In today’s busy society, replacing a WiFi router might be the last thing on your mind. But at the same time, maintaining a strong WiFi connection in your home is more important than ever before.
According to research conducted by Gallup in late 2021, 45% of people in the workforce are now working either fully or partially remotely. That number is relatively unchanged from previous months, indicating that the work-from-home lifestyle is here to stay.
Thanks to these trends, people are not only enjoying a vast majority of their entertainment through their internet connection, they’re also relying on it for their livelihoods. Additionally, the ever-evolving technology that we use requires more complex operating systems to thrive. These changes are taxing your old internet services more than was anticipated when you invested in them.
The burning question remains: how often should you replace your router?
For a long time, the rule of thumb has been that you should replace your router every three-to-five years. If you’re living in a home with smart home features, if you consistently upgrade to the newest technologies, or if you’re using a lot of devices under a single WiFi network, you’ll need to upgrade to a new router much more frequently than that.
Let’s dive into a few signs that your router needs to be replaced.
1. Your Internet is Slow
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people experiencing internet issues will just try to turn their network on and off again in the hopes that it’ll fix itself. That may help in the short term but if you’re doing this regularly, it’s time to replace your wireless router.
If you have any doubts, run a free speed test. The average download speed in an American household is around 22 Mbps while the average upload speed is around 10 Mbps. If you or someone in your house uses a game console online or if you run a lot of downloads, you might need an even faster connection than that.
You should make a habit of running these speed tests regularly – perhaps once a month – so you can track your internet speed over time to see if it’s getting worse.
2. You’re Consistently Having Issues Connecting
If your devices are having trouble connecting to the network or are consistently being kicked off, it’s probably time to change your internet router. Trouble connecting can be a sign that the router is getting old and losing the capacity to hold all of your devices.
You might also find that you can no longer connect to the WiFi in rooms of your home that used to have strong connection. If you’ve recently made expansions to your home or if you have a large home in general, it’s possible that the most remote areas of the house aren’t able to access your WiFi as easily.
Ideally, WiFi signals should maintain their strength and range over the course of their usefulness. If one or both of those things seems to be dropping off, it’s probably time for you to install a new router.
3. You’ve Added Smart Home Features
If you’ve read our story early this year on smart home upgrades to make for your home in 2022 and you’ve begun to implement those changes, you’ll want a network that can handle those systems.
If your home includes features such as automated lighting and shading, a smart TV/audio system, or a smart thermostat, you’re likely starting to overload your old home network. In the future, this could lead to slow internet speeds or trouble connecting some of your devices.
Newer wireless routers are equipped to handle smart home technology. What’s even better is that the experts at Integrated Media Systems have decades of experience creating custom networks for families and networks of all sizes. If you’re unsure, we can help.
4. You’ve Been Hacked
If someone has cracked the code of your WiFi password, you should definitely be changing your IP address with a new router.
Even if you haven’t been hacked yet, regularly changing your router can be a good thing for security in ensuring that you don’t get hacked in the future. Newer routers have stronger security settings and are more capable of dealing with modern cybersecurity threats.
For any router replacement needs in Ashburn, VA or anywhere else in the Northern Virginia area, give us a call. Integrated Media Systems has decades of experience building custom networks for families of all sizes.