The tiny little box your cable company doesn’t want you to know about

“Each and every month, your ISP slaps you with a charge of $5, $7 or even $10 for a cable modem rental fee,” Maren Estrada reports for BGR. “Can you believe that? You have to pay an extra $5 to $10 each month just so you can pay $40, $60, even $80 or more for home Internet service. And if you’re cable company is really awful, they charge you even more for a wireless router.”

Estrada writes, “It’s absolutely ridiculous, and it’s time to make it stop.”

“What your cable company doesn’t tell you is that you don’t have to use their equipment and pay those ridiculous fees each month,” Estrada reports. “And right now, you can save even more money thanks to a one-day sale on Amazon. The nation’s biggest online retailer typically sells the NETGEAR DOCSIS 3.0 High Speed Cable Modem for $119.99 but it’s just $99.99 right now [US79.99 is what we’re currently seeing – MDN Ed.], and the NETGEAR AC1600 WiFi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router usually goes for $169.95, but, for the time being, it’s just $129.99. Both models work with all the top cable companies…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We did this long ago in our homes and offices, except we use $69 ARRIS Touchstone Cable Modem CM820 DOCSIS 3.0 8×4 boxes.


  1. Cable companies here don’t charge for the box. They include the ‘rental’ free of charge when you sign a contract. As a result, the only benefit you get from buying your own is not being locked into a contract.

    1. What we poor Americans are not aware of is that in Europe, France in particular, they get the triple play for about 30 euros/month: cable, Internet and phone, and that includes really high speed fibre right into the house. Yeah. About 30 euros. Here we pay $130-160 for the same service. It’s true. We are getting sooo ripped off.

        1. A perfect example! Thanks! I know about France from personal experience and having done a lot of comparative research on all the providers and what they cost. In Nice, France there are at least 4 solid providers, all fibre right into your house, and all competing to be the lowest cost. Here in the Boston area I have 2 viable wired providers and only one is fibre. Yeah, you know which one.

          1. I also have pay-as-you go service for my iPhone. I add about $25 to my account every 2-3 months. I think my ATT Unlimited plan back in California would sooner throttle me than I would ever come close to using up the money through data on my account here. Its probably this way in France too.

  2. Recommend renting their cable modem since any issue you might have is first blamed on your customer-supplied equipment. If you rent then they are responsible for everything to your computer. Might not be important for a typical customer but if it is mission critical such as for work it is worth it.

  3. I have a business line w/Comcast. They included it for free until one day they didn’t and called me and told me they were going to retro charge me a month or so back. I told them I didn’t want their box and went and bought a modem. Then I bought a separate router. The modem is the Motorola SB6141. Never had a problem with it. Then if you want to upgrade wifi, you can leave the modem in place.

  4. MDN is a little late about this.
    I have been using my own MODEM/router for many years.
    All the cable companiesnin my area have always charged for both the cable boxes and the MODEM/router boxes.
    Both Comcast and Charter cable started with charging $5 a month for the MODEM.
    Both are up to $7 a month.
    For that price, it’s cheaper to just outright purchase a MODEM/router from any big electronics store that will be used for a few years and pay for itself in one year of use.

  5. No cable or satellite for me! Internet only. I can’t stand the news that is only about terrible human behaviour and if I want news that is fit to watch, I watch business news online. I also don’t watch sports and prefer to play sports rather than sit on a couch getting fat. Netflix and Apple TV for entertainment.

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