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Thread: Replacement for dying Actiontec PK 5000

  1. #1
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    Replacement for dying Actiontec PK 5000

    I would first like to thank the admins for the helpful info they provide on these old units. I had a hard time finding what the specs were for my old PK5000 but was able to find it here at Speed Guide.

    Based on this spec info I must have a ADSL with CenturyLink.

    My PK5000 wireless functionality went out yesterday. The Ethernet works thus I am able to communicate with you here today.

    I sell online and can't be down for long so I would like a quick effective approach to replacing my modem/router.

    I do not trust CL at all. They lie lie lie and so I am trying to find objective info on replacement. I must have gotten this PK5000 back in 2009 with Qwest. At that time they allowed me to access the settings. I had a network extender due to being in rural area and when the updates for the PK5000 took place then the network extender wouldn't work. They sent me out another PK5000 and set it where no updates were possible.

    When Century Link took over the down throttling began in earnest. Then they locked down my PK5000 without a word so I have no idea what the password or username is anymore. So for me to replace anything it will be a huge deal and I am sure with all my complaints to CL and regulators they will make it as painful as possible. I just dread having to once again deal with all the lies and delays and sneaky stuff. If I could replace the PK5000 without having to interface with CL that would be SPECTACULAR! No kidding.

    I would like to replace my PK5000 with a better unit and would be interested in a separate modem and router. Since the PK5000 only does G wireless maybe I would benefit from more versatile unit with more options with wireless types:

    Dell computer uses b/g/n
    HP computer uses n only (but I could install a better wifi card).
    HP printer says it supports 802.11
    TV supports 802.11ac which is faster than any provider can give me with Netflix or other streaming service so kind of pointless.
    Iphone SE has 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

    I mentioned all this since many report that it all depends on what you are using will determine which router and modem will work best for you.

    I live in a small house but wireless functionality would be optimum.

    My dsl account is 50.99 for 7MB but I get about 6Mbps so it says ... but CL still streams Netflix at 3.02Mbps

    https://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/country/us/

    So having super fast internet does me no good really when everything is already down throttled. Buying faster speeds will not stop that. I live in rural area and old phone lines for dsl is the best CL will ever offer us older homes. Newer homes have gone in with gated community across the street and I think they have much better service. I just don't have tons of money to throw at this now.

    I use unblock us to get about 12Mbps for the computers for all of 4.99 a month. I can't be off line for long since I sell online and need access. So rebooting modem/router and hoping it will work and then be offline and not be able to know what to buy is a bad strategy. I think getting a new unit to replace this this 8 yr old unit might be a prudent way to go. I have no idea how to set new unit up since I am locked out of my PK5000. I am pretty certain CL will be as unhelpful at possible and drag their feet and lie to me and make me buy another rental unit from them. I know there are many variables depending on what you are using with all this so it is hard to say everyone with a PK5000 should get this ______. It depends on what type of wireless you have in all your equipment.

    I have a Vizio M65-C1 tv and I can't seem to use unblock us for Netflix with it. I know there is nothing we can do since the states have not much oversight on how these monopolies operate. They all point to the feds. So I have tried to do my due diligence with endless letters to state and federal agencies on all this but to no avail. At times I just want to unplug and then make it all a mute point but I rely on the internet for income. We are stuck from what I can tell.

    This is my understanding be it right or wrong. What I was thinking ... if I did get a new unit I would just unplug the old one and see if I can get the new one working and if that fails I can just plug the old one back in as back up plan since I just know it will take forever to get things to work with CL if ever. If I plug in the new unit will that mess up me being able to get the old one working if I plug that one back in if I can't get the new one working?

    What should I watch out for when dealing with CL now with replacing with a new unit I own? Do I have the right to lock them out of the modem and router? They locked me out with the old one now with a word to me about it. What games can expect with my own unit? Right now with my computers Century Link IP numbers are 8 8 8 8 or 8 8 4 4. Is that all I need to know for setting up the modem and router? Is there an adapter I can use on the phone line that I can plug in and go from phone line to Ethernet? Right now I plug in this splitter Qwest put in, one side for the dsl and one for the phone which I don't use anymore. The dsl line is bigger than the phone line but not as big as Ethernet. Maybe only the modem can make the signal transition from analog to digital and no way to adapt before that. If so, then what ADSL modem should I use with what router? Will Century Link care which router I use and will I only have to be concerned with the modem when interfacing with CL? What are the best settings for recommended ADSL modem and for the router? I know this is a lot of questions but I do want to understand and be prepared with the hassle that will certainly ensue with all this.

    Thank you for any insights and recommendations you may have on this.

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Welcome to SG. There are a lot of questions in this, I will try to address the most important ones.

    1. You can't just plug in a different modem and expect it to work. Your ISP (CenturyLink) has to support the model, be able to push firmware to it, etc. If you'd like to buy/use your own modem, your only option is to ask them what models they support, buy a supported model, then ask them to provision it once it is connected to the line.

    2. Most DSL/cable gateways include multiple devices into one: a modem, a NAT router, and a wireless access point. They can all be part of one unit, as in your case, or they can be separate (i.e. you can plug in a wireless access point to the existing setup just for your wireless network, and continue to use their modem).

    3. Extenders should not be affected by the firmware on a gateway/modem, it is most likely a configuration issue.

    4. The numbers you quoted for "CenturyLink", 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 are actually Google's DNS servers (used for hostname to IP address resolution).

    I would ask your ISP to assist you in fixing the wireless, or replacing your gateway. I would also let them install all firmware updates, as they may be necessary for the equipment to operate properly. I would also ask them for the login/password to your modem/router, as you need them to configure and secure the Wireless network, to forward ports, etc.

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    Well I gave it a go with CL and it was about what I thought it would be. Have no idea if what they did tell me is true. They said that any VDSL2+ will work for my type of dsl. I got transferred 3 times and finally talked to Tech Support and she was clueless really. They will not admit to locking the modem down. She gave me IP # and it just timed out and nothing showed up. Then I try the old IP# that used to get me into the modem and up pops a box that wants a user name and password. I tell her I don't have them and she says it is on the modem and I see a password but no user name. So she says it is because my modem doesn't work. It works but the wireless has failed is all. They just lie lie lie and some have no idea what they are doing. They kept wanting to sell me 99.99 replacement but I do not want to be locked out again. I also don't want to be stuck with their up dates which may really be another strategy on how they down throttle things too. When I called Actiontec for up dates years ago they said it is all controlled by CL. So you get only the functionality that CL wants you to have with up dates. With Qwest updates they were making sure cell phones were not using up bandwidth by making sure the model didn't see the network extender. Then when that didn't work they would pulse the signal and then the calls would drop. It also would get the modems to slow down when they pulsed the signal. I never got a straight answer on how I would set up a modem either. So what is a good VDSL2+ modem?

  4. #4
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Simply buying a VDSL2+ modem and plugging it in wont work. CL has to be able to push firmware to it, it has to be supported, and they have to agree to provision it, to connect it to their network.

    The default Actiontec PK-5000 IP address is: 192.168.0.1, default username is admin (with blank password). This could be changed by the ISP.
    You can find the current IP address of your gateway by dropping to command prompt (while connected to the gateway), and typing: ipconfig
    The "Default Gateway" line in the result should show you the IP of the modem/gateway, you can then type it in a web browser to get to its web interface. You may be able to configure/troubleshoot the wireless from there, once you login.

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    Well I did try the username and blank password you suggested but it didn't work but worth a try. I am pretty sure it was changed by the IP and I was locked out. I was not doing anything with the modem but checking on my speed of the dsl. So this is more mind games with CL. I tried the ipconfig and that was pretty slick but again it shows the default gateway as being the 192.168.0.1 and that was the ip number I used to get into my modem before. Then one day it is locked up. Well I think CL wants me to buy something from them and I just refuse to play their games any more than I have to. I have been sent letters and told I am an "Extreme user" only to talk to some gal in India and find out my usage was no where near their cap of 150 a month. It was more like 50-80 at the time. They said all I needed to do is up my MB on my account and that should fix the Netflix downthrottling. I can't even remember all the stuff they have told me that turned out to be not true. I would really like to stay away from ActionTec since they have a conflict of interest since their biggest account has to be CL. I was hoping for another independent manufacturer that is not in any way partnering with CL. Well I talked to CL today and the first gal said all I need to do is get a VDSL2+ modem. When I talked the third person the tech gal she just wanted to send me to CL to get another modem from CL. So no help with what I should buy outside of CL. I wasted a lot of time with all that too. I think they want to wear you out and eventually in desperation people just buy from them. I would like to find alternative. Thanks

  6. #6
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    If you decide to buy your own, it has to be supported/approved by CenturyLink. They must still help you set it up once it is plugged in, but you will be on your own from there on for Wireless setup and troubleshooting it.

    Here is a list of approved CL modems I found:

    2Wire 3800N
    2Wire 3801N
    Actiontec C1000A
    Actiontec C1000A-D
    Actiontec C1900A
    Actiontec C2000A
    Actiontec C2000A-D
    Actiontec M1000
    Actiontec PK5000
    Actiontec PK5001A
    Actiontec Q1000
    Actiontec Q2000
    Calix C844G
    Cisco DDR 2200
    D-Link 850L
    Technicolor C1100T
    Technicolor C2000T
    Technicolor C2100T
    Westell 7500
    ZyXEL C1000Z
    ZyXEL C1100Z
    ZyXEL C2100Z
    ZyXEL FR1000Z
    ZyXEL PK5001Z
    ZyXEL Q1000Z
    ZyXEL NBG-419N
    ZyXEL P-330N
    ZyXEL P-870N
    ZyXEL PK5000Z
    ZyXEL Q100


    Just make sure it supports VDSL2+ (a.k.a. VPlus, ITU G.993.2) and either 802.11n or 802.11ac (better) wireless.
    Pick your brand/price and you should be ok. I would buy it from a local retailer if possible, so you can return if need be.

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    Well I posted help on another forum and someone made some good points on this. They said that since I was using an Actiontec PK5000 which is an ADSL that I should stick with that type not what CL just told me of a VDSL2+. The suggestion was a ADSL2+ and more specifically a Netgear. I see Best Buy has them for 12.99 right now so I may pick up two of these at that price and have a backup. They also pointed out that when they say not supported it has nothing to do with compatibility, it just means they won't walk you thru the set up. But then he/she says that the brand will provide such support. It does make more sense to stick with the type of modem that is already working on my dsl line. I have gotten so much wrong info from CL in the past that I question it all. So when this person pointed that out it made more sense than what CL just told me.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/netgear-...?skuId=3219089

    Well the more I looked into this this unit seemed to be almost a plug an play one that caught my interest:
    https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Non-C...words=adsl2%2B
    Last edited by Trillium; 05-18-17 at 09:28 AM.

  8. #8
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    I don't know whether your ISP supports VDSL, it's up to them to tell you. I don't know what speed you are paying for and what you are getting. Generally, VDSL is faster, but at short distances.

    That $12 DSL modem price from Best Buy is great... Just that it doesn't have wireless, you'd still need a separate router/access point for the wireless portion of your network.

  9. #9
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    I tried CL again today to see if I could get the username and password for PPP setting up a new modem/router. It turns out the gal at CL yesterday who told me to get any VDSL2+ was wrong. So that makes more sense that I really need a ADSL2+ is what I was told today. She also could see that no password is required to get into the modem but for some reason I can't. I think it must be a software issue and who knows maybe an update caused it. I also don't want another ActionTec since when I called them a few years back about updates they say CL controls all that and I want a more objective look at updates and maybe more functionality with another manufacturer. Plus I just don't trust CL and maybe ActionTec gives CL a back door with it all. I also think ActionTec is a solid bare bones approach and I like the idea of having a better unit. I think ActionTec and CL are too close and any objectivity and truthfulness is out the window. Who knows maybe an update caused the wireless to go out. But conveniently I can't get in to check the settings either. Maybe it is nothing, but having all the bad experiences I have had with CL it is a natural thing to think this way. CL creates this distrust with the way it operates. They could have turned this around long ago but they didn't and don't. It took me two long protracted conversations with 4 people over two days to get the heart of it. That is pretty bad return for their money and ours. I really hope Ting gets to expand more for fast internet. There are only now in a few small towns and laying down fiber. I have their cell phone service and it is AMAZING. We have two iphones and I pay like 46.00 on average for both phones total. Not one but for both. They share min, text and data on the same plan. I don't use a ton of data but I use some and have lots left over. I also don't have to recharge the phone with mins like Tracfone. Oh I hated Tracfone on so many levels. The best part is Ting's customer service is stellar and they have chat too. Also their site is super automated and so easy to move a phone over. I would only use iphones since I can block the calls with an iphone but maybe there are apps for androids now. I pay 6.00 per phone a month. Then 9.00 for every 500 minutes. 3.00 for 100 text messages and 3.00 for 100Mb of data or 10.00 for 500MB. But you can share all the min, text and data on the phones. So if for one month you use a lot of something no big deal it bumps up a little bit and then on the months you don't use so much it is less. The site says the average bill is 23.00 a phone and that is correct. For our two phones it is about 46.00 so it is not hype. But the guy who started this was the guy who created Tucows. He is really providing real competition out there and would love to see him get more fiber in more communities. These are the few towns they are in and the ones that are about to come online. I wished I live in one of these places since they really know how to treat customers right : (

  10. #10
    You have gotten good counsel here so far... something to keep in mind though: once you have the DSL modem from Best Buy connected and working, you can use ANY wireless router you prefer (i.e. device choice will not depend on being DSL-compatible)... the customer output from the DSL modem should be an ethernet cable, and that can plug into the 'Internet' port of any wireless router, if you want to use "double NAT" routing (which most concur is more-secure from hacking, but double-NAT also makes it harder for YOU to access your system from 'outside' your local area network if you so desire, because you would need to configure port forwarding through both devices), or any of the (typically 4) 'Ethernet' ports, which would give access to the modem through the other 3 ethernet ports AND the router's wireless side, without actually passing through the "router" interface (which sits between the Internet port and the Ethernet ports + Wireless radio[s]). Most modems allow you to disable Network Address Translation (NAT), also, if you prefer to connect the modem's customer side to a router's Internet port and NOT have double-NAT'ing.

    Even though Linksys is no longer owned by Cisco (Belkin bought them, if I recall correctly), they still make good wireless routers, and often have good deals on refurbished units.
    e.g. check out https://www.linksys.com/us/p/P-E8400-RM/

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