If you want to get fit then there are not many exercises that are better for strength, conditioning and cardio than rowing. The problem is that in order to row you either need to take up the sport, which is great if you have the time and money or join a gym.
Of course if you join a gym, in most cases you will have access to many rowing machines and different forms of equipment but again the problem with this is the cost. Most gyms will cost you around $80-$100 a month to join!
The other way of course is to get a home rower. This means that you can row in the comfort of your own home and you can pick up a rower relatively cheaply. The thing you need to know if you are looking for a home rower is what you are using it for.
“To get fit of course!” I hear you cry! Yes, but depending on which home rower you pick up you will get a different level of resistance. Some will give you arms like oars, other are T bars that you hold with both hands and others will give you a full oar like movement and resistance like water.
The main types of resistance you will find in a rower are hydraulic, magnetic, air and water.
As a rule of thumb if you are just starting out the hydraulic versions are smaller and usually cheaper. However if you actually do row on water and want to strengthen your muscles for real rowing you can go for water. These are normally a bit noisier and as they are the closest to the real thing they are pretty pricey as well.
If you are just beginning I would look up a compact, hydraulic rower and these will normally be quieter, the quietest ones are the magnetic but may also cost more.
If you want the BEST rower I would suggest you have a look at the Concept 2 rower as this is the closest thing to rowing but will cost more as well.