Do I Need a New Router? Look for These Signs

Updated: Nov. 17, 2023

WiFi running slow? Constantly rebooting your router? Maybe it's time to buy a new one.

If you’ve had your internet router for a few years, it no longer may be suitable for you and your family’s internet needs. Ask yourself the following questions to see if it’s time to invest in a new, modern internet router.

Is Your WiFi Slow?

The easiest way to tell if your router needs replacing is slow WiFi. That could mean long loading times for web pages, pixelated or laggy video streams, trouble uploading documents, or a wide range of other issues.

Try an internet speed test to determine if you’re lagging behind. It might mean your internet package isn’t providing you a fast enough speed, or your router isn’t living up to its performance standards. Check the test results against what internet speeds you should have.

How Much Bandwidth Are You Using?

Your old router might have been powerful enough when you purchased it, but that doesn’t mean it is now. Maybe you have more devices connected to the internet, like a gaming device or tablet. You also might be using more data if you’ve been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

If those examples apply to you and you’ve noticed a change in your internet reliability, it might be your internet router isn’t powerful enough for your WiFi needs.

Are You Constantly Rebooting Your Router?

Nothing is worse than being in the middle of a show and getting up to reboot the router because the internet cut out. To avoid inopportune interruptions, try rebooting your router at scheduled intervals. “In general, it’s a great idea to reboot the main internet router every couple of months,” says Rob Rohrman, head of IT at CompTIA.

If you are constantly rebooting your router and performance isn’t improving, that might be a sign there’s an issue with your device. Check which lights are displaying and check your device’s manual to see if everything is illuminated properly.

Is Your Router Warm or Noisy?

An overheating or noisy device is also a sign your device is overworked and can’t handle your internet needs. Check with your manual’s troubleshooting guide to see if there is a simple solution. If the issue persists, it might be time to invest in a new router.

When Did You Last Buy a New Router?

Like all technology, time catches up. If you’re renting from your internet provider, you might be eligible for an upgraded device if you’ve been on the same plan for a number of years. If you’ve owned your device for a long time, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

Routers should be replaced every four to five years, according to Tech Pro Journal. If you’re in the market for a router, check out the best wireless options to speed up your internet.