If you are replacing some wireless connectivity devices, you may wonder what to do with an old router. Even the best routers become outdated eventually and will need to be replaced, but what to do with the old ones? Keep reading for some suggestions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • If you have an old router collecting dust, consider using it to create a guest network for visitors or to create a wireless bridge for connected devices.
  • You can also coopt an old router for use as a specific network for Internet-enabled smart devices and home appliances. Also, use it to create a network switch, a wireless repeater, an extender for your wi-fi network, and more.
  • If you want some extra cash, sell or router, or donate it to a worthy cause or person.

Old Router Uses

Before you get rid of your old router, be sure to hook up the new one to make sure everything runs smoothly. In case you were wondering what does a router plug into, it goes into a power outlet and sends an Ethernet cable to the modem.

Insider Tip

If you are going to throw away your router, check your recycling options first.

Once your new modem is humming along, here is what you can do with the old one.

Make a Guest Network

You can have multiple routers connected to the same modem if you are wondering how many routers a person can have. Why not use an old router to create a specific network for guests and visitors? This will allow you to make the settings and security access as strict as you would like, leaving the laxer access for your main network. For instance, you can set the guest network to disallow any users to access any other devices currently using the network. You can also feel safer advertising the password.

Create a Network for Smart Appliances

If your home is filled with IoT and smart appliances, you may notice that they can bog down the bandwidth available via your wireless router. Eliminate this issue by using your old router as a specific network connection for these wifi-enabled devices. This way they’ll be able to do their thing without placing undue stress on your main router.

Mod the Router

If you are digitally and mechanically inclined, you can mod an old router to make it do all sorts of nifty things. The process here differs according to make and model, but users have reported getting their routers to blink LED lights for aesthetic reasons, turning on and off a water valve to water a garden, and even remotely switching on electronic appliances. The sky is really the limit here.

Sell or Donate

As long as the router is still functioning within normal parameters, you can always sell it online or simply donate it to a worthy person or institution. Many folks would love to have a working router, even if it is a bit out of date.

F.A.Q.S

Is it healthy to buy old routers?

It is fine to buy old routers, so long as they can successfully create a wireless network or they can be repurposed as a wireless bridge, network switch, VPN router, or if they can hold custom firmware.


Is it advisable to throw away your old routers?

You should donate them first before trashing them. You can also recycle, so contact your router manufacturer for more information.


Why is my router slowing my Internet connections?

A router can slow down a wi-fi network for many reasons, including the inclusion of custom firmware, malfunctioning Ethernet ports, VPN software, and more.



STAT: The first multiprotocol routers were independently created by staff researchers at MIT and Stanford in 1981. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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