That’s a very good question. If you have oodles of spare money, don’t have the time or inclination to find an easier solution, don’t want the hassle of shopping around and don’t mind the monthly rental fees then perhaps renting a router from your ISP is the route for you.
But if you’re looking to save money and want better internet speeds as well as reach in your home, then you should definitely consider purchasing your own router. Buying your own router is a HUGE money saver. I’m sure you’ve noticed that your internet speed is not as optimal as you would like, that is largely due to the age of your router.
If you are renting it, chances are that your ISP has provided you with a model that has quite a few years on it. It’s logical, why would they invest in a top of the line model when an older one does the same job well enough. But that’s the thing – you don’t want ‘well enough’, you want the best so you get the speeds you actually pay for.
The older the model, the less it can handle the high speeds or the user/ device load. Also, once you’re locked in for a certain plan, you’re stuck until that locked in period is over. If anything goes wrong with your rental router, you’ll get free replacements or troubleshooting help from your ISP, but if you need to be online quickly – it’s easier to just go to the store and buy your own and get connected within the hour.
A great advantage for buying your own is that you get more features and additional hardware that your ISP provided router may not have. A good example would be if you subscribed for high speed internet but your router is only an N or worse. You can buy your own 802.11ac which help you get the speeds you paid for. Additional features like dynamic DNS may help you if you want to access servers which are running on your local network, or QoS features to focus on your network traffic.
If you’re a tech geek like me, you may want to get your own custom firmware for your router which will enable you to control various tools on your router as well as use it to run different servers, which won’t be possible with a rented router from your ISP.
This is simply a choice of getting more power and choice for your money and saving cash as well. If you think about it, a mid range router could be obtained in the range of $100 and if you pay as little as $8 per month as rental fees, your new router would pay for itself within the year. No matter which ways you look at it, you’re saving big time. Just make sure that the router you decide to purchase has gigabit network pots so that you’re set for a long while even if your internet connection is upgraded in the future.