If you have a modem, you are probably renting it from your internet service provider. But is the monthly fee for that equipment worth it? The rental fee from big internet service providers is increasing by as much as 33% in recent years. As a result, consumers are inclined towards buying their own modem. A basic modem will cost you $70 to $100 per month. This is a one-time charge and you end up saving $8 to $10 every month.
This seems simple enough but there is a catch around this. Buying your own modem or router isn’t always the best possible solution to save on your monthly bill as it brings a lot more nuances. For example, you have to check whether the new modem works for your provider, the installation and maintenance, and the time it takes for the overall process.
In this detailed guide, we will explain everything about renting and buying your modem so that you can decide on it on your own.
What is a Modem?
You need two different pieces of equipment for the home internet to work. The first one is a modem that connects either to the coaxial outlet or phone jack in the wall. The purpose of a modem is to get the signal transmission from your internet service provider so that your devices can connect. Can you have an internet service just with the modem? Yes!
For all the wired connections, you do not need any extra equipment. A modem and an Ethernet cable will do the job.
What is a router?
A router is a special device that connects with the modem and transmits the internet signals wirelessly so that all your smart devices can connect to the internet without the need for a physical wire.
The only difference between a router and a modem is that the modem can only provide the internet with the help of an Ethernet cable while the router can provide the internet wirelessly. Many internet providers have a modem-router complex called a ‘gateway’ that functions as both.
Why do ISPs rent equipment?
There are multiple reasons why ISPs rent their equipment. It is a way to streamline the process. You sign-up for the internet service. The representative book a day and date for a technician to install the service for you. The technician wires everything and connects all the equipment you are renting from the ISP. This ensures that you have active internet from the go.
If you have to purchase the equipment, you will be responsible for setting it up and if you are not proactive, you will have trouble setting it up yourself. For example, if you sign-up for Mediacom, you will get tech support around the clock. Mediacom customer service handles all the queries regarding the equipment and assists you in the best possible manner.
Secondly, if you look at the bigger picture, this is a great way for ISPs to make revenue. The cost of that equipment is $100 to $150 but you end up paying more than the original cost.
Lastly, these equipment are roadblocks for consumers if they even think of switching to another provider. You have to return the equipment, pay the outstanding amount, and then sign-up for another provider. They make it a hassle so that fewer people switch to other competitors.
Renting your equipment
There are multiple benefits of renting the equipment. The first one being the ability to get unlimited tech support in case there is a problem. Just like every other piece of equipment, your modem and router are prone to break down. Without the necessary technical support, there isn’t anything much you can do about it. Once you rent your equipment, it becomes the responsibility of the provider to do all the fixing for you.
The only downside to renting is that you end up paying more amount than the original cost of the writer.
The only benefit of purchasing the equipment is that you can save on your monthly bill. You can have many choices and get the equipment that has the latest features. The downside is that you cannot get tech support from your ISP if something goes wrong. The installation can be tricky as well.
Should I rent it or install it?
If you are a tech-geek and can handle the installation, purchase your equipment. If you are not into that, just rent it!