They did it again. In January of 2020, Comcast Xfinity raised their modem rental fee to $14, up from $13 previously. This makes Xfinity’s annual modem rental fee $168!
If you have opted for the “xFi Advantage“, your cost was already $15/month! ($180 per year)
The new modem rental price increase quietly hit customer’s bills, with notification buried deep on pages 4 and 5 of the prior month’s bill. Can Comcast raise modem rental and other fees, even if you have a contracted package price?
It turns out they can. Xfinity states the following on a “Service Price and Fee Changes” page:
If you are currently receiving Xfinity services with a promotion or a minimum-term agreement associated with a specific rate, or in the guaranteed period of one of our SurePrice plans*, the prices for those specific services will not change during the applicable period. However, the following may change at any time during the promotion period:
- Taxes and fees
- The Broadcast TV Fee and the Regional Sports Network Fee
- Equipment charges
- Charges for service to additional TVs
- Other additional services
Bolded emphasis on “Equipment charges”, e.g. gateway/modem/router devices.
What can you do to fight this injustice? It turns out, a lot.
Cutting your Comcast Modem Rental Fee to Nothing is Easy
$168 per year ($14 x 12 months) is a steep price to pay to simply borrow an Xfinity modem. And while Comcast’s modem rental prices keep going up, the actual price for you to purchase equipment that is at least as equally as functional as Comcast’s has steeply declined.
This makes the prospect of ditching your rented Comcast Xfinity modem/router for your own even more lucrative than it has been in the past.
I’ve previously written about how to replace your Xfinity modem with your own as the most efficient way to get rid of your Xfinity modem rental fee. The process is the same as replacing any ISP’s modem with your own, so this lesson is applicable to any ISP that allows you to do so:
- Buy a compatible modem and router (see links and recommendations below)
- Call your ISP’s tech support to activate your new modem (if it does not activate online at xfinity.com/activate when you plug it in). Xfinity’s customer service # is 1 (800) 934-6489.
- Connect your devices.
- Return your leased ISP modem – and get a receipt in case they try to charge you! Here is a list of Xfinity’s store locations where you can return your device.
- Contact customer service to make sure they remove the modem rental fee. And double-check your next billing statement.
What Should I Replace my Comcast Modem/Router with?
Comcast touts their gateways (a modem + router combo housed in 1 unit) as something special. They aren’t. Any of the following Comcast-supported modem/router combinations will have similar function at today’s (and the foreseeable future’s) connection speeds:
All are priced around $90 and under, compatible with Xfinity Comcast (& many other ISP’s), and are top sellers on Amazon.
- ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 (32×8) – up to 859 Mbps
- NETGEAR CM700 (32×8) – up to 935 Mbps
- Motorola MB7621 (24×8) – up to 845 Mbps
If you really want Comcast Voice or 1 Gbps speed, you could splurge on the Arris T25, but that seems like overkill.
All handle speeds of at least 300 Mbps + 900 Mbps with dual band (2.4 & 5 GHz, respectively), strong WiFi range, & are highly rated Amazon best sellers, under $70.
With these prices, this means you will pay AT MOST $120 for the modem and router combo of your choice, pocket at least $48 in savings within the first year, and then save at least $168 annually for many years to come. Why wouldn’t you make the switch?
Update: you can now replace your Xfinity DVR & TV Box with your own compatible streaming device like a Roku or Smart TV, saving another $5 per month, per device!