Does switching my Internet off save bandwidth and help neighbors on same ISP?

Drsunil V April 27, 2014

Does switching my Internet off, while not utilizing the Web, save precious bandwidth and help neighbors on same ISP?

  1. Matthew
    May 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Unless you have something probably undesirable generating background traffic (P2P, malware), the difference between idle and off would be inconsequential.

    Even if you had co-channel or overlapping Wifi channels, the idle traffic would only be the odd broadcast poll.

    NB. As suggested, cable traffic contends per segment and channel (higher speed services typically spread the traffic across 4 channels).

    ADSL services DO contend, but further up the line, not at your 10-20ish megabit level

    • Drsunil V
      May 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks. I understand

  2. Oron J
    April 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    With the exception of technologies such as mobile broadband, the answer is no. Very little data is actually used when your computer/router is "idle", so the savings in bandwith would be minimal, and the effect on neighbours negligible.

    If you are using ADSL, you should leave your router/modem switched on24/7. This technology requires that you leave the modem on all the time, as it optimises its speed depending on the number of "resets". Every disconnection, whether for reasons of bad communication or because you switched off the modem is considered to be a reset, so if you switch your modem off at night, you will find that the next day it runs very slowly. It can take up to around fortnight for the modem to build up the optimal speed, so best just leave it alone!

    Your use of the internet only has an impact on your "ISP neighbours" if several of you happen to be downloading something big at the same time. The ISP buys bandwith that should suffice for its customers, and although they engage in "overbooking", they usually have enough bandwith for several users to download all they need. It's only at peak time (e.g. those hours in the evening and weekend when everyone streams large amounts) that there is an issue at all. During quiet hours, your impact on others' use will be exactly zero.

    • Drsunil V
      May 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks. If ADSL modem gets heated , is it an indication of overburdening on modem's hardware resource?

    • Oron J
      May 6, 2014 at 7:25 am

      No, it's normal for electric/electronic devices to warm up. However, it it gets really hot (unpleasant to touch), then the device's life is probably going to be shorter. There is very little you can do about that other than improve ventilation/cooling.

    • Drsunil V
      May 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks. I got your point. It is often noticed that during peak hours ( after dinner ) , the internet speed slows. So many nearby persons maybe utilizing same ISP bandwidth , so it results in speed slowing. Thus many persons nearby on same isp do affect each user's connection!

    • Oron J
      May 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      You raise an excellent point, but it is not only your neighbours who are using the internet, but also wvery one else in town, in the country and in-fact, in the time zone. To use a traffic simile, it is not only the local street which is clogged up, but the main streets and the motorway (freeways) that are packed too. And at any rate, the amount of traffic generated by an "idling router" is insignificant.

    • Drsunil V
      May 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks. Points noted. Please note , query is not for overall timezone internet bandwidth , but how users of same isp of a proximity locality affect each other during peak hour usage. Please clarify

    • Oron J
      May 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      My point was that slowness is not caused merely by local congestion but by all traffic at the time. Local traffic is only a small part of the picture.

    • Drsunil V
      May 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks. You mentioned "ALL" traffic. Do you imply all isps of all subscribers of same isp?

    • Oron J
      May 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      No, I mean all traffic between you and the server. The internet is a collection of networks, somewhat like the telphone system or the road system, rail system etc. Congestion anywhere between the point of origina and the destination can have an impact on everyone who is using that part of the route.

    • Drsunil V
      May 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      oh , thank you very much dear Oron! I understand. Please note corrected comment : Thanks. You mentioned all traffic. Do you imply all isps "OR" all subscribers of same isp?

    • Oron J
      May 10, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      I'm not sure I can be clearer. I mean all traffic - all data moving from one place to another on the internet (on "your" route). It will involve lots and lots of ISPs, lots of users (of different ISPs and of companies connected directly) , server-to-server traffic, internet infrastructure traffic (the routers, switches and DNS servers that make up the internet also need to exchange information) and probably some categories I haven't thought about. To go back to my road-system metaphore, if you were travelling from Mumbai to New Delhi, you couldn't really who is responsible for the use of the route - too many people are! There will be inner city traffic at each end, country roads and bigger roads, and at different times of day and of the week different groups would be using certain parts of the route and perhaps causing congestion. You would most likely talk about "traffic jams just outside Mumbai caused by commuters, or "farmers taking goods to market in eastern Maharashtra causing long tailbacks". It's just like that on the internet, except that as an added complication, the routes are not straightforwardly geographic, as some important communication lines are not geographically direct.

    • Drsunil V
      May 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks for your zeal to persist with replying on this conversation. I got your point. Jaya!

  3. Jack C
    April 27, 2014 at 7:47 am

    If you have limited bandwidth, then yes it would - for example, mobile internet on your mobile phone where your limit may be less than 1Gb. You will save a bit (and your battery life) if you turn it off at night as your phone doesn't constantly receive/check push notifications.

    As for your internet, referring to your modem, it's not worth the hassle. As long as your computers are off, and neighbours arn't using your WiFi, the bandwidth is only minimal. I see (with running VOIP as well) about a 1MB of data used with all computers off per night.

    Will it help neighbours on the same ISP, that depends on what you are using. If you are using an ADSL connection, it is independent. If you are using a Cable connection, then yes it would. But they won't see any affect if you turn yours off - it would have to be the whole street / area to make a difference, and that's only if you continuously downloading stuff, not sitting idle.

    So in short, the answer is NO.

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