How Long Do Modems Last? A Complete Guide (2023)

Modems are one of the most sophisticated yet essential hardware for internet connectivity. It’s responsible for translating signals from your internet service provider (ISP) to your devices and connecting them to the Internet. However, you might be curious about how long do modems last.

How Long Do Modems Last?

Getting your modem working is crucial to gain uninterrupted internet access. This guide will show you the most common signs your modem is going bad and how long modems typically last.

Read this guide to learn more.


Table of Contents

“How do I Know If My Modem is Bad” – Most Common Signs

If you’re having trouble with “how to tell if modem is bad”, there are a few signs you must take note of. Similar to any device in your home, your modem has critical parts where if one significant part fails, your modem might just shut down entirely. However, if a minor component malfunctions, you’ll instead experience various signs that point to your modem going bad.

So, if you’re wondering, “do modems go bad?” Yes, they will sometimes malfunction abruptly or through a slow process, where you’ll notice it in various slight hints.

Here are some of the most common signs that your modem is failing:

  • Your modem constantly fails to connect to the internet with no reports of service outages from your ISP.
  • Your modem won’t switch on, even if the adapter cable and your outlets are working.
  • Unusual noises are coming out of the modem due to bad components.
  • The modem’s indicator lights show different colors, or some don’t light up.
  • You’re resetting the modem more frequently.


How Long Do Modems Typically Last?

Your modem’s lifespan will mostly depend on its quality, specifically whether it’s a high-end or a basic modem. Modems given by your ISP will most likely be a basic modem, which typically has a two to three-year lifespan. In comparison, higher-quality modems will have a lifespan of five years or more.

On average, you can expect modems to fail between two to five years, due to obsolescence and hardware failure, among other factors. High-end modem models usually have quality parts that can last longer before they fail. These are also equipped with great ventilation systems that lessen overheating of essential components.


How Often Should You Replace Your Modem

There are various factors that you can consider when thinking about replacing your current modem with a newer one. Here are some of them:

  • Your current modem’s lifespan is already over five years.
  • Your ISP follows upgraded network standards or protocols that your current modem cannot support.
  • You’re experiencing various network issues constantly.
  • You’re upgrading to a faster internet plan that requires a new modem.
  • Your current modem lacks the features necessary for your new internet plan.

When renting network hardware from your ISP, you can request an upgrade to your modem and router since they’re usually provided for free. Also, if your ISP follows the latest Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard—which is improved every four to seven years—you can try replacing your modem with a new model that follows it.


Final Thoughts

Modems are critical to connecting your devices to the Internet in your home. However, you might need to replace it every four to five years or when you’re experiencing frequent connection loss, slow internet speeds, and other connection problems. Hopefully, this guide helps you know more about how long modems last and when it’s ideal for replacing your modem.

If you’re currently experiencing problems with your modem, contact your ISP for further assistance.