There are different router models on the market, each with its features and capabilities. Some routers last for years, while others need to be replaced. But how long do routers last?
We will discuss some signs that determine if you need to replace your router and provide tips on prolonging the life of your router.
A router's average lifespan is probably around five years at the current rate of change. However, it will not be guaranteed depending on how people use routers.
Upgrading every five years ensures that you always have the most up-to-date features and performance without having to make any unnecessary compromises. As we have said, a router can last a lot longer if it's well-maintained and meets your needs.
We maybe feel that sometimes our router needs replacement, but we can't tell if it's dying. But the most obvious sign that our routers are about to die is poor or no internet connection at all.
Why Do Routers Fail?
People often overlook the importance of maintaining routers. They tend to use it without checking if it is still working correctly and do their usual things without checking for errors. The following are factors that may be affecting a router's lifespan.
These are the small components that send signals to our routers. They connect them to various devices. They continue sending and receiving data through these cables, which means if the cable is damaged or cut, there will be no connections at all.
Damaged Electrical Components
Routers become weak over time due to their electrical components like capacitors, batteries (for routers that run on battery), memory chips, etc. These parts or units will slowly deteriorate, causing physical damage that naked eyes can't see.
Wrong Router Placement
The proper placement of a router has extensive participation in making the router's life last. Sometimes we overlook this factor, so we replace it immediately without checking the proper location when our router shows signal weakness.
It is important to monitor if your routers' signal strength has dropped significantly. The usual culprits would be appliances like microwave ovens, cordless phones, and wireless speakers that use radio frequency (RF) technology to transmit signals; they will interfere with the router's transmission/reception, thus causing low signal strength.
If you noticed that your router's LED stopped to lit, this might be caused by low signal strength, which causes service interruption depending on where you place your router in your home/office. However, this is not the worse thing that may happen to your router.
The worst-case would be routers getting hacked and infected with viruses and malware. Many people are unaware that routers can be used as platforms to carry out cyber attacks. Malware and viruses can infect our router by spreading all over the system network, so if you notice your router being sluggish, you might need to take action to solve the issue.
Long-term use of routers can cause them to overheat. You may not notice it at first, but it may cause service disruption to all users in the network if it goes on. It would be best to place routers at room temperature to get heated up fast to avoid this problem.
4 Signs That You Need a Router Replacement
Routers are not like lightbulbs; they will not simply go out. There are many factors to blame if your router fails to function properly. Here are signs that your router needs a replacement:
1. You have used your router for more than 5 years.
You may need to replace your router after one year of use, and this is because routers degrade over time. So, if your router is more than five years old, then don't think twice about replacing it because routers do not last that long.
2. The router fails to work properly.
You also need to consider replacing your routers if they are not working properly. You may check the Internet connection and see that it is slow or cannot be connected due to some issues within your router. Routers require immediate replacement if you notice this problem because fixing them will only waste your time and money.
3. Router frequently overheats.
Routers that overheat regularly might need replacement. You will know if your routers are overheating by simply checking how hot they get. If they start to smell or emit an unpleasant odor, you should take immediate action because routers do not last long when too much heat is inside.
4. You hear an unusual noise.
Routers can also become noisy, which has been noticed by many people who have complained about this problem. In some cases, routers make loud beeping noises even though no one presses any button or switch.
When your router happens to have signs of failing, it doesn't mean that you need to get a replacement right away, especially when the budget is tight. You may try these simple troubleshooting below to solve the issues:
- Reset and restore default settings - If the old routers have been running for too long, they may no longer work properly because of corrupted data and other issues that you might not be aware of. Thus, resetting routers can resolve these problems efficiently by restoring its factory setting.
- Turn off the file-sharing feature on routers - When not in use, it's a good idea to turn off this network service since virus and malware files acquired from torrents or PTP (peer-to-peer) sites are frequently saved on your computer's shared folder. Vulnerable routers can be damaged if necessary security measures aren't implemented after installation.
- Remove unused ports and devices connected to routers - Just like turning off file-sharing services, disconnecting unnecessary hardware will help you reduce the risk of routers getting attacked or hacked.
- When routers are not used, turn them off - This is perhaps one of the simplest and most common practices as it helps save energy, thus prolonging routers' lifespan.
- Use an ethernet cable - If you have no internet connection and are using Wi-Fi, try using an ethernet cable instead of switching to a different ethernet cable. If that solves the problem, the router is good to go. If that doesn't work, try connecting directly to the modem.
- Try relocating your router - If you are experiencing random connection drops, try moving it to another location. You may also reset it to factory defaults. If it isn't password-protected, secure it, so your neighbors don't overburden it. Changing the power outlet may also help.
Routers Lifespan FAQ
1. Do routers degrade over time?
Heat stress causes routers to wear out. The heat generated by the router as it attempts to connect all of your devices can damage the wires and components inside. They have heat-exchange vents that allow the heat to escape. The smaller the vents, the more easily the router will clog and overheat.
2. Is my Wi-Fi router too old?
If the router is more than four or five years old, you may consider replacing it. You could try pointing a small fan at your router or moving it somewhere with good airflow to see if that helps. 2. An older router may not support 802.11n, the most widely used Wi-Fi technology.
3. How can I tell if I have a faulty router?
Here are some indications that you have a faulty router:
- Internet traffic slowdowns
- Longer download times
- Frequently disconnects
- Weak signal strength in various locations around your home
4. How to check if a router is still working?
Ping one computer using another computer on the same network to see if your router is working. If the router is in good working order, you should do so. The firewall on your machine must also be turned off.
5. How frequently do I need to replace my router?
You may replace your router every three to four years. That explains how frequently people change equipment like smartphones and PCs (every two years) (every three to four years).
Routers play an essential role in our lives - they allow us to connect to the Internet wirelessly. However, many factors influence a router's lifespan. So if it's time for a new one, you'll want to know about it.
Do you think it’s time for you to replace your device? Share this post with your friends to spread the knowledge of how long do routers last!