What to do with an Old Router?

Updated: Jan 30, 2024 9:55 AM


If you are replacing some wireless connectivity devices, you may wonder what to do with an old router, especially if the checked speeds are not what they used to be. Even the best routers become outdated eventually and will need to be replaced, but what to do with the old ones? One of the great things you can do is create a guest network; keep reading for some more 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.

Learning how to replace your ISP router with your own can be a valuable skill. This usually involves purchasing an ISP-compatible router, disconnecting the old one, and setting up the new device with your ISP’s configuration settings.

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

A Guest Room with a bed, chair, side table, lamp, curtains.

Why not use an old router to create a specific network for guests and visitors?

You can have multiple routers connected to the same modem, and you can also utilize the extra port on your old router to expand your network configurations.

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.

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

This will create a dedicated guest Wi-Fi network, ensuring your main wireless network remains secure. You can also feel safer advertising the password.

Old routers can also be repurposed as wireless extenders or a Wi-Fi access point to extend the Wi-Fi signal in your home.

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.

Consider configuring your old router as a wireless bridge using bridge mode to connect these devices.

In bridge mode, the router can connect multiple segments of the network together, acting as a bridge, while in router mode, it is used to connect different networks and manage the data traffic between them. Those are the main differences between bridge mode vs router mode.

Or, If you have a Raspberry Pi, an old router can serve as a server or a networking device for your projects.

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.

These processes differ 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.

Installing custom firmware can transform your old router into your own VPN router or a network-attached storage (NAS) device.

NAS Server Network.

You can also use the USB port on the router to connect a printer or a sensor, making it a versatile tech device.

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.

Before donating, ensure you reset the router using the reset button and clear any and all configuration files for data security.

Remember, instead of considering it as waste, you should view your old WiFi router as a valuable resource that can be repurposed for various networking needs.

What to do with an Old Router? Questions (FAQ)

Lawrence Bonk Avatar

Latest Reviews

Learn More About Router

Router Reviews