How long do routers last?

Routers are important devices that enable gadgets and appliances to connect to the internet or each other. While the router does make your daily life easier, you may be tempted to think it is built to last.

After all, you rarely move or disassemble it. However, that is usually the functional theory at best. Then you may ask, do routers wear out and if so, how long should a router last?

A router’s lifespan

It is estimated that a router lasts between 3-5 years. This estimate is based upon the expected lifespan of many electronic devices.

You may also ask, “Do wireless routers wear out? The wireless routers also wear out as they are affected by generally the same degrading factors as other routers.

Factors that determine how long a router lasts

Routers are affected by different factors thereby reducing their longevity. They are:

Network stretch

When you use the internet network across several devices, the router’s performance is stretched consistently and it may lead to its breakdown.

However, if it is used correctly, the router can last longer.


The frequency in cleaning and maintaining a router heavily determines a router lifespan. A router’s motor is prone to dust while its external parts can also be clogged by debris and other dirt fragments leading to switch blockage.

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When the motor is affected by dust, it may overheat leading to a breakdown.

router connects


The router brand has a direct correlation to its lifespan. The top brands create devices that have durable hardware components and software.

On the other hand, most low-end brands create devices containing low-grade components leading to less longevity.

How to make a router last even longer

You had asked how long should a router last and we found out that they are functional for only a few years. How then can you make sure they serve you longer?

Here are the steps you can take:

Proper maintenance

Routinely clean the inner and outer parts of the router to clear any fine dust and debris.

This will keep the motor from overheating which is a major culprit in cutting down its lifespan.

Eliminate overworking the router

Make sure to use the router’s expected capacity in terms of coverage to increase its lifespan.

Find an optimal location

Place your router in the middle of your living space and on a high point away from any hindrances such as walls, bookshelves, and doors.

These ideal settings will prevent heat accumulation and help you keep your router longer.

Reboot regularly

By performing regular reboots, you refresh the router software and maintain its core components. This will also increase its efficiency and longevity.

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When to replace a router

However, a time may come when replacement is inevitable. Here are the signs that show a router replacement is required.

Poor connectivity

This is a big sign that the router’s components could have suffered damage leading to poor internet connectivity.

You may also wonder “Is my router outdated?” If your router is not updated with the latest firmware, the consistent internet changes may affect its capabilities irreversibly.

Old router

Is your router too old? If it is about 3-5 years old, then you need to acquire a new high-quality router.

This is because technologies are always changing and if you need to improve your connectivity speed or connect to more devices, you will need an upgrade.

Poor functionality

If your router performs poorly, for instance, turning on slowly or not performing other functions at all, then the device may need replacement.

So, how long should a router last? Although it is not entirely up to you how long it may last, you can enjoy more years of its service if you take extra care of it. By applying the hacks above, you can increase the longevity of your router.

However, if you observe the signs that scream replacement, then, by all means, acquire a new high-quality router that will keep you off the market for the longest time.

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