We pretty much love our routers because they’re quiet, dependable, and don’t take much effort to maintain. And then someone will tell you that they reboot their router every day, or every week, or every month. What’s that all about? While there’s no one simple answer, we have some tips to help you know when and why you should reboot your router, or at least shut it down for a while. And also why you should decide to leave your Wi-Fi powered up and running. It’s up to you.
The Case for Rebooting
The most popular time of day to restart your router is at night after the day’s work and online learning are finished, and you won’t be taking away Wi-Fi from anybody who needs it. To be the most efficient, power down your router for 15-20 seconds, letting it sleep for a moment, then turn it back on.
Powering down your router for the entire night may be an option if you are sensitive to EMF radiation. Certainly, though, an all-night shutdown is not for you if you have a home security or monitoring system that depends on Wi-Fi to stay connected, or if you depend on any smart devices to remain active or perform tasks while you sleep.
Two Reasons to Restart Your Router Daily
1. Strengthen Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a term you’ll often hear in reference to large organizations, but it’s just as real for each of us as individuals. Cybersecurity is simply the practice of keeping networks and systems safe and protected from digital attacks. Perhaps you’ve been hearing about it from your employer as offices have shifted to work-from-home mode.
The surest way of keeping your home network secure from any potential attacks is by creating hard to crack passwords on your Wi-fi. Additionally, by restarting your router, data is secured, creating difficulty for would-be data thieves.
If you’d like to know more about your personal cybersecurity, follow the links for more tips on staying safe while working from home.
2. Save Energy
Switching off your router or modem may not have a massive impact on your energy bills, but it’s safe to argue that right now every bit helps. As employees and families spend more time than ever at home, power usage has gone up by as much as 23% in New York City apartments alone during normal business hours, as recently reported by the Wall Street Journal.
If you choose to power down your router at night, mobile devices, tablets, and gaming consoles all connected to your Wi-fi will also pause. With this collective amount of tech taking a rest, you could potentially see more of a savings impact on your bills.
Three Reasons to Keep Your Router Up and Running
1. Enable Software and Service Provider Updates
Nearly all of our devices need to receive periodic updates to their operating systems, and these updates are almost always released during the hours that most of us are asleep. Your service providers also send out updates to regulate and optimize service and connectivity during the night.
Leaving your devices up and running along with your Wi-Fi ensures that any automatic updates can be installed without any issue or intervention. It’s worth noting that if you do decide to power down your Wi-Fi or devices for one night, these updates will likely resurface reminders the next night.
2. Keep Smart Devices Online
Smart home technology has come a long way in recent years and feels more necessary than ever as we all find ourselves spending more time at home. As we use more devices that automate utilities like heat, A/C, lighting, electrical outlets, and more, our need to access them at all hours may come into play. If you choose to power down your Wi-Fi, keep in mind that this may impact your smart devices and their functionality.
3. Maintain Home Security and Monitoring
Some systems responsible for maintaining and monitoring the security of your home may require constant connectivity to ensure your security. This brings us to the strongest reason not to power down your Wi-Fi, especially at night.
If you do have such a system, please check in with any of your security solutions or service providers for more information before making any moves to disrupt your Wi-Fi connection.
On the other hand, if you choose not to power down your Wi-Fi at night regularly, plan to reboot at least once a month. And here’s one final point worth noting. As with the vast majority of our at-home technology, sometimes the answer to technical issues is to simply reboot. Quickly powering down your router, then starting it right back up again, might be a good way around all the reasons to keep it up and running while giving it the chance to reset.