Simply we can say a router is a networking device. This device forwards data packets between computer networks. It is connected to two or more data lines from different IP networks. When a data packet comes in, the router reads the network address in the packet to know the destination. The router directs the packet to the next network on its journey by using that information.
Most of us use routers to connect multiple networks and forward packets between its own networks or other networks. But the thing is most people don’t know what are the other things you can do with a router.
Here are the 10 Things you can do with a router,
- Wireless repeater
- Guest WIFI
- Internet radio streamer
- Network switch
- Wireless bridge
- Smart home hub
- Convert your router into a NAS
- Use as a web server
- Make your own VPN
What if your WIFI network does not reach to every part of your home? Then you have a solution for that. You can use an old router as a WIFI repeater.
A WIFI repeater is used to extend the coverage area of your WIFI network. Repeater is receiving your exiting WIFI signals, then amplifying it and transmitting the boosted signal.
Repeater creates an access point that bounces a wireless signal to your new network device. You have to connect the old router to your new wireless network. Set it up at the edge of your router’s range. Then this repeater will cover more area. Sometime there maybe some latency issues but this is an easy way to extend your wireless network.
When people comes to your place and using your wireless internet could be bothered you. So why not giving them their own network? Some WIFI routers have guest mode but some routers don’t have this guest mode.
You can use your old router as a guest WIFI. You can protect your existing network with a password. And the old router which connects to this existing network can provide WIFI without a password to new devices. But these new devices can’t access to other devices on your network. Because, guest network is a different point that provides access to the internet, but not to your home network.
Internet radio streamer
If you want to enjoy your favorite radio channels through the internet , then you can make your old router as a radio. Some old routers can be made to play internet radio. If you want to make a radio from your old router, you have to install OpenWrt or DD-WRT custom router firmware first and a USB sound card or you can build the speaker into router. For that you need an 8-bit microcontroller, a tuner, and volume knob.
If you use home appliance devices, smart TVs and decoders, game consoles, and more devices that not have wireless networking, they need a physical connection to your network. We call this as an ethernet. Most of routers come with ethernet ports but most routers do not have more than six ethernet ports. With the increase of the wireless technology around the home, with the increase of devices that connect over Ethernet, you might run out of ports.
You can add more ethernet ports with a network switch. Instead of buying a new network switch, you can connect your old router to increase the number of ethernet ports. But your old router must be DD-WRT compatible to do this, and also you need an ethernet cable.
What happen if your router supports only wireless? Then you cannot connect ethernet devices to your home network. But you have a solution for that. It is the wireless bridge.
You can use your old router as a wireless bridge. This works like a wireless repeater, but wireless bridge offers ethernet rather than WIFI connection.
Smart home hub
If you like to work with technology, Then this gives you a better chance to understand of home automation. You can make smart home hub with your old router, but the router must have a serial port.
When you reuse your router as a smart home hub. Your router runs a web server that you can access with your browser. This might be on a PC or smartphone or tablet.
Convert your router into a NAS
Want to store your data on a single place and access it from anywhere in your home. For that you have a way called NAS. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. You can use your old router to make NAS. Your router might be able to run custom firmware like DD-WRT and have a spare USB port. The router also must allow you to browse the contents of the device. After you set up this you can cess to your files from anywhere in the house.
Use as a web server
If your old router supports OpenWRT or DD-WRT and if it can run as NAS or smart home hub, this old router can host a basic web page also. But this website is limited to your network. You can share information among your family. This old router helps you to testing plugins, themes and new codes. But you have to remember this is a low spec server.
Make your own VPN
Most of old routers do not have ability to create VPN. Custom firmware supports old routers can be set up with VPN software. This means you can use top ranked VPN ( Express VPN, Turbo VPN) to set up on your computer. From this, every devices connected to network is protected by the VPN.
Use them for valuble thing
If your routers are very old, and you have no use of them, then donate them for a school, an institute, or a man, who can use them for good cause.
And also you can sell them. Some people seek for old gears, sell them to those people or list it on places like ebay.
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