Best Windstream Approved Modems

Here are the best modems to use with the Windstream interest service.

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Windstream Approved Modems Buying Guide

Before buying the modem, consider these features to get the most suitable device.

The easiest option is to rent one from the voice and data provider, but it will set you back $9.99 monthly for the modem-router combo. Additionally, if you want enhanced speeds, it will run you $11.99.

The combo option sums to $119.88 per year, and the enhanced speed pack will cost $143.88 annually. A modem costs about the same price, so it makes economic sense to buy one because it will pay for itself in one or two years, depending on the model.

Modem or Modem/Router Combo

A modem is a device used to receive the internet while a router distributes it via cable or wirelessly. Generally, it is better to get the two as separate devices, but they only come as combos for Windstream-approved modems.

However, you can convert the device into a modem only by bridging it, then connecting it to any router of your choice. The process is a bit technical but comes in handy when enhancing the wireless signal coverage in a large home.

Internet Plan

Your internet plan is another vital factor to consider because the modem can reduce your speeds if it does not match your subscription data rate. Take note of the actual speed, not the maximum, and get a modem that delivers higher speeds than your internet plan if possible.

Number of Devices

Routers usually have a maximum limit for the number of devices you can connect to it so check this feature to ensure all your internet-enabled appliances can connect simultaneously. Usually, the number is 250 for most routers, but it might be different in the combo device.

Home Size

Another critical factor to consider is the size of your home. Large homes need a powerful Wi-Fi signal to cover the entire space. Generally, though, the stronger the Wi-Fi is, the better.

What Are the Top 5 Modems for Windstream by Solution

Here are the best modems to use with the Windstream data service.

Prism C2100T (Our Choice)

  • Type: Modem-router combo
  • Band: Dual (2.4 and 5GHz)
  • Speed: 300Mbps
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy

Although this is not a branded Windstream modem, it will still work with the Windstream service because the two internet providers have the same network architecture.

The device is dual-band and can switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz to give you the most optimal performance.

2.4GHz gives a long-range signal that works best for wide spaces but transmits at slower speeds. On the other hand, 5GHz transmits at fast speeds and with less interference but at a short range.

The modem runs on the 802.11n internet protocol in both frequencies, which delivers a maximum data transfer rate of 300Mbps.

As usual, this is just an advertised speed, so the actual rate you can get is about 200Mbps, which is still good enough.

In any case, Windstream delivers 100Mbps max in its premium speed and 200Mbps for the Kinetic 200 plans. Therefore, the modem will be within range. However, you will need a faster device if you pick the Kinetic 500 or Gig high-speed packages.

However, the C2100T is a pretty old modem, and Windstream will retire it soon, so its technology might be wanting. It still performs well, though, and will run for years.

C3000A (Best Performer)

  • Type: Modem-router combo
  • Band: Dual (2.4 and 5GHz)
  • Speed: 1300Mbps
  • Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee

Even though it is pretty costly, the C3000A is one of the most recommended modems due to its high performance. Windstream also recommends it, except theirs has the Windstream logo, but they are all the same under the hood.

The device runs on the 802.11ac internet protocol, which delivers a maximum speed of 1300Mbps, or 1000Mbps at the actual rate. Therefore, if you have subscribed to the high-speed Kinetic plan for gaming or streaming, this is the best modem to buy.

Additionally, it delivers a dual-band Wi-Fi signal, so you get the 5GHz frequency for fast and stable speeds and 2.4GHz for long-range coverage to cover more expansive spaces.

Actiontec C2000A (Budget Option)

  • Type: Modem-router combo
  • Band: 2.4GHz)
  • Speed: 54Mbps
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy

The C3000A might be expensive, but its sibling, the C2000A, is very pocket-friendly. But there is a catch. The features are inferior to the C3000A.

When considering speeds, this device delivers a maximum of 54Mbps, translating to about 40Mbps in actual data transfer rates. Additionally, it supports only the 2.4GHz band using the 802.11bgn internet protocol.

Although the frequency has an extended range of about 110 – 130 feet, it is not as stable as the 5GHz band and can experience interference if there are many electronics around.

Other than that, the device has a robust hardware design with tons of in-home networking options.

Actiontec C1900A (Best Value)

  • Type: Modem-router combo
  • Band: 2.4GHz
  • Speed: 300Mbps
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy

The C1900A is not the most affordable modem on the list, but it has an impressive list of features at a reasonable price.

For starters, it supports the 802.11n internet protocol, which delivers speeds of up to 300Mbps, 200 for downloads, and 100 for uploads. Such data transfer rates are sufficient for most home users in video streaming, gaming, browsing, etc.

There is a catch, though. The modem only supports a single band (2.4GHz), so you might get signal interference if you have many devices at home because most electronics emit noise (radio frequencies).

ZyXEL C3000Z (Strongest Signal)

  • Type: Modem-router combo
  • Band: Dual (2.4 and 5GHz)
  • Speed: 300Mbps
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy

Last on the list is the ZyXEL C3000Z, and it stands out due to its powerful signal strength that cuts through walls and barriers to ensure you get a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout your home.

Additionally, the unit produces a dual-band signal, giving you the option to pick the most appropriate one for your home setup.

If the house is big and with multiple walls, use the 2.4GHz frequency. However, if you have many other electrical devices that can cause interference, switch to the 5GHz band.

The maximum speed you can get using the modem is 300Mbps, translating to an actual data transfer rate of about 200Mbps, which is enough for streaming and gaming.

However, these features make the C3000Z quite costly. Another issue is that you might experience some difficult time trying to change the USB device & MAC filtering configuration, but these settings are not necessary for most regular users.


Can I buy a modem/router combo from Windstream?

No, you can’t. Windstream only rents out its modems, so you must use a third-party device if you want to purchase one.

What is the difference between Windstream fiber, DSL, and cable internet?

As the name suggests, fiber internet uses fiber optic cables for internet access, and Windstream coined their fiber service as Kinetic internet.

DSL internet runs on phone lines and is significantly slower than fiber. Cable internet runs on coax cables, like the ones used for TV. It is slower than fiber but faster than DSL.

Windstream primarily provides DSL internet. But the ISP also offers cable and fiber internet in some select areas.

How do you reset a Windstream modem?

Press the tiny button at the rear using a toothpick for about five seconds. Once factory reset, use the default admin username and password to log in and configure the device.

Other Benefits of Buying a Windstream Modem vs Renting

Besides avoiding the costly annual rental fees, buying a third-party modem-router combo gives you the following benefits.

More Network Control

Renting a modem comes with many conditions and restrictions that you can bypass by using a third-party device. For instance, you can add VPN settings to enhance privacy, use parental controls, or create a guest network.

Faster Speeds

Even though Windstream provides enhanced speeds for their rented modems, getting a third-party modem gives you faster speeds and more control over these speeds.

Better Security

Third-party modem providers have the incentive to improve their firmware systems to enhance security because they compete with the rented models. Therefore, you will find that most of them have better security features to beat the competition.

Wrap Up

Most ISPs list the modems compatible with their network architecture on their websites but not Windstream. Therefore, getting a compatible modem is not as easy as it looks. However, this article has everything you need and lists the best options.

The Prism C2100T takes the top spot, but you should go for the C3000A if you use the Kinetic fiber internet service.

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