Should I rent a wireless router, modem, or gateway from Cox… or buy it myself?
Cox requires a modem and router, which they supply to each customer. (They don’t come for free though! See more info below).
Your modem is the small, often lean black box that connects the network you have at home (the thing to which your devices link) to the rest of the internet. The router, by comparison, is a box that allows all the different devices in your home to connect to the internet at the same time, and if there is no internet connection, you can use your router to communicate between devices in your home.
Usually your internet provider gives you a single “combo” box that serves as the router and the modem (this is the wireless gateway). But not all modems will come with routers and not all routers will come with modems and you need to have both for your internet connection to reach your devices and vice versa.
When you create your account with your internet provider, you are automatically signed up to rent a router and modem from them. They will send it to you as part of your new service and you pay for it every month as part of your equipment rental fee. When you end your contract with the company, you have to send it back.
If you’re not looking to use this equipment and pay every month, then when you sign up or when you receive the equipment you’ll have to look for the way to avoid hanging onto it (and paying).
Cox charges $6.99 per month for the rental fee on its single band Wi-Fi modem and the dual band is $9.99 per month.
Let’s do some math based on Cox’s own lost equipment fees—how much they say this hardware is worth A single band Wi-Fi modem costs $129.99, which at $6.99 is paid off in 18.5 months. If you plan to stay with Cox for longer than that, you could spend the same money on a personal device and then save yourself $6.99 every month after those first 18. A dual band modem goes for $149.99, or about 15 months worth of fees.
Of course there are other factors to consider like customer service and how comfortable you are with troubleshooting your technological issues.
If you don’t want to use the equipment from Cox and you want to avoid the equipment rental fee, you can purchase your own equipment as long as it is compatible with the Cox network and then use that and reduce your monthly bill by either $6.99 per month or $9.99 per month depending on the Wi-Fi you have.
You need to make sure firstly that the modem you buy is compatible. Cox has a list of “certified” modem options if you choose to buy one and if you don’t buy from this list, it might not work like you want.
When you use your own equipment instead of the rental equipment, it’s up to you to make sure that you take care of it, change the passwords, update the firmware, and position it so that it is near the center of your home with as few obstructions as possible. This isn’t something that you want to shove in the corner of your office behind your computer monitor and then forget about. If issues arise, you won’t be able to turn to customer service whereas with company equipment there are technicians who can, if absolutely necessary, remotely access your device to push necessary firmware updates or troubleshoot serious problems.
There are plenty of places where you can find out more about which modem and router to buy if you’re looking to replace the equipment you are renting. Just make sure that you do some side-by-side comparisons to make sure that you are getting the internet speed you want, and that what you choose is compatible with your location and your service provider.
If you are having issues with your equipment return, you should contact the company directly to make sure that you are following all of the necessary steps. Sometimes big telecommunications companies aren’t too careful with keeping track of returned equipment so they’ll try and slap bogus equipment return fees on to your closing account. But we can help.
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