The modem, which establishes a connection to the internet, is the most important piece of networking hardware in your home. You won’t be able to access the internet if your modem breaks down at any point. So the question, how long do modems last is essential.
So, how frequently should your modem be replaced to prevent an unplanned disaster? Every couple of years is the basic rule of thumb, although there are many different considerations.
How Long Are Modems Typically Good For?
Basic and high-end modems differ significantly from one another, just as any other networking hardware or technology in general. Higher-end modems often live more than five years, whereas lower-end modems normally last two to three years. Generally speaking, a modem should last between two and five years before breaking down or becoming obsolete.
High-end modems typically use superior components, such as better capacitors with longer lifespans. Some modems are better than others at dissipating heat, which can also extend their lifespan. In contrast to a poorly ventilated modem that is never cleaned or maintained in any manner, a well-ventilated modem that is frequently cleaned and dusted within will survive far longer.
You must take into account features and capabilities in addition to build quality, chassis and heat sink design, and the amount of maintenance offered over the course of a modem’s lifetime. Even though a modem is still functional, it’s frequently a good idea to upgrade if it isn’t offering the best speeds, isn’t compliant with the most recent wireless network standards, or is missing key functions.
How Frequently Should Your Modem And Router Be Replaced?
Several factors determine how long you should wait before purchasing a new modem or changing your router. You should think about your internet connection’s importance, whether you rent or own your network equipment, and the networking technology that your internet service provider uses.
The following situations need replacing your modem:
- The internet connection’s speed and quality are no longer satisfactory.
- There are new features accessible that are indispensable.
- New networking standards that your modem does not support are supported by your internet service provider.
For cable internet, a new DOCSIS standard is typically released every four to seven years. That means if you want the quickest, highest-quality connection possible, you should plan to update your cable modem at least every four to seven years. However, cable internet service providers don’t always follow through with the adoption of new standards. You can wait to replace your modem if you have the choice to do so but your internet service provider (ISP) doesn’t yet support the most recent DOCSIS standard.
Does My Modem Need To Be Upgraded?
Several variables will determine whether or not you need to upgrade your modem. You will almost likely experience an advantage from updating if your modem is older than 10 years. If you have a more recent modem, the type of internet service plan you have, the alternative plans offered by your internet service provider, and if upgrading would improve your service all come into play.
You also need to think about whether you’ll be renting or buying your modem. The main advantage of renting a modem is that your ISP might regularly offer free upgrades, even if it’s typically a better idea to buy one if you want to stay in the same place and have the same ISP for longer than a couple of years.
It’s worthwhile to investigate whether an upgrade is available if you rent your modem and have used it for longer than a year or two. No matter how long you’ve been renting a modem, if you’ve experienced connection or speed problems, it’s also worthwhile to ask for a replacement or upgrade. Even if you haven’t had your rental modem for very long, it’s possible that it wasn’t brand-new when you originally got it. As a result, it might have obsolete technology or worn-out internal parts like capacitors.
If you are the owner of the modem, compare it to the list of models that your ISP formally supports. Consider upgrading if your ISP supports a modem with the capabilities you desire or a newer networking standard that your current modem doesn’t, such as DOCSIS 3.1 against 3.0.
How Can You Tell If Your Modem Is Malfunctioning?
A modem will frequently function properly one day and then abruptly stop the next without any prior notice. It’s simply like turning on and off a light switch if a critical internal component breaks. A few warning signals that your modem is malfunctioning may appear if a less important component breaks. Here are several indicators that your modem is failing or is already bad:
- The modem needs to be reset frequently.
- Your internet connection regularly disconnects.
- Either your internet connection is unreliable or slow.
- The modem is making a buzzing or humming noise.
- The modem’s LEDs aren’t the typical shade of green.
- The modem’s lights don’t come on.
- Your ISP does not report any outages, but you are unable to access the internet.
- Even after unplugging and having to plug back the modem, it still won’t turn on.