Consumer Reports: Buy your own modem to save money

Consumer Reports says buying your own modem or router can save you hundreds of dollars on your cable bill.

A lawsuit filed earlier this year against Time Warner Cable is a reminder that buying your own modem and router is nearly always a better idea than renting the devices from your cable company. On average, Americans spend more than $100 each month on their cable bill. But Consumer Reports says you can save about 10 percent a month if you buy your modem or router instead of renting.

If you’re renting a router, you’re probably paying anywhere from $5 to $10 a month or up to $120 a year. You can buy a very good router for $100 to $150 so you’re going to pay for it in the first year. A lot of times the router that you’re going to get from the cable company doesn’t have the latest technology. So, it may not perform as well as one that you buy yourself.

Also, routers haven’t really been known for their good looks, but CR says that’s changing with sleek-looking designs you can display. We’re in a golden age of router design right now. So you don’t even have to hide it out of site.

Other router options include mesh networks like the Eero or Google Wi-Fi in which several routers work together to provide Wi-Fi coverage throughout your house. Many of these high tech options are expensive. Eero costs $500 for three. Google Wi-Fi costs $300 for three. But Consumer Reports says these types of routers provide higher levels of performance you may need.

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