CenturyLink has been offering subscribers a monthly rental for their cable modem router combo units. While the monthly rental fees are mostly cheap, it accumulates all throughout the year(s).
Let’s say you are paying the average rental fee of $10 per month, in one year you will be paying for $120. And it continues to get expensive the longer you rent a unit. That’s $240 in two years, $360 in three years and you still don’t own the modem router. Not exactly cheap, but some modem router combos can be purchased for less than $200.
If you are a CenturyLink subscriber, there are many choices available for supported 2-in-1 devices. One of those devices is the decently-priced Zyxel C1100Z, a 2-in-1 modem router device that is made especially with support for CenturyLink. The Zyxel C1100Z modem offers features that are fine-tuned to work on CenturyLink offers and services. So if you are currently a CenturyLink subscriber go check out our Zyxel C1100Z review below.
|Speed||up to 300 Mbps|
- 2-in-1 device, modem and router in a single body.
- Data rates can reach up to 300Mbps.
- Wide area coverage, and reliable connection.
- Automatic network configuration settings.
- Has dedicated WAN port, which can also be used as a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port if the device is operating in DSL mode.
- Has 4x Gigabit Ethernet port.
- Dedicated WPS button.
- VDSL2 compatible, and ADSL2/2+ backwards compatible.
- Easy to set-up and use.
- Relatively cheap.
- Has TR-069 Remote Management for easy tech support.
- Only operates on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
- Uses older IEEE 802.11n instead of the newer IEEE 802.11 ac.
- No USB port.
- Quite bulky.
The Zyxel C1100Z is a 2-in-1 cable modem router combo made specifically for CenturyLink subscribers. It does have some standout features upon its sleeves, and that’s pretty common for some of the 2-in-1 cable modem router devices. Again, if you are not a CenturyLink subscriber, don’t read through. It’s not going to work for you. Use the below links to navigate to your ISP supported routers
1. High-speed VDSL2 Broadband access
The CenturyLink Zyxel C1100Z is both VDSL and ADSL-compliant. Basically, this makes it backwards compatible. The “very high bit-rate digital subscriber line” (VDSL) is actually an improvement over the older “asymmetric digital subscriber line” (ADSL).
The older ADSL is using the frequencies on regular copper phone lines that are not taken by voice calls. This is less expensive than having VDSL since it doesn’t require any special lines to be installed. However, with ADSL, you can only get up to 24Mbps download speed, with very limited upload speed. Speeds are also affected by the condition of the lines, or even how far is your home from your internet service provider. It can also get affected by any noise or interference on the line. Since ADSL is “asymmetrical”, living “downstream” from your internet service provider can give you faster and more stable speed, than living “upstream.”
VDSL, on the other hand, behaves more similar to the cable internet. It can reach outstanding speed (at least for a DSL) of up to 60Mbps, and up to ten times faster than ADSL in upload speed. So if you live up close your internet service provider, the internet speed will remain the same regardless if you live upstream or downstream. The VDSL connection can achieve this by shortening the distance the signal can travel. Shorter distance means less speed degradation and more reliable internet.
2. Gigabit WAN/LAN port
The Zyxel C1100Z features a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet WAN port allowing for a single CPE on either DSL of GPON network. However, when the device is also operating in DSL mode, you can use this port as a 5th Gigabit LAN port. Yes, the ZyxelC1100Z has four Gigabit LAN ports too!
3. 11n Wireless technology
Zyxel C1100Z operates on 802.11n, otherwise known as Wi-Fi 4. It utilizes two 2T x 2R antennas which can greatly improve speed, reduce dead zone, and give a wider area coverage. The CenturyLink Zyxel C1100Z can achieve up to 300Mbps data rates, for an even more reliable internet connection. Furthermore, the device works on 2.4GHz frequency. While this frequency is prone to interference (since more wireless devices are using this frequency) it has wider coverage than the 5GHz. Best for a large home or office area. But it can be considered as a flaw as the latest technology is Wifi 6. So, it’s lagging behind by 2 generations. You can consider Netgear C7800 or Netgear Nighthawk C7100V for better performance.
4. Improved security
Because most people nowadays do most of their transactions online, wireless attacks have increasingly become rampant in the past few years. So when getting a modem and router, you want to make sure that it is safe, and has tons of security features that are so hard for cybercriminals to crack. The Zyxel C1100Z can offer just like that.
It has security features that ensure that all your data from the WAN and LAN is encrypted and secure. The Zyxel C1100Z modem utilizes dual Ethernet firewalls – SPI and NAT. Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall, also known as dynamic packet filtering, checks incoming packets and makes sure that the client asks for it. The Zyxel C1100Z will continuously monitor and look for every individual packet with patterns similar to known wireless attacks like Denial of Service (DoS), Ping of Death (illegal ping packet sizes or excessive ICMP messages), SYN Flood, LAND Attack, and IP Spoofing. The router usually keeps two logs — the one is a log of websites visited by the local computer, and the other log keeps information of the attack attempts.
Network Address Translation (NAT), on the other hand, lets you share WAN IP and stop unwanted incoming traffic (note, it does not stop outbound traffic). Basically how it works is that NAT shares a single internet account to multiple computers within the local network. This means, only the single IP address assigned to the router is visible to the computer. Unless the router is configured to forward incoming traffic to a particular computer (with Port Forwarding or a DMZ), local computers are not reachable from the Internet. This makes the Zyxel C1100Z even more secure.
Furthermore, the Zyxel C1100Z also supportsWPA2/APA/WEP encryption. There is also a WPS button straight on the device to help you quickly set up your network connection with the password. This means, even your wireless connection is safe against unauthorized use.
How to Setup the Zyxel C1100Z
As mentioned above, the Zyxel C1100Z is easy to setup. In this part, we will be teaching you how to setup your modem and router combo.
- Launch your browser of choice and access Zyxel’s web-based utility. You can log in to your router’s utility by entering 192.168.0.1. You can also use your default configuration IP in your browser.
- Go to the Advanced setup menu, and select WAN settings.
- Look and click the Broadband Settings, and change your DNS type.
- Scroll down to 4 which say “Set the DNS type.” Depending on your firmware, this may be found in another number. Then set DNS type to Static DNS.
- Enter the first DNS resolver address. In the Primary DNS, that is 184.108.40.206. In the Secondary DNS, that would be 220.127.116.11.
- Select “Apply” to save your new settings.
While the Zyxel C1100Z only has few features to offer, the device definitely worth it if you want to save few bucks for a modem router combo. The fact that it is also a 2-in-1 device, you’ll save a lot, since you don’t have to purchase a dedicated modem and router which can cost a lot of money.
If you are a CenturyLink subscriber, the Zyxel C1100Z modem will work best for your Internet subscription since it is fine-tuned to work that way. The data rates can be incredibly high, at 300Mbps. Yes, the device still operates on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi but of all the standards, it is the best in terms of area coverage. Also, most modern devices support both 5GHz and 2.4GHz. So if you are okay with a decent speed, but more reliable and wider area coverage, the Zyxel C1100Z can work just fine for you. However, if you have a small apartment area, and wants a faster data speed, you should look somewhere else since the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi on the Zyxel C1100Z won’t be able to deliver that to you.
Finally, what we like about the Zyxel C1100Z is that it has access to TR-069 Remote Management. This gives you access to their tech support so they can facilitate whenever you encounter issues with your Zyxel C1100Z modem router.
All in all, if you are a CenturyLink subscriber, doesn’t care about 5Ghz Wi-Fi, and can live off the 2.4GHz connection, the Zyxel C1100Z is a good buy. However, with the same price, you can also get a much better modem router combo for your CenturyLink account. It just a matter of finding which one suits best for your current subscription.