There is no one definitive answer to the question of how often should you replace your wireless router. Some factors that may influence your decision include the age of your router, the number of devices connected to it, and how heavily it’s used. Generally speaking, most routers last for around four to five years before they need to be replaced. Let’s take a look at each of these and what you need to know about replacing your router.
- 1 Are Wireless Routers Outdated?
- 2 Troubleshooting Router Issues Before Replacement
- 3 Some Signs You Need To Replace Your Router
- 4 How Often Should You Replace Your Wireless Router?
- 5 What Is The Lifespan Of A Wireless Router?
- 6 What To Consider When Replacing Your Wireless Router
- 7 Conclusion
Are Wireless Routers Outdated?
Just like all consumer-grade devices, wireless routers also wear out. Wireless routers are most commonly damaged by the heat and stress they experience. They produce heat when they connect multiple devices to the internet.
Your wireless router can start to behave if the vents become blocked and heat cannot escape. Small vents can make it hard for heat to escape and damage your wireless router. I recommend that you choose a wireless router with larger vents.
Your wireless routers will not only heat up internally but also become hotter from long-term external heat exposure. If you place your router next to a window, heat from the sun will increase the heat it produces internally. The excessive heat from your wireless router can melt the wires.
Wireless routers can also be damaged by dust and insufficient airflow. Your router will become dusty if it is placed on the ground. Over time, this can cause heat loss through blocked vents.
It would be a good idea to keep your wireless router out of areas with poor airflow. It needs proper airflow to function properly, so it is important that it is protected from dust and the sun. It should not be exposed to excessive airflow, as this could cause damage to the internal fan.
Troubleshooting Router Issues Before Replacement
Wi-Fi routers allow you to connect to the internet from multiple devices at home. They not only provide internet access but also protect your computer against malware attacks.
After you have installed your router, everything should work smoothly. There will be times when your router has hiccups.
There are simple ways to fix problems and get your internet back online.
It is simple to unplug the router and then plug it back in.
You can do the same thing with your modem. The problem may be related to that device more than the router.
Although it may seem simple, it can resolve many problems by setting up the interface between your operating system and the radio that receives internet signals. 
If that doesn’t work, try resetting the router. Resetting the router is an option. For 5-10 seconds, press the hidden button at the back of your router.
However, this will reset any custom settings that you have made for your router. The router will also forget all your devices. 
You can also run speed tests to determine if there is a weak signal in one area of your home. These tests are available online for free.
It could be your router or computer location. You can try moving it to another location to see if that helps.
Another option is to bypass the router by plugging directly into the modem with an Ethernet cable.
If your router is not performing well, it may be time to replace it.
Some Signs You Need To Replace Your Router
Software That Is Out Of Date
Even if your router seems to be functioning well, it is worth replacing if it stops receiving firmware updates.
Some routers will automatically install these updates, while others require you to manually do so. A router update can bring new functionality to it. Google, for instance, introduced last year a tool to reduce video call disruptions such as buffering and stuttering.
Importantly, firmware updates often include security patches to help protect you and your data from hackers. You are at risk of losing your data or your network devices (or your router) being hacked.
This is the tricky part.
If your router manufacturer has an up-to-date list of devices that it doesn’t support, you might be lucky. This is an “end-of-life” list in tech jargon. Any router on it should be removed.
D-Link and Netgear have router end-of-life lists, while Asus, Synology, Netgear, Synology, and TP-Link all have them. Eero claims it still supports its first-gen mesh routing routers. Google has three routers so far, with the oldest being from 2016. This model is still supported by Google, but the company would not say how long.
You can also check your own logs to find out when the router firmware was last updated. This can be done in a few ways.
It is easiest to use the router’s smartphone app. This usually has the option to check for updates manually. The name of the setting or menu will differ by brand. You can also access your router’s web application by entering an IP address (often 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1) into your web browser.
Although the exact address may vary depending on the model, it is usually indicated directly on the router. To see the date and time of the last update, you would click “check for Updates” or similar.
However, CR’s survey data shows that only one-fifth of consumers wait longer than four years before replacing their router. This is a pretty good estimate.
Even if the router is working well, there might be a good reason to replace it.
If your router isn’t providing reliable and fast WiFi, you should upgrade it. This can be done in a number of ways.
It is possible to suddenly realize that Netflix can’t be viewed in 4K while your kids chat on Discord in their bedrooms. It is possible for large downloads like games from sites like Steam or Xbox GamePass to take several days. Maybe you have trouble getting a reliable connection to your home office from your spare bedroom.
Before you purchase a router, make sure to run speed tests to see how fast your internet connection is. This will help you determine if the problem is with your router or your internet service provider.
SpeedTest.Net offers several speed tests, and Speed Test By Measurement Lab has SpeedTest.Net. These tests should be run on a laptop that is connected via Ethernet cable to your router.
Speed tests can be finicky. You may see different results depending upon the time of day, activity on your network, and other factors. However, they will give you an idea of how fast you are getting.
If that number is significantly different than the speed you are paying for, you should call your ISP. This could indicate an issue on their part. If the speeds are comparable, you might need to pay more for faster service to meet the demands placed on your system.
If your home’s data speed seems to be good, your router may not be up to the job. This is especially true if your connectivity is better in one area of the house than in the other.
You might not have known that mesh networking is a relatively new technology.
These routers use mesh technology and are sold in pairs or threes. They work together to spread WiFi throughout the home. A mesh router will often perform better than a single-unit router in most cases, especially if you have a larger house.
There are currently 56 models in CR ratings. They can be divided into two categories: single-unit wireless models and multi-unit mesh WiFi models. These are the top models, with a special emphasis on models that receive automatic firmware updates.
Slow Internet Speed
A slow internet connection is a sign your router may need to be replaced. Sometimes it could be caused by increased traffic or decreased bandwidth. Sometimes, however, it may be your router that is causing the problem.
Make sure to connect your modem directly to your device and check if there is still a problem. This is a sign that your connection is experiencing increased traffic or decreased bandwidth. Your router is likely to be the problem if your connection speeds return to their average speed.
Intermittent network connections are the worst. You may be surfing the internet fine and the link is stable at one point, but then suddenly your connection drops and a message says “No Internet Connection.” After some time your connection will resume. You will continue this loop until you can’t complete any task.
Another reason to get a new router is this. This is most commonly caused by poor area coverage. This can be avoided by moving your router to an area that is open and free from obstructions, such as walls. The problem is most likely in the router.
High-quality materials are used to make routers that can withstand minor heat and impacts. But routers older than 3 to 5 years can be damaged by heat.
If the average life expectancy of the router is less than one year, then it may have suffered heat damage.
Total Disintegration of the Device
If your router stops working completely, it is a sign that your router has failed. This means that your router is not responding to any buttons you press.
If this happens, make sure to check the connector wires connecting to your modem and computer. Check that they are properly inserted in their respective slots.
We have reviewed all options and found that the router is still not in working order. It indicates that the router has been damaged.
How Often Should You Replace Your Wireless Router?
Wireless routers that are of good quality will last for three to five years. The chances of the router still working at its best after five years are slim. You should replace the router.
Other factors such as outdated technology support and internet connectivity will also affect how often your router is replaced. Even if your router has not been used for at least five years, it must be replaced if it is no longer compatible with your devices.
You can avoid having to replace your router often by purchasing high-quality wireless routers. Wireless routers that are durable and can withstand minor impacts are well-built. Only trust reliable manufacturers.
You should also replace your router with one that is compatible with all of your internet requirements. If you use the most recent technological gadgets, it is important to buy a router that can support them. Before you buy, consult a tech professional.
You don’t have to stress about replacing your router with a newer model. The manuals for setting up modern routers are well-written and easy to read.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Wireless Router?
A wireless router’s lifespan is usually five years. However, it depends on how well you use it and what maintenance you do. Wireless routers can be used and maintained properly for up to five years.
If your router is overused or has multiple users connected, it may fail sooner than you think. Allow your router to cool off once in a while.
Maintenance is another factor that can affect the life expectancy of your wireless router. Your router will stop working as soon as you buy it, regardless of how much or little you do. As long as the technology isn’t outdated, a well-maintained router will last you more than five years.
You should ensure that your wireless router is not too hot or too humid. You should choose a spot that provides the strongest network signal within your home. Also, I recommend that you place your router at a high location and not on the floor.
Keep your wireless router out of liquids. Your router can be damaged by liquids. You should take the utmost care of your cables and wires.
Regularly clean your router of any dust that has accumulated to block the vents. To clean out dust from hidden corners, you can use compressed air. To repair a router that has a problem, contact a technician.
Your router’s lifespan is also determined by technology. Every year internet speeds and standards change, so every manufacturer must keep up to date when making their gadgets. Even if the wireless router hasn’t been in use for a while, it must be replaced.
What To Consider When Replacing Your Wireless Router
It can be difficult to choose a reliable wireless router from the many available options. This is especially true if you aren’t familiar with the terms and acronyms used by manufacturers. The router’s name and price do not determine its quality.
When buying a router, one of the most important things you should consider is its capacity. A router that has high processing power is necessary if you plan to use it for downloading, streaming live programs, gaming, and other activities. A router with 128 MB RAM and a dual-core processor is essential if you are to have fun using it.
Make sure your router comes with a smartphone app for convenience. Your router should have an app that allows you to view the working status of your router and its features without needing to access your computer. Premium routers will allow you to connect to your internet via the app, even if it isn’t nearby.
A single-band router is not recommended. If your router broadcasts only one frequency, you will have problems with internet connectivity. It would be either slow or overloaded.
Dual-band routers are available. You can connect to your router with more standards than the internet speed you get.
Also, consider the quality of the service offered by the manufacturer. The Quality of Service is what determines how much bandwidth you give to your devices. Most people don’t use this feature as they don’t know how it works.
Make sure the router’s quality of service is exceptional It is impossible to configure it. Advanced Quality of Service offers more benefits because it uses smart algorithms to manage your bandwidth.
A minimum of one USB port should be installed on the router, whether it is a type C or USB 3.0 port. It is necessary to connect your router with other modern devices. A USB port is a must for any router.
Other useful features, such as firewalls, VPN servers, antivirus, and so forth, are important. These features are essential if you need to protect your router from external attacks. These advanced features are not available on a low-end router.
You will need a wireless router that has a large RAM capacity (512 MB or greater), powerful hardware and standard Wi-Fi frequencies. It might be costly, but it is well worth the investment.
Your router can also make your home life easier. You can purchase a wireless router with task automation features or that integrates with smart assistants if you have smart home devices. You can control your router using the smart assistant.
Only high-quality wireless routers can provide reliable internet service and a long life span. You should only purchase high-end routers. While proper care and usage will help preserve your router, technological advancements might force you to replace it as often as possible. Rezence hopes you found this article useful and let us know what your favorite router is in the comments below.