How to stop paying modem/router rental costs

Many Internet service providers (ISPs) charge a 10-15 dollar monthly fee to rent a modem/router. When you purchase your own equipment, you can stop paying modem/router rental costs. It is easier than you might think.

Many computer users think that setting up and managing the network from a third party modem/router is difficult. With the correct purchase, it can be quite easy.

Most ISPs will provide updated equipment every few years to people who rent their equipment. If you purchase your own equipment, you should expect to replace it periodically as well.

Purchasing the Device(s)

When purchasing this equipment, you need to decide if they want to have a modem/router combination or two separate pieces of equipment.

Either choice is fine. For ease of setup, and to save space, purchasing the combo may be the best choice. If a mesh wifi system is going to be set up, purchasing separately may be best.

Each equipment provider will offer a list of compatible devices on their website.

Devices will often list in their product description which providers their product is compatible with. Often, it will even be on the box.

The entire setup will usually cost from $100-$500 dollars depending on speed and quality of the device(s). Devices that work with fast internet plans, around 600+ Mbps, will be more expensive.

For basic Internet speed plans, from 200-400 Mbps, consumers will usually pay around $100-$250 dollars.

Set Up

Each ISP offers their own method for setting up a newly purchased device.

The first step is to plug the device(s) into a power source, and then into the coaxial port in the wall (the “cable”).

Once that is complete, the ISP may offer an option for self activation through an app or on their website. If not, a call to the company’s customer service department will allow you to walk through the steps.

During either of these processes users will need to input or give the Mac Address of the device, which will be located on a sticker on the purchased device.

Once this address is input, whether in self activation or through customer service, the device should take a few minutes to activate.

Router Access/Management

Once activated, users will see an IP address on the sticker consisting of numbers. There will be four sets of numbers separated by periods, such as

To access the router settings, each device will have generic credentials to log in initially. Usually some form of Admin for the username, and a generic password.

Once in, users will set their own log in credentials. This allows for management of the device. The most important is the ability to change the name of the wifi network, as well as the password. It is important to remember that the credentials to access the router settings are different than what is used for the WiFi Network name and password.

To simplify here is an example:
Router Access Username: SDM Foundation
Router Access Password: CreatedPassword123!
Network Name: SDM Foundation-Guest
Network Password: CreatedPassword456@

Keep in mind the more complex a password, that harder it will be for anyone to get into the network. 12+ Characters with at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and one symbol is the most secure option.


Once all of these steps are complete, users should be all set to start using the wifi network, without having to pay the 15 dollars a month to rent the ISP’s equipment. Now you can stop paying modem/router rental costs.

If you have specific questions about how to ditch modem/router rental costs, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

Scroll to Top