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Can I use My Own Modem With a New Internet Plan?

These days, many internet providers allow you to bundle modems into their internet plans. But is there any point paying for a new one when you can BYO modem? Canstar Blue explores.

Whether you’re looking to change providers or enter into a new internet plan, a lot of providers include modems when you first sign up for an internet plan. But, if you already have a working modem, you might prefer looking at  BYO modem plans instead. However, whether or not you can continue to use your existing modem with a new internet plan is not as simple as a yes or no — we explain why in this Canstar Blue guide.

In this article we cover:

What is an internet modem?

A modem connects your home network to an internet service provider (ISP). Don’t confuse your modem with a router. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A modem connects your home to the internet, but a router connects your devices to your home wi-fi network. The two devices work together to translate data between your device and the internet service provider. Fortunately, modems and routers are usually combined into a single device, making broadband set-up easier.

When can I bring my own modem with a new internet plan?

Generally speaking, if you have an unlocked modem that is compatible with your new plan, you should be able to use it. While this is not always the case, and there are some restrictions, you should be able to BYO modem if:

  • It’s capable of the PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) networking protocol
  • It works for the type of broadband connection you have (ADSL, VDSL or fibre)
  • It hasn’t been locked by a previous supplier

Benefits of bringing your own modem

  • Choice – you get to choose a modem that offers the features and benefits that are important to you
  • Flexibility – take your modem with you when you move
  • Performance – if you own a high-end modem that delivers superior performance

Downsides of bringing your own modem

  • Cost – if you buy your own modem, it could cost more than one supplied by your provider
  • Tech support – you might not be able to access your internet provider’s helpline for troubleshooting
  • Limited internet options – not all providers allow you to BYO modem

When can’t I bring my own modem with a new internet plan?

There are some restrictions that may mean that you can’t BYO modem to your new internet plan. These include:

  • Moving from ADSL or VDSL to 4G or 5G
  • Accessing wireless broadband
  • Your modem is locked to your previous provider
  • You do not own your modem outright and must return it at the end of your previous internet contract

Which providers allow you to BYO modem?

Several internet providers allow you to BYO modem when joining one of their plans, they include:

Sky Broadband

Sky recommends using a Sky wi-fi Router, which is included in its broadband plans. However, they do allow you to BYO modem, as long as it’s compatible with its network.


You can use your own router with a Now broadband plan. However, some configuration changes may be required. Or, you can purchase up to three mesh wi-fi modems from Now, for $120 each. Check modem compatibility here.



For fixed-line broadband, bring your own modem and save $5/month for 12 months on your broadband plan. Or, purchase a Skinny modem for $199. Note, you can get a Skinny modem for free by signing up to a 12-month contract. Check modem compatibility here.


You can use your own router unless you are joining 2degrees’ wireless or rural wireless broadband. If you are on either of these plans, you will need a 2degrees-supplied modem (free rental, $15 shipping fee). Check modem compatibility here.



Modems are not included with any of Slingshot’s broadband plans. You can either BYO or rent one for $5/month. Check modem compatibility here.



Spark does not include a modem in any of its broadband plans. You can BYO or purchase one from Spark for $150. Note that only Spark modems can be used with Spark wireless broadband plans. Check modem compatibility here.



You can BYO modem when signing up to an Orcon broadband plan, so long as it is compatible. Or, rent a router for free from Orcon ($14.95 shipping fee applies). Check modem compatibility here.

Nova Energy

You can BYO modem when signing up to a Nova Energy broadband plan, so long as it’s compatible. Nova Energy also includes a modem in its ADSL and VDSL plans. Check modem compatibility here.


You can BYO modem on any of One’s unlimited fibre, VDSL and ADSL broadband plans. Or, use a modem from One – provided for free on 12-month wireless plans. A $4/month modem fee applies for VDSL and fibre plans. Check modem compatibility here.


You can BYO modem with any Bigpipe broadband plan. A Bigpipe modem will cost you $99 on an open-term plan, or $0 on a 12-month plan.

Contact Energy Logo NEW


You can BYO modem to use on Contact’s fibre plan. Or, Contact will provide you with a modem for a $14.99 shipping fee. Check modem compatibility here.

Electric Kiwi

You can BYO modem to any Electric Kiwi broadband plan. Or, Electric Kiwi offers free rental of a Netgear Orbi modem. Check modem compatibility here.

flip logoFlip

Flip allows you to BYO fibre-capable modem. Or, Flip offers a high speed modem for $50 (including delivery). The modem is yours to keep and can handle up to 32 wi-fi devices. Check modem compatibility here.

Compare Broadband with Canstar Blue

To help you get a clearer picture of broadband providers in NZ, Canstar Blue rates all the big providers annually. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Overall Satisfaction, Value for Money and Customer Service. We then award the best broadband providers our Star Ratings and Most Satisfied Customer Award.

See Our Ratings Methodology

The table above is an abridged version of our full research, to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the button below.


Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar!

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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