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What To Do With an Old Router?

What To Do With an Old Router?

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As technology advances, broadband evolves, and new routers hit the market, many people find themselves with old routers they no longer need. Instead of letting them gather dust or throwing them away, it’s important to consider the options for disposing of old routers safely and responsibly.

Disposal typically involves taking the router to your nearest waste recycling centre, but this is not the only option available. If your router is old but still in working condition, you can put it to good use. Below we explore the various ways you can deal with an old router, including recycling, repurposing, and why you should do so.

Router recycling

Recycling old routers is crucial for minimising electronic waste and conserving valuable resources. Routers contain various materials that can be harmful to the environment if not properly handled. When looking at the specifics of how to dispose of old routers, the process typically involves disassembling these devices and separating the components for proper recycling or disposal.

It is important to note that routers fall under waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). This means these devices must be recycled in specialised ways. Below, we outline a process for responsible router recycling in the UK:

Check with the manufacturer: Before you begin the recycling process, it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer of the router. Some manufacturers have specific recycling programmes or guidelines for their products online.
Data backup and reset: If the router still works and you plan to dispose of it because you no longer need it, back up any important data or settings stored on the device. After backing up, perform a factory reset to wipe your personal information.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive: This directive is a regulation in the UK that aims to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste. It requires manufacturers to provide recycling options for their products. Find out if your router falls under this directive.
Recycling centres or drop-off points: Many local authorities and recycling centres in the UK accept electronic waste, including routers. Look for your nearest recycling centre or drop-off point that accepts electronic devices. You can often find this information on your local council’s website.
Recycling services: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer recycling programmes for their old routers. Check with your ISP to see if they have any specific procedures for router disposal.
Packaging: If you are dropping off your router at a recycling centre, package it securely to prevent damage during transportation. Consider using the original packaging if you still have it.
Follow recycling guidelines: When you arrive at the recycling centre or designated drop-off point, follow the staff’s instructions and guidelines for recycling the router properly.
Dispose responsibly: Ensure that you place the router in the designated recycling area. Never throw electronic waste into regular household bins, as it can end up in landfills, causing harm to the environment.

By following these steps, you can responsibly recycle your old router and contribute to the reduction of electronic waste. Remember, recycling electronic devices is not only about being environmentally friendly but also about data security and privacy. Always take the necessary precautions before disposing of any electronic equipment.

When should you recycle an old router?

There are several situations where you might want to recycle an old router. These reasons include:

Breakage or malfunction: If your router is no longer functioning correctly or has become damaged beyond repair, recycling is the most responsible option.
Upgrade or replacement: When you upgrade to a newer, more advanced router or replace your existing router with a better model, recycling the old one ensures it doesn’t end up as e-waste.
Energy efficiency: Older routers may consume more power and lack energy-saving features. If you’re concerned about energy efficiency and reducing your environmental footprint, recycling your old router could be a step in the right direction.
End of life: Like all electronic devices, routers have a lifespan. If your router has reached the end of its useable life, recycling is an effective and responsible way of disposing of it.
Supporting sustainable practices: Recycling old routers promotes the reuse of valuable materials found in electronic devices and reduces the demand for new resources.

What else to do with an old Wi-Fi router?

If your old Wi-Fi router is still in working condition, you can repurpose it rather than dispose of it. Below are four answers to the question: “What to do with an old Wi-Fi router?”

Set up guest Wi-Fi

Transform your old router into a dedicated guest Wi-Fi network. By setting up a separate network for your guests, you can maintain the security and performance of your primary network while providing convenient internet access to visitors.

Add a wireless repeater or extender

Repurpose your old router as a wireless booster or repeater to enhance Wi-Fi coverage in areas with weak signals. By placing the old router strategically in your home, you can extend the range of your existing network and eliminate dead zones in your home or office.

Use it as a network switch

Convert your old router into a network switch by disabling its routing functions. This allows you to expand the number of wired connections available on your network. It can be particularly useful if you have multiple devices in a specific location that require a wired connection.

Set up a media server or Network-Attached Storage (NAS)

If you’re looking for another option for what to do with an old router, you can use it as a media server or network-attached storage device. With the appropriate software and configuration, you can store and share files, stream media, or create a personal cloud storage solution.

If your Wi-Fi router has reached the end of its life and you’re looking to upgrade your device, our Hyperhub is included with every Hyperoptic fibre broadband package. You can easily switch to Hyperoptic’s broadband service today if you’re looking for better signal and speed.

Frequently asked questions about disposing of old routers

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select “I live in a house”. If you’re not sure, get in touch.

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