Should You Rent Or Buy Your Modem

Shopping Savings
on October 24, 2012

Getting a new Internet service usually requires deciding between renting or buying a modem. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of both optinos.


Renting a modem a modem generally requires paying a monthly rental fee. That rental fee is usually between $3 and $5 extra on your monthly Internet bill. If you keep the same Internet service provider for an entire year, you’ve spent a maximum of $60 in modem rental fees.

Those rental fees mean that you do not have to hunt down a modem that will work with your provider. The Internet provider will mail you the modem prior to your installation date, or the installation specialist will bring the modem when he installs your service.

If the modem breaks, the Internet provider will send you a new one. Likewise, if the modem is having issues, the provider will troubleshoot your modem while you’re on the phone. These are all great advantages, but you must remember to return the modem to the provider if you cancel the service.


In order to avoid the extra $3 to $5 charge per month, you can opt to buy your own modem. This is a money saving tactic. Internet modems cost between $50 and $100 depending on the brand of the modem and its maximum speed. This means you could save $10 in total charges your first year.

Buying your own modem also means that it’s yours. You do not have to return it when you cancel your Internet service. You also don’t have to worry about getting a used modem from the Internet service provider. You know your modem is new.

However, if you buy your own modem, you will probably have to install it yourself. That’s because the Internet service provider is not obligated to install modems that they do not own. In this instance, they are only obligated to make sure you have an Internet signal.

If your modem breaks, you can either replace it or opt to rent one from your service provider for an additional $3 to $5 a month. If your modem breaks before the one year mark, you may not break even with the monthly modem rental fees.

The Internet service provider is also not obligated to troubleshoot your modem. If you are having modem issues, you may have to troubleshoot those issues yourself. The Internet provider is only obligated to make sure your modem is receiving a signal.

When it comes to renting or buying your modem, the decision is up to you. You have to decide if you’re more interesting in saving money or receiving extra customer service.

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