What to Do with Old Modems: Recycling and Repurposing Options

Congratulations on the new internet connection! What will you do with the old modem now? This question worries many people, yet most of us do not take it seriously. Some people just buy new modems and never use their old ones again, whereas some throw them away carelessly.

However, there are many unique uses for them despite their shortcomings. That’s why we’ll guide you on what to do with your old modem.

Several studies reveal that electronic waste has been increasing at an alarming pace and causing issues as toxic substances are being discharged into the environment.

Approximately fifty percent of all electronic equipment sold is not recyclable. And when it is, the customer (or business) is responsible for its proper disposal. This means that we should all take personal responsibility for avoiding improper disposal of our electronic waste by recycling or donating it when possible.

The accumulation of electronic garbage (or “e-waste”) has reached critical levels.

Humans are left with the responsibility of disposing of complex gadgets in an eco-friendly manner.

Read on to find different ways to repurpose or recycle your old modems.

What To Do With Your Old Modems?

What To Do With Your Old Modems

We often throw our used modems in the trash as we don’t know what to do with them. They can be repurposed and reused in various ways. Below are a few such useful ways to give a new lease of life to your old modem:

Wi-Fi Extender

Are you tired of your internet connection freezing in some areas of your home? Do you have to sit in the room where your modem is to enjoy a stable network? If yes, then having a second modem can be a better option for you. It can even beat the option of having Powerline Ethernet adapters.

A second modem makes it easier to spread the network throughout your home. Simply connect an older modem to your wireless network and watch its magic. In no time, you will able to stream videos from all corners of your home and even while relaxing in your backyard.

Guest Network

It is not always a good idea to share your network’s password with everyone. To prevent this, you can create a separate network for your guests.

To create a guest network, you can use the guest function on your old modem to connect it to your current password-protected network as a Wi-Fi extender. This way, new devices will be able to access your network without any password. This is a great way to keep your main network secured and your guests happy.

If further security is required, you might need to adjust the firewall configuration of your main router.

Low-Cost Network Switch

Most modems only have six Ethernet ports, and this number can go down to four, given the advent of wireless home technologies. But, in some cases, you need more ethernet connections.

Some examples of this are online gaming on consoles or personal computers, which function better on an Ethernet connection as it is more stable. In situations where you need to stream from a TV decoder, wired connections offer better quality than wireless.

You can use a low-cost network switch to address this issue. An Ethernet hub just like a power strip, allows multiple devices to use one single connection. So, an older modem can immediately provide four or more unused Ethernet ports that can be in working condition by connecting a network switch to it.

Ensure to turn off the wireless service on your old modem to prevent any interference. You might also need to change the firewall configuration of your main router for this to work smoothly.

Connect Security Cameras

Connecting security cameras to a modem has become hassle-free with the help of the internet. Once you set this up, you can monitor your home or office in your absence. Given the alarming number of burglaries by the US Department of Justice each year, making your home secure is indeed very crucial.

The number is a whopping 2.5 million. This is why round-the-clock protection of your property must be ensured.

The good news is that you can use your old modem as a permanent connection point for your security cameras. This serves two purposes – one of giving a new life to your old modem and second, enhancing your home security without any additional cost.

Moreover, if you want to change the location of your security cameras for better coverage, you can simply mount them on the back of your old modem. This makes them portable, and they can easily be repositioned according to your needs.

Run An Electronic Pet Feeder

If you’re a pet owner, you’ve likely heard about the high-tech electronic pet feeders that feed your pets when you are away.

These devices come with an electronic timer and have Wi-Fi connectivity. So, you can even use your older modem to control these smart pet feeders.

Devices like this can come in handy to maintain your pet’s usual feeding schedule even in your absence.

This can be an ideal way to repurpose your modem if you are a busy pet owner and want to enjoy some peace of mind when you get back home.

Print Server

Do you know you can use your old modem as a print server if you want to print documents from your computer but cannot access the network or the internet?

You may connect up to three printers to the back of your device after switching on its sharing function.

This might prove beneficial especially when you are stuck somewhere without internet access.

The modem can save the files in its internal memory and print them as soon as you connect to a network. Switching off automatic updates is a good idea in this case. This can save you tons of money that could’ve gone into printing costs.

They say one man’s trash is another one’s treasure. Similarly, although you may no longer need your modem, someone else may.

A little contribution may have a big impact, whether it’s for a kid whose family can’t afford internet at home or for a nonprofit seeking financial support. Donating your old modem is a good act if you believe someone else might make greater use of it.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency suggests giving used electronics to those in need as a means of reducing waste and the need for electronic garbage (recycling) facilities and landfills.

Donating your broken, outdated modem to a worthy cause is a great way to help the environment.


Waste from electronics is increasing at a startling rate, as has been previously stated. This results in a greater quantity of electronic trash, both for disposal and recycling.

It’s concerning because so much hazardous garbage is generated from all these obsolete electronic parts and components that end up in landfills. As a result, recycling is now the most viable choice.

The electrical components of an old modem may develop problems with time; for instance, the motherboard may get damaged.

But, your modem’s ports, power supply unit, and case, however, are likely recyclable at a nearby facility.


Most individuals don’t know how to properly dispose of their old routers and modems. Here are some suggestions on how to proceed: First, you should inquire with your service provider about potential equipment recycling options. There are many third-party options if they don’t offer recycling for your old modem or router.

Second, if you are handling the disposal of the device yourself, do so in a secure manner. Routers and modems should be disposed of properly since they may contain substances that are dangerous to humans.

Thirdly, consider donating your outdated modem instead of just throwing away. These devices may be put to good use in several educational and charitable institutions.