Too many "free" ISP routers

_Kismet
_Kismet Posts: 18 Forumite
First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
edited 11 June 2022 at 12:33AM in Techie Stuff
Any ideas on what I can do with all the unused/spare free routers that I've received from ISPs over the years? I have like 4 or 5 now.

I've considered suggestions like these: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ways-reuse-old-router/

I either have no interest or no need, or they wouldn't work with the cheap locked-down ISP routers - not sure who would want to buy them if I put them on eBay, or even for free.

I think my best bet might be to give them to Currys: https://www.currys.co.uk/services/delivery-installation/recycling.html

Otherwise, I have a dilemma. I have to choose between money-saving and caring for the environment :disappointed:

With money-saving in mind, I've switched between several ISPs over the years in order to benefit from new customer prices. However, for about the past 7 years I've been using my own TP-Link Archer C8 wireless router which means that my money-saving is causing me to accumulate e-waste. The ISP router ends up in a cupboard or gathering dust on a shelf.

Maybe the next ISP that insists on giving me a router, I'll actually use it if it is higher spec than mine.

Continuing to use my own router whenever I switch ISP means all I have to do is change the login info in the router settings and the new service is ready to go. The home network continues working and I don't need to set up the wifi again on my devices.

When I sign up for a new ISP I will refuse the "free" router whenever possible, and indicate that I'm using my own router, e.g. Plusnet

Unfortunately, some ISPs have insisted on sending out their router anyway even if I won't be using it because they pack the login details with the router. And often they'll say to keep them in case of troubleshooting.
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Comments

  • gefnew
    gefnew Posts: 871 Forumite
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    The problem with not using the latest router is that the firmware will be out of date and libel to attack from the internet.
    Also the newer routers will have better coverage and security.
  • _Kismet
    _Kismet Posts: 18 Forumite
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    edited 8 June 2022 at 1:21AM
    gefnew said:
    The problem with not using the latest router is that the firmware will be out of date and libel to attack from the internet.
    Also the newer routers will have better coverage and security.
    Yeah, thanks, that's certainly a reason to switch to a newer router. My own router last had new firmware released in 2016.

    So like I said, the next ISP router I get, I'll probably use it for the higher spec and updated firmware. The downside of ISP routers is that they may not even receive any additional firmware updates at all.

    Still doesn't solve my problem of what to do with the unused ISP routers I currently have lying around!
  • Chop-D
    Chop-D Posts: 96 Forumite
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    I don’t know if all of the providers do this but with Sky you could send the router back to them free and they would recycle it. For more recent routers some people will buy them for a few quid on eBay.
  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,171 Forumite
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    edited 8 June 2022 at 7:36AM
    Not environmentally friendly but we usually take a baseball to small electronics like that.
    Amazing how much stress relief beating an inanimate object up with a baseball bat can give. Great for mental health.
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • shiraz99
    shiraz99 Posts: 1,715 Forumite
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    Most, if not all ISPs should have facilities to take back old equipment for recycling for free.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,587 Forumite
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    I think the "free router" thing needs to go the way of the chargers with mobile phones. You do not get one by default, you need to buy one if you need one. It would reduce the amounts of electronic waste currently produced, there is no need to replace a router every two years. 
  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,902 Forumite
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    Some routers you can disable the DHCP server in them and use them as switches.
  • Heedtheadvice
    Heedtheadvice Posts: 2,456 Forumite
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     ......and also recycle them through waste collection services designed for electrical equipment where precious materials will be recovered such as through local council.
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,767 Forumite
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    Chop-D said:
    I don’t know if all of the providers do this but with Sky you could send the router back to them free and they would recycle it. For more recent routers some people will buy them for a few quid on eBay.
    shiraz99 said:
    Most, if not all ISPs should have facilities to take back old equipment for recycling for free.

    I think the ISPs have a legal responsibility now to recycle the devices, they should provide a free return when you cancel your contract. Some may charge for non-return of equipment.

    Otherwise take it to the local household waste recycling centre.
  • womble12345
    womble12345 Posts: 584 Forumite
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    edited 8 June 2022 at 4:05PM
    What is worse for the environment, throwing it in the bin or posting it back to your ISP (for free) and them throwing it in the bin? Perhaps that is rather cynical but even if they recycle can they get more from it than the environmental impact of posting it back to them?

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