Here’s a question I get asked a lot: Should I turn my computer off each night or keep it running?  Both answers have their pros and cons, so it’s important to find out what’s right for your computer usage.  We’ll look at both sides of the table and help you decide what’s right for you:

Keep It Running 24/7
Keeping the computer running all of the time has it’s advantages; the computer is always ready for you to use, it can run tasks like virus scans and system updates while you sleep, and you can set it up to be remotely accessible as a server.  The downsides are that it can consume a lot of power if you don’t enable a powersave mode for those off hours, and you want to remember to do periodic reboots to clean up the machine, and install updates.

Turn Off The Computer Each Night
Those that turn off the computer when they go to bed each night can likely claim lower energy costs as well as no weird “incoming email sounds at 3am”, and a potential of less temporary issues because they restart frequently.  The flipside to this is that it can be inconvenient to wait for your machine to start all the way up again when you want to use it again- especially when it first boots up and is trying to start everything up and do a virus scan and you just want to do a quick google search.

So- what’s right for you?  If you don’t always use the computer every day, consider turning it off at night.  It’s less taxing on the system parts over time, and if you don’t use it multiple times throughout the day, there’s no real need to keep it running all of the time.  If you do use it frequently and want to keep it running all of the time, make sure you turn off your monitor when done, and have the computer be in a powersave/sleep mode (that can quickly be woken with the shake of a mouse).  Laptop users usually have their computers configured to sleep when the screen is closed, but it’s good to verify that’s working the way you expect.  Either way, make sure you’ve got a good battery backup & surge protector (we like this one to protect against power surges and failures.