You know the story: Your computer, cell phone, or tablet starts to slow down over time, until eventually, it slows to a crawl and you finally replace it. While declining performance might be the most noticeable side effect of older technology, it’s not the only one. In addition to slower speeds, old hardware (and software, for that matter) can also put your data security at risk, too.

In light of recent vulnerabilities rocking the cybersecurity world, we’re answering some frequently asked questions about lifecycle hardware and breaking down just how to keep your old hardware from putting you at risk.

Let’s start from the beginning. What do you mean “lifecycles”?

When we talk about technology, the term “lifecycle” refers to the time period in which equipment can operate effectively and safely. Basically, it’s the “shelf life” of your technology equipment. This means taking into consideration how long you’ll be able to use your equipment at peak performance, and also evaluating how long you’ll be able to use it without any safety concerns.

How exactly does my old hardware pose a security risk?

As your technology ages, support and warranties from the manufacturer will eventually run out. When a device is “out of support” (sometimes called “EOL” – end of life), it means that that the manufacturer or developer is no longer issuing updates, or that they can doing so stop at any time. When we think of software updates, we tend to think of cool new features and bug fixes that are sometimes included. But, more importantly, they also include critical security patches that, if left undone, can leave you vulnerable.

In a nutshell, when your gear ages out of support, that means that you’re no longer getting vital security patches that protect you from cyber attacks.

So, on average, how often should I be replacing my equipment?

The lifespan of your hardware can vary based on the type of equipment. We recommend that laptops and desktops be replaced every three years, whereas servers and network equipment should be replaced every five years. This timeline guarantees that your gear will be running at optimal performance and also means that you’re getting all of the appropriate software updates, so you can get down to business efficiently and safely.


Keeping your technology up to date is a simple way to make sure that your workday runs smoothly and that you’re working securely. If you have questions or need a hand mapping out the lifecycle of your hardware, we’re right here and happy to help – just reach out to your account manager, or you can drop us a line.