AS millions across the country hunker down at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, experts have revealed a few quick and easy ways to boost your Wi-Fi speeds.
Moving electronic gadgets like lamps and your telly can do a world of good, while cutting how much you use the microwave can also speed up your connection.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
That's because they can slow down your Wi-Fi by interfering with your router's signal, according to UK watchdog Ofcom.
And they're not the only things threatening to hamper your web access as the nation adjusts to living under lockdown.
Fish tanks, radiators, cordless phones and speakers can all cause internet woes if placed too close to your router.
Ofcom has released a list of ways to boost your Wi-Fi as part of a government-backed campaign to help people improve their web speeds.
With millions in lockdown for the foreseeable future, Brits are turning to their home Wi-Fi for work and entertainment, resulting in a 20 per cent a surge in internet use, according to BT's Openreach.
"Right now we need people to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives," said Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.
"Reliable internet speeds will be crucial so we can work from home where possible, stay connected with our families and keep up to date with the latest health information."
Move or disconnect your lamps and other gadgets
Moving lights, your telly and other gizmos away from your router can do a world of good.
It's all to do with the waves of (harmless) radiation used to fire WiFi around your home.
Your router sends these electromagnetic signals to your devices to connect you to the internet, but they can be muddled by other signals.
Objects like your refrigerator or lamps send out their own electromagnetic waves that get in the way of your WiFi signal.
What appliances interfere with your WiFi?
Avoid placing your router near these…
- Christmas lights
- Washing machine
- Cordless phone
- Water pipes
- Other people's WiFi routers
Put two and two together, and you'll realise why keeping your router away from other electrical appliances in your house is a smart idea.
Ofcom also suggests disconnecting devices that are not in use but use up your Wi-Fi, such as tablets or your smart TV.
"The more devices attached to your wi-fi, the lower the speed you get," it said.
"Devices like tablets and smartphones often work in the background, so try switching wi-fi reception off on these when you're not using them."
Stop using your microwave
One of the biggest offenders for dampening your web speeds is the microwave.
It gives off a tonne of electromagnetic radiation that can interfere with your router's signals.
"Did you know that microwave ovens can also reduce wi-fi signals?" Ofcom asks.
"So don't use the microwave when you're making video calls, watching HD videos or doing something important online."
Use landlines where possible
Ofcom suggests ditching the mobile for calls and switching to a landline instead.
That's because the sheer volume of people working from home has put extra demand on mobile networks.
"If you do need to use your mobile, try using your settings to turn on wi-fi calling," Ofcom said.
"Similarly, you can make voice calls over the internet using apps like Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp."
Move your router
Moving your router to a better spot if a sure-fire way to boost your web speeds.
Shifting it off the floor and onto a table or shelf (about 5-7ft up is best) can help the signal reach further throughout your home.
That's because your router sends out signals in a 360-degree arc, like the shine from a lightbulb.
Putting it on the floor therefore sends a load of signal straight into the ground.
Moving it away from other electronic devices can also help.
It doesn't need to be too isolated, mind. About a metre or so from any other gadget should do it.
Always make sure your router is plugged into the master socket rather than an extension cable so it works faster.
You can boost website and load time by updating to the latest internet browser, too.
Shift your fish tank
It might sound bonkers, but your fish tank can also interfere with your router's signal.
That's because water easily absorbs the radiation sent out by your router, leaving a "black hole" with no signal around the tank.
Fortunately, your fish won't be affected – but your conference calls might.
If you router is anywhere near a fish tank, we suggest moving your pets (or the router) elsewhere.
Other tips include:
- While carrying out video calls or meetings, try switching off the video and using audio only
- Rather than starting those calls on the hour or half hour, try making them at less common times
- Use an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router for the best web speeds
- Try not to use a telephone extension lead if possible, as these can cause interference which could lower your speed
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOW
Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.
To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.
In other news, the Netflix Party add-on for Google Chrome lets you watch TV with pals in real-time.
Facebook has pledged to give $100million to help 30,000 small businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak.
And, Instagram has banned dangerous, reckless and insensitive coronavirus filters.
Have you got any Wi-Fi tips and tricks? If so, let us know in the comments!
Source: Read Full Article