Router lifespan?

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I've been having issues lately on ours--for last year or two, wireless devices would lose connection randomly. These days my work laptop refuses to run VPN; and now when I use a hard connection via Ethernet it still has problems. My wife called our provider and now we're getting a new modem&router; apparently it was the same price for just a modem vs router (we get to pay $4/month for it, which I don't understand), so we got the router. But the woman was shocked that ours was 9 years old. We goofed and bought a router a while ago, only to realize that we needed a modem too. I'm going to be curious if this new modem&router has a direct outlet so as to connect to a different router. I wonder if we can store this unused router for a few years and use it at later date.
 
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Originally Posted By: supton
I wonder if we can store this unused router for a few years and use it at later date.
Given the rapid advance of technology, I wouldn't bother. Anything sub-$100 in the future will run exponentially faster than the original router. New iPhone is AC spec, new routers are AC spec - just so you can inquire what your new router spec is capable of running. Minimum is "n" spec.
 
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Look very closely to make sure they don't charge you for using the built in router. If the one you bought is capable I'd probably use it anyway.
 
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I bought/own my own cable modem and wireless router. I avoid the rental fee which is a plus and I own better equipment than the cable company provides. You can also buy an ADSL modem. You simply call your ISP and give them the MAC address to the new modem while it's plugged in and turn the old one in to them. I'd throw away such an old router. I wouldn't bother donating it to the Goodwill, either. Those who have slow Wi-Fi routers in congested areas aren't doing their neighbors any favor.
 

supton

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TDS is our provider. Router likes to drop my iPad. Wife's iPod seems ok; and our Roku is unaffected. VPN is horrible on my work laptop, and IT here at work says it's the router. Router can't run faster than our DSL, and I want to say we run the slowest speed. I guess we're close to a (station? relay? whatever) so our speed stays high. Never had an issue with speed.
 
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Originally Posted By: NateDN10
Our wrt54g is 10 years old and still works fine. Usually the power supplies go bad before the wireless components.
Does it have WPA2?
 
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Originally Posted By: supton
I've been having issues lately on ours--for last year or two, wireless devices would lose connection randomly. These days my work laptop refuses to run VPN; and now when I use a hard connection via Ethernet it still has problems. My wife called our provider and now we're getting a new modem&router; apparently it was the same price for just a modem vs router (we get to pay $4/month for it, which I don't understand), so we got the router. But the woman was shocked that ours was 9 years old. We goofed and bought a router a while ago, only to realize that we needed a modem too. I'm going to be curious if this new modem&router has a direct outlet so as to connect to a different router. I wonder if we can store this unused router for a few years and use it at later date.
Hey Supton. This stuff happens to be my area of "expertise". My provider here in Haverhill, Ma. is Comcast :(, and it rankles to rent the equipment from them. So, I use a Motorola Surfboard 6121 cable modem. It's a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, about $60.00 on Amazon, maybe $70 at Wally-World. In tandem with the Modem, I use an N router from Belkin, it's an N600, IIRC it was around $80. Well worth the cost. It provides my wireless with the 5GHZ band along with the 2.4Ghz band. The 5Ghz band is good for cell phones, and for wireless adaptors that can use 5Ghz, it's really fast. This combo has four ethernet ports, I can print through the network on it and it runs my NetTalk VOIP router for my landline. It really is a robust combo. One thing folks on Comcast and any other ISP's providing "hotspots" need to understand is, when you rent their cable modem/router combo (it's a pretty large piece of gear), your rented router is really TWO wireless networks, one Private for you, another Public for the ISP's customers to use when they're in range. I'm not a hacker and I have no idea if someone on the Public side can reach data on the private side, but it rankles a little. Nonetheless, Comcast eating up the bandwidth I pay for with their Public hotspot powered by the modem they charge me rent on is so objectionable I wouldn't tolerate it. Hardly anyone understands this stuff, so they're mostly unopposed. Hope these tidbits help.
 
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I always run a standalone modem and purchase my own router. Ask them how much a modem only would cost. The only benefit to using their all in one is support from the ISP for wifi config etc.
 

supton

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Wife said it was $4 per month either way. I don't understand that, but that's what she was told.
 
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We have Wide Open West. I wish I could select and buy my own cable modem but to get the DVR w/ their cable TV setup you have to use their "media gateway" box with is nearly the size of an old VHS VCR (there's some nostalgia). It has a wireless router built in but I went into the setup pages and disabled it. Use our own Cisco Wireless N router that have had about 5 years.
 
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My current choice of router, Linksys EA2700, has the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands, gigabit Ethernet, and the price is a stunner... I had to change the 5 GHz band to "narrow" or 20 MHz, and the band was mixed, both "A" and "N". Some computers will not see the 5 GHz channel, they lack the circuitry in their wireless card. This is a "Cloud" router" you connect through Linksys, but look on the lower right of the login screen, and you will see a link to opt out... http://www.amazon.com/Linksys-App-Enable...keywords=ea2700
 
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Try updating the firmware on the router if possible still. If that does not work not worth spending a moment unless you like to fiddling with them as they are so cheap.
 

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My wife just corrected me: it's DSL, not cable. And we're stuck with the $4/month surcharge anyhow. But we get equipment upgrades as needed--I'm not sure sure about that, since it wasn't upgraded for, er, 9 years...
 

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Originally Posted By: rjundi
Try updating the firmware on the router if possible still. If that does not work not worth spending a moment unless you like to fiddling with them as they are so cheap.
This. Unless you are running enterprise gear or technically savvy and enjoy playing with these things it is usually more cost effective to just replace it. Often times the older hardware can't NAT at the speed being provided by the broadband connection or the NAT table fills up quickly and can cause a hard lock requiring a power cycle. This used to be very common with folks downloading torrents due to the number of simultaneous sessions they create. On top of that, the wireless chipset can and often does start to get flaky as the device ages; consumer gear is built to a price-point and is not designed to have an extended lifespan. Aftermarket firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato can breathe some new life into old hardware if it is still reliable, but you still aren't getting around the CPU and memory limitations, so if they are causing you issues an upgrade is the the only real solution. What can be fun for a tinkerer is a box running PFSense, IPCop, Smoothwall....etc provisioned as your router. Then you use a separate wireless access point to service your wireless clients. I've done this in the past and have set it up for folks that didn't want to pony up the cash for some Cisco gear. In my experience, the ISP provided equipment is usually lowest bidder and subsequently, is often junk. The Bell 2Wire modems we've got here are a prime example of that. Factory reset with the wireless disabled they work fine as a bridge/modem. You ask them to be your router and WiFi and they are unreliable steaming piles.
 
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timewarner went to the 8$ a month fee. I went out and got a 6121 for 60$ and its already paid for itself. Of course everytime you have a problem they blame your modem. even if its their node that is overloaded. I was sick of consumer grade routers so I built a pfsense box it uses 17w. I have a buffalo ac1750dhp for the WAP. I really need to run an ethernet cable downstairs to move the wap as the cape cod construction makes a second floor WAP have bad wall interference. plaster/mesh walls at bad angles means the wireless dies outside the house. I'd like to have better coverage on my deck and garage.
 
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My experience is the router itself last a long time, long enough for them to be obsoleted and depreciated to nothing in resell value. The power adapter itself blew all the time if you didn't plug them into a surge protector. Also if you power on and off your router a lot, and it happen when the router is in the middle of writing some logs or setting changes, it could corrupt the file system and make its setting sort of funny. I recovered a router that I though my in laws killed because they try to save electricity by powering the router off every night before sleep. Most of the really "dead" router I see is due to poor manufacturing quality (broken solder joint) or small chipset companies that didn't do the silicon design correctly (overloading certain circuitry, silicon IP defect that they do not respin a new tape out to fix because it cost a million).
 
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Had my Linksys WRT-320N on for over a thousand days, no reboots or power cycles.. Replaced it with an EA2700. Heat is the enemy, I have mine on a 3 shelf wire closet rack...
 
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Originally Posted By: hatt
Originally Posted By: NateDN10
Our wrt54g is 10 years old and still works fine. Usually the power supplies go bad before the wireless components.
Does it have WPA2?
Yes, they do. Probably one of the most reliable routers ever made. Unfortunately, their new stuff isn't quite as reliable. • Supports Wired Equivalent Privacy™ (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access™ (WPA) and Wi-Fi Protected Access™2 (WPA2)
 
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