In our increasingly digitized world, the role of a sturdy and dependable router is comparable to any other essential home gadget. Routers are the backbone of our online connectivity, enabling us to binge on our preferred series, engage in remote work, or maintain contact with friends and family. However, akin to all electronic equipment, routers possess a finite lifecycle beyond which their efficiency may start to diminish.
If you’ve been considering what the lifespan of a router is, then you’ve landed in the right place. Assessing your router’s lifespan isn’t a simple procedure as it relies on a variety of elements like its build quality, the extent of use, and maintenance. To extend your router’s durability and ensure a steady, high-speed internet link, it’s essential to understand these elements and how they influence your device’s functionality.
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Spotting the Signs that You Need a New Router
Sign #1—Your router is as old as the hills
The age of your router is an essential factor in determining whether it’s time for an upgrade. Routers, being small computers dedicated to managing internet traffic, suffer from wear and tear over time. If you start noticing frequent connection drops or slow internet speeds, your router’s age might be to blame.
Also, if your router’s Wi-Fi specification doesn’t match up with your latest devices, it’s akin to driving a luxury sports car on a dirt road at a snail’s pace. You’re not exploiting the full potential of your device. Upgrading your router every five years or after a significant update of your wireless devices can help you keep up with the advancing technology. You can repurpose your old router as a wired hub by disabling its Wi-Fi radios.
Sign #2—Your provider’s router isn’t cutting it
Leasing a router from your internet service provider can indeed be an economical choice. However, there could be instances when these routers are not aligned with the latest Wi-Fi standards. If your provider is still using Wi-Fi 5 routers, while others have moved to advanced Wi-Fi 6E, it might be an indication to consider procuring a new router.
When you decide to invest in a new router, you gain greater autonomy over the potential, speed, and reach of your local network. Not to mention, it could be a cost-saving strategy over an extended period. For instance, if you’re paying a monthly rental fee of $10, you stand to save as much as $600 over a span of five years by choosing to purchase a router.
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Sign #3—Your router keeps dropping connections
Wireless devices disconnect from a router either when they move out of range or when there’s no internet. If you notice that your device disconnects even when you’re in range or when there’s internet, your router may be having technical issues.
If your new device, which previously had a strong connection, suddenly has weak signal strength in the same location, your router may be malfunctioning. Sometimes, the problem can be due to a failing Ethernet port or a damaged cable. In such cases, troubleshooting the router’s connection can help determine if you need to buy a new router.
Sign #4—Your router is as slow as a tortoise
A router’s slow performance can result from several issues, such as a weakened signal, an overheated or older router processor, or faulty connections. Interference from new networks can also slow down your internet speed.
To improve the speed, ensure your router has good ventilation, check its connection to the modem, switch to a higher 5 GHz channel, and conduct wired speed tests. If none of these steps help, it might be time to purchase a new router.
Indicator #5—Your router is excessively warm
Just like any other electronic gadget, routers produce heat. However, if your router feels incredibly warm to the touch, it might suggest that its internal components are overworking, potentially leading to operational problems or a complete failure. The overheating can stem from a range of issues, such as a malfunctioning router, deteriorating internal elements, inadequate ventilation, or a low-cost router grappling with a heavy connection load. If your router is aged or lacks sufficient ventilation, it might be time to think about an upgrade.
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Sign #6—Your router keeps rebooting
If you’re frequently manually rebooting your router due to slow speeds or it’s rebooting on its own, it could indicate hardware or firmware issues. Faulty power connections can also cause random reboots.
If your router is older or malfunctioning and no troubleshooting steps work, consider buying a new router. Always ensure that your router’s firmware is up to date.
Sign #7—Your router doesn’t update
Firmware acts as the router’s operating system. Keeping it updated is crucial for maintaining the security and performance of your router. However, if your router isn’t receiving firmware updates, it leaves your router susceptible to security threats.
If your current router doesn’t receive firmware updates, it might be time to invest in a new one. If buying a new router isn’t an immediate option, consider renting a new one from your internet provider.
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The Lifespan of a Router and Your Next Steps
In the dynamic world of digital technology, it’s vital to keep abreast of your router’s performance and potential lifespan. Generally, routers have an expected lifespan of about five years, but this can fluctuate based on factors such as usage, specific model, and ongoing tech innovations. By vigilantly monitoring for indicators such as recurrent loss of connection, diminished speeds, overheating, and absence of firmware updates, you can wisely determine the right time to upgrade your router.
Before making your next move, consider checking out VMedia for a range of available internet options. VMedia offers various packages tailored to different user needs, ensuring you get the best out of your internet experience. Whether it’s time to upgrade your router or explore more efficient internet packages, VMedia has you covered with their reliable and cost-effective solutions. Remember, staying connected means staying updated.
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