I remember years ago when I was single and bought a condo, I disliked the almond color outlets and switches scattered around my home. No problem, I thought, I’ll just go buy new plates and screw them in…problem solved…or so I thought. I didn’t realize that the plug receptacle and light switch itself needed to be replaced as well. Ugh…I would need an electrician.
Fortunately, I mentioned my dilemma to a neighbor and he showed me how to turn off the electricity to change out the plug receptacle and light switch. I replaced nearly 15 of them myself. Wow, I didn’t know I could do that. I was excited because 1.) all my light switches and plugs were now white and clean and 2.) I saved a bunch of money by doing it myself and and didn’t hire an electrician.
Recently, I installed some new tech in the house that gave me a similar feeling of DIY while saving money.
Return Your Cable Modem to Your Cable Provider
Have you thought much about your cable modem? If you’re like me, you have been using the same cable modem your cable provider installed in your home…probably for years. You are likely renting it for $10/month, right?
So, if you had your cable modem installed 5 years ago, you have already paid $600 in rental fees. And guess what? With with a higher demand to stream video content, modems have gotten tremendously faster these days…has yours?
Renting a cable modem/router from your cable provider just doesn’t make cents :).
What is a Cable Modem Versus a Router?
Let me simplify these terms for you. A cable modem is a small box device uses a cable plugged into your cable outlet and allows you to plug in an Ethernet cord to connect your computer, HDTV, or DVD player to the Internet. You need a physical cord connection from your HDTV/PC/gaming console to gain access.
A router needs a physical cord connection from a cable modem and then it sends out wireless signals so you can connect your HDTV, computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and more to the Internet wirelessly.
Now, you’ll have to check your box, but some people rent the cable modem and then set up a wireless router to connect to it to send a wireless signal throughout the house. This accomplishes getting WiFi in your house, but you’re still spending $120 a year in cable modem rental fees and you probably have more wires and are using more plug outlets than you need. Some people rent a device that is both a modem and a router.
The Motorola MG7550 Cable Modem AC1900 Router
Motorola makes a lighting-fast cable modem and router that will eliminate the need for a rented cable modem/router altogether. The Motorola MG7550 Cable Modem with AC1900 Router has been thoroughly tested as one of the highest performing, most reliable cable modems with a router on the market. The Motorola MG7550 is certificated with leading cable service providers including Comcast XFINITY® and Time Warner Cable®.
The Motorola MG7550 provides wireless speeds that are super fast. With it’s 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports (ac/n/a/g/b), you can plug in up to 4 devices directly for the fastest Internet speed. Plug in your computers, HDTV’s, connected DVD player, Xbox/PlayStation/Wii, etc.
Suffice it to say, this router is fast with up to 686 Mbps downstream (great for streaming movies!) and 123 Mbps upstream (great for sending pictures and videos to family or even your online back-up storage).
What we also like about the Motorola MG7550, besides its super fast speeds (that we weren’t getting with the rental cable modem), is that it includes guest access and parental controls.
Guest access allows you to have a certain channel that allows family and friends to connect to the Internet from their tablets, smartphones, or laptops, but not gain access to your computers and data on the network. You can make up your own guest password, so it’s easy to remember.
Parental control allows you to block certain websites and determine allowable hours a device can be used. For instance, you can lock down Internet access to the Xbox One (or any other Internet-connected gaming console) so your child cannot play online past 7 pm each night. S/he still can play games on the console, just not connect online. It’s amazing you can lock down devices to this level.
You could also cut off the WiFi your child uses on his/her smartphone at a certain time of day. Perhaps you schedule it to be available from 8 am to 8 pm each day, Monday through Friday. Your daughter’s phone won’t get WiFi access outside of these times, but your phone still will. Cool, isn’t? Of course, if the mobile signal is strong in your house, s/he still will have access unless you turn off the cellular in her phone for the night.
The Motorola MG7550 comes with a simple small booklet to help you set up your modem/router in little time. Although I have added wireless routers to connect with my cable provider rental modem before, I have never replaced the cable modem. I was too scared it wouldn’t work right.
But the Motorola MG7550 has been tested, and even certified, with many cable providers. Here’s how I set it up…
- I unplugged the cable from behind the rented cable modem and screwed it into my Motorola MG7550 router. I tightened the connected cable wire with the precise lightweight wrench Motorola provided.
- I plugged in the MG7550 and turned it on, using the power button in the back.
- I plugged in the enclosed Ethernet cable into one of the 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and plugged the other end into my PC.
- I called my cable provider to finish the set up. The quick Set Up Guide gives you the phone numbers to call of each of the major cable providers.
- I gave the technician on the phone the CM Mac number, found on the bottom of my router, and he searched for it by pinging my service. He found it.
- I then looked for the Motorola 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz channels on both my Ethernet-connected PC and my mobile devices. I used the wireless security key password found on the bottom of the Motorola router. My computer needed me to tpye all capital letters to connect with the Motorola MG755o, but lower cased characters worked fine with my mobile devices.
- I clicked on the “connect automatically” boxes so the next time I connected with either one of the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz channels, I would not need to add my password.
- Also, on the bottom of the Motorola MG7550, is Modem Login. You copy these numbers directly into your browser (just like a web URL address) and use the supplied user name and password to gain access to your online modem. Here you can set up your guest access and parental controls and have access to a lot more info. about your router (more than you need).
- I packed up my cable provider cable modem rental, ready to return!
That’s it! The whole process took 25 minutes to set up the modem and about another 10 minutes to set up my devices individually to receive the new WiFi signal.
I was dreading calling my cable provider because I thought they wouldn’t be very helpful, since I would no longer be using their rented cable modem.
To my surprise, they were very helpful, telling me (without my asking) that they would subtract the $10/mo cable modem rental fee from my bill, which would save me some money. I was impressed. The technician also stayed on with me online while I tested both my computer and wireless devices to ensure they were working. Everything worked!
- AC1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports provides wireless Internet access Wi-Fi works with IEEE 802.11 n, ac, g, and b
- Provides high-speed shared Internet for up to 253 wireless and Ethernet devices
- Supports modem speeds up to 686 Mbps
- Is a dual-band router – supports 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz for a faster, more reliable connection
- Certified by Comcast XFINITY®, Time Warner Cable®, and other leading cable service providers
- Comes with an Advanced Firewall with DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack prevention
- Allows for guest access to the Internet
- Gives you the option of setting up parental controls
- Has WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) which makes connections between a router and wireless devices faster and easier
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Easy to set-up – took less than 15 minutes
- WiFi is very fast
- Parental controls allow you to specify wireless use by the device
- Allows you to set up guest access so guests in your home can access the Internet without accessing your personal PC files
- Can save up to $120 a year by returning the router/modem you’re renting from your cable company
- WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) is the fastest way to set up a wireless device with the router…no need to enter a lengthy password code
- The directions don’t explain all the benefits of this router and how to use it properly. For example the 2.4 GHz channel works great around the house and has a further reach than the 5.0 GHz channel. But the 5.0 GHz channel has a more intense, reliable signal and is best to use for shorter distances near the router. However, some older devices cannot recognize the 5.0 GHz channel and you won’t be able to connect to it no matter how many times you put in the right password. Just know that if your wireless printer won’t connect to the 5.0 GHz faster channel, try the 2.4 GHz channel.
The Motorola MG7550 is available from Amazon for $179.99 plus free shipping.
A Mom’s Perspective
I love when a good plan comes together! By installing my own cable modem/router, I will save $120 a year!
The Motorola MG7550 costs $180, so it will take 17 months for my investment to break-even. Considering it’s been well over 5 years and I’ve already spent $600+ renting the modem, this is a fantastic investment!
With today’s streaming needs – streaming from Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, online gaming on Xbox and PlayStation, streaming music, and so much more, you need a powerful wireless router that can download content fast and disperse it throughout the home.
You need a reliable signal in the house so it can reach the further areas of your house without buffering. The Motorola MG7550 is an excellent choice to handle loads of streaming, even with several devices in your home streaming at the same time.
And, if your current rented cable modem/router was installed even as little as a few years ago, you’ll find an enhanced streaming experience, based on the faster throughput technologies the Motorola MG7550 possesses.
How much money are you paying a month for your rented cable modem/router?
* I was given a Motorola MG7550 for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.