HOW TO GET THE BEST CABLE MODEM: SHOULD YOU BUY OR RENT?
Having a frequency band means that you are probably renting a modem or a combination of modem and router from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
But is the money worth it? With an outrageous increase in rental fees in the past year, so many customers are going out of their way to purchase their modems.
You will most likely recover the money that you paid for a modem that costs $150 in a little over a year. Then, you will start saving up to $8–$10 per month for as long as the modem is serving you after that.
However, bear it in mind that buying a modem is not always the best option.
Sometimes, installing and maintaining your modem might be more expensive and time-consuming than its monetary worth, depending on you.
REASONS INTERNET SERVICE PRODUCERS RENT MODEMS
- It economically contours the act of getting customers connected. The majority of customers only want their internet to work, thereby saving their time.
- Modem renting is a very significant source of revenue for Internet Service Providers
Modem borrowing acts as a barrier to customers that want to change to a different Internet Service Provider.
The more the troubles it takes to change providers, the fewer the clients who will make the decision, even in the face of rate increases and service issues.
Outlined below is a comparison of the pros and cons of both renting and buying a modem.
Let’s take a look!
RENTING A MODEM
- It provides free technical support.
- The modem set up is easy as the ISPs do that for you.
- There is always a free replacement when it’s outdated.
- It is costlier in the long run.
- The modem usually comes with lower quality hardware.
- The rental prices are subject to change at every given point in time.
BUYING A MODEM
- Buying a modem may seem outrageous, but it saves a lot of money in the long run.
- You have the ability to choose modems with higher performance.
- It is very easy to change Internet Service Providers.
- The cost incurred when buying a modem is always very high.
- It doesn’t provide an avenue to enjoy free technical support.
Whether you are renting or buying a modem is ultimately determined by two factors namely the time factor and the savings factor.
You have the ability to save money and get faster internet speeds when you buy a cable modem instead of renting one.
Most of the Internet Service Providers include in your package pricing, the cost of a modem.
By doing this, you will still be able to continue using the same modem even if you change Internet Service Providers.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A MODEM
A modem is an investment that you should enjoy the benefits of the original price for more than a year or two.
When you want to buy a modem, it is essential that you should have a basic idea of how they work and the standards to look out for in a good modem.
The most important factors to put into consideration when buying a good modem are:
- ISP REQUIREMENTS: To find out your ISP requirements, check their website for a list of the modems that are in harmony with their service. There are high chances that they will have a list of ideal models and specs otherwise, give them a call to double check before making any purchase.
- DOCSIS STANDARDS: DOCSIS is the international standard for transferring data to cable TV and means Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, though its rules are somewhat complicated.Its specifications come in ratings, like DOCSIS 1.0, DOCSIS 2.0. However, the important part to the customer is the kind of speeds that each specification can handle. The latest specification is DOCSIS 3.1. This trending modem is a wise investment if you are planning on upgrading your internet speed in the next couple of years. However, the current standards are rearwards and in harmony with lower specs, so unless your broadband service offers incredible speeds of up to 10gbps, you might want to stick to a cheaper, older model.
Below is a list of the up/down speeds, the specs, currently in the market, can handle.
Look out for the speeds you’re paying for and if the spec of your new modem can do it, go for it.
- DOCSIS 1.0/1.1: 38Mbps Down/9Mbps Up
- DOCSIS 2.0: 38Mbps Down/ 27Mbps Up
- DOCSIS 3.0: 152Mbps Down/108Mbps Up
- DOCSIS 3.1: 10,000Mbps Down /1,000Mbps Up.
HOW TO SETUP A NEW MODEM
These are the steps to take when installing a new modem.
1) Unplug the old modem.
2) Plug in the new modem.
3) Activate the MAC (Media Access Control) address.
4) Activate the router, if it’s applicable.
However, the details of each step differ according to the provider, but the essential thing is that you pay close attention to the instructions on your provider’s site.
The most important step is activating the MAC address. You can find it printed with very tiny prints on a sticker under the modem.
Routers connect devices such as modem through magic Wi-Fi.
Therefore, if your router delivers data slower than your modem spins it in, you’re only getting a percentage of your bandwidth to each device, and it is not a good thing.
It is always better that you buy your router especially if you’re using a high-end modem.
You don’t have to change your router when you change providers, and they’re easy to set up. Owning a router provides you with more control over your network.
FINDING THE RIGHT ROUTER
You have to get a router that can handle the same speeds as your modem. It should be able to deliver those speeds to multiple devices.
Bear in mind that the more the devices, the more a high-end router helps you.
Here are some factors to consider in finding the right router:
- Network type: The type of network that your router supports sets the speed and range of your home wireless network as Wi-Fi is a wireless networking standard.
The newest standard is 802.11ac and allows Gigabit speeds, AKA 5G Wi-Fi.
802.11ac must be supported by your device as well as your router to function well.
These are the standards and the rates they support:
- 802.11ac: Gigabit speeds
- 802.11n: 450 Mbps
- 802.11g/a: 54 Mbps
- 802.11: 2Mbps
Do you still feel lost on which router to choose? After running a field test on routers, we bring you our picks for the entry level, the middle level, and the top tier routers.
- Entry level: TP-LINK TL-WR841N
- Middle level: TP-INK Archer C8
- Top tier: Nighthawk AC1900
We recommend that you buy a cable modem instead of renting one.
Buying a modem as well as a router saves more money for most people.
Apart from making some annual savings, it ensures that you have high internet speed always and installing your modem keeps you more informed when considering your broadband options in the future.