • Our technicians are unable to install service with non-CenturyLink equipment. So, if professional installation of new service is required for any reason, your technician will use a new CenturyLink modem to set up the connection. After that time, if you are able to successfully connect your own third-party modem, you can return the CenturyLink modem.

Yes, if you understand and accept the risks involved and would still like to use a third-party modem, you may do so. You will need to get support from the modem's manufacturer. Though there are some similarities across brands, it's best to get instructions specific for your particular model's features and settings. Go to the manufacturer website (for example, Netgear, Motorola, D-Link, etc.) and search for the specific model name/number to find any user guides or help articles offered by that company, as well as customer support contact information. 

We are unable to provide a comprehensive list of non-CenturyLink modems for these reasons:

  • We can't guarantee any particular non-CenturyLink modem will work with our service.
  • Many third-party modems either do not work at all or do not provide a good experience. 
  • There are hundreds of different modem models to choose from, and those choices are constantly changing.

If you have a third-party modem that you would like to use, chat with us to check for compatibility and setup requirements. When using your own modem, the best way to connect is to let a CenturyLink agent walk you through the specifications and options.

For the more technically advanced, we can tell you that in order for a non-CenturyLink modem to work with our service, it must support VLAN tagging 201.

If you have active CenturyLink internet service, you can follow these general setup tips:

  1. Connect your modem to a power outlet and to a working phone jack.

  2. Chat with us to find out if your modem is "talking" to the CenturyLink network, and to get the credentials you need to enter in your modem settings, including the PPoE username/password, and something called VPI / VCI.

A third-party modem must support VLAN tagging 201. For more information, see our page about installing your own modem.

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