5 reasons to replace your old router

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Your router is responsible for sending Wi-Fi signals to your phone, laptop, smart TV, security cameras, and more. It has a big function.

Sometimes this is the reason your internet connection is spotty, but not always. Tap or click for my guide to troubleshooting your bad WiFi.

Your router also plays a vital role in network security. It’s bad news if someone hacks into your router. Tap or click for a free check to see if yours has been hacked.

There is a limit to what your old router can do, no matter how well you take care of it. Do you need a new router? Read on to find out and get help choosing the right one for your home.

Wireless router with three antennas and cable connected.  Man with smartphone in background

Wireless router with three antennas and cable connected. Man with smartphone in background
(iStock)

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1. Your old router is easier to hack

Your router may do a good job of keeping you connected to the Internet, but is it also keeping you safe? The latest security standard is WPA-3, released in 2018. Any router that uses WPA-2 encryption should be replaced.

Run an encryption check on your router. Go to your router’s admin menu. Under the Wireless or Security menu, you can see the encryption status. Need help? Tap or click for steps to do this on my site.

If your router is not WPA3-compatible, WPA2-PSK AES is the next most secure option. It is also a sign that you need to get a new router. I’ll tell you below how to select the best router.

More tech tips in your inbox: Try my free emails packed with technical know-how.

2. You’re missing out

If you buy a router, you might as well future-proof your network. More and more devices support Wi-Fi 6, but it doesn’t mean anything if your router doesn’t.

Wi-Fi 6 greatly improves two critical categories: speed and range.

Homes with a lot of connected technology — phones, computers, smart TVs, printers, smart speakers and smart home devices — put a significant strain on a network. Wi-Fi 6 routers can easily handle 50 devices or more.

There is something even better than Wi-Fi 6, although not many devices can use it yet. Wi-Fi 6 uses the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, while Wi-Fi 6e operates on the 6 GHz band. You will see that this technology is built into many mesh networks.

Location, location, location: Where to put your router for better speeds

3. Your signal is weak in certain places

Your home should have a consistent, fast network. A single router works fine for small spaces, but what about multiple rooms and floors?

Mesh networks are more popular and affordable than ever. Instead of relying on one router, a mesh network adds satellite modules to your home, covering the entire area with coverage.

These systems usually come in sets of two or more units working together. As for your gadgets, the Wi-Fi mesh is one big continuous network that eliminates poor coverage, dead spots and buffering.

Internet off? Before you unplug everything, read this: The only way tech professionals reboot their routers.

Internet connection at home.  A wlan router on desk with notebook in background.

Internet connection at home. A wlan router on desk with notebook in background.
(iStock)

4. Your appliances need more juice

How old is your router? Routers that only support 2.4GHz frequencies are dinosaurs.

Single-band routers use only the 2.4 GHz band and one wireless signal.

Dual-band routers use 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to transmit two simultaneous wireless signals for better performance.

Tri-band routers typically have 2.4 and 5 GHz bands and an additional 5 or 6 GHz band to transmit a total of three wireless signals.

Single-band routers need to be replaced. A dual-band router that supports 2.4 and 5 GHz will do the job for homes with fewer than five devices connected. Buy a tri-band router that supports three signals for homes with more than five connected devices.

5. How do you choose a new router?

I always get requests from people seeking help choosing a router. It’s hard when you don’t know what to look for. There are pages for sale on Amazon with prices ranging from $20 to over $1,000.

Good news: my team and I have done the hard work for you. Take our proprietary router quiz. Answer a few questions and we’ll recommend the best router for your home that gives you the best security and fastest speeds. It only takes a minute or so.

The bottom line is this: Replacing the router is a must if your connection is spotty, isn’t equipped with the latest security standards, or is more than three years old.

Tap or click here to take our quick router finder quiz. You’ll be glad you did!

NEW YORK, USA - MAY 01, 2020: Police officers performing their duties on the streets of Manhattan.  Amazon ring: Amazon

NEW YORK, USA – MAY 01, 2020: Police officers performing their duties on the streets of Manhattan. Amazon ring: Amazon
(iStock/Amazon)

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Keep your technical knowledge going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando today. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and tech callers like you from around the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click the link below for a recent episode.

PODCAST CHOICE: Most Invasive Home Technology, Facebook Dangers, New Google Tricks

Your privacy can be compromised if you have smart home devices. Learn new Google tricks, keyboard shortcuts, and a few Facebook dangers in this episode. This is also why you should never use in-app browsers. (If you put your info in there, you’re in big trouble!)

Find my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.

Just search for my last name, ‘Komando’.

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Read more about the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim answers phone calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. Visit her website at Komando.com for her daily tips, free newsletters and more.

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