If you want super-fast Wi-Fi in your home, you may want to turn off your Christmas lights.
Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom has published a report showing that about 20% of poor Wi-Fi performance is caused by electronic gadgets and lights in the home.
While problems with network congestion and infrastructure carry most of the blame for slow broadband, devices such as baby monitors and home phones can interfere with your Wi-Fi because they compete for frequencies, an Ofcom spokesperson said.
Still, the good news is that a few simple changes to the location of the router and other devices can lead to a noticeable improvement in performance.
Here are some tips from the regulator to maximize your Wi-Fi speed:
1. Restart your router: It can do a world of good to restart your router when you’re having connectivity troubles. This allows it to search for a new channel that isn’t being used by other devices.
2. Move your router away from electronic devices: “Halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches, stereo or computer speakers [and Christmas] lights … have all been known to cause interference to broadband routers. Keep your router as far away as possible from other electrical devices as well as those which emit wireless signals such as baby monitors.”
3. Move your router to a central part of your home: Walls and furniture can act as obstacles to your Wi-Fi signal. Power cables running through the walls and floor can also create interference. Your best bet is to put your router on a table in the center of your home, and keep it away from other devices.
Ofcom also launched an app to helps individuals analyze and improve their Wi-Fi connections.