10 Useful Ways to Reuse an Old Router

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It’s time to get rid of that old router you’ve had for years. What to do with an old router instead of chucking it in the trash is explained here.

Perhaps a new router is in order? Perhaps your new Internet service provider (ISP) has sent you one, or perhaps you’d like to go with something a little fancier? Any way you look at it, there’s a problem:

What’s the best way to dispose of your old router?

It’s not uncommon to be asked to return an old device when switching Internet service providers. However, if you have an old router lying around, here are a few ideas for what to do with it.

What You Can Do With an Old Router

Perhaps in a box, or a drawer, or the back of the wardrobe, it’s been forgotten about. Your old router or modem/router combo can be reused in either case.

Old routers can be put to use in 10 different ways.

1. Build a Wireless Repeater

It’s possible that your Wi-Fi network does not cover the entirety of your house. Adding a second router to the mix is a viable alternative to powerline Ethernet adapters.

To do this, you must use the Wi-Fi signal to connect your old router to your new wireless network. The Wi-Fi network can then be shared, resulting in broader coverage. There may be some latency issues with this method, but it is a fast and simple way to expand your wireless network.

From boosting your Wi-Fi signal around the house to streaming video to your tablet while you relax in the garden, it has a variety of applications.

2. Guest Wi-Fi Connection

Why not set up a separate wireless network for guests who come and go frequently?

This is similar to the wireless repeater project, but it differs in that it is a community effort. New devices can access your existing network without needing a password because the router connects to your existing password-protected network. You’ll be able to use your old router’s guest network for this. Guests will be unable to use other devices on your network if this setting is left unmodified.

If you’re still concerned, you can adjust the firewall settings on your main router.

3. Use the Router as a Cheap Network Switch

Six Ethernet ports is the standard for most routers. This number may be as low as four in the near future due to the widespread use of wireless technology in the home. However, you may run out of ports if you want to use Ethernet to connect your devices.

Using Ethernet, for example, improves the reliability of online gaming on a console or PC. Networking your TV decoder via Ethernet will result in better streaming quality than using wireless connections.

A network switch can be used to increase the number of Ethernet ports in your network. One port on the router can be used to plug in additional ports that can be used to power additional devices.

Connecting will instantly increase the number of ports available on your old router, which typically has four or more. In order to avoid network conflicts, turn off wireless networking on the old router.

4. Turn Your Old Router Into a Wireless Bridge

What if your new router only supports wireless connectivity? Ethernet ports aren’t available on your ISP’s router, or perhaps your internet connection is via 4G or 5G. If you need to connect Ethernet devices to your home network, a wireless bridge is the best option. There are also other ways to increase internet speed in PC.

Using an old router as a wireless bridge can save you money, but it does require some effort.

This is similar to a wireless repeater, but instead of sharing a Wi-Fi connection, the wireless bridge provides Ethernet. You can use the Ethernet ports on your old router to connect devices to your existing Wi-Fi network.

5. Convert Your Router Into a NAS Drive

To keep all of your personal information in one place and accessible from anywhere in your home, consider using a cloud storage service. A hard disk drive that is connected to your network is called Network Attached Storage (NAS).

Even though NAS devices are reasonably priced, you can save money by repurposing an old router. Note that only routers with a USB port and the ability to run custom firmware (like DD-WRT) are eligible for this feature. To access the contents of USB devices, you should be able to use the router.

There’s no way to connect a USB flash drive or a hard disk drive to a computer without USB.

Your custom-built NAS should allow you to access your files from any location in the house once it has been set up.

6. Use an Old Router as a Web Server

In addition to everything else, your router can host a simple web page as an extra service.

If you’re only sharing this with your immediate family, it’s probably a home-only website. Custom router firmware supports LAMP, so it could even be a blog (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). This means that you may be able to set up WordPress on your computer.

To test new themes, plugins, or code on your website, you’ll need a cheap staging area. You may be able to use your old router as a low-spec server.

7. Make Your Own VPN Router

With custom firmware, old routers can be used to run VPN software. A VPN account with ExpressVPN, for example, can be installed on your router.

Therefore, the VPN protects all devices on your network. When connecting to a VPN through your home network, you don’t need to install client apps on your PC or mobile devices.

If you’re using an older router, you may be able to set up a VPN connection if the router is configured to only connect to your modem.

8. Set Up a Separate Network for IoT and Smart Home Devices

Most current routers allow you to set up a secondary network, as previously stated. It’s also a good idea if you have Internet of Things (IoT) or smart home technology.

In the event that your current router doesn’t support an additional wireless network, you can set up your old router as a dedicated network for smart home and IoT purposes.

The router can be connected to your main network, and you can then connect your IoT devices to it. If something goes wrong, you can simply unplug the router, and the firewall on it can be used to set up new connections.

9. Sell Your Old Router

Sell your old router if you don’t like wasting your time trying to set it up on modern hardware.

Many outlets, including eBay, allow you to make a few bucks from the old and latest technology. The device’s name and model number are all that are needed to describe it. Anyone looking for a low-cost router is likely to be a customer, but networking enthusiasts and retro-tech enthusiasts may also be interested.

A great way to raise money for new technology is to sell your old gear for cash.

10. Learn More About Home Networking

Plug-and-play routers are the norm. They automatically set up new connections, so you can get online quickly.

In order to learn more about your network, you’d go to the admin screen. Everything could go horribly wrong, however, if you chose the incorrect option. What’s the answer? The best way to learn about home networking is to use an old router. Hands-on experience with firewalls, DMZs, MAC filters, and more is all possible without taking your entire network offline.

You don’t have to rely on a factory reset if something goes wrong if you host your network on an old router.


No matter if you have a standard router or a router with a modem built-in, it doesn’t make any difference. All of these are excellent ideas for repurposing an old broadband router or a standalone router.

You can still use the device like a switch or a guest network even if it doesn’t have all the wireless features you need.

It’s time to sell or recycle the device if none of this works out.

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