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Is It Safe to Sell My Old Modem or Router?



Closeup of a wall of old network routers and modems

In case you have an outdated router mendacity round that you simply not want, you may be tempted to promote it or give it away. Happily, your outdated router is unlikely to present away any revealing details about you, however it’s a good suggestion to reset it earlier than you ship it off.

Right here’s what it’s essential to know.

Routers Retailer Very Little Data

There are numerous several types of routers that change in complexity and functionality. These embody easy community hubs that connect with an exterior modem, routers with mixed ADSL or cable modems, and routers that embody built-in 4G or 5G connectivity in case your own home web connection goes down.

Despite the fact that the router is designed to route web site visitors to your units, this knowledge doesn’t stay on the router for lengthy. These units have little or no storage, and their primary job is to take knowledge from level A to level B in as little time as doable. Web site visitors isn’t saved or recoverable, and much of it is encrypted anyway.

A router is designed to retailer solely the settings which you could change, together with ISP login info, wi-fi community names and passwords, and guidelines that you’ve got arrange, like which DNS server to make use of or which ports to open. If you happen to promote your router with out resetting it, it’s unlikely that any of this info will probably be of use to whoever finally ends up with it.

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There could possibly be some figuring out info within the settings, like an e mail tackle and the SSID (entry level title) of your earlier wi-fi community. Providers like Wigle are used to create a map of identified SSIDs so {that a} purchaser may doubtlessly discover out the place you lived by trying up the title, assuming that it’s distinctive.

For the reason that purchaser or receiver of your outdated modem goes to want to reset it to utilize it, it is smart so that you can do that earlier than you ship it off simply to cowl your bases.

Promote Your Router or Modem After Resetting It

Your router ought to have a button which you could press and maintain to reset it to its manufacturing unit settings. Some routers even print their manufacturing unit default settings on the aspect, together with the SSID and the password that it’s essential to set them up.

Red arrow pointing to the reset button on a home network router
Proxima Studio/

Take the router and plug it in, after which wait a minute or two for it to begin up. Subsequent, you’ll want to make use of a small, skinny object like a paperclip to hit the reset change situated someplace on the router. The precise steps may differ relying on the model, however listed below are some examples:

  • Netgear: Press and maintain the reset button for round 7 seconds.
  • Linksys: Press and maintain the reset button for 10-15 seconds.
  • D-Hyperlink: Press and maintain the reset button for 10 seconds.
  • TP-Hyperlink: Maintain the WPS/RESET button till the SYS LED flashes rapidly (over 10 seconds).
  • Cisco: Press and maintain the reset button whereas powering on the router, after which launch after 10 seconds.

If you happen to’re not sure whether or not the router has been reset, you’ll be able to check it for your self by connecting to it and checking the admin panel for any adjustments you’ve made to the settings.

Outdated Routers Aren’t Value A lot

Routers are ten a penny, with ISPs usually giving them away to new subscribers freed from cost. Until you’ve gotten one thing fascinating like an old AirPort Express or Mesh wireless system, your outdated community tools in all probability isn’t price that a lot.

Relatively than turning it into e-waste, take into account using your old router as a network switch to improve Ethernet coverage in your own home after you buy a new router.

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