Should You Leave Your Computer on at Night?


I’ve been asked by clients whether or not they should leave their computer on all the time or turn it off when they are not using it. Several years ago, I would have told them to turn their machines off to save power. Now with the proliferation of viruses and threats over the last few years, I have changed my mind.

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. This is usually not daily, but it may happen several times a month. It's important to update your operating system as soon as a patch becomes available because hackers move very quickly to reverse engineer Windows updates. As soon as an update is released, they create a virus specific to that vulnerability and start looking for unprotected machines to infect and invade.

In addition to the above, you should be backing up your data every day, and the best time to do this is at night when you are not using it.

Here at EnvisionIT Solutions, we install agents on the computers that we manage for our clients. These agents need the computers to be left on. At night when the computers aren’t being used, they get to work on maintenance tasks like making back-ups, downloading updates, installing Microsoft Windows security patches and anti-virus scanning. 

SEE ALSO: Warning Signs Your Computer is Infected with Spyware

The benefit of not having to use working hours for computer maintenance far outweighs the extra power consumption. The extra power used is low because when the work day is over, the computers are idle and default Windows settings put them into “sleep” mode, which uses less energy than while it is in use. When our agents run, they wake the computers up and when they're done, the computers go back to sleep. 

So, the bottom line is to leave your computer on and restart it at least once a week to clear the memory and keep your computer repair bills down. We know information technology so you don't have to!

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meWritten By Kevin Gray

Hello! I am the Sales Manager and one of the Senior IT Consultants @ EnvisionIT Solutions. I help our clients envision great technology solutions that help their businesses grow.  Let me know if you have any questions. I am an avid outdoorsman who loves fly fishing and camping. I also love sports– soccer, basketball, football….