Choosing a Cable Modem or DSL Modem with Wifi


Most Internet service providers offer customers the option to purchase their own modem or rent one for a monthly fee. Renting for a year is sometimes the same cost as purchasing a unit. This article describes cable modem and DSL modem options.

Renting or Purchasing

Renting can be more economical if you have several service calls per year, because your service provider is able to perform remote diagnostics or even come on-site to resolve any hardware issues with the equipment. Otherwise, you’ll be paying someone to come and diagnose problems with equipment. If you feel a purchased unit will be easy to setup and keep working, without any hardware failures, then purchasing a unit should be fine.

Hybrid Rental Solution

One option is to rent a modem, but purchase your own wireless router. This gives you the ability to purchase a very high quality wireless router independent from the modem. A dedicated wireless router may have more features, speed, and range than a combination modem/router. There’s a wide range of price from as low as about $40 to as much as $300 or more for a high-end wireless router.

Combination Unit Considerations

Having a combined modem/router is nice because you can interact with a single interface to setup the unit and not worry about compatibility between the units. If you’re renting the equipment, your service provider can remotely diagnose problems more easily and they will be more familiar with a unit they are providing.

Support Concerns

It’s possible that you’ll have trouble with the setup and ongoing use of your device without the support of your service provider. Here’s a product feedback comment from one person on Amazon:

“Centurylink (because they apparently only want you to rent/buy modem/routers from then instead of buying them elsewhere cheaper and with faster delivery) will NOT give you the info needed to set up unless you buy some monthly “help with non-Centurylink modems” plan, or buy one of their modem/routers!!!”

It’s understandable that companies want to and need to recuperate the cost of providing customer service and support. If a product is being rented, part of the rental fee is for providing the support needed when customers have questions about setup or use of their device. No company can hire employees to provide free phone support all day for products they haven’t sold or profited from. Those wanting free and unlimited support for their hardware should rent it from the support provider.

Cable Modems with Wireless Router

Here are a few cable modems with wireless routers built-in.

DSL Modems with Wireless Router

Here are a few cable modems with wireless routers built-in.


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