Question: I am receiving new high speed internet service and am not sure whether to rent or buy the cable modem and router.
A: There are pros and cons on both sides of the buy vs. rent question and there is no one answer for everyone.
Variables to consider include the type of broadband service you will be using (cable or DSL), the specific services you want, how long you use the service, and how comfortable you are with the technical aspects of owning. your own equipment. .
Cable vs DSL
Broadband services that use the wired system tend to be a bit more flexible on the equipment you use, while DSL services tend to be a bit more specific.
This could translate into more options which may be cheaper for cable services.
The best way to access your purchasing options is to get the list of approved modems directly from the vendor’s website, which can usually be found in the support section or can be accessed by searching their website.
Do the math
Once you have a list of modems that will work, you can compare the upfront cost to the monthly rental charges to determine how quickly you’ll break even.
In some cases, it may be as little as six months or may be longer than a year.
Service specific considerations
If you only buy Internet services, this is pretty straightforward, but for other services, like voice lines or premium video features, there may be special hardware considerations that will limit your purchasing options.
The only way to fully understand what is required is to go through the desired services with the provider and the hardware needed to make everything work properly.
Once you understand what equipment is required, you can make a more informed decision about buying versus leasing.
If you know you won’t be staying in one place for very long, renting the equipment makes sense, especially if you’re not sure where you’ll be living next.
Modems tend to be vendor specific, so unless you know you’ll be using the same vendor at your next location, the safe approach is to rent.
Consideration # 1: your technical skills
If you’re completely overwhelmed with technical jargon and don’t understand the basics of setting up modems and routers, purchasing your own equipment might not be the best approach unless you have the right thing to do. help from a tech-savvy friend.
Buying your own hardware saves you money, switching to new tech on your own schedule, and choosing better quality devices, but it also means you’ll be part of your own tech support.
Many ISPs combine the modem with the router in one device, which saves space and has fewer wires in it, but I prefer the modem to be separate from the router.
Modems typically last two to four years, while Wi-Fi technology tends to change every six months, so keeping them separate gives you the flexibility to make changes without having to replace everything, every time.
Buying your own equipment also gives you more control over when and what to upgrade, rather than having to wait for options to become available from your ISP.