Teach An Old Router New Tricks
One of the coolest things I’ve seen in computer equipment is the re-purposing or re-using of old network equipment. What used to be a corporation’s prized technology often gets thrown out like yesterday’s garbage in order for them to replace it with newer, more expensive equipment to impress customers. This is entirely to your advantage.
Like driving a car off a lot, purchasing new equipment seems like a huge folly, because you’re paying the depreciation that someone else is going to benefit from one day. Conversely, buying used but functional equipment is a smart investment because someone’s already taken the hit for you.
Old Cisco routers and switches, for example, can be re-purposed for all sorts of geeky stuff. You can get used cisco equipment cheaply online, and then use it for things like sharing your internet with multiple computers, internet telephony, firewalls, or even authentication servers. You can also get accessories pretty cheaply, like power supplies and racks.
These older pieces of equipment are more likely to be familiar to repair services if they break, and finding setup guides, how-to guides, and firmware patches will be easier for legacy devices. Cisco is a name brand, so you’re more likely to have a greater resale value when you decide to upgrade.