The surprising ways you can speed up your wifi

Dusty Baxter-Wright
·3-min read
Photo credit: Isabel Pavia - Getty Images
Photo credit: Isabel Pavia - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

More of us than ever are working from home. Which, as well as making us want to snack 24/7, brings with it some hefty challenges, such as trying to keep our composure when the wifi is being slow.

A new report from media regulator Ofcom aims to advise people on how to improve their internet speed, and on things you didn't know could be impacting your connection.

And while some advice was seemingly very obvious (like downloading films in advance rather than streaming them), other bits were actually quite surprising.

"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."

So that's a no to warming up your lunch while on a Skype call, then!

How to make your wifi faster

Other tips include:

  • Try to hold your video calls at less popular times, like at quarter past or quarter to rather than on the hour or half past, as this might give you better connection

  • Use an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router rather than using wifi, for best broadband speeds

  • Don't put your internet router near other devices that might interfere with it - put it on a shelf or table by itself. Devices that are likely to cause problems include baby monitors, dimmer switches (yes really), TVs and monitors, or cordless phones.

Ofcom also suggested disconnecting devices that were not in use when you need to make a video call, so give you a higher speed. "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."

So no browsing Instagram or heating up your baked beans in the microwave while waiting for Zoom to connect, basically.

Photo credit: Komkrit Noenpoempisut / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Komkrit Noenpoempisut / EyeEm - Getty Images

BT's Home Tech Expert Tayyab Farid also shared some advice:

  1. Position your hub in the middle of your home to reduce the number of walls slowing down your signal. Once you’re more than two walls away from your hub, it has to work harder and your speeds may drop.

  2. If your Wi-Fi feels sluggish, it could be due to the device you are using. Typically, the newer your equipment, the faster the wireless speed it will support. The more devices you’re using, the more you’re using the total capacity of your home broadband especially if you have multiple Netflix streams and kids online gaming.

  3. Consider a second line in your home to increase your Wi-Fi speed and ensure resilience. BT’s Dedicated Connection service offers a second line for customers, regardless of who their current broadband provider is, the second line will help minimise disruption when working from home, gaming and online schooling.

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