Modems and Routers – Should You Buy or Rent?

Consider Cost, Performance and Convenience

Whether you buy it or rent it, you will need a modem for your business broadband internet connection. And if you want Wi-Fi access to your internet, you will need a router, too – or a combined modem-router. If you’re tech savvy, you may find some advantages in buying this equipment, rather than renting it from your internet service provider. But what exactly are the pros and cons? Should you buy or rent?

Why You Should Buy

There are two major reasons to buy your internet modem and router instead of renting: lower costs and better performance.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) typically charge from $10 to $15 per month to lease an all-in-one modem and router. So, in the first year alone, you will pay about $120 to $180 for a modem-router combo. However, you can buy your own modem-and-router combo for under $100. Even a high-end modem and router purchased separately will cost under $200.

This means, if you buy your own modem and router, you will save about $120 to $180 per year, after the first year. What’s more, most tech experts recommend a separate modem and router over a combination unit, because the stand-alone routers offer more features and better performance. So, if internet performance is important to your business, you may find not only cost but also performance advantages in buying.

Why You Should Rent

The main reason you might want to rent your internet modem and router is convenience.

  • With a rented modem and router, you never have to worry about compatibility or replacing the unit yourself.
  • If the rented unit stops working, the ISP should replace it for free.
  • When the rented unit becomes obsolete, you can usually upgrade for no additional charge.

Also, if you anticipate changing your internet connection in the near future, it may be easier to rent the modem until you make the change. The type of modem you need for DSL, cable and fiber connections are not interchangeable. Similarly, if you add internet phone to your services, you’ll need a modem that has a phone port, and this type of modem is usually provided by the ISP for free.

Tips for Buying Your Modem

While routers are universal and will work with any type of internet connection, modems are not. For this reason, you need to make sure your modem is compatible with your internet connection. Most ISPs have a list of approved modems on their website. 

When choosing your internet modem, you obviously want a device that can handle your current bandwidth needs. But you should also consider your bandwidth needs as your business grows or its dependence on the internet expands. 

If you rent, your ISP will keep your modem up to date. If you buy, keep in mind it’s generally a good idea to invest in a modem that can handle your potential bandwidth needs of the future.

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