Buy Your Own Router
In order to connect to the internet, you need a modem and Wi-Fi router. Many people confuse modems and routers because internet service providers (ISP) often offer combo devices that serve both functions. Modems and routers, however, are two completely different technologies. Each device has a specific purpose, which we break down below.
buy your own router
Modems connect your Wi-Fi network to your ISP. They translate digital signals from your ISP so your wired or wireless devices can access the internet. Like your computer, modems use an ethernet connection to connect to your router. Typically, modems have two connection ports: one that connects to your ISP and one that connects to your Wi-Fi router. There are three types of modems:
Routers connect your devices to a modem with an ethernet cable. They create a Wi-Fi network for multiple devices to connect wirelessly and simultaneously to the internet in your home. A range of frequencies (wireless band) transmits data from your router to your devices. There are three types of routers, depending on the wireless band:
Thankfully, Spectrum does allow customers to use their own router and modem if they prefer. Aside from getting rid of the $5 WiFi fee on your bill, using your own equipment can provide better performance for your home internet, provided you select a good replacement and configure it properly.
The only Spectrum plan that does not have a WiFi fee is the GIG 1,000 Mbps plan. The GIG plan includes the modem and router for free, because they want you to use a specific make/model in order to get the best performance out of the gigabit download connection.
As a Spectrum customer here in Los Angeles, I personally use my own modem and router. Owning both pieces lets me swap out as needed when they get outdated, and saves me the hassle of visiting a Spectrum store or being on the hook for equipment returns when I eventually move and cancel service.
It has dual-band, gigabit ports, and everything else you need to run a basic smarthome and home office. In my opinion, 99% of internet users don't benefit from all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, and are best served by a reliable basic router like this one.
If ease of use is your priority, the Arris Surfboard is a strong choice that is extremely easy to use: it combines the modem and WiFi router in one device, so you can just plug it in and get online with little configuration.
If you have a large home or an unusual floorplan that leads to WiFi dead spots, mesh setups like the Eero are worth a look. These products work by spreading multiple devices around your home, which communicate wirelessly to relay coverage evenly from room to room.
Mesh networks also can react to the location and needs of your devices, effectively increasing signal in areas where it's more needed. They also have easy-to-use apps that make it simple to manage your network, keep tabs on kids' internet use, prioritize specific devices, and monitor your data usage.
Spectrum charges a $5 per month fee if you want to lease a router for your home WiFi, to cover the cost of the router and equipment maintenance. Customers can buy their own router if they would prefer not to pay the fee.
Spectrum charges about $200 for customers who do not return the modem and router when they cancel Spectrum internet service. However, the fee varies based on the specific model provided with the plan. The cost is higher for gigabit plans, since they require a higher-end gateway device for WiFi.
The only downside is that it might struggle in larger homes. If you want to spread your Wi-Fi connection to every corner of your house, you may be better off with a slightly more expensive model or our pick for the best mesh router, the Eero 6.
Any advanced Wi-Fi router will do a capable job of handling the speed you need for glitch-free online gaming, but not all of them come with the gaming-specific features of the ASUS ROG Rapture. It has hardware- and software-based gaming acceleration and prioritization, plenty of LAN ports, and an incredibly powerful processor.
Research methodology: Results were based on analysis of available routers compatible for AT&T internet service. Features, prices, and reviews were considered as criteria for determining the best modems for each category. Please note that speed is determined by the type of AT&T offers in your area. Check with your provider to confirm the type of internet connection you have with your plan before purchasing your own equipment.
In my view, Xfinity Voice is overpriced, with much cheaper VOIP landline options out there that you can connect to any router (see Ooma). But, if you are sure you want it, the following modems are Xfinity Voice compatible:
The following routers all handle 1 Gig (1000Mbps+) speeds, offer great value, and are highly rated Amazon best sellers with 4+ star customer ratings and pair nicely with the modems above. The first 3 offer newer Wi-Fi 6 technology.
Do you need a better modem to run 2 iPads and 2 iPhones plus a computer. My service seems to be running slower. Not sure if you need a better router or modem. I do have up a Cisco Linksys EA2700 router 3months old.
I wanted to add my recent experience with xfinity. I currently run a phone and an 8 way wired router off my modem with another wireless router. This supports the 7 or 8 computers we have in addition to smart phones and kindles. Xfinity had an offer to swap my modem for a newer faster one. The switch should have been seamless. Right. Just 3 simple connections, the phone jack, cable and internet connections and reboot the router. There is also an automated number to reconfigure. Well after many hours of phone calls and needless waiting I finally gave up and just put my old modem back in.
Thanks for the helpful tips and links and advice, etc. I just recently got my first apartment and signed up for Comcast. I decided to rent the Gateway for the first month while I hunted for a good modem/router to use in its place.
internet and devices to connect to internet are changing all the time, technology is always evolving, so, it is important to get the right equipment according to the right need, not all the modems and models are now suited to work fine with comcast, because they have been upgrading equipment that may the older modems not to work properly, you have to be diligent and cautious, to purchase the ones that are designed to be 100 % compatible with the new technology Comcast is using, for instance, that supports 2GHz and DOCSIS 3.1 .So, do your research and your numbers too to see if is something you can afford or not.
I bought the recommended modem and router from Amazon last Friday and installed them Tuesday. was on the phone with Sheila from Comcast for about 30 minutes because I could not attach the ethernet cord to my Macbook Air. She is a great service person.
So can someone tell me? I am trying to replace my comcast modem Arris Mod-TM602G/CT with a SB6141 only to find only three plugins on the back the TM has four the one I need for my wireless router so now what?
Currently have Comcast with the Voice Data Modem Make & Model: SMC Networks smcd3gnv I want to stop paying the $10 per month and was looking at getting the ARRIS SURFboard SBG6782-AC DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem and AC1750 Wi-Fi Router. I have the Comcast triple play so I do have voice. Do I need to get any other equipment? I have a couple of computers, cell phones, and an ipad that connect to wifi. Do I need a wifi router? This seems to be a all in piece of equipment
The TPLink N450 router you recommended gets mixed reviews on Amazon. Some people are saying v8 is great but v9 has issues. Which one did you get? Are there routers you would recommend that are a good value?
Great article. Huge help with deciding to get my own equipment after the rental increase. What really pushed me were the bad reviews on the new xb6 I think it is. The advanced model with a hint of a few $ more as well. Ordered a Netgear router and debating about Netgear or Arris for the cable box. Will decide later in week. Just hesita t in setting this up and begging for help from Xfinity. Hoping it was more user friendly.
I just hooked up a new Comcast rented xFi Advanced Gateway (their name for the router/modem). I wanted to try theirs for a month because my new service operates at a fast 400 mbps. Their router is really noisy. There is a distinct fan and humming noise that is already driving me crazy. I want to buy my own replacement that can handle this speed plus one land phone line, but want to get the most noise free one. Do you have a recommendation? The Aries TM822 that I used to use (I own it), made no noise at all. Thank you, Alan
I would like to own my own modem and stop paying rent to Comcast. Based on your instructions it seems pretty doable. However, you refer both to a modem and a router. I only have a modem with my Comcast rental. Do I need a router? I have unlimited voice for my phone (Landline) and xfinity mobile service. My internet download speed is 200mbps.I do not want to change my phone service at this time.
This is about returning your XFINITY modem/router device in the U.S.A. You do NOT need to find a service center. Take it to any UPS STORE (Not UPS shipping, but The UPS Store) TPSS has some kind of contract with XFINITY. They ask a couple of questions (not even your name or account number, nothing to worry you), you sign a couple of papers, you get receipts and proof of return, and they box and ship it back at no charge to you. This is just crazy fast and convenient, and a there are a WHOLE lot more UPS STORE outlets than there are service centers!
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