How Long Do Routers Last?

Generally, we recommend you upgrade to a new router every three to four years.

That accounts for how often people typically upgrade devices like smartphones (every two years) and computers (every three to four years).

Do routers wear out?

Routers wear out from heat stress. The heat that comes from the router working to connect all of your many devices can damage wires and components inside. They have vents that allow the heat to escape. The smaller the vents, the easier it is for the router to clog up and overheat.

How do I know when my router is going bad?

Go to the Lights

Your router has a series of indicator lights, usually located on the front of the device. These lights will let you know if your router is operating properly. The indicator lights will usually show functions that include power, Internet connection and Wi-Fi signal strength.

How long do routers and modems last?

How long do modems last? Cable and DSL modems typically seem to last 3-4 years, in my experience, due to power surges over the data line.

Why do routers go bad?

Heat related issues – the CPU, RAM, capacitors, MOSFETs, resistors and other components release heat. Heat can be very bad for a router. It can lead to fried components which will kill the router. Make sure your router is in a well ventilated area.

Is it time to replace my router?

Generally, we recommend you upgrade to a new router every three to four years. Newer devices are probably using the 802.11ac standard, so you will get the fastest speeds at long distances with an 802.11ac router. If you hoard old devices, you will also get faster speeds and greater range.

How often should you replace your modem?

Cable modems, based on how they work, are kind of a “wear item”, and generally do need to be changed out at a minimum every five years. (Those SB6141 8×4 DOCSIS 3.0 modems that everybody and their brother had, those are developing “bad caps” around now, so should be replaced anyways.)