When you subscribe to Spectrum, you can pay a monthly fee to rent a certified modem from them. You’re also given the choice between renting or buying your own personal router to set up your network.
From a quick glance, both options look equally beneficial. However, making the right call isn’t easy. Different circumstances call for different solutions. Getting a satisfactory performance and being cost-efficient usually are the most pressing matters at hand. Which one works better in the long run? We’ll find out.
Should I buy or rent a Spectrum router?
The differences between renting and buying a router from Spectrum are vast. Comparing both, it’s easy to see the benefits each one presents. Likewise, both alternatives have shortcomings. Depending on the expected user experience, you can favor one over the other.
The most relevant facts when deciding between buying a personal router or renting one from Spectrum are:
Buying a personal router
Buying keeps you from paying an additional monthly fee to Spectrum for the router. But it also means that it’s mostly up to you to set up your network. If you don’t know what you’re doing, this can end up backfiring on you.
If you’re buying your personal router, you need to check that it’s compatible with your service provider. To get the most out of your network, you need a router capable of matching your connection’s speed. That means ensuring you buy a router that’s authorized by Spectrum to work with your applicable speed.
The most appealing side of buying is being able to choose a router that has the features you need. When you’re buying, you can decide to cut some corners too. It’s your call whether to spend a considerable amount of money or to look for the cheapest router available.
However, buying has the downside of making you responsible for the care and maintenance of your router. You’re expected to be careful with a rented router too, but Spectrum takes care of the maintenance. They also replace your router when it’s completely damaged, or made obsolete by newer standards.
Giving up on Spectrum’s technical support team is regrettable, but you can buy a router with warranty policies to compensate. If you do that, you’ll have someone to call when things aren’t working properly.
The benefits of buying a personal router:
- Being able to choose your router
- Saves you money in the long run
- You can upgrade your router anytime
- Doesn’t rely on Spectrum’s technical support.
The downsides of buying a personal router:
- You have to do maintenance to the router
- It’s up to you to replace it if needed
- Costs you more money upfront.
Renting a router from Spectrum
On the other hand, renting a router from Spectrum comes with a fair share of advantages. The assurance of receiving a router that’s a good match for your connection parameters comes as a relief. It saves you the time needed to find a personal router that complains to Spectrum requirements.
Besides, Spectrum only issues routers that have been thoroughly tested to pass a certification test. Those certification tests are constantly raising their standards to keep up with new technologies. When your router is no longer able to match a new speed tier, Spectrum will give you a better one.
Another benefit of renting is having a technical support team at your disposal. Most routers malfunction at some point in time, and it’s great to have some else taking care of it. However, shall the malfunction be caused by your negligence, you could end up paying a penalty fee.
Read also: is it better to rent or buy Verizon Router?
But it’s important to remember that renting implies paying extra for your internet service every month. In the long run, you will spend more on a rented router than you would if you bought one. But you get additional benefits from renting, like technical support and such.
The benefits of renting from Spectrum:
- You can count on Spectrum’s technical support
- Spectrum upgrades your router when needed
- You get a great router for a reasonable fee
- Connection speed is ensured by Spectrum
The downsides of renting from Spectrum:
- Ends up being more expensive over time
- The only Spectrum can do maintenance to the router
- You’re limited to Spectrum’s router availability
Renting vs Buying (Spectrum vs Personal Modem)
Overall, making a decision between both alternatives is a matter of personal circumstances. Buying is a choice favored by most people because it’s more cost-efficient. But renting is smart when you are looking for a temporary solution.
Another instance of renting being the right thing to do is when you aren’t sure whether or not you’re sticking to Spectrum. It’s a way to avoid committing yourself to a router that may not be compatible with another service provider.
When renting, Spectrum takes care of the necessary maintenance tasks. On the other hand, buying implies the duty to perform such a job. Considering that, renting could be more appropriate for those who don’t have the time to worry about things like that.
However, if you’re looking to set up a custom network to accommodate your needs, you should buy instead. You get to pay for every feature you require and avoid those that you don’t. You can also make changes to the firmware without worrying about receiving a reprimand from Spectrum.
Buying, in most cases, is the best alternative. It saves you money while giving you the freedom to choose the router of your liking. Renting, however, it’s still a valid choice and an easy solution. Both are effective ways to set up your network, but buying a router comes on top by giving you more for less money.
Nonetheless, renting a router from Spectrum should be considered by any consumer that’s unsure about switching to Spectrum. If you rush to buy an expensive router compatible with Spectrum, you might find it not working with other providers. In that case, you can rent a router and use it until you make any final decisions on the matter. Take the time to carefully evaluate both alternatives before choosing.