Aug 3, 2022

Should You Rent or Buy A Modem

With everyday internet usage almost being a necessity in modern society, a modem is necessary, and if you want to use one, you’d either have to rent or buy a modem. While it is possible to buy a modem from outside sources, they can be quite expensive, and may have compatibility issues with your internet service provider’s services. As such, in most cases, it’s best to rent or buy modem services directly from your internet service provider, if it is required.


However, it is important to note that not all internet services even require a separate modem. For instance, most wireless service providers have the modem integrated into the radio or dish that would sit on the roof and the homeowner never touches the device.


If you do choose to go with a service that requires a separate modem, then this article explains all you need to know about a modem to guide you in making the best decision.

What is a Modem?

A modem, an acronym for modulator-demodulator, modulates and demodulates electrical signals sent through phone lines and other cable types. In other words, it translates digital signals to analog and vice versa. It connects the home network to the internet.


Often, modems and routers cannot work separately as they complement each other. If you want to access the internet with one device, you can use only the modem through a wired connection. However, you’ll need a modem and router to connect multiple wired and wireless devices to the internet.


Many modems come with a router, but it is advised to buy them separately. This is because modem technology changes slowly, so you can use a modem for several years until it is damaged. Meanwhile, you may need to upgrade your router for better coverage - to accommodate more devices to your network or to take advantage of the latest improvements in Wi-Fi technology.


Since you need a modem to connect to the internet, you should choose a good one to work with. There are four different types of modems, and they include:

●      DSL

●      Cable

●      Fiber

●      Satellite


If you use the fiber, renting your modem is preferred as it may not be easy to find fiber modems that are up to date and compatible with your internet service provider. Hence, renting the recommended one from your internet service provider is safer.


There are benefits of either renting or buying your own modem. When you set up the internet in your home with an internet service provider, you’re usually given an option to either buy or lease modem services.


That being said, it is worth noting that some ISPs do not offer the option to buy. Rather, renting a modem is included in their plan package or it is just included in the installation as part of the service, especially for fiber and wireless modems. When deciding whether to buy or lease a modem, choose the option most compatible with your ISP, as using the wrong modem can limit your internet speed.

Renting a Modem

There are pros and cons to renting internet modems, and here are some of them:


●      Installation is easier when renting.

●      You can trade it in for a new one with your internet service provider if it encounters any problem or becomes outdated.

●      You have no worries about compatibility or installation as your ISP would take care of it.

●      Upgrades and technical support come with no additional cost.



●      In the long run, renting a modem can end up costing more than what you might have paid for the device upfront.


Also, there are certain circumstances that may make renting a better option than buying a modem. When considering whether to rent or buy a modem, it is best to rent in these instances:

●      If you are sharing the cost with family, friends, or roommates.

●      If the rental cost is being taken care of by your employer.

●      If you move a lot.

●      If you are looking to get regular upgrades.


In situations such as these, renting a modem is more advisable.

Buying a Modem

Buying an internet modem comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. We’ll discuss them below.


●      It saves money in the long run.

●      It gives you more control over your internet connection.

●      You do not have to upgrade regularly as a separate modem comes with a technology that can make it last for a long time.

●      It allows you to upgrade to the internet speed you get through your service provider.


●      There is no guarantee of compatibility when or if you move to a different internet service provider.

●      Free technical support is not guaranteed.

●      High purchase cost at once (6-8months of rental).


Note: Be careful not to be charged for rentals after buying your modem.

What to Look Out For In A Modem

Whether you decide to rent or buy a modem, there are some factors to take into consideration to ensure you get the best value for your money:

  1. DOCSIS: This is an acronym for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. It is a standard modem interface cable, allowing your ISP to provide you with internet service via coaxial cables.
  2. ISP compatibility: Not all modem are compatible with all ISPs, so it is important to check for your modem's compatibility with your internet service provider. The easiest and surest way to get the accurate information you need would be to simply call your ISP.
  3. Speed: This refers to the upload and download speed of the modem. The advertised speed is always the download speed. The upload speed is much slower - usually about a quarter of the download speed. Note that no matter how high speed your modem is, you can’t draw more data from your ISP than what you pay for. Also, note that the speed of your modem is measured as Mbps (megabits per second).
  4. Channels: The higher the channels, the higher the capacity.
  5. Cost: Consider the amount of money you can afford to spend on a modem. Buying a good modem would cost quite a bit more than simply renting a device, especially if you’re only testing your ISP’s services at the start.
  6. Design: Choosing a design that doesn’t take up too much space is important, and some users might care about how well the device fits aesthetically into their household.

Making a Choice

Making the decision to rent or buy a modem requires careful and serious consideration. To simplify things, if you are looking to cut costs and have much more control over your internet connection speed, buying an internet modem is more advisable for you.


However, renting a modem would be the better choice if you are looking for something more short-term or your living arrangements are temporary.


If you don’t even want the hassle of deciding if you should rent or buy a modem, you should use a quality internet service provider like Rango. We offer quality, speedy, and affordable internet plans to serve a variety of needs - from surfing the internet and running a business to gaming and streaming high-definition videos. On top of this, modems are included at no cost in our standard installation. It’s part of how we make the internet buying experience easy for our customers.

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