If you decide to buy a modem, you should check the list of modems that your ISP supports. You can find this information on the ISP website or by calling them directly.
All of us use modems to surf the Internet, but have you ever calculated how much money you pay to the ISPs for renting the modem? You will be surprised to know that you spend about USD 4 - USD 8 per month, which adds up to USD 50 - USD 100 per year! If you are willing to shell out this money at one go, you will be able to own the modem. However, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, which are discussed in this Buzzle article.
Does your ISP allow you to buy a modem?
Just because Time Warner Cable allowed its customers to rent their equipment or buy another one from a different manufacturer, doesn't mean all the ISPs will do the same. Before you starting searching, check with your ISP whether they allow you to buy the equipment or not. If they don't, then you would have to stick with the renting option, or decide to change the ISP itself.
Can you troubleshoot the modem?
While you hire a modem from the ISP, you are assured of technical help at any given point of time. In most cases, these issues are resolved in no time, and your modem will be fully operational. However, when you buy a modem, you are on your own, and would have to troubleshoot all by yourself. The solution is to buy the modem from a reliable source whose help is easily available online.
Are you planning to relocate?
Further, you can consider buying the modem if you don't plan to relocate, and are sure of staying put at one place for a long time. This way, you would be able to continue with the existing ISP. However, if you plan to move or relocate, renting the modem would be a better option. When you move to a new place, you may not get the same ISP. The new ISP may not allow you to buy a modem in the first place.
Have you calculated the current and future costs?
Once you have made up your mind to buy the modem, it is necessary to look into the associated costs as well. As mentioned earlier, a typical modem rental per year could cost anywhere between USD 50 - USD 100. However, buying the modem would cost you the same amount, but without any monthly payments. But, if your modem is damaged or needs maintenance, you will have to shell out extra money. In case of a rental modem, these costs are borne by the service provider.
We have summarized the pros and cons of buying and renting a cable modem for you. Just glance through them before deciding.
Buying a modem will save you money in the future and will free you of monthly rentals. You will be the owner of the product, so you can even setup your own servers or manage the network according to your requirements. However, you need to bear the cost in case your modem is damaged.
Renting a modem will enable you to get full technical support from your ISP. Also, in case of thunderstorms or lightning, the service provider will replace the device without any additional costs. However, in such situations, you are likely to get a used modem, which can affect the speed and quality of the service.
Thus, if you prefer having technical support over rental costs, you should simply rent a modem. But, if you prefer long-term investment, and also wish to enjoy ownership status for the device, you should straight away buy the modem. Hope you have made your decision!