Regulator Ofcom has recently released information which claims that many household electrical items such as baby monitors, microwaves and Christmas fairy lights, can affect broadband connection speeds. The media have seemingly picked up on the latter more than the others, leading some homeowners to consider leaving their festive lights packed away for this year’s celebrations.
However, there is no reason why fairy lights should be singled out more than any other problematic electrical item. The Ofcom report was simply published to promote a new Wi-Fi signal testing app which allows users to evaluate their broadband speeds and then suggest ways to improve it. Removing fairy lights away from your broadband connection was just one of many possible solutions to create a stronger signal.
With Ofcom suggesting that Broadband speeds could be improved in up to 6 million homes across the UK, homeowners should consider all possible ways to help them achieve a faster connection.
How do Fairy Lights Cause Interference?
Your broadband relies on electromagnetic waves to achieve a connection between the router and computer/mobile device. However, in simple terms, if other electrical items are blocking this signal then connection speeds will decrease.
Wi-Fi also relies on the strength of your phone line, the place where it receives data from. As it converts this data into radio signals to pass to your device, other electrical equipment which emit radio waves have negative effects.
Many people were aware of this in relation to general appliances such as televisions and stereos, but seemingly not fairly lights – something which has somewhat damaged their reputation. Ofcom included them in the report specifically as they are likely to cause interference to standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi signals, along with the likes of baby monitors and electrical dimmer switches.
Increasing Broadband Speeds
Try manoeuvring your router away from the pathway of electrical items which could affect the signal, or simply move your device or PC closer to it. In relation to fairy lights, position them in an area of the home where the router may not be seriously affected. In addition, as tangled cables may block data signals even further, ensure all fairy light wires are uncoiled before fitting them.
With the Ofcom findings in mind, fairy lights alone won’t cause too much trouble for your broadband connection and in fact are only a small contributor to negative interference. So, although there’s no need to keep the lights locked away in the cupboard this year, you should be aware of their effects on internet speeds alongside other electrical appliances.