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Fixing stuff and maybe other things.

Setting up the Actiontec GT784WN for Qwest/CenturyLink

The Actiontec GT784WN is a pretty nice DSL modem/wireless N router. For most of you, it will work right out of the box — even auto-detecting all your settings.

If you’re on Qwest/CenturyLink, not so much. In fact, they’ll try to tell you that the modem isn’t even compatible. That isn’t quite true — it is compatible, it simply isn’t supported, meaning their customer service has no training for this model. And that’s okay!

But you got your Actiontec and you want Internets. Well, we may be able to help you with that! I’m going to repeat some of the normal setup steps here. If you know what you’re doing, skip to #7.

  1. Just do like the Quick Start Guide says, plug it into the phone line, then into the wall, then wait for the DSL light to turn solid.
  2. Connect to it via the Ethernet cable and use your browser to head on over to http://192.168.0.1.
  3. Skip the Quick Setup and hit the Advanced Setup link. Now find WAN IP Settings on the left.
  4. Set the ISP Protocol to PPPoE.
  5. Under #3, enter your Qwest/CenturyLink username and password. (The username will be some kind of email address. I got these directly from Qwest when I signed up.)
  6. Mash Apply at the bottom of the screen.
  7. Now, find Broadband Settings on the left menu. It can be easy to pass up because it looks like a section heading more than a link.
  8. This part is a little tricky. It changes depending on region. If you used to be in the Qwest service area before CenturyLink merged with them, set VCI to 32. If you used to be Embarq, try VPI 0, VCI = 32. If you used to be CenturyTel, try VPI = 0VCI = 35.

UPDATE: When I originally posted this, it was for the Qwest service area. CenturyLink has merged with a lot of companies since then, and other smaller areas may have different connection settings. So these settings may not apply to you!

Your mileage may vary! And good luck.

(Thanks, commenter Curtis for the regional settings update.)

IF YOU LIVE IN FLORIDA: Commenter Just Joe has supplied the settings for your area. Go to the comment. Thanks, Just Joe.

 

Posted under: Fixing Stuff

47 comments ↓

#1 by Sam on 12.12.11 at 11:00 am

Thank you so much!
I couldn’t find the blasted VCI settings but I admit to being giddy over finally getting the settings for the modem period. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning now. thank you 🙂

#2 by mdt on 01.07.12 at 8:09 pm

Still not connecting. Any other help?

#3 by Joshi on 01.20.12 at 11:56 am

Hi,
Does this work for Century Link VDSL connection? I was told that I am given a VDSL connection and Actiontec GT784WN will support only ADSL connections.

Also when I connect my Actiontec GT784WN to phone jack the DSL light does not stay solid but blinks. However for the Q1000 modem it becomes soolid after few seconds. (which as per Century link supports VDSL)

Is there anyway Actiontec GT784WN could be used for VDSL connections?

Thanks
Joshi

#4 by Toastmaster General on 01.20.12 at 12:19 pm

Uhhh… Can’t say that I know. I’m going to guess no, though.

#5 by Johnson on 03.05.12 at 12:17 pm

Qwest/CenturyLink services sucks!! Took 2 hours & several phone line drops with the tech. service; still couldn’t connect to the internet.
With your info & 2 minutes with ActionTec’s help; problem solved.

One other change I need was change the VPI value to 0.

Thanks a lot..

#6 by will on 03.23.12 at 3:39 pm

mate do you have a twitter?

#7 by Chris on 03.26.12 at 10:34 am

Thank you for sharing this. It saves me a trip to bestbuy and hours on the phone trying to call Actiontec.

#8 by T on 03.26.12 at 6:45 pm

Howdy,

I would like to know if the Actiontec GT784WN needs to be plugged in to a desktop computer to keep the IP address. Can it be set so that it does not need to be connected to allow the wireless to work. If there is a way could you let me know how I can fix it. Thank you for your help.

#9 by Jay on 06.08.12 at 7:40 pm

@howdy

with centurylink’s setup? I guess not. They use dynamic IP hosting for all regular customers. If you want to keep a static IP then you’ll have to rent one from them. GT784WN can work even without a hard-wired (ethernet) comuter plugged in.

#10 by jeff pence on 06.15.12 at 9:54 am

could someone tell me the password? I have connect@qwest.net for the username but no password. It’s now centurylink and the dumb!@#$%^ on the phone could give it to me and just told me the router wasn’t supported. Any help would be appreciated.

#11 by Toastmaster General on 06.15.12 at 10:11 am

It’s supposed to be a password they assign to you. One thing you might do is simply tell them you have a supported one so they’ll give you the username and password, and then put that in the ActionTec. I don’t know why they’re such pains about it–with the exception of that single VCI setting, the configuration is exactly the same as any other officially supported DSL modem.

#12 by steve on 06.27.12 at 1:50 pm

I am a DSL tech for CenturyLink formerly Qwest. I can tell you that its not that the modem isnt compatable some tech may not know that but the main problem is WE DON”T have screen shots to the non supported modems. Non supported modems may work granted you do the steps above but many people who get these non supported modems don’t know they’re way around in them. I can tell you that the supported modems such as the PK5000 and Q1000 have in their firmware a connection software that allows us to help our non technical customers by “pushing” the credentials (username & pswd) into the modem as well as make changes in the wireless settings, with the cus having to do nothing other than call us up most of the time. So if you are technically challenged in my oppinion it is better to get a supported Centurylink modem even if its used than to purchase some modem or router we have no training on or screenshots availble to help you set it up.

#13 by John on 10.11.12 at 6:36 pm

Well I’ll make a comment in response to the century tech’s posting. Not a single one of the “supported” modems was available locally. In fact, most had been updated and represented older technology. It seemed that if I didn’t care to be stupid enough to lease a modem for $5.00 a month and continue paying for it over and over I could spend an eternity trying to locate the “supported” modems in a retail store or as he put it, in the used bin.

My response to that is Century link needs to update its supported modems and spend the money to train its techs so that we can have a choice whether to purchase a modern technology modem or lease if that is one’s preference. I find the whole supported modem nonsense to be nothing less than calculated on the part of Century Link, who makes a slam fortune from “leasing” modems that over the span of several years cost the customer ten or twenty times what the modem is actually worth. Leave it to corporate strategy to set things up in such a manner.

#14 by Hamid on 10.17.12 at 12:53 pm

you are right!! I had hard time to figure it how to connect this devise

#15 by Matt on 10.18.12 at 2:52 pm

Interesting topic.

First I would like to thank the author of the instructions above for taking the time to post them for the rest of us to benefit from.

I spent over an hour on the phone with the Century Link tech literally doing the exact same set of steps over and over again. I finally gave up. At that point I googled “actiontec gt874 century link” on the iphone (because my DSL connection was dead) and came upon these instructions. Within 3 minutes I was back online.

My question for Steve the Century Link tech above is if I was able to find this information on the top line of a google search, why can’t the DSL support tech do the same thing? Seriously, an hour on the phone and it never occurred to the help person to try some other source for helpful information?

John makes a very good point. Paying $5 per month, $60 per year, every year for many years is foolish. Century Link is a very profitable company. I think they could spend 15″ of someone’s salary to update the info for even “non supported” but compatible modems once a year or so and make this information available to the tech support people.

By not doing so they significantly downgrade the customer experience, and by extension, downgrade the perception the customer has of the value they are getting for the money they pay for their service.

#16 by greg on 11.20.12 at 7:21 pm

I had to call centurylink tech support to reset my password, I think they have already taken the concerns in this thread to heart. After I entered the username and password the modem wouldn’t connect, she immediately asked about the VCI setting (which took me a minute or so to find). Bingo! I would add that changing the line mode setting to ADSL2+ helped my connection reliability also (and reduced some noise I was hearing on my phone line).

The only time renting a modem (or any hardware) makes sense is when its obsolescence or failure is expected to occur before you have paid the retail cost of the product. But no one (i.e. CenturyLink) would rent equipment in such a market as it is a money losing proposition.

#17 by Kevin on 11.21.12 at 1:15 pm

Can anyone tell me what settings to use for DCHP? The only instructions I can find are for PPPOE which my CenturyLink service does not use.

#18 by Frank on 02.25.13 at 8:01 pm

Century Link:
1. It does not use ISP PPoE, it’s DCHP.
2.VPI Value, not 0, it’s 8
3. VCI Value not 32, it’s 35
Also, the LAN settings are not “automatic” you must click on LAN and then let the system find your system’s settings. There is much more, but I cannot remember all. The Century Link tech was not up-to-date on this router. . . . Anyway I got it configured, but first I had to reset the router to its factory settings and then “trial and error.” I must now find complete instructions in case this router is reset. Enough!

#19 by Curtis on 06.21.13 at 3:42 pm

One issue here is that CenturyLink has 4 different sets of settings for these, depending on where you’re at. If your telephone company used ot be Qwest, then 0/32 PPPoE is correct. If you used to be Embarq, then 8/35 PPPoE and CenturyTel was 0/35 PPPoE. There are some smaller areas that have other, odd connections.

All CenturyLink can do is provide you with the settings for your service. They cannot walk you though programming the device, and they cannot support it. That is like buying a Netgear router and asking Belkin to support it.

#20 by confused on 07.25.13 at 12:34 pm

Hi, my modemis up and running, servicing all my PC’s but my only issue if the actual phone. it is not plugged in anywhere? so i have no phone, b/c the phone line runs from my modem to the wall jack, do i use a spliter or ?

#21 by Stuart on 07.30.13 at 10:40 pm

@confused: You can have your phone plugged in to the same jack as the modem by using a splitter filter. The splitter filter has 2 ports on it, one will usually say either “Line” or “DSL” and the other will say “Phone”. You just plug in the modem line and phone line into the appropriate ports and it should work. A word of caution though, don’t have a filter on the modem without a phone attached. It will scramble the DSL signal and your internet won’t work. 🙂 Good Luck!

#22 by Kevin b on 08.25.13 at 8:06 am

Hey I followed these instructions and had actiontec support go through them with me. I get a red Internet light on modem 🙁 actiontec support says its my Internet not the modem ! Can anyone help me out here ? Please help 🙁
Internet is saying it is the modem!!!

#23 by Bill on 08.27.13 at 4:13 pm

My friend signed up for a Dish bundle which included internet provided by quest/century link. They want $12 a month to rent the modem which makes buying imperative. We will be trying GT784WN modem tonight. We tried two older modems one of which was a Qwest modem and one new out of the box Netgear, which turned out to be bad out of the box, to no avail.

I will have to say the support call center in the Philippines bent over backwards to help. They even called him back when the call was dropped. Anyway, thanks for the setup guide. Hopefully it will work.

#24 by Bill on 08.27.13 at 10:31 pm

Addendum:
OK, took the modem over to his house and spent the better part of an hour trying to get these instructions to work. We would get into the settings and make the changes in the WAN section and click save. The modem would just sit there saying connecting but never connect. We would then have to reset the modem, power it off and restart the computer to be able to get back into the browser page.

I don’t know why it took me so long but it finally dawned on me to boot into safe mode. Of course after trying to access the safe mode menu I had to use my cellphone to find the procedure to boot to safe mode. On Windows 8 the easiest way is when you boot to the login screen instead of logging in click on the power icon in the lower right corner. When the menu opens up hold down the shift key and click restart. This will bring up the menu where you can select safe mode with networking.

One we got booted in safe mode we typed 192.168.0.1 and went to the WAN settings in Advanced settings. We got the internet light and were able to step right through procedure listed at the top. Rebooted and the system came up and everything works great. So if the procedure doesn’t work for you try safe mode.

I may be wrong on this but it seems to me that Century Link/ Qwest are deliberately making this hard so people will rent their modem instead of buying their own.

#25 by Trenton on 08.31.13 at 5:12 pm

As a centurylink employee, I want to say, our connections are not hard to set up, even with a compatible 3rd party modem (anything thats ADSL2+ compatible if thats the kind of service you have)
now as far as what settings you need just call our tech support # 18008091410 and they can tell you what protocol and your virtual circuit ID (vpi/vci) as far as not supporting 3rd party modems, NO isp does that not a single one its not like centurylink is alone in that. Thats like buying a samsung computer and expecting Dell to offer you support.

#26 by John Haukenfrers on 01.31.14 at 1:24 am

I am in the CenturyLink service area of Mesa, AZ and you were right our setting here is pppoe with vpi 0 and vci 32 works great saved me some grief. Wish I had just done this search instead of using Century help which was not very good.
Thanks for the help you’re all outstanding.

#27 by Dave on 02.04.14 at 12:48 pm

I’m in Utah and in the old Qwest service area, so VPI: 0/ VCI: 32 worked for me. Thanks

#28 by Mook on 03.06.14 at 8:09 am

I tried for an hour with tech support to get this modem working, the tech told me that the ‘chips’ weren’t supported and that was why the connection was unstable. I had to my old gt701 back up and that increased the connection speed a bit, but only to 1.3mb/80k up, weird thing is my ps3 connected at 3mb/400k. It’s supposed to be the 7mb/864k connection. It’s been spotty for a week and they claim the line is just fine. vpi: 0/vci: 32 was also the trick that popped the internet light on with this thing. I’m in mn with the old qwest area, apparently. I’m also in the same boat as the other guy that couldn’t find any of their “supported” modems locally. I’m seriously considering calling comcast, and I HATE them.

#29 by Jimmy on 07.03.14 at 11:27 am

Honestly if you want a good internet connection, don’t use Centurylink. Not only is their service slow and unsteady, I am in week 3 of trying to get this set up, just to have someone come on Monday which will be whole month since I established contact and arranged for the set up. The only draw back is that they are the only providers in my area, so I’m stuck. For those of you who have options, you have been warned! I’ve called customer service more times than I can count, left work to meet a tech at my house who neither called nor came, spent about 15 hours on the phone with techs who gave me half the info this page did. Like I said, save yourself and use Comcast.

#30 by Josh on 08.21.14 at 7:54 pm

FYI- helped a friend set one up in Montana- which I’m fairly sure used to be Centurylink territory. Anyhoo, the correct VCI is 32, NOT 35. Not sure why. IMHO, advice for people having issues is to try all the VCI numbers. Worked for me at least.

#31 by Just Joe on 08.26.14 at 9:22 pm

The Actiontec (Verizon) GT784WNV is compatible with CenturyLink here in heartland Florida where the DSL is DHCP not PPPoE and the VPI/VCI is 8/35. Do a factory reset to the router before you change settings. This will set VPI/VCI to 0/35, then go into Advanced Settings, DSL settings and change the VPI. I was getting a solid green DSL light with 0/35 but no Internet light until VPI was set to 8. Obviously these settings are regional, so you need to know which settings work in your area. Believe it or not, CenturyLink tech support is where I got the correct settings, they just couldn’t tell me the router’s configuration menus as this router isn’t one of theirs. “Not supported” doesn’t mean “won’t work”. It’s like someone commented earlier… don’t buy a Dell and expect to call HP when you need support.

#32 by Toastmaster General on 08.27.14 at 9:45 am

Hey thanks for those settings! I put a link to your comment in the post.

#33 by Bee on 09.06.14 at 12:58 pm

I’ve had this modem for six months and periodically the DSL light blinks, most recently for 36 hours, and of course doesn’t support the internet connection during that time. Century Link indicates the modem is out of date and “won’t work”. Naturally, when I first had the problem I checked every connection and replaced suspected old lines. Century Link says its connection is complete and operating.

Any thoughts on a replacement modem?

#34 by TSR on 09.10.14 at 5:13 pm

Ok, I’m a CLNK DSL tech, here’s the deal: we can’t walk you through the set up of a third-party modem, that’s considered out of scope. Basically we can just give you all of the information that you would need to set up the modem and then refer you to the OEM, in this case Actiontec.

If your protocol is DHCP you just need the VPI and VCI. If you’re PPPoE you need your user name and password as well. For the majority of CLNK customers the VPI/VCI is 8/35. For customers in regions that were formerly Qwest, the VPI/VCI is 0/32. For customers in regions that were formerly Madison River (including GulfTel, MebTel, and a few other small regional ISPs) the VPI/VCI is 0/35.

#35 by TSR on 09.10.14 at 5:20 pm

Also, if your DSL light is blinking it means that you are not even getting a connection to our offices. One of the most common culprits is missing/bad filters or inside wiring issues. The first thing they’ll have you do is bypass any filters and any landlines/fax machines/set top boxes etc that may be connected to phone jacks on the same line. If doing so fixes the issue then it’s an inside wiring issue and you should look at replacing a filter. If not it’s likely an issue with the line and tech will have to be dispatched to look at it.

#36 by Sherri on 10.10.14 at 7:12 am

In trying to set up the modem (bought on ebay), the quick setup comes up and will not let me click on advanced even though it lights up when moused over.

#37 by CompuCarePro.com on 10.16.14 at 11:28 am

Worked like a charm! Thank you for this article.

We are located in Phoenix, Arizona and the following settings for step 8 worked

used to be in the Qwest service area before CenturyLink merged with them,
set VCI to 32

These setting should work for all the following cities nearby as they used to have Qwest service: Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Paradise Valley.

I can assist any business with this or any other technical issues. http://www.CompuCarePro.com Tel 480-626-1914

#38 by Eric G on 11.27.14 at 8:34 am

VERY good information here, thanks to all.

I expect to have a 40/5 connection activated in a few days. I presume that means VDSL, but I am wondering if modems with lower rated speed protocols e.g. ADSL or ADSL2+ will also work, albeit at lower speeds.

#39 by valorie on 01.06.15 at 9:15 pm

Anyone know the settings for Denver, CO?

#40 by mark on 01.11.15 at 8:39 am

Successfully installed the Actiontec GT784WN-01 using the internal setup functions. Was painless to connect and config the SID and security functions. Will be returning my leased model to CenturyLink soon. Purchased the modem on e-bay for $35 making this a quick ROI.

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#42 by Roger on 04.16.15 at 7:39 pm

So… I’ve done all the things mentioned above, and I just get a blinking DSL light.

I exchanged the first one for a fresh modem. I still get a blinking light. Centurylink sent me a modem that works just fine, so I know i have service here.
Crud. The new modem won’t even let me get to the setup screen…

I need help. Any ideas??

#43 by David on 04.26.15 at 9:51 am

THANKS! These instructions worked perfectly. The key item (at least for me!) was getting the PPP username and PPP password from Century Link. I’ve had my DSL line for so many years that I didn’t have that info. But, I got if from Centruy Link. I plugged it in as described, and PRESTO – everything configured and worked perfectly. Thanks a bunch.

#44 by rachael on 04.29.15 at 11:44 am

Yo…this article was wonderful and it would have had me where I needed to be except two things… I’m in AL and my VPI was 8 and I had to change from multimode to ADSL on the drop down box in the broadband settings area…CenturyLink actually helped after I could not get on with these instructions. ..thanks everyone

#45 by John on 12.13.15 at 6:25 pm

Actually,… this is the very modem that Centurylink will sell you if you opt to buy one from them. They will, of course, also charge you significantly more for it than you can buy it from other sources. The CT techs do know how to set it up,..although if you mention you bought it elsewhere,…some of them will refuse to help. My only issue was the VPI settings. Since CTL is a mix of acquisitions,… I had to call for the proper setting for my area. It works quickly and flawlessly once set up. Well worth the investment.

#46 by Sonny on 07.26.16 at 6:28 pm

I feel like I should add that if you are receiving Pair-Bonded (fiber optic) service, you’re going to have to downgrade back to copper in order for this modem to pick it up. My issue was that it held a solid DSL light, but not a single flash on Internet. Will downgrade service later tonight, I’ll update this post when I have more information.

#47 by Charlie on 08.12.16 at 1:19 pm

Does anyone know the settings for Minneapolis, Minnesota? I can’t get it to work.

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