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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

Should I Buy or Rent My Internet Modem and Router?

If you have Internet at your home or office, you know you need to have a modem and router to allow your devices to connect to the web. There are two options with your modem and router. First, you can just lease the equipment from your cable provider. Your other option is to purchase your own equipment to use. Of course, there is a one-time purchase, but once you buy it it's yours forever. There are many schools of thought when it comes to leasing your Internet equipment vs buying it outright. What should you do? Well, check out these tips and suggestions to help you make the right choice for your home or business.

If you think about it, purchasing a modem and router makes for a good investment because leasing equipment can add up pretty quickly. The monthly fee for leasing from your Internet provider can run anywhere from $8 to $12 dollars and while that sounds cheap, think of how much money you will spend if you multiply that amount by 12 or 24 months. There are probably some of you reading this not realizing you are leasing your equipment. Well, you are. To be double sure, check out your latest internet bill and verify there is an equipment or modem fee. Not sure how much you're paying, check out the current list of rental prices from the popular Internet providers:

AT&T: $10 a month

CenturyLink: $15 a month

Comcast Xfinity: $14 a month

Cox: $12 a month

Google Fiber: Free

Optimum/Suddenlink: $10 a month

Charter Spectrum and Frontier offer free modems, but they charge extra for the router.

Another thing that makes owning a modem and router attractive is when you end your service with one provider, you can keep your equipment and use it with your new provider.

If you decide to purchase a modem and router, you have many to choose from with brands including Arris, Netgear, Motorola, Netgear, Cisco-Linksys, TP-Link, and Belkin. Before purchasing one, you'll need to check with your Internet Service Company to make sure the brand and model work with your provider. Modems can range in price from $75 or more. You might be tempted to purchase the most expensive one, especially if you want to fix wifi dead zones in your home, but stay within your budget and if you have wifi dead zones go with a Mesh Wifi setup.

So what do I think? Well, you need to keep leasing that modem from your Internet provider? Why? It all boils down to the support you will get from your ISP. If you're a tech-savvy person, then it won't be a problem setting up a modem and router. If you're not tech-savvy, then you will probably hang yourself in the basement trying to deal with tech support attempting to walk you through setting up your third-party devices.

When you have problems with your Internet, and I know you have been down that road, you will actually get less support if you purchased a third-party modem/router to work with your Internet providers. When it comes to support from your Internet company, the only things they care about are if there is an Internet signal making its way to your home or business and if their equipment is receiving it. If you have your own equipment, they will not troubleshoot any issues you are having and will refer you to the company that manufactured the modem/router. In a lot of instances, the manufacturer will send you right back to your Internet company. See where this is headed? A merry-go-round of support!

You understand that technology is constantly changing and so does Internet technology ... like every 3-5 years. Internet companies are always boosting speeds and changing tech to make sure you get the best speeds possible. If you have purchased a modem, this means you're purchasing new equipment every few years. If you are leasing equipment from your provider, you just need to walk into the store and swap it out for a newer one. This process happens if you have problems with your leased modem. Walk in the store and swap it out. Remember, if you're leasing it's their equipment and they have to support it.

I hope you can use these tips to figure out if you should purchase your own modem or lease equipment from your Internet provider. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

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