With everyone spending more time at home due to the pandemic, it’s even more important to have a fast, reliable internet connection. If you’re still using the router provided by your ISP, it could be slowing down your WiFi and making your network less secure. Although replacing your router requires a pretty significant upfront cost, it’s worth the investment. Whether your internet provider is HughesNet, EarthLink, Verizon, AT&T, or any others, here are the five main reasons why you should stop renting your router from your ISP and buy your own.
Storebought routers are cheaper
Many providers charge a $5 to $10 monthly rental fee for their WiFi routers. Although this doesn’t sound like a lot of money, it adds up to hundreds of dollars if you rent the equipment for a few years. In the long run, it’s much cheaper to buy your own router. A basic one only costs around $50, so it will pay for itself in a year or less.
Your ISP’s router could be outdated
If you rent a router from your provider, you don’t have any control over which model you get. It could be outdated and slow down your internet, causing you to lose out on the high speeds you’re paying for. Check the specs on your ISP’s router to see if it can handle the maximum speed your internet plan offers. If it falls short, it’s a good idea to replace it.
Storebought routers have better features
If you need another reason to ditch your ISP’s equipment, storebought routers usually have higher quality features like expanded parental controls. Most models come with advanced content filtering capabilities and apps that allow you to monitor your children’s online activity from anywhere. Many ISP-provided routers either have limited parental controls or don’t have them at all.
Storebought routers also have better bandwidth prioritization, enabling you to reserve more bandwidth for certain devices to enhance your browsing experience. They even make it easier to set up mesh networks that spread the WiFi signal throughout your home so you don’t have any dead zones.
Another plus is that storebought routers have guest network features, which many ISP routers don’t support. Guest network tools create a custom password you can give to visitors so you don’t have to share your private network’s login details. This will help keep your files and other data safe and make your network more secure.
Rented routers are usually less secure
Rented routers have a number of features that make them less secure, including backdoor access. ISPs set up their routers so their technicians can access them remotely if customers have technical issues they need help with. Unfortunately, this makes their routers more vulnerable to attack. If hackers can guess the password, which is usually generated by a publicly available algorithm, they’ll be able to steal your data and change your router’s settings so they can get back into your network whenever they want. Luckily storebought routers don’t typically have this feature.
Another benefit of buying your own router is that you’re free to make changes that will beef up your network. You’ll be able to use third-party firmware and DNS servers that will make your router faster and more secure. Most cable companies don’t allow you to use third-party firmware and can be slow to release important updates that will help keep your data safe, so it may be best to replace your ISP’s router if you’re concerned about network security.
Customers who buy their own routers are more satisfied
Buying your own router requires an upfront investment of both money and time. You’ll need to install the router yourself and make sure you keep up with firmware updates to secure your network. But most customers find that it’s worth the effort and are more satisfied with their own router than the ones offered by their ISP.
According to a recent survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, people who bought their router ranked the value of their purchase at 72 on a 100 point scale. On the other hand, customers who rented their router from their ISP only rankedthe value at 66. People who own their router were also more satisfied with its reliability of service, range, and security than consumers who rent theirs.
Replacing your ISP’s router with a storebought model can save you money, give you a faster, more secure internet connection, and make you more satisfied with your WiFi overall. If you can afford it, we highly recommend purchasing your own router instead of relying on your provider’s equipment.