UK broadband users have just been given fresh advice on how to keep their Wi-Fi in tip-top condition and it appears that another popular kitchen gadget could be to blame for dismal downloads. Just last week, Express.co.uk, revealed that fridges can be terrible at disrupting the internet around the home but it also appears that another accessory, many of us use, can also interfere with surfing speeds.
Virgin Media has just released advice for keeping customers connected over the summer months and they warn that the humble microwave is not Wi-Fi’s best friend. Now is a particularly bad time for these cooking appliances to wreak havoc on the home network as millions of us enjoy some time in the garden.
Most properties have their router in the front of the home with the signal often moving through the kitchen to get to the garden. When the microwave is heating up the evening’s dinner, users may notice that their connection is far less reliable.
“Be aware of stuff that impacts the strength of your signal – walls, doors, microwaves and even fish tanks. Try to position the hub so it has the clearest possible path to your green space,” Virgin Media said in an email sent out to its customers.
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The reason that microwaves are so bad for those speeds is that they often emit the same frequencies as Wi-Fi and when the two clash the signal gets muddled.
Along with advice on switching off the microwave, Virgin has also warned of the dangers of routers getting too hot during the summer months.
Virgin says it tests its Hubs carefully at a range of temperatures, but they are better off out of bright sunlight as they can be affected by extreme heat – it’s a bit like phones and laptops which often go into a safe mode when they get too hot.
“If the Hub gets too hot, it could slow down your connection or even grind to a halt altogether. Good placement of the Hub could also mean greater WiFi reach.”
Although you shouldn’t leave your router on the window ledge it’s also vital not to tuck it away in a cupboard or tucked behind the TV.
Here are Virgin’s top tips for better Wi-Fi
• Don’t hide the Hub away, place it upright somewhere it can breathe.
• Always keep the Hub indoors in a cool place, out of bright sunlight.
• Keep the Hub at least 1m away from cordless phones or baby monitors, and as far as possible from big obstructions like cupboards and fish tanks.