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Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Brian
Grafter
Posts: 60
Registered: 02-08-2007

Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

This sounds like an eternal question, but I really am baffled!
I have been in the habit of turning my router off at the end of the day.
----I do this (I think!) for security and to save energy etc.
----Also, my router gets hot (-ish) so maybe it should be turned off when not needed! I don't know!
When speaking to a PN technician about download speed problems he told me that I should leave it on all the time, as switching it off shows up as unexplained 'drops' in the service, which is then interpreted as an unstable supply, at which point BT (my line provider) will reduce the bandwidth until the supply 'stabilises'! Hmmm!
So what should I do? And why? And are you sure?
Thanks!
Brian
12 REPLIES
N/A

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Whenever this topic arises there are always mixed opinions so if you are wanting a definitive answer then it is unlikely that you will get one.
I don't switch mine off at all and I have no problems with speed/stability. I also read somewhere that router life may be longer if it is not subjected to constant
switch-offs but I wouldn't know if this is true.  Only thing is, I haven't had a broken router yet.
Have read on this forum that the best time to reboot your computer is in the middle of the day as the line tends to be less noisy so if you were to switch off every night,
would you be able to achieve this in order to get maximum performance?
Anyway, if you are taking a vote - mine is for leave on 24/7.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,553
Thanks: 195
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

I'm with Poppy on this one.  I leave my router on all the time unless I am away on holiday.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Almost Obvious question Brian:
While switching your router off overnight, have you had your speed reduced by the BT line management?
Do you know what your connection speed, noise margin and line profile are?  These may give some indication, for the line profile check https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed and see what the 'current line speed' reports.
If switching off is not reducing your bandwidth then it may not be a bad thing (we are all supposed to be saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions after all).
I would not recomend switching the router off every time is is not needed (several times every day) as this is more likely to be seen as an unstable line.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Brian
Grafter
Posts: 60
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Thanks folks!
I see that the jury is out on this one!
With regard to drops in supply, I have been having probs with speed reduced from 6Mbps to 2Mbps and it was mooted (by PN) that this could have been done by BT line management as I was trying to 'solve' the problem by switching the router off and re-booting!
(chicken and egg scenario!)  Undecided
As it happens, the line speed drop was caused by my router's frewall! Now all sorted!
But I just wanted your views, so that I don't mess up with BT from now on!
On balance their doesn't seem to be a problem with turning off at the end of each day. I can see a case for doing that.
I will probably run this question past BT themselves. I'll let you know what they say!
Thanks again. Smiley
Brian
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

I think this may depend what sort of line you have, how far from exchange etc.
I live fairly close - within 1km and usually get about 6.5 M .
As long as i've had Broadband I have always turned off the router at night, when I  go out for any length of time, and have never had a problem with reduced speeds etc..
As some say - these routers get rather warm, and together with other equipment in the house - like TV's, HiFi etc etec  - the energy al adds up to quite a significant amount if left on , even if on standby.
As to the electronics having a longer life if left on, that depends upon a number of factors - the type of power supply and how it ramps up the voltage to the equipment etc . But modern electronic equipment is long lasting - TV's, HiFi,radios,  toasters ( yes they have electronics in ), etc etc    often lasting greater than 10 years.
I suspect you won't be wanting to use your existing router in ten years as hopefully technology will have moved on.
So my vote goes with the turn off if not being used for a few hours, and especially overnight.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re:Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

The router life comment is a fair one.  Sometimes the power supply might deck it (technical term) if it is being restarted too often.  This used to happen fairly frequently with the old BT Managed install routers, but is less common these days.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

It depends!!
Nearly every ADSL line will exhibit overnights drops in SNR.  Some may only vary a small amount, but some may vary by a large amount.
Sometimes, this SNR change can cause a resync event.  Too many of these can cause your speed profile to drop.
Of course, some ADSL lines will only suffer a small SNR drop overnight, and others will suffer a larger one so it is very dependant on your individual line conditions.
HOWEVER
During the training period, it is a "good thing" to teach your exchange about the quality of your line, so it is recommended that you reboot your equipment at least once or twice a day.
HOWEVER
Some lines, (particularly those at the extent of ADSL service) may actually suffer when you reboot the router, and the sync speed may actually creep up a little after a reboot as the exchange uses DLM to improve your conditions.  For these types of lines, it is usually better to leave your router on for as long as possible, and to only restart them in the morning when external interference is at it's lowest.
HOWEVER
Some routers can actually 'clog up' with connections, (for example for those users who use P2P style applications).  This can exhibit itself with symptoms such as slower and slower performance, through to a complete lack of connectivity with certain applications.  Obviously, in these cases a reboot can be very useful!
HOWEVER
There is also the argument for saving power (although modern routers consume very little power).  The old "turning off and on too much will blow it up eventually" argument has also been put forth.  Also, some routers do get hot in operation, and it may give you peace of mind to turn it off when not in use.  That being said, I've never come across a router that spontaneously combusted!
So really, it very much depends on your personal line conditions as to whether it is desirable to keep your router on, or turn it off.
One thing I will say, is that *frequent* reboots are a Very Bad Thing(tm).  More than four or five resyncs in an hour is almost definitely going to make the DSLAM adjust your speed profile.  Reboots in moderation
B.
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re:Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Quote from: Jameseh
The router life comment is a fair one.  Sometimes the power supply might deck it (technical term) if it is being restarted too often.  This used to happen fairly frequently with the old BT Managed install routers, but is less common these days.

thats how i fryed my first netgear, couple of firmware upgrades and 10 power cycles in the space of a couple hours certainly doesnt do your router any good.
think everythin has bein covered here, me i leave mine on 24/7 once ive got a sysnc rate good enough for a 3000kbps line profile. As said if your next door to the exchange then being green dosent come at the cost of major speed drop
Total Uptimes (From SF counts):
WAN:  7 days, 09:23:26
LAN:  8 days, 15:58:46
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,307
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Probably sensible to switch it off if you're away on holiday for a fortnight regardless of any other arguments though Smiley
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

should i switch the fridge and frezzer off to, or do we trust these electrical goods when we go one hols  Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

If you empty it first, YES!
Remember, even in a working fridge, milk does not keep for two weeks - last holiday we came home to a horrible smell in the kitchen..... I trust the fridge-freezer more than I trust the wife now.
Don't switch your heating off completely if you go on holiday in the middle of winter though, just turn the termostat down then it won't waste energy unless it needs to stop your pipes freezing (though they don't actually leak until you do switch the heating back on and they thaw out).
Anyone with a Labrador Retriever should have no trouble emptying the fridge-freezer (or the bin for that matter). Wink
I just assume you won't be using your home broadband if you're not at home for a couple of weeks and turning it off can't hurt.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
mentalist3d
Grafter
Posts: 371
Registered: 20-08-2009

Re: Should I switch my router off or should I leave it on all the time?

Personally, I switch my router of every night and back on first thing in the morning, and it hasn't affected my speed whatsoever. I have seen the many convincing arguments for leaving it on, but my router runs really hot so I don't fully trust leaving it on when everyone is asleep in the house. When I was younger my house was gutted by fire caused by an electric radio alarm clock that became faulty and it isn't an experience, I would like to repeat.  Everything in my house gets switched off and the plug pulled (apart from the fridge) when going out, going to bed etc.