In most households and small businesses, the ever-important router sits quietly on a shelf or under a desk next to the modem, undisturbed for months or years at a time. If the internet has issues, you might examine it for problems or power it off and on again when the tech support person asks, but most people never replace their router.
You might rent your router from your service provider or own one that you purchased years ago, but if it isn’t replaced regularly, it probably isn’t performing as well as it could be. An old router can slow down your internet speed for everyone connected to your network.
When Should You Replace Your Router?
Most routers should be replaced every three years for peak internet performance. You can find new routers at most large retailers, tech stores, and online electronics shops, and you’ll find a wide range of products to choose from. Regardless of how much you’re looking to spend, if your router is more than three years old, you’ll probably notice improved internet speed on all of your devices. You could also see an increased range of internet access. And the best part is that you don’t have to change your internet service provider plan to get these upgrades.
Another sign that it’s time to replace your router is if you’ve been experiencing problems with your internet speed or connection that your provider hasn’t been able to address. There’s no reason to put up with easily-fixed tech problems.
Replacing your router also offers the following benefits:
- Firmware Updates: Old routers sometimes stop receiving firmware updates, which leaves you vulnerable to hackers.
- Advanced Security: Modern routers have advanced security features such as guest networks and built-in firewalls to protect you and your data.
Picking a New Router
Online electronics stores often feature the widest selection of routers for the discerning buyer. Mid-range routers usually cost between $80 and $130, but you can purchase above or below that price point depending on what you need. For example, some routers are designed for online gaming or small business operations, and others for affordability.
In 2020 and beyond, a good router is more critical than ever before with social distancing. Consider an option with a low-latency connection and voice prioritization to make video calls for work (and family or gaming) go more smoothly.
Once you purchase your router, carefully follow the setup and installation instructions to get the most out of your device’s features.