Are you wondering if you can power a Wi-Fi router with batteries? Or are you worried that a sudden power blackout could disconnect you from the internet?
With the exception of portable/mobile routers that are designed for travel, regular Wi-Fi routers do not have batteries. Regular routers such as those found in homes are powered by 9-volt or 12-volt DC adapters that plug into your wall outlet. On the other hand, portable Wi-Fi routers are powered by built-in or removable batteries that are rechargeable.
However, Some Wi-Fi routers, such as the NETGEAR MR5200 Nighthawk M5 Portable Wi-Fi router, provide you with both options. You have the option to remove the battery and power them directly from your power outlet for 24/7 usage or keep the battery and recharge it when it gets drained when traveling.
How Long Mobile Wi-Fi Router Batteries Last
A Mobile Wi-Fi router (MiFI) battery lasts between 6 hours and 15 hours before it needs to be recharged. However, how long it lasts usually depends on the battery capacity, usage, and type of connection.
For instance, you will get fewer hours when connected to 5G as compared to 4G or 3G. The battery will also drain a lot faster when multiple devices are connected to the router at the same time because more stress is put on the router.
Do Wi-Fi Routers Have Lithium-ion Batteries Inside?
Fixed routers do not have batteries, however, portable routers come with rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries of different capacities that include 1800mAh, 2200mAh, 4100mAh, etc. Lithium-ion batteries are preferred in mobile routers due to their stability, high energy density, and low discharge rate.
How Long Wi-Fi Batteries Last Before They Need Replacing
Just like smartphones, most portable routers have Lithium-ion batteries that last about 2-3 years (or 300-500 charge cycles) before they need replacing. One charge cycle is completed when you discharge a battery to an amount that is equal to the battery’s fully charged (100%) capacity.
Router Power Consumption
Routers do not use a lot of power. On average, routers consume about 6 watts, with the most demanding models consuming about 20 watts. The low power consumption by routers is attributed to their lack of moving parts. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about leaving your router running 24 hours a day.
Using A Router Without Electricity
If you don’t have electricity in your home or are worried that a power outage could interrupt your internet access, you can get a mobile router with a rechargeable battery or get a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) that will power your router for a short while until the power is restored.
Battery-powered routers will give you 6 -15 hours of usage before they need to be recharged. The only downside is that both a battery and UPS unit need to be recharged whenever they get drained. Therefore, getting electricity from a generator or solar panels would be a more long-term solution.
Powering a Router Using a UPS
A UPS can power a router anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the capacity of the UPS, the power consumption of your router, and the discharge rate of the battery. In theory, a 10,000mAH(10AH) UPS with a 12V battery should be able to power a 12V/1A router for 10 hours (10AH/1=10 hours).
However, since every battery has its own inefficiencies the UPS will last less than 10 hours, probably. You can read more about the run time of a UPS when used for backup on a network here.
Should you plug your modem and router into their own battery backup device?
While it’s possible to plug in your router and modem into the same battery backup unit that your other devices, such as your computer, are using, it is a good idea to have a separate unit for your networking devices. This will prevent your battery from draining too fast, thus allowing you to remain connected to the internet longer.
Using A Powerbank With A Wi-Fi Router
You can definitely use a power bank with a router as long as you have the right cable and your router’s power rating matches the power output of your power bank. Most routers require a 12V DC power supply to work, therefore if you can get a power bank with a 12 DC power output it’s possible to get your router up and running.
Not all Wi-Fi routers come with a battery. Normally, only travel routers have a built-in or removable rechargeable battery. However, even if you have a regular router it is possible to stay connected to the internet by supplying power to your router using other sources such as UPSs and power banks.