When to Replace Router

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by switcher3365, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. switcher3365 macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2008
    I have a Netgear WGR614 router (http://amzn.com/B00008SCFL). I can't remember when I bought it, though I know it is at least 4 years old. It's been on the market since October 2007.

    Anyway, I upgraded to 30mbps cable internet, and realized that the reason I could never break 20mbps was because of the router. When I hook directly up to the cable modem, I'm fine.

    Does a router's age impact performance significantly? Is there a cycle as to how long one should keep a router?

  2. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    There's no set age. When it's not fast enough for your needs, keeps failing or some other deficiency it is time to replace it. In your case it seems it is time.
  3. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2013
    That's a 802.11G router that supports a maximum of 54MBPS. The best Wireless-N routers are rated for up to 450MBPS and the newest 802.11AC routers support up to twice that.

    WiFi has come a long way since 2007, and that Netgear was a budget router even then. I typically replace mine once every two to three years, or every other generation of AirPort Extreme.

    There are other factors to consider- including the fact that a router contains a basic CPU and its performance as a router is tied to its computing ability.

    It's definitely time to upgrade. ASUS and Apple make the best options on the market, assuming you don't mind shelling out $150-200 for a router that should last you several trouble-free years.
  4. switcher3365 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2008
    If it's worth mentioning, I do live in an apartment, so there's lots of networks shooting out signals nearby. Could that play a role as well?
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Some degree you could be experiencing interference; however, due to packet over head, encryption, and packet loss it is well known that you generally only end up with about half the maximum bandwidth. Therefore only getting 20mbps is about right if you have a g router.
  6. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    If you purchase a dual band N or AC speed router, then you will see an improvement. The 2.4 GHz spectrum is overcrowded with portable home telephones, microwaves, certain radio waves, and other wireless networks. The 5 GHz signal degrades a lot easier through walls and other obstructions, but is alot cleaner and more open.

    I recommend a router like an AirPort Express or an Extreme if you want the additional features. Coupled with drop dead easy configuration, general reliability, and dual band wireless-n you should see a great increase.
  7. mneblett macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    If you are going to upgrade, you may want to consider spending a bit more and getting an 802.11ac router. Of course, if money's tight go .11n for now -- .11n will handle your ISP's current 30Mbps service.

    ac is the "next gen" wifi standard. You may not have any ac devices now, but over the next 3-4 years you likely will.

    If you think you may want the 3x speed of .11ac (with 3x3 devices) to pass information across your network (for things like transfers between computers or backups to devices on your home network -- ac it won't speed up your internet access), you'll have to replace an .11n router, i.e., you'll end up buying two routers (.11n now and .11ac later) instead of one .11ac router now that should hold you for the next few years.
  8. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Then on a Mac use the free program iStumbler Beta to figure out what channel your neighbors routers are broadcasting and change you channel to use the offset channel for less interference.

    Plus trust me that other poster are correct about getting a dual-band router. Most of them will heave a USB2 port to share a USB2 drive/printer across the network.
  9. switcher3365 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2008
    Thank you all for your help. I think I am going to go ahead with a dual-band n router for now.
  10. switcher3365 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2008
    So, I actually went with an AC router since I'll be replacing my computer this year. NewEgg had a $99 deal ($179 regular) on a Netgear R6250 Wireless AC1600 router. It has great reviews. I'm getting a little over the 30mpbs I'm paying for now on both bands. Awesome! Thanks for the tips.
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Anything I owned that's sub "N" has been recycled. I'd like to spring for AC, but only for streaming uncompressed Blu-ray rips.

    I haven't given that a close look just yet, but my existing N network handles most of them (but not all) well.

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