The Complete Guide to CenturyLink Self-Installation

by | Oct 20, 2016 | FAQ | 4 

When it comes to installing CenturyLink internet, you have two options: self-installation or installation by CenturyLink technical support. Both options work, with each bringing its own pros and cons. We’ll help you decide which approach is right for you and walk you through each installation process step by step.

How Do I Self-Install My CenturyLink Modem?

The checkout process for CenturyLink prompts you to either call the professionals or self-install. If you choose the latter, CenturyLink ships a compatible modem and installation guide to your home.

1. Examine the equipment

Once your CenturyLink package arrives, open it and make sure you received all the necessary equipment. You should see a set of instructions, a modem, a power adapter, cables and cords, and DSL filters.

2. Connect your DSL filters

DSL filters are usually short, off-white cords. Connect the DSL filters to any phone jacks in use. The filters separate phone and internet signals to prevent disruptions and maintain high speeds.

3. Decide on a location for the modem

The modem connects your home to CenturyLink’s network. It usually features a built-in router, which connects all of the devices in your home to the Wi-Fi. Placing the modem in a centralized, well-ventilated space helps devices throughout the home connect to the internet.

4. Set up the modem

Next, connect the modem to an outlet via the AC power adapter. The modem will either turn on automatically or require you to turn it on manually. Wait a few minutes for the modem to warm up. Once it finishes initializing, the modem’s indicator light should turn a steady green.

5. Connect the phone cord

Look for the green port on the back of the modem labeled either DSL or LINE. Plug the green telephone cord into the port and connect the other end to the phone jack on the wall. Once the cord is plugged in, the phone indicator light should power on. Note: Don’t add a DSL filter to the phone cord; the cord claims a built-in one. Adding an additional filter could affect the connection.

6. Connect the Ethernet cable

Next, follow a similar process for the yellow Ethernet cable, connecting it to the yellow port on the modem and a port on the computer. The computer’s port may not be colored, so look for a port that resembles a phone jack. The Ethernet indicator light powers to life when the cord is connected to the correct ports. If the indicator lights—power, phone, and Ethernet—turn on, you’re ready to activate your internet. The lights should be steady, excepting the internet, Ethernet, and wireless ones, which blink green. The video below demonstrates how to set up the modem and activate internet service.  

Should I Call on CenturyLink or Install It Myself?

Cost, convenience, and time are the biggest factors to consider when deciding if you want to connect the internet on your own or call in the professionals.

Professional Installation

  • Efficiency: CenturyLink professionals install modems and internet packages on a daily basis. They know the process backwards and forwards, which could save you time and frustration.
  • On-site assistance: With a professional in the home, you can resolve technical issues, network configurations, and miscellaneous questions right then and there.
  • Service fees: CenturyLink offers professional installation services—for a fee. The price changes according to region, equipment, and other factors. To find out how much the installation service will cost, contact CenturyLink customer support.
  • Scheduling: Professional installation requires you to wait at home for a window of time, which can be inconvenient if you need to run errands or are planning around a work schedule.


  • Cost: You don’t have to pay an installation fee when you self-install.
  • Scheduling: You install the internet when it fits your schedule rather than technical support’s.
  • Self-reliance: CenturyLink provides 24/7 technical support, but you’re on your own when setting up the modem. If you encounter problems or questions besides those covered in the installation guide, you may end up needing a professional to come to the home.
  • Time: You don’t have to wait for an appointment, but you do have to wait for your self-install kit to arrive.

How Do I Set Up an Appointment with a CenturyLink Installer?

CenturyLink makes it easy to set up an appointment through customer service. Call 1-844-206-4692 to order new service or upgrade an existing one. CenturyLink’s professional installation has improved over the past year, so you may want to consider this option instead of going the DIY route.

How Do I Activate My CenturyLink Account?

Activating CenturyLink internet should take about fifteen minutes.
  1. With your modem set up, open a web browser.
  2. A CenturyLink welcome screen will pop up.
  3. Follow the screen’s prompts to activate your CenturyLink internet service.
  4. If you would like to set up a wireless network, follow CenturyLink’s instructions.

How Do I Update My Modem’s Settings?

If you decide to change your network name or password from the defaults, you will need to log into your CenturyLink modem. Don’t worry—this process is much easier than it sounds.
  1. Use a wired or wireless device to open a web browser.
  2. Input in the address bar and hit “enter.”
  3. You will see a screen that displays several services. Navigate to the one you need, in this instance “wireless setup.”
  4. Change the SSID if you want to create your own network name, and change the 128-BIT WEP Key to customize your password.
  5. Click “apply” to save your settings.

How to Resolve Common Problems with Self-Installation

Some installation problems require technical support, but check out the following list of common problems before making the call. You can often resolve a modem or internet issue on your own. If you implement the solution and still experience problems, get in touch with CenturyLink tech support at 1-877-348-9005.

Problem: My modem’s indicator lights aren’t coming on.

  1. Cords and cables sometimes jiggle loose when cleaning or moving furniture, so double-check them before calling tech support.
  2. If all cords, cables, and adapters are securely plugged in, make sure they’re connected to the right ports and power sources.

Problem: I’m getting a lot of interference.

  1. The problem could be a misplaced DSL filter. If you added one to the phone cord, it will cause interference. Remove the filter and see if the problem resolves.
  2. Next, check the ports. The yellow phone cord goes with the yellow DSL or LINE port, not the one labeled PHONE.
  3. Finally, check the power source. Use a wall phone jack rather than a phone splitter or a surge protector with a built-in phone jack.

Problem: Something’s wrong, but I don’t know what.

  1. A reboot often clears up a problem or pinpoints the issue.
  2. Unplug the modem’s power cord, wait at least 20 seconds, and plug it back in.
  3. Give the modem two minutes to complete its re-initialization.
If restarting the modem doesn’t resolve the issue:
  1. Turn off the modem and reboot the computer.
  2. Once the computer powers back on, turn on the modem and wait two to five minutes. The time allows the computer to clean the cache and cycle through connection settings.
Try connecting to the internet again. If you still experience issues, contact technical support.

Problem: Everything’s set up right, but I’m still having problems connecting to the internet.

  1. Check the browser by testing other browsers. One might work better and faster than another.
  2. Make sure you’re running the latest browser and install updates.
  3. Check the number of browser plugins. They sometimes turn your internet connection into a sluggard.
  4. If the browser seems to be up-to-date, your computer could have contracted a virus. Run a virus scan and eradicate any that are found.
  5. A final cause could be the equipment. If your modem is several years old, it might be time to replace it with the latest and greatest.

How Do I Purchase or Upgrade a Modem?

To receive a quality CenturyLink internet connection, you will need a compatible modem. You can lease or buy directly from CenturyLink, or, if preferred, you can purchase a top-rated modem on Amazon. The five listed below have high customer ratings and are compatible with CenturyLink services. Installing your CenturyLink internet should be a simple process. Calling a professional may be the best bet if the thought of self-installation gives you stress, but if you’re up for trying new projects, this complete guide will give you the information you need to get your internet connection up and running in no time. And if you run into any issues, CenturyLink is only a phone call away.   Find and compare high-speed internet providers in your area:

About the Author

Erin is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. She has over ten years of experience, with a background in marketing and creative writing

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