How long does a router last?

Wireless routers are one of the most convenient internet devices today. However, as most electronic devices, they start losing their efficiency after serving you for a certain period of time.

There are various types of routers that have graced our markets today. These include gaming routers and routers that are best suited for home and office use. Well, choosing the router that will work best for you solely depends on exactly what you are looking for. You should definitely opt for the gaming routers if you are a serious gamer.

However, there is no need to spend that extra buck on the more pricey gaming routers if you are simply looking for a router for general home use. All in all, these routers have one thing in common which is delivering reliable internet connection to your home.

To be honest, there is no specified time that a router is supposed to last but it may serve you for an average of 3- 5 years. The lifespan of your router will not only depend on how you use it, but the brand and build quality of the router also play a big role.  However, there are a number of factors that may actually cause your router to lose its efficiency earlier than expected. There are also a couple of things that you could do to increase the life span of your router as well.

Factors that determine the lifespan of your router

Brand of the router

router brand

To most people, branding plays a key role in router purchases; or choosing electronics in general. Usually, top brands in the market are recommended not just for their performance but for the quality of their devices. Manufacturers like NetGear and TP- Link are well known for their high quality routers made with resilient exteriors. This goes to show that the brand plays a big role in determining router life spans, since different brands use varying quality hardware material.

The place you put the router

A router is a device that is also prone to overheating especially if you keep on using it constantly for long hours. I mean, this is pretty normal for electronic devices. Therefore, you should ensure that you place the router in a room that has good ventilation.Some routers normally come with fans but this doesn’t mean that you should lock it up in an enclosed area.

It is also important to note that your router’s performance is likely to reduce if it keeps on overheating which in the long run reduces it’s lifespan as well. In addition to this, you should also place the router on a shelf where there is minimal movement. This is because some routers are made of plastic and can actually break if they keep on falling to the ground frequently.

Maintenance of the router

Just like most electronic devices, a router also needs to be properly maintained for it to serve you efficiently for quite some time. Routers tend to accumulate dust inside them which really compromises on their general performance. Therefore, you should always ensure that you service your router once in a while so that it can be able to maintain operating at its optimum performance throughout.

However, it’s not advisable that you open up the router by yourself unless you are experienced at doing this. The good news is that some router companies include servicing in their packages which is a big plus to their customers.

Router usage

router usage

Routers are definitely made to serve the same purpose however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can perform every function efficiently. Routers that are generally made for home use may not be the best at sustaining heavy gaming or office use. This is because a normal home router will be prone to overheating if it is put under too much stress on a frequent basis. Therefore, you should ensure that you use your router for its intended functionality in order for it to serve you for a long time.

Switching off the router

Did you now that leaving the router on 24/7 is not ideal? Well, it actually isn’t. You should ensure that you switch off your router occasionally so that it can clear its data cache. If you keep on doing this at least twice every week, the router will always serve you efficiently without compromising on its performance. This also enables the router to deliver fast throughput speeds every time you connect your devices to the internet. Without doubt, you’ll always enjoy reliable internet connection throughout if all of the router’s data cache is cleared from time to time.

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

Slow internet data speeds
You can reboot the router. Most of the time this helps as the router starts to operate normally after being reset.
Place the router in a well ventilated room. Ensure that the room has windows which let in cool fresh air into the room.
Keeps on switching off
Check the power lines and if they are damaged, you should call the company to do the repairs.


As you have seen, your router doesn’t come with a specific amount of time in which it will serve you. The amount of time it is going to serve you depends on the factors that we have just looked at. However, the average life span of most routers lie between 3 – 5 years. Therefore, taking all these factors into consideration will enable your router to serve you for a very long time without needing replacement.


Can my router fail?

Yes, it can fail especially if you don’t take good care of it.

How do I know my router is about to fail?

You will notice that your internet speeds have become slower. However, you should first reset the router and see if this improves.  If it doesn’t, then it may be a problem with the router itself.

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