Internet lags are incredibly frustrating, regardless of what you are doing online. When a lag happens during a game, it can be the difference between winning and losing.
When a lag happens during a movie, everyone gets frustrated. When you are having a lot of interference along your network, you might begin to wonder whether the issue is bandwidth, but perhaps that your router has simply become obsolete.
You might ask the question, “do routers go bad,” or even just wonder how to tell if your router is bad. Routers do go bad over time.
There is a built-in mechanism that is continually worked and over time, it will become heated and gradually begin to operate poorly.
Let’s go over how to tell if your router is bad to help you diagnose what the problem with your internet might be.
7 Signs You Need A New Router
There are a few ways to tell whether your router has gone or is going bad. Here are some signs you need a new router:
1. Unable To Login
If you had no issue connecting to your router a day ago, but now you are getting notifications that you have limited connectivity, you might have a router problem.
You will want to actually make sure that you are plugged in and connected as you should be normally, because it could just be a loose Ethernet cable or something else.
It would be best to completely unplug the router, give it a couple of minutes, and then plug it back in and see what happens.
2. Slow Down
Another indication that you are having a router issue is that your wireless speeds are suddenly going very slowly. If they were operating well and suddenly stop operating, it very well could be a router that is going bad.
Double check that no one on your network is hogging all of the bandwidth before you reach that conclusion. You can confirm that it is the router by plugging the modem into a computer and see how fast it is going.
If it is going well, then you might need to replace the router in order to have a stronger connection.
3. Constant Reconnection
You should not have to reconnect your router repeatedly, especially throughout a day. If you are seeing that the connection is dropping off and then reconnecting itself several times, you are probably having a router problem.
You can troubleshoot this issue by going to the router’s configuration page and find the option to reset your device. It is possible that a software update made everything go crazy and that it simply needs to be returned to factory defaults.
4. Interrupted Signals
This could also be an ISP issue, so you will want to double check that there isn’t a bigger issue here before you throw out your router in retaliation.
You can check the modem itself by disconnecting the router and then just hardwiring your computer into the modem. If you get a strong connection, then it is likely the router has taken a dive and needs to be replaced.
If your modem is also having internet issues, you had better contact your ISP and find out what might be going on with your network. You can also check this by pinging Google’s primary DNS server, 22.214.171.124. If that works, but you can’t get onto Google, then you know that it is a DNS issue.
5. Is It Responding?
Is the router responding to any commands that you give it? Is it just sitting there when you put out a request, or is it trying? If a router does not seem to be responding well, it is time to unplug it, give it a few minutes, and then try again.
It might be able to eliminate the queue that might be clogging your router and give you a fresh start. If nothing still happens, it is time to start thinking about the kind of router that you want to get to replace the one that is not working as well as it should be.
6. Check The Lights
Another way to see if your router is on its way out is to check out the LEDs on the front of it. If the lights that should be lit up are good, then you might not have anything to worry about.
If you can tell that there are fewer lights lit, then you might have a dying router. If the router can’t light up at all, chances are good that it might be a router issue. If the lights seem dimmer than they do normally, that is also a sign that it is time to replace your router.
7. What Is Your Router’s Function?
Then next thing to check is to see if your router is doing anything at all. Even if the lights are out, it is a good idea to see whether the router has been functional. In order to do that, you will want to open a command window on your computer.
Once your command window is open, run the ‘ipconfig’ command if you have a Windows machine or ‘ifconfig’ if you are using Mac. This should give you your computer’s IP address. If your router is operating correctly, the IP address will take you to your computer.
If it works, you should test with another device in the network just to confirm that it is operational.
What Happens Next?
What you should do after you have successfully conducted the tests depends on the results that you have found.
The first conclusion you might have reached is that the issue is not with your router, but with your ISP. If that is the case, you should first try rebooting the system just to rule that out. Then, you need to call your ISP and see what might be happening.
Another conclusion that you might have drawn is that there is a connectivity issue that is unrelated to the ISP. This would be the case if you have proven that the router does not seem to be an issue at all and the ISP seems to be doing its job.
Then, you might be able to find out whether there is a cord problem. Maybe your Ethernet cord is not plugged in well, or perhaps another cord has been damaged or unplugged. A cable issue can be resolved by replacing the cables.
Your router has gone bad. If you have gone through our list of suggestions and only come up with the conclusion that your router is bad, then the time has come for you to replace it with something newer and better.
It also could be an internal network issue. If you live in a space that has a lot of streaming down at the same time, it might be that your router is not working, because too many people are online at the same time, hogging the bandwidth.
A quality tri-band router should be able to show you its activity log to see if there are any devices that are hogging the bandwidth, making the entire network slow down.
What to Look for in a Modern Router
When you are looking for a new router, there are several things that you will want to consider.
The first thing you might see is the price, but the important aspects of a router go beyond the price point. The things you should be looking for in a router include:
- Range: How far the signal carries throughout the entirety of your network.
- Bands: You want at least a dual-band router to get the biggest bandwidth.
- Features: Are you an active gamer? You might want to look for a router that can provide a low ping rate and still allow you to move along with your game, such as the following.
- Speeds: You might realize that your speeds are dependent upon the speeds that we get from our ISPs, but they are also dependent on other factors too, including what your router can handle. The fastest router will not go obsolete as quickly as a slower router.
- Compatibility: If you want to use your new router, it absolutely has to be compatible with your ISP. If it is not for some reason, it is never going to work for you. It just is not possible to have a non-compatible router work.
If your router is simply not behaving as well as it once did, you are experiencing a major slow down, or you are noticing that the router keeps rebooting, there is a chance that you are due for a new router. So asking yourself "do I need a new router" is a good place to start!
You should not have to be incredibly frustrated online. You will be able to tell if your router has gone bad by following our suggestions. Then, go get a new one that is compatible with your ISP.
Always think about the features that you want to get from a router. That way, you can ensure that your router is perfect for you.