Why do modems overheat and How to prevent it?

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When we talk about gadgets and devices, anything that heats up is never a good sign. From laptops to PCs to gaming consoles, a device is only good if it can take care of the heat on its own.

A particular device getting heated up and that too eventually ‘overheating’ is a red signal all together. And if you let it be, then it does not take long before the device eventually dies out or fails to work one day.

Similarly, even in the case of modems too, when we are talking about an issue like overheating. It can never be taken lightly.

Why Do Modems Overheat And How To Prevent It

Instead, if you want your device to live a little longer than taking care of this issue at once is the top most priority. 

Now, there are many reasons why a modem might overheat as well as there are solutions too with the help of which you can prevent your modem from overheating.

In the following article we will be discussing it all, so that you can find out the reason behind your modem getting heated up and then take the necessary precautions to prevent it.

Reasons behind Modem overheating & Modem overheating Fixes

In order to find a cure, it is very important that we first learn about the cause causing the particular problem.

Only when we know and understand the issue causing a problem, can we effectively and efficiently take care of it and solve it. 

And thus, in the following section I’ll try and list out all the possible reasons out there responsible for your modems to overheat as well as the solutions you will need to fix it.

Reason 1: Not placed right

Well, this is the most common reason why a modem might overheat in the first place. If your modem is not placed right or in the right surroundings, then it is quite certain that your modem will overheat. 

A modem ideally needs to be placed separately from other devices or gadgets. Moreover, if the place where you are placing your modem is inside a closed compartment or shelf.

Then that too might affect your modem and cause it to overheat. The more freely or in solitude a modem is placed the better. 

What Is The Fix?

It is always a good idea to keep at least one to two inches of free space on all either side of the modem as well as front and back, so that it is not congested and it has space to breathe.

Reason 2: No proper ventilation

Just like any other electronic device out there like a laptop or PC, a modem too needs ample amount of ventilation to function properly and not overheat in the process. 

Obviously, incase of larger devices such as Laptops, PCs or consoles there are inbuilt fans to maintain as well as manage the internal temperature of the device.

Something which probably you will not find in a modem, given that the circuit board does not need such provisions according to manufacturers. 

What Is The Fix? 

But, you can however get your modem equipped with an external fan that should help keep it well ventilated and stay cool for a longer time. You can easily find such fans online as well as at your nearby computer stores. 

Reason 3: Season influence

If you stay somewhere close to the equator, then an overheated modem can be a more frequent occasion than you can handle.

Moreover, if your modem is placed somewhere where it receives direct sunlight, then it will make things even worse. 

Higher temperature obviously adds up to the cause of overheating, which as a result greatly reduces the lifespan of a particular modem.

What Is The Fix?

If you are in a hot place, then there is a high chance that you will have some sort of cooling system installed at your home such as an air conditioner or cooler. If so, then it is always a good idea to place your modem somewhere close to where the AC or cooler is installed. 

Reason 4: Model not up to date

Well, just like how an old laptop equipped with old hardwares cannot handle more recent softwares and applications, as a result of overheating takes place.

Similarly, even in the case of modems too, when internet speeds and bandwidths are increased and upgraded.

If the modem model you are using is an old one then most probably it will be unable to handle the load and eventually get heated up.

What Is The Fix?

The solution to this problem is pretty apparent I guess. If you feel that your modem model is an old one and is having a hard time coping up with your current network flow, then it would be best if you look out for a newer and more up to date alternative.

Reason 5: Over Usage

Just like how an ‘excess of anything is bad’. Similarly, overusing a device too can have its own pitfalls. Incase of a modem, it would overheat.

Given the fact that such a small piece of circuit needs to take care of so much of traffic in and out of itself, when overused, it can easily lead up to overheating of the device.  

What Is The Fix?

This actually depends upon the user. If you can cut down on unnecessary internet usage when not needed and switch off your modem from time to time accordingly. Then, you can greatly influence the longevity of your modem by doing so.

What problems can modem overheating result too?

I am pretty sure not many of you here will have the time or the patience to go up to your modem from time to time and see whether it is getting overheated or not. Right? It is quite a hassle. 

However, there are a few symptoms which might show up on its own to tell you whether your modem might be overheating or not. And knowing about such symptoms will automatically tell you whether your modem in fact is overheating or not. 

Let us have a look at such symptoms which may arise as a result of your modem getting overheated. 

Slow performance 

If someday your internet performance is not as expected and speed is not as fast as how it usually has been. And if it is not something which is occurring from your ISP’s side or a software issue. Then, the most possible cause would be a hardware malfunction caused by overheating of the device.

Interrupted connections

Another very common problem caused by overheating of modems is interrupted connections. From time to time when the circuit inside a modem gets heated up, it may eventually lead to interrupted connections all together.

Plastic burning odor

This is quite an obvious symptom or problem which might arise as a result of overheating of a modem. Most often if the modem case material is not well insulated and in direct contact with the main circuit board. Then, such kinds of issues may show up quite often as a result.

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Rishikesh Hazarika is a tech enthusiast who is always curious to learn and absorb facts and data in the world of science and technology as well as tries to share his opinion. He has an M.Tech degree from North-Eastern Hill University, later he did a certificate course in Computer Hardware and Software, and a certificate course in Introduction to Architectingc