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Should I turn off my wired router while I'm away for two months?

I’m running Windows 7 with Windows Live Mail. My question is whether I
should disconnect my wired router while away for two months. Should I leave the
internet connected via the router or just leave the broadband modem
connected?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #93
I look at safety and access issues involved in turning a
router off, or leaving it on, while on vacation.

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Turn off router when gone

Well, it depends, really, on only one thing.

If there is ever any reason that you might want to access those computers remotely while you are away, or have someone use those computers and the internet, then you’ll want to leave everything connected.

Otherwise, if I’m going to go away for two months and I don’t see a reason for the computer to actually be running – I’d turn everything off. I’d turn the computers off, turn the router off, turn the modem off – there’s just no reason for them to be sucking up power for two months when I know that I’m not going to be using them.

Remote access

But, in my case, regardless of where I travel, regardless of what I do, I’m likely to want to use one of my computers back home. I use remote access; I use a number of other things so I actually leave everything running all the time whether I’m at home or not.

It’s fine to leave it running as long as your network is set up safely. That means you’ve got anti-malware software in place, you’ve got a firewall in place (which if you’ve got a router you do); it means you’ve got all of the appropriate security in place for your machines and your network.

It’s fine either way

I actually don’t see any problem leaving everything running while you’re away if you think you might have need for it while you’re away. Then, the nice thing is that things like Windows Update will continue to happen, and it’s not something you’ll then have to deal with the moment you come home.

But really, bottom line, it’s kind of up to you.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Next from Answercast 93- How do I save Yahoo email files to DVD?

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6 comments on “Should I turn off my wired router while I'm away for two months?”

  1. If you do decide to power-down your equipment when you leave for an extended period, I’d also take the extra precaution of unplugging everything too. Both power and DSL or Cable connections. I’ve had client’s and my own equipment damaged during electrical storms even when connected to expensive surge suppressors.

    If it’s not not going to be powered on anyway, why risk it?

    Reply
  2. Most surge protectors clearly state that they do not protect against lightning strikes, nothing can, except unplugging every connection. Not just turning off a power strip switch

    Reply
  3. Another consideration – if you have security cameras, DVRs etc that use an IP interface, having your router on is a must to view your system from far away.

    Reply
  4. I spend weeks out of town during the year. Nothing has ever been compromised. Make sure you are not using dial-up and are using a router. AND NOT USING ANY NORTON PRODUCT. Find anything else.
    Avast is free and will protect your system. I have 5 computers in my house running avast and never have had a problem. I will try any link to test the software for viability.

    Reply

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