I have yet to see evidence that leaving an electronic device on 24/7 wears it out faster than turning it off at night. On the other hand, I havenâ€™t seen any evidence that turning it off at night hurts it, either.
Nevertheless, I vote for turning things off whenever practical.
Leaving something on when youâ€™re not using it wastes electricity, and electricity costs money. Whatâ€™s more, if your electricity comes from burning carbon, it damages the planet we depend on. Iâ€™m not saying you should move to a cave and give up all of your gadgets (I certainly couldnâ€™t do that), but why waste power that you donâ€™t need?
Because Rick specifically asked about networking gear, letâ€™s look at that. I have a router, a modem, and two network printers plugged into one surge protector. When I researchedan article on vampire powerÂ earlier this year, I discovered that it would burn 12KWh over a month of absolutely no use. Without the printers, it dropped to 4.8KWhâ€”still a lot to waste.
My wife and I now turn off that surge protector before going to bed, and turn it on in the morning, saving some power. But we couldnâ€™t do that if our daughters were still living with us. College kids work and play late.
Computers, of course, can be put into convenient power-saving modes. But shutting them down entirely will save even more. Yes, youâ€™ll have to wait while they boot up in the morning, but just as a good nightâ€™s sleep clears the cobwebs from your brain, a fresh boot can make Windows faster and more stable.
The peripherals around your computer (monitors, speakers, and so on) can best be controlled with a smart surge protector such as the Belkin Conserve Smart AV. Plug your PC into the surge protectorâ€™s Control outlet, and when your computer shuts down (or goes to sleep), the device cuts power to other outlets.