November 13, 2016 Comments (0) Tech, Web / Graphics

Get PPPoE User/Pass From CenturyLink PK5001A

This weekend our internet went down for most of Saturday, unfortunately we use CenturyLink, the single least helpful ISP I have ever contacted. Terrible tech support that offers no actual information, mostly just queue cards it seems like. They would not share anything with me since I am not the account holder, being a business account, you’d imagine they’d have some type of exception seeing as the business owner is not always around…

Long story short, after a round of questions with no answers, it was obvious I would get no information from them. So I pulled out an old Netgear DGND3700 DSL modem/router that I had and started setting it up. Our CenturyLink router was an Actiontec PK5001A and I needed the PPPoE username and password; I found a very helpful website that walks you through the steps, How to find PPPoE password for Actiontec PK5000.

Well, that didn’t quite work for me. What I was expecting, was for it to spit out a line like the one shown in the tutorial:


Nope. I got this:

/usr/sbin/pppd file /etc/ppp/options call pppoe1

Obviously, that’s not what we’re looking for. Seems like CenturyLink is trying even harder to hide the username and password…

Luckily after a quick Google search, I found the answer on another site explaining the PPD options, – if you look for the option that they’re using here, the “CALL” option, you’ll see that they’re calling the file “pppoe1” from /etc/ppp/peers/

So once you’ve followed the steps from the tutorial above, there’s only a couple steps left (if you did, start at step 8)…

  1. Login to router,
  2. Advanced Setup –> Remote Management –> Remote Telnet (PS, mine was not called “Remote Telnet”, but if you have an option here, enable it and set a password.)
  3. Start –> Control Panel –> Programs –> Programs and Features –> Turn Features On and Off (left) –> Telnet –> OK
  4. Start –> Run –> “CMD”
  5. “Telnet” — login with user/pass from step 2.
  6. “ps” — find PID from process beginning with “/usr/sbin/pppd”
  7. “cat proc/(PID)/cmdline” — PID from step 6. (eg., cat proce/123/cmdline)
  8. If you get your password from the line shown, you’re done… If not then get the FILE name that is after the word “call”
    /usr/sbin/pppd file /etc/ppp/options call pppoe1 <– file name is “pppoe1”
  9. “CD /etc/ppp/peers”
  10. cat (FILE) — FILE name from step 8. (eg., cat pppoe1)

That’s it, your credentials should be in this file, write them down and put them into your new modem. I don’t know why CenturyLink makes this so difficult for customers, but just getting the username and password is a ridiculous process that forces us to become novice hackers. We’ve had a lot of problems with the Actiontec routers and their solution is always to send us another one, we have 3 of these routers now. I’ve read they have problems with overheating, they have problems with line noise and the main reason for me was the lack of USB 3.0 hubs (the Netgear has 2.)

If you’re unlucky enough to use CenturyLink and still cannot get your new modem configured, don’t waste your time calling them; they will likely tell you to call the manufacturer, who will likely (rightly so) tell you to call the ISP provider (the one with all the details of how THEIR network is configured.)

For my Netgear, the following settings worked with CenturyLink DSL:

  1. Basic Settings –> Login Required, PPPoE, username (no, password, Always on, Dynamic IP, Automatic DNS
    You could also enter Google’s DNS here, &
  2. ADSL Settings –> Multiplexing – LLC, VPI – 8, VCI – 35, DSL Mode – ADSL, Transfer Mode – ATM.

I had problems connecting at first (DSL green light, internet red), it was because of incorrect VPI/VCI. I used the ones from the Netgear website for CenturyLink which would not allow me to connect to the internet. I found online somewhere another person using 8 & 35, tried that and it connected right away.

Good luck. 🙂

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