You have bought a new computer much more powerful than the one you had, and you do not know what to do with the old equipment. This is a situation that arises very often in today's society. Do not throw it away, we propose 10 uses that you can give it to extend its useful life far beyond what you had imagined.
Use it like a modern Chromebook
The first use that we propose is to convert your old desktop or laptop into a Chromebook device.
For this we will use CloudReady, a program that we can use to turn any compatible computer into a Chromebook.
CloudReady allows you to install it as a single operating system, although it also allows you to install it together with Windows, and even run them from a USB flash drive to be able to test it beforehand.
You can check the official list of compatible models, to see if you can install CloudReady on your old computer.
Use it to browse anonymously and safely
Tails is a Linux distribution that focuses on user privacy and security . For this reason, it is ideal for fans of browsing unsafe websites, or who simply want to protect their privacy as much as possible. Tails works by means of a data encryption system, and with the Tor web browser.
A very interesting feature of Tails is that it is an operating system that has been designed to consume very few resources , and that can work on old computers, making it ideal for reusing an old laptop or desktop PC.
Use it to cast content to Chromecast
Chromecast is a device left by Google that allows us to stream content to the TV to which we have connected it. These streaming tasks do not need great power, so we can take advantage of our old computer, to turn it into a kind of multimedia center, from which to send all kinds of content on our Chromecast.
You can buy a Chromecast device, for an approximate price of € 30. The next step you will need to do is install the Chrome browser on your old computer, and use it to send all kinds of content to the Chromecast.
Improve your home WiFi network
This use is ideal to take advantage of an old laptop, or a mini PC, since these devices have a fairly low power consumption. What we will do is turn the old computer into a Wi-Fi access point , so that it will be in charge of receiving the signal from our router, and sending it back to other devices. By doing these we will improve the Wi-Fi coverage in our house
You can configure your old computer as an access point very easily. You only need to access the Windows 10 " Settings " application. Once inside, go to the " Network and Internet " section.
Now enter " Mobile wireless coverage area ", and check the option " Share my Internet connection with other devices ." By doing this you will have turned your old computer into a kind of repeater of the Wi-Fi signal.
In the event that the old PC has Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed, you can use Virtual Router to do this.
Create your own web server
Another possibility is to turn that old computer into a web server, which will serve you to store your own small web page or a forum without having to pay for hosting. For this you can use XAMPP, a totally free program, which allows you to turn any computer into a local or online server.
This is a fairly advanced use that is not recommended for all users, but we are sure that the most connoisseurs will be able to get a great use out of it.
Create your own surveillance system
Is there an area of your house that you want to monitor? If this is the case, you can take advantage of an old laptop with a webcam, or an old desktop computer plus a cheap webcam, to create your own video surveillance system .
iSpy is free software, which allows you to remotely control a webcam, so you can use it to monitor without problems, what happens in that area that worries you so much.
Create your home NAS
A NAS is a small computer, which is permanently connected to the network, and which is used to store a large number of multimedia files , which we will access from other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
For this use you do not need your old computer to have a very powerful processor, although it is interesting that the hard disk capacity is quite large, so that you can save a large number of multimedia files.
OpenMediaVault, Openfiler, and NAS4free are some of the best free programs that you can use to turn your old computer into a NAS. You can also use your home NAS to keep backup copies of the files you have stored on other devices.
Use it to play old games
There are many video games from 20 years ago or more that do not work properly on current operating systems. If you like video games, you can use that old PC that you have stored at home to install Windows XP, or even an earlier version, and replay dozens of titles that marked your childhood.
It can also be a good opportunity for your children to enjoy all those games that marked a before and after in the industry. Diablo, Diablo 2, Warcraft, StarCraft, Counter-Strike, Doom and many more are waiting for you.
Create a virtual machine
Do you like trying alternative operating systems and messing with your PC ? If the answer is yes, you can take advantage of your old computer to test all kinds of very little-known operating systems, and fiddle with everything that is hidden inside without fear of breaking your everyday PC.
There are many scientific projects that use distributed computing technology, which means that their workload is distributed among thousands or millions of computers, which have been contributed by many volunteers. Your old computer may not be very powerful, but every grain of sand is welcome in these projects.
Some of these projects are Folding @ Home, SETI @ Home, and World Community Grid.