Any benefit or harm to turning off wifi at night?

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Lee MacMillan

Regular Contributor
When my wife and I retire each evening about 11, we no longer have active internet needs for 8 or more hours. I don't know what the IoT devices (Tivo, Roku, etc.) may need during that period but my guess is that if they can't connect, they'll just try again later. We have a wired VOIP phone so we typically turn off our cellphones at night or put them in airplane mode. When I googled this topic, there was a lot of mentions of EMF radiation but I didn't see anything based on science that said low level EMF radiation was harmful. I know the energy savings would be negligible. I see that Merlin has a built-in scheduler to turn off the radios so I assume there was a perceived need for this capability. So is anyone doing this and if so, why?
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Some say Wi-Fi routers in bedrooms may affect sleep patterns. No scientific proof, but home Wi-Fi is around for 20y only. Long term effects are still to be discovered, if any. I would say if the router is not very close to you most of the time, leave Wi-Fi enabled. I personally don't turn my APs off at night.
 

pirx73

Senior Member
There's no harm in turning WiFi off during night. But!
You should consider what IoT devices are used - if you have some smart sensors like fire, smoke, CO2, intrusion sensors, perimeter sensors, cameras and other life/death or house security related devices - they need WiFi on obviously.
Plus anything that works on certain schedule like turning on conditioning, ventilation, heath etc etc also need WiFi on.
Unless you sleep next to WiFi router there is not much benefit of turning it off during night though. You will save a little of power but that's it.
 

MrRederick

Occasional Visitor
A downside is that if you have relatively close neighbours if their router was to restart it might find the channel you use as being "optimal" with yours being off. Only really an issue in flats / apartments, or high density housing.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
A downside is that if you have relatively close neighbours

Older routers Auto function was simpler and guided by signal strength and number of APs per channel. Modern routers evaluate channels by available throughput and interference levels. You can test that on your own AX88U - set Auto on 2.4GHz and watch seemingly wrong decisions the router makes. It doesn't. It will readily pick channels 2-3-7-8-9-10, rarely what we think is non-overlapping 1-6-11. I still prefer to hold my ground, my channels are fixed and my APs are 24/7 on, but things are a bit different now.
 

Wade Coxon

Senior Member
When my wife and I retire each evening about 11, we no longer have active internet needs for 8 or more hours. I don't know what the IoT devices (Tivo, Roku, etc.) may need during that period but my guess is that if they can't connect, they'll just try again later. We have a wired VOIP phone so we typically turn off our cellphones at night or put them in airplane mode. When I googled this topic, there was a lot of mentions of EMF radiation but I didn't see anything based on science that said low level EMF radiation was harmful. I know the energy savings would be negligible. I see that Merlin has a built-in scheduler to turn off the radios so I assume there was a perceived need for this capability. So is anyone doing this and if so, why?
Any mention of EMF radiation from WiFi and health effects is simply false. It is rubbish "science".

The scheduling of WiFi would be primarily to be able to restrict access for the purposes of limiting kids or other secondary users access to the Internet at certain times of the day, or indeed as a somewhat nuclear method for enforcing quiet time on your own mobile devices.

I concur with the earlier takes on IoT devices. Anything that expects an Internet connection can often do fine without it for a while, but other devices can develop all sorts of weird behaviours if they are deprived of a network connection as their requests for time/DHCP/etc time out and fail.

As long as you vet your devices to make sure they don't misbehave without a network connection, then there is no harm in scheduling some downtime. But in my opinion it is not worth worrying about without a specific need.
 

Lee MacMillan

Regular Contributor
Any mention of EMF radiation from WiFi and health effects is simply false. It is rubbish "science".

As long as you vet your devices to make sure they don't misbehave without a network connection, then there is no harm in scheduling some downtime. But in my opinion it is not worth worrying about without a specific need.
I pretty much reached the same conclusions on both these issues. Thanks!
 

SomeWhereOverTheRainBow

Very Senior Member
Some say Wi-Fi routers in bedrooms may affect sleep patterns. No scientific proof, but home Wi-Fi is around for 20y only. Long term effects are still to be discovered, if any. I would say if the router is not very close to you most of the time, leave Wi-Fi enabled. I personally don't turn my APs off at night.
I thought so too at first. It turns out i was in need of a CPAP machine.
 

RejZoR

Regular Contributor
A downside is that if you have relatively close neighbours if their router was to restart it might find the channel you use as being "optimal" with yours being off. Only really an issue in flats / apartments, or high density housing.
It also defeats to turn off oyur own WiFi if you have bunch of surrounding WiFi spots that you can't control anyways.
 

develox

Regular Contributor
My 2 cents:
  1. if IoT devices in the house are not hindering the idea of turning the wifi off
  2. if there are not another 10 wifi networks besides your outer flat's wall
while science tries to settle down (but it'll take quite a bit yet, it's stil a bet for everyone at best) why keeping the wifi on at night when nobody uses it ?

I don't live in a flat and I use the scheduler and turn the wifi off at bedtime and on again at 7:00 (we can all survive without wifi in the first 20-30 minutes of waking up). And I have 2 IoT devices (smart plugs, different brands) that have had not a single fuss so far at reconnecting at morning.
 

BreakingDad

Senior Member
When my wife and I retire each evening about 11, we no longer have active internet needs for 8 or more hours. I don't know what the IoT devices (Tivo, Roku, etc.) may need during that period but my guess is that if they can't connect, they'll just try again later. We have a wired VOIP phone so we typically turn off our cellphones at night or put them in airplane mode. When I googled this topic, there was a lot of mentions of EMF radiation but I didn't see anything based on science that said low level EMF radiation was harmful. I know the energy savings would be negligible. I see that Merlin has a built-in scheduler to turn off the radios so I assume there was a perceived need for this capability. So is anyone doing this and if so, why?
This is the wife talking.

Man I've been sucking up EMF for years, and i'm fine, apart from the odd tick where I type random posts on network forums.
 

Yota

Senior Member
I believe that the sun’s radiation is more threatening, so the question is how to ensure that we always stay at night?

However, if you don’t have any iot devices and don’t have a wifi call, then you can consider turning off the wifi to keep the router cool. Because this will shut down two chips, it will bring a temperature drop of at least 5c.
 
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SomeWhereOverTheRainBow

Very Senior Member
I believe that the sun’s radiation is more threatening, so the question is how to ensure that we always stay at night?

However, if you don’t have any iot devices and don’t have a wifi call, then you can consider turning off the wifi to keep the router cool. Because this will shut down two chips, it will bring a temperature drop of at least 5c.
Aside from a smart light occasionally randomly turning on, I personally cannot claim wifi has caused me any sleep disturbances. I am thankful for my cpap machine, before I had that it was a question of if I was breathing.
 

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