7 things to do with an old computer

If you bought a new computer, you might be excited to use it, but what about the old one? Yes, you can get rid of it, but there are other things you can do to recycle it.

The new use of this machine will depend on its condition: if it is damaged, you should dispose of in a safe place; if it works but has an obsolete or slow system, you can give it to another person that needs it more, or you can keep it and give it a new use.

Keep reading this article to see 7 interesting things you can try.

If it works…

In general, the first thing we think about doing with an old computer (that still works) is to give it to a relative or sell it online; however, if the profit is not that much, or you do not like this idea, here are other options to take advantage of it:

File downloader

If you are a fan of downloading files from the Internet, you can use your old computer as a special download center apart from your new computer. Delete all unnecessary hardware and leave only the essentials to connect to the network, and start downloading what you want.

File backup

We all need to make backup copies of our most important files and documents; it is a risk to keep them all on a single device because we can lose everything if it gets damaged.

 computer backup

If your old computer has one or more hard drives with good capacity, you can use it as a small home server and make your periodic backups on it; it is a process that does not require much power, only disk capacity.

Guests PC

Surely nobody likes to have their personal computer used, since there must be important documents or things that we do not want anyone else to see. So, what better use for the old computer than to leave it configured only for guests use in your house?

Just delete all your personal documents and stuff, and install it somewhere in the living room.

Old games computer

You will not be able to enjoy the latest games on the market, but you can have fun with old video games by installing one of the many console emulators that can be found on the Internet.

retro games computer

Stores like GoG are specialized in selling old games that also do not have copy restrictions.

Home security network

If you want to give your old computer a more professional use, you can create a home security network.

To do this, you must have a webcam, a good Internet connection, and install one of the many free programs that you can find online.

Just place the camera pointing to the place you want to monitor, and you can observe remotely in your phone through the Internet.

Node for scientific projects

This is a relatively new idea. Some nonprofits and organizations need more computing power to help them with their research. You can connect your old computer to their network, and they can use your processor to increase their capacity.

These studies can vary depending on the software you choose, but they are generally related to searching cures for different diseases, slowing down global warming, or finding extraterrestrial life.

You just have to install the program, connect to the Internet, and leave it on. If you are concerned about the amount of electricity it will consume, you can contact the organization and ask about it.

These are some interesting initiatives:

A computer that is no longer valuable to you can be an important help for a person without resources. You can look for a registered charity, local school, library, among others. Lots of people will be more than willing to take it from you, as long as it is not too old and still works fine.

Here is a list of non-profits that accept technology donations (not only computers, but also mobiles and tablets).

If it does not work

On the other hand, if these ideas do not convince you, and you still want to throw away the computer, here are some tips that you should consider:

  • If your old computer is damaged, take it to a professional recycling center. Computers placed in landfills release carbon and mercury into the atmosphere, and their plastic parts take a long time to disintegrate.
  • We recommend that you contact your city council to request information about local regulations on this subject.
  • You can also recover the parts that do work. Think about what components you could reuse, especially hard drives, CD/DVD drive, speakers, etc. You can keep them for yourself, in case you need any in the future, or sell them.

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