Routers are just like all other electronics; they are prone to perform slower or break over time. In this article, I discuss the signs of a bad router, along with possible ways to fix your router issues.
If your internet connection is cutting out, slowing down, or not working entirely, then these can be a sign that your router is going bad or already dead.
Let's troubleshoot the possible causes and symptoms to find out if it just needs fixing or if it's completely dead.
Check out the Things to Try Before Buying a New Router section below to make sure the router can't be fixed.
Consumer routers often fail after a few years due to:
- Faulty hardware caused by poor manufacturing or degrading materials.
- Router got too hot over a long period.
Old firmware or no new updates available from the manufacturer can cause incompatibility with newer products.
Internet Is Slow or Cutting Out
If you have consistent connection issues or slow internet speeds, this could be a side effect of a router going bad.
Indicator Lights All Off or in Error State
Your router has indicator lights which are usually on the front or top of your device.
These lights can tell you if your router is having any issues.
If all of the indicator lights are off, this could mean that the device has suffered a hardware failure.
To determine possible indicator light error states, you will have to refer to your router's manual.
- Restart your router.
- Restart your client device (e.g., phone, tablet, streaming device, or laptop).
- Upgrade the router firmware.
- Move the router to a colder area with more air circulation around it.
- For poor Wi-Fi connections, try moving your device closer to the router, avoiding obstacles which may block the signal, and maximizing distance from other Wi-Fi routers.
- Follow the Ultimate Cable Internet Troubleshooting Guide - This guide shows you how to troubleshoot cable Internet problems.
- Follow the Ultimate Cable Internet Wiring Guide - This guide shows you how to wire cable Internet for your home or office.
If you've tried all of those troubleshooting steps, then your router is likely bad or outdated and needs replacing.
Check out our recommended router below:
Best WiFi Router: TP-Link AXE5400 WiFi 6E
- Find the TP-Link AXE5400 WiFi 6E Router on Amazon (affiliate link).
- Wi-Fi speeds up to 5.4 Gb/s.
- Supports 6 GHz, 5 GHz, and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bands for the most flexibility.
- WiFi 6E increases bandwidth, improves speeds, and has near-zero latency. It also provides a more responsive gaming and video chatting experience.
- 1.7 GHz Quad-Core CPU and 512 MB High-Speed Memory.