Can Christmas Lights Slow Down Wi-Fi Speed?

3 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Are Christmas Lights Slowing Down Your Wi-Fi?.

But all the beautiful lights could put a damper on your plans to binge-watch holiday specials on Netflix, according to a new report from the watchdog group Ofcom that says Christmas lights can hurt Wi-Fi speed. Experts say electronics that generate a strong electro-magnetic field can compete for broadband frequency. “The only way I could see Christmas lights affecting Wi-Fi is if you wrapped your router up in bubble wrap,” he said. “And even then it would probably still work.” A good tip to keep your Wi-Fi up to speed AND save energy is just turn off any electronic devices you aren’t using–but Christmas lights like these shouldn’t be a problem.

According to Ofcom, Christmas lights (along with a variety of other household lights and electronics) can cause diminished Wi-Fi performance due to unshielded wires causing interference. The same problem can also be caused by microwaves, baby monitors, poorly installed home wiring, or a number of other culprits. “Because your wireless network is much less powerful than a big FM transmitter and its waves are weaker, where you place the router and what you have in your house will have an impact,” Andrew Smith, senior lecturer in networking at The Open University, wrote for The Conversation. “Home electrics, microwaves, steel girders, concrete cladding and foil insulation all can have an effect.” The British telecommunications watchdog Ofcom claims that the number of complaints to Internet service providers spikes dramatically during the Christmas season thanks to electrical interference from festive lights that slow down Wi-Fi networks.

Slowdowns “could be down to something as simple as interference from other electronic devices, such as a microwave oven, baby monitor, a lamp—or even Christmas fairy lights,” the report said. In fact, you would have to be lighting up your tree like a small sun – which perhaps some of you are planning.” More than a quarter of British homes (7.5 million) now have “superfast” broadband with a connection up to 30 Mbit-per-second or more.

Ofcom found that people are using those high speeds differently: Users operating above 40 Mbit/s are downloading “significantly” more data (usually for catch-up TV, online film rental, and video call services). “There’s been a technological revolution over recent years, with 4G mobile and superfast continuing to extend across the country,” Ofcom CEO Sharon White said in a statement. “Our challenge is to keep supporting competition and innovation, while also helping to improve coverage across the country—particularly in hard-to-reach areas, where mobile and home Internet services need to improve.” It was a fascinating and slightly horrifying place, what with all the fascist architecture; big blank mean statues of idealized lunks with gas masks around their necks. The writer gushes over the commercials more than the show, and I understand; they have a potent appeal if they’re from a particular time in your childhood.

The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born.

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