I've changed ISP and am using their router. I wish to donate my old NETGEAR router still with its original Network Key (password). Would someone obtaining this router somehow get access to my computer files and data even though I am no longer using that network or ISP? Thanks.

  • 2
    No they will not.
    – Jeroen
    Aug 13, 2019 at 19:43
  • 3
    why not just factory reset the router before getting rid of it?
    – dandavis
    Aug 13, 2019 at 23:17

3 Answers 3



If your computer is not connected to the router, other people having access to it won't be able to access your computer through it.

You could pose a convoluted (and highly unlikely!) scenario where a three-letter-agency recorded all your wireless traffic, then buy your router to attempt decrypt the messages that were sent in plaintext (ie. using only the Wi-Fi encryption) through that router in the past once they learnt the password you were using. This would require that they had recorded the initial 4-way handshake for that session, which requires being highly targeted. This would not allow decryption of anything you hadn't sent that session, or that were separatedly protected (eg. inside a HTTPS connection).

  • If all traffic was captured including the 4-way handshake, session keys are defeated. Aug 13, 2019 at 22:51
  • @multithr3at3d I should have checked the details of WPA-PSK before posting. Answer updated.
    – Ángel
    Aug 13, 2019 at 23:02

No, the only thing that they might get access to would be any saved configurations on the devices,

But aside from that your new router and all devices behind it are not connected in any way.


The user won't get access to anything on your computer.

However, if an attacker had recorded WiFi traffic from that wireless access point, and then later acquired that password, they could decrypt and read all the past WiFi traffic as if it had no password, so they could see what sites you visited and any unencrypted data that was sent over the network. Most sensitive websites should use encryption via HTTPS, so the impact should be limited.

  • He's asking if anything can be done with the password thats stored in the old router, to which the answer is yes Feb 1 at 14:56
  • 2
    How does your answer differ from the previous one?
    – A. Hersean
    Feb 1 at 15:54
  • Now thats a productive comment! Feb 1 at 15:56

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