14 Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Old Router (Don’t Throw It Away!)

  • 5 min read
  • Jun 7, 2024
14 Useful Ways to Reuse an Old Router

Stuck with an outdated router taking up space? Here’s how to repurpose your old router and save money instead of discarding it!

Upgrading your router? Whether it’s because your Internet Service Provider (ISP) sent a new one or you just want better performance, you’re now wondering:

What Should You Do with Your Old Router?

Often, switching ISPs means returning the old hardware. But if you have an extra router lying around, there are numerous ways to repurpose it. Here’s a detailed look at 14 innovative uses for your old router.

1. Extend Your Wi-Fi with a Wireless Repeater

If your Wi-Fi doesn’t cover your entire house, use your old router to extend the network’s range. By connecting it to your current Wi-Fi network, it can broadcast the signal further, offering extended coverage. While you may face some latency, it’s a straightforward solution to improve Wi-Fi access throughout your home. This setup can be especially handy for streaming video or browsing in areas your main router can’t reach.

2. Create a Guest Wi-Fi Network

Why not set up a dedicated network for visitors? This adds a layer of convenience and security. Use your old router to connect to your main network and establish a separate, password-free guest network. This approach ensures your guests have internet access without compromising the security of your primary network.

3. Transform it into an Internet Radio Streamer

Enjoy your favorite radio stations through your old router. With custom firmware like OpenWrt or DD-WRT, and some additional software, you can convert it into an internet radio device. Though it’s a more complex project involving a USB sound card, it’s a unique way to breathe new life into dated hardware.

4. Use It as a Network Switch

Running out of Ethernet ports? Repurpose your old router as a network switch to expand your wired internet connections. Simply disable the wireless functions and connect the router via Ethernet to your main network. This will instantly increase your available ports, perfect for devices that perform better with a wired connection like gaming consoles and streaming devices.

5. Adapt It as a Wireless Bridge

For homes with wireless-only routers, an old router can act as a bridge to provide Ethernet ports. This setup connects your old router to your new Wi-Fi network and allows wired devices to connect through its Ethernet ports.

6. Convert It to a NAS Drive

Turn your router into a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. If your router supports custom firmware and has a USB port, you can attach an external hard drive and access it from anywhere on your network. This DIY NAS is a cost-effective way to store and share files within your home.

7. Utilize as a Web Server

Run a basic web server on your old router. With support for LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) through custom firmware, you can host a personal website or even a blog. This is great for experimenting with web development or setting up a family information portal.

8. Make It a VPN Router

Set up VPN software on your old router, providing VPN protection for all devices on your network. This eliminates the need for individual VPN apps on each device, ensuring comprehensive privacy and security across your home network.

9. Sell Your Old Router

If tinkering with hardware isn’t your thing, sell it! Platforms like eBay are ideal for offloading old tech. List the make and model, and you may find buyers, including tech enthusiasts and collectors.

10. Establish a Separate Network for IoT Devices

Use your old router to create a dedicated network for smart home gadgets. This can improve security by isolating IoT devices from your primary network, reducing the risk of breaches.

11. Learn About Networking

Experiment with advanced network configurations using your old router. This can be an educational tool for understanding firewalls, DMZs, MAC filters, and other networking concepts without risking your main network.

12. Configure It as a Public Hotspot

Transform your old router into a public hotspot for your business. Using firmware such as HotspotSystem, you can provide internet access to customers, potentially generating revenue through paid access or advertisements.

13. Convert It into a Smart Home Hub

With OpenWrt or DD-WRT, your old router can act as the center for home automation. Tools like Crelay enable you to control and automate devices connected to your router, creating a DIY smart home hub.

14. Donate It

Lastly, consider donating your old router to a school, church, or charity. Many organizations can benefit from an additional network device, using it to expand their internet access or as part of their network infrastructure.


No matter what type of router you have, there are plenty of creative ways to repurpose it. From extending network range to building a NAS, these solutions can keep your old router useful. If none of these ideas work for you, consider selling or recycling the device. Whatever you choose, don’t let that old router go to waste!

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