Why Buy a Gateway Instead of a Modem?

When setting up Internet in your home or office, you need a modem to get the connection and you need a router to distribute the signal to your devices. Having two separate devices isn’t practical for everyone, and it can be confusing as well. Not to mention, more money when buying or renting the devices. As a solution, you could get a gateway. 

A gateway is a hardware device that combines the function of both a modem and a router. Gateways are often referred to as modem/routers or cable modem routers. A gateway communicates with your Internet service provider (ISP) and then distributes the translate digital signals to your devices. 

The top reasons you might want a gateway instead of a modem and a router are: 

  • It is a single combo box that takes less room, instead of having two separate devices.
  • It requires only one power outlet.
  • It requires fewer wires and cables because it is one device.
  • It is easy to set up, especially if it comes from your ISP and they set it up for you.

The convenience of less clutter and easy setup seem like obvious benefits. But what about the point about your ISP coming into your home and installing the device? That sounds great, but comes at a cost. Take a second to consider whether you will rent your gateway from an ISP or buy your own. Which should you do? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.


Pros & Cons to Help You Decide if You Should Buy a Gateway

Whether you rent or buy your devices is a preference and situational thing. There are advantages and disadvantages to renting a gateway or buying a gateway. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide which is the best for you:



  • If the gateway breaks or has a big problem, your ISP will trade it out for a new one. 


  • Renting can be more expensive than buying.
  • Customization or personalizing the advanced or security settings can cause problems with device configurations.

When to rent:

If these you are in the following situations, consider renting your gateway:

  • Your living situation is temporary.
  • You can split the cost with roommates or your employer is paying for the bill.




  • More cost-effective than renting and saves money in the long run.
  • You can update your device when you want or need to.
  • Altering or customizing advanced or security settings is easy and doesn’t mess up other configurations set by an ISP.


  • If the gateway malfunctions or breaks, then you are responsible for buying a new one.

When to buy:

If your living situation is permanent, you want something that is more cost-effective, and customizable, buy your own gateway.

The overall benefits of buying gateway instead of a modem is two-fold:

  1. One device is convenient and saves space
  2. Buying can be more cost-effective than renting

Buying a cable modem or cable modem router combo like one of Hitron’s offerings makes home networking an easier, better experience overall. Whether you decide to rent or buy, ask your ISP about Hitron’s DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1, Wi-Fi 6 ready cable modem routers today.

For more information on home networking solutions check out Hitron’s Learn Page.

Learn More about Cable Modems & Routers

What is a Router?

Wireless Internet requires hardware. This hardware includes a modem and also a router. If you want to set up wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) in your home, you need these devices. We’ve covered what a modem is (including cable modems) so this page focuses on what a router...

What is a Gateway?

We’ve covered more in-depth what a modem is and what a router is and why you need each. As a recap, you can get Internet access with a modem, but to get wireless Internet you need a router. While you can get a separate modem or router, you might want to get a...

The Difference Between a Modem and a Router

It’s important to know the difference between a modem and a router when setting up your Internet and home network. This will help you properly set up but also can help with troubleshooting. The main difference between a modem and a router is that a modem connects you...

Cable Modem vs DSL Modem or Fiber

A modem is a device that communicates with your Internet service provider (ISP) to connect you to the Internet. It is something that you can rent from your ISP but you can also buy your own. There are a few different types of modems. It is important to understand the...

What is a Cable Modem & How Does It Work?

If you are setting up Internet access or Wi-Fi in your home for the first time or updating your current Internet set up, there are devices that you need to know about. One of those devices is a modem. Probably, you are familiar with the router, but this page is about...