Problem: Your router runs 24/7 and sucks wattage continuously.
Solution:Everything sucks wattage. Some things should.
While you can purchase a more energy-efficient router, consider the possibilities: Have you set up Windows to check for updates when you're not using your computer? Do you have other software that scans for updates? (Windows Media Center, for example, will routinely go online to update the program listing, as will most anti-virus software, and scads of other stuff.) We live online, 24/7, and 24/7 power usage is one of the consequences. If your network and Internet access is shut down, those scheduled services will not complete.
That said, Netgear, for one, has a line of Energy Star devices that include more efficient power supplies and (gasp!) an On/Off switch in many cases. You're not going to save a lot on your power consumption -- just turning off your monitor or even (gasp!) your PC will do much more for you -- but everything adds up.
Make a habit out of shutting down and turning everything off during the wee hours. An easy way to do it is to plug PCs, routers, and printers into a power strip, and plug the power strip into a timer. Then set the timer to turn the power off overnight. Just remember to schedule software updates during hours when your system is "awake" and be sure to properly shut all your devices down before the power goes off each night. The savings are small, but they'll add up over time.
5. Dead Spots
Problem: You have a dead spot in your home that your 802.11g router can't seem to reliably reach.
If you're not already using an 802.11n router and adapter, it might be time for the switch. (True, the standard hasn't been finally approved yet, but best guess is that the hardware is locked down and any changes that are needed will be done to firmware --which you can upgrade.)
Why "n?" Because it uses a technology called MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) that allows it to broadcast and receive multiple signals.
When a data stream arrives at your dead spot, it's often been bounced off of too many walls, floors, and other obstructions to make much sense to your 802.11g or 802.11b router. A MIMO-enabled router takes all those bounced reflections and compares them, looking to fill in the blanks until it's pieced together as much of the signal -- if not all of it -- as possible. It's more than likely that the drop-outs you've experienced with your 802.11b/g router and adapter will be cured and you might actually see some honest Wi-Fi speed emerge.
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