It's bad enough you have to pay such exorbitant rates for broadband Internet access, but a modem rental fee on top of that? Horrors!
In fact, if you're a Comcast subscriber, you may have noticed that the monthly tab for modem rental is now $7. That's $84 per year.
Luckily, there's no law that says you have to lease Comcast's modem (thank goodness, as some other ISPs have started making it mandatory). If you bring your own, you can save that cash instead.
And here's one of the best deals I've seen: Cisco has the refurbished Linksys DPC3008 cable modem for $37.99 shipped when you apply coupon code HSDISH5 at checkout.
Update: Apologies, folks, looks like this is sold out already. I honestly didn't think a cable modem would be quite so popular. But keep checking with the site, as they may release more inventory.
This particular modem is designed especially for Comcast, though there are other makes and models that will work. (I myself use a Motorola SurfBoard.)
Once you've received the modem, you'll just need to call Comcast and tell them you want to stop renting their box and start using your own. They'll ask you for some numbers off the unit, and from there it should be pretty smooth sailing. (Don't let them talk you into a service call; it's literally a matter of disconnecting your old modem and then putting the new one in its place. Also, watch your monthly bill to make sure they don't continue to charge you for the rental -- which you'll probably need to return to your local Comcast office.)
At that price, you'll recoup your investment in six months, and each month after that you'll have an extra $7 in your pocket.
In case you're wondering, the DPC3008 features a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and supports IPv6. Because it's refurbished, it comes with a 90-day warranty.
I've been rent-free with Comcast for as long as I can remember, and it's been great (especially when it raised its rental price to $7 from $3). If you use the service, I can't think of any reason not to own your own modem.
By the way, if you are indeed with another ISP, it's worth a phone call to see if they'll let you BYO modem. If so, hit up eBay and you should be able to find something compatible in the same price range.
Bonus deal: As you may have heard, Barnes & Noble just cut prices on its Nook tablets. At the low end, the Nook Color e-reader now sells new for $149. But you can still score a refurbished Nook Color on eBay for $129 shipped and get the same one-year warranty. I've occasionally seen it for less, but that's still a terrific deal on a 7-inch e-reader you can easily make over into a full-blown Android tablet.
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