Do Virtual Private Networks Help or Hurt Your Overall Power Usage?
VPNs are all the rage right now. People want to be able to use the internet while knowing that their information is not being monitored or sold in any way. And VPN’s boast of having thousands of servers world-wide that they use to anonymize you while you surf. There’s also discounts for virtual private networks that make it much more budget-friendly for a lot of people.
Does that mean that when you use a VPN, it uses less energy resources than regular internet surfing?
What We Found Out:
VPN’s use more energy because of a thing called ‘standby power’. VPN’s need to keep pinging servers to keep their connections alive, which means that, when your VPN is active on your computer or portable device, it’ll use energy even when you’re not using the internet.
Here’s some more ways to cut down on a big problem with energy usage: standby power
Save Energy by Cutting Down on Standby Power
A big source of wasted energy that many people do not think about is that which is caused by standby power. Standby power refers to the energy that your appliances are absorbing when they are plugged in. Even if appliances, such as your coffee maker, hairdryer or blender, off, they’ll be absorbing energy as long as they remain plugged in. It may not seem like they should be absorbing much energy since they are switched off, but you might be surprised: roughly five to ten percent of energy use in residential homes is a result of standby power usage. By cutting down on the amount of standby power you use, you can save up to $100 a year. The following are three ways in which you can lower the amount of standby power you use:
• Unplug your appliances – This is probably the easiest way that you can reduce standby power. Simply unplug the appliances that you are not using. Obviously, some things need to remain plugged in, such as your refrigerator. However, smaller appliances such as toasters and microwaves don’t need to be plugged in all the time. Larger appliances that you use throughout the day, such as TV’s and computers, should be unplugged if you go out of town for more than a day to help save energy.
• Invest in a power strip – Unplugging your appliances may be easy, but it’s also somewhat inconvenient, especially if you make use of a lot of different appliances throughout the day. A power strip makes it easy to cut down on standby power because you can plug in a number of things into the same power source. Power strips come with a switch that allows you to shut off the flow of energy to everything plugged into it – much easier than having to unplug each appliance separately. Not to mention that power strips also act as protection against potential power surges.
• Invest in products that have been approved by Energy Star – Energy Star is a label of excellence that designates certain products as meeting or even exceeding the energy efficiency standards that have been set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Products with the Energy Star label tend to have much lower standby power usage than products without the Energy Star designation. They also tend to use less energy overall. While these products may be more expensive, they will help cut down on your energy use, thereby saving you on your energy bills over the long run.
These are just three easy ways in which you can cut down on the energy you are wasting through standby power use.