There are lots of Wi-Fi routers in any computer shop, and there is at least one of them in almost any house, office or apartment. People use them to connect their computers, tablets and phones to the Internet in order to communicate with others, exchange data or stream media. But how many of these routers use energy efficiently? If you care about our Planet, read on to discover the key aspects you should be aware of when purchasing a new router for your home or business.
First of all, are you sure that you need a router? If you plan to share an Internet connection with a device in your home, you may be able to do that by using a device’s hotspot or tethering option. This will help you save money and preserve the environment.
Then, look for routers that have switches which can turn the Wi-Fi signal off. This way, you will be able to turn off an important part of the router, which uses quite a bit of power, whenever you aren’t using it. If you need wired connections for your computers, this is a no brainer! Most routers will have the option of disabling Wi-Fi in their menus, of course, but it is much more convenient to have a router switch.
When have you updated your router firmware last time? It is wise to do that every six months or so; new updates may provide significant improvements, strengthening the signal, and thus allowing you to reduce the Wi-Fi signal power, which in turn helps save electrical power.
What are the devices that need the strongest Internet connection in your home? Make a list with them, and then try to determine the ideal position for your router – put it as close to them as possible. When the signal is weak, the router will try to boost its Wi-Fi amplifiers, and this will lead to an increase in power consumption.
Did you know that the wireless security protocol can affect your router’s power intake? George Hardesty, CEO at Data Alliance, has a wide expertise in routers and security protocols. He agrees that weaker Wi-Fi security protocols like WEP are not only dangerous, but also make the routers draw more power in, because many people (especially neighbors) will gladly use these “free” Internet connections, overloading the network.
Are you using the proper router model? There are single, dual and now even three band routers. The more bands, the more radios in your routers, of course, and this leads to more power being drawn from the mains. Does this mean that you should be stuck with an ancient router? Not at all, but try to purchase one that allows you to use each radio separately. In other words, don’t purchase a router whose radios work in parallel, because you will simply waste energy.
Is there a lot of interference in your home? If the answer is affirmative, turning off or replacing that wireless phone and even microwave oven will help lower your energy bill. Not to mention that microwave cooking isn’t healthy at all!
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