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by Ray DeCosta

Q. I have my own router and am tired of paying CableOne their monthly modem rental fee. I heard that I can buy my own modem and use it on their system. How do I do that?

A. It's actually a pretty simple process which you should be able to complete in about 20 minutes. The important point to remember is that you MUST use a CableOne-approved modem. Their website has a list of approved modems here.

Since you already have a router, you can buy just the modem rather than a modem/router combination. If you have phone service thru CableOne you will have to get one of the few specified combo (modem, router and phone) units which are also listed on that page.

For your purposes, I'd suggest getting either the Arris/Motorola SB6141 or SB6183 modem. The 6141 is a well-respected and compatible piece of equipment and should sell for about $60. The 6183 would allow for more speed but only if you pay CableOne for their top tier in speed. Unless you're an avid gamer or must download HD movies, you don't need it. This one sells for about $100.

In either event, you must buy from a reputable source, Walmart, NewEgg, BestBuy, etc. Do not trust eBay, etc. I understand that you should NOT buy a black modem as they are somehow different in that they are OEM versions or do not come with a warranty. You should only get a white one.

Once you get the modem, look on the bottom and write down the "HFC MAC address" which will be a series of numbers in the format "xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx". You'll need to give this number to CableOne for authorization, which is referred to as "provisioning". Their website states that you can set up your modem online automatically, but this rarely works. Save yourself the hassle and call Customer Service. Tell them you want to provision your new modem and give them the HFC MAC address. They'll do everything for you and should remind you to return the rental modem to them. You won't stop paying the rental fee until you do!

Published: Courier 2/13/16 - Page 8A