Do I Need a New Router? Five Signs To Look Out For

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June 21, 2022

Ideally, your wireless router is something you shouldn’t have to think about very much once you’ve installed it. High-quality wireless equipment can give you a reliable home network while requiring little to no maintenance. But over time, even the best Wi-Fi systems will begin to age and eventually need to be replaced.

Experts recommend replacing your router at least every five years—and every two to three years for those of you who use several high-bandwidth devices and smart home devices. But your Wi-Fi router is an investment, and you’re probably hesitant to replace it unless you know that you have to. So how do you know if your router needs to be replaced soon?

You’ll know you need a new router when you experience:

• Slow speeds

• A weak connection

• Malfunctioning equipment

• Incompatibility with new devices

• Overheating

Let’s discuss each of these telltale signs and what they mean. If you find that your router suffers from several of the below symptoms, you can browse our customers' most recommended Wi-Fi equipment lines for a much needed upgrade.

1. Slow Speeds

Slow Internet speeds are hard to miss. Movies and TV shows you watch online keep buffering. Videogames and videocalls keep lagging. Websites you visit keep taking too long to load.

It’s frustrating, but what makes it even worse is that it could be happening for several different reasons.

In order to figure out whether or not your aging router is causing your speeds to slow down, you’ll have to rule out all of the other possible causes. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t have too many users or devices connected at the same time. Both your Internet connection and your Wi-Fi system can only accommodate so many users.

If you have more devices than usual on your home network, try running a speed test both with and without all these devices connected. If both sets of your speed test results are slow, you’ll need to run another speed test with your computer connected directly to your modem with an ethernet cable.

If your speeds are still slow, contact your Internet service provider and troubleshoot your modem. If your speeds aren't slow while directly connected to your modem, it’s time to troubleshoot your Wi-Fi system. Make sure it’s well-placed, and check for any problems not related to its age.

If your speeds are still slow after doing all of this, it may be time to look for a new router.

2. Weak Connection

Your Wi-Fi signal keeps dropping, and it’s getting in the way of you getting anything done while you're working from home. One potential cause is the distance your wireless signal needs to travel to get to your connected devices. If you live in a larger home, your Wi-Fi network can only reach a limited number of square feet depending on the router you use.

Try your best to boost your signal strength, and even test your connection by using your device right next to your router. If it’s not the distance or obstacles between you and your router that’s causing the problem, it might be your router itself.

3. Malfunctioning Equipment

The most obvious sign that your Wi-Fi system needs to be replaced is when it visibly isn’t working like it used to. Examples of this could be as simple as buttons not responding or indicator lights not turning on even when the device is plugged in and connected to the Internet. These are signs that your router has started to break down and that if more serious problems haven’t started yet, they may start soon.

4. Incompatibility With Newer Devices

As our technology gets more advanced, devices are built with new chips and internal components. That's why newer devices will be most compatible with newer Wi-Fi equipment. If you’ve had a router for a while but have just bought a new computer or the latest entertainment and smart home gadgets, there’s a chance your router may be a little too outdated to properly support your new devices.

Something else to consider is that newer devices will place a greater demand on your router. Advanced devices require more speed and bandwidth, and your wireless system will need to be able to keep up.

5. Overheating

You can expect your wireless system to get warm while it’s working. But if you find that it’s prone to overheating, it may be getting to the point where it can no longer sustain your Internet use. To avoid letting this happen sooner, make sure your router is placed in a well-ventilated area. But once you see that it keeps overheating, it’s a sign that you may need to upgrade soon.

If you experience most of the symptoms above, it’s safe to say you’re due for a new Wi-Fi system. Like with any device, your router will eventually age and need to be replaced. But not to worry: there are many high-quality options that can suit any kind of Internet user, and can accommodate any home size, number of devices, Internet plan, and budget. With the right equipment, you'll be getting the most out of your high-speed Internet connection once again.

In the market for a new Wi-Fi system? When it comes to the best router for Fiber Internet, we have a lot of suggestions. Try our Router Selection guide and find the one that suits you the best! You'll find a wide variety of options that include tri band and dual band routers, single node and mesh network equipment, and Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 systems.

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