There is nothing more frustrating than a slow internet connection. To fix your internet connectivity, you try out a number of methods. However, none of these methods work out. You browse through websites and watch every YouTube tutorial there is, but nothing seems to work out. Even after running a software upgrade on your Wifi router, there is no significant improvement in the signal. To reduce interferences, you shift your router away from the refrigerator and microwave. But none of these things seem to do the trick.
This is when you have to accept the fact that your router is old and in dire need of replacement. As a result, you dispose of your old router and get a new one instead. However, not many are aware of the fact that there are ways in which you can reuse an old router. Some of these ways can even help you boost that Internet signal. But the majority of us tend to dispose of our old routers and just replace them with a new one.
In this article, we are going to discuss what exactly you can do with an old router. In addition, we will be laying down the ten ways in which you can reuse your old Wifi router
10 Best Ways To Reuse An Old Wifi Router
Unused old routers do nothing but take up space in your drawers. You’ve shifted to a new router, whereas your old router continues to be ridiculed by dust. But having an old router around actually comes in handy since there are ways in which you can reuse an old wifi router.
Here are the ten ways using which you can reuse your old Wifi router
1. Using it as Guest Wifi Router
As the name suggests, this comes in handy when you have people frequently visiting your place and staying over at times. Too many devices connected to a single Wifi router tend. To clog up the signal, which results in slow Internet connectivity.
But if you have an old router nearby, you can set up a different Wifi network solely for the people visiting. This Guest Wifi router automatically connects your existing and password-protected networks. At the same time, it gives free access to all the new devices by using the guest network feature embedded in your old router. Doing this will prevent your guests from accessing any other device on your network. Check the firewall settings on your router to adjust the security settings.
2. Turning it into a Wifi Extender
The Wifi connection tends to dip if you are using a single router access point set up in a large house. Also, the connectivity drops drastically if there are many devices connected to your home network at once. To counter this issue, the majority of us go for powerline Ethernet Adapters. But apart from this, adding the 2nd router to your existing setup can work wonders for you since it will start working as a wifi extender that doubles the Internet connectivity signal.
Connecting your old Wifi router to your wireless network using the Wifi signal makes your old router work as a Wifi extender (repeater). This can give you more excellent coverage and is an excellent solution to a weak Internet Signal. Though some latency issues may arise, turning your old router into a Wifi extender is an easy way of extending your network coverage.
3. Using your Old Wifi Router as a Switch
Having an old wifi router nearby is beneficial since it can give you a few extra wired ports. With the help of these wired ports, you can reconfigure your old wifi router into a Network Switch. A single router won’t have more than six Ethernet ports. But having two Wifi routers at your disposal means you get six additional Ethernet ports.
To turn your old router into a cheap network switch, all you need to do is run an Ethernet Cable from your old router to your current router using any of the available LAN ports. Note that you will have to DISABLE THE DHCP on your old router if you are planning to use it as a network switch. You can read more about it here.
4. Turning your Old Router into a Wifi Hotspot
If your work/business relies heavily on Internet connectivity, you can convert your old router into a potential Wifi hotspot to get that additional network. You can connect multiple devices to this Wifi hotspot. All you need to do is convert your old wifi router to a hotspot gateway, and you’re good to go. Turning your old wifi router into a Wifi access point will provide you additional wireless connectivity and will also give you a multiple-port switch to connect your wired devices.
5. Convert your Old Router into a Wireless Bridge
Suppose you have a router that only supports wireless connectivity or doesn’t offer Ethernet ports. In that case, you can adapt this router into a wireless bridge to connect Ethernet devices to the network. If you have an old router, you can reconfigure it into a wireless bridge. The operation of a wireless bridge is similar to that of a Wifi repeater, but instead of a shared Wifi connection, a wireless bridge offers direct Ethernet for added connectivity. The old router connects to your existing Wi-Fi network – simply connect devices to the Ethernet ports.
Adapting your old wifi router into a wireless bridge is an excellent option if –
- Your router only offers Wireless Connectivity
- You have a 4G or 5G Internet Connection
- Have Limited Ethernet Ports on your Router
6. Setup a Separate Network for IoT Devices
Connecting your IoT devices to the same network using which you connect to the Internet can expose your network to security risks. As a result, it is always beneficial to connect your IoT devices to a separate network. This is where having an old router nearby comes in handy since it allows you to set up an independent network for IoT devices. You can use this old router to connect your IoT devices. Note that your old router needs to have guest network support.
By creating a wireless bridge, you can connect your old router to your leading network. This allows you to connect your IoT devices to this old router.
7. VPN Router
If you already own a VPN account, then you can reconfigure an old router to set up VPN software. If your router supports custom firmware, you can set up your account on your router. Every device connected to the network will be automatically protected by a VPN. This means you don’t need individual applications on your PC or mobile when connecting to the VPN using your home network. Turning your old wifi router into a VPN router is suitable for protected browsing. This can be a great addition to your home network, especially when shopping online or working remotely.
Also read: How to Setup a Personal VPN Server
8. Using your Old Router as a Web Server
If you can adapt your old router into a wireless bridge, you can host a primary webpage on it as well by using custom firmware. You can host basic family websites on your old router, which you can use to dispose of information to your family, friends, or a small community. If your router’s firmware allows for the lamp stack execution, you can host a blog on your server by potentially installing WordPress. This can be a good feature for web admins.
9. NAS Drive
A NAS (network-attached storage) is a local storage device that is attached to your home or any local network. You can use a NAS drive via any network. A NAS drive can be easily accessed by multiple people, computers, phones, and several other devices at once if set up correctly. A NAS drive is nothing but a hard drive for data storage attached to your network. The contents stored on this NAS drive can be accessed by every device connected to your network.
If you have an old router around, you can save a considerable amount of money you would have spent on buying a new NAS drive. However, this feature is only accessible to those routers that support custom firmware and have a USB port. You should also be able to browse the contents of any connected USB devices via the router. Once you convert your old router into a NAS drive, you will be able to access your files from anywhere in the house.
10. Selling the Old Router
If your current Wifi router serves all your needs and you cannot find any use for your old hardware, the best option would be selling your old router and making some money. You can either find an end-buyer in your vicinity who’s willing to buy your product at a reasonable price.
If you cannot find any buyer, various tech websites offers a decent buck for old tech. All you need to do is enter the make and model number and the website will automatically come up with the right price. If that doesn’t work out, you can look out for various network enthusiasts or retro tech collectors who are always on the lookout for old pieces of hardware. Generating cash for old equipment is a great way to raise funds for new gadgets.
We hope our article was successfully able to walk you through the different ways through using which you can reuse your old wifi router. The Wifi connection tends to dip if you are using a single router access point set up in a large house. Also, the connectivity drops drastically if there are many devices connected to your home network at once. This is where you can reconfigure your old router in several different ways in order to boost that Internet signal.
It is not compulsory for everyone to reuse their old routers. Everyone is free to make their own choice. If you aren’t happy with the above options, you can always choose to donate your old wifi router to the needy. Ensure that your router is in working condition before you donate. A well-functioning router can be an excellent addition to a local business, a small school, or an NGO.