Are fairy lights slowing down your WiFi?

Father Christmas You might be thinking that your fairy lights look lovely and Christmassy, but they might be causing your WiFi to slow down to a trundle.

Think this is nonsense? Then take it up with Ofcom, because that's what they've found when they were doing tests on such things. And it just so happens that they've got an app that they've just launched, so you can test your coverage.

Ofcom reckon that around six million homes and offices could improve their broadband connection, because they've set things up that interfere with their signal, such as Christmas lights, baby monitors and microwave ovens.

You can download the Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker app, which obviously you can get on iOS and Android, which runs on smartphones and tablets, to see what your connection is like. It also has a load of tips to help you get the most out of your connection.

Ofcom say: "the app tests the Wi-Fi set-up and, if it finds a problem, will provide some troubleshooting tips to help improve broadband. For example, it may suggest you: move your router away from electrical devices: Halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches, stereo or computer speakers, fairy lights, TVs and monitors and AC power cords 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 etc."

"Move your router to a different part of your home: The walls and furniture in your house act as an obstacle to the Wi-Fi radio frequencies. Ideally routers should be kept centrally within the home and placed on a table or shelf rather than on the floor"

"Try restarting your wireless router: This may automatically select a less busy Wi-Fi radio frequency. Use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to your router: An Ethernet cable is a computer networking cable which should give you a faster, more reliable connection."

"Wi-Fi performance can be affected by lots of things. These can change over time and have a different effect in different rooms of your house. We recommend you try running the Wi-Fi Checker in different rooms and at the times of day when you're most likely to use the internet."

So there you go. Great little app if you aren't so hot at troubleshooting things like this, and thoroughly pointless if you're a know-it-all (but then, everything is for you).


  • helcat
    Do not waste your time installing this it is absolutely pathetic. 2 "tests" then says your wifi is OK run this test again in the future!
  • Jeremy B.
    Everybody has known this for many years. No daft "apps" (that's for people who are too idle to say applications) are needed. If you restart your router, do it at an off-peak time (midnight), otherwise your internet connection might be degraded.
  • Father J.
    No doubt I will hear this excuse give next time I ring Plusnet to complain about their shitty broadband service. All the other ones they use are wearing a bit thin now.

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