Bypassing needless CenturyLink Wireless Router on Gigabit Fiber

What's missing? The CentryLink C2000T!
What’s missing? The CenturyLink C2000T! (Pictured: CenturyLink Optical Network Terminator (ONT) [left], CyberPower Battery UPS [center], Netgear Nighthawk R7000 [right])
My home recently got upgraded with CenturyLink’s gigabit fiber service, which is pretty damn great. As part of the installation, they run fiber optic cable into your home which terminates at a Optical Network Terminator (ONT), which is essentially a Fiber-to-Ethernet modem. By default, CenturyLink will also install their own wireless router in your home because (a) most people need a wireless router and (b) they can make you pay $8/month for the device (or $100 once to buy it from them).

I’m interested in neither of those options, so I learned how to remove the needless extra device from the mix. I’m happy with this setup because it saves me a watt or two of power at the wall plug, and it removes one more thing that could fail/need to be rebooted.

Here’s how I removed the CentryLink C2000T from my home networking setup…

Assumptions

Part 1: Transparent Bridging

The first step is to get the Netgear Nighthawk doing the internet login. If this step doesn’t work, you can’t remove the C2000T. This is done by putting the C2000T into Transparent Bridging mode and then setting up the Netgear router to do the login.

Step A:
Call CentryLink and obtain your PPPoE login credentials. This is the username/password that your router uses to log you onto their internet. The C2000T has this username/password saved in it’s settings already, and you’re going to need this to get your Netgear router logged into the internet.

Step B:
Follow these instructions to set up Transparent Bridging on the C2000T. Basically you:

  1. Log into the C2000T (likely at http://192.168.0.1)
  2. Navigate to Advanced SetupWAN Settings
  3. Change “ISP Protocol” to “Transparent Bridging”
  4. Click “Apply”
Change “ISP Protocol” to “Transparent Bridging”

Step C:
Setup your Netgear Nighthawk to perform the internet PPPoE login:

  1. Login to your Netgear Nighthawk (likely at http://www.routerlogin.net/)
  2. Navigate to the Advanced Tab > SetupInternet Setup
  3. Change “Does your internet setup require login?” to “Yes”
  4. Use the information from Step A to fill in the “Login” and “Password”. All other settings can stay the same.
  5. Click “Apply”.
Update your router’s login type and credentials.

For good measure, you should probably turn everything off, wait a few seconds, and turn them on again. You should have working internet after everything reboots. If you don’t, don’t move on to the next step until you’ve resolved the issue.

Part 2: Removing the C2000T

The last thing you need to do before removing the C2000T is to set the VLAN settings on the Netgear Nighthawk. This is because CentryLink uses VLAN settings that aren’t the same as the default on the router. (This is where the Nighthawk is such a great device… most routers don’t have these settings available to users to adjust.)

Tip: Make sure to upgrade the router’s firmware to the most recent software… the settings below are only available in the most recent updates.

Step A:

  1. Log back into your Netgear Nighthawk
  2. Navigate to the Advanced Tab > Advanced SetupVLAN / Bridge Settings
  3. Check the “Enable VLAN / Bridge Setup” box.
  4. Select “Enable VLAN Tag” if it’s not already selected.
  5. Select the radio button next to the “Internet” row in the table and click “Edit”
  6. Change the VLAN ID to “201” (it was probably set to “10”)
  7. Save the settings and “Apply”
Set the router’s VLAN configuration to match CenturyLink’s VLAN ID

At this point, you probably just lost internet… but that’s okay…

Step B:
Finally, the last step is to disconnect the C2000T and wire the Netgear Router directly into the ONT.

IMPORTANT: Make absolutely sure you plug the Netgear Nighthawk router into the same port as the C2000T was plugged into on the ONT. Only one port of your ONT is set up to work – no other port will do.

Conclusion

I hope that works for you. It took me a bit of searching to figure out how to do this, so I thought I’d pass this along. Some sources that were helpful to me:

Update 11/13/2015

  • Lots of folks have commented that they can’t get the full gigabit speeds with this configuration on the Nighthawk router.
    • 450Mbps appears to be the max on the Netgear Firmware for the R7000.
      • I’m only paying for 40 Mbps up and 20 Mbps down, and I easily get those speeds with this configuration.
    • Richard (in the comments below) was able to get 900+Mbps up/down using an ASUS RT-AC87 router with the ASUSWRT-MERLIN firmware.  Although others have said they haven’t been able to repeat that success entirely. YMMV.
    • Take a look through the comments to see how others have configured their networks to try.
  • Prism (TV) can be set up to work in this configuration. I don’t have Prism myself, but others in the comments have gotten to work
    • On ASUS routers with these settings: http://i.imgur.com/vfBqOJj.png (thanks, Dylan!)
    • On the R7000, by making sure WAN Setup > Disable IGMP proxying is not set. (thanks, Steven!)

532 thoughts on “Bypassing needless CenturyLink Wireless Router on Gigabit Fiber”

  1. If I'm leasing the C2000T from CenturyLink, would they take it back if I have my router directly plugged into the ONT?

    1. Yep. No reason to keep paying them to rent a piece of equipment your not using and don't need. I am not paying to rent a C2000T.

  2. Excellent article however note the most current version of firmware is needed for the netgear router or else you will not see vlan settings.

  3. I can't get this to work. Please let me know what I'm doing wrong:

    1. I have the Ethernet cable going from the ONT box to the WAN/LAN port on the C2000T.
    2. I have a Ethernet cable going from one of the ports on the back of the C2000T into the WAN port of my Netgear R8000.
    3. I have my computer plugged into a port on the back of the R8000.

    4. Log into the C2000T and select Transparent Bridging.
    5. I log into my Netgear R8000 settings and apply my PPPoE login details.
    6. Turn everything off by unplugging C2000T and R8000. Plug them back in and wait 2 minutes. I confim I have Internet still.
    7. I login to Netgear R8000 and go to the VLAN settings. I "Enable VLAN Tag" and select the Internet one. I click on "Edit" and put in an ID of 201 and priority 0.
    8. I unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of the C2000T WAN port and plug it into the WAN port on the back of the R8000 (after disconnecting the R8000's WAN Ethernet cable to make it free.)

    The Netgear router just continues to go in continuous reboots until I unplug the WAN cable. I don't know what to do? I have to reset the router and try all over again.

    I don't think this is right though by setting up a VLAN 201 this way, because to me it appears to be setting a VLAN 201 for ALL ports. Shouldn't it be just the WAN port?

    Any help is much appreciated! I don't want to use the Century Link modem/router!! Thank you :-)

    1. Hmm… I unfortunately don't know exactly what to tell you to help debug what's going on. Maybe double check to make sure your Netgrear has the absolute latest firmware?

      Did you try seeing the VLAN for just the WAN ports? I have mine set up as described above, so it's hard for me to say what's going on in your case.

      Have you checked the logs on the Netgrear?

      1. Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. I am using the latest version of the router's firmware. I ended up giving up last night ;-(

        As soon as I set the VLAN to 201 and applied the settings, the router continues to reboot over and over. It is a pain to get reset since I have to push the Reset button in the back at the exact moment to get it out of the boot loop!

        I am not able to set a VLAN for just the WAN port (unfortunately) without flashing a custom firmware. So when I set VLAN 201 in Netgear, it does it for all ports. I'm flabbergasted that you were able to get this working! Congrats :-)

        Just curious, what is your download/upload speeds? Do they remain the same? I think I read online that some routers don't have the accelerator and so speeds drop if you don't use the CenturyLink equipment. Please share your findings! Thanks ;-)

        1. Sorry it didn't work out for you. You've got me curious as to what didn't work right.

          I just realized you said you're using an R8000. It surprises me that the R8000 would behave differently than the R7000. But I think that's the only difference in our setups.

          BTW – my speeds have appeared to be unaffected, but I'm only paying for 40 MBPS up, 5 MBPS Down – my speeds have been great. I don't know if it would be able to handle the full duplex 100 MBPS connection. I'd love for someone to try and report back.

  4. Can anyone confirm that they are receiving bandwidth speeds greater than "450Mbit" on the Netgear Firmware for the R7000?

    Technician said that the router doesn't have a Gbe WAN port and that the hardware acceleration cant handle the speed of the IPV4 NAT translation process. This is also mentioned on the DD-WRT Wiki for the R7000 ("Whilst the router is fast, potential users should be aware that IPv4 NAT routing throughput tops out at 450Mbit on latest Netgear stock firmware, and at 360Mbit on DD-WRT with default configuration (no overclocking), or 425Mbit with a 20% overclock.") – http://dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/DD-WRT_on_R7000

    I am curious if I get Gbe internet I will have to purchase new router or use the one provided. Thanks in advance.

    1. I don’t have this same setup working yet. But I do have CenturyLink fiberoptic Technicolor C2100T bridged with the Netgear R6250 which is a step below the Netgear Nighthawk and I achieve 1 gig up/down speeds to each ethernet port. Wifi is only 100 down/ 50 up maximums which is still decent. But just wanted to let you know that I achieve 1 gig up/down if hardwired to ethernet ports of router. It’s awesome for gaming or streaming or downloading movies!!

    2. I got the R7000 to work, but like you I cannot get speeds over 600 Mps up/down wired and 60 Mps wireless. I’m going to test the Asus router and see if that will work.

  5. You don't need the C2000T. Mine likes to reboot daily. All you need is a router that supports VLANs and to configure VLAN 201 tag on the ONT interface. The you just configure PPPoE. I'm using a ubiquity edge router lite, note that you need a router that supports gig speeds.

    1. How did you get yours configured to work with CenturyLink? I'm having a difficult time getting anything to connect on mine.

      1. Okay disregard my previous question… I tried configuring the router exactly as I had before, but this time it is working. Can't wait to ditch the C2000T!!!

  6. Thanks a lot for this tutorial, Kevin!
    I started to lose hope that I would ever be able to connect my linux based server directly to the optical gateway but I just did (mostly my brother did so actually). Should anyone be interested, I'll try my best to help.

  7. When you say your home was upgraded, was it something you requested or something they did in a certain area on their own?

    If you requested, what was the process and how much did it cost you?

    1. CenturyLink is doing it neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city. You can call them to find out if they have any plans for your area to bring in Gigabit.

  8. Hey everyone… this is Richard from a few posts above. I finally got my own router to work with Century Link's 1Gig fiber optic internet. I bought the ASUS RT-AC87 router. I setup the VLAN 201 as this router allows it. However, speeds capped out at 400Mbps (give our take.) I had to install ASUS Merlin customer firmware! After installing this custom firmware, you MUST force a factory reset by pressing the button on the back. This will then start the ASUS Merlin firmware off to a fresh start.

    I setup the router again with a VLAN 201, entered my PPPoE credentials, and the router achieves 900+Mbps up/down!! I don't know what it is about the ASUS Merlin firmware, but he some how tweaked the acceleration stuff. Anyway, I ended up donating $15 to him immediately afterwards since I was able to ditch my C2000T modem and get $100 back from CenturyLink.

    Hopefully this helps someone. If you have questions, please feel free to ask me. I'm setup to receive e-mail notifications if you reply to this post.

    1. Hey Richard,

      I'm moving to a place with CL fiber in about 6 weeks. I currently have an Asus RT-AC68U that I'd like to replicate your set up with, but I can't find anything in the stock firmware about VLAN tagging, is that required for this set up? (No TV, no phone). I'm thinking I may just have to install Merlin, which I'm ok with. Also another question, since we're talking about VLAN tagging, is the ONT plugged into the WAN port or a LAN port?

      1. There's an IPTV tab in asus-merlin. You set the "wan" port. I could be wrong, but tagging is generally necessary to add so I think there's not even a "tag vs untag" option here.

        IPTV Tab in ASUS-Merlin

        1. ChefJoe, thanks very much for the screenshot, I was having trouble figuring out VLAN tagging in Merlin. Richard, thanks for being a good internet citizen and reporting back on your success. I can vouch that the steps you took worked perfectly, and my brand new RT-AC87U is getting 900+ Mbps over wireless AC via my CLink fiber (woohoo!)

          Great blog/commenters, very happy I found my way here.

        2. Hey everyone,
          after a lot of nonsense with CenturyLink, I have a set up on my RT-AC68U. Credit to ChefJoe, I doubt I would have figured out where to put the 201 tag otherwise.

          My config for Denver as follows, using CL fiber.
          Wan:
          -Connection type: Automatic IP
          -Enable WAN: Yes
          -Enable NAT: Yes
          -Enable UPnP: Yes
          No Auth
          No hostname
          I cloned the MAC of the device CL gave me so I didn’t have to auth again, but you could use your device and auth it.

          Lan:
          >IPTV
          -ISP Profile: Manual
          -Internet: 201 PRIO: 0
          Everything else default on this page. So far, works like a charm. I haven’t tested my prism box yet. I got prism because it was cheaper, not because I wanted it.

          1. Installed today in Denver and will have exact same setup. Thanks for posting. Did you ditch Prism or figure out a way to still get TV?

            1. Hey, the other posts on here are right on track.
              I did get prism working, but I may still put the STB in the back of my closet.
              LAN > IPTV
              Enable multicast routing (IGMP Proxy): Enable
              Enable efficient multicast forwarding (IGMP Snooping): Enable

              Should be all set, that fixes the prism freezing issue after a few seconds on your own equipment. Bunch of liars when they say you can’t use your own equipment. Half liars, I guess, you can’t do it with cheap equipment.

              1. Thanks for your follow up – it worked! However, I am getting below average speeds I think. I’m a bit confused on cloning the MAC address and if that’s required or not.

                I flashed Merlin (latest 378.55), added all of the settings above with the exception of cloning the MAC of the C2100T and I am seeing about 300mb down on both wired and wireless. TV works. I have the ONTs ethernet hooked directly to the ac68u WAN.

                Should I be seeing better speeds wired?

                1. I’m seemingly capped at 300mb down myself using their C2100T or my RT-AC68U with these settings. I think when the installer initially setup the C2100T we tested and saw 800+ but now either one I use multiple tests always under 300. Anyone?

                  1. Unfortunately, I can’t really help either of you. I’m paying for the 40/10, so I don’t run into any speed issues with my equipment. Every speed test pretty much flat lines at 39.98, so it seems to work well. If I ever have the money I plan on upgrading, but it may be a while. Someone else on this page upgraded to Merlin and it seemed to help. If you’re using prism, make sure the multicast hardware acceleration is turned on, that may help as well.

                2. I’m also having the same problem! I’ve tried messing with the settings in Merlin* on my AC66U, and I get capped at 350 up/down. I followed everything down to the “T” (PPPoE, MAC cloning, IPTV, IGMP)…I’m getting 700+ up/down on the CenturyLink router.

                  *I have Merlin firmware 378.56_2

                  1. I forgot to add that I am benchmarking these speeds over wireless. Theoretical wireless cap on my AC66U is 1.75Gbps, so it should have no trouble hitting its goal. Laptop is a MBP (late 2014), and hit 700+ up/down wirelessly with the CenturyLink router.

          2. I’m in Seattle and I was able to get my ASUS RT-A66U working directly with the CenturyLink OTN — ditching the /n router they provided. I’m getting better performance, but not the 800-900Mbs that I would like to get. I’m going to continue to work on that, but at least I finally got my own equipment running.

            Process summary & key learnings:
            – Download the latest ASUS firmware. You can find it here: https://www.mediafire.com/folder/bkfq2a6aebq68/Asuswrt-Merlin.
            – Pick you router and the last file on the list is usually the latest version. Download it, unzip it.
            – Log into your router with http://192.168.1.1/ in your browser. Click on the “Administration” tab on the left, then the “firmware upgrade” tab at the top. Click choose file and upload the file you downloaded. There are readme files and other data in the folder but you should be able to tell the firmware file.
            – Reboot your router when done
            – Log back into your router. In Seattle, CL uses PPPoE, so you’ll need to configure your router to log in using your PPPoE username and password. If you don’t have these, you can call CL customer support and they can give them to you.
            – In your router, go to LAN tab –> IPTV tab –> Select ISP Profile = Manual Setting. Internet VID = 201 PRIO = 0. Hit APPLY
            – Go to WAN tab — > WAN Connection Type = PPPoE. PPP username = your PPPoE username, PPP password = you PPPoE password. MAC address = copy the MAC from the sticker on the bottom of your CL router. Hit APPLY
            – Last thing — and very important! Place the Ethernet cable into the same port on the OTN that the installer placed it in. For me it was LAN port 4. The other end in the WAN port on your ASUS router.
            – Turn your router off and reboot it. You should be all set.

            1. Thanks that worked! I can’t get the wireless STB boxes to pair over WPS with my ASUS RT-AC5300 though…I switched WPS over to 5 Ghz but those damned boxes won’t sync. I can wire some of them, but others are in places where I am not hardwired. Have you or anyone else paired these over WPS successfully?

    2. I just bought the rt-ac87u and followed all the instructions to bypass my c2000t. I’ve got it working, but my download speeds (wired) hit 100mbps. I’ve got the CL 1gig service installed. With the c2000t, I was getting speeds of 600mbps. Did I set up my Asus correctly? Is there a setting I missed that is capping my download speeds?

    3. I got the ASUS RT-AC3100 which is the best model Best Buy had. I installed the ASUS-Merlin firmware. I am going to enable the VLAN tagging, but wanted to check with you first. Some questions:
      1. Did you have to transparent bridge the ASUS router to the C2100T before ditching the Century Link router or did you connect the ASUS router to the GPON-ONT directly then plug in your credentials?
      2. Any problems you noticed?
      3. Do you get 1Gig wifi up/down speeds?

    4. Richard,
      Thank you for this post and the detailed explanation. It’s been a long while (August 17, 2015!) since you made this work for yourself but your gift keeps on giving! After unsuccessfully trying to get my Netgear 8500 to connect to CL fiber, I switched to my Asus AC-68R with the Merlin FW. On the first try, it connected at full speeds up and down. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      1. Sweet! Glad it helped.

        This seems like ages ago! Lol

        I’ve since moved to a different state, and now with AT&T gigabit. I had to use Ubiquiti equipment to now bypass AT&T’s garbage modem/router combo :-)

  9. Hey guys –

    Setting this up with the Asus RT-AC68U. I called to get my PPPoe credentials and apparently my region only uses DHCP NOT PPPoe. How should my setup differ??

    Any help is appreciated.

    1. Check the “ISP Protocol” in Step 1.B.

      If it says DHCP then the phone support person gave you good info. If it says PPPoE then they didn’t know what you were talking about and your should call back to get a better rep that knows what they’re doing.

      If it is DHCP, then you probably don’t need a password and you can just mimic the ISP Protocol configuration of the C2000T on your router.

  10. Thanks for the reply Kevin. Unfortunately, I never got a router from CenturyLink to cross reference settings from.

    I tried setting the VLAN on the IP TV tab to 201 and I lost Internet connectivity.

    Thoughts?

    1. > Unfortunately, I never got a router from CenturyLink to cross reference settings from.

      What equipment do you have? Or are you trying to do this because you didn’t get a router from CenturtLink in the first place?

      Either way, I suspect you need the PPPoE login information and the tech you talked to just didn’t know what you were asking about. Every connection uses DHCP. I’d call back and ask for the PPPoE login info and keep asking until you get someone that knows what you’re talking about.

      1. >What equipment do you have? Or are you trying to do this because you didn’t get a router from CenturtLink in the first place?

        That’s correct. I refused the router on my install date.

        I have spoke with 4 different people from tech support, each gave me the same reply – my account is set up for DHCP and not PPPOE.

        1. I don’t know what to tell you, then. I’ve heard that CenturyLink has different setups in different areas, but I don’t know much about them. I wish I could offer more advice. I would have hoped one of those four techs would have pointed you in the right direction, or forwarded you on up the chain to get you a good resolution.

          1. I am in seattle and my connection is IPoE so I never had to setup a username and password. Just left the WAN settings as default and setup the IPTV tab as shown above with the Merlin firmware.

  11. Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for a way to get rid of the CT2000T for a long time use some new gear including a Palto Alto PA200 for lab use of course. The apartment complex we live in was just built within the last year so all the apartments have capability of upgrading to Gigabit speeds.

    1. Hey RobK, I’m wondering if you were able to bypass the CT2000T? I have a PAN PA200 as well and I’m wondering if it can be done. I don’t see a way to be able to do it with the PA200 alone, as you can’t configure PPPoE on a layer 2 interface. I don’t have the CL service yet, but I’m thinking of switching to it. I’m wondering if it would work with my PA200 in layer 2 mode, tagged with vlan210. I have a Linksys router that I could put on the inside of the PAN that would authenticate the PPPoE session. Any input would be appreciated – Thanks!

  12. Was anybody able to get gigabit speeds when doing this? I got everything setup exactly as described above, however I could never seem to get speeds (up or down) in excess of 500Mbps going through the Nighthawk.

    If you get actual gigabit please share your configuration!

    1. Nick – thanks for reporting in your results. I think you’re the first person to try to do this who’s paying for Gigabit speeds and doing it on the Nighthawk. Lots of folks in various forums I read pointed to the fact that the Nighthawk couldn’t get 1Gbps – I guess you just showed that to be true. That’s a bummer. I’d be interested if anyone has a work around for it.

    2. Under the QoS setting of the router, do you have the box checked about enabling upstream (optimized for gaming)? If so, then the upload tests will only be as fast as the speed in the box is set to. If you uncheck and apply and retest, I was able to achieve the full 1 gig down/up that CL promised.

    3. Do you have the box checked in QoS about enabling upstream bandwidth? If so, I know from experience that the upload speed will only go as high as the number in the box _____ mbps. If you uncheck or disable this, I was able to get 1 gig upload but not on a Netgear R7000 but the Netgear R6250.

  13. Interesting that you’re all reporting PPPoE as the ISP Protocol that your C2000T was set to. Mine says IPoE . I wonder if this has to do with different parts of the country having different back-end equipment. I’m in Seattle. Unfortunately on my personal router under “Connect Using:” it has DHCP, Static and PPPoE, but no IPoE.

    1. That is interesting. I am in Seattle as well. I would have expected different parts of the country to have different settings, but not within the same city. Hmmm.

      1. Well, it turns out that IPoE acts somewhat like a DHCP server in assigning an IP address to the device. All I had to do was set my router to Connect Using DHCP, then plug the WAN cable directly into my router, and green lights all around. No username or password required.

        1. Interestingly, I also have IPoE as the protocol on the C2100T, however plugging in another router (OpenWRT, tplink) doesn’t bring the WAN interface up. Poking around the telnet interface of the C2100T to try to figure out what’s going on, will follow up if successful.

          (Portland, installed yesterday)

          1. Did you get your setup working without the C2100? I’m also in pdx and the c2100t says IPOE. I have a tomato flashed router I’m trying to get working to replace it.

  14. I just got the new nighthawk r8500 and candy get over 450 down. Lame considering the claims it makes. With my linksys wrt1900ac I get 950 down.

    1. @Chris to be clear: you’re saying that a Linksys WRT1900AC in this configuration gets the full bandwidth? As in, when you plug a WRT1900AC into the ONT, configure either DHCP or PPPoE (depending on what they have you on) and VLAN tagged 201, you get 950Mbps/down from a client on your network?

      If so, that answers the question for me as to whether or not I should get a WRT1900AC or an R7000.

  15. I meant can’t and not candy in my above post. I’m unable to reach speeds higher than 450 down. Sorry for the extra post, but didn’t see any way to edit.

    1. This my question as well, I asked the installer today and he said no it would not work but I’m skeptical. Same boat, cheaper to package with Prism in Denver.

    2. I just tried this today. Any channel you select starts working temporarily (10-20 seconds) and then the screen freezes.

      I’m wondering if there are additional IPTV settings that need to be configured instead of just the Internet VID: 201.

      Router: Asus RT-N66U
      Service: 1gig Fiber w/ Prism TV

    3. FOLLOW UP: I was able to fix the “screen freeze” issue by setting “Enable multicast routing” to “Enable”. All seems to work well.

      Thanks everyone!

      1. Dylan, are you getting full 1gig Down/Up speeds with your setup? I’ve had enough crashes that I’m ready kick my C2000T to the curb, but want to make sure I’m not giving up speed

        1. Unfortunately I wasn’t :(. I plugged back in my C2000T and am using the Asus as a switch. Using the router by itself was causing a lot of issues when streaming/downloading, as the CPU would max out and cause timeouts.

          Back to square 1 with my original issue of not being able to access my web server’s URLs internally unless I edit my host files.

          1. I ended up going with the ASUS RT-AC3200 and it works like a champ! I get the full gig down/up, even under fairly heavy loads with Netflix, PSN, Plex etc all running. I’ve had about 6 weeks of uninterrupted up-time since making the switch.

              1. Dylan – did you find any other tweaks to make to your RT-N66U? I ask because I am due for CLink Fiber install tomorrow (12/24) and I’d have a N66U as well.

                Patrick

            1. So you were able to get the ASUS RT-AC3200 to work with Centurylink as the gateway router? How did you set the VLAN tagging? Any other tips? #stuck

        2. This was even with QoS turned on on the router and my max download speed would be about 6mb/s and speedtest would only show about 80mb down/up.

  16. Perfect timing. I spent a lot of time yesterday working on this problem… I have Gigabit CenturyLink service in Seattle, but their default configure was lacking… I was able to bridge the modem and today removed it completely thanks to this article, so thank you!!!

    Without capable hardware on PCs, I’ve yet to get close to gigabit down, maxes out at around 450… I suspect the issue is not with the Nighthawk R7000, though… Can anybody elaborate on Nighthawk as bottleneck?? That seems wrong given its specs…

    1. I am pretty sure that the Nighthawk is actually the problem. Others have reported not being able to get more than around 450Mbps in this configuration.

  17. Kevin,

    Thank you for the guide! I just got 1 gig up/down CenturyLink Fiber installed yesterday. I was pretty disappointed to see the router they installed that I paid a hundred bucks for. It’s the TechniColor C2000T. The wired ethernet connections on the router all hit the 1 gig up/down speeds, but the WiFi in this box is only .n. Seriously? They’re installing .n WiFi along with gigabit internet? I don’t have enough hands to facepalm with!

    So using your guide, I yanked out the TechniColor box and replaced it with my R7000.

    And yup, I’m not able to hit more than 500Mbps up and down with the R7000. What a bummer; I’m only getting *half* my internet speed. Ah well, at least the WiFi is much better, and that’s what’s used most in my family. Dad’s hard wired computer is the one that feels the brunt of the speed loss.

    Previous to my fiber internet, I was using the cable company for a 50Mbps connection, and my R7000 router with Kong’s implementation of DD-WRT. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to figure out the VLAN setting in the DD-WRT firmware, so I flashed to the latest version of Netgear’s R7000 firmware before pulling out the TechniColor box.

    Thanks again for your guide!

  18. Thanks for the guide as I got everything working on my R7000 router. I’ve got a bit of extra information for those who also have prism tv. I managed to get the tv working by unticking “disable IGMP proxying” under “Wan Setup”.

    1. Are you using PPPoE or IPoE? I had CL fiber/Prism installed yesterday and the C2000T is set to IPoE, which apparently does not use credentials like PPPoE.

        1. I just got an install with IPoE and I don’t get DHCP when I plug in my own router in, how did you get it working, did you switch to PPPoE and enter credentials, or did it just work? I tried cloning the MAC of the centurylink modem but that didn’t help.

  19. I have CenturyLink in Phoenix, Arizona. I have what is called a GPON or Gigabit Passive Optical Network supplying my fiberoptic connection. I bought the Netgear D7000 not the R7000. The D7000 has ADSL/VDSL modem built in along with router. My question is will either of the Nighthawk routers specified work with GPON vs the ONT (Optical Network Terminator) mentioned above? I hope so. If not, I’m stuck using the crappy Technicolor C2100T that CenturyLink provided me with. I cannot even successfully bridge to Netgear because it doesn’t work for some reason. PLEASE HELP………ANYONE!!

    1. GPON is a network technology, ONT is a network device. They are complementary not mutually exclusive. You should be able to follow the instructions in this post to get rid of your C2100T.

  20. GPON gig symmetrical here in Denver. Normal indoor ONT, C2100T. The C2100T is flaky. I got a R8500 nighthawk and I tried to use my PPPoE settings and the Nighthawks VLAN tagging 201 for every port. The result was the same 450mbps up and down. I will try again using the c2100t as a transparent bridge like this article says to do and see if I can get a better speed result.

    1. Just got my install yesterday, 1G up and down. Tests get to about 750Mb/s, which is close to the practical max of 800Mb/s. I’d like a better router, but curious who has worked around the 450Mb/s issue on the Nighthawk.

  21. You say that you need “Calix 700GE-I Indoor ONT” is that something you purchased yourself or just what they installed? I am assuming it’s something they brought in cause I cannot find it anywhere to buy. Lol.

    1. The ONT is something that CenturyLink will install for you when you get fiber optic run to your house. It’s the box that converts the fiber optic signal to av usable Ethernet connection. You can’t get rid of it.

  22. so i got to like the end of part 1 and had a friend tell me something else which will solve my issues because he had the same problem. So how will i be able to restart all the way back for my centurylink c2000t router to have the internet connection instead of the netgear having all the information?

      1. Well i finished at the end of part 1. I can’t login back to the centurylink. I restarted the c2000t and I restarted the netgear and neither of it worked

        1. are you plugged directly into the c2000t? The default address is 192.168.0.1 for the c2100t anyways that’s the address I had to login to when I changed all the credentialing.

  23. Alright, Seattle setup with Prism here. Moving to the R7000 is a breeze.

    I can confirm that I didn’t need PPPoE credentials. I didn’t bridge the C2000T. All I needed to do on the R7000 was:
    1. Change the VLAN port to 201
    2. Disable IGMP proxying

    From there, I moved the Ethernet cables from the C2000T to the R7000 and everything worked.

  24. Hello every one. Very informative

    I have modem/ router Centurylink Zyxel FR 1000Z.
    Speed 40 MB/ 5 Mbps

    I want to use NIght Hawk R8000 as my primary modem and WIfi access.
    IF my speed is improved I also plan to use Removed century link modem as a wired access point on Upper level in a big house
    Any help appreciated
    Thanks

  25. Thanks for the guide. I am looking for help setting up fiber with my current DD-WRT router.

    I am in the process of purchasing Century Link fiber. My plan is to purchase the 40 MBps plan. That said, I currently have legacy DSL with a DD-WRT router behind the DSL Modem. My current configuration is setup with PPPoE to avoid having to use the DSL modem router software. I see in the above thread folks have referenced DD-WRT, however I am having trouble understanding the VLAN settings as it relates to DD-WRT.

    Under settings –> VLANs

    There is a setting for enabling Tagging on the WAN

    Under settings –> Networking

    There is a setting for adding a tagged interface. I assume this is where I can set the tag number (set to 201).

    In the firewall settings
    enable – Filter Multicast

    Can someone help clarify the steps.

  26. Just got century link in Boulder CO 40mbps. My modem is the c1100z.

    I would like to use my asus n66 router for wireless. How do I do this I am a total newbie? Also can I keep my wired connections in the 1100z?

  27. Using the comments in this string I easily and successfully replaced/configured my CL FR1000Z with an ASUS RT-AC68U. I do not have Prism TV and I am getting 780+ Mbps wireless in a congested wireless environment. My thanks to all who provided the info necessary to make this an easy process in Denver. All I did was:
    1. Update the ASUS router with ASUSWRT-Merlin latest rev (instructions provided previously in this blog)
    2. Configure LAN > IPTV to ISP Profile: Manual; Internet: 201 / PRIO: 0; all else default.
    3. Configured WAN Connection type: PPPoE, inserted PPP username and PPP password obtained from CenturyLink; inserted MAC address from bottom of CL FR1000Z router. Updated/saved all settings and rebooted ASUS router.
    4. Last step was to disconnect ethernet cable from WAN port on FR1000Z and inserted it in WAN port on ASUS router.

    You can and I did replace the factory firmware in the ASUS AC68U router and accomplished all of the LAN/WAN configurations simply by connecting an ethernet cable between the ASUS router LAN port and my laptop computer. Once I finish configuring the ASUS router I turned it off, pulled the cable from the CL WAN port and plugged it into the ASUS router. There were no other steps or settings and it worked as soon as I restarted the ASUS router.

    1. Do you really get close to 1 Gig wireless? Or is it wired to router that you get 1 Gig? I get the 1 gig wired easy on all 4 LAN but 100 Mps wireless. Please let me know. Thanks! I had the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 but it was slowing down my 1 gig speeds like everyone else on the forum. I’m just curious if 1 Gig wireless vs wired is achievable.

  28. So I have the Technicolor C2100T router and followed all the steps in this article. I’m also here in Phoenix. I am using the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. After 50+ attempts of trying to transparent bridge the two devices, I gave up. Then I saw someone post to just enable VLAN tag 201 on the router and enter the credentials for the PPoE in the internet settings of the Nighthawk router. Also Disable IGMP Proxying must be checked. Then I connected my line from the GPON directly to the WAN port of the Nighthawk. Ran a test and I now, too, can ditch the crappy Century Link router gateway. Thanks for all the posts on this blog.

          1. Yeah me too. But I don’t need 1 gig speeds for doing most of the things I use wireless for. My Xbox is hard wired and my computer when I want to stream or download.

  29. Im planning to get CL Gigabit in Orlando/St Cloud. I have an ASUS RT-AC68P and would like to try this workaround. How do I order service? Request lease of the CL router, perform the workaround, and then return the CL router back?

  30. I just got gigabit fiber and Prism TV from CenturyLink here in Seattle, and can confirm that you can remove their C2100T (router) and still use your Prism TV (stably) as long as you’re using ethernet and not coax to hookup your set top box. I also saw that their router was using IPoE (not PPPoE) and so I did not need to request a username & password from them. I have NO speed reduction (on LAN) using my setup compared to theirs (~910/950 down/up which is what it was before) http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4959922089 . I have not compared my 802.11ac to theirs, but I can’t imagine it’s significantly different (note: non Asus firmware like tomato and DD-WRT will remove HW acceleration and will reduce speeds significantly when using gigabit).

    My equipment/setup:
    Asus RT-AC66R with the latest AsusWRT-Merlin (380.57) flashed.
    WAN settings left as they were with “Automatic IP” (no MAC cloned or anything, everything was default).
    LAN -> IPTV settings set per the previous post with “Manual” ISP profile, Internet VID = 201, & both multicast options turned on (all others default): http://i.imgur.com/vfBqOJj.png
    My Prism set top box plugged into my LAN (had to reboot it).

    That was IT… just unplugged their router and plugged in mine (using the SAME jack on the ONT as OP specified) and I was good to go for TV and internet. Thanks for the info, everyone!

    1. On a related note, I also got IPv6 working but later disabled it. CenturyLink doesn’t have dual stack up and running yet, and is instead using a 6rd tunnel. This deployment is very slow (compared to gigabit speeds about 10%), so if your download (or whatever) uses the IPv6 address, it will be severely impacted. They are in the process of (slowly) switching over to dual stack, but I would advise disabling IPv6 until then.
      If you choose to still use IPv6, you can use these settings: Tunnel 6rd, DHCP Option Disable, IPv6 Prefix 2602::, IPv6 Prefix Length 24, IPv4 Border Router 205.171.2.64, IPv4 Router Mask Length 0, Tunnel MTU 0, Tunnel TTL 255. IPv6 Lan Settings will auto-populate. You can use their DNS servers 2001:428::1 and 2001:428::2 (or alternates). Both of these auto config settings are enabled: Enable Router Advertisement, Enable DHCPv6 Server. After doing so, you should get IPv6 addresses, but expect speeds like these: http://results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/1164391064.png

    2. Hey Kyle.. do you have another set top box in your house, which is basically suppose to be wireless… is that working perfectly fine for you. As in no freezing or anything of that matter.

      Thanks!

  31. Centurylink installed Fiber internet with Prism for me in Seattle in Mid December. The setup includes the Technicolor C2100T “Modem”. I’d like to remove the C2100T from the setup, but unfortunately the router I use, a Linksys/Cisco LRT214, does not seem to support Vlan tagging on the WAN port; it only supports vlans on the LAN ports. I think that means I need CenturyLink to remove the VLAN on the ONT.

    Has anyone had recent success in getting CenturyLink to remove the vlan on the ONT? There are reports on other threads of customer, perhaps more on the east coast, having success with CenturyLink removing the Vlan from the ONT. After a long round with CenturyLink Tech Support, which included being routed to “Quest” support, I was told their technicians have not been trained on such things. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

  32. So the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 I have working is not using the optimal speeds I had hoped for. If I use my Technicolor C2100T along with the Nighthawk router, I can achieve the speeds I’m paying for which is 1Gig UP/DOWN. But if I use the VLAN 201 to bypass the C2100T, I’m only achieving 1/2 the speeds on both wired and wireless. It’s very frustrating. Luckily, I got it at Best Buy so I will be testing the Asus router. I hope I can achieve the 1Gig speeds bypassing the C2100T for good. I should not have to have 2 routers just to achieve 1 Gig speed.

  33. Seattle fiber here, just set this up on my Nighthawk R8000 and like most on here can’t get the download speed wired over 450-500 mbps. It’s crazy that a router this expensive would suck so much in this area. Through the router that came with the install I get 800-900 mbps easy but the wireless performance is abysmal.

    1. Just another data point for future readers: I have just got this set up in Seattle as well. My main goal was to remove the CenturyLink router (a ZyXEL C1100Z). My existing router was able to connect via PPPoe, but it did not support “VLAN Tagging” (old router was a Linksys WRT160N, I think).
      I bought a used Nighthawk R7000 for $100. Luckily, I have a low tier of internet (40 Mbit down / 5 Mbit up), so I am unaffected by the limitations being reported. So I’ve upgraded my slower router and I get to avoid the monthly rental cost of the CenturyLink modem!

  34. Those of you who cant get the full gigabit speeds on your Asus/Netgear router that is because you are using models with a Broadcom Northstar/XStream chipset which disables CTF/NAT Accelertation when incompatible features like PPPoE, Traffic Metering and QoS are enabled.

    Best bet is to use a Qualcomm chipset based router like the Netgear R7500v2/R7800 or Linksys EA8500.

    Read this, it should help you understand better:
    http://www.snbforums.com/threads/broadcoms-hardware-acceleration.18144/
    http://routerguide.net/nat-acceleration-on-or-off/

    Here is a thread on DSLReports with someone using an Asus AC87U AC3200 router having the same issue on CenturyLink, my posts are under the id avx.

    https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r3…s-with-CenturyLink-Fiber-ASUS-RT-AC87U-Merlin

    1. Abhinav thanks for the info on routers. Do you know if the linksys offers the vlan tagging on the wan port and the pppoe log in? So a century link router could be bypassed?

      1. Hello Steve, I actually do not know as much about the Linksys devices, since I mostly have Netgear products as I beta test for them. I do know Netgear supports VLAN tagging in some of the newly released firmwares.

      1. Steve I am not that familiar with Linksys’ product lines it been a while since I had one. But I believe it uses a similar ARM Cortex A9 CPU as seen in the Broadcom units however I have no idea about its NAT acceleration or hardware offload features.

        Earlier I forgot to mention the Netgear D7800 VDSL2 Modem cum router has VLAN Tagging and is based on a Qualcomm Chipset, its basically an R7800+VDSL Modem. It does have an ethernet WAN along with the VDSL port so that should still work for you, however it is costly. I can safely mention this one, since I have used it as I was a tester for it. My best advice would be to keep the CenturyLink C2000A/T and just use bridge mode or setup a DMZ for your router in the CL modem.

        Netgear D7800:
        http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC2600-Nighthawk-WAVE2-Router/dp/B014SVZTE8/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1453922327&sr=1-2&keywords=d7800

  35. Officialy only these: R6400, R7000, R7900, R8000, R8500
    http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25724/~/vlan-tagging-setup-for-nighthawk-router

    Unfortunately they are all Broadcom based units.

    I’m almost certain the R7500v2 and the upcoming R7800 will have it, as they only comparatively recently started pushing firmware updates to devices like the R7000 with the VLAN feature but I don’t wan’t to misguide you by making false promises.

    1. Just tried to set this up using the Netgear R7500v2 and according to the Netgear rep that I talked to. it does not support VLAN tagging. So I’ve returned the R7500v2 and purchased the R7000. Seems from the reviews that the ASUS routers setup easier and better.

    2. I know this is a bit late, but according to this Netgear KB, the following models support VLAN tagging: R6400, R7000, R7900, R8000, R8500
      http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25724/~/vlan-tagging-setup-for-nighthawk-router?cid=wmt_netgear_organic

      Unfortunately, all of them have the Broadcom chipset (you can search the chipset type by looking on https://wikidevi.com)

      WikiDevi shows that the R7800 has a Qualcom chipset, but as of February 2016 it does not support VLAN tagging. There was some speculation that it may be added to upcoming firmware releases, but I am unable to confirm if it was. It does support PPPoE and does support installing DD-WRT.

      Additionally, the Linksys EA8500 looks to support VLAN tagging and PPPoE login.

      So in my quest for a replacement router for GB fiber through CenturyLink, on stock firmware, seems like either model will work.

  36. I was able to connect my Netgear AC1900 with CenturyLink’s Gigabit Fiber here in Seattle using only these steps: 1C and 2A.

    What happened was the following: I just couldn’t get the transparent bridging to work with the Technicolor C2100T Router I was leasing. So I just connected my Netgear AC1900 directly to the ONT and set up internet PPPoE login (1C) followed by setting VLAN ID to “201” (2A). Then I was suddenly online.

    BTW, CenturyLink’s tech support was not exactly helpful:
    – they gave me the wrong username/password. Fortunately my old username/password from 2 years ago still works
    – one guy (I called twice) said that I couldn’t connect my Netgear AC1900 directly to the ONT, because I needed a special “fiber modem” that is currently integrated into the C2100T (LoL!). Then I asked him what he thinks why the ONT shows a “LAN” label next to the jacks. He said (paraphrasing): “Not every local area network is the same. This one is for fiber networks and requires special equipment.” That made my day. Never laughed so hard.

  37. So I got CL gigabit installed in Orlando/St Cloud. The ONT is an outdoor version, Calix 714GX. The tech was able to not charge me the provided router since I had my own. I do not have PPPoE, its just a regular auto IP like with cable modems. My router is a RT-AC68P with the latest Merlin (308.57). I was only able to clock around 600-700Mbps up and down. I also noticed the values varied a lot depending on which browser you are using. I got the best when I boot into safe mode with networking as I got 730Mbps. Now I have to find the bottleneck in my system to get the magical, true gigabit speeds. Doesnt anyone have the same or similar outdoor ONT unit on their setup?

  38. Hi everyone,

    I am also a CenturyLink victim having a 1Gb internet. My case is weird – when I use a cable my speed test shows about 900mbps. I am in Seattle.

    BUT…. actual downloading time for 1Gb file is 4-9+ minutes(!!!) on various sites. I assume it suppose to take about 10 seconds, no?

    CL claims that I have a “computer problem”. But I have two Macs – Pro and Air with the same results. Use C2100T router.

    Even Comcast that provides test speeds around 140mbps via wi-fi works twice as faster! So I believe there is nothing wrong with my computers.

    How is it possible with speed test up to 900mbps to have this downloading time for 1Gb file???? Via ethernet cable???

    Please, any ideas??

    1. steve: Time of day traffic? Here in seattle I’ve seen 50 MB/s transfers from google drive mid-day but only 10MB/s at night. Also, speediest don’t write data to hard drives.

        1. What is your speed as reported from the Century link Test page: http://internethelp.centurylink.com/internethelp/zam-speed-test.html ? You must do this with a high-end Mac connected with the Ethernet port (not WiFi). My 930Mb/s speeds are on a Mac Mini (2012) 4-core i7. I also have a MacBookPro Retina with an i7 and a thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter. This laptop gets only slightly less “speedtest”. However, real world transfers from Google or Apple’s cloud are only ~30 MB/s (~ =240Mb/s). The benefit of 1G internet is you can have multiple 30MB/s connection simultaneously – not a single 1Gb/s connection. As a frame of reference a 1080p Netflix viewing requires about ~8 Mb/s. 4K video about 25Mb/s.

          1. Yes, I am using speedtest via cable and it shows about 900mbps. I also have i7.

            What I see is that my Comcast via wi-fi works faster then CL 1Gb via cable.

            From what you say it looks like there is no chance to get faster downloads using CL then witha regular Comcast speeds of 140mbps…?

            1. @steve … That Centurylink TV advert that shows a man eating a cookie while he down loads a 1GB file (in 8 seconds) is total BS. I’ve speed tested G-Drive, Onedrive, Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud and my newsgroup server. Any site that actually gives you 100-200 Mb/s is fast. Interestingly, that is approx. like Comcast’s Blast (~130Mb/s). So if you only need one stream at a time, Blast (or CL’s 100Mbps) is good enough.

              1. @Mark … So they know that their 1GB is BS?? I thought that it is only my problem. Damn it. Worse of all they want $400 early cancellation fee. Don’t deliver, can’t fix and don’t let customer discontinue. Nice….

                1. They give (me) a 12 month discount so it’s the same price as the Comcast and CL’s 100Mbps. At the end of 12 months I’ll call to downgrade to CL’s 100Mbps or convert back to Comcast or they can continue discount. I haven’t decided which. I won’t be paying $150/month for 1Gbps. I see Google fibre where available is about $70/month so that’s a comparable service and reasonable price. (https://fiber.google.com/legal/schedule/kansascity/residential/) CL is overpriced!

  39. On an Asus router it was SUPER easy. I am using the custom Merlin firmware but I believe it will work on the stock on as well.

    After you configure the PPPoE with your username and password go over to the LAN section and click the IPTV tab. This section is meant to configure IPTV however if you choose ‘manual setting’ you get an option to enter a VID for ‘Internet’.

    All you have to do is put in 201 and apply. Boom, you’re done. No need to set your century link provided bs in bridge mode, or anything else.

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