Just like most people, you've probably got a few old routers lying around. It's true that unlike computers, phones, and tablets, routers are somewhat of a less obvious upgrade choice, but if you want to improve the reception of your home network, it's best to have a good one on hand.
The new standard for wireless routers is Wireless N. This standard promises a faster connection with your wireless devices, faster transfers, and streaming speeds between devices. This means that if you're going to update your router, you'll be stuck with more old tech accumulating dust. However, there are lots of things that you can do with old routers.
1. Turning Your Old Router Into a Wireless Repeater
It's true that WiFi reception isn't always very good in every single part of your home. This all depends on the size of your home. One great thing that you can do is turn your old router into a wireless repeater. Repeaters are used to strengthen the signal of your home network, ensuring that everyone in your family can access the Internet over the WiFi network. This guide will tell you how to do this.
2. Turning Your Old Router Into A Wireless Bridge
Another good use of an old router is turning it into a wireless bridge. This allows you to connect one network to another over WiFi, rather than having to run a wire from one room to another. This is perfect if you want to install a new desktop computer and for some reason, you can't connect it with wires to your network. Maybe there's not network jack or phone jack. Before buying a network adapter card, you can try and turn your old router into a wireless bridge. In essence, your old router will connect to your main router, bridging the WiFi gap, allowing you to go online. You need to use DD-WRT upgraded firmware. Also check if your router supports DD-WRT here. This guide will tell you how to proceed.
3. Turn Your Old Router Into A Hub/Switch
Lastly, if for some reason you are running out of LAN ports on your main router, you can turn your old router into a hub/switch. This can happen if you have many devices and computers plugged into your router, from video game consoles to phones. The process is quite simple. Hook the old router into one of the LAN ports of your main router. Then, turn off the DHCP and you're ready to go. This allows you to use your old router as a 3-port switch.
[photos via Lifehacker, Wikimedia Commons, Tom Purves via CC license, Leonardo Rizzi via CC license]