Save your money from going into rental fees of internet equipment by buying your own. Modem-router combos are a space-saving, future-proof choice that can go a long way. Here is what you need to look for in a good quality modem-router combo.
Table of Contents
How to Choose The Best Modem-router Combo
- ISP compatibility
Before you can shortlist modem-router combos you want to buy, make sure to check their ISP compatibility first. Compatibility is going to be a huge factor here. Majority of the devices come with their supported ISP mentioned in descriptions, while others might be listed in the ISP approved lists. You can also inquire a manufacturer of the device or inquire your selected ISP about the device’s compatibility.
- Wi-Fi Bands
Wi-Fi bands refer to how many frequencies of Wi-Fi signals a device can capture at a time. There are single, dual and tri band Wi-Fi devices. Dual band Wi-Fi technology includes 2 frequencies, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This means that a router can capture faster speed signals, even through thick walls and through multiple devices. Tri band devices are more advanced, but are rarely needed for regular households, so you don’t have to pay those extra bucks for it. Tri band technology is for those who are more likely to binge watch, stream music, play games and even do HD video calling at the same time.
- Data Transfer Speed
Data transfer speeds or the internet speeds a modem can support are all theoretical. Keep this in mind, and only consider these speeds to see if it can support or work with the internet speed in your provider’s plan. The speeds mentioned with the device are download speeds and not upload, so you might want to dig a little deeper and find out the upload speed as well. For a rough estimate, expect the upload speed to be about one fourth of the download speed. Once again, these speeds are only theoretical and real speeds might vary. Also bear in mind that the modem-router’s speed is not the speed you will be getting, but it will be the speed of your internet plan that you will be getting.
- Tech Support
While modems have a simple set up procedure, routers can be slightly more complicated. Plus, modem-router combos mean more wires and more connections, so more knowledge is required. For this reason, you will need good, reliable, and dependable tech support by a device manufacturer. Many ISPs do not offer any tech support for equipment that is not rented from them, so you must be aware of this too.
- Cost Analysis
Most of people who buy internet equipment of their own instead of renting it out from the ISP do it to avoid rental costs. If that’s also the case with you, don’t forget to do a cost analysis. Ideally, rental fee of internet equipment is somewhere between $10 and $11. However, an ISP owns the equipment and you have to take extra care of it. Plus, you don’t get to choose the quality or type of equipment you are getting. Plus, $10-$11 fee is also charged monthly, which seems inconvenient when compared to the one-time investment your own device is going to be.
In case of Spectrum internet plans, equipment rental fees are charged with the total bill, so there is no extra addition. But again, you might feel that having your own equipment is a lot more peace of mind than having a liability. Consider all these factors and ask yourself what is more comfortable for you before you buy your own equipment.
- Channel Bonding
You can think of channels on a modem as gateways or lanes through which the device will move the data in or out. More channels mean more lanes for your data to transfer from, improving the overall speed of data transfer. A 16×4 channel bonding means that there are essentially 16 channels for your downloads, and 4 for uploads. The higher this number goes, the better. Although, do keep in mind that more channels do not mean more speed than you are paying for.
Overview of the Best Modem-router Combos
Let’s take a quick look at some of the best modem-router combos.
- NETGEAR Cable Modem Wi-Fi Router Combo C6220
- Max speed: 1200 mbps
- Channel bonding: 16×4
- Connectivity: 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 USB port
- Single-band Wi-Fi
Before you buy any internet plan from buytvinternetphone, you should always check rental requirements and ISP-approved list of modems/routers. Different ISPs will charge you differently, but you might end up having less freedom over the devices if you rent them out. Buying your own is a long term investment, so you can use a device with other ISPs that are compatible with it, in case you change your mind about an ISP.