How long does a modem last?

The quality of your modem plays a very key role in determining its life span. However, there has been a debate whether it is better to own or rent one especially because some are notorious for having a short life span.

You should ensure that you inquire the approximated lifespan of a modem before you buy it. This is because purchasing your own modem has one disadvantage that you need to be aware of. You will always be forced to buy another router in the event yours becomes inefficient which may be a bit costly.  On the other hand, modems that are provided by your internet service provider for rent are usually replaced by them when they start to lose their efficiency.

The life span of a modem depends on a number of factors, the main one being the connection type being used by your Internet service provider. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) modems usually last between 3 to 4 years before they begin to be problematic and slow. However, modems that are used on Fiber based connections tend to last a little bit longer as they can serve you up to 6 years before they start losing their efficiency. This is because Fiber based modems are connected to Fiber optics cables that work on light and not electricity.

DSL modems on the other hand, work on electric current making them prone to power surges which shortens their service life over time. Another reason that may make a modem become inefficient is when a new standard is introduced and your modem lacks the capacity to support this new standard. Unfortunately, this may happen even when your modem is still new which will in the end force you to replace it.

How to make your modem last longer

By using a surge protector

Power surge can really do more damage than good in your home.  This is because it is not only a major safety hazard, but also damages your modem especially if it happens when the modem is still connected to the power source. Well, the good news is that there is a proven solution for this problem that prolongs the service life of modems. This solution is the use a surge protector which will always limit the amount of electricity being transmitted to your modem.

The surge protector will protect the modem from receiving excessive voltage every time a power surge occurs. For sure, this will prolong the amount of time your modem will serve you. However, it is also important to note that you may not need a surge protector if you live in an area that rarely experiences power surge.

Location where you place the modem

modem location

Modems can be really delicate therefore you should be very careful on where you are placing it in your home. It is ideal to place it on a shelf where it can’t be knocked down easily because most modems are not made of strong materials.If your modem keeps on falling down often, its body will weaken which may cause it to break and stop working properly. In addition to this, you should also keep it away from areas in your house where it could get wet. As you know, water and electronic devices are really not the best of friends and it is no different with modems.

Another point to consider is that you should also put the modem in a well ventilated room so that it doesn’t overheat even when used for long hours. Putting the modem in a room that is congested may actually make it overheat from time to time when it is under heavy use. This is not good as it willshorten the life span of your modem in the long run. You should also avoid putting your modem at a place where you can’t be able to reach it easily. This is because it will make it difficult for you to get to it whenever you want to service it.

Protecting your data line

Just like your modem, your Fiber optics or Cable Lines are also prone to power surges.  Therefore, you should inquire from your internet service provider whether they could add an extra layer of protection to your internet cables. This could be done by using a coaxial surge protection as it will prevent your cables from transmitting too much voltage to your modem every time a power surge occurs. Without doubt, this will also prolong the service life of your modem.

A summary of some of the problems you may encounter with your modem and how to overshoot them.

You should probably move the modem to a room that is well ventilated and has constant flow of fresh air.
Dust in the modem
You can contact your internet service provider to send a professional who will open up the modem and service it as well.
Power surge
You can use a surge protector which will limit the amount of electricity being transmitted to your modem during power surge.
Upgraded technology
Unfortunately you can’t update a modem. Therefore, you will simply be required to get a new modem in order to support the newly introduced technology.


The service life of your modem actually depends on a number of factors that we have already looked at. Therefore, you should definitely consider some of these factors before getting your next modem. However, taking proper care of your modem will also enable the modem to operate efficiently and serve you for a long time without any problems.


Can I get internet services in my home without a modem?

Yes, you can still be able to access the internet through different connection types such as Ethernet or Wi- Fi. It all depends with the Internet Service Providers in your area.

Should I leave my modem on overnight?

Yes you can, as there isn’t any issue about leaving your modem on during the night. However, you should switch it off every night as a form of precaution.

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