Our lives now depend more and more on wireless routers. In other words, it’s time to focus on them more in 2023. That involves determining when they need to be replaced, either because they aren’t working properly any longer or aren’t getting security upgrades.
There are various types of routers. Most wireless routers have a limit on the fastest speeds they can support. When you change the channel width and channel of your router’s Wi-Fi bands, certain routers can support greater speed connections, but this isn’t true for all routers.
Therefore, your wireless router might not be rated for it if you recently increased your internet speed or decided to go for a better ISP that offers higher speed options such as CenturyLink internet deals.
It makes sense that there is a blind spot. Routers can be perplexing, with their flashing lights, endless jargon, and frequently false speed claims. However, having a competent router managing your network traffic is still crucial in the modern day where everything is done from home, including working, learning, socializing, and more.
It means there are a lot of us who would benefit from upgrading to a new router in 2023. Here’s how to make sense of everything and decide on the appropriate upgrade at the appropriate moment.
If your router is no longer receiving firmware updates, even if it seems to be operating well, you should replace it.
On some routers, these updates are installed without your intervention, but not on others. Your router may gain valuable new functions after an upgrade. For instance, Google added a feature to its Nest WiFi and Google WiFi routers to reduce lagging or buffering during video calls.
What’s more, firmware upgrades frequently include security patches that protect you, your data and other users from hackers. It is likely that the router is no longer supported if there hasn’t been an upgrade in months or even years. As a general rule, customers should think about changing their router after three years.
If your router is no longer providing your devices with quick and dependable Wi-Fi, you should also upgrade it. There are several approaches to figuring this out.
While the kids are conversing with their buddies on Discord in their rooms, you might find that you are suddenly unable to watch Netflix in 4K on the couch. Large downloads, like those for games from services like Steam and Xbox GamePass, could take a day and a half to complete. Or perhaps you are having trouble getting a good connection in your spare bedroom that you use as an office.
However, perform a few speed tests to determine how quickly your internet connection is before you purchase a new router. If it has been a while since you replaced your router, you might not be aware that mesh networking, a relatively new technology, has gained a lot of popularity.
This type of technology’s routers are frequently supplied in sets of two or three, and they cooperate to provide Wi-Fi throughout your house. A mesh router will frequently function better than a conventional, single-unit router, especially if you reside in a larger home.
Connects Slowly or Not At All
Another indicator that your router is failing is having trouble connecting to or maintaining stable internet connectivity.
It may be a sign that your wireless network is out-of-date if it continually disconnects you from the internet, especially if you’ve previously had a dependable connection. Or the flash memory that records the router’s configuration may start to degrade, making it impossible for your router to retain your settings.
When you start seeing a weaker Wi-Fi signal in areas of your home where it used to be strong, that is another indication that your router is long past its sell-by date.
Some of the most recent Wi-Fi routers offer cyber security services as an additional add-on in addition to parental controls and monitoring.
The most recent routers frequently give you the option to activate extra cyber security features like ad blocking, content filtering, and other potentially different things.
The prevalence of cyber dangers today makes it even more crucial that your internet security takes top attention. Additionally, because so many people these days work from home, it is more important than ever to secure your home network.
If you are worried about the online safety of your family and the security of your home network, switching to the newest router is an excellent place to start. Not all wireless routers, especially many older routers, have these functions.
Your router is definitely outdated if you can’t recall the last time you bought one.
Many experts advise that you can probably get away with changing your router every five years if you don’t utilize that many smart gadgets in your home.
However, who in today’s world does not have a smart gadget connected? Even your refrigerator may be a smart gadget!
So it makes sense to update your router every two to three years if you have a lot of smart or internet-enabled devices at home. There are typical exceptions to this, but in general, it relies on the capacity of your router and the speed of your internet connection.
What Matters is What’s inside
Your router’s air vents can allow pet hair, dust mites, and other types of filth to enter. When this is used in excess, performance can drastically decline.
It’s a good idea to occasionally blow the vents with compressed air to clear away any build-up of whatever icky things have amassed there. This can occasionally be sufficient to get your main router back up and running.
But once more, if there is too much debris piled up inside or if age is a concern, it’s definitely better to just upgrade and make use of the newest router technology.
In the end, it all comes down to what you already have and what you want out of your internet to determine whether or not you need a new router.
Although routers are hardly the kind of seductive purchase you’ll be delighted to have to make, they are so essential to everything we do online that it’s difficult to ignore them entirely.
Technology advances quickly, and Wi-Fi routers are no exception. Therefore, if you use an old router to access the internet, you may be missing out on a fair amount of features and speed that you are paying good money for.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.