Internet Routers - Don't turn them off?

As part of an ongoing complaint correspondence I have with Vodafone, I've been told that you can damage your router by turning it off and on.
I've been turning off mine to save electricity when not using it.
 I think it's browbeating on their part. Speeds might be affected, but damage?
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Comments

  • propnut
    propnut Posts: 122
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    Nonsense. I have been a network engineer for over 35 years and have worked for some of the biggest names in the industry. Only very poorly designed devices will end up with a firmware corruption from repeated shutting down. The guys at the call centres have all the knowledge of a 5 year old. 

    My home network gear consumes 50w/hour because it is industry grade. As a result I have all components on a smart plug that turns them off every night at 0:01 and back on at 6:00am.
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  • There was a time when BT/Openreach exchange equipment might have misinterpreted frequent turning off of your router as a poor connection and therefore reduced your broadband speed in a misguided attempt to stabilise it.  I don't believe that still happens but at that time you were advised not to turn off your router at night.    
    Reed
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,785
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    edited 20 January 2023 at 6:07PM
    Anything 'can' be damaged with repeated switching on and off, there is a surge if electricity each time an electrical item is turned in.
  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,428
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    We're with BT - would never risk turning the router off!
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  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,593
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    The other issue is that the ISP's push out their firmware updates overnight and if the device is off it will not get these and could be vulnerable.

    It can still trigger line speed issues, but that is nowhere near the same issue that it was 10 years ago, and will current speeds most wouldn't notice it drop and then return over time anyway.

    For the electricity saving it really isn't worth powering it off overnight.
  • propnut
    propnut Posts: 122
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    You can listen to anecdotal information from people who "have heard", "been told" or "think" or you can listen to someone who does this for a living. Consumer grade routers are nothing more than small footprint Linux machines. The firmware is stored on NVRAM. The clue here is NV ---  NON VOLATILE. As for power induced failures, 99.9999999% of consumer grade routers use an external power supply. This implicitly protects them from power surges. A power brick is basically just a transformer which is a pair of copper windings wound around a core, one with more turns than the other. 240v is reduced to 12V via mutual magnetic inductance. In this form it is a step down transformer. The output is rectified to provide a smooth DC output. Any surges in the primary cause an equal and opposite EMF in the secondary which cancels it out. Remember school physics, "to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". Additionally they are all what is called switch mode power supplies which provide yet another level of power stability and isolation. Yes the power brick can fail but typically the MTBF (mean time before failure) is many years. As for retraining Reed_Richards is correct. Older ADSL systems would have deduced multiple resyncs as a sign of instability but modern VDSL and FTTC will only do this IF and only IF you are switching it on and off like an Xmas tree which doesn't seem to be your plan.

    So I suppose a pertinent question here is WHAT problem were/are you having that sparked this conversation with them in the first place ?
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  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,219
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    A power brick is basically just a transformer which is a pair of copper windings wound around a core, one with more turns than the other. 240v is reduced to 12V via mutual magnetic inductance. In this form it is a step down transformer.


    Modern switch mode power supplies are a lot more complicated than that, and the ferrite transformers in them are tiny.  They are not like the old fashioned transformers from when I was young, which were big heavy iron things.

    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • propnut
    propnut Posts: 122
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    edited 20 January 2023 at 7:26PM
    Ectophile said:
    A power brick is basically just a transformer which is a pair of copper windings wound around a core, one with more turns than the other. 240v is reduced to 12V via mutual magnetic inductance. In this form it is a step down transformer.


    Modern switch mode power supplies are a lot more complicated than that, and the ferrite transformers in them are tiny.  They are not like the old fashioned transformers from when I was young, which were big heavy iron things.

    Yes but beyond the scope of this conversation wouldn't you agree. My point is that they have surge protection built into them. Going into a discussion of Mosfet based switching wouldn't really change this fact. 

    Also if you had read my comment fully you would have seen

    "Additionally they are all what is called switch mode power supplies which provide yet another level of power stability"
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  • Solarchaser
    Solarchaser Posts: 1,637
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    edited 21 January 2023 at 1:06PM
    Anything 'can' be damaged with repeated switching on and off, there is a surge if electricity each time an electrical item is turned in.
    While that is true generally for things that run at 240v, due to transformers back in the day, and to a lesser extent switch mode these days, your router will use a 12v (or similar) very low power adapter,  so the router won't get a surge.

    Edit. I see in the course of the conversation this has already been covered.

    In short I'd say anything with power adapters will be fine to mains switch off, however things that are mains input, like your TV, id leave on standby,  they use literally f all on standby and do not like switch on surge, I say this as someone who was a TV engineer for a number of years.
    Things have moved on since I left that trade, but still my advice would be to leave on standby 
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  • ecraig
    ecraig Posts: 199
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    My BT router firmware was last updated in October. Before that was February.
    I'd have no worries in turning off my router for the sake of missing 2 firmware updates per year. Which probably actually happened during the daytime. 
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