Buying router from other than internet provider

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

I see "refurbished" units available on Amazon and eBay from apparently reputable sellers that are offered for about 1/3 the price the provider is asking. Putting aside questions of how these would perform, I would mainly be concerned about security as I've read that routers could contain virus/malware that would compromise my network.

One source suggested a hard reset using the reset button on the device to bring it back to factory settings. Would that eliminate any security issues or might they persist after reset? And what does "refurbished" mean for a router?
jjface
Posts: 3090
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:18 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by jjface »

Hard reset should be fine

Refurb can mean anything from some seller taking a used unit and cleaning it up all the way to some defective part being replaced or someone repackaging a customer remorse return. There isn't really a fixed definition. Just make sure you get a reputable seller and the return terms are generous and you will be fine. Refurb router are usually decent. Refurbs usually come with say a 3 month warranty. tp link have refunbs direct on ebay for example.

But do note you can get many good quality cheap routers new. A lot of older models will still be overkill for many people's home internet setup. BH photo usually has some decent deals.
Chuck107
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Chuck107 »

.....
Last edited by Chuck107 on Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
123
Posts: 6524
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by 123 »

I think the majority of refurbished units are simply customer returns. A customer return is more likely due to a customer not being able to figure out how to use it than anything wrong with the particular unit. The biggest issue with a refurbished unit is likely the version of the firmware within it, a "new" unit should be current whereas a refurbished unit has been around awhile. Most routers have features that let you upgrade the firmware anyway to get fixes and security enhancements anyway.

I don't buy the latest version of a router, I look to a model that came out new likely 1 or 2 years ago so any design failings have had an opportunity to be fixed. The price for new units that are 1 - 2 years behind the bleeding edge can be half or less of the "latest and greatest" (which could still have significant bugs waiting for fixes).
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
User avatar
Callisto
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Callisto »

If security is your main concern, then you shouldn't buy refurb. There's no realistic way you're going to be able to know if the hardware has been tampered with. If the hardware has been tampered with, a factory reset, or any software based solution is not going to protect you.

That being said, its far more likely that its just a unit that was returned or something. If you're buying it at 1/3 the price, then even if it breaks prematurely or something, you're still coming on top.
User avatar
wander
Posts: 3365
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by wander »

I think you are mistaken between refurbish and pre-own. Refursbished routers are treated like new, the manufacture should flash the firmware for you already and you will get all the documents. Pre-own is sold by individual and may not have all the documents for you.
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

jjface wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:38 amBut do note you can get many good quality cheap routers new. A lot of older models will still be overkill for many people's home internet setup. BH photo usually has some decent deals.
I trust BH Photo but they don't have this particular model at this time.

Based on all the replies, rather than take any chance I will buy direct from the provider. Thanks all.
Katietsu
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Katietsu »

I will buy most things used but I would not buy a used modem or router from Amazon or Ebay. First of all, the savings is less than one month of the internet service. Combine that with the higher likelihood that I deduction cate time trying to troubleshoot if it does not work smoothly and with less assurance that hardware is not the issue. The cost benefit is just not there for me.

Do you need a cable modem or a router? I would recommend getting these as two separate units. The cable modem is the only one that needs to be compatible with the cable company. These are selling new at Bestbuy for $45-$70.
Katietsu
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Katietsu »

AAA wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:11 pm
jjface wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:38 amBut do note you can get many good quality cheap routers new. A lot of older models will still be overkill for many people's home internet setup. BH photo usually has some decent deals.
I trust BH Photo but they don't have this particular model at this time.

Based on all the replies, rather than take any chance I will buy direct from the provider. Thanks all.
Are you trying to purchase the exact same model you are renting? That is unnecessary as far as I know. Please see my previous post. Maybe you are asking the wrong question?
bloom2708
Posts: 8258
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by bloom2708 »

You can buy/own both the cable modem and the router.

Do get separate units. Make sure the cable modem is on the approved list and supports DOCSIS 3.1 if you are getting faster speeds.

Google Nest Router + add on units is a good place to start for the router.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
mervinj7
Posts: 1573
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by mervinj7 »

AAA wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:11 pm
jjface wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:38 amBut do note you can get many good quality cheap routers new. A lot of older models will still be overkill for many people's home internet setup. BH photo usually has some decent deals.
I trust BH Photo but they don't have this particular model at this time.

Based on all the replies, rather than take any chance I will buy direct from the provider. Thanks all.
Are you buying a cable modem directly from the provider or a router/wifi unit?
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

mervinj7 wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:23 pm Are you buying a cable modem directly from the provider or a router/wifi unit?
Fios Quantum Gateway router is what I'm considering.
rich126
Posts: 2147
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by rich126 »

While I would buy new, there is no guarantee that a new piece of electronic equipment doesn't have malware in it.
lazydavid
Posts: 3410
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by lazydavid »

Buy your own router (not a Verizon Gateway), and then get Verizon to enable the Ethernet port on your ONT:

https://www.groundedreason.com/use-rout ... ur%20house.
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

lazydavid wrote: Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:10 pm Buy your own router (not a Verizon Gateway), and then get Verizon to enable the Ethernet port on your ONT:

https://www.groundedreason.com/use-rout ... ur%20house.
That link is a bit over my head and I think from other reading that to keep Fios tv, which I have, additional steps are needed beyond just hooking up the router. Not something I'd want to tackle at this point. Also, with a non-Verizon router if you have any issues would Verizon support just say sorry, that's not our router so we can't help you?
Mudpuppy
Posts: 6450
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Mudpuppy »

Let me introduce you to an entirely different fear with refurbished units: what sort of house did they come out of and how well were they cleaned when they were refurbished? I was personally introduced to this fear when the cable company gave me a cable modem that was infested with dead roaches and spiders. A couple hours after getting the cable modem, I noticed an odd rattle when I moved it, looked at it more closely, and saw the legs and antenna of the dead insects, plus a spider egg sac. The cable modem instantly went outside and I went to Best Buy to get a brand new modem (it was after 5pm when I noticed the dead bugs).

The cable modem [correction: company] apologized profusely and said their technician grabbed from the "pending refurbishment" pile instead of the "completed refurbishment" pile. They also reimbursed me for having to buy the modem from Best Buy and waived the cable modem rental fees. But I tell you, after that, I have a hard time accepting any used electronics unless I can easily pop them open and inspect the insides for cleanliness. Imagine getting a bed bug infestation because they hitched a ride in refurbished electronics.

Edit to fix typo.
Last edited by Mudpuppy on Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:31 pm Let me introduce you to an entirely different fear with refurbished units:...
Yikes. I was leery of refurbished for other reasons but wasn't considering that. Good advice.

I went ahead and purchased a new one directly from Verizon.
Mudpuppy
Posts: 6450
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Mudpuppy »

AAA wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:09 pm
Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:31 pm Let me introduce you to an entirely different fear with refurbished units:...
Yikes. I was leery of refurbished for other reasons but wasn't considering that. Good advice.

I went ahead and purchased a new one directly from Verizon.
I still have all the pictures I took of that cable modem to post about it on a local forum as a warning to everyone else in town to beware of renting from the company. Most people thought they were getting new units with renting from the company and didn't realize they were getting refurbished units (technically "customer returns").
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:40 pm Most people thought they were getting new units with renting from the company and didn't realize they were getting refurbished units (technically "customer returns").
The listing on Verizon's website where I purchased the router did not say refurbished, so I assume it will be a new unit. Will wait until I receive it to look it over for signs of use (and bugs :wink: ).
Mudpuppy
Posts: 6450
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Mudpuppy »

AAA wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:31 pm
Mudpuppy wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:40 pm Most people thought they were getting new units with renting from the company and didn't realize they were getting refurbished units (technically "customer returns").
The listing on Verizon's website where I purchased the router did not say refurbished, so I assume it will be a new unit. Will wait until I receive it to look it over for signs of use (and bugs :wink: ).
I think you'll be okay because an e-commerce website has to disclose that sort of thing. I was talking about the people in town who had the cable company come out and install equipment that they then paid a monthly rental fee on. Since that rental equipment still technically belongs to the cable company, they use a lot of customer returns when installing at new customer locations or replacing equipment for existing customers.
User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13829
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Toons »

Buy New



:mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
PhillyPhan
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by PhillyPhan »

Even if you buy new, maybe look into the warranty, our router modem (Netgear) is no longer functioning after 8 months.
User avatar
Topic Author
AAA
Posts: 1423
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by AAA »

PhillyPhan wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:59 pm Even if you buy new, maybe look into the warranty, our router modem (Netgear) is no longer functioning after 8 months.
Website says "two year limited warranty."
jebmke
Posts: 11674
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Delmarva Peninsula

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by jebmke »

I normally replace my router every couple of years. The vendors change their hardware so frequently, I find it easier to just assume that a new one will last no longer than two years before it is behind. In many cases, they stop issuing firmware updates and you have no idea if the latest firmware in your router is still secure.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
rockstar
Posts: 892
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by rockstar »

The r7800 is still the go to router. The newer tech isn't really there yet. An ARRIS cable modem without the Intel Puma chipset is the way to go. I've never rented gear, so I can't really talk about it.

Lots of good info here:

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/
Jeff Albertson
Posts: 843
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: Springfield

Re: Buying router from other than internet provider

Post by Jeff Albertson »

This info from the wirecutter may be useful: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/revi ... fi-router/
FWIW, I'm using an Asus router bought in 2013.
Post Reply