Keep your Broadband Router up to date

Published 13/04/2005 13:44   |    Updated 25/03/2009 16:51
Is it necessary to update my broadband router?

Any solid-state electronics will degrade over time due to accumulated heat damage. Your broadband modem will have a harder and harder time 'concentrating' on maintaining a good connection as it gets older (signal to noise ratios will go down, and the number of resend requests for the same packet will go up).


Your choice of ADSL router can make a huge difference to the actual speed of your connection. Different routers connected to exactly the same 8Mb/s ADSL line have shown that connection speed can vary by as much as 3Mb/s – nearly half the available bandwidth of the line.


If you switched to BT from another provider and you are still using an old USB modem then you could consider an upgrade to a router. If you have multiple devices in your house including laptops and games consoles you should consider upgrading to a wireless router.

Regardless of what device you are currently using it’s critical that you keep your modem/router up-to-date with the latest ADSL standards. Some people have had problems with their modems when the DSLAM in their local telephone exchange was upgraded to ADSL2+, because their old USB modem is not compatible with the new broadband technology.

With BT Ireland expanding its ADSL2+ coverage, you should check your router’s specifications to ensure it’s compatible with the standard. When people move from traditional 1Mb or 3Mb to ADSL2+ (i.e. Up to 24Mb), a non-compliant modem will only work at a reduced speed or sometimes not at all.

Most routers introduced within the last few years should be capable of ADSL2+, but it’s clearly a good idea to consider upgrading your hardware every time you upgrade your connection. It’s also worth upgrading your router firmware regularly – check your router manufacturer’s site for updates. If you are using a BT supplied router please click here for further advice.



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