How Long do Wireless Routers Last?

Routers are a staple in most homes and offices. They provide the crucial function of connecting devices to the internet, so it’s important to choose one that will last. But how long do wireless routers actually last? And what can you do to make them last longer? Read on for the truth about router lifespans.

What Factors Affect How Long A Wireless Router Lasts?

Factors affecting wireless router lifespan include:

The Number of Devices Connected to the Router: 

The more devices you connect to your router, the harder it has to work. This puts stress on the router and can lower its lifespan.

How often the Router is in Use?

The more you use your wireless router, the faster it’s going to age and reduce in functionality or stop working altogether.

Where do you place the Router?

This factor is important to consider if you want your wireless router to last long. Where you place your router can help or hinder its performance, affect how often it works, and ultimately affect how long it lasts. For example, routers typically work best when they’re high up on a shelf or wall mounted. Placing it on the floor, under a desk, or couch will obstruct and weaken the signal and potentially make your router stop working sooner.

The Power of the Router’s Radio Signals: 

The power of the router’s radio signals can affect its connection strength and how long it lasts. If you notice your wireless signal is not as strong as it used to be, try renewing its firmware or changing the channel the router broadcasts on.

Manufacturer-Provided Updates and Patches for Router Software: 

Manufacturers typically UPDATE and PATCH their router software to make sure it’s up to date with current security protocols. These updates can help protect your router from hackers and keep it performing well for longer.

How to Maximize the Life of Your Wireless Router?

To ensure your wireless router lasts as long as possible, follow these tips:

Keep the number of connected devices to a minimum. The fewer devices connected to the router the better. Reducing this number will help reduce strain on your router and increase its lifespan.

Keep looking for firmware updates from the manufacturer. Router software updates are crucial for keeping your router secure and up to date. Be sure to update your manufacturer’s firmware as needed, or when prompted by them.

Keep the router away from other electronics. If possible, try not to place the router near other electronic devices like microwaves or cordless phones. These devices can interfere with your router’s signal, ultimately affecting its performance and lifespan.

Try not to place the router on or near other objects like bookshelves or file cabinets. Doing this can obstruct the router’s range and weaken the signal it receives, which in turn will affect its performance over time.

Don’t place your router on the floor or under a desk. Placing the router on the floor makes it more likely that it will not receive a strong signal and can affect its performance over time. Putting it under a desk or couch obstructs its range, causing the signal to weaken which in turn weakens its performance over time.

Keep the router away from any moisture or high amounts of humidity. High humidity creates adverse conditions for your router that can cause it to stop working properly or reduce its lifespan.

Keep your router in a well-ventilated space, preferably not enclosed by cabinets or other objects. Having these types of obstacles surrounding the router can reduce its range and weaken the signal, which can, in turn, affect how long it lasts.

Avoid placing your router near any large metal objects or appliances that generate heat. Large metal objects can interfere with the radio frequencies of wireless routers, making their connection weak. This interference diminishes your signal strength and affects how long your router will last.

If you’re using a power strip, avoid plugging your router into an outlet that is also being used by other devices. Power strips are meant to ensure that multiple appliances can be plugged in at once without overloading the circuit or electrical system. Using a power strip can cause electrical interference and make it harder for your router to receive a strong signal.

Keep your router’s firmware up to date. Manufacturers often release software updates and patches for routers to ensure that they continue working as intended. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on updating your router, or check frequently for any available updates from them.

The Average Lifespan Of A Wireless Router:

The average lifespan of a wireless router is anywhere from 2 to 8 years. The range varies based on several factors including how often the router has been used, how it has been affected by other electronics in the home, climate conditions in which it’s located, and much more.

Router Maintenance Tips:

In order to get the most out of your router, it is important to keep it clean and provide proper maintenance. Keep in mind that a dirty router can hamper its performance and shorten its lifespan, while regular cleaning can help ensure you get the best possible performance from your device.

Dust accumulation on a router’s insides can cause it to heat up and require more energy to run. To prevent this, try to gently vacuum the router every few months or wipe it down with a dry cloth.

When cleaning your device, make sure not to spray liquid directly onto the router as doing so can cause damage to its insides. Instead, spray water onto a cloth and wipe down the router’s exterior.

As mentioned in the section above, avoid placing your router near any large metal objects or appliances that generate heat. These may interfere with your signal causing your wireless performance to diminish over time.

When is it Time to Replace Your Old Router?

If your router isn’t working properly or you notice that the wireless signal has drastically weakened, then it may be time to replace your old router. To find a replacement, consider what type of features are most important to you in a new device.

Some of the most common types of routers include cable modem router combo, wireless-N router, dual-band router, wireless range extender, and more. Be sure to pick a device that best suits your needs and provides the features you desire.

When searching for your next router, it is important to consider several different factors including the age of your current device, how long you would like the new one to last, and what you will use it for. Here are some recommended devices that you might want to consider depending on the unique specifications of your home:

  • Home with modem: Modem router combo for faster speeds
  • Home with no existing devices: Wireless-N router or a wireless range extender to improve signal strength throughout the home
  • Large home with multiple devices: Tri-band router for three separate networks, additional USB ports, and increased data transfer rates.

Conclusion: 

Wireless routers are a necessary evil in this day and age. We rely on them to keep us connected, but they don’t always last as long as we would hope. By understanding what factors affect how long your router lasts, you can take steps to maximize its life and get the most out of your investment. Additionally, by knowing when it’s time for a new router and which one is right for your needs, you can be sure you’re always online and productive. Thanks for following along we hope this information was helpful!


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Chris Slambery
By Chris Slambery

Chris Slambery is the founder of Gamingerra, a website devoted to technology and gaming. He's been passionate about both subjects since he was a child, and has been working in tech journalism for over a decade. When Chris isn't writing or gaming, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. Chris loves keeping up to date with the latest tech news and he wants to share that information with as many people as possible. He's always been fascinated by the latest technologies and loves sharing his knowledge with others.


Gaming Erra is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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