Can I use an old router with a new provider? (2023 Guide)

In today’s fast-paced digital world, a reliable and high-speed internet connection is essential for both work and leisure. If you’re considering switching to a new internet service provider (ISP), the very first question that comes to mind is can I use an old router with a new provider?

The good news is that, Yes in most cases, you can indeed use your old router with a new provider.

In this article, we’ll provide you with all the detailed instructions you need to know to make this transition seamless.

it depends on two factors:

  • Type of Modem/Router.
  • Kind of Internet service.

If you are switching to a new ISP for your DSL Internet service, you may be able to continue using your current combined modem/router, if it is compatible with the new network.

Your new ISP will likely need to configure the modem for the new service, but this is usually a seamless process that will be taken care of by the ISP or a contractor.

In some cases, you may need to log in to your internet gateway and add new credentials provided by the new ISP.

Did you know that a router and a modem are not the same devices?

Even though people tend to use the terms interchangeably, they are different from each other


The main difference between the two is that:

  • The modem connects your device to the Internet.
  • Router connects your device to a local network.

It’s interesting to note that some devices can combine both a router and a modem into one combo device. 

Can I Use An Old Router With A New Provider?

Yes, it is possible to use your old router with a new provider. However, there are a few things you need to consider before doing so.

Firstly, you need to check if your router is compatible with the new internet provider’s technology. Different providers may use different types of connections such as DSL, cable, or fiber. Make sure that your router supports the connection type provided by the new internet service.

Secondly, you need to check if your router is unlocked or not. Some internet providers lock their routers, which means you can only use them with their service. If your router is locked, you may need to contact your previous internet provider to unlock it or consider purchasing a new router that is compatible with the new internet service.

If your router is compatible and unlocked, you can simply connect it to the new internet provider’s modem or gateway using an Ethernet cable.

Follow the instructions given below.

Switching Providers For the Same type of internet:

You may find that your internet service provider (ISP) wants you to use their equipment. That’s because their modems are usually pre-configured for easy support.

However, some ISPs will allow you to use your modem, but you’ll need to configure it yourself. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

Firstly It’s important to check if your ISP supports the modem you already own before reusing it. Also, make sure that its MAC address has not been blocked by your previous Internet Provider, especially if it was rental equipment.

If the modem is old, it may not be able to handle the speeds you are paying for which can cause a bottleneck and other issues for those on your node.

If you previously had a modem that was provided by a cable connection provider, chances are it was a DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) modem.

However, it’s important to note that this type of modem won’t work with a DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) service provider system, and vice versa.

If you’re using a fiber Internet provider (broadband), they’ll use fiber-optic lines and an ISP-supplied modem called an Optical Network Terminal to provide telephone, television, and Internet services.

What to Do With Your Modem When Changing Providers:

Whenever you switch service providers, they usually offer you new equipment for free or at a low cost. It’s recommended to use the new equipment since it is usually the most up-to-date and compatible with their service.

If you have a compatible modem already, check with customer support to see if they can configure it for use with their service. This will ensure that you have the best and most reliable connection.

If you’re looking to save some money on your monthly internet bill, bringing your compatible modem to your new provider is a great option. Not only will you avoid the rental fee charged by your ISP, but you’ll typically see monthly savings as well.

Just be sure to provide your new provider with the MAC address of your device, and if the service is the same type of internet, make sure to log in and update the access information in your modem’s gateway.

It’s an easy way to save some cash without sacrificing your internet connection.

Configuring your modem:

Configuring your modem for both wired and wireless connectivity is a simple process that can be done through the setup page of your modem. Many modems that are provided by Internet Service Providers come with basic routing functions that allow you to configure your network settings easily.

To get started, we will be connecting your computer directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable, open a web browser, and type in the default IP address for your modem. You should be prompted to enter the name of the user or username and password, which can usually be found on the bottom of your modem or in the documentation that came with it.

Once you’re logged in, you can start configuring your network settings, including setting up wireless connectivity and creating a secure password for your network.

With a little bit of setup, you’ll be able to enjoy reliable and secure connectivity for your home network.

Putting the modem in Bridge Mode:

To improve your internet connection, it is recommended that you disable the routing function of your ISP-supplied modem. This can be achieved by putting the modem in bridge mode.

Doing so lets you use the modem as a standalone device and pair it with a (preferably Open WRT or DD-WRT- capable) customizable router of your choice.

Depending on the modem, you can configure bridge mode on your own or the ISP will need to disable it from their end by sending a configuration file.

This simple step can significantly improve your internet experience.

Changing your router’s DNS:

If you’re looking to improve your internet speed and security, changing your router’s DNS can be a great first step.

By default, most routers use your ISP’s DNS servers, which can be slow and potentially insecure.

By switching to a third-party DNS provider like Google or Cloudflare, you can potentially speed up your internet connection and increase your privacy online.

It’s a simple process that can be done in just a few minutes, and it can have a big impact on your internet experience.

Log in to your router’s settings, locate the DNS settings, and enter the new DNS server addresses provided by your chosen provider.

Does any router work with any internet provider?

If you already have your own router, you don’t have to worry about your ISP’s modem/router combo.

You can simply use your existing router along with their modem. All you need to do is put the modem in bridge mode to disable the router functionality.

After that, you can connect your router to one of the LAN ports on the modem and use it for all your WiFi and wired connections. It’s important to note that it’s the modem that needs to be compatible with the ISP, not your router.

So, feel free to use your own router without any worries.

Why do you use your own router (and a VPN)?

There are several methods you can use to prevent your ISP from monitoring your internet browsing habits and selling your data.

One option is to use a virtual private network (VPN) that encrypts your internet connection.

Another option is to use the Tor browser, which masks your IP address and encrypts your traffic.

Additionally, you can use a privacy-focused browser like Brave or Firefox with privacy extensions like uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger to block trackers and ads.

Finally, it’s important to always read the terms of service and privacy policy of any service you use to ensure they are not selling your data

Using Two Routers:

If you want to use your old router with a new provider, in addition to your new router:

  • If you have your own router and not a combination modem/Router provided by your previous ISP, you’re in luck! You can use it with any ISP.
  • However, many ISPs prefer that you use their combination device, which is sometimes called a gateway.
  • If your modem is a combination device, you can disable it to function only as a modem by configuring the modem to act in bridge mode.
  • If your modem is not in bridge mode, you can still use it.
  • Just make sure that the LAN/DHCP IP range that the combo modem/router uses is different than the one used by your own router.
  • Most gateways tend to use a subnet and most home routers use either or

Does any router work with any modem?

Yes, you can assume that your router will work with any modem, as long as they are both standalone devices or part of a modem and router combo that’s compatible with your ISP.

However, if your router is a standalone device, make sure your modem is also a standalone device.

You don’t want to connect your router to a modem router combination device, as it would be redundant. If you have a modem and router combo device, there’s no need to worry as it’s unlikely that a manufacturer would make components that don’t work together.

If your router isn’t ISP-specific, you can use it with any modem that’s compatible with your ISP.


Q: Does my router need to be replaced if I change internet providers?

A: If you change internet providers, you may or may not need to replace your router. It depends on a few factors:

1. Compatibility 2. Age and Performance 3. Provided Equipment 4. Configuration 5. Additional Features

Q: Will my current router be compatible with a new Internet provider?

A: If you are switching to a new internet service provider, there is a high chance that your current router will be compatible.

Q: Is it possible to use my existing router with a new Internet provider?

A: Yes, it is possible to use your existing router with a new internet provider. In most cases, routers are not tied to a specific internet service provider (ISP).

Q: Can you use any router with any provider?

A: When buying a router, remember that not all routers are compatible with all internet service providers. This is due to differences in technology and protocols that can affect your internet experience. To avoid compatibility issues, contact your ISP for a list of supported routers and make an informed decision.

Q: Is it OK to use an old router?

A: Using an old router can be okay, but it might not support the latest features and security updates. Consider upgrading for better performance and security.

Q: Can I use my own router with my internet provider?

A: Before using your own router with your ISP, check with them first. Some providers have specific requirements for the router model or configuration. Understand your provider’s policy before making any changes to your internet setup.

Q: Are routers locked to the network?

A: Routers are not typically locked to a specific network, but certain configurations might be needed to connect to your ISP’s network properly. Always consult your ISP’s guidelines for compatibility


When switching to a new internet service provider, it is possible to use an old router as long as you assess compatibility factors such as modem and router type, as well as the type of internet service. It is often possible to use your own router despite many ISPs offering their equipment, especially if you put the ISP’s modem in bridge mode.

Make sure to prioritize compatibility and check with the new provider for specific requirements. If your router aligns with the new ISP’s connection type, it is likely to work well. Remember, your router should be compatible with the modem, not necessarily the ISP. By considering these factors, you can enjoy a smooth transition and maintain a reliable internet connection.

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