They did it again. In January of 2023, Comcast Xfinity raised their modem rental fee price to $15/month, up from $14 previously (in addition to a number of other price increases). This makes Xfinity’s xFi annual modem rental fee $180! If you have opted for the “xFi Complete” option, your cost was previously increased to $25/month ($300 per year)!
The new modem rental price increases 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 with them?
It turns out, they can. Xfinity states the following on a Xfinity price changes page:
If you have a promotional price or minimum-term agreement for specific services, prices for those services won’t change until that period is over. However, taxes and fees such as equipment charges, the Broadcast TV Fee and Regional Sports Network Fee, and service to additional TVs may change as needed. View your billing statement in your account to see your plan, charges, and fees anytime.
Bolded emphasis on “equipment charges”, e.g. gateway/modem/router/TV Box/DVR devices. In addition to raising their modem rental fee, Xfinity also raised their TV box fee from $8.50 to $10 per month ($120 per year). The good news is that you can replace your Xfinity DVR & TV Box with your own compatible streaming device like a Roku, Amazon Fire stick, Apple TV, or Chromecast, saving you that $10 per month ($120/year) per device.
Fortunately, you can wipe out that Xfinity modem rental fee cost as well.
Cutting your Comcast Modem Rental Fee to Nothing is Easy
$180 per year ($15 x 12 months) is a steep price to pay to simply borrow an Xfinity “xFi” modem/gateway that is not yours to own when you can get the same or better speed and reliability from your own devices. 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 and cut your Comcast bill (without having to negotiate with Comcast). 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 my recommendations below).
- Connect your devices.
- Call Xfinity tech support to activate your new modem (if it does not activate online using these instructions when you plug it in). Xfinity’s customer service number is 1-800-934-6489 (1-800-XFINITY).
- Return your leased modem – and get a receipt in case they try to charge you (keep an eye on future bills to make sure the modem rental fee is removed)! Here is a list of Xfinity’s store locations where you can return your device.
What Should I Replace my Comcast Modem/Router with?
Comcast touts their gateways (a wired modem + wireless router combo housed in 1 device) 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. I personally recommend I have spent days researching every Xfinity compatible modem and recommend the Motorola MB8611 modem and pairing it with TP-Link AX1800 router. If you want Voice (VOIP) capabilities, you can connect an Ooma to your router. More on that below.
Recommended Modems (to pair with routers below):
- Motorola MB8611: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
- Arris S33: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
- Netgear CM2000: up to 2330Mbps (DOCSIS 3.1)
If you want Xfinity Voice, go with either the Netgear CM2050v (up to 2330Mbps) or Arris T25 (up to 949Mbps). Note: you can just as easily (and at a big cost savings) add landline voice (VOIP) functionality by connecting an Ooma device to your router.
If you want a gateway (modem + router combined in 1 device), I don’t recommend that because they aren’t as reliable, are pricier, and you can’t upgrade one half, but the Arris G36 (up to 2330Mbps modem and a Wi-Fi 6 router) and Netgear CAX30 (up to 949Mbps modem and a Wi-Fi 6 router) are good value options.
Recommended Routers (to pair with modem above):
All offer great value and blazing fast speeds.
- TP-Link AX3000 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 3000Mbps (2402Mbps on the 5GHz band + 575Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- TP-Link AX1800 – Wi-Fi 6: up to 1800Mbps (1200Mbps on the 5 GHz band + 574Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 Wi-Fi 6: up to 1800Mbps (1200Mbps on the 5 GHz band + 574Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
I also recently took a look at the new Wi-Fi 6E versus Wi-Fi 6 versus Wi-Fi 5 technology to determine if Wi-Fi 6E is worth the cost. Comcast has recently been advertising its Xfinity “Supersonic Wi-Fi” offering. Broken down, “Supersonic Wi-Fi” is really just Xfinity’s fastest (and highest cost) internet tiers (Gigabit or Ultrafast plans) paired with a new Wi-Fi 6E router (which they are marketing as the “Supersonic Gateway” as part of their package Xfinity “Supersonic Bundle” deal). Here are 3 of the most popular Wi-Fi 6E routers on the market at the moment:
- TP-Link AXE5400: up to 5400Mbps (2402 Mbps on the 6GHz, 2402Mbps on the 5GHz band, 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band) – if you want the latest Wi-Fi technology – this would be my choice.
- Asus RT-AXE7800: up to 5400Mbps (2402 Mbps on the 6GHz, 4804Mbps on the 5GHz band, 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band)
- Amazon eero Pro: up to 1300Mbps
With most of these modem and router combos, you will pay a 1-time cost and then save the $180 (xFi gateway) or $300 annually (xFi complete) that Xfinity will charge, and then save that amount for many years to come. It’s really not that hard, I promise. Buy a modem and a router, connect your cable internet line, power them up, and you’re good to go! Money in the bank.