If there were a better, more affordable option for broadband Internet access in my area than my cable company, I would grab it. It must be admitted that while I may complain about the rates I pay for monthly cable Internet access, the reliability and speed of the service is good. Nevertheless, I discovered a great way to lower my monthly bill.
The monthly rental fee for my cable wifi modem with Comcast Xfinity is currently $13.00 per month. That is a whopping $156.00 per year in total. There are better things I can do with that money! So, I decided to purchase my own cable wifi modem (a cable modem with built-in wifi features for wireless access at home) and return the rental modem. However, being the frugal guy that I am, I wanted to find the cheapest modem that would serve my needs.
Buying a used cable wifi modem is a great way to eliminate monthly cable modem rental fees!
If you price a new cable modem with built-in wifi on Amazon.com, the prices start at around $129.00. At that price, the modem would pay for itself after about 10 months of usage when compared to a modem rental fee of $13.00 per month. Could I find a better deal? Yes, I can!
Buying a Used Cable Wifi Modem Online
I decided to purchase a used cable wifi modem. I sought the best deal I could find. I found a used Arris SurfBoard SBG6400 Docsis 3.0 compatible cable wifi modem on the online marketplace Mercari.com for only $14.00 (with free shipping). This is a discontinued model. However, it has the all-important Docsis 3.0 compatibility needed by my cable company. Also, my cable company has this cable wifi modem on their list of approved compatible. modems.
Well, I am happy to say that I am delighted with my $14.00 modem! It works flawlessly and is in like-new condition. I followed the online instructions provided by Arris for setting up the modem and then logged into the website provided by my cable company for completing the connection. I was up and running in a pain-free 15-minutes or so.
If you want to do the same, you can find plenty of used cable wifi modems on eBay and other online marketplaces. Also, I often see cable modems available at local thrift shops. The Arris / Motorola brands offer modestly priced cable modems that are widely used and available at low prices when sold second-hand online. When buying online, purchase from a seller who accepts returns and test it fully when received. Generally, if it starts out working fine it will continue to do so.
Choosing the Right Cable Modem for Your Needs
Two cautions: First, make sure that you are purchasing a cable wifi modem, not a cable modem without built-in a wifi router (you will need to buy a separate wifi router). They look similar. Also, be sure that the cable wifi modem you purchase is on the list of approved compatible units provided by your cable company. Usually, they will have an online list on their website. Generally, Docsis 3.0 compatible modems ensure that you will be able to access the highest Internet connection speeds (usually around 50-70 megabits per second) provided by your cable company. Here’s a good guide to understanding the technical considerations when buying a cable modem.
While we may often complain about the cost of high-speed cable Internet access, this is one way to make a dent in that bill. I hope you find it useful! -Don P., SplurgeFrugal