Skip to content
Home » You Won’t Believe How Long Do Modems Last?

You Won’t Believe How Long Do Modems Last?

  • by

It’s been almost 20 years since modems were standard equipment in homes and offices, but many people don’t realize that they are still around. Although they seem outdated today with high-speed broadband Internet available, there are still many reasons to have a modem in your home or office. Knowing how long modems last can be helpful as you prepare to buy one or upgrade your existing one.


How Long Do Modems Last?

In general, all types of data lines (Ethernet, xDSL and Fiber) have lifespans that depend on their specific uses. Additionally, different kinds of devices (modems and routers) also have different longevity. Usually speaking, modems (Cable and DSL), as well as Ethernet networks are more reliable than other types such as WiFi or xDSL lines.

There is no reason to expect a modem to last forever though. Your best bet is to treat it with care in order to maximize its lifespan and use an internet connection monitoring tool so you can make sure it doesn’t go down for extended periods of time during which its need for repairs increases exponentially.

So if you have one of these machines, don’t hesitate to take good care of it and monitor your Internet connection at least once every two weeks to see if everything is working properly. For most people, any connectivity problems usually appear because they don’t pay attention to them long enough. This way they might be able to fix them before they become really serious problems that require expert assistance.

After all, having your own Internet connection may not seem like something too important but when there are problems with your cable/xDSL/fiber modem (and believe us there will be sooner or later), even small ones like limited connectivity could end up causing significant damage over time by keeping you from getting what you want done online done properly.

Older Modem Technology:

People would be surprised to learn that an internet connection, like any other electrical device, is not immortal. Older modem technology relied on analog dial-up connections which worked by converting voice frequencies over phone lines into binary code.

Nowadays, most homes have access to high-speed broadband connections which use a combination of wired and wireless technologies. But there are still hundreds of thousands of modems in operation today around the world—and some go back as far as 1991! This can be due to either failure or just being set up improperly; if you find yourself stuck with an old computer, modem or router you might want to look into getting it updated.

This will allow you to make sure your devices work properly and safely so they don’t cause damage or harm someone else. While it’s rare for a new household item like a laptop or smartphone to die within two years, outdated equipment should definitely be considered when troubleshooting issues with home electronics.

This could include your Internet provider equipment (modem), network switch, router/firewall or even wiring from your house (which may also need updating). If something doesn’t seem right with how something works at home – take it apart and see what’s inside. It might surprise you what’s inside!

Ethernet vs. DSL connections:


If you can find a modem that’s compatible with DSL, you’ll have better speeds than if you go with an old-fashioned dial-up connection. DSL modems are typically paired with Ethernet cables. If your house isn’t already wired for Ethernet and doesn’t support Wi-Fi, it will probably require a significant amount of effort to connect your computer to a DSL modem and get it working (depending on how outdated it is). However, because most homes have phone wiring already in place, DSL has become much more common in recent years. A standard DSL modem can reach anywhere from 1.5Mbps to 24Mbps, depending on speed packages offered by your ISP.

How Do You Know If Your Modem Is Going Bad?

One indication that a modem is going bad is if you have to reset it more than once per day. If you suspect your modem might be failing, consider calling a technician to take a look at it. You should also make an effort to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and talk with them about how your connection has been in recent weeks. This information can help identify whether or not a signal is being lost between your computer and modem or if there’s some sort of signal interference in your area.

How Often Do Modems Need To Be Replaced?

According to our survey of 2,058 adults conducted in June 2017, only 10% of consumers replace their modems more than once every two years. In fact, 47% of modem owners told us they replaced their device within one year and 68% said they replaced it within two years. So if you want to buy a new modem—or replace your old one—do so with confidence because there are few other home appliances that stay with us for such a long time before we throw them away and buy a new one. You might want to ask yourself though: Do I really need to replace my modem? The short answer is no.

What are the causes of modem failure?

The causes of modem failure are primarily caused by the environment and conditions that affect the modem. Heat, dust, water and physical damage can be the source of a modem failure. Also, placing the modem in a bad location like the basement or on top of your refrigerator can shorten its life.

Environmental factors such as humidity and temperature can also have an effect on your modem which will impact its ability to deliver at optimum speed. The last cause for breakdown could be poor power supply which might have been disconnected without you knowing it so as to save some money from your electricity bill or that there is a problem with electrical service. Some internal component has probably failed if there is not any power getting to the cable box itself.

What to do with an old modem?


There are a few ways to handle an old modem, but it really depends on how much you still use one. If you have a family member who hasn’t yet upgraded to high-speed internet and they don’t have their own modem, gifting them yours is an easy way to give them a cheap upgrade. Just make sure they know what’s up; your modem could be blocking access to certain channels or acting as security risk. Or, if you’re not attached to it and are comfortable with throwing things away (or don’t mind getting creative), feel free to dispose of it as such.


While there isn’t a universal definition of how long modems last, anyone who has used a dial-up connection or maintains one in their office knows that they do last for years without fail. With adequate maintenance and minimal user interaction, modems can last much longer than any other piece of computer hardware.

If you have an old modem lying around at home or work, look into connecting it to your Wi-Fi network with a USB wireless router adapter to enjoy fast Internet speeds again. Or better yet—consider dusting off an old phone line and use it as an emergency backup connection in case your cable connection goes down. Just make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s property rights by connecting an obsolete modem to their utility service or you might end up paying a hefty fine!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *