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Like many, most of my time is spent away from home: at work, the gym, out socializing, etc. I'd estimate I use my internet a few hours a night.

I never turn my modem off unless I travel for longer than a few days, and I have not disabled SSID broadcasting, as I've read that doing so has little to no security benefits.

But if my modem (and wi-fi) is off while I'm away, that would seem to nullify any security risks that do not include someone illegally accessing my physical devices, however minimal.

Are there any significant benefits to turning off your modem before leaving home, or would doing so be practically useless to protect against threats?

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Generally speaking, a vulnerable device/network doesn't become less vulnerable if it is turned off some of the time. Or if you have infected devices on the network, this won't make them any less infected.

However, it may reduce the probability of your router or any exposed service from becoming infected any given day. I guess you could also argue that an already infected device will do less damage to others if it is powered off. But really, there are botnets and others constantly scanning the internet for potentially vulnerable devices, so if your device is vulnerable, it's only a matter of time before it is compromised.

Instead, I'd focus on decreasing your attack surface and fixing weaknesses. Make sure your modem/router is up-to-date, and the same for other devices you have exposed to the internet.

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@multithr3at3d gives a good answer about what you are directly asking for.

However, you may not have considered whether your "personal security" is diminished as a result of this policy:

If some individual or government knows your IP address, by turning off your modem on a holiday, this tells a third-party that you're away from the house.

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  • Depending on your ISP, your IP address is likely to change rather too frequently for that to be an issue. However (especially if your SSID gives away your physical address) a sudden absence would hint that you're not there to any nefarious neighbours.
    – Chris H
    Feb 10, 2020 at 13:37
  • @ChrisH The IP-Address monitoring is another matter. I actually have a static IP address. When IPv6 finally rolls out to your ISP, you can have a static IP too. Feb 11, 2020 at 2:15
  • IP addresses can be static and sometimes change within hours. The shortest "TTL" for an IP address I've ever seen was one hour. So even if an attacker would know your IP address now, they would not be able to tell your IP address in two hours.
    – user163495
    Feb 11, 2020 at 10:08

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