Keeping your Internet router plugged into a power supply overnight won't do you or your hardware any harm, but under certain circumstances, you may decide that disconnecting it will be a better idea. The only major disadvantage of doing so will be having to wait for around 30 seconds before getting online when you turn the juice back on.
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Although unplugging your router overnight won't save a lot of energy or money, every little helps. If everybody in the UK unplugged their broadband routers when they weren't in use, the amount of energy saved would be substantial. If you're concerned about sustainability and your impact on the environment, shutting your router down along with other electrical appliances in your home while you're in bed should be a major priority. Small contributions made by individuals can add up to make a big difference.
If your Internet service provider assigns you a new dynamic IP address every time you go online, turning your router off overnight could help protect your security and privacy. Using a different IP address every time you logon to the Internet can make it more difficult for websites and individuals to identify you and track your online activity. Most ISPs that use dynamic IPs provide users with a new address every time a router requests an internet connection, but some use "sticky" dynamic IPs that stay with users for multiple connections. Contact your ISP to find out how your IP is assigned.
Some people argue that exposure to the radio waves given off by Wi-Fi routers are a health hazard. Those who think they are sensitive to Wi-Fi's electro-magnetic waves claim the technology makes them feel sick, fuzzy-headed and rundown. Although Public Health England advises "[t]here is no consistent evidence to date that exposure to radio signals from Wi-Fi... adversely affects the health of the general population," limiting the amount of tech pollution in your home by turning your router off certainly won't be bad for you.
Shutting down your router at the end of each day will be a good idea if somebody in your home is prone to leaving data-hungry applications such as torrent download clients connected overnight, especially if your broadband connection comes with a data cap. Disabling your router at the end of the day can also be a good way of making sure your kids aren't using Internet-connected devices when they should be asleep, although this won't stop them getting online using a mobile connection.
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