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Get a Linksys cable modem for $44.95

From the Cheapskate: It's time to stop renting! Though "certified for Comcast" this model is also compatible with most other cable providers. Plus: free video editing!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


linksys-dpc3008.jpg
Linksys

I think your cable bill is high enough without the monthly modem-rental fee, don't you?

Indeed, if you're paying $6-8 per month for the modem supplied by a cable provider (Comcast, Time Warner and so on), it's time to consider owning instead of renting. Many providers will let you use your own modem instead, meaning you can do away with that monthly fee.

Your own modem like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Linksys DPC3008 cable modem for $44.95 shipped. It's new, not refurbished -- an important distinction, because I've learned that refurb modems often have issues getting activated on new owners' accounts.

Even if you're paying just $6 per month to rent your existing modem, you'd recoup your investment in about eight months -- then pocket that $6 every month thereafter. It adds up!

Take note, however, that this is just a modem; it's not also a router. If your existing modem is responsible for delivering Wi-Fi throughout your house, you'll need to BYO router to this equation -- and that will require some extra expense and setup. Also, if your cable provider is also providing your home-phone service, this may be a no-go as well.

(I'm not saying this is a perfect solution for everyone. But in my house, I've long relied on my own modem, router and VoIP phone service -- Ooma, if you're curious. Everything works swimmingly.)

Because this is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, it's capable of delivering lightning-fast data both upstream and downstream. If your current modem is older, it might be a 2.0 model, in which case you're likely to see a huge performance boost.

Although the product listing specifies Comcast certification, the DPC3008 should work with most cable providers. My advice: call yours first just to make sure. And, for that matter, to make sure you can indeed BYO modem. Different providers have different rules.

If you've already made the switch, or you know offhand how much you're paying for modem rental, hit the comments and share the current or potential savings.

Bonus deal: Game time! I've always loved old-school first-person shooters, dating all the way back to Wolfenstein 3D. So you can bet I'm hopping on this deal: For a limited time, Green Man Gaming has Wolfenstein: The New Order (for PC) for $7.20 when you apply coupon code APR20 at checkout. Price on Steam (which, incidentally, is where you'll redeem your purchase): $59.99. The game debuted two years ago and earned mostly positive reviews, including this one from GameSpot. Word of caution, though: If this was a movie, it would have a hard-R rating. It's gruesome and grisly, with bad language and even sexual content.

Bonus deal No. 2: Need to edit some video and add some cool effects -- maybe of the Iron Man variety? Check out the new HitFilm 4 Express, which is free and includes an Iron Man HUD effect. This is a really exceptional tool for anyone looking to create movies, as the Express version supports both editing and compositing. Plus, you'll find some great tutorial videos. Highly recommended.