Earlier this week I was online setting up internet for our new place. I noticed that renting a cable modem is $3 per month. We use a local/regional cable company, but I believe Comcast charges $5-6 per month.
For $52, I purchased the exact same modem our cable company would have rented to us. That means, after 17 months, the purchase will have paid for itself. If renting your modem is more than $3 per month, obviously the break-even point will come much sooner.
If purchasing the modem isn't an option for you right now, try freecycle and see if anyone in your area has a spare!
This has been posted to Frugal Tip Tuesdays.