When selling used smartphones and computers, perhaps the most important advice is to wipe them clean of personal data beforehand. But does that also apply to old routers and modems? Here’s a checklist you’ll want to go through first.
Routers and Modems 101
But before we proceed to the checklist, what the heck is a router or modem anyway? You know that little box with a couple of antennas at the corner of your room that you connect to via Wi-Fi? That’s usually the router. If you apply for a wired broadband subscription from Internet service providers, you usually get an all-in-one modem that also functions as a router and networking switch.
Suffice to say, the router and modem are intermediary devices in your home network that help data travel from the source to its destination. It’s how you’re able to download or receive data from a remote device from the Internet to your computer in your home network. The same is true with uploading, but with data leaving your home network and headed towards the Internet.
Most folks at home don’t bother learning about routers, because these devices mostly work right out of the box. Just plug the cables and connect to the Wi-Fi with the default password, easy-peasy.
Is your router or modem clear of personal information?
Intermediary devices, with their primary function being to pass data between points, barely have any built-in storage to store information. Whatever information is stored inside routers and modems most likely pertains to your network settings, including your Wi-Fi access point name and password, VPN configuration, DNS server addresses, and routing rules. To be safe, it’s best to clear these data before selling.
How do your remove data from a router or modem?
Simply reset the router or modem to factory settings. Typically, the option to reset can be found in the device’s admin/control panel that you can view in your web browser. There’s also usually a reset button in the device itself that you’ll need to press for at least 10 seconds to initiate the reset process. It’s best to consult the device manual for this as the reset process varies between makes and models.
Can you sell ISP-provided routers? What about ISP-provided modems?
To avoid any violations, better read what’s stipulated in your subscription contract. Some ISPs may require you to return the network equipment they provided to you at the start of your subscription, because otherwise they might charge you with additional fees when you terminate your subscription if you don’t surrender the equipment.
Do not sell to anyone who intends to tamper with the modem and sell it as an “open-line” modem that will work across any network. You could be implicated in the fraudulent acts as stipulated in the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998. Telcos such as Globe actively go after unauthorized resellers of their modems.
Do routers and modems have high resale value?
You may try reselling your router and models at Carousell.ph, Facebook Marketplace, and other online marketplaces. But as there are a lot of cheap modems and routers readily available out there, both in new and used conditions, your old network equipment may not be worth much when you sell it.
A good alternative to reselling is to participate in trade-in programs. ASUS, TP-Link, and other network equipment manufacturers occasionally announce trade-ins, letting you trade your old equipment to get huge discounts on new routers and modems. It’s recommended to follow their social media accounts to stay updated.
Lastly, you may consider repurposing your old routers. You may use them to add a guest Wi-Fi network and keep temporary users away from your main network. You can convert one into a network switch or a wireless repeater to expand your network coverage.