Beat the Comcast cable modem price hikes -- buy your own

Last week it was announced that Comcast plans to increase the cost of renting a cable modem from $3 to $5 a month -- an increase of 66% or $24 a year. Comcast points to the cost of new technology for the increase, telling Multichannel news that it reflects a cost increase to Comcast of 167%.

Sure, $2 a month isn't going to break your budget. But it's actually very easy to buy your cable modem and cut the whole rental fee off your bill, which could save you $60 a year in fees. Getting your own cable modem is simple,and pretty much anyone paying rental fees for a modem can buy their own and save in the long run.

Lockergnome.com points to two popular Motorola cable modems for sale at Amazon.com that are compatible with Comcast and will be paid for in just over a year's time. The Motorola SB6120 Surfboard is compatible with the newest technology which will give you higher speeds when the tech rolls out at Comcast, and the Motorola SB5101, which costs less than you'd pay for a year's worth of rental and still provides great speeds. There are also other deals to be found be searching for sales and looking on eBay.

If you don't have Comcast or your modem isn't one of those listed above, just look at the bottom of your modem to find out what its model number is. Searching for it or taking it into your local electronics store should provide you with some prices and alternatives.

If buying your own modem doesn't sound like your way to beat the fee increase, you could always call up your cable company and ask for a discount. It's surprisingly easy, and if you don't do it at least once a year you're probably paying too much or paying for channels you don't watch. If you call for a discount, don't mention any competitors by name because this will just give the representative the opportunity to list the bad things about the competitor. All you have to do is ask for a break on pricing and cite "other offers." Since it's costly to get a new customer, the odds are good that you'll get a discount.

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