Recently, I decided to replace the cable modem/router combo I rent from Xfinity/Comcast, my Internet provider, with two devices I purchased myself: a cable modem and router. This will save me $13 a month in rental fees; plus, Xfinity/Comcast has a tendency to let their rented equipment get long-in-the-tooth before offering to replace it.
Buying my own equipment also allows me to choose the cable modem and router of my choice. I’ll walk you through how I did it, and you can decide if you’d like to take the plunge, s well.
After you buy your new cable modem, you’ll have to have your ISP activate it. I called Xfinity/Comcast and went through the various automated options. I selected the option to “activate equipment” and was told that the new equipment was being activated. It never happened. I suspect that this step only works if you’re replacing rental equipment from your ISP with replacement rental equipment from it.
So I called Xfinity again, navigated through the voice selections, and selected “technical support.” When I finally connected with a real live person, I told them that I wanted to replace the rental products with equipment I purchased.
I gave the rep the model, serial number, and MAC address of the cable modem. She then sent an activation signal to the device and, after about 10 minutes, it was activated. I then connected my new router to the cable modem and set it up. You’re on your own here. Your ISP won’t help you with this step.
Before I disconnected my call with the Xfinity rep, I made sure that she removed the modem fee from my monthly bill. Finally, I had to return the Xfinity modem to Xfinity/Comcast. (Here’s a list of Comcast XFinity service centers.) I had 30 days to return the cable modem before I was charged for the device.
I also made sure to get a receipt when I returned it. I’ve had enough problems with Xfinity/Comcast in the past that I wanted proof I had indeed turned the modem in. By the way, here’s a list of Xfinity/Comcast supported cable modems that are compatible with the company’s network.
If you decide to go with your own modem and router, your process should be pretty similar to mine.