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5 tech things that are a waste of money

2. Renting a router or modem

Renting your internet hardware used to be very common. Your router would arrive in a box, or maybe a technician would come over to set up your modem. A few years later, you’d pack it up and ship your equipment back to your service provider, never realizing that you’ve essentially paid double for it.

Nowadays, renting these devices can be a waste of money. It’s like buying popcorn at the movie theater: You may appreciate the convenience, but it’s way overpriced and only serves to make the company extra money. You can find a very decent router through Best Buy or Amazon for under $100, and you won’t have to shell out $8 to $10 every month for the privilege of using it.

Better yet, buy your router based on the features you want. Not all routers are created equal. Some are faster, others are better known for security. Click here for my three best router recommendations.

There are a few considerations, though: First, your internet service provider may not let you use a store-bought router or modem. Second, you may have to figure out how to install the devices yourself, and not everybody wants to deal with that. Finally, do you expect to use the same service provider for more than a year?

The same advice applies to your modem. You’re better off buying that too. Click here for advice on buying the best modem.

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