In our “August Tech Talks” newsletter, we briefly touched on the life span of routers. Upon further research, I realized that your router plays an integral role in quality internet service. Your internet service could be just fine and yet you find yourself constantly having to reboot your router, having intermittent service and/or slow internet speeds. Consequently, I thought we should talk more about this topic. That being said, what do you really know about your router (other than you should have one)?
-- Routers have a lifespan of about 3 - 5 years. It’s not that they necessarily die on you, it’s just that technology changes so much that your older router cannot keep up. The older a router is, the harder time it has working through the “noise” as well as supporting multiple devices.
-- Routers have antennas -- some are on the outside while most have them on the inside. So, how do you know if your antennas are bad? For the most part it is trial and error but usually if you have a low signal even when you are relatively close to the router, that is a sign that they are bad. Also, only the screw on external antennas are replaceable; internal antennas are not replaceable so you have to get a new router.
-- Location, location, location. If your router is located far from your devices, your internet speed will not be optimal. Also know that physical obstacles placed between the router and your devices, especially water and metal, can reduce internet speed.
-- Routers can either be single-band or dual-band. Both have pros and cons so you need to do your research. Some of the differences include:
Single-band routers are usually less expensive than the dual-band.
Single-band routers broadcast on only one band whereas a dual-band has two network signals which is far less crowded and offers more channels. This is extremely helpful for those who connect different devices during the same time ie. one person can stream Netflix while another can be on the internet on another device.
So, that is probably way more than what you ever wanted to know…. But my trouble-shooting buddies at NGL Connection keep telling me that knowledge is power. Personally, I don’t need anymore power…. I just want it to work! On that note, some easy trouble-shooting things you can do on your own:
1. Always double-check cable connections - I know this sounds silly, but stuff happens -- kids, pets, etc.
2. Reboot the router - disconnect completely from the power source for a full 10 seconds before plugging back in. (Personally, I do it for 20 seconds because I am of the opinion that more is better!)
3. Clean the vents -- if your router is shutting itself down intermittently, for no apparent reason, it might be overheating.
4. If your router’s ethernet cable is plugged into a PoE (a black box about the size of a deck of cards which goes to the antenna), make sure that the cable is not loose and the PoE has a light showing. If your PoE does not have a light, the problem could be that your PoE is not getting power for some reason. You may want to check the power source.
5. Last but not least, consider leasing an Eclipse Access Device from NGL -- this is a router that we can monitor, maintain, and remotely access, if necessary. Additionally, when there is a firmware update for this equipment, it will automatically occur via NGL Connection so you will never have to worry about whether or not your router is up-to-date.
If you should have additional questions or are interested in leasing our Eclipse Access Device, feel free to give us a call at 307-288-5491. Our Customer Support staff is always happy to help! Also, if you are not receiving our monthly “Tech Talks” and would like to, you can subscribe by going to our website at www.nglconnection.com or our NGL Connection Facebook page.