How to Replace Xfinity Modem with My Own Device: A Comprehensive Guide

As an Xfinity customer, you may be wondering if it’s worth replacing your Xfinity modem with your own. Well, let me tell you, it definitely has its benefits, like better performance, taking advantage of new technologies, or even saving some money by avoiding rental fees.

This comprehensive guide aims to answer all your queries about replacing your Xfinity modem, from why you should consider doing it to how actually to make the replacement.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways:

  • The benefits of buying your own modem/router to replace the existing Xfinity device includes cost savings from no rental fee, customization, improved performance from newer tech, and more control over your setup.
  • Signs it’s time to upgrade include age over 3-5 years, frequent connection issues, speed upgrades, and notices from Xfinity.
  • Consider compatibility, internet plan speeds, modem/router combo vs. separate units, brand, and reviews when choosing a new modem. Popular compatible models include Arris SURFboard S33, Motorola MB8611, and Netgear Nighthawk CM2050V.
  • You can buy from Xfinity, retail stores, or online marketplaces.
  • Follow the steps to order, disconnect the old modem, set up and activate the new modem, and return the old modem within 30 days.
  • Test speeds before and after to ensure optimal performance.
  • Troubleshoot issues like no connection or slow speeds by checking connections and compatibility and resetting the modem.

Why Replace Your Xfinity Modem?

Before diving into the technicalities of replacing your modem, let’s explore why you might need to make the switch in the first place.

  • Performance Issues – Over time, modems can become outdated, which can affect your internet performance. You might notice slower internet speeds, frequent disconnections, or issues with streaming and online gaming.
  • Technological Advancements – Internet technology is continually advancing. If you’re using an older model, you might not be taking full advantage of faster speeds and improved security features.
  • Financial Savings – Renting a modem from Xfinity comes with monthly fees that can add up over time. Buying your own modem is a one-time investment that can save you money in the long run.
  • Greater Control – Owning your modem gives you more control over your internet setup, allowing for better customization and more straightforward troubleshooting.

When should you replace Xfinity modem?

Knowing when to replace your modem is crucial for maintaining optimal internet performance. Here are some signs that it’s time to consider a replacement:

  • Age of the Modem – A good rule of thumb is to replace your modem every 3 to 5 years. Older modems often don’t support newer technologies, which can limit your internet speed and performance. 
  • Frequent Connection Issues – If you’re experiencing constant drops in your internet connection or you have to reset your modem frequently, it may be time to get a new one.
  • Internet Speed Upgrades – If you’ve recently upgraded your internet plan for higher speeds, your old modem may not be capable of supporting those speeds. Always check the specifications to make sure your hardware can handle your new plan.
  • Notice from ISP – Sometimes, Xfinity will notify you when your modem is out of date and needs replacement to continue receiving optimal service.

Before You Replace: Things to Consider

  • Compatibility – Make sure the new modem is compatible with Xfinity services. Xfinity provides a list of approved third-party equipment.
  • Internet Plan – Your new modem should support your current or future internet plans. If you plan to upgrade your speed in the near future, get a modem that can handle it.
  • Equipment – Decide between a modem-only device or a modem-router combo depending on your needs.
  • Warranty and Support – Check the manufacturer’s warranty and customer service options before making your purchase.

Should You Rent or Buy Your Own Modem?

One of the first decisions you need to make when considering a modem replacement is whether to rent from Xfinity or purchase your own. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each option:

Renting from Xfinity


  • Ease of Setup: Xfinity provides installation and setup, making it hassle-free.
  • Technical Support: You’ll receive customer support specific to the hardware you’re renting.
  • Free Upgrades: Xfinity often offers free hardware upgrades, allowing you to enjoy the latest technology.


  • Monthly Fees: Renting from Xfinity comes with a recurring monthly fee, which can accumulate over time.
  • Limited Customization: You have limited freedom to choose specific features or brands.

Buying Your Own Modem


  • Cost Savings: After the initial investment, you no longer have to pay a monthly rental fee, resulting in long-term savings.
  • Customization: You have the freedom to select a modem that suits your specific needs and preferences.
  • Improved Performance: You can purchase a modem optimized for your particular usage, potentially boosting speed and reliability.


  • Upfront Costs: The initial cost can be quite high, ranging from $50 to $200 or more, depending on the model.
  • Technical Skills Required: You’ll need to set up and troubleshoot the modem yourself, although this is generally straightforward.

How to Choose a Compatible Modem for Comcast Xfinity?

Before purchasing your own modem, you’ll need to ensure it’s compatible with Xfinity services. Here are some steps to help you choose:

  • Check the Compatibility List – Xfinity provides a list of approved modems that are guaranteed to work with their network. Always check this list before making a purchase.
  • Consider Your Internet Plan – Ensure the modem you choose is capable of supporting the internet speeds provided by your Xfinity plan. Look for terms like “DOCSIS 3.0” or “DOCSIS 3.1” which indicate modern, fast modems. 
  • DOCSIS 3.0 vs. DOCSIS 3.1 –
    • DOCSIS 3.0: Suitable for speeds up to 1 Gbps.
    • DOCSIS 3.1: Required for speeds above 1 Gbps.
  • Modem-Router Combo or Separate Units – You have the option of buying a modem-router combo unit or separate modem and router units. Combo units are more convenient but may offer less customization.
  • Brand and Reviews – Look for well-known brands that have good customer reviews. Brands like NETGEAR, Arris, and Motorola are generally reliable.

Some popular modems that are compatible with Xfinity include the ARRIS SURFboard S33, Motorola MB8611, and Netgear Nighthawk CM2050V. These modems offer fast speeds and reliable performance for your Xfinity internet connection.

Check out 10 Best Router for Xfinity in 2023: Comcast Compatible Routers for more details.

Where to Buy a Compatible Modem or Router for Xfinity

  • Purchasing from Xfinity Directly – You can directly order from the Xfinity equipment update page.
  • Retail Stores – Brands like Best Buy offer a range of Xfinity-compatible modems.
  • Online Marketplaces – Websites like Amazon offer a broad selection of modems that are compatible with Xfinity.

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Your Modem

Ordering and Receiving the Modem

  1. How to Order: Decide which device and from where you want to buy and make your purchase. Take the recommendations mentioned above in mind.
  2. What to Do Once It Arrives: Unbox and inspect your new modem for any visible damage or missing parts.

Disconnecting the Old Modem

  1. Power Down: Turn off your old modem.
  2. Disconnect Cables: Remove all cables connected to the existing xFi gateway.

Setting Up the New Modem

  1. Power On: To turn on the new modem, simply plug the electric wire into the power socket.
  2. Physical Connections: Connect one end of the Coaxial cable to the wall outlet and the other end to the new modem you are trying to install.
  3. Configuration: Use a computer or mobile device to log into the modem interface and set it up. 

Activating the New Modem

  • Ensure you have all the necessary information, such as the MAC address and serial number, ready to activate your new modem.
  • Using Xfinity’s Mobile App: Follow the app’s step-by-step guide.
  • Online Activation via Xfinity Portal using your favorite web browser.
  • Phone Activation: You can call Xfinity customer service for activation.

Check out Step-by-step Guide to Xfinity Modem Activation and Self-Installation for more details.

Below are the steps to activate through the Xfinity portal or App.

  • Log in to the portal or app using your Xfinity login and password.
  • Click “start activation” and follow the prompts to check your connections, enter your CMAC number, and verify your details.
  • Once the activation process is complete, keep your devices plugged in and wait for the notification.

Most Important – Test your Internet Connection 

I highly recommend testing your download and upload speeds using online speed testing tools like or Google speed test before and after changing your modem to ensure you receive promised speeds.

Alternatively, you can also test your internet connection through the Xfinity App, following the below steps-

  • Access the mobile app or web portal and view devices registered to your ID.
  • Run a speed test in the “Check Your Speed” section to see the download and upload speeds.

Troubleshooting common issues

  • No Internet Connection: Make sure all cables are securely connected.
  • Slow Speeds: Check if the modem is compatible with your Xfinity plan.
  • Resetting the Modem – Sometimes, a reset can solve common issues. Follow the How to Reset Xfinity Router – A Complete Step-by-Step Guide for resetting the modem.

Returning the Old Xfinity Modem

According to Xfinity’s terms and conditions, you must return the rented device within 30 days. Failure to do so will result in monthly rentals of $15 on your bill, even if you no longer use it. Here are your return options:

  1. UPS Pickup – Initiate the return process by logging in to your Xfinity account. Select the device you wish to return and provide the reason for the return. If you have chosen prepaid UPS shipping, print the shipping label, pack the device, and attach the shipping label. Finally, call 800-UPS-Pickup to schedule a pickup.
  2. In-person return at UPS store – You can return your Xfinity device for free at a UPS store by mentioning it’s an Xfinity return. A UPS executive will pack the device and return the equipment for you. Keep the receipt to track the return process.
  3. In-person return at Xfinity/Comcast store – If you live near an Xfinity/Comcast store, you can easily return your equipment by making an appointment or walking in. Remember to keep your receipt as proof of return.

Check out How to Return Xfinity Equipment: A Comprehensive Guide for All Services for more details.

Can I Separate 2.4 and 5GHz on My Own Modem If I Replace the Xfinity Modem?

Yes, you can separate 2.4 and 5ghz frequencies by replacing your existing Xfinity modem with the new Xfinity-compatible router/modem. Make sure you choose a modem that supports dual frequencies. This will allow you to have more control over your network by segregating the two frequencies. With separate channels, you can experience less interference and choose the best frequency for different devices in your home.


Replacing your Xfinity modem with a compatible modem, you can enjoy faster internet speeds, reduce signal drops, and have better control over your network. Additionally, you can save money by eliminating the monthly rental fee for the modem, but make sure you take the time to research and choose a compatible modem that meets your specific needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it worth replacing the Xfinity modem?

Replacing your Xfinity modem with your own is worth it! You’ll save on rental fees and have more control over your internet experience. Choose a modem that suits your specific needs for faster speeds, better reliability, or other features.

Can I replace my Xfinity modem on my own?

Yes, replacing your Xfinity modem is a relatively straightforward process that anyone can do. You don’t need any technical expertise to get started. Simply follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll be able to replace your modem in no time.

What are the benefits of replacing my Xfinity modem?

Replacing your Xfinity modem has multiple benefits. Firstly, it saves you money on rental fees, which adds up over time. Secondly, you have the freedom to select a modem that fulfills your specific needs and preferences. Whether you need faster speeds, better coverage, or advanced features, you can find a modem that suits you. Finally, replacing your modem provides you with more control over your internet experience and enables you to troubleshoot any connectivity issues more easily.

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