HOUSEHOLDS trying to save money on energy bills are being warned not to switch off their WiFi at night.
Switching off your broadband every night is a false economy and could even make your connection easier to hack, experts say.
Energy costs have soared since last winter, with the average dual fuel bill now standing at a chilling £2,500 a year.
There are concerns that some households looking to reduce energy use are now turning off their WiFi router at night.
It might seem counterintuitive, but turning off your WiFi can actually increase your bills, according to Nick Hunn, chief technology officer at wireless consultancy WiFore.
He said: “Turning off your WiFi sounds like a good idea, but the unintended consequence can be that you end up using more energy.”
Most WiFi routers contain a modem that is constantly trying to improve the speed of your internet connection by updating its knowledge to make it more efficient, Nick explained.
When the router is turned off, the process starts from scratch.
He said: “If you turn off the router every day, upload and download speeds are likely to be worse.
“You’re more likely to have a slower connection with things that are buffering.
“Because it’s slower, you’re using more power, which increases consumption.”
Most routers, especially newer ones from the last five years, consume relatively little power.
Nick added: “A lot of effort is now being put into making designs more energy efficient.
“With most of these devices, the energy savings you’ll make won’t be worth the shutdown.”
Turning off your WiFi may also prompt your provider to put a speed limit on the connection because it suspects a bug.
Ernest Doku, telecommunications expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Keep in mind that most routers use relatively little power – around 10W – similar to an energy-saving light bulb.
“Leaving it on for eight hours while you sleep will add around £10 to your bill over a year.
“Broadband networks regularly monitor the speed and reliability of your internet connection, so frequent shutdowns of your router can make your provider think there’s a faulty line.
“This may cause them to slow down service on your router to try to maintain your connection while they look for a problem.”
Most importantly, turning off WiFi at night is also a bad idea for security purposes.
Ernest added: “Keeping your device on 24/7 means that providers can install important security and software updates at any time, which they often do at night when the network is less busy. “
These updates help your connection function as it should, as well as keep it secure and protected from attacks.
Most of the major ISPs recommend that you keep your WiFi equipment turned on 24/7.
Save money on your energy bill
Households looking to keep their energy bills in shape should turn off most other devices when not in use, except WiFi and your landline if you use one.
You could save hundreds of pounds by simply checking that appliances and devices don’t run when they don’t.
Simple gadgets known as energy-saving monitors can help you determine which appliances in your home are draining energy.
For an easy win, don’t leave TVs, computers, PlayStations, or other gaming devices on standby—turn them off or unplug them instead.
Most charging cables from well-known manufacturers turn off when not in use.
But some cheaper imitations can drain power, according to Nick, so it’s worth switching them off or unplugging them when not in use.
You cannot turn off the fridge or freezer, but make sure the temperature is not set lower than necessary to improve efficiency.
Watch out for so-called vampire appliances, such as outdoor lighting and towel rails, which can drain energy and drive up bills.
Carefully tuning your heating and hot water can make a radical difference to your energy bills.
For example, every degree that the temperature of the heating system rises, the bills jump by 10 percent.
Use heating controls so systems only turn on when needed.
And see small, inexpensive changes you can make to better insulate your home.