Should I rent a wireless router, modem, or gateway from AT&T… or buy it myself?
AT&T will rent you a Wi-Fi® gateway or AT&T-compatible DSL modem.
A modem sends electrical signals to and from your home network to the internet. It is called a modem because it modulates signals back and forth. A router routes data between the different devices in your home. You need both, but you can invest in what’s called a gateway or combo, very similar to what you get from your internet provider which just has both technologies in a single device.
If you have a new service, AT&T will automatically send you a router and modem as part of your package.
It costs $10 per month for your equipment fee.
If you sign up as a new customer with AT&T, they are going to charge you a $10 Wi-Fi Gateway equipment fee. There’s no way to get around this fee which means you will be paying the rental fee for the router and modem from the company regardless. You are allowed to use your own router but even if you do you still have to pay the same $10 fee every month for the modem. In that case, it really doesn’t make much sense for you to purchase one on your own because AT&T makes it a good deal to stick with them at $10 per month.
With most companies if you were not looking to use this equipment and pay every month, then when you sign up or when you receive the equipment you’d have to look for the way to avoid hanging onto it. It sounds like this isn’t an option anymore with AT&T.
Assuming you don’t want to pay the rental fee or deal with returning the equipment whenever you close your account, your only other option is to buy a router yourself. AT&T prohibits the use of any other modem, so you have to use the modem they provide but you can use a router behind that modem that you purchase on your own. (Some question whether AT&T can really prohibit using your own modem.)
You need to make sure firstly that the router you buy is compatible with AT&T.
You also have to note that you will have no support from AT&T where issues involving your router are concerned.
You might have a difficult time with AT&T customer service as well if you are trying to get help finding a compatible router or establishing a connection between the two devices because big companies don’t typically like it when you eat into their profits.
There are many review sites out there that offer viable information on different modems, routers, and combo packages. You can review each one to see what they offer, and whether they are compatible with your internet. You can always ask AT&T customer service before you sign up for their service or even after you have their service.
If you are trying to return your equipment, but the company is giving you trouble we can help. The first thing you have to do is make sure that you are returning your equipment in the right way. Even big companies have very particular rules for how equipment has to be packaged and regardless of whether you use your own router, at some point you will have to return your modem. Pay attention to the fine print from AT&T.
But companies are always look for ways to make a little more profit and sometimes customers have issues with bogus return fees.
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