Do Routers Go Bad?

Routers are a necessity for most households. They provide internet access to smartphones, laptops, and other devices. But what happens if your router starts having connection issues? There are several reasons why this could happen, so the first step is to troubleshoot it. This article will outline some of the most common causes of problems with routers and how you can fix them on your own. 

Routers do not go bad, but they have a recommended duration of use. Routers are normally used for between three and five years before needing replacement. Routers older than this can begin to suffer from connectivity and electrical issues which impair their functioning.

Routers do not “go bad,” but they may experience connectivity issues due to internal or external factors that we’ll discuss below. When these issues arise, it’s important to know how to address them before calling a professional for help. The following article provides information about five common problems which may occur with routers:

How long do routers last?

In general, it is safe to say that the average WiFi router will continue to function as normal for three years or so – provided that you take proper care of your equipment. That means keeping it free from dust, putting it in a cool place where direct sunlight does not reach it, storing electrostatic-sensitive parts separately (like antennas), etc. All this helps, but no guarantees are given because no one can tell how well-made something is until they tear it open, look inside and then decide whether or not to recommend buying some particular product. A piece like an antenna may last longer if used correctly.

How long do routers last? Some have reported that five years is a reasonable estimate for the life of a router. One reader in California said that their Linksys WRT54GS model lasted about four years before it quit working, but it was still within its lifetime warranty. The longest we know of is Netgear, which lasted over nine and a half years until it suddenly turned into scrap metal.

It all depends on how much use the equipment sees. If lots of gadgets surround you, then maybe they will interfere with your WiFi signal and bring things to an end sooner than later. Some types propagate interference more than other models; omnidirectional antennas tend to excite products like baby monitors or cordless phones more than directional antennas.

How do you know when a router goes bad?

These are some of the very few things we can do to easily determine whether our router has gone bad or not. 

CPU temperature: When the router’s temperature goes over 80’c, it will be a bad sign. In such a case, let’s reduce the heat by increasing airflow and using more cooling fans. There are many ways to do that: ventilation improvement and adding new cooling fans etc.

Network disconnection: if you have many users on your network all of a sudden unable to get online or connected, then there would probably be something wrong with your router hardware, such as motherboard corrupt or maybe a power supply issue is involved in it too. If everything was alright, then we should find some other reason behind these issues.

Unknown SSID: This problem may not be caused by hardware issues on the device but related to software issues of the operating system (such as Windows 7), router configuration settings, and regulatory domain error “E11”. You can get rid of this issue by restarting WiFi devices such as rebooting your mobile phone, upgrade the firmware program for wireless network cards, or changing the setting for regulatory domain parameters in your computer.

Speed ​​reduction and delay: This symptom refers to the use of wireless network interface cards (wireless LAN) operations performance decline significantly compared with previous regular use time. This situation occurs because of potential defects in various components such as power supply for communications equipment on a circuit board, electronic control unit (for example, DSL chip), capacitor problems, or other susceptible parts inside this section. If repairable defects cause it, it is possible to solve the problem by removing components or replacing them. However, some problems are too big that need replacement of another circuit board. Therefore, if your wireless network interface suddenly takes a slow response and has serious delays in sending or receiving data, you should pay attention immediately.

How often should you replace your router?

Most people don’t give much thought to their router. When it’s working, they’re happy, and when it’s not, they take it to a repair shop.

In general, Routers these days are made of the same materials as other electronic devices – mostly plastics and metals – but there is one significant difference: heat. A typical home WiFi router can get extremely hot while in operation. Depending on the placement in your house, you may be at risk for overheating and fire!

Additionally, after years of usage, most routers will slow down considerably (especially wireless connections); therefore, we recommend upgrading or replacing them about every 4-5 years for optimum performance & security against all types of cyberattacks.

The only thing that could make you consider upgrading or replacing your router sooner is if it has been physically damaged (e.g., dropped on the floor, liquid spill, etc.). These kinds of damages can cause components to short circuit and fail – so be sure to check for any physical damage before turning on the router again!

You would also want to replace the router if you’ve added a new internet service provider (ISP) – like cable or fiber optic – or need faster internet speeds such as 150 Mbps+, as they may not always be compatible with your current router.

Remember that just because your old wireless networking equipment no longer works after being replaced by newer models does not mean that they are bad for other people who want to buy them second-hand. Most likely, it simply means that some settings were then changed from their default values during the first few days of using those devices, so unless you know how to change those settings back to defaults, you’ll need to buy new ones.

When you have to replace the wireless router your network has been using for more than three years already, try not to just buy a new wireless router and hook it up to your computer system without any planning. This might cause the problems which you see from the old wireless equipment, such as frequent disconnections or slow Internet connections. The simplest solution is that you should reset the entire setup of all of your networks so they’re configured like they were when their first day began with the running. After doing this, reconnect each computer with its respective modem and then.

Can a router go bad over time?

As one of the most widely used devices in an office or home network, routers are often taken for granted; until something goes awry with them. So does a router break down after use? If so, how long would you expect it to last before failure?

Routers are designed to work for years as long as they’re not subjected to extreme conditions and properly maintained. Too many people forget that electrical devices need routine checkups to function at their best. But even under the best circumstances, all electronic components eventually wear out with continued use and have a non-replaceable lifespan attached to them – as is the case with a router.

A good router will last for years when used in an environment that is suitable to its needs, and even if it seems like it’s broken or behaving strangely, chances are you haven’t given it any special treatment lately. More than likely, it’s still functioning normally.

The only time the lifespan of a router can be reduced significantly is by subjecting it to extreme conditions. If the device has been dropped from height (considering routers are not designed for use outdoors), the chances are that it will shorten its functional life span considerably.

The other factor that can influence the failure rate of your router is environmental. Believe it or not, where you put your equipment can have quite an impact on its reliability. Humidity and temperature extremes are two factors that should be considered when deciding where to locate equipment. Air conditioning units aren’t very good for electronics located too close to them as they commonly put water vapor into the air at 10 – 15 C, which can damage electronics. Heat is also a factor that’s easy to underestimate. Many types of equipment get damaged when put in the same rack as a bunch of other gear. This is especially when they’re all powered on simultaneously, such as during a scheduled outage.

If you’re looking after your wireless router properly – you should expect it to last for years. But if there are any problems, you can always contact your ISP or a tech support technician and have them resolve the issue with your router.


Routers are complicated pieces of equipment, and when they don’t work, it can be frustrating. If your router is acting up with slow speeds or other problems, the first thing you should do is contact customer service for help so that they can troubleshoot the problem remotely. They may recommend resetting your modem if there’s an issue with your internet connection- many times, this will fix things! And remember to change out any old routers if one has finally gone bad after years of use.

Gene Botkin

Gene is a graduate student in cybersecurity and AI at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Ongoing philosophy and theology student.

Recent Posts