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Use Time Warner Cable? You Should Buy Your Own Cable Modem

time warner cable modem

When subscribing to a data plan provided by Time Warner Cable (TWC), you will be presented with three primary options (internet only, internet + TV, and internet + TV + phone). Promised rates for these range from $35 to more than $90.

When the bill comes, however, it is more than likely that you will have more to pay – taxes and surcharges. If you rented the modem from TWC, you will also be paying for a charge called the Internet Modem Lease, which is around $10.

One great option to shave off some of that cost is to buy your own modem.

Why Buy Your Own Cable Modem?

Take a good look at this breakdown of a TWC subscriber’s bill. Monthly fees can reach close to a whopping $300! Definitely not something you would want to be saddled with on a monthly basis if there is a way to lower your dues.

Buying your own cable modem will certainly lead to savings. It’s a one-off deal and there are top-notch options for around $70. You will be able to use this unit for the whole year and maybe even longer. That’s $120 worth of internet modem rental charges per year you won’t have to pay!

Aside from that, it’s likely that the third-party modem you buy is equipped to upgrade the network strength you’re currently enjoying. So, you save money and get faster internet too.

TWC Discourages You from Buying Your Own Modem

Since Time Warner Cable has a vested interest in its customers choosing to lease instead of purchasing a third-party modem, they will naturally tell you to go down the rental route.

They even devoted a whole page on their website to outline the disadvantages of buying a separate cable modem. They tell you that they will not be responsible and won’t be able to help in case the non-rented modem breaks down. Still, there are many affordable options out there that even buying a replacement within the same year will cost less compared to paying the rental fee indefinitely.

TWC also specifies that you will have to be responsible for your network’s security settings and should use an authorized modem that will not hurt Time Warner’s network. All these shouldn’t be a problem because there are many ways to improve a network’s security and there are loads of authorized TWC cable modems on the market.

Top TWC-Compatible Cable Modems You Can Get in 2017

To help you choose, here are some of your best options, which you can easily order from Amazon. They are all compliant with the DOCSIS 3.0 industry standard and are compatible with Time Warner Cable’s network.

Best Future-Proof Modem: ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 

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The ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 Cable Modem is an affordable option at $89. It is ideal for a cable internet service, but does not come with a VoIP telephone adapter or Wi-Fi router. The modem does have a gigabit Ethernet port where you can connect your router.

The SURFboard can deliver internet speeds up to 686 Mbps download, but this number is affected by your current data plan. This is also designed with 16 download and 4 upload bonded channels. That means you don’t have to worry if your ISP decides to upgrade their offers in the future.

The Best Affordable Modem: ARRIS SURFboard SB6141

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The ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 unit is $20 cheaper than the SB6183, but it remains a great cable modem option for Time Warner Cable. Like the model above, this one requires cable internet service and has no Wi-Fi router or VoIP adapter. It provides 343 Mbps download and 131 Mbps speeds, which are again affected by whatever data plan you have now.

It is not quite as future-proofed as the SB6183 but it still runs on DOCSIS 3.0 technology. Plus, it has a 2-year warranty.

Best Modem for Multi-Device Streaming: ARRIS SURFboard SB6190

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Now, if you are looking for something better in the download and upload speed department and are willing to shell out $112, then this ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 Cable Modem is best for you. The maximum download speed it can provide is 1.4 Gbps, while its max upload speed is 262 Mbps.

This modem is especially great if you have multiple devices in the house that are simultaneously streaming internet content. Sure, its price is closer to the yearly modem rental fee. But you will be able to use the SB6190 for years to come, so you will still save money.

A Great Bargain Modem: Linksys Cable Modem CM3008

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This Linksys High-Speed Cable Modem is only $50 on Amazon, which is awesome for all bargain hunters out there. This can handle ISP plans of up to 100 Mbps. It has no telephone and voice ports like the others on this list, but it is a high-speed modem cable. Under its hood is the Intel Puma 5 chipset guaranteeing speedy downloading and uploading.

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If price is really an issue and you want something good, then this TP-Link High-Speed Cable Modem< will not disappoint. Price tag? $50. It, too, has the Puma 5 chipset for fast downloads and uploads. The modem comes with one Ethernet port and has a plug-and-play setup. This compact modem does what it is meant to do.

A Good Balance Between Speed and Price: Linksys CM3016

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The Linksys CM3016 Modem comes with a $70 price tag on Amazon. It has no voice and telephone ports, but it will have no trouble accommodating ISP plans of up to 250 Mbps. You will have no problem streaming HD content, gaming, or web surfing with this modem (provided, of course, that your data connection is up to snuff). Best of all, it has the Puma 6 chipset for really high-speed uploads and downloads.

A Super Low-Price Option: Zoom 8×4 Modem 5345

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If your ISP plan at the moment is 100 Mbps or lower, this Zoom 8×4 Cable Modem will do wonderfully. Only $50, it has eight downstream channels and its top speed is 343 Mbps. Its manufacturer provides a 2-year warranty and tech support for all US customers.

If Price Isn’t a Concern: NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

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The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is the priciest of the bunch, costing $180. It does provide bang for your buck, however. It is a 2-in-1 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and can accommodate Time Warner Cable’s faster internet plans. The best part is that it comes with a router delivering AC1900 Wi-Fi. The modem can reach up to 960 Mbps of speed.

Aside from that, the unit is equipped with 24×8 channel bonding for faster download speeds. You will be able to enjoy speedy internet connection even during peak hours and multiple devices simultaneously streaming.


As you can see, there are several cable modems you can buy and they will all work great for Time Warner Cable’s network. No matter your budget or internet speed requirements, you will have the option to meet your needs.

So, steer clear from expensive internet bills starting today. Time to forget about costly monthly modem rental fees!

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