Millions of Britons are about to be hit by a huge energy shock with prices rising to record highs from this weekend. Last winter the average price for electricity was around 17p per kWh but that’s now doubled to a whopping 34p per kWh. The jump will see homes facing massive bills during the cold winter months and that means consumers could be looking for ways to cut down on their usage.
There are plenty of things that can help reduce the amount of power being munched through including switching off appliances, using the dishwasher less often and not leaving consoles and TVs on standby.
There are even tricks such as switching on Sky Q’s Eco mode and turning down the brightness on your television.
However, despite the temptation, one device that definitely needs to be left on is your internet router.
Although beaming Wi-Fi around your home will impact your energy bill hitting the power button on this glowing box can end up wreaking havoc with broadband speeds and even make your internet connection more easy to hack.
READ MORE: WhatsApp could stop working on your iPhone this month: Find out if you need to upgrade
Most of the UK’s biggest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including BT and Sky, recommend leaving their Wi-Fi equipment on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
That’s because endlessly switching on and off the router can send signals to your provider that there is a fault on the line.
When this happens, ISPs can place an emergency speed restriction on the service to make sure the customer stays connected.
“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,” BT explained.
Along with downloads getting slower, vital security updates might not be received during the night if the power is off.
Most ISPs push out upgrades when customers are in bed and not getting these software patches can leave consumers at risk from annoying bugs and attacks from cyber criminals.
Explaining more about the issues with broadband routers 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.”
So yes, switch off your TV, change your bulbs to lights that are more efficient and turn down the heating but, if you want reliable internet access, leave your router on.