It recently came to my attention that Comcast just bumped up the price of renting a cable modem from $8 to $10 per month. This is insane! $8 was already a rip-off and a massive scam to begin with.
Did you know that you can buy a perfectly good cable modem from somewhere between $40 and $70? For $69.99, you can buy the latest Motorola SurfBoard from Amazon, which is the same modem that Comcast would probably rent out to you. That means the device pays for itself after just 7 months, and then continues to save you $10 a month every month after that. Use that $10 instead to cover a Netflix subscription, buy yourself a nice lunch, go to a movie, or best of all, save for the future. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a million things I’d rather do than give an extra $10 every month to a company that I don’t particularly like to begin with.
After 7 months, you’re then saving yourself $120 every year. Since I’d estimate you could probably use the same modem for at least 3 years after that initial 7 months, you could save yourself $360 over that period of time.
The only downside I can even imagine to buying your own modem is that you’re responsible for replacing it if it breaks. However, Motorola offers a one-year warranty on the modem I linked to above, so if it breaks within that timeframe, you can just get it replaced for free. And if it breaks after a year, the device has already paid for itself and put $50 in your pocket compared to renting from Comcast. The chance of this happening is really low enough, though, that it’s not worth worrying about.
I bought my current modem refurbished about 2 years ago when I moved into my apartment for about $40. It was already an older modem at the time, but it’s still kicking just fine. I haven’t had a single problem with it and the speeds are good. Considering I would have been paying $8 per month to rent, I’ve already saved $152 over the last two years. Even though Comcast has been calling me just about every week to tell me I need to upgrade my modem to take advantage of the latest and greatest speeds, I’m not bothering. The reality is that even if you have an old modem, it’s still probably fast enough that you wouldn’t notice the difference in speed if you upgraded. I can already download at over 20 Mbps, which is fast enough to download movies in minutes and stream Netflix in HD smoothly.
Other factors actually make a much bigger impact on your internet speed, anyway, like how fast your wireless router is, whether you are plugged in to your router with a cable or connecting wirelessly, and whether you are within close enough range of your router when connecting wirelessly. Any cable modem made within the last few years will serve you perfectly well, as long as it’s compatible with Comcast.
If you want to shop around a bit and compare prices on other modems, you can check out http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net for a full list of compatible modems along with their rating from Comcast.
Take a minute to check out your internet bill. If you never bought your own modem and you have internet from Comcast, then you’re already paying $10 a month to them without even noticing. Do yourself a favor and buy yourself a modem today.