What Is The Average Life Of A Wireless Router?

There are a number of opinions on how long a Wi-Fi router will last, but most technology experts suggest replacing one every 3 to 5 years.

There have been recent advancements in technology that will improve your internet speeds. Your use and storage of the router, however, will affect how quickly it will deteriorate.

An industrial router’s life expectancy is around 20,000 hours, while an industrial router is usually good for more than 50,000 hours.

If you’re searching for “average life of a wireless router” chances are you’re either curious or you may feel like it’s time to upgrade your router.

No one can tell you with surety when to change your router, so when any signs appear that tell you it is time to buy a new one, you should be on the lookout.

Here are some signs of a dying router

signs of a dying router

As mentioned above, no one can really tell you when its time to replace your router. However, there are some signs that will let you know that it’s time for an upgrade. Continue reading as we will go over some of the signs of a failing router as well as other solutions to possibly fix and repair your router before you decide to replace it.

Slow internet connection speeds

If you’re experiencing sluggish internet connections but you previously experienced faster speeds when you were connected via a router, it is possible that your router needs to be upgraded or replaced.

Unfortunately, if from the beginning you aren’t getting the speeds expected you’re going to want to get support from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in order to acquire the bandwidth they are providing you is matched by your router.

For example, if your plan is for 100mbps (megabits per second) but your router is not capable of those speeds or supported by your ISP then you will experience a slow internet connection while connected through that router.

When you browse on your device or computer, you may occasionally notice that you will lose connection with the Internet.

This may be a sign that your router is obsolete while not being compliant with the requirements of your ISP.

Make sure that your router will be compatible with your Internet Service Provider before deciding on an upgrade.

Overheating And Or Dusty Router

The router ‘s physical inspection will show different signs of wear and tear that may be accompanied by overheating. This is a strong indicator that it has passed the useful life of your current router. Other times, numerous irregular internal router cracking sounds may be accompanied by wear / tear. This is a warning that some of the internal components do not perform as they are supposed to.

Also, be sure to check if your router is full of dust mites. Sometimes a quick easy fix may be to grab a can of air and dust out your router. Same goes for computer components.

So, before you decide to replace your router, do a physical inspection and while it’s unplugged you might as well blow out the dust from your router.

Outdated Router Drivers

Even a router working in perfect condition can be rendered obsolete by new technologies.

Wireless networking standards keep evolving. Beginning in 2000, we had 802.11b, and then moved to 802.11g, which was later upgraded to 802.11n. Today, we have 802.11ax and Wi-Fi 6, which is much faster than its predecessor.

So, depending on how old your router is, before you replace it be sure to check on driver updates. The same applies for firmware updates.

Cross your T’s and Dot your I’s with driver and firmware updates.

Router Coverage

A coverage of 150 feet and above will be provided to you by most routers in the market. It is prudent to get yourself a Wi-Fi extender if you need more coverage. This can be put strategically for extended coverage inside the house. Over the years, if your range becomes weak, updating the router will not fix your issues, and you may be forced to buy a new router.

Extending Your Router’s Lifespan

Taking proper care of your electronics, including your router, can significantly increase their lifespans.

Here are some tips to keep your router safe and working to the best of its ability.

  1. Place it in a safe easy to access area
  2. Keep up-to-date on firmware and drivers
  3. Install an anti-virus
  4. Do a quarterly cleaning / dusting
  5. Reboot your router when possible
  6. Check periodically for overheating
  7. Have a battery backup surge protector as power surges can damage your router
  8. Ensure the router has adequate ventilation (don’t hide it in a desk drawer).

These tips help you get the most out of your router. However, these tips do not promise that they will last forever.

Which routers have the longest lifespan?

There are plenty of great routers out there. And pretty often it is just a matter of personal preference.

However, just like any other manufacturing companies, there are some good and some not-so-good ones.

Although sometimes you may get a top of the line router from a big name brand. Sometimes it can be defective just like anything else.

However, we have compiled a list of some of the better router options out there.

Best Wi-Fi 6 router

TP-Link Archer AX6000

TP-Link Archer AX6000 – The need for a high-capacity WiFi network is greater than ever, with more WiFi devices and higher bandwidth requirements. 

For greater power, more reliability and to handle more devices, 802.11ax WiFi with OFDMA, 160MHz Channel Support, AX MU-MIMO and 1024 QAM are installed. 

If you’re watching 4k/8k movies, online gaming, experiencing VR, or engaging with your smart devices, the Archer AX6000 is TP-Link ‘s first AX WiFi router to serve the increasing need for WiFi.


Best router on a budget

D-Link DIR-882-US

D-Link DIR-882-US – offers premium performance for today’s most challenging tasks: HD streaming, gaming, and multiple system use. It comes packed with speeds of up to 2,533 Mbps (800 Mbps in 2.4 GHz + 1,733 Mbps in 5 GHz), a high-performance dual-core processor, AC Smart Beam Technology, traffic-prioritized Intelligent Quality of Service ( QoS), four high-performance external wireless range antennas, a new user interface, and simple configuration. The DIR-882-US is the ideal combination of ease of use and wireless internet efficiency.

Best mesh router

Google Nest WiFi Router

Google Nest WiFi Router – Enter the wifi router in Google Nest and “point” (what they call an extender). These small, semi / almost circular devices that can fit in your hand build what is called a “mesh” system where you can pass the wifi functions to it by connecting the Google router to your current router, allowing it to simultaneously send out stronger signals in both the 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz frequencies. In other areas of your house, the “point(s)” (very slightly smaller than the router itself) is set, picking up the signal from the main Google router and boosting it even more. Nicer still, in the same way older models do, they don’t create a new network, but instead, expand the one you have.

Best mesh value

NETGEAR Nighthawk Whole Home Mesh WiFi 6

NETGEAR Nighthawk Whole Home Mesh WiFi 6 – Your family wants super-fast secure Wi-Fi for your entire home up to 3 000 sq Ft Experience the future of Wi-Fi with the Nighthawk mesh Wi-Fi 6 system with next-generation 802 11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Enjoy dual-band technology built to manage 4x more connections and the growing demand for fast gaming without interruption and smooth streaming

Best mesh performance

NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System

NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System – Orbi Wi-Fi 6 is a Tri-Band Wi-Fi Device designed with the new and fastest Wi-Fi 6 technology to provide Wi-Fi coverage and connection capability beyond belief for the ultimate smart home experience. Keep ALL Wi-Fi connections high, with enough bandwidth for all your devices in every room, multiple 4K/8 K UHD streaming, music for your connected Wi-Fi speakers, fast online gaming, smart lights, Wi-Fi security devices, and more all the time. The dedicated Wi-Fi 6 backhaul quad-stream enabled 4 K or 8 K videos to be streamed without delay. Ideal for Gigabit and multi-Gigabit Internet speed networks that allow download rates of up to 2.5 Gbps. Place the Satellites anywhere in your home to get Gigabit speeds where you want them.

Router Hack – Supercharge Your Older Router

Few providers are using the full power their routers have out of the box because their flexibility is limited by their firmware.

Thanks to an open source program called DD-WRT, you can unlock the ability of your router to transmit a stronger signal, control network traffic, remotely access all your home computers, and a whole lot more.

We will write a full written tutorial on how to install DD-WRT. Until then, more information can be found on their website. Just be sure to check if your router is supported: 

http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database

Frequently Asked Questions

how long does a wireless router last?

An industrial router’s life expectancy is around 20,000 hours, while an industrial router is usually good for more than 50,000 hours.

How often should I replace my router?

There are a number of opinions on how long a Wi-Fi router will last, but most technology experts suggest replacing one every 3 to 5 years.

What are signs that my router is dying?

Some signs of a dying router are. Slow internet speeds, overheating, random disconnects and more.

Bottom Line

Most technology experts suggest replacing a Wi-Fi router every 3 to 5 years. An industrial router’s life expectancy is around 20,000 hours. Slow internet connection speeds may be a sign that your router is obsolete.

The physical inspection of your router will show different signs of wear and tear that may be accompanied by overheating.

It may also show signs of internal cracks and wear and tearing. It is possible that your current router is not meeting the requirements of your Internet service provider.

Even a router working in perfect conditions can be rendered obsolete by new technologies. Taking proper care of your electronics, including your router, can significantly increase their lifespans. 

If you’re worried about your router, chances are you may want to perform maintenance on your computer as well. Check out our article on how to clean up your windows computer for better performance