How long do consumer routers usually last?

Discussion in 'Network Routers' started by Ant, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Like Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, etc. Just wondering.

    Thank you in advance. :)
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    Ant, Nov 15, 2012
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  2. Ant

    Char Jackson Guest

    In my experience, most get replaced because of technology
    advancements, not because the old ones have died. Back around 2002, I
    think, I deployed a bunch of Linksys BEFSR41's and some BEFSR11's, and
    some are still in service while others have been replaced with
    wireless models. Between about 2005 and 2010, I deployed a bunch of
    Linksys WRT54G's (various hardware revisions), and most of those are
    still in service while a few have been replaced with 802.11N models.
    Between about 2009 and 2011 I deployed a half dozen WRT54GL's, all of
    which are still in service.

    Just some data points, not an answer to your question. If I had to
    offer a number, I'd guess 10-12 years or so, with exceptions for early
    failures and probably an equal number of exceptions for units that are
    still going strong well after that point.
    Char Jackson, Nov 15, 2012
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  3. I have three BEFSR41 routers. Plus a couple of SMCs and a Netgear, but
    they are not used and not part of this discussion.

    My first one, a BEFSR41 v2, was purchased around 1999 IIRC. It is still in
    service on a very-low-traffic secondary WAN. It took over from a
    IPNetRouter program running on a Mac IIci.

    The second one, a BEFSR41 v3, was added around 2001, and it ran without
    problems until sometime in 2010. It started "choking" on traffic every few
    days, and had to be rebooted (power cycled) to get it running again. It
    now sits unpowered as a standby in case the newest router should
    completely die.

    I purchased a third BEFSR41, v4.3, to take over the duty. I cloned the MAC
    so I wouldn't need to edit my DNS pointers at my DNS provider.

    After about a year, this v4.3 router is now experiencing the same failure
    to handle packets (inbound and outbound).

    The equipment is in a cool server rack which has air circulating fans, and
    is powered by a UPS.

    To eliminate a trip down three flights of stairs to reboot the router, I
    discovered I could access the router's Webserver with a browser. That
    seemed to give it a "kick start" and it would again run for a couple of

    But it would catch me asleep and stop working, meaning I could lose
    connectivity for maybe eight hours.

    I run a mail server (MTA/MDA) which receives around a thousand messages
    per day, plus communicates with three RBL servers.

    The major player is a Usenet server farm, which handles 300,000 to 500,00
    inbound Usenet messages per day. Then it relays out around twice that
    many. The received volume is around 200-400 MB, with about 300 MB to 1 GB

    Certainly not an enormous amount of data and it shouldn't cause a router
    to become cripple.

    Almost afraid to go to bed, or leave home, I created a simple hourly cron
    job "wget linky4" (the router's hostname in my DNS), which would do the
    same kick-start as accessing the Webserver from a browser. Time will tell
    if this works.

    But a solution is needed, or better, what could be the actual cause?
    Getting someone at Cisco to answer questions is impossible.

    Could these Linksys BEFSR41 routers contain a flash type of RAM that is
    known to have a limited number of write (erase) cycles before the segments
    are unreliable, and must be remapped by the controlling circuits?
    Something on the same line as a USB thumbdrives and SSD which use "wear
    leveling" to remap bad memory cells to new spare cells.

    If so, the amount of data flowing through my routers day in and day out
    may have exceeded the number of available spare data segments, and now the
    router is getting "choked" when there is heavier traffic during certain
    portions of a day.

    If this is indeed the cause, then even running a wget on a cron job every
    hour will someday not be able to kick the router back into sanity.

    My next project, which I actually started two years ago, is to build a
    dual- (or multi-) NIC Linux router box. It will certainly provide more
    configuration flexibility, and better logging. I have all of the needed
    hardware, but never made it though evaluating all of the many router and
    firewall programs available.

    The negative side is another computer running will consume more power than
    a Linksys router, and generate a little more heat.

    Anyone have any experience or knowledge with this kind of Linksys problem?
    John F. Morse, Nov 25, 2012
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