Gephardt busts inflation: Is saving hundreds on your internet bill worth the hassle?

Jun 16, 2022, 6:09 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 10:01 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — When you sign up for internet, you need a modem to connect and router for your home’s Wi-Fi. But most internet service providers charge you to use their equipment, on top of what you pay for their plan. But did you know you can buy your own and potentially save hundreds of dollars? The thing is, it’s not necessarily that simple.

Most of us are charged around $64 dollars a month for home internet. But look at your bill and that is probably not even close to what you actually pay. You have fees, taxes, and for millions of us, you have a fairly large chuck of change going to rental fees. That modem your service provider gave you — you pay them a rental fee on it every month. So, the question is: could you save money by simply buying your own?

KSL’s Matt Gephardt took it to Starwest Computers in Bountiful, where owner Josh Holley said they field questions about buying versus renting internet gear all the time.

“Owning one is definitely less expensive,” Holley said.

How much less?

The KSL Investigators went online and found a solid, gigabit speed cable modem/router combo that’s compatible with Xfinity for $170. Xfinity leases a modem/router combo for $14-per-month, so a two-year agreement means paying $336. Buying your own at $170 dollar trims your internet bill by $166. Hold onto it for three years, the savings goes up to $334. For four years, it is $502. Or even five years use will save you $670 compared to the rental fee.

Josh Holley of Starwest Computers goes over the pros and cons of buying your own internet gear versus renting it.

But while buying can save in the long run, Holley said sometimes renting just makes more sense, especially if you’re tech averse.

“It can be a real hassle to set up your own router,” he said.

Do not expect much customer support from the internet provider if your third-party modem goes down. And if it is down for the count, the cost to replace it is on you, not the provider. But the real benefit to renting is that modems and routers, like computers, tend to evolve every couple of years.

“So, as they come out with new Wi-Fi’s, you’d have to buy new routers to keep up with that technology and get the true speed that you’re supposedly paying for or closer to,” Holley said.

The longer you hold on to your gear, the more it will pay off. But you may be eager to upgrade before it becomes obsolete.

In the end, it is a personal decision. You are trading money for potential hassle.

If you do decide to buy to save on rental fees, Holley said you should check the internet provider’s website to see what devices are compatible with its network.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Cybersecurity experts caution shoppers to take it slow while shopping online

For many of us, Christmastime is magical. For scammers, it’s especially magical. Here's what to beware of when shopping online.
4 days ago
Gephardt makes butter...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can you save money by making your own butter?

Prices for groceries are up, but the price we pay for butter is way, way up – to the point it will impact your holiday baking budget.
5 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Packed holiday flights: How SLC Int’l stacks up against US’s largest airports in delays and cancelations

Travelers, brace yourselves: holiday flights will be packed.
5 days ago
Jennifer Steele holding her daughters GPS watch. (KSL-TV)...
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Safety feature or distraction? Debate over kid-tracking watches in the classroom

A mom says it’s about safety. Her school says it’s a distraction. Where is the line when it comes to smartwatches in the classroom? KSL’s Matt Gephardt investigates.
10 days ago
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Received a package delivery text? Scammers are luring Utahns with fake tracking alerts

Utahns are getting targeted by scammers sending out fake delivery notices.
11 days ago
Utah Legislators talking about the bill (KSL-TV)...
Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL-TV

Utah bill would limit how and when police can see your old location data

Want to know if police have your location data? A Utah lawmaker wants them to tell you – and the state – if they got it from tech companies. A pending legislative proposal won early approval from lawmakers.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Gephardt busts inflation: Is saving hundreds on your internet bill worth the hassle?