How to Repurpose Your Old Modem for Other Uses: Innovative Ideas and Techniques

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How to Repurpose Your Old Modem for Other Uses: Innovative Ideas and Techniques

Do you have an older-model modem lying around after upgrading to a newer, faster version? If so, don’t throw it away! You can repurpose it in creative and innovative ways, whether you need some added tech to your home or office or just want to get creative.

What are the benefits?

Repurposing your old modem can provide a host of great benefits. Not only can you save money by not having to buy a new one, but you’ll also be helping the environment by reducing electronic waste when using old modems that would otherwise go into a landfill. Additionally, it will allow you to create valuable and useful items from old technology; you could even come up with innovative ideas using processes that you hadn’t thought of before.

Moreover, if your desktop computer is still in good working condition but lacks an internet connection due to an old modem, then repurposing it will bring life back into the unit. Additionally, depending on the model of your unit and its capabilities, there may be multiple ways for you to get creative and make use of what seemed like outdated or unusable technology.

Before you can repurpose your old modem, you must identify and confirm which type of modem it is. Not all models are capable of being used for alternate purposes; the task requires some research.

To start, open your computer’s CPU, locate the unit, and make a note of the model and brand name. Then search online for information about that particular modem and find out if it can be converted for other uses. It is not possible to repurpose all models, but many popular models are candidates for conversion — including DSL, cable, cross-platform Wi-Fi, VoIP-based simple structured hookup (SSH) technology, or WiMAX broadband modems.

Creative Ideas for Repurposing Modems

If you’re stumped on where to start, here are some creative ideas for repurposing modems:

  • Use the wiring to control lights in a home theater setup or another area with third-party hardware like ‘SmartThings’.
  • Cut open the casing and salvage valuable electronic components from inside for new projects
  • Attach external antennas for added reception and range when connecting to alternative networks such as satellite or Wi-Fi hotspots in remote locations.
  • Connect your modem to a printer for quick data transfer between devices
  • Connect it back up as an emergency router if your primary one fails
  • Turn it into a virtual private server (VPS) by setting up remote desktop capabilities
  • Transform it into an IP camera by purchasing video encoders with streaming capabilities

Techniques for Repurposing Modems

The following techniques describe some of the most popular ways to repurpose old modems and make the most out of the available resources.

1) USB Wi-Fi Extender

A modem with an Ethernet port or input can be used as a Wi-Fi extender. You can plug it into a laptop or phone using an Ethernet cable and set it up as a wireless access point. This will extend your internet coverage over a larger area than is covered by your router alone.

2) Home Media Server

An unused modem can be turned into a media server that you can use to store your pictures, music, videos, documents, etc on the cloud. You will need to install software such as Kodi or Plex on the computer connected to the modem in order to access your media content remotely.

3) Smart Home Hub

Modems with built-in routers could also be used as smart home hubs that help connect various types of home automation devices like sensors, thermostats, lighting systems, cameras, and electronics together so that they work cooperatively with each other and allow users remote control their home environment from anywhere in the world.

4) Streaming Device

You can turn your old modem into an efficient streaming device capable of playing modern streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu on your TV or computer through an HDMI connection. All you need is two extra components – a power adapter for the modem’s power outlet and a separate HDMI display adapter for video output connection – to have this setup correctly working within minutes once connected physically to your devices at home!


In conclusion, your old modem is an incredibly versatile piece of hardware that could quite literally take you anywhere from an office data center to a home surveillance camera. No matter which of these innovative ideas and techniques you pursue, you are sure to find a creative and useful way to repurpose your former modem.

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