Computer Help forum


Aboiut cable modems: Rent or buy?

by Paul C / March 4, 2013 6:49 PM PST

Yesterday, I Had to have my cable modem replaced by my ISP's technician...again. I realize that this didn't cost me anything except some time offline and $7.00/month for the modem rental. I also know that cable modems aren't all that expensive to buy; however, if the modem I buy breaks, then I have to buy another one.

The question is, then: rent or buy?

TIA, Paul

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All Answers

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(NT) Buy
by glb613 / March 4, 2013 7:40 PM PST
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why pay rental?
by itsdigger / March 4, 2013 7:58 PM PST

For 6 or 7 months of rental you can own it . Modems don't break very often and if you're rental did break ,you'd have to wait days for the cable company to come out and replace it, Just go buy a new one the same day when you own. I have never had one break, I have replaced them to upgrade and re-used the old one at a friends home.

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by bob b / March 4, 2013 11:58 PM PST

The cable folks are getting a bit fussy about which modems they will support.

If you go to your local merchant and buy a modem that might not work very well.

I changed my rental to owned and since it was a used modem it was cheap.

However I have the luxury of my Isp having an office a couple of miles away so if need be I could just pop over there and buy a supported modem.

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Do the math
by Jimmy Greystone / March 5, 2013 12:07 AM PST

Do the math. If you think there's a good chance you'll have the service longer than 6-7 months, it tends to make sense to buy over rent. But if maybe you're thinking of moving, or getting service from another provider, then it may make more sense to keep renting. Generally all electronic devices come with a 1 year warranty, so it's just a matter of who replaces the cable modem if it goes bad, your ISP or the cable modem maker. If it's your ISP, it will likely get replaced a bit faster, but you will pay for that in the form of the monthly rental fee. Generally by the time the first year is up, you've paid enough to buy two cable modems at retail. If you find you are killing modems like the plague, renting might be more economically sound though.

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Rent. Why? Warranty.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 5, 2013 12:49 AM PST

If a rented modem fails, it's not your problem as you don't own it.

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