A router is the type of background technology that we don’t notice until it breaks down. You can have a standalone router or a router/modem combo. It could be the property of your internet service provider, or you may have purchased a router.
The build quality, temperature handling capabilities, use patterns, installation locations, and eventually technology obsolescence all have an impact on a router’s operating lifespan.
How Long Do Routers Last?
A router’s typical lifespan is probably around five years at the current rate of change. Upgrading every five years ensures that you always have the most up-to-date features and performance without having to make any unwanted compromises. A router, on the other hand, can last a lot longer if it’s well-maintained and matches your needs.
How to Tell Do I need a new router?
The simplest method to know if it’s time to replace a router is if it’s physically broken, but routers don’t always break down completely at the same time. Slower speed, less range, and other faults are all signs that a router is on its way out.
Another important predictor of when it’s time to replace a router is its age. Although age has no influence on variables like regular wear and tear, heat damage, or outdated technology, it can help identify whether it’s time. If your router has reached the end of its useful life in any of those areas, it’s time to upgrade.
When a router lacks a few of the most crucial capabilities available in new routers, it’s time to replace it. If you have a large area to cover, features like greater ranges and mesh compatibility are critical. Across the board, USB ports and the ability to link network-attached storage (NAS) are critical. Wireless protocols evolve over time, so if your router is using an out-of-date protocol, it’s time to upgrade.
When Internet Connection Problems Indicate a Need for a New Router
Because a variety of factors might cause internet connectivity troubles, you shouldn’t assume you have a bad router just because your internet isn’t working. If your internet connection isn’t working right now, there are a few things you may do to get it working again. If you find that the router is broken, it’s time to get a new one.
Here are some of the most prevalent signs that your router is about to die:
- If you’re having trouble connecting to the internet, try using an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi, or try a different ethernet cable. If it solves the problem, the router is good to go. If it doesn’t work, try connecting to the modem directly. If connecting straight to the modem solves your problem, your router is broken.
- Move your router to a different position, remove sources of interference, and reset it to factory defaults if your connection stops at random. If it isn’t password-protected, make sure it is so that your neighbors don’t use it excessively. Changing the power outlet may also be beneficial.
- If the lights on your router and modem show that there is no connection, power cycle them. Try various ethernet cords if that doesn’t work. You should also check sure your modem has the most recent firmware. If the lights continue to show no connection despite the devices being connected, the router is most likely broken.
When Should You Replace Your Router Due to Age?
Heat is the most common cause of router failure over time, as these devices run hot and rely on passive cooling. Furthermore, we frequently store them in closets or other areas with poor air circulation. If the router is in a small place, the vents are likely to be clogged with dust.
Wear and tear, heat damage, and out-of-date equipment are all important concerns to consider. You can replace components such as your router based on an arbitrary age, but this might be a waste of money if you do so too soon.
How Often Should Your Modem Be Replaced?
Another important issue that contributes to the need to replace a router over time is outdated hardware. To be sure, you need to look at specific features and standards to see if a router is outdated, but if it’s more than ten years old, you’re definitely two or three big revisions behind.
When to Replace Your Router Due to Missing Features
Last but not least, missing functions and standards are a sign that it’s time to upgrade your router.
Because some people desire to be on the cutting edge of new technology, while others want to get the most out of existing hardware, this is a bit of a jumbled indicator. With that in mind, you’ll want to consider whether or not you want specific features and requirements.
The wireless standard is the most crucial indicator of whether or not a router has to be changed. The three most widely used standards are as follows:
- Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) is backward compatible with prior Wi-Fi versions. This standard offers the fastest speeds and allows most devices to be connected. Your shopping habits will determine whether or not you have a large number of Wi-Fi 6 devices.
- Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) is a backward-compatible version of Wi-Fi 5. Since 2013, it has been the most widely used router standard, therefore if your router is older than then, you should seriously consider updating.
- Wi-Fi 4 (also known as 802.11n): This standard was mainly phased out in 2013. If you still have a Wi-Fi 4 router, upgrading will almost certainly enhance performance.
If you’re still using a Wi-Fi 4 router, it’s probably old enough that it might stop operating at any time, and it probably doesn’t work as well as it did when it was new owing to regular wear and tear.
It’s more difficult if you have a Wi-Fi 5 router. Newer Wi-Fi 5 routers outperform older ones, so if you have one of the early Wi-Fi 5 routers, upgrading could result in considerable performance gains. The capabilities of today’s greatest long-range routers, for example, greatly exceed those of the best solutions just a few years ago.
Another important router characteristic is the number of bands that are supported. It’s probably time to upgrade your router if it just has a single 2.4GHz band. For increased performance, most current routers offer two bands, one 2.4GHz and one 5GHz, and some even support additional bands.
Other crucial features to look for include USB ports, particularly USB 3.0 and USB C connectors, which are useful for connecting USB drives to all of your networked devices and accessing your information. If your router doesn’t support MU-MIMO or only has one or two antennas, you may want to upgrade.
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