Is It Safe to Buy Used Router: A Perfect Guideline

Buying used things might seem a smart decision if you plan to do some cost-saving. This is pretty logical as well since we can buy used things at a fraction of the actual price. This is no difference in terms of buying used routers. 

If you just scroll through your Facebook marketplace, you will find popular brands’ routers sold at 35$- 100$. The same router will cost you 120$ – 500$ if bought from retail. No wonder this is very gentle for your pocket but is money the only decisive factor here? 

You probably are considering buying a used router for your dorm room or house. [1]

Is it safe to buy a used router?

Surely this question is peeping into your head, Is it safe to buy a used router? The answer to this question includes concerns about security, longevity, and performance. Only after taking these things into proper consideration, you can answer whether it is safe to buy a used router or not.

Safety, usage, and service complications would eventually outweigh the amount of money you have saved by a used router deal if not assessed carefully. 

But this does not mean all the used routers have problems. There could be very good ones operating almost like a brand new router.

Let’s explore the risk factors associated with buying used routers:

1. Damaged products

Routers bought second-hand might has physical damage and might not operate properly. There might be signs of physical damage like broken corners, cracked parts, or scratched surfaces. Leading to internal damage and poor performance. 

2. Missing Parts

You just received the parcel or fetched the box of a used router. In the box, you might find cable, ethernet cable, antenna, or other materials missing. This will make the router unusable if you do not find the same parts for the router.

3. Security Concern

Safety and security questions lie heavily with a used router purchase. By purchasing something used, you are actually opening the backdoors of your privacy. There could be hardware changes in the router, which are very hard to detect. Somebody could tamper with the router’s processor, capacitor, and transistor. And can compromise your privacy, security, and router’s performance. 

Software changes could also be lethal if not given a closer look. Anyone can install custom firmware or OpenWrt in the router. After plugging this router into your network, it might compromise your whole system even if you reset the firmware versions to the custom one. 

4. Performance Issue

For almost all electronic devices, In the long-term usage, their performance drops. 

When a router gets old, the components like capacitors and transmitters might start to fail. This is the more usual case for cheaper routers. As the transmitter wears out, the signal strength becomes weak, leading to poor performance of the router. Lack of/ poor firmware update is another problem leading to poor performance of the router. There are other issues affecting the performance of the router, e.g., fault in the power supply and overheating problem. These two can significantly affect the performance of the router

5. Overheating Issue

One of the core issues the old routers come with is overheating. Longer usage of the router makes it overheat easily and degrades performance. Usually, routers are set in the corner of a house and left there for months and years with the least care. So the dust and low airflow make it overheat easily, which continues along as long as you use it. If the router overheats slowly, all the other parts of the router are affected. And it also significantly affects the performance over time. [2]

Buying a Used Router? Here are some tips

After going through all of the risk factors of used routers, you might think buying a used router wouldn’t be a good deal. Well, it would still be a good deal if you stay vigilant and carefully analyze the following factors before buying the used router.

  • Do your research on some popular brands’ routers.
  • Look for those researched routers in the used product marketplace.
  • Reach out to the seller and ask for the details and pictures.
  • Ask for the properly taken recent images of the products.
  • Ask for manufacturer papers and availability of warranty.
  • Know how long he/she had used it and the purpose.
  • Visit him in person and test the product in front of the seller.
  • Check properly and see if there is a problem or not.
  • Inquire about the firmware update, custom firmware, OpenWrt, overheating, and performance.
  • Reset the router in the owner’s place to the latest firmware of the company.
  • Make the purchase.

Apart from the things mentioned above, ask the seller to provide the ethernet cable if available. Try buying an 8-port router if you are about to connect devices through wires. And lastly, it better be above 100Mbps internet modem with consistent internet support when you check it.

Let us continue further and know the threats before selling an old router.

What are the consequences of selling a router?

Selling your old router is not easy as buying. Let us look at some of its consequences.

  • Erase information before selling it

Whether you are selling or buying, it is a must to clean all your previous information mentioned on the router. This not only keeps you safe from hackers but also reduces the stress of misusing your information.

  • Clean the storage

While selling out the router, ensure you have cleaned the memory by removing all credentials. First, it will keep your system healthy and also speed up the internet

How to ease or reset factory settings of used router?

By performing reset factory settings, you can secure your device. So, look at these three methods.

Method 1- Press and hold the reset button for 10 seconds.

Method 2- If your router doesn’t support, try to resolve it with a web interface. 

Method 3- Another way is to restore factory settings is using TP-Link.

  • Log in to your TP-Link Router
  • Go to Admin panel, then advanced tools.
  • Tap on the backup & restore page and click factory restore.
  • Once the process is completed, it will take hours to complete the process.
  • With this, you will be sure to remove the malicious malware.

Some Common FAQs Regarding Used Routers and Modems

Is It Safe to Buy a Used Modem?

The answer is pretty much similar to one of the used routers. Used modem brings in security and performance concerns. But you could incorporate the security check and test the modem’s performance to stay on the safe side. 

How to Test a Used Router?

You can test a used router by first connecting it to the internet and checking whether it’s working or not. Check whether it is in the latest or custom firmware version or not. After that, you install the designated company’s mobile app and check the router’s performance. For further testing, keep it working for a few hours and check whether there is any performance drop or not. Do not forget to check the device’s overheating issue.

Are Used Routers Good?

This does not have a straight yes or no answer. Several factors are associated with used routers. If those factors show no issues, used routers are usually good. The used router is also a huge cost saving to our budget.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I can say that using a used router is unsafe until the previous information is not cleared. Moreover, used routers lower the internet speed and contain malicious viruses. While the new router offers flexibility, security, warranty, and high speed you are looking into the old router. From the money perspective, a used router saves a lot of money.

So, still, if you are interested in investing in an old one, then make sure it doesn’t contain the virus and offers you 100% security against hackers.

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