Comcast has yet again increased the monthly modem fees for its Xfinity internet service. It went up to $14 per month from $13 per month. That’s $168 per year in modem rental fees. That’s a rip-off. And the modem doesn’t even cost $168! This modem fee is on top of charges for the internet service, which not surprisingly, also goes up every year.
But you can buy your own modem and get rid of Comcast’s modem rental fees. This article will guide you step by step on getting your own modem.
DOCSIS 3.0 vs DOCSIS 3.1
Before you choose a cable modem, let’s understand the basics. DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications. Whether you need a DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 depends on the internet plan you are on. Most ISPs currently operate on DOCSIS 3.0 but DOCSIS 3.1 will be the standard in the future for faster speed If you have a 1 gigabit or higher plan, you will need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
The Comcast gateway device you have is both a modem and a router. To replace it, you don’t have to buy a gateway device. You can buy a modem and router separately. Separating the router and modem gives you the option to upgrade one device at a time in the future. Experts also say that separating the modem and the router results in more reliable internet for your house.
Speed is an important factor in choosing a modem. You don’t have to choose the fastest modem on the market. But choose one that can easily accommodate the speed of your internet plan. If you think you will upgrade your internet speed in the near future, buy a modem that will accommodate that speed. This way you don’t have to replace your modem when you upgrade your internet plan.
Though a lot of modems will work with Xfinity, here are my top recommendations for a modem. Choose your modem based on the speed of your internet plan.
- NETGEAR CM600 (DOCSIS 3.0 modem, can handle up to 400 Mbps download speed)
- Motorola MB8600 (DOCSIS 3.1 modem, can handle up to 1Gbps download speed)
- Netgear CM1000 (DOCSIS 3.1 modem, can handle up to 1Gbps download speed)
- NETGEAR Nighthawk CM2000 (DOCSIS 3.1 modem, can handle up to 2.5Gbps download speed)
Once you have picked a modem, it is time to pick a router.
The router is the device that decides the performance of the internet in your home – how far you can get a wifi signal and how reliable the signal is. There are several other router settings you can choose to personalize the internet connection for your home.
Here are my top 3 router recommendations. These have good reviews on Amazon and are highly recommended.
- TP-Link Archer AXE300 – Best router
- Linksys EA6350 AC1200 – Best budget router
- Asus ZenWiFi AC (CT8) – Best Mesh networking system
Activate your modem with Xfinity
You can activate your modem online with Xfinity. You need to log in to your account on the web or on the Xfinity app and simply follow the steps. Xfinity’s online activation process is very good and works well most of the time. If you are unable to activate online, you can contact Xfinity by calling them. You will be asked for the MAC address and the modem’s serial number. Both can be found at the bottom or on the side of most modems.
Setting up your router
Now that you have activated your modem, connect the modem’s LAN port to the router’s WAN port using a network cable. Re-start the modem after you connect them. Both the router and modem are now set up.
You will need to set up the name of your network and a password to keep your wifi secure. Each router has a slightly different way of setting up the router but it is not too complicated. The whole process should take you about 10 to 20 minutes.
Return your modem to Xfinity
This is obviously a very important step. Otherwise, Xfinity will keep charging you a monthly fee. You can drop them off at any Xfinity location. Remember to get a receipt. Some customers have reported that Comcast told them that it has not received its modem back even though the customers have returned them and continued charging a modem rental fee.
Have you replaced your Xfinity gateway with your modem? What was your experience?