How long do wireless routers last? Router Lifespan Explained!

Are you comfortable with the performance of your Wi-Fi connections these days? Or have you seen a significant drop in the performance of your Wi-Fi and wired devices? Or maybe you have seen an advert for a faster, better router. A router lasts for 3 to 5 years before technology changes, wear and tear, and other factors make it go bad. Therefore, you can expect to change your router at least on average every 5 years.

In this world, one of the most frustrating times is when you have a poor connection. At that time, your mind is fixated on watching a particular video or gaming, and then your internet lets you down.

Since the router is one of the essential devices in internet connection, even though unrecognized, it’s important to know when it needs replacement.

Several factors determine the average life span of a router. We can have a measure of control over some factors. For other elements, we do not have any control over them. However, in general, taking good care of your router is paramount in it achieving its life span.

If a router is well taken care of, thus preventing any mechanical damage, it may last for several years while giving you a satisfactory performance.

One of the reasons is that we do not move the routers frequently (it is in a solid-state); neither do they contain any moving parts. One of the reasons people feel the need to replace a router is the change in the router’s features.

We will explore in this article how long do wireless routers last and when to change your router. Let’s delve in!

What is a router?

A router is a device that connects your home to the internet and allows you to access your favorite websites, streaming services and more. Everything from downloading movies and TV shows to browsing social media requires a connection to the internet.

Your router is a device that connects your home to the internet and allows you to access your favorite websites, streaming services and more. Everything from downloading movies and TV shows to browsing social media requires a connection to the internet.

Once you buy an expensive router, it will most likely last for a couple of years before you need to buy a new one. You can extend the lifespan of your router by following these tips.

Factors that determine how long wireless routers last

Several factors determine how long a router will last. The factors determine if your ‘router will go bad‘. Besides, you may decide to change your router for one of the reasons that we will discuss below.


Overheating is one of the main reasons why a router will not last. This is because overheating destroys the internal components of a router.

The problem of overheating happens with all routers with time but is more common in the low-budget routers, which do not have advanced cooling systems. Furthermore, overheating may be caused by the poor positioning of the router.

A poorly positioned router will not get a good flow of air, thus making heat accumulate in the router. Therefore, it is vital to consider the positioning as you install your router since we don’t move the router very often.

Overheating with time will reduce the performance of your router. It accounts for a considerable percentage of router problems, such as slow performance and intermittent outages.

For this problem, you can decide to point a fan towards the router or move it to a place where there is a smooth flow of air.

Hardware problems

Even though we said that the router does not have moving parts, it is subject to the normal wear and tear of all products. A router’s processor or other components will get worn out with time.

The hardware problem may be a result of overheating or other standard wear and tear processes.

Overclocking, one of the features of DD-WRT routers increases router hardware problems.

Brand of the router

The router technology is like every other technology available in the world today. Some brands make routers of the highest quality that last for long. Other router manufacturers make routers that do not last for long.

The quality of the router not only determines the router’s life span but also determines the performance of the router. We, therefore, recommend that as you are buying a router, consider getting a high-quality one.

Router technology advancements

Over time, we have seen changes in router technology. These advances have almost rendered the older routers obsolete.

One of the reasons for this is that the devices that use Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections in our homes and offices also move with time. The current Wi-Fi standard is Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), and all the manufacturers make future devices that benefit from the performance prescribed for these router specifications.

Therefore, since the router manufacturers are also moving with the times, older routers tend to lack firmware updates and support.

Usage of the router

There are many different functionalities of different routers. If you continuously use your router to the maximum, it means that it won’t last for very long.

Overusing the router also leads to overheating, which is one of the leading causes of reduced router lifespan.

Therefore, we recommend using the router for its capacity level. You can check the router capacity by reading the manufacturer’s manual for your router.

The location where the router is installed

Some of the other significant causes of router problems are dust accumulation, moisture, and being knocked over by people or pets. You can prevent the effects of these three causes of reduced router life span by being strategic in positioning the router.

Consequently, we recommend that you install a router in a position that will cover your whole home with the internet. Besides this, you should also install it in a place where there will be no dust accumulation, where the router will not become wet, and even away from human and pet traffic.

The installation place should also enable optimal ventilation to prevent overheating of your router.

Maintenance of the router

A router being a machine needs frequent maintenance. The maintenance, which can be done by a qualified IT professional or by following the manual, ensures the router achieves its life span.

Maintenance helps to clear dust accumulation and do routine checks like whether the router is overheating and also working properly. You can also check if the router has any functional complications.

Having routine maintenance on your router enables it to perform to the best and improve longevity.

Signs that your router is going bad

There are several signs of a damaged router that you can check for your network.

The main ones include:

Poor internet connectivity

When you get poor connectivity in a place where you had no connection problems, then this may indicate that you have a damaged router. A lack of firmware updates may also cause the reduced connectivity capability of your router.

To know the cause of your internet connectivity problems, you need to update the firmware to ensure your router can keep up with the current technology. If your connectivity problems persist after the firmware update, you might be dealing with a damaged router.

You should also ensure that there are no devices that use a lot of internet connectivity that is in use in your network. Besides, also move the devices near the router to rule out all the causes of poor connectivity.

A loss of power

Your router may start getting power losses or you may have struggles in powering the router on. This means that either the cables for the power supply are not functioning or there is a problem with the power unit on your modem.

If the cable is not loose and you have no problem with the power supply then you need to consider that your router is damaged.

Getting frequent random reboots

When your router is “going bad” you will experience frequent restarts. With all the smart devices plus functions in our homes, frequent router reboots can be a major cause of discomfort.

A router that keeps on rebooting means your router is damaged and may need replacing.

Decreased functionality of your router

You already know the functionalities and performance of your router. In case of a damaged router, or one on the road to being damaged, there is decreased functionality.

These performance indicators may include reduced Wi-Fi speeds, reduced network coverage, and failure to connect correctly to devices among others.

If you experience any of these reduced functionality features, you may deduce that your router has outlived its usefulness.

What is the lifespan of different router brands?

What is the TP-link router lifespan?

A TP-link router is a device that allows you to connect to the internet. It does this by connecting your home with the public network of the internet provider.

This device is very useful, but it also has an expiration date. This is because it will eventually stop working or break down after some time.

TP-link routers are made to last for around 5 years before they start malfunctioning and need to be replaced. The lifespan of your router depends on how often you use your internet connection and the speed at which the router operates.

If you find yourself needing a new router often, consider switching providers or look into faster routers that can handle more data without failing over time.

What is the Linksys router lifespan?

The Linksys router lifespan is typically about 4-5 years. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using your router for business or just to watch Netflix, it will go bad eventually.

A router’s lifespan can be extended by following these tips:

1) Don’t use your router near water sources. This includes rainstorms and floods.

2) Keep your router away from direct sunlight as much as possible because this will increase the temperature of the device.

3) Don’t allow liquids to come in contact with your router or damaged parts of it, including electrical outlets and ethernet ports.

4) If you have a wireless network at home, make sure that everything is on a separate channel so there are no interference problems between devices.

What is the Netgear orbi router lifespan?

The lifespan of your router all depends on how often you use it. If you only check email and browse social media one or two times a day, it’s possible for your router to last four or five years. But if you keep the router in sub-optimal conditions and watch Netflix every night, stream shows or play video games, then your Netgear orbi lifespan could be much shorter.

Router lifespan is measured in kilobytes per second (Kbps). The more Kbps your router has, the faster the download speeds. The average router lasts between three and five years before needing to be replaced.

If you’re looking for a long-lasting router, Netgear orbi are known for their long lifespans of up to 10 years.

What is the Asus router lifespan?

The lifespan of a router is dependent on a number of factors. The newer the model, the quicker it will reach its maximum lifespan. Models with a higher price usually have a longer lifespan because they are more advanced and made with better materials.

With that said, most Asus routers last for about 5-7 years before you need to buy a new one.

This is largely due to the fact that new technology is constantly being developed and released. As these things become more popular, new routers will be released that can take advantage of them.

Mostly, new routers offer better speeds and range. So, while your old router might work just fine for now, it won’t be able to keep up soon enough and you’ll need to make the switch.

You also need to consider how often you use your router and what you use it for. If you’re on your laptop all day long downloading movies on Netflix or playing online games with friends on Steam, then you’ll go through data much quicker than someone who only uses their phone or tablet on WiFi occasionally during the day.

How to increase the life span of a router

Several tips can be applied to make your router last longer. Most of these actions are easy to implement and have assured results. Since we have learned what damages the router, we can explore the tips to prevent them.

Some of the tips include:

Do not overwork the router:

As discussed, each router has its own capacity. We recommend that you follow the specified capacity to ensure that your router lasts for long.

In case you need more capacity, we recommend that you get a router with a better capacity. The best routers for home and office will help take care of this challenge.

Be strategic in the installation location

As we have discussed in the causes of router damage, positioning the router in the wrong place reduces its life span. Therefore, try installing the router in a place with the following:

  • Free flow of air to ensure that the router does not overheat.
  • Away from places where people and pets move a lot.
  • Out of the reach of children.
  • In a place that is not wet or dusty

Positioning your router in a location specified by the criteria above will ensure that your router will last for long.

Reboot the router occasionally

Every machine or even body part requires some rest other than the heart. Rebooting a router helps to solve some of the occasional router problems.

Rebooting the router helps to clear the data cache and also prevents overheating. Turning the device on and off is a standard routine for all machines.

Clean and service the router occasionally

The router can get an accumulation of dust which can interfere with its functioning. Occasional dusting and cleaning of the router can help in ensuring the router lasts for long. Kindly follow the router manual for the cleaning procedure.

Besides, using a qualified IT professional to clean or service the router can help to increase the life span of the router.

Update the router’s firmware often

Most of the router manufacturers update the firmware often. This is to reduce the instances of infestation with viruses, improve the performance, and remove security flaws.

If the firmware is not updated, you may get a reduced lifespan of the router. This is because viruses and malware can cause overheating or overworking of your router.

Therefore, we recommend that you update the router’s firmware manually or automatically.

Why Extend The Lifespan Of Your Router

As your router ages, it will have a harder time maintaining a strong internet connection. This is because as your router gets older, its antennas weaken and it has a tougher time handling the data that’s being transmitted.

So why would you want to extend the lifespan of your router? Well, for one thing, routers are expensive, so having an old one will end up costing you more money. Secondly, as we’ve discussed before, you need a strong internet connection for everything from downloading movies to browsing social media. If your router is older and struggling to maintain a good connection, you can risk running into issues down the road with things like streaming services.

What is a good signal for a wireless router?

Wireless devices like laptops and cell phones are wireless, but they’re not always connected to the internet. This can be a problem if you want to access your computer from another room or if there’s an Internet outage. A good signal doesn’t connect to the Internet, but it does connect to other devices like your TV and phone.

A good signal is any signal that uses a more reliable connection than your laptop or cell phone’s connection. In fact, it might even have better coverage than your home Wi-Fi network. The best way to find out whether you need a good signal is by using a test station.

You can use a computer connected via ethernet cable or even just through telephone lines to see whether you have a good connection or not.

A good wireless signal is one that’s strong enough to cover an area the size of a city block. That’s not easy to find! Good WiFi signals are hard to come by, but you can make sure you have a solid wireless signal by following these steps:

1) Set your location and choose a WiFi AP with the strongest signal available.

2) Scan for other nearby WiFi APs and connect to them.

3) Choose only one of those APs that is connected to the internet so it can provide a stable connection.

4) Connect your router or computer directly to this AP using an ethernet cable.

What are the best tips for choosing a wireless router?

We all want the best wireless router possible. But how do you know what a good wireless router looks like?

When it comes to picking out a wireless router, you’ll want to consider a few things:

  • First, look at the brand. There are lots of different brands out there, but if you’re looking for something that will last for many years, buying from a reputable brand is always the best choice.
  • Second, look at how long it’s been around. The longer a brand is in business and has been around, the more experience they have with their products.
  • Third, look at its compatibility. The ideal wireless router should be compatible with your devices and software so that your device can work well with it.
  • Pay attention to speed: Do you have slow internet speeds? If so, it’s likely that you will experience problems with your internet connection, which will ultimately affect the quality of your product or service delivery.


A router is a long-term investment. Thus, a router should last for long if it is well taken care of.

You can strive to replace your router every three to five years. The router will however last for this long if you ensure your router is installed in the right position and well taken care of.

Keep in mind that some models will last longer (up to twelve years), but they are rare.  If you’re having issues with your wireless router, the best thing to do is to replace it. More often than not, if a wireless router isn’t working properly and needs replacing, it’s probably time.

Router Lifespan FAQs

How long do routers last?

Considering the current technological changes and the wear and tear, a router lasts for Five (5) years approximately. However, we recommend changing the router every three to five years to take advantage of the new technologies in addition to the wear and tear.

How often should you replace your router?

A router should be replaced every three (3) to five (5) years. This will ensure that you get a router that has the current technology, security features, and also to replace a router before the normal wear and tear renders it unusable. The technology includes the processor, WiFi standards, Ethernet ports, antennas, and firmware among others.

Do routers wear out?

Yes, routers do wear out. The main reason for the wear and tear is heat stress and continuous use. The heat stress is due to the clogging of the vents on your router or the failure of the fan. In addition, if you position the router poorly (poorly aerated areas) it is bound to experience overheating. In most cases, a router remains plugged in for as long as there is power in the house or office. Since the router is a machine, you expect the parts to wear and tear when used continuously for so long.

Is my wifi router dying?

Your router may be dying if you notice constant drops in connection, a marked reduction in internet speed, or poor connection to devices without any interference. Therefore, you need to move the devices closer to the router to understand if the constant drops in connection are due to interference or your router dying.