[PLUG-TALK] Cable modems: rent or buy?

Richard Powell plug at hackhawk.net
Tue Mar 1 14:33:50 PST 2011

 From personal experience, the SMC modems provided by Comcast are flaky 
at best.  They continually require reboot in order to reset their DHCP 
server which often crashes on a network of more than one local computer. 
  Seen this happen at multiple locations.

I prefer a Linksys that can be purchased from Best Buy or Frys.  No more 
instability after replacing the SMC's at each location.

So, if there's ANY savings at all to buying instead of renting, I 
recommend buying.


On 3/1/2011 2:18 PM, Michael M. Moore wrote:
> A case manager I know called me about a client of hers who is currently
> getting Internet access (and cable TV, I'm pretty sure) via Comcast.
> The client is on fixed or limited income (probably disability) and
> trying to pare down his or her expenses, and the case manager is trying
> to help.  She noticed that there's a hefty monthly charge on the
> client's bill for modem rental and wondered if it would make sense to
> buy a modem outright.  She called me because she thinks of me as
> "techy."  (Aside:  It's amazing how little one has to do or know to be
> thought of as technically proficient or knowledgeable amongst friends
> and acquaintances who don't do much more with computers than browse the
> Internet or send email.  Just let it slip that you installed a Linux OS,
> and suddenly you're some kind of guru, even when you aren't.  That, of
> course, is only after you explain what an "operating system" is.)
> I am not now nor have I ever been a Comcast customer, nor have I ever
> used cable for Internet access.  I did once have cable TV, but I just
> paid the monthly bill without thinking much about whether it would make
> sense for me to buy equipment.  So I don't know much about how it works
> or what the options are regarding buying modems.  Can anyone offer any
> insight?  Can you even buy your own modem?  Are there gotchas you have
> to watch out for?  Does it make financial sense?
> I know here lie real gurus, and I know many here are Comcast customers,
> so I was hoping someone could give me some tips about upsides and downsides.
> Thanks,
> Michael
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