Should I Rent or Buy A Modem?

It’s common to rent, but is it more cost-effective to buy?


The short answer:

  • Buy if you’re in for the long haul with your ISP.
  • Get out the calculator to determine monthly expenses.
  • Know the potential downsides, like lack of access to upgrades and tech support.


The longer answer:

If you’re trying to decide between renting or buying a modem, this article is for you. When weighing the benefits of renting vs. buying a modem it's best to start by calculating the monthly rental fee vs potential savings. Keep in mind that each Internet Service Provider uses a different modem, meaning AT&T’s won’t work with Comcast’s so choose wisely.

When to buy:

If you’re planning on staying with your service provider for a year or more, you’ll save more money if you buy a modem–especially if they regularly increase your monthly rental fee. Buying a modem for $120 or less means you’ll break even on your investment after a year.

When to rent:

If the equipment rental fee is $10 a month or less and you plan on moving, upgrading or switching ISPs after a few months, you’re probably better off renting a modem. It’s also easier to get tech support when you rent a modem but you can end up giving the company that owns it access to your information and settings.

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