How Many Watts Does a WiFi Router Use?

The humble WiFi router is a rarely considered source of energy use. But, for most households, it runs all day, every day, and that can quickly add up. If you’re trying to understand how to reduce your energy bill in small ways or find the right power source for your WiFi router, figuring out your router’s wattage requirements is a critical first step.

Below, learn how many watts a WiFi router consumes on average, how much this costs homeowners, and how to calculate the exact energy usage of your WiFi router at home.

How Many Watts Are Consumed by a WiFi Router?

WiFi routers aren’t close to the energy consumption of demanding appliances like air conditioning units or washing machines. However, it’s still helpful to know how much electricity your router uses to reduce whole home energy consumption or find the right power source.

WiFi routers vary in their power consumption. On average, a standard home router uses about 5 to 20 watts — less than your laptop or smartphone, but it can still add up over time if left running continuously. Most routers run non-stop for 24 hours daily, so keep that in mind.

Ten watts is a WiFi router’s average energy consumption for models from top-performing manufacturers. At this level of power usage, you can keep a WiFi router charged with a small and compact EcoFlow RIVER 2 Series portable power station, such as the EcoFlow RIVER 2, great for powering personal devices like a router, or the powerful EcoFlow RIVER 2 Pro, which can power 80% of appliances.

Modern high-performance routers, or those with extra features like mesh networking, could consume more, especially considering the size of the network it’s covering.

Remember, this amount is just the energy the router needs to run and doesn’t account for the wattage that might spike when numerous devices request data, often due to streaming or online gaming.

Other important energy measurements to be aware of are the amps and volts the WiFi router uses to run. Most routers use around two amps and run on a standard 120-volt outlet, pulling between 5 and 7 volts of energy.

While these numbers might mean little to you initially, they’re essential to calculating the exact wattage requirements for your WiFi router or converting one measurement to another.

How Much Does It Cost To Run a WiFi Router?

You won’t see how much each appliance contributes to your monthly electric bill when you look at your statement. However, we can generally figure out how much it costs to run a WiFi router using an average wattage of 10W and average electricity rates.

Australia’s average electricity rate in 2023 was around $0.31 per kilowatt-hour.

Based on that pricing, the average WiFi router would cost about  $7.20 per month to run or $86.40 per year.

It’s a fraction of your overall energy expenses, but it’s also the lowest-hanging fruit for saving energy since you can easily switch it off when not in use.

Calculating Energy Usage of a WiFi Router

To calculate the energy usage of a device, you can use the formula:

Watts = Amps x Volts

If the router uses 2 amps and 5 volts, its wattage would be 10W.

Then, to see how much energy it uses in a day, you would then use this formula:

Power (in watts) × Hours used per day ÷ 1,000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

Here’s a quick example. If your device uses 10 watts and you run it for 24 hours a day:

10 watts × 24 hours ÷ 1000 = 0.24 kWh

To see how much electricity a router consumes in a year, you first figure out how many hours per year it runs, then multiply that by its wattage to get a figure with a measurement of kilowatt-hours or kWh.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Watts Does a Cable Modem Use?

Cable modems have relatively low power consumption, often less than 10 watts, but anywhere between 6-35 watts is possible. New models are more energy-efficient than older ones, reducing energy bills and environmental impact.

How Much Power Does a 12V WiFi Router Use?

A WiFi router that operates on 12V will use varying amounts of power depending on its specific model and features, just like any other router. The 12V refers to the voltage it needs to function, not its actual power consumption. You’d need to multiply the voltage by the amps to know the exact wattage.

Final Thoughts

While a WiFiWiFi router’s power use is relatively small, it’s still worth considering, especially in a more extensive network or smart home system. You can always opt to use energy-saving features on your router, switch it off at night, or when you leave for extended periods. 

For those passionate about taking energy use into their own hands, looking into solar energy like EcoFlow’s portable power stations to keep a WiFi router powered is a great avenue to explore.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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