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Question from Kendra D.: Hi Rick. We had a pretty bad thunderstorm last night that caused a lot of damage in my area.
Once I noticed the lightning I turned everything off like I always do when it’s storming and then went on to bed.
This morning when I turned everything back on I couldn’t get the cable box or the modem to light up at all. They’re completely dead.
I called the cable company and they’re sending a technician out to replace the cable box and modem.
What I need to know is do you think I need to buy a new router too? It lights up like it always did and it appears to be working.
I’ll take whatever advice you give me because I trust you. Thanks for helping me.
Rick’s answer: You’re welcome Kendra. I really appreciate your confidence in me.
To answer your question, there’s a good chance that your router will appear to work just fine once the new cable modem is installed. That being said, I strongly recommend that you go ahead and replace it anyway.
It appears that your cable line took a direct hit from the lightning since it fried both your cable box and modem. And when that happens a strong surge can easily be transmitted from the modem to the router.
Lightning and strong power surges don’t always kill a device outright, but its internal components are usually damaged and it’s only a matter of time before they completely fail.
Even worse, the router could be damaged just enough to cause your computer and other connected devices to exhibit strange behaviors and/or have an unstable Internet connection.
Bottom line: I do recommend that you ditch your router and replace it with a new one, but you also have the option of using the one you have for the time being and then replace it if you start noticing any slow-downs or other issues.
By the way, when it comes time to replace your router you don’t have to get a really expensive model if your Internet needs are moderate.
Just be sure it’s a recent model that supports the latest encryption and security features AND fast enough to deliver the download speed you signed up for with your Internet plan.
Your local electronics retailer or big-box store should have a variety of routers to choose from. You can also get one from Amazon and possibly save a few bucks.
I hope this helps Kendra. Good luck!
Bonus tip #1: When you set up your new router be sure to choose a strong password that’s easy to remember.
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