In today’s world, having an internet connection has become a basic necessity for survival, and staying connected to the rest of the world is as simple as a single click. Almost everyone has internet access at home. To get to the point, routers are critical to allowing the Internet to reach your device. Then, once you’ve purchased a new router, the old one becomes obsolete. What should you do with that? Throw it away? No!! You are not the one who tosses out an old router just because you have a new one. It’s probably not in bad shape and has aided you significantly over the previous few years. Isn’t that right?
Many things help us connect throughout the world, through which we can get connected to our families living far from us or doing our work from home duties. And in this, the Internet plays an important role, and how do we use that Internet on our devices? We can use the Internet on our devices by using a Router. So, before we start talking about the six ways to rescue routers, does the critical question arise what a router is? The answer takes us many decades back; the first ARPANET Router was delivered to UCLA on August 30, 1969, and the first time it came online was on October 29, 1969.
Table of Contents
How to Rescue an Old Router?
Did you know that the router we use in our homes and other small networks is technically referred to as a residential gateway, yet you’ll never see these devices referred to as such?
After switching to a new router for work-from-home reasons, do you have a spare router? Do you want to clear off your electronic clutter? Have a slew of spare routers and plenty of time to devote to a rewarding but time-consuming project? Do you want to set up a guest wifi so that your visitors don’t have to connect to yours and use up all of your bandwidth? You’ve arrived at the right location! Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!
So, what exactly is a router? A router is used as a networking device that routes data packets between computer networks. It manages network traffic by forwarding data packets to their intended IP addresses and allowing multiple devices to use the same internet connection. It is a ubiquitous device, now widely used in offices, institutions, and even homes. But like every other device or utility we use in our daily lives, a router also gets old for the trend. So instead of cluttering up your drawers, here’s how to repurpose your old router and save money instead of throwing it away.
What’s exciting and fair is to get the most out of the old router, so it doesn’t end up in the ‘Waste goods’ category. That’s the same as repurposing it! Some would even argue that we’re reviving the old router.
Often, you might notice that the wifi is more substantial in some regions of your house while weaker or not even available in other parts of the house. In such conditions, your old router might come handy as a wireless repeater.
A repeater is the second network from the already existing signal. It creates access that bounces a wireless signal to your new network router. So, when you set the range of your router, the repeater extends the range of the movement, thus making it accessible in all parts of the house. Also, if you own an ASUS RT N66-U and need setup, read this article!
Steps to build your wireless repeater:
- Assign your primary router to the role of the base station.
- Locate your basic wireless settings, which should be found either on the main login screen or under the “Settings” section.
- Go to “Repeating Functions,” “Signal Repeat Settings,” or any other menu item that involves repeating.
- When prompted, enter the MAC address (Media Access Control) of the router or repeater you’ll be using.
- Connect the ethernet cable to your wireless repeater or secondary router after disconnecting it from the base station.
- Go to basic settings and type in the particular SSID you selected for your base station to ensure that your wireless repeater communicates with the correct wireless network.
- In the repeating settings menu, enable signal repeating features.
- Type in the base station’s MAC address.
- Save your changes and unplug the repeater from the PC.
- Locate a good spot for your wireless repeater.
Besides turning your old router into a wireless repeater, another option is turning it into a wireless bridge. It is different from a wireless extender as it connects more than one network of signals. These networks are physically separated, like in various offices/departments of the same company or organization. Such separation of connection helps the departments to work individually, avoiding the trafficking in a single network while still being connected overall as a company. So reusing an old router to create different networks within your home or small business would be an efficient information flow organization.
We often have visitors or guests at home who use our wireless Internet. Telling them the password to access your network might be slightly unsafe. So, it would be a great option to give them their network. This option is similar to the wireless repeater.
Here you will connect the old router to your existing network, which is already password protected. However, it will give password-free wifi access to your guest’s new devices using the guest network feature of the old router. Hence, preventing the guests from accessing other devices connected to your leading network.
This would be an excellent method to reuse the old router while avoiding unnecessary sharing and accessing data or devices in the leading network.
Turn it into a hotspot.
Nowadays, most jobs require an internet connection. So having your Internet while traveling from home to office or from one city to another would be very convenient. Again, your old router can be a very cheap and handy option to serve the requirements. All you need to do is convert it into a hotspot, and you will be good to go. And now you will have your Internet to continue doing work efficiently anywhere without any internet unavailability issue.
Most routers usually have 6 Ethernet ports or even fewer. With the increase in no. of devices that require an ethernet connection at the same place, you are most likely going to face a few troubles because most routers have only six or fewer ethernet ports. You can buy another router to suffice your requirements, but that would be an unnecessary expenditure. A more rational option would be to reuse your old router as a network switch. The only extra expense would be an ethernet cable. By connecting it, you’ll have more ports to utilize. As you do this, ensure you power your old router and disconnect all the other wireless networking on your old router to avoid interference with the internet connection.
Turn Your Router into a Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drive
Are you looking for a means to save all of your data on a single device that you can access from anywhere in your house? You’ll need Network Attached Storage (NAS), which is essentially a network-attached complex disc device.
While NAS systems are reasonably priced, you may save money by using an outdated router. This feature is only available on routers that support custom firmware (DD-WRT) and have a USB port. You should be able to use the router to explore the contents of any attached USB devices.
Your custom-built NAS should provide you with instant access to your files from almost everywhere in the house once it’s set up.
Sell or Donate
If any of the above ideas do not impress or prove challenging, you can consider selling and making money from the old router. Fortunately, people are willing to buy such second devices at a relatively lower price to upgrade them or use them for a different purpose, as mentioned above. This method might help you make money to buy another new gadget to meet your daily internet needs.
Instead of selling, you could also help small-business, start-ups, small schools, non-profit organizations by donating the device.
If your device is still intact and works well, consider donating, selling, or recycling your old electronics whenever possible. Create an individual network for the Internet of Things and Smart Home Devices.
As previously stated, most modern routers allow you to create a secondary network. This isn’t just for visitors to your home, though. You can use it for various things, including creating a secondary network for the Internet of Things (IoT) and intelligent devices. But what if your router doesn’t have this capability? The router may be attached to your primary network, just like a wireless bridge, and then You can connect your IoT devices to it. You may easily disconnect the plug in the event of difficulty, while You can utilize the router’s firewall to configure connections.
Cheap Internet Radio Streamer
Would you like to listen to your favorite radio stations on the Internet? If you’re willing to install OpenWrt or DD-WRT custom router firmware, you can set some routers to play internet radio. You’ll also need some additional software and a USB soundcard to output audio. Apart from the fact that it is not an easy build and many other internet radio options, this is still a fantastic project. It teaches you how to install custom firmware as well as stream music. In the era of Spotify and Prime music, only the old school or folk with an old soul truly enjoy radio.
However, studying or working on a rainy day while listening to some old Bollywood music while sipping on a cup of tea or coffee is an out-of-this-world experience. After making a few adjustments, you can get all that from your old router, like installing software like OpenWRT (Open Wireless Router) or DD-WRT (Dres-Dren Wireless Router).
Smart Home Hub
A smart home hub is a piece of hardware or software that connects and controls devices connected to a home automation system. You can alter an old router into a home automation server if it includes a serial port. Your modem launches a web server that you can access using a browser when you do this. This project is challenging to finish, but it will better grasp home automation if you desire a hands-on approach to technology.
Most modern routers allow you to create a secondary network. This isn’t only for visitors to your home, though. You may use it for various things, including creating a secondary network for the Internet of Things (IoT) and intelligent devices.
But what if your router doesn’t have this capability? It’s time to think about replacing your outdated router. The router can be linked to your primary network, just like a wireless bridge, and then You can connect your IoT devices to it. You can easily pull the plug in the event of a problem, while you can use the router’s firewall to configure connections.
The components you’re utilizing and the number of devices you want to control will determine if you require one. For example, if you’re going to hold and collaborate with your Insteon devices, you’ll need an Insteon hub. Insteon designs and manufactures its controllers: The Insteon Hub manages all Insteon devices and works with Logitech Harmony remotes, Tesla automobiles, Sonos music systems, and voice commands from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
These were a few ways out of the many other ways to reuse and preserve the value of your old router. Enjoy playing or exploring with the technology and hate to see a good piece of the device going into the recycle bin. You may enjoy the above-listed strategies to make your home or business network work harder and efficiently for you while still saving money.