If you’re like most people, you probably have an old wireless router stored in a closet or the garage. You may have purchased a new computer, or decided to upgrade to Wireless N, the most recent wireless network standard.
Regardless, there are a number of uses for old wireless routers, so dig them out, dust them off, and consider the following ways to reuse them to improve your home network.
1. Set up a new wireless access point in your home:
Perhaps your son or daughter would like to use their laptop in the basement rec room, or your new router is on the first floor and you’d like wireless access upstairs. You can use the old router as an access point to help extend coverage to areas of your home where the signal may not be as strong. To do this, you simply turn off the DCHP server on the old router and plug in an Ethernet cable from the new router to the old one. It is a simple and no-cost way to double the wireless coverage in your home. For more in depth information on how to create an access point using your old router, please check out this guide.
2. Create a wireless bridge with your old router.
If you’d like to extend your network coverage, but you don’t want to have to plug in the new router to the old one, you may want to consider creating a wireless bridge. This is a better option for those who prefer not to fumble around with bulky Ethernet cables, but the process is a bit more complex than simply creating an access point. You need to be somewhat tech-savvy, and you also need to install upgraded DD-WRT firmware to ensure your network remains secure. For comprehensive instructions on how to create a wireless bridge in your home, please check out this guide.
3. Convert your old router to a wireless hotspot.
Maybe you run your own business, or have a friend that may benefit from having Wi-Fi access at their store or café. If so, you may want to consider using your old router to set up a wireless hotspot. While you can just plug your old router into the wall to allow for internet access in your business, you will still want to implement the hotspot feature. Hotspots oftentimes require users to either pay for access, and there are also options out there that allow you to manage user accounts with a login feature. DD-WRT offers a few options for hotspot products, as does CoovaAP.
Old routers no longer have to occupy valuable real estate in your closet or garage. So dust them off, and try your hand at expanding your own wireless network’s capacity or consider sharing them with others who may benefit from having wireless in their business or home. If you are interested in finding out additional creative ways you can use your old routers, please check out these suggestions.
About the Author:
This guest post is contributed by Kerry Butters. Kerry contributes on behalf of Broadband Genie, the advice website for all things internet and broadband. Click here for the best broadband deals currently available.
3 responses to “What Can I Do With an Old Wireless Router? Three Ideas”
three interesting ideas i must say. i’ll take them into consideration
Leave it in the closet. Home wireless is extremely insecure unless you have access to an authentication server.
I suspect that for the unaware user (90% of users), you’re not far wrong.