Is it better to leave your computer on, even when you are not using it? Or you should always turn it off after your work is done. See the pros and cons.
Is it one of the longest running IT discussions: should you leave your computer or laptop on all night or should you always turn it off?
There are actually quite strong arguments for each approach, which means that the answer depends on how and how much you use the computer. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.
|Why keep your computer open all the time|
There are several good reasons why you should always leave your computer on overnight. Not only does it have to start faster, but it can also improve functionality.
It is more convenient
The main reason you want to leave your computer is convenience. Instead of waiting for it to start, it will always be ready to work, while you will still be stinging in the eye.
A typical SSD system will take up to 30 seconds to boot into the operating system, and may take up to a minute or more with an old hard drive. If you have a large number of programs scheduled to start at startup, then the boot will take longer.
If you leave the computer in sleep mode, it will wake up in a few seconds and all the applications you have started in the past will continue to run.
Your computer will stay up to date
There are many tasks required to maintain your computer and your data. Almost all of them are best performed at night.
Installing operating system updates, backing up, performing virus scans, or backing up large amounts of data, such as transferring your music or photo collection to the cloud, all take time and use a variety of system resources and bandwidth.
Letting them run while away from your computer or even scheduling them at night will keep your machine up to date without interfering with any other tasks you do.
You will always have access to it
If your computer is constantly on, it allows you to run certain pieces of software that you would not otherwise want.
This includes remote access software, such as the Remote Desktop in Windows. You will never have to deal with frustration if you leave an important file on your computer at home and do not have access to it. You can simply connect remotely from your phone, tablet or desktop and get what you need.
|Why is it bad to keep your computer open all the time?|
Probably as you turn off all your other devices when you're done using them, so now are good reasons to do the same with your computer.
Each ingredient has a limited shelf life
It is a fact that all computer hardware has a finite lifespan. The backlight of a screen usually has a nominal lifespan of tens of thousands of hours. The capacity of a laptop battery will be significantly reduced by just 300 charge cycles, while some SSDs only last for about 3000 write / write cycles.
In fact, you will have upgraded your computer long before you reach any of these limits. But leaving your computer on, you put it under constant pressure, albeit small. It also generates heat, which is one of the biggest factors in reducing the life of your material.
You are wasting energy
It goes without saying that leaving something activated when you are not using it is a waste of energy. But how much?
A modern 13-inch laptop uses up to 25 watts in moderate use. This drops to 8W when idle and in standby mode, drops to just 0,3W.
Well, there is a huge difference between the power consumption of a computer that is active, and one that is inactive and suspended. Turning off the screen saves a lot of energy and putting it in sleep mode saves even more. However, in PC mode, you will lose many of the benefits of fully activating it, such as accessing it remotely.
You should also note that a computer is turned off but still connected, it will continue to use a small amount of power. Therefore, if you want to completely reduce the power used by your computer, be sure to unplug the power cord after turning it off (or turning off the power switch).
There will be no risk of surges
Surges and power outages are a relatively rare but very easy way to damage a computer.
Power surges are often thought to be related to lightning, but can also be caused by high-powered household appliances, such as refrigerators. If an electrical sink is large enough, it can damage electrical items, especially sensitive computer components.
You can avoid this by connecting the computer to a surge protector or better yet to a UPS. These are recommended for general use anyway, but even more so if you plan to keep your computer on all the time.
Restarting improves performance
Modern operating systems are very capable of managing resources and if you choose not to turn off the computer, you will not notice excessive degradation of their performance.
However, a reboot is still the most effective way to resolve many everyday errors that you will encounter. Whether it's a faulty application or a printer that has stopped working, a quick reboot will often fix it.
Turning off your computer at the end of the day "washes" the system and ensures that it will start fresh and, hopefully, error-free the next morning.
It is quieter
Finally, depending on where you hold your computer, you may want to turn it off simply because the room will be quiet. You can mute the alerts quite easily, but you will still have the ambient noise from the fans and the hard drive.
Of course, this will not be a problem with a modern laptop with a low power SSD. But for a more traditional desktop system, turning it off is the way to a peaceful night.
|Is it okay to keep your computer on all the time?|
It does not make sense to turn your computer on and off several times a day, and there is certainly no risk of letting it overnight while performing a full virus scan.
A computer will benefit if you restart it from time to time. Especially in summer, it is a good idea to give it a chance to cool down properly.
So, should you leave it open or turn it off?
Ultimately, it depends on your needs. If you leave for a few days without using it, then turn it off. But if you need it to always have access to it, there is no harm in leaving it for as long as you need it.