For those of us that don’t have access to fiber-to-the-home or LTE Internet, the cable modem is a must-have. You can always rent a modem from your ISP or you can purchase your own, but no matter what your decision is, knowing what to look for when modem shopping is advantageous. Let’s take a look.
Most ISPs will allow you to rent your cable modem. Many of these include built-in routers, so the people that have a small space in which they need coverage could kill two birds with one stone by simply paying a little extra to their ISP. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, as these consumer-based routers usually offer very little protection or control that even the smallest businesses need.
If having a two-in-one solution isn’t something you are interested in, or if you need more coverage from your wireless, you will definitely want a third-party router. If you are getting a third-party router, you might as well take a look at what modem options are available as well since they cost no more than a few months' worth of a rental modem from your ISP. If you were to use it for years (as most modems will last several), you would save quite a few dollars.
Also of note, some ISPs make you use their modem as certain cable companies may not allow the use of just any third-party modem for their services. Unfortunately, if this is the case, you will be at the mercy of your ISP to gain access to the Internet.
Typically, if your cable provider allows you to bring in a third-party modem, most cable modems will work. Any exceptions will be easily ascertained by contacting your provider. This may seem obvious, but you will want to double-check what modems are allowed by your ISP before setting out to purchase one.
Another issue that bringing your own third-party modem could present is the manner of speed. You will want to ensure that any modem you purchase will support the speed capabilities your modem will need. On the other hand, it may be overkill to buy a modem capable of enterprise-level speeds when you pay for 20 Mbps Internet service.
We mentioned that often your ISP will provide you with a two-in-one modem and router. Is that something that will work for your situation? Typically, if you are purchasing networking equipment for a business, you will want to avoid this type of device, if only because if one element of it fails, you will have to replace the whole device, whereas if you have separate devices, you will only need to replace one. As we mentioned before, the stock hardware provided with your Internet connection aren’t going to necessarily be the most secure, effective devices. Even for home networks, most of the time we recommend going with a trusted router and set it up carefully. For your business, however, so much more is at stake, meaning you should never rely on a consumer-based solution with the default factory settings.
Regardless of what you are looking for, the IT professionals at KT Connections can help you make smart IT choices for your business. To get pointed in the right direction, visit our blog or give our knowledgeable technicians a call at 605-341-3873.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.