How long does a cable modem last?

6 replies [Last post]
PeteRoy's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004
Posts: 550

After 7 years, from 2003 to 2010 my first cable modem has stopped working it was a white Motorola surfboard I forgot which model.

Now I have a Motorola SB5101 and it made me wonder how long do these devices last.

 How long do you have your current cable mode?

dustyschaffner's picture
Joined: 06/02/2009
Posts: 334

mine has been running flawlessly for 3 years now. i have the Linksys model BEFCMU10 connected to comcast cable broadband

Razear's picture
Joined: 12/30/2008
Posts: 1127

I've had my Motorola SB5100 for about 6 years now with Rogers Yahoo cable and it's still operating fine.

Tiv's picture
Joined: 08/12/2009
Posts: 3584

These days you are lucky to have one last a year. The old school parts used to last 10 or 15 years. Regardless of the build quality, routers and modems get hit by power issues all the time. 7 years from your old one is pretty good IMHO.

I sleep fine at night knowing we are banning people who deserve it.  Tivon
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eire1274's picture
Joined: 09/12/2003
Posts: 1324

I have a Motorola SB4200 that I bought in 2001 that still works. However, it is limited to DOCSIS 1.1, and won't push past 10Mb/s, so it is sort of retired.

I replaced that with a Linksys for DOCSIS 2.0, but the first one died after a week, second after a day, third dead out of the box. CompUSA kindly allowed me out of their crazy return policy they enacted prior to closing and let me change brands.

I have a SB5100 that died at 18 months old. Motorola kindly replaced it with a SB5150 which still works, though is sort of turned off until my financial state recovers sufficiently to pay for broadband again.

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nilzxx's picture
Joined: 02/12/2007
Posts: 160

I think that depends on how much you use it. Sure, it will be plugged in 24/7, but data flow is stress on the device (I think) and creates heat, which in return limits the lifetime.

I had one router fry the wireless chip after about 4 years of heavy usage. (I surf/stream HD/game during the day and torrent [linux distros] at night) I had lots of crappy DSL modems from various ISPs, but I never used them for long. I purchased a good one on my own in 2007 and it still works just fine.

In my opinion a modem or router should last at least 5 years, depending on how much stress it goes through and how much the initial cost was. I do not expect a 25$ modem to last as long as a 100$ modem.

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nilzxx's picture
Joined: 02/12/2007
Posts: 160

The Motorola SB5101 is mid/high range cable modem, so you should get at LEAST 5 years out of it. I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted much longer than that though. Then again, I hope we will all be using fiber optics till then. :)