Have you noticed that your Internet speed is lagging when you’re streaming and performing yet you’re paying for the top package from your provider?
It could be time to upgrade your router.
CNET recommends changing out your router at least every five years and if you’re into smart home gadgets and use the latest equipment you’re looking at swapping it out every two to three years. However, most of us tend to forget about the workhorse that makes our speeds go lickety- split, so we stick that baby in the closet and forget about it.
I admit to having mine a whopping ten years – and I wondered why I was having issues!
For months on end, I’d been having problems uploading, downloading, sporadic screen sharing with my Apple TV and a host of other nightmares – in fact it got to the point I couldn’t even stream Pandora without it stopping every few minutes to load. Frustrating!
The funny thing was it didn’t occur to me that I had a router problem, which is why I decided to write this article in case you have zero clue (like I did) why your system isn’t working the way it should. Of course, there are all kinds of reasons for slow Internet, but needing to upgrade your router could be one you’ve overlooked.
When my speed really started going south, I was in denial, I kept hoping it would magically just fix itself. It didn’t, in fact it got worse, and finally one day my Internet was so sluggish I broke down and did a little research… and lo and behold… I figured out the culprit. My ancient router! A week later I had a new one and now I’m living large.
Maybe you rent your router, and that’s cool, but there’s a good reason to buy your own.
Ultimately if you suck it up, you’ll come out ahead. Spectrum for example charges $5 a month last time I checked to rent a router. That’s $60 a year. If you replace it every five years you’ve lined their pockets with $300. I bought this CNET recommended TP-Link one for $80 (at the time of this writing) from Amazon saving myself $220 over its expected lifespan.
Worried about setting up your own router and feel like you need the cable guy?
You don’t. Things have come a long way with electronics since the last time I cursed my way through getting a router to work in 2012 – the TP-Link was pretty easy, I had it up and running in less than an hour.
Lastly, if your speed (you can check it on a site like SpeedCheck) is just fine there’s still a good reason to upgrade your router within five years – security – as reported on by Consumer Reports. So, think about the last time your router was replaced, it could be time for a new one!
Photo credit: iStock.com/Alesmunt
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via firstname.lastname@example.org.