Your Holiday Decorations May Be Interfering With Your Wi-Fi Signal
You may want to consider your holiday streaming plans before hanging that eighth set of string lights around the living room this year. According to UK communications company Ofcom, Christmas lights and other electronic devices, including baby monitors and lamps, can cause interference that slows down wireless broadband Internet speeds.
Ofcom estimates that nearly six million homes around the UK could benefit from Wi-Fi optimization. According to Nandan Kalle, a networking business unit manager for Belkin, many everyday electronics all use the same bands of frequencies (around 2.4GHz). Speaking to PC Mag, Kalle uses the analogy of a "three-lane road that's really, really busy," and lists nearby routers, cordless phones, microwaves, and older Bluetooth devices as objects that can add to the interference. Large groups of people can also slow down Internet speeds, because the signal works harder to pass through the amount of water in human bodies (although Kalle calls that scenario "an extreme case").
The Ofcom app, which helps check the strength of your home Wi-Fi network, is currently available in both the App Store and on Google Play.