Should I buy or rent my modem from my ISP?

Well, May 3rd marks the end of my 2 year Verizon contact. I'm in the process of switching to BrightHouse Networks, but something bothers me. When I was checking out the option of bringing my own modem, I stumbled upon this page: Reading through it, I saw a few catches:

MTAs are required for Home Phone service.
Static IP addresses are not available if you use your own modem.

I'm fine with the first one, as I don't plan on using a home phone service. But I'm planning to have an SSH/SFTP server set up, and I would rather not deal with DYDNS or NoIP.

Now, the modem fee isn't something that I'm concerned about- it's only $4 a month. However, I'd much rather have my own modem than rent one (dumbed down, probably terrible in all regards).

What would you guys do?

A lot of ISPs don't want their customers to know that they can use third party modems.

Buy. It is cheaper in the long run and your not buying something they had built. They tend to like you using thing that gives they more power. Just my 2 cents. Good modems are not that expensive anyways really.

Buy, it is cheaper. On the subject of static IP, usually that is reserved for businesses. So if you want to do something where you will profit using the net. Busineses get static IPs all the time.

I would rent one and see if you get advertised speeds.

Before anyone claims I'm an idiot, let me explain WHY. We bought a modem once. Mediacom would claim every time something went wrong that "Oh sorry sir must be a problem with your modem and that's on you" even when it quite obviously was a problem on their side of things. If you're renting the modem, then they're on the hook to get their butts out there to service it when/if it breaks.

But if their modem sucks buy your own. We got lucky with Mediacom-I mean MediaCrap, theirs is actually functional.

Okay several things here.

  1. In long run buy your own modem.
  2. If new user you can buy your own but as @K4KFH said they may say the issue is your modem, depends on company/tech the send out.
  3. as @Screamapillar said static address are generally for business accounts. just us no-ip its not that big of deal, or as a general rule an ip wont change unless you reset the modem.(YMMV)
  4. Some company's mostly cable ones use the same modems you have available at say Best Buy.(again YMMV)

when we got our internet installed, we had bought a netgear from the nearest walmart, and for some reason, it wouldn't work. the ISP gave us a free one, but i think it's terrible. it also has static IP and i can't figure out how to disable that. (security reasons)

A static IP makes everything easier...why do you want to disable it? If you're looking to be anonymous just use a VPN with IPs that change, or I suppose you could use Tor...

Saying you can't get a static IP and blaming your equipment is nothing but lies to get you to rent there cheap modems. I know it doesn't add much to the discussion but its an odd practice, you don't see that here in the UK, they give you the equipment for free (uusaly to return once you changr ISP) but they do not restrict you for using your own equipment as long as it works. An IP is an IP the equipment you use has nothing to do with it unless there a bad ISP.

I don't suppose you have alternatives?


@Eden I don't know if I am misunderstanding you, but with most American ISPs consumer level service does not have the ability to set a static IP. The ISP sets the IP addresses always. Am I missing something?

I'm sure your right. What I was meaning was the statement that the ISP said a static IP could only be set on their own hardware that you have to rent is a load of crap, in the sense that there is no technical boundary that would stop you using a static IP on any hardware if they provide the IP. The only reason it wouldn't work is if they deliberately put in controls to stop you from using your own equipment with a static IP.

Agree with buying your own modem. I was forced to switch to Comcast due to my living situation and got a Motorola 6141 (quad channel, Docis 3.0) for $50. Come to find out Comcast charges $8 a month (soon to be $10) for a modem rental and it's a crappy Arris modem. The tech who came out to install the service was pretty cool and just pushed the modem activation through, no questions asked. Highly recommend your own equipment and getting a nice router to flash to DD-WRT.

Ah yeah ISPs forcing modem renting annoys me. I mean, the modems you get from an ISP are basically the same ones you can get at the store. The issue being, those are used, and you don't know how worn those circuits have gotten from heat.