My laptop has a physical WiFi button (as with most windows laptops) and I never touch it. I have WiFi at home, but should I turn it off when i'm at school where i'm not using the internet?
What are the benefits? I automatically assume battery life, but does it really make that much difference when not being used?
Answer by Greg De Santis · Feb 27, 2011 at 04:09 PM
When concerning laptops for most people the primary concern is battery conservation. The primary benefit of turning WiFi off when you are not using it, is extending your battery life out at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours extra (at least that's what it does on my laptop with a high-capacity battery).
Also similar to WiFi, turning off Bluetooth will save you a lot of battery life. And turning down your laptop LCD video brightness to as low as you can possibly tolerate will probably conserve the most battery life, since on a lot of laptop models is the display that drains the most battery life the quickest under normal use. Doing those three things can literally add hours to a single laptop charge if you are using an extended high-capacity battery.
For example I am using a Fujitsu laptop/tablet with an eight hour hi capacity battery, and when I check my battery after I have fully charged it with both the WiFi turned on at my screen brightness all the way up, the battery meter calculates out to be six hours of battery life. When I turn off my WiFi and lower the brightness of my LCD screen to either the lowest or second lowest possible setting, I check my battery meter and shoots back up to eight hours.
Who knows how accurate the battery meters are, but when you see a two-hour increase you just have to try it out. And with regular word-processing and spreadsheet usage and multitasking with some programs that make the hard drive spin a little bit more, I was getting about 7 hours and 35 minutes before my laptop wanted to shut down.