Author Topic: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?  (Read 19975 times)

MrWednesday

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Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« on: May 05, 2014, 06:12:23 AM »
So a few days ago I plugged my router and modem into a power strip which I have been tuning off at night and when I am at work, but it occurred to me that this may not actually be the safest way to do this for the health of the electronics. Does anyone out there have any advanced knowledge/ experience with doing this? Thanks!

begood

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 07:43:47 AM »
I'm curious about this too! I have started turning off power strips at night and when I'm going to be gone for several hours during the day. I'd like to have that ability if I ever did get a router/modem/broadband internet thing.

The one thing that has been a plus about only having limited mobile broadband for our sole internet source is that I turn it off at night so I know it's not using up data in the wee hours updating stuff, and I know my kid's not texting at 2:00 a.m. I'd like to keep that ability if we ever get the chance to have cable broadband or FIOS.

nawhite

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 07:51:47 AM »
Is it worth it? Grab yourself a Kill-A-Watt and measure your usage for a day. I bet those 2 things use significantly less than 1 kwh of electricity per 8 hours meaning you save less than $0.15 per 8 hour day (in my area). Buying a new all in one router and modem would cost you about $90. So, if you think your modem/router will last 600 power cycles, keep doing it. If you think that power cycling it every day will make it die in the next 2-3 years (that would be my guess) then you shouldn't bother unless you're leaving for a long multi-day trip where you can leave it off the whole time.

If you're nervous about zombie loads of other appliances, here is a good quote from a renewable energy researcher at Cambridge:

Quote
All the energy saved in switching off your charger for one day
is used up in one second of car-driving.

The energy saved in switching off the charger for one year is
equal to the energy in a single hot bath.
http://www.withouthotair.com/c11/page_68.shtml

dragoncar

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 08:14:36 AM »
I don't think it will save much but it probably isn't bad for the electronics (those that have wall adapters).  The only danger is spikes introduced by the switching, which is unlikely if the strip is also a surge suppressor and is mitigated by the design of wall warts

Peter

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 08:33:47 AM »
Those must be pretty low power.

I left my 1 string of christmas lights on all day and night during the holidays. 5w of power. That equated to 0.4c/day of saved to turn the lights off in the morning and back on at night. Wasn't the risk of stepping outside onto the patio and slipping on some ice.

daverobev

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 09:01:59 AM »
I used to, but I don't bother any more. Now I have everything else on a power strip that goes off, but my modem and NAS stay on (NAS goes to sleep) 24/7.

My modem uses maybe 2W.

MrWednesday

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 09:30:02 AM »
Buying a new all in one router and modem would cost you about $90. So, if you think your modem/router will last 600 power cycles, keep doing it. If you think that power cycling it every day will make it die in the next 2-3 years (that would be my guess) then you shouldn't bother unless you're leaving for a long multi-day trip where you can leave it off the whole time.

I guess this is what I'm getting at, does "cycling" modem and router on and off actually wear it out any more than leaving it on would? I understand any potential savings are going to be quite small, but over the course of a year they may equal a few dollars or so. I don't have a kill a watt but my modem has an obnoxious blue light that is nightlight bright (7w or so?) I've been looking at this site http://www.johnsavesenergy.com/PhantomPower1.html#.U2esHIFdXcw and John estimates a $1 savings for each watt. Flipping a switch before I leave the house or go to bed seems rather simple, so long as there is no damage being caused I don't know about. It also has the added benefit of making my network more secure.

"I don't think it will save much but it probably isn't bad for the electronics (those that have wall adapters).  The only danger is spikes introduced by the switching, which is unlikely if the strip is also a surge suppressor and is mitigated by the design of wall warts" --dragoncar I'll have to double check and make sure the strip I'm using is a surge protector. Thanks for the tip.

bacchi

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 09:41:03 AM »
I've always turned off the router+modem (and desktop) at night and during the day. The modem has lasted forever but the wi-fi router died after 6 years. That's a decent lifespan for a wireless router and it needed upgrading to wifi N anyway.

BlueMR2

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2014, 10:05:20 AM »
All the strips I have say that the switch can be used for switching the load.  The wall warts do a decent job of buffering the device from spikes anyways.  Most likely problemis that the switch wears out on the strip and has to be replaced, negating your savings.  Heat/cool cycles for electronics can lead to eventual failure, but then again I've had electronics fail from being on all the time (and getting too hot) as well.  In the tech world, stuff almost always lasts longer than it's actually useful anyways.

I switch mine off at night and don't turn it on the next day until I need it.  I'm at 4 years of doing that with my current equipment.

mboulder

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2014, 10:19:38 AM »
Is it worth it? Grab yourself a Kill-A-Watt and measure your usage for a day.

It's worth noting that you can check a Kill-A-Watt out at many libraries - one down the street from me, for example, has 3-4 available. These things are cool and super useful, and if you can borrow it for free from a library, it's a no-brainer to try one out.

dragoncar

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 10:33:16 AM »
All the strips I have say that the switch can be used for switching the load.  The wall warts do a decent job of buffering the device from spikes anyways.  Most likely problemis that the switch wears out on the strip and has to be replaced, negating your savings.  Heat/cool cycles for electronics can lead to eventual failure, but then again I've had electronics fail from being on all the time (and getting too hot) as well.  In the tech world, stuff almost always lasts longer than it's actually useful anyways.

I switch mine off at night and don't turn it on the next day until I need it.  I'm at 4 years of doing that with my current equipment.

Yeah, for electronics I think it's a negligible concern.  But there are some things that would not like to be switched on and off frequently -- ironically things like a DVR cable box would prefer to stay on but also consumes a lot more energy in standby.  Luckily I think the cable company is usually responsible for replacing those when they break.

sleepyguy

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 12:37:35 PM »
I wouldn't bother, you may have data sync issues after as well or it will take awhile for the circuit to resync.  Too bothersome.

Routers/modems take very little electricity overall.  Not using a hairdryer for 20mins is probably equivalent to using a router/modem for an entire month or 2.

Now for wifi security... i could understand.

MustachianAccountant

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 12:44:20 PM »
...and I know my kid's not texting at 2:00 a.m. I'd like to keep that ability if we ever get the chance to have cable broadband or FIOS.

Our Verizon router has the ability to set up "rules" for each device that connects to it. So our teenage daughter's connection gets cut at bedtime, and comes back on in the morning. This does not affect our other devices.
Also, if I turn off our router for more than, say, 10 min, it requires a call to customer service to get it back online. It's a big pain.

begood

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 12:46:26 PM »
...and I know my kid's not texting at 2:00 a.m. I'd like to keep that ability if we ever get the chance to have cable broadband or FIOS.

Our Verizon router has the ability to set up "rules" for each device that connects to it. So our teenage daughter's connection gets cut at bedtime, and comes back on in the morning. This does not affect our other devices.
Also, if I turn off our router for more than, say, 10 min, it requires a call to customer service to get it back online. It's a big pain.

Good to know!

eil

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2014, 04:07:11 PM »
So a few days ago I plugged my router and modem into a power strip which I have been tuning off at night and when I am at work, but it occurred to me that this may not actually be the safest way to do this for the health of the electronics. Does anyone out there have any advanced knowledge/ experience with doing this? Thanks!

Electronics nerd here. No, shutting off your modem/router nightly will not hurt them at all. These items are far more likely to be damaged by voltage spikes coming in from the telephone/cable/power lines than from power cycling on and off once a day.

If your modem/router are right next to the computer, you can plug them into a smart power strip that automatically powers on/off several "accessory" outlets when you turn on the main load (usually, your computer). I have this one and it works pretty well: http://www.amazon.com/ZuniDigital-ZG7000B-15-Outlet-Digital-Protector/dp/B003YH9DWC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1399327512&sr=8-2&keywords=smart+power+strip

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 04:18:14 PM »
I have home security cameras so I leave my cable modem on all the time in case I want to check on the house remotely.

My modem uses about 10 watts, so I would save 80 watts a day or about 2kwh a month.  We pay $0.095 per kwh.  So we are talking $2.40 a year.


Nords

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2014, 11:55:24 PM »
So a few days ago I plugged my router and modem into a power strip which I have been tuning off at night and when I am at work, but it occurred to me that this may not actually be the safest way to do this for the health of the electronics. Does anyone out there have any advanced knowledge/ experience with doing this? Thanks!
We always debate doing this when we leave the house for vacation, but then we remember that our DVR updates its programming schedule over the wireless network.  Oops.

randymarsh

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Re: Turning off Router and Modem Nightly?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2014, 07:15:24 AM »
Not sure if turning them on/off every day is worse than just leaving them on constantly, but it seems like a lot of work/inconvenience for little savings.

My iPhone syncs over wifi at night. My laptop downloads updates. The DVR downloads updates and phones home to Dish. If I'm browsing in bed, I'm not walking downstairs to turn off the router. Lazy? Perhaps.