Linksys has been a little quiet since their acquisition by Belkin. They recently launched their latest products and are making the pitch to consumers to invest in their cable modem. Cable Internet providers will charge up to $10 each month to rent the required cable modem from them. You can purchase a compatible cable modem for $60 and break even after only 6 months. After that, you are saving that amount each month.
That is exactly the angle that Linksys is taking with their new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems. The press release directly pitched saving up to $120 a year. Linksys is launching three new modems that are at different levels for different bandwidth speeds. The CM3008 and CM3024 models are available currently while the CM3016 model will launch later this Summer.
You will need to ensure that the modems are compatible with your ISP but Linksys says they are already certified for Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Charter. The CM3008 is compatible for Internet plans up to 100Mbps, the CM3016 up to 250Mbps, and the CM3024 for plans over 250Mbps. The difference comes from bonding channels to reach the higher speeds.
If the rental fee is lower or the modem costs more, it will take a little longer to reach the return-on-investment point. For most cable owners, the CM3008 should suit their needs. It is currently available for under $60 on Amazon.com while the CM3024 runs under $130.
Linksys makes a valid point about saving money by owning your own cable modem, and one could hope for the same outcome with the FCC’s proposal for cable TV boxes, but this may actually be a bad time to invest in your cable modem. DOCSIS 3.1, the next cable Internet standard which can allow for gigabit Internet over the existing coaxial line, is already rolling out in the places and will continue to do so through 2016 and 2017, depending on your ISP. This new technology will require a new modem, either purchased or leased from your Internet provider. If your ISP has shared plans to roll out DOCSIS 3.1 well before you reach your ROI in buying your modem, you might be better off holding out for now.