What Should I do with an Old Router

closeup of a wireless router on living room at home

Technology has become a staple and necessity in the modern world. There are so many different types of attachments a person needs to be able to utilize technology and access the internet. Often, the most modern pieces of technology like routers are needed so the old ones must be replaced.

Old routers could be used to improve Wi-Fi access around the home, be repurposed, be recycled, be donated to charities, sold online or locally, or given away through a garage sale or local selling platform. Electronics don’t break down easily, so always attempt to recycle and reuse them if possible.

Yet, there is more to consider and know when it comes to router removal including how to use it to improve Wi-Fi access, some of the different ways a router can be repurposed, and the other options.

Using An Old Router to Improve Wi-Fi Access

This may seem too good to be true, however, using an old router as a Wi-Fi repeater is a great way to reuse and upcycle! A Wi-Fi repeater is a device that extends the range of the Wi-Fi coming through your staple broadband router. It can improve connection throughout a home without buying additional materials. It is a simple process to set up your older router as a Wi-Fi Repeater.

The first step that needs to be accomplished is setting up the new router. After that, a person can begin setting up the old router as a Wi-Fi repeater. It doesn’t have too much setup: the old router simply must be connected to the Wi-Fi that is coming out of the new router. Once that is done, the old router should be able to share the new Wi-Fi with other devices. Although it is not the most tech-savvy solution, it does expand the range immensely and enables members of a home to find access to the farthest nooks and corners. (source)

With an older router, it is also possible to use it to create guest Wi-Fi. It is a similar process to how a router is made into a Wi-Fi repeater; however, the main difference is that the router simply is used side by side with the new router. A person can choose to add a password or not on the older router. Another benefit is that devices connected to the guest Wi-Fi will be unable to access devices connected to the new router. (source)

Router Repurposes

There are also many other repurposes that many enjoy and value even more than additional Wi-Fi range or accessibility. Some of the other ways that a router can be repurposed are being made into switches, wireless bridges, and even a hotspot. An important thing to keep in mind is that router repurposing often requires the router to be new enough to have new software downloaded on it. (source)


A router can be made into a thing called a switch. A switch is a connector between two devices that allows the devices to communicate with each other. Recently, many devices have been made to be able to communicate without any cables to the router or to the computer. However, many devices are improved when they are connected through a cable as the data can be received and shared quickly and securely. That is where a router can be super useful! (source)

A router can be super useful because it has ports. The ports allow cables to be connected to both devices and speed up communication and data sharing between devices. Routers are a cheaper option than other switches and can easily be used as switches. In a public forum, many people shared and expressed that their number one router repurpose was as a switch because it was so versatile, cheap, and easy to accomplish. (source)

Wireless Bridges

A wireless bridge is a good repurpose of a router because it utilizes the ethernet ports found on older models of routers. New models of routers may be completely wireless, which poses some potential issues for desktop users or other devices. By connecting your old router to the new one wirelessly and then attaching the devices with cables to the old router, a person might find that the devices are able to work smoother than before. This is similar to repurposing a router as a switch. (source)


This is probably one of the simplest repurposes of an old router if a person wants to use it for business purposes. It is similar to creating guest Wi-Fi; however, it has been reconfigured to have a captive portal where users can be made to agree to different terms and even see ads before receiving access to the internet. This could be beneficial for people aspiring to make money in smaller ways within a business. (source)


All of the repurposing options bring up a need to be skilled with technology. Maybe that might be a scary endeavor, thus there are other options. Some of these other options include recycling a router. Routers, like other electronics, cannot simply be thrown out due to the different parts and overall negative interactions with the environment. Thus, the best way to dispose of them is to take them to a recycling center.


Another good option for someone looking to get rid of an old router is donation and selling. There are many different organizations and places that could use a router, such as charities, churches, schools, and even secondhand stores like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Giving your router to one of these locations could change another person’s life or career positively. (source)

A person can also sell old routers. There are people and a market for old pieces of technology. Some are deeply interested in how they work, harvesting parts, or even repurposing them. The likelihood of a large profit being made is slim, but sometimes a little extra cash can be helpful! (source)

An old router can be reused, repurposed, and taken care of in so many ways. With this knowledge, there is no need to be intimidated anymore by the old router getting dusty in the corner of the garage. A person is now enabled to be able to use both older and new technology in order to find the greatest satisfaction out of the internet.

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