Phone manufacturers, from Android to iOS, strive to meet market demands yearly. That is why a new iPhone or Google Pixel phone is launched every year with the latest features. Such practices have forced consumers to purchase new phones without having a second thought, and before you realize it, you have phones that look perfect lying around with no use.
A considerate person would sell the phone or hand it down to someone who needs it instead of letting the phone collect dust in an old cabinet. Another alternative to dealing with ‘outdated’ phones is to keep using them in situations where they can still be useful. But before you look for that phone you had years ago that you almost forgot about, you might wonder, can I still use it to access the internet?
Keep reading as we examine whether your old phone can connect to Wi-Fi and access the internet despite not receiving any system updates.
Can an Old Phone Connect to Wi-Fi?
The first consideration before getting an answer should be whether the phone could connect to Wi-Fi when you bought it. If not, then no miracle happened to give it a feature that was not installed at the point of production. In other words, if it could not connect to Wi-Fi before, it still cannot connect to Wi-Fi now.
On the other hand, if the device supports Wi-Fi connectivity, it can still connect to Wi-Fi. Most phones have a common way of enabling Wi-Fi connectivity. That is by going to Settings and then selecting Connections or Wi-Fi, depending on the phone’s operating system.
Unfortunately, some apps might no longer be working because the current operating systems lack the modern features necessary for the apps to work normally.
Apart from connecting the old phone to Wi-Fi, there are a couple more things for which the phone can be useful.
What Else Can I Do with My Old Phone?
You can also use your old phone for various things, such as using it as a webcam, as a media player, and much more. Let us look at some of the things an old phone can help you with:
1. An e-book Reader
Most books are now available in softcopy, making it easier to read from our phones. However, reading from your primary phone can be distracting since you will keep getting notifications, and some might call when you are just getting to the good part of the book.
Phones have the Do Not Disturb feature that can ensure no notifications or calls come between you and the book you are reading, but that means you would be unreachable.
A workaround is to use your old phone to read your books and put the new one to the side for a while so you can concentrate. Children can even use the old phone to catch up on their schoolwork.
The only condition is that the phone should be compatible with e-books and have a big enough screen, so the reader does not strain.
Repurposing Old Android Phones
2. Use the Phone for Storage
If the old phone has a considerable memory capacity, you can use it as a storage device for your photos, videos, documents, and even songs. That way, you can easily access the photos whenever you wish without needing to connect to another device, like a laptop.
If you decide to store songs on the old phone, you can also use it as a music player.
But since old phones rarely get security patch updates, you should refrain from storing important information on the old phone. This is because a hacker can easily exploit a vulnerability in the system and have access to all your files.
3. Use It as a Remote Controller
Most televisions, routers, streaming gadgets, and smart devices like smart bulbs have apps enabling you to control the said gadgets remotely. The only condition is that the phone and the gadget you intend to control should be connected to the same network.
Therefore, you can download the apps on your old phone, and you will have an alternative the next time the TV’s remote control disappears.
Best Ways to Reuse Your Old Phone
4. Use the Old Phone as a Security Camera or Baby Monitor
Most phones produced in the past few years are equipped with high-resolution cameras; hence they can be repurposed as security cameras.
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You install the apps on the old and new phones, and it will allow you to view the old phone’s camera feed. You can now place the old phone at a strategic point that best suits you in the baby’s room and watch over them from another room.
Remember to charge the phone regularly; if you use it as a security camera, you can leave it plugged into a power outlet. But if you do so, remove the phone case if it has one to prevent overheating.
Using Your Old Phone as a Security Camera
5. Use the Phone as a Webcam
Phones usually have better cameras compared to most laptops. You can use an old phone as a wireless webcam and improve the picture quality.
You can make an old phone a wireless webcam by downloading apps like Droidcam on your phone and personal computer.
Once you link both apps over a mutual Wi-Fi network or using a USB cable, you can configure the PC to use the old phone’s camera.
You can also use old phones as hotspot devices, entertainment hubs, or even alarm clocks. You can even donate the phone to organizations like cellphones for soldiers that ensure active military personnel has emergency funding and accessible communication services.
Although the world is growing at a very fast pace and things are evolving similarly fast, you can still use your old gadgets. The only catch is that you should ensure they have the latest available firmware update so that the device can be compatible with other devices and websites. Updates also ensure vulnerabilities are patched to secure your connections and data.
Also, note that as much as some older phones can be upgraded to use the latest operating systems, they are bound to lag and alarmingly drain the battery. That is because the phone was not built to support newer operating systems.
Also, most manufacturers stop providing older devices with security updates, thus leaving said devices susceptible to malicious attacks. Therefore, ensure you use the phone on platforms that do not require you to share sensitive and personal information.
Hey, I’m Jeremy. I hold a bachelor’s degree in information systems, and I’m a certified network specialist. I worked for several internet providers in LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Seattle over the past 21 years.
I worked as a customer service operator, field technician, network engineer, and network specialist. During my career in networking, I’ve come across numerous modems, gateways, routers, and other networking hardware. I’ve installed network equipment, fixed it, designed and administrated networks, etc.
Networking is my passion, and I’m eager to share everything I know with you. On this website, you can read my modem and router reviews, as well as various how-to guides designed to help you solve your network problems. I want to liberate you from the fear that most users feel when they have to deal with modem and router settings.
My favorite free-time activities are gaming, movie-watching, and cooking. I also enjoy fishing, although I’m not good at it. What I’m good at is annoying David when we are fishing together. Apparently, you’re not supposed to talk or laugh while fishing – it scares the fishes.