How to care for your router

Your router is an integral and hard-working part of your network. We have some tips for router care and maintenance to keep it in peak condition. Learn what a router is and how to care for it.

What is a router?

Did you know that your router is a computer? Just like your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, your router has a central processor, memory, and an operating system. With routers typically running 24/7, we place a lot of demand on them.

router creates a private wireless network and connects your devices to the internet. A router does not have a direct connection to the internet; you need a modem to do that.  

Many people use the terms router and modem interchangeably because their functions are often combined into one piece of equipment. With CenturyLink, our modem/router combo is called a gateway, but we often call it just a router or just a modem, because these are the terms that are familiar to most users.

Regular router care

Like any computer, routers can get flaky or buggy if they are left on for too long, if they overheat, or if the operating system or firmware gets out of date.

To keep your router performance in top form, it’s important to do the following:

  • Replace your router every 3-5 years
  • Prevent overheating by placing your router away from heat sources and with good circulation 
  • Reboot your router after an outage or if performance becomes spotty
  • Keep your router’s firmware updated. In most cases this happens automatically.

When to replace your router

Modems and routers need to be replaced as technology evolves. A new router can make a huge difference in your internet speed and performance. 

If either of these statements are true, consider an upgrade:

  • Your router is more than five years old.
  • You consistently get slower speeds than you need or expect, despite following all optimization tips

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