How Often Should You Replace Your Modem – Signs To Look For

Every home and business network requires a modem, in some cases, more than a single modem is required. The number of modems and types of modems a network needs depends on your Internet service provider (ISP), Internet package, preferences, and necessities. There are three main types of modems – Cable (Ethernet), Dual, and Wireless (Wi-Fi). Again, this will depend on your ISP and network package.

All cable modems work in similar manners, they bring the Internet into homes and businesses. Wireless modems, on the other hand, provide access to wireless networks, bypassing landline or telephone systems. Then there is the dual modem, which offers the best of both worlds, providing both direct and wireless Internet access.

How long do modems last? before we get into that fully, lets take a quick look at the signs that will indicate it time to replace your modem.

How Often Should You Replace Your Modem – Signs To Look For

How Often Should You Replace Your Modem

Now, you know the importance of a modem, it is time to learn more, as this is the most essential piece of network equipment in both home and business settings.

Rental Or Purchase Outright

There are two ways to access a modem. The first method involves renting a modem from your Internet provider. The second way involves bypassing your Internet provider and purchasing directly from a retail or electronics store. If you opt to rent the modem, you will be required to pay a monthly rental fee, which averages around $10. If you calculate this amount up, you could end up paying an additional $120 per year just to rent a modem that you will not own outright.

The second option may end up saving you some money in the long run. The prices of modems have dropped significantly since they hit the market. But, with cons, purchasing a modem outright also has some downsides. One downside is the lack of compatibility. Since not all modems are designed to support all ISPs, if you opt to change ISPs, you may be required to purchase another modem outright.

Read Also: Difference Between Modem and Router.

High-Performance Modems – Why Are They So Important?

High-Performance Modems

The key to a high performing Internet connection is a high-performance modem. Without this piece of equipment, there would be no Internet or wireless access in your home and/or business. Most individuals and businesses rely on the Internet for nearly every aspect of their life and operations. With this said, productivity is crucial in today’s modern world. Since the Internet plays a major part in productivity in residential and commercial settings, a high performing Internet modem is a necessity.

With a high-performance Internet connection, gaining access to software programs, email, and websites is always going to be a breeze. You could expect the opposite response from a slow or lagging Internet connection.

A slow network will hinder your ability to access websites, streaming HD movies and music, surf the World Wide Web, and utilize software programs. It will also slow data downloads, uploads, and transfers to a crawl. Do you honestly believe this will do your productivity any good? The only thing it will do is increase your anxiety because your productivity will drop to the minimum.

If someone in your household likes to stream movies, video games, and music, this will not be possible without high-speed Internet. Fortunately, there are many brands, all of which share some differences and similarities, to choose from. With in-depth research, you will get it right the first go-round.

However, there will come a point in your network life that a modem replacement will be required. This is especially true when you consider the importance of being competitive in the Internet service world.

Recommended: How Often Should You Replace Your Router?

Signs Of A Failing Or Malfunctioning Internet Modem

Malfunctioning Internet Modem

Nearly all cable, wireless, and dual modems will fail at some point. Fortunately, manufacturers try to stay up-to-date on new technologies utilized by ISPs. This helps extend the life of modern modems. The most common modem issues reported include:

  • Slow uploading and/or downloading related to low Internet speeds
  • Increased ping rates when streaming video games
  • Network lag when streaming HD movies associated with buffering problems
  • Constant internal fluctuations and stoppage

The best and only way to avoid these Internet problems is a high-performance modem. It is crucial to ensure your modem is performing at the maximum level all the time. If you cannot do this, it may be time to replace your tired modem.

Modem Average Lifespan – What You Need To Know

The lifespan of modems varies from brand to brand. It only makes sense, a low-quality modem is not going to last as long as a high-quality brand. If you do not want to be replacing your modem each year, you will need to be prepared to pay more for a brand-name modem.

The average lifespan of an Internet modem is four years. Again, this will depend on the brand. Lower-quality modems will need to be replaced sooner and more often than higher-quality modems. Keeping this in mind, if you plan on purchasing out-right, you may save money by opting for a better modem.

When To Replace A Modem

When To Replace A Modem

If you ask most experts, they will say the best time to replace a modem is when it stops performing to the maximum level. Monitoring your network performance regularly will provide you with the insight needed to make the right call to replace or continue using.

Experts recommend upgrading modems at least every two years. But, again, this is your decision to make. Utilize your own judgment when making this decision. If your modem is performing at speeds, there is no reason to replace it. If it has not been two years yet and your modem is already showing signs of slowing down, it may be in your best interest to make the replacement as soon as possible.

What If My Modem Is Still Covered Under A Manufacturer’s Warranty

In this case, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer. Let them know what is going on with the modem. Depending on the warranty, the manufacturer may replace the modem free of charge. If this possible, you should definitely have the modem replaced because it will not cost you anything out-of-pocket.

Should You Heed To The Timeline Recommendations

Replacement timelines are based on expert recommendations. Nothing is set in stone, the decision is still up to you. If your modem is performing at the maximum level, there is no need to follow the timeline recommendations. As long as your modem is delivering a high-speed Internet and/or wireless signal into your home and/or business, there is no need to replace it.

Can’t Find A Solution

If you’ve tried troubleshooting your modem, you should check your Internet’s performance. Has the connection improved? If not, you may want to try your modem on another connection. For instance, you can take it to a friend’s place and see how the modem works. If the modem is working flawlessly on your friend’s connection, you’re likely dealing with an Internet Service Plan issue.

Otherwise, you know something has gone wrong with your modem. You’ll need to find a friend, neighbor, or family member willing to help but it’ll prove to be worth it.

Tips For Changing Your Modem

Tips For Changing Your Modem

Once you’ve found a new modem, you’ll need to change it. Before you can do that, you need to find out what type of modem you’re working with. Are you working with a leased modem? This means that you’re paying your Internet Service Provider a monthly fee to take advantage of their modem. If you’re using a leased modem, you’ll need to make sure that you choose a modem that works with your Internet Service Plan. Otherwise, you’ll have to send it back for a replacement.

Below, you’ll find out more about changing your modem.

  • Leased

Are you trying to replace a leased modem? You’re likely tired of paying that monthly modem rental fee. Well, you should know that you can replace the modem easily. All you have to do is find a suitable replacement. Make sure that your new modem is compatible with your ISP. If it is, you’ll need to uninstall the old modem and send it back to your Internet Service Provider. Then, you’ll want to hook up the new modem.

You’ll need to attach the coaxial cable before inserting the modem’s power cord. This will turn the modem on. After that, you should be able to connect the Ethernet cable to your computer and access your browser. This should activate the modem. If you run into any issues, you’ll want to call your Internet Service Provider. They can help you remedy those problems and get your new modem working correctly.

  • Bought Modem

If you’re buying a new modem, your options are plentiful. You’ll be able to choose any modem you want as long as it is compatible with your ISP. Again, you’ll need to connect the modem to your computer and access your browser. This should activate the modem. If it doesn’t, you should contact your ISP and let them solve the problem. Either way, it isn’t too difficult to activate and use a new modem with your current Internet Service Plan.

Tips For Replacing A Modem

Tips For Replacing A Modem

You should never rush the decision of buying a new modem since this could lead to major issues. Instead, you’ll want to take your time and make sure you get the best modem for your money. Below, you’ll find tips to help ensure you get the perfect modem for your family and Internet Service Plan.

First and foremost, you need to choose a modem that is compatible with your ISP. You can read the description online to find out if it is compatible with your ISP. Alternatively, you can try calling the company or chatting with them online. Make sure it is compatible before handing over your money.

Do not hesitate to replace your modem. If you wait too long, there is a risk that your modem will become unusable. Then, you’ll be left without an Internet connection. With that being said, it is a good idea to change the modem once every two or three years.

It is generally a good idea to avoid leases modems. If you switch ISPs later, your modem may not be compatible with your new ISP. To avoid this problem, you should buy a modem instead o renting one.

Before buying a modem, it is wise to read reviews online. Make sure critics and past buyers were satisfied with the product in question. If they weren’t, you likely won’t be either.

You should try avoiding refurbished modems. They’ve been refurbished for one reason or another. So, you may experience issues later on as well. You can avoid such problems by purchasing a new modem.


Replacing a modem is very important. Otherwise, your modem may not function as intended or it may be too slow. With this in mind, you should try replacing your modem once every two or three years. If you do this, you’ll be able to avoid problems and get the most from your Internet Service Plan. Remember to use the advice above to ensure you get a great modem for your money.