If you have internet service in York County, odds are, Comcast is your provider.
And if you have Comcast, you have a choice: to rent Comcast’s modem and router, or to buy your own.
By default, Comcast gives new internet customers one of their devices: a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a wifi router built into it. As of August, 2014, Comcast charges customers $8 a month to rent this modem/router.
The other option is to buy your own modem/router, which as of August costs a bit over $100 new at retailers like Walmart, Best Buy or online at sites such as Amazon.
Renting Comcast’s device or buying your own each come with costs and benefits. Eight dollars a month for a rental adds up to $96 a year, $192 for two years and $480 for five years. On the other hand, renting a device leaves users off the hook when things go wrong and on the hook for free upgrades.
Bob Grove, a Comcast spokesman, said that one advantage of renting their modem/router devices is that Comcast will replace and service the devices for free if they go bad.
In addition, Grove said Comcast is better equipped to troubleshoot its own devices.
“Our Care agents have tools that can check the modem’s signal and connection history to see what might be going on, or they can do tests/diagnostics over the phone,” Grove said in an email.
Grove said that Comcast customer service would try to troubleshoot a customer-owned device, but may not be able to diagnose the problem or restore service.
Also, Grove pointed out that Comcast replaces their leased modems every few years so that customers always have the most recent technology.
For those who would rather buy a router, Ben Markey, a sales consultant at Best Buy at 2865 Concord Rd., Springettsbury Township, recommended two devices, both of which are on Comcast’s list of approved DOCSIS devices on their website.
The one device, a Zoom cable modem/router, listed at Bestbuy for $99 as of August, 2014. The other device is a Motorola SURFBoard modem/router, retailing for $135 in August.
Each device comes with a one-year warranty. In addition, Markey said customers can pay $20 to add an additional year of warranty coverage.
Markey said that, currently, “All the gateways are technically the same,” though he said that, when dealing with internet hardware, it’s always a matter of time before any device becomes obsolete.
What about you? Do you rent a modem and router, or did you buy your own? What led you to your decision?