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Expected lifespan of a Linksys wireless router

by dkshank1 / October 5, 2007 1:29 PM PDT

I have a wireless home network with four different computers with varying Windows operating systems all accessing our satellite internet service. My company computer remotely connects to headquarters via a VPN connection. I seem to go through a wireless router about every year and half to two years. I know it is starting to fail when I begin to see a drastic slow down in performance, followed by intermittent service, followed by complete failure. I have three questions about my situation. First, is this the typical lifespan for this hardware in an above-average user home environment? Second, what exactly fails physically on these systems (I've had three different models of Linksys wireless routers -currently the SRX200 model). And finally, is the typical hardware failure an easy repair by the manufacturer (i.e. should I attempt to buy a refurbished router to save money)? Thank you kindly to anyone with advice.

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I've only seen a handful of failures.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 5, 2007 10:38 PM PDT

1. The power brick failed after 4 years.
2. The DSL modem+router+wifi failed after a lightning strike at 3 years.
3. Other failures in the 3 to 5 year range.

So with just two handfuls of failures to share it's 3 to 5 years. As to failure modes they range from outright no lights to slower than dialup performance.


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Power problems
by dkshank1 / October 6, 2007 2:53 PM PDT

Thanks for the feedback. I do see a lot of power interruptions in my neck of the woods and it could play a role. I do have a "whole-house" surge protector on the main breaker box as well as a surge protector power strip that the router is plugged in to but nothing is foolproof. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

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That's a tough bunch of questions
by PudgyOne / October 5, 2007 10:59 PM PDT

How long is you Linksys router to live?

How long are you going to live? No one knows. There are different things that can affect things. Electrical storms, plain failure, power surges and the list can go on and on.

First with the Linksys router, did you:

Update the firmware? Most routers sit in the warehouse with outdated firmware. The new version of firmware can be downloaded from Linksys.

Broadcast SSID. This has been debated from time to time. If you disable it and have trouble connecting, then most people cannot figure why, call a technician and get a bill for them to turn it on.

Use WPA security. WEP security can be hacked. WPA Security is more secure. WPA2 is even better, but some computers do NOT has this, so they cannot connect.

Do NOT use anything else. Using MAC address conflicts with the WPA security.

I have had my router, Netgear WGR614 v6 for a little over a year. I've had no trouble connecting or people getting into the network. The only time I have a problem is during an electrical storm. If the power flickers, then I have to turn both my Westell 6100(DSL)Modem/router and my Netgear router off for 15 seconds and then turn them back on, minor little problem.

Having the latest firmware in the router fixes the routers from losing connections. I have not seen a slow down in performance with updating the firmware, I did before I updated it.

I'm not quite sure but is this the router you have?

If so, then you can download the firmware from there. Use the cable to install the firmware update.

Goog luck,


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Thank you for your response
by dkshank1 / October 6, 2007 2:49 PM PDT

Thanks for the technical information. A little over my head but the next time I install a router I will reread your message as I go through the setup process. Thanks again.

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i hate linksys
by cheeto8181 / October 6, 2007 12:11 AM PDT

I don't know if its the particular model, i have a linksys wrt55ag. bought my first one 2 or 3 years ago... every year or so, linksys has to repalce it...what happens is that both the wireless and wired connections lose connectivity all the time...I've tried updating the firmware, flashing the router, and changing the settings to what linksys says...none of this works... when i lose connectivity, nothing from the PC will repair the connection, and i am forced to power cycle the works for a while, then loses the connection, so i power cycle...its and endless cycle.

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Thanks for the confirmation
by dkshank1 / October 6, 2007 2:46 PM PDT
In reply to: i hate linksys

Your scenario is the same I have experienced. This will be my third replacement in 5-6 years. At first you start to notice a slow down then you have to do the power cycle to get connected. I guess I will try another brand to see if it is more reliable. Thanks for your response.

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linksys alternative
by cheeto8181 / October 6, 2007 11:59 PM PDT

please let me know what you far, in my research i've found:

D-link: some people have had no issues, but more people have had issues. They say that dlink tech support is the worst...most poeple say its out of India, you can't understand the English through their accents, and to top it off, they are just reading off scripts, and have no technical experience.

Belkin: same issues reported as with linksys in terms of losing the connection all the time

Netgeat: same issues as with belkin and linksys...

these are the big names, and i could not find 1 single router with semi-consistent good reviews...i looked up many models, many brands, even some no name ones....


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(NT) Next we'll want a PC as reliable as our routers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 7, 2007 12:13 AM PDT
In reply to: linksys alternative
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(NT) Sad But True.But a pc's job is more broad then a router's
by cheeto8181 / October 7, 2007 1:44 PM PDT
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re: linksys alternative
by techdrdidldy / March 19, 2013 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: linksys alternative

You could try TrendNet. They're a little off-brandish and the external features makes them look like they would have been popular in the era of the original GameBoy.

However, I found that these are tough little routers for home use. My previous home was poorly wired and a change in the outside temperature caused fluctuations in voltage through the house (a bad situation, I'm sure). Even when our Motorola cable modem would drop connection, the router was still firing off, streaming video from my computer to my xbox.

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Not much of a sample but...
by bedeviled / October 8, 2007 4:30 AM PDT

I use a Linksys WRT54G. First one died after about 2.5 years. No lights - dead. Replaced with the same model about a year ago and it is doing okay. I'm not a wireless expert but I don't believe having to power cyclye is necessarily an indication the router is dying. I have to power cycle mine all the time to re-establish wireless connection and believe it is directly related to microwave oven interference.

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might as well blame it on aliens
by cheeto8181 / October 8, 2007 4:45 AM PDT

Microwave interference? i learned in my EE class there are simple ways for electronics to filter out noise and interference...

but having to power cycle your modem constantly is not acceptable, unless you are using it in some super electronics which case you'd have much better IT and not some crappy home router...

you say you have to power cycle cause a microwave interferes with your connection? well, whenever i lose my wireless connection, i also ALWAYS lose the wired connection as well...even if a microwave cuts the wireless, it should disconnect the wired...

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Not aliens, microwaves
by bedeviled / October 10, 2007 5:21 AM PDT

It's been discussed here before. Agree that losing a wired connection wouldn't be related though.

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wireless interference
by raine.raine / February 7, 2010 11:48 PM PST

any suggestions on how to minimize interferences w/ such connection (wireless)? because it is very susceptable

another thing, generally what do you think is the span life of routers and modems? but of course it merely depends on how people use it, whether they are turning it off properly and removes electricity supply when not in use

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We cover the interference a little in the top forum posts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 7, 2010 11:55 PM PST
In reply to: wireless interference

So I won't duplicate that advice again.

Today the designs look to be 5 year designs. A few parts are at play here such as electrolytic capacitors and those flat flex cables. Both have finite life spans in the 5 year range.


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thanks for the response
by raine.raine / February 8, 2010 12:04 AM PST

ill just check the previous replise... anyway, for those w/ 5year-life span, that would be the newest as you said... how about the few old ones? the ones that are already out in the market?


because people had the impression that if the router/modem fails ISP is rubbish (more often that not YES, but sometimes equipment issue already)

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I offered that as an explainer and
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 8, 2010 12:11 AM PST

This is not to write that all will fail in 5 years but most use reference designs that use the aforementioned parts selected to give us years of use without increasing the costs. This issue of not having 10 or more year designs is mostly in consumer products where price drives the sale. If you did supply a 10 year design and the price was 2 dollars more your sales would suffer and your company fold.

The market drives this.

I think you want to write that old gear may be better. The wistful thoughts are nice but misplaced.

What's the goal here?

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microwaves do not run on same frequency!
by reboot_68 / November 10, 2011 10:57 AM PST

microwaves do not run on same frequency! you might wanna try a firmware update or switching mixmode settings!

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Same exact experience
by moucon2 / January 1, 2011 2:32 PM PST

I happened to catch this post - I have to replace my "consumer" grade WiFi routers every year or two. And not just Linksys - I've had exactly the same experience with an Apple AirExpress, various DLink routers, Linksys, Belkin, etc.

Once or twice they quite immediately after a bad electrical storm -so that was predictable. THe rest of the time - they just died. Start out by dropping connections... eventually refuse to connect no matter what. I'm a techie so updating the firmware and all that is a given. All I can say is I'm glad these are sub-$50 and not $500 like they used to be. That said - I've never had this kind of problem with commercial-grade gear. There's something about the cheap SOHO stuff that lets it die prematurely.

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