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Get a Surfboard SB6141 cable modem for $44.99

From the Cheapskate: Still paying a rental fee for your modem? This top-rated refurb would cost you at least $70 new. And in the long run it'll save you money. Plus: How to get cheap Amazon Prime and a free Google Chromecast!

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.

Not all reruns are bad. This one, for example, gives you a lower price than last time. And unlike that episode of "Seinfeld" you've seen 18 times, this rerun can actually save you money over time.


See, many folks pay a lease or rental charge for the modem supplied by their cable provider (Comcast, Time Warner and so on). This often runs $6 to $8 per month, which works out to as much as $96 per year. But guess what? Many providers will let you use your own modem instead, meaning you can do away with that monthly fee.

So here's some easy math: today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished ARRIS SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for $44.99, plus $5 for shipping. Price for a new one: at least $70.

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. And if your cable provider is also providing your home-phone service, this may be a no-go as well.

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.

The SB6141 is certified to work with pretty much every North American cable provider. Better still, the 8,000-plus (!) user reviews on Amazon average out to 4.4 stars (out of 5), which tells the whole story: the modem is fast, easy to set up and reliable.

I bought a cable modem years ago and never looked back. It's crazy to rent one from your cable company, so if that's what you're doing, here's an inexpensive way out. Finally, a chance to actually lower your cable bill!

Bonus deal: Do you love Amazon Prime like I love Amazon Prime? As you might have heard, the company is running a promotion this weekend: $73 for a one-year subscription. That's better than $99, am I right? Alas, it's for new customers only, and the gift-option workaround that was available in the past seems to be a no-go this time. But if you don't already have Prime, I maintain that it's an excellent deal even at $99. At $73, it's a steal.

Bonus deal No. 2: Calling all Android users! Google would really like you to sign up for -- and use -- Android Pay, and they're willing to give you a free Google Chromecast (second-gen) if you make 10 purchases with it. (You'll also qualify for three free Google Play MP3 downloads.) I can't find an actual promo page for this offer, but the terms and conditions are outlined here. Basically, once you use Android Pay 10 times, you'll receive a code good for $35 off a Chromecast -- effectively making it free.