computer hardware and networking graphic showing tools and various devices

When do you need to replace computer hardware and networking systems?

How Long Do You Expect Your Hardware to Last?

Business owners invest in various computer hardware and networking systems and then forget about them until something goes wrong. Parts breaking down, disasters, and company changes are common reasons why businesses replace their hardware. To avoid major downtime and financial headaches, it’s important to know how long computer hardware and networking systems last.

Here’s a list of equipment most businesses have and information on their service life and replacement.


Desktops and laptops have an average life span of three to five years. However, there are many factors that affect the performance –and ultimately, the longevity – of your equipment. Poor ventilation may lead to overheating. This can damage components and slow down your system as heat builds up. Dust also prevents heat from leaving through the air vents. Using a computer that’s prone to overheating puts you at risk of losing important files and documents. Software updates may also cause your computer to slow down. Old computer hardware and networking systems with outdated operating systems may not be compatible with the latest software changes, which render them obsolete. Your old computer may still be working but if there are significant changes in performance, it may be time to get a new one.

Hard drives

On average, hard drives last about four years. Usage, interface, and type play a role in how long a hard drive will last. You’ll know it’s time to replace your hard drive when it starts to slow down your computer. Say your computer hardware and networking systems frequently freeze up: that’s a sure sign that you have hard drive problem. Another sign that you should start thinking about replacing your hard drive is when you’re getting a lot of corrupted data. Not replacing your hard drive puts you at risk of losing your data and not being able to recover important data.


Onsite data servers are major investments, which is why some companies prefer to repair them rather than replace them. A server’s life span depends on workload and maintenance. It’s time to think about replacing your servers when it’s beyond the average service life. The older your server, the more maintenance cost it’ll require. It’s better to put your money in a cloud-based server, which requires less maintenance.

Networking Infrastructure

There are different types of networking systems. The most common are Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). A typical LAN infrastructure can last anywhere between 10 and 15 years while a regular WLAN lasts an average of two years. You know it’s time to replace your networking infrastructure when you start experiencing frequent connection problems. Not replacing your networking infrastructure may lead to business process disturbances, especially when you have several devices and servers connected to the network.

Don’t wait for a disaster to strike before you think about replacing your computer hardware and networking systems. Managed IT services can help you optimize your hardware and software needs and create the best solution for your business.