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How Long Does a Router Last?


It’s always good to keep an eye on your router. As time goes by, routers get slower and more outdated. Eventually, this can cause more trouble than you bargain for regarding Wi-Fi connectivity. But, how do you know when to replace your router?

Quick Answer

Luckily, there are a few signs that could help you decide. Some signs of impending failure include slower connection speeds, frequent disconnection, etc. Generally, a router can last for two to three years before this happens.

A router will serve you well for many years, but eventually, it’ll fall out of date or start malfunctioning. An old, outdated router can slow your Wi-Fi, disrupt your connections, and leave your network vulnerable to security risks. 

In this blog article, we discuss some of the most common signs that your router is nearing its end, as well as how you can determine if it’s time to replace it, including tips to make sure your router lasts as long as it can.

How Long Does a Router Typically Last?

Most people wait until their router stops working before upgrading it, assuming it will survive and work long enough. However, research, consumer reviews, and expert recommendations say the average router lifespan is four to five years.

However, if your router continues to perform well and gives you the kind of network performance you want, it will last longer without having to be upgraded.

The issue is that routers are constantly evolving and becoming more powerful due to technological advancement, so the router you buy today might not be suitable for a few years.

That means if you’re still using the same router as your parents used 10 years ago, it’s time to get a new one!

How To Tell if It’s Time To Upgrade Your Router

If you’re like most home and small business users, your router probably doesn’t see a lot of action. But that doesn’t mean it can’t wear down over time.

But if you’re anything like us, you might not know how long your router will last or when you should replace it. 

Luckily, here are a few things to remember when judging whether it’s time to upgrade your router.

Weak Signal Strength

If you’re having trouble connecting to the internet, your router isn’t providing a strong enough signal. A weak signal can mean something wrong with your router’s internals, or maybe it’s just starting to show its age. And, if it’s starting to become an issue for you and your loved ones, then it might be time for a new one!

Slow or Unreliable Connectivity

If you’re facing network performance issues and having trouble getting the most out of your internet connection, it might be time to get a new router. A router reaching the end of its useful life will have problems getting the internet to work properly, which means it might be unable to keep up with all these demands.

A slow or unreliable internet connection can make it difficult to stream videos, download large files, or browse the web

Age and Make of the Router

Older routers were designed for slower internet speeds, and they might not be able to handle the increased demand from modern devices. Routers five or six years old may be unable to keep up with the latest technology and may require replacement sooner.

Likewise, if your router lacks any of the newer features you need or cannot keep up with the new technology, it may be time to upgrade. 

Frequent Disconnections

You can also tell if a router is at the point of death when it fails to maintain connectivity with connected devices and frequently disconnects. If your router is constantly losing connection or failing to keep up with internet traffic speeds, it might be time to replace it.

In addition to being an annoyance, this can also cause severe problems with your work, school, or other needs, since you will often be without internet access.

Tips To Prolong the Life of a Router

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give your router the attention it deserves. After all, who has time to think about routers when there are so many other things to worry about?

But neglecting your router can lead to a shorter lifespan for it. Here are some tips to help prolong the life of your router.

  1. Invest in a good-quality router. Cheaply made routers will become defective and damaged more quickly than high-quality ones.
  2. Place the router somewhere with good airflow. The goal is to avoid overheating, which leads to component failures.
  3. Keep your router clean. All those built-up dirt, dust, and hair will eventually cause problems.
  4. Keep the firmware updated. Installing firmware updates as soon as they become available is always important.

The truth is that there is no definitive answer, as routers can last anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on how often they are used and how well they are taken care of. 


Generally speaking, most routers will last between 3 and 5 years before they reach their expiration date. However, it should last much longer if you take care of your router by following our shared tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do routers fail so often?

Heat is the main culprit behind this. The heat generated by the router’s internals can damage components, and if the vents on your router are clogged with dust, the heat can’t escape.

Is it okay to leave your router on 24/7?

Yes, it’s okay to leave the router on 24 hours a day. Routers are made to be left plugged in all the time. 

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