How to download the Internet service bill

You know the scenario. You open the cable or phone bill to see the long list of fees and any surprise price increases that may or may not have been addressed this month.

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Despite reading about the ways you can save money by leaving your cable company in the dust, you may not have the bandwidth to figure out the cost-benefit analysis and subscribe to multiple streaming services.

What is a modem and a router, and why do you need both?

modems

Modems offer similar and different functions than routers, so most consumers buy both. Most cable companies and provided by internet providers connections from your networks to your home through a modem.

For example, if you pay for internet through a cable company, you are connecting the cable directly to a modem and then connecting your devices, such as computers and laptops, through Ethernet cables to the modem.

Routers

Routers are usually sold separately because they are not absolutely necessary to access the internet. However, you have to connect the modem to a router to use more ports than a modem could allow, and more importantly, routers enable Wi-Fi technology.

The router connects to the modem via Ethernet, and then you can connect your Wi-Fi devices, such as cell phones and tablets, to the Internet without having to connect them to the modem using an Ethernet cable.

There’s a deeper exploration of the pros and cons of having modem-router combos below.

The router connects to the modem via Ethernet, and then you can connect your Wi-Fi devices, such as cell phones and tablets, to the Internet without having to connect them to the modem using an Ethernet cable.
(CyberGuy)

Stop renting a high-speed modem

A simple and often overlooked way to lower your internet bill can be as simple as buying your own equipment. agree with Analysis of New America (a think tank).most Americans in 2020 were paying an average of $10 or more to rent a modem from their Internet provider.

While not all providers will allow you to purchase and use your own equipment, some will. Buying your own WIFI modem and router can not only help you save money in the long run, it will also benefit you in several ways.

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Why buy your modem and router?

Obviously, it’s easier to have the cable provider’s technician show up at your house with all the equipment to get you online. Taking the extra step to find out if you can buy and use your own can be worth it. Not only can you save money, here are some additional hidden benefits of buying your own equipment:

  • Set the price. What you paid to buy the equipment is the price you pay. There are no surprises as your ISP can raise the equipment fee, just like your service fee, as much as they want.
  • Save on taxes. Depending on your state, while you may not be taxed on the cost of paying for internet service, you may be taxed on the equipment you rent on a monthly basis. So not only are you paying a monthly fee, you’re also paying a monthly tax on the equipment.
  • Keep your team. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of competition for Internet service providers, if you buy your own modem or router (as long as the technology is compatible), you can keep your equipment after you terminate your contract with your old provider and take it to use with another. If you rent your equipment, you will need to mail it back or drop it off. Even worse, high fees can be charged if something goes wrong and your equipment is deemed broken, damaged or non-returnable.
  • Better technology. Cable companies and many other Internet service providers aren’t necessarily setting you up with the latest and greatest modem or router. And it is doubtful that they will give you the best price. If you end up buying your own gear, not only can you figure out which features are most important to you, but you can also shop around for the best price. Just make sure the modem or router you buy is compatible with the Internet service provider you’re using.
  • Save on installation costs. While there are some opportunity costs to setting up your own equipment, once you’ve got it set up, you’re generally good for the long run. IF you rent your modem or router, your provider usually pays the installation fees. Usually, if you’re using your own equipment, you’ll probably be forced to pay an activation fee, but you can potentially save on paying an installation fee.
  • More control. Although ISPs have good intentions, many of the modems and routers they sell to their customers are often limited in the options and features they dictate. If you’re relatively knowledgeable or just want the option to tweak all the settings and not just the ones your ISP deems accessible, you might want to buy your own modem and router.
Routers with network cables.

Routers with network cables.
(Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Which Modems and Routers Should You Buy?

You checked with your internet service provider and you know that you are allowed to purchase and use your own equipment with their service. Now the question: what to buy?

Depending on the type of service you’re buying, you’ll likely need to buy two pieces of equipment: a modem and probably a Wi-Fi router.

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How to choose the best modem

The modem is critical to your internet service. It’s what brings your Internet service provider’s Internet connection to your home.

Important features of your next modem

  • compatibility Double-check to see which providers service your specific location and see if a) they allow you to buy and use your own equipment, and if so, what kind of technology is needed to optimize the service you’re paying for.
  • Connection type.
    Cable – DOCSIS allows data transfer over coaxial cables Fiber Optic – Like its namesake, uses fiber optic cable to transfer data DSL – uses your existing telephone jack to transfer data
  • Cable – DOCSIS allows the transfer of data through coaxial cables
  • Fiber Optic: Like its namesake, it uses fiber optic cable to transfer data
  • DSL: Uses your existing phone jack to transfer data
  • speed Usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps), the higher the Mbps, the faster your internet connection.
  • bandwidth Usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps), this is a measure of the maximum amount of data that can be transferred at any given time. Example: With a 25 Mbps connection, you typically get a maximum bandwidth of 100 Mbps.

I was renting a DOCSIS 2.0 modem from my cable company when I realized that paying for my own DOCSIS 3.0 modem, while more expensive upfront, would save me monthly recurring fees and taxes. Even better, my new proprietary modem will help me maximize the internet speed I was paying for.

For a list of my top 6 picks for modems press HERE

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