CenturyLink Installation Guide
Use our tips to make your internet setup process headache-free.
For new CenturyLink internet customers, no one’s idea of a fun day involves waiting between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for an installation appointment that’ll always be closer to 5 p.m. than you’d like.
So before you schedule that technician visit, consider doing a CenturyLink internet standard installation by yourself and potentially save time. Read on to find out what you’ll need to connect CenturyLink internet to your home and whether self-installation is a good fit for you.
How to self-install CenturyLink internet
If you can set up a laptop or smartphone without needing to call your nearest nephew or niece, you can do CenturyLink’s standard installation. Here’s what you’ll need to do ahead of time.
Order your CenturyLink Welcome Kit
When you’re purchasing CenturyLink service online, you can include a standard installation Welcome Kit if you have a qualifying address or internet plan.
CenturyLink’s standard installation eligibility varies by location. But you can usually get a kit if you’re purchasing a CenturyLink plan with download speeds of less than 40 Mbps or if your address previously had CenturyLink service.
You can also request a standard installation kit with your CenturyLink plan if you’re talking to a live salesperson.
What’s in the box?
You’ll find the following items in your CenturyLink Welcome Kit:
- Installation instructions
- Power adapter
- Combo Wi-Fi router/DSL modem
- Green phone cable
- Yellow Ethernet cable
Self-installing CenturyLink internet
Now that you’ve seen what’s in the CenturyLink box, it’s time to plug everything in.
- Find a phone wall jack on the main floor of your home, because you’ll need to connect it to the combo modem/Wi-Fi router. By keeping the device in a central area, you’ll create a consistent Wi-Fi signal for the whole house.
- Plug the power adapter into a wall outlet and insert the circular plug into your router/modem.
- Use the green phone cable to connect your phone jack to the combo modem/router. The modem/wireless router’s phone jack will be a separate input on the unit’s backside.
- If you have an older computer without a Wi-Fi antenna or want a stronger internet connection, connect the modem/router to your computer’s Ethernet port using the yellow Ethernet cable. The modem/router’s Ethernet port will be any of the yellow jacks on the unit’s backside.
Installing CenturyLink DSL filters
If you also have CenturyLink phone service, you’ll need to install DSL filters on all your landline phones. Technicians can bring free DSL filters during installation appointments, or you can order them from CenturyLink for a $4.95 shipping charge.
- Unplug the phone cable from the wall phone jack.
- Plug the DSL filter into your wall jack.
- Plug your phone cable into the filter.
Activating your CenturyLink internet service
Once your hardware is all set up, it just needs to be activated through CenturyLink. This process takes only a few minutes worth of clicking.
- Online: Before you get started, connect your computer to the modem/wireless router using the Wi-Fi credentials on the device’s bottom. Open your web browser and visit CenturyLink’s activation website to finish the setup process.
- Phone: CenturyLink modems cannot be activated over the phone.
- TV: CenturyLink doesn’t offer TV services.
- Mobile app (Android or iOS): Download the My CenturyLink mobile app on Google Play or the App Store. Open the app and click Install My New Modem to start the self-activation process.
Pro installation vs. standard installation
CenturyLink installation pros and cons
|Standard installation||Fastest setup option||
No in-person technical support
|Professional installation||A technician who can solve problems in-person||
Full-day scheduling window required
If your home qualifies for CenturyLink standard installation, it’s hard to beat the time savings from this self-led installation option. Once you get your CenturyLink equipment, it’ll take only a few minutes to get your home online and you won’t need to schedule any technician appointments.
We think you’ll do great at self-installing your CenturyLink internet with the $15 standard installation option. But if you’re nervous about it, you can pay $99 for professional installation.
And we’d recommend pro installation if you’re in a home that hasn’t been set up for internet or CenturyLink service. Technicians have the technical knowhow to access outdoor cables and drill wiring into your house if needed. Otherwise, stick with self-installation to quickly get your home online.
Professional installation of CenturyLink internet
|Cost||Appointment window/duration||Customer satisfaction rating|
|$99.00||8 hours/2–6 hours||4.05*|
*CableTV.com customer-satisfaction survey (2020)
CenturyLink internet equipment: buy or rent?
Cheap at $15/mo.
Good for short-term internet needs
|Poor value for long-term internet needs|
|Buying||Best value for long-term internet needs||Expensive upfront costs|
Through CenturyLink, you can buy a combo Wi-Fi router/modem for $200 or rent one for $15 per month. CenturyLink fiber internet customers get a free modem with their subscription.
Since CenturyLink doesn’t require contracts, equipment rentals can be a decent option if you need internet service for less than a year. After 12 months, you would be paying $180 in CenturyLink equipment rental fees.
But despite the high $200 price tag, buying a modem outright will cost less than a rental if you stick with CenturyLink for the long haul.
After 14 months, you’ll be paying $210 in rental fees and would have saved money by purchasing a CenturyLink router/modem at the start of your service. When you purchase your equipment through CenturyLink, it’ll also come with a one-year warranty that protects against hardware failures.
If you need CenturyLink service for less than a year, we’d recommend renting internet equipment. Otherwise, spring for the $200 CenturyLink modem or buy your own unit using our CenturyLink-compatible modem guide to avoid extra rental fees.
CenturyLink Wi-Fi setup
Because CenturyLink uses combo DSL modem/Wi-Fi routers, you can easily set up a wireless internet connection without additional hardware.
How to connect to your CenturyLink Wi-Fi network
- Look at the bottom of your CenturyLink modem/router. On a sticker, you’ll find the Wi-Fi network name and password by the SSID and passphrase sections.
- Go to the Wi-Fi settings page on the device you want to connect to the internet.
- Click the network name that matches your CenturyLink device.
- Enter the password to finish the Wi-Fi setup process.
Unless your house needs to have cable replaced or routed for the first time through your walls, we’d recommend sticking with CenturyLink’s standard installation. CenturyLink’s Welcome Kit includes hardware and a walk-through for the entire activation process.
We’d also recommend buying your CenturyLink equipment. At $15 per month, a rental makes sense only if you need internet service for just a few months.