It’s December and that means it’s time to dust off the Christmas decorations, hang the mistletoe and ensure your home looks festive. However, before you start plastering tinsel everywhere, it’s worth being aware of the issues these annual additions can bring to your broadband.
According to the engineers at Sky, Christmas decorations can trigger a serious dip in the quality of the signal beamed out from your Wi-Fi router, so it’s wise to be careful where you place your baubles and hang your tinsel. While this research was conducted by the teams at Sky Broadband, the company says these issues aren’t specific to its hardware, but could apply to everyone, including BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and other popular internet suppliers.
When it comes to ruining Wi-Fi signal, the biggest culprit this time of year is the Christmas tree. Whether real or artificial, these towering trees can easily block the router from beaming out its important signal when placed too close together. Any interruption can weaken the signal, which means those upstairs or at the back of the kitchen could struggle to get more than a single bar of Wi-Fi.
Sky says customers should always try to keep their routers as far away as possible from anything that could interfere with the signal. So, if you’re about to place your tree in front of the flashing black Wi-Fi box in the corner of the room, the advice is STOP! Either change the location of your tree, or move the router itself. Remember, having a router as high as possible is a great way to boost signal, so picking it up off the floor and placing it on a bookshelf might be enough to boost your Wi-Fi.
Tinsel might look pretty but this glittery accessory is also broadband’s worst enemy. That’s because it’s made of shredded foil that can reflect your Wi-Fi signal and bring your Netflix binge to a grinding halt.
Once again, make sure your router or any boosters are far enough away from the tinsel on your walls to stop any disruption. Another top tip is to use separate plug sockets for your lights and internet.
If you’ve got a lot of Christmas lights plugged in, or you’ve decorated your front garden like a Christmas Grotto, move your router to a different plug socket or extension cable to avoid interference.
Finally, if you’ve managed to get your kids a PS5 this year then it might be a good idea to carefully prise open up the box, power things up early and download any updates or games before the big day.
Some titles can be in excess of 50GB which means your kids will be waiting all day to play them on Christmas day if not pre-installed.
As a good example of the time it can take to get a game onto these machines you’ll be waiting around 1 hour and 45 minutes if you have a standard 70Mbps connection.