If you switch off your internet router before heading to bed each night you could be wreaking havoc with your broadband connection. Despite experts urging us all to turn off the gadgets that fill homes in a bid to save expensive energy, one thing that should definitely be left on at all times is that little flashing black box.
Hitting that power button can have all kinds of consequences including your broadband becoming much less stable, secure and slower.
There are a number of reasons why you should leave the router on at all times but one of the main problems with turning it off is that it won’t get important software upgrades and security fixes that help keep it running smoothly and safe from hackers.
These patches are often pushed out during the night when there’s less chance of the updates impacting customers and if your router is powered down that won’t happen.
Another issue with switching off the plug is that it can lead to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) thinking the line is unstable. Once that happens they often slow the speeds to make sure customers stay connected.
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Explaining more about the issues with broadband router and why it’s a good idea to keep them on Aman Bhatti, Director of Propositions, Sky Broadband told Express.co.uk: “We know our routers are put through their paces during the day – whether on video calls, streaming the latest show, or online gaming. That’s why our routers run firmware updates during the night, to avoid any unnecessary disruption during the day.
“Switching off your router overnight can affect automatic software updates and optimisations which in turn can impact the overall performance, speed and stability of your Broadband. Other connected devices in the home that are connected to your router will also be disrupted by the delayed updates. All our current hubs are EU Eco Design Regulation approved, meaning no excessive energy consumption is being used.”
It’s not just Sky that advises to keep things on with BT also recommending that customers don’t mess with their routers.
Explaining more about why customers should always leave their routers on, BT said: “It’s important to make sure that you leave your Hub switched on and connected at all times. This will let us give you the fastest and most stable service, and ensure your hub is kept updated.
“Constantly switching off the hub makes the line look unstable, meaning that your speed may be automatically reduced to improve the reliability of your broadband connection.”
Of course, there are other devices around that can be switched off. New research from British Gas suggests that many of us are wasting hundreds of pounds of electricity by not switching off gadgets at night.
For example, leaving a 4K TV on can cost over £24 per year whilst it sits on standby and leaving a gaming console on might set you back over £12 when you’re not even using it.
Speaking to the BBC, British Gas Marc Robson said: “At night, or when not in use, try switching off devices at the mains rather than switching to standby, as even the standby light on a television uses energy. Try not to overcharge your mobile phone and laptop unnecessarily.”