The Burning Question - On or Off?

Should you leave your office computer on or turn it off at night?  For years we were told to power down to conserve energy. But with the proliferation of viruses and threats over the last few years, this might not be the case anymore.  In the big scheme of things, just how much power are we really saving?  Taking into consideration all the many variables, this might be a tough question to answer. If you are seriously interested, you can always purchase a watt meter to test power usage but most of us won’t go to that extreme.

So let’s look at some of the pros for keeping your computer running.  First of all, it makes for little or no warm up.  It also allows automated updates and backups to occur throughout the night when you aren’t using it.  Today, anti-virus programs and anti-spyware applications need regular updating. These updates are often scheduled to run in the wee hours of the morning when you are not using your computer.

Windows also needs to be updated whenever a new security patch is released which can happen a few times per month. It's important to update your operating system as soon as a patch becomes available because hackers move very quickly to reverse updates. As soon as an update is released, they start looking for unprotected machines to infect.

Should you turn your computer off to conserve not only energy but the components as well?  That’s a thought, but in almost all cases, devices are already lasting longer than we need them. Computers are most commonly replaced not because they fail, but because newer and better devices are purchased.

While there is no tried and true answer, you can research, weigh the pros and cons and basically decide for yourself.