The electricity consumption that we have in our homes is something that worries us all. At the end of the day, it is an expense that we have every month and that we must also pay to our electricity company. We all want to pay as little as possible on our bills, and incidentally, make a responsible consumption of energy that can benefit the environment. If we want to save, the first thing we are going to look at is those devices that we have on 24 hours a day. One of them will surely be our router that gives us access to the Internet. In this article we are going to talk about how much the always-on router consumes, and whether it is worth turning it off at night or not.
One of the first ideas that will come to mind is probably to turn off the router when going to bed. Worth? I must do it? Is it always beneficial? Does it have any consequence to do so? We are going to try to solve all these questions starting with the advantages and disadvantages that we may have to turn off the router.
Advantages and disadvantages of having the router always on
Now is the time to analyze what having our router always on cannot contribute. Let’s start with the advantages it can offer us:
- We will have an Internet connection 24 hours a day.
- If we have VoIP telephony, we will have the telephone always available without having communication interruptions.
- We will be able to have servers such as FTP or VPN always running and enabled, without having a service outage.
However, it should be noted that having the router always on also has its drawbacks:
- A higher electricity consumption that will affect the electricity bill.
- Wear of the hardware components of the router, although normally the routers are prepared to be always on.
- Exposure to external denial of service attacks and other attacks from the Internet.
On the other hand, if we turn off the router at night we get a series of positive things:
- Lower power consumption due to the router being turned off.
- We will not have VoIP service and they will not be able to call us on the landline.
Now we are going to solve some doubts that many of you have raised. Does something happen if I keep the router on 24 hours a day? Nothing happens because routers are designed to be running all day. That does not take away, as we recommend from this article that from time to time for its best performance we turn off the router for 30 seconds and restart it.
Is it good to turn off the router? Yes, but you have to do it well, for a very short time it is not worth it. In that sense, for a few minutes or an hour it is not worth it, it has to be for several hours to save enough energy to be worth it.
How to measure the power consumption of a router
One of the simplest ways for us to know the consumption that an always-on router can have is to use an electricity meter. If you have one, this would be your best option, anyway, for about € 15 you could buy one.
However, for a little more money you could buy a smart plug that would bring us more advantages. For example, in addition to seeing the energy we are consuming, we could turn it off and on from our smartphone.
All smart plugs work through reverse connections thanks to the manufacturer’s Cloud, for this reason, they will work for you whether you connect via WiFi in the same local network, as well as through mobile data. Also another advantage that they offer us is that they support a time programmer with which we can turn on and off the devices that are connected to them at the time we establish.
In this case to do this tutorial I have used a:
- FRITZ! Box 7530 router.
- A TP-Link smart plug.
If we want to measure the consumption of our FRITZ! Box router, we unplug its power adapter. Then, we insert it into the smart plug and reconnect it to the conventional plug.
For the data to be as reliable as possible, the more hours it is on, the more accurate the calculation will be.
Router consumption always on
In the web configuration of the FRITZ! Box 7530 router, I have accessed its energy monitor so that you can get an idea of the workload that this router has.
Here you can see that I have the CPU at 67%, 6 devices connected to the Wi-Fi network and another three by network cable. These would be approximately the devices that I have in my home network, although sometimes they can be some more especially for Wi-Fi.
After 12 hours of operation with different workloads, I have accessed the mobile app to see the power consumption that the router would have always on. These are the results that I have obtained from this measurement:
Regarding the current power, the router consumes on average approximately 4.64 Watts. If we stay observing its consumption, it varies between 4.50W and 4.75 W depending on the workload you have. Regarding the total consumption, it is 0.05 kWh (kilo Watt hours), which is how electricity consumption is priced.
It should also be noted that we could obtain energy savings without having to turn off the router, which would consist of using the router’s Wi-Fi time programmer adjusting it to our needs. Obviously, with the Wi-Fi off it will significantly reduce the energy consumption of our router.
How much does it cost us to have our router always on?
Currently, there are various rates for electricity, one of the most common and that usually has many people is the one that is regulated according to the time slot that we use. If we want to calculate the cost of having our router always on we need two things:
- The kWh consumption of our router that we live as obtained in the previous section.
- The price of kWh that the main electricity companies are going to charge us.
Now we have to find out the price of that kWh as it can vary. I leave you the website from where I obtained the cost, for which you must click here .
Here, we are going to take the average price of the day since we are going to have the router always on. In this case the price per kWh is € 0.16903. With this we can start to make our calculations taking into account that our router consumes 0.05 kWh.
Therefore, these would be the costs of having the router always on:
- 1 Day : 0.05 (router consumption) x 0.16903 (price of electricity) x 24 (hours) = € 0.202836
- Month with 30 days : € 0.202836 x 30 = € 6.08508
- 1 year : € 6.08508 x 12 (months) = € 73.02096
Instead, let’s say we turn off the router every day for 8 hours, with which we would use the router for 16 hours:
- 1 Day : 0.05 (router consumption) x 0.16903 (electricity price) x 16 (hours) = € 0.135224
- Month with 30 days : € 0.135224 x 30 = € 4.05672
- 1 year : € 6.08 x 12 (months) = € 48.68064
This is what we could save:
- € 73.02096 – € 48.68064 = 24.34032
In summary, if we have the router always on we could save € 24 per year or € 2 per month. In this case it can be an interesting saving, but for this, you have to be constant or buy a smart plug that does this job.