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Why do ISP give out modem/router combo?


Nov 9, 2016
It's so annoying to deal with the modem/router combo when trying to setup your network with a better router. I used to have internet with a company that installed a modem, and then gave you a separate router. It's just so easy to install a new router.

It's not too hard to setup, but it's not convenient. ISP should give you the option if you just want a modem and that's it.

Another huge disadvantage is that a modem most of the time is going to be placed somewhere hidden, because it has to connect to the fibre cable. Many people I know need to place the modem behind a sofa or a bed or some furniture. Some people need to have it on the floor. That right there, invalidates the built-in router because you're supposed to have the router on the open to get good signal.

So what do you do? You still need to get a separate router anyway! These modem/router combo only work for people who have small offices or business that have only 1 or 2 rooms. Whoever came up with the idea to make them like this, he sucks!

disclaimer: I'm in a complaining mood. Sorry in advance.
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Dec 5, 2008
Well at least with Comcast they let you use your own as long as it's certified. And since they now charge $10 (might be $12 now) to "lease" their modem I bought my own years ago. Even paid to upgrade it a few years ago to use the higher speed. I totally get why ISP do the combo though vast majority of their customer don't know jack about jack so combo makes it easier to support for them.


Aug 3, 2010
a cave outside of Whoville.
And often, they will charge a rental fee for that piece of shit hardware. I've seen some ISPs around my area that add $9.99/month for it. So, in the course of the 2-year contract you have to take on, you've just spent $240 on a piece of shit modem+router combination that is going to make your internet worse and you don't even own it.


Gold Member
Aug 20, 2019
Money, of course. Grinchy’s comment just streamed in, and exactly. They want to make you dependent on more expensive hardware, then overcharge you for it on top of that.

The stuff we put up with and normalize is ridiculous.
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Apr 25, 2020
To make money off of rental fees from ignorant customers that aren't aware they can buy their own and avoid the fees.
I know this is mostly an American thing but what about other countries? It's just cheaper to buy a combo unit in bulk then to order separates, combine that with vendor specific firmware to eliminate as much problems as possible and that's pretty much your answer, come to Europe, most ISP's will give out Modem/Routers like candy, you CAN opt out and just request the connection details and activation date but majority will still send one out anyway in case of line issues in the future since their staff is only trained to deal with their own hardware and firmware guidelines.


There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
Mar 15, 2007
To lock you in OP. You should buy your own modem, you will save yourself money over a year of renting the equipment from the ISP.


Gold Member
Sep 7, 2012
Kentucky, it’s not as bad as Australia
I have Spectrum and they charge monthly for their router as well so I bought my own. It’s a pain in the butt to replace though, you have to call Spectrum customer support and read off the MAC address to them so they can “authorize” it.
Nov 5, 2016
One Big Room, Full Of Bad Bitches
I rent my modem from Comcast/Xfinity. I shoulda just bought my own modem long ago. It seemed to me like it was a big deal for them to have this "xfi network," or whatever it is called, enabled, to where your modem acts as a hot spot for anyone with a Comcast account. I turned that shit off immediately. You have to go into your account options to disable it.

As I am typing this, I am beginning to feel dumber and dumber for not just buying my own modem long ago. Gotta get on that. The wifi performance on the router/modem combo they recently sent me seems OK but still.

Patrick S.

Gold Member
May 4, 2013
In Germany, Telekom let's you rent Zyxel Routers with integrated modem and DECT base that are actually quite good. Most people who buy their own stuff buy a FritzBox! (yes, stupid name) by German brand AVM. They are very very good and pack a lot ot features for €200 for the top mopdel that has too many functions to list them all. And they get support for quite a few years and give you a five year warranty which you'll never need because these thing never go bad.

I used to buy Netgear or 3com stuff when I lived in Spain, but once I saw the AVM stuff I've never looked back.


Crushed by Thanos
Dec 7, 2008
The Pentagon
easier or better controls over firmware / software

it's about accessibility and saving money, not making
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Dec 6, 2013
I guess it's easier for them and 99% of their customer don't care.

Also if they charge a rental fee I guess it's in their interest to make it as annoying as possible to change/upgrade


May 1, 2014
Because people on forums don;t represent the 95% of normie customers they have who dont give a fuck

Whenever, someone learns how to do something better o cheaper... they always seem to ask why everyone else doesn;t do it the "right way"... well most people DONT CARE
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