Comcast Xfinity Raises their Modem Rental Fee Again. Stop Paying it.

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 xFi annual modem rental fee $168! If you have opted for the “xFi Complete”, as of late 2020 your cost is now $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?

Comcast Xfinity raises modem rental fee

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 My Account to see your plan, charges, and fees anytime.

Bolded emphasis on “equipment charges”, e.g. gateway/modem/router/TV Box/DVR 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 “xFi” modem/gateway 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:

  1. Buy a compatible modem and router (see links and recommendations below)
  2. Call your ISP’s 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).
  3. Connect your devices.
  4. Return your leased 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.
  5. Double-check your next billing statement to make sure the modem rental fee is removed (it may be prorated until 2 months out). Contact customer service to make sure they remove the modem rental fee, if it is still there.

What Should I Replace my Comcast Modem/Router with?

Comcast touts their gateways (a modem + 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

Recommended Modems (to pair with routers below):

  1. Motorola MB8611: up to 2.33 Gbps
  2. Netgear CM2000: up to 2.33 Gbps
  3. Arris S33: up to 2.33 Gbps

If you want Xfinity Voice, go with either the Netgear CM2050v (up to 2.33 Gbps) or Arris T25 (up to 949 Mbps). 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 and router combined in 1 device), I don’t recommend that because they aren’t as reliable and you can’t upgrade one half, but the Arris G36 (up to 2.33 Gbps and WiFi 6) and Netgear CAX30 (up to 949 Mbps and WiFi 6) are good value options.

Recommended Routers (to pair with modem above):

All offer great value and blazing fast speeds.

  1. TP-Link AX3000 – WiFi 6: up to 3 Gbps (2.402 Gbps on 5GHz band + 575 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
  2. TP-Link AX1800 – WiFi 6: up to 1.8 Gbps (1.2 Gbps on 5 GHz band + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
  3. Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 – WiFi 6: up to 1.8 Gbps (1.2 Gbps on 5 GHz band + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
  4. TP-Link AC1750 – WiFi 5: up to 1.75 Gbps (1.2 Gbps on 5GHz band + 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)

With most of these modem and router combos, you will pay a 1-time cost and then save the $168 or $300 annually that Xfinity will charge and then save that amount for many years to come. Why wouldn’t you make the switch?

Update: you can now also replace your Xfinity DVR & TV Box with your own compatible streaming device like a Roku or Smart TV, saving another $8.50 per month ($102/year) for the first device and $7.50/month ($90/year) for each additional device.

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