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Christmas fairy lights could slow your Wi-Fi speed

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David Cornish
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Want an uninterrupted Netflix stream this festive season? OfCom reckons you should ditch the lights and stick to tinsel.

Fairy lights, baby monitors and microwaves are amongst the household appliances the watchdog warns could slow your Wi-Fi speed. 

In conjunction with their annual review of the state of telecoms and broadband, OfCom has released a Wi-Fi Checker app, that allows anyone to review the speed of their connection and take steps to improve it. 

The report states that wireless broadband may not be working as efficiently as possible in nearly six million UK homes and offices, often caused by the Wi-Fi set-up in the home slowing down broadband.

"But how do fairy lights bugger up my streams?" you might rightly ask. 

It's because of the disruptive electromagnetic signals given off by fluorescent lighting - particularly when set to a blinking cycle. Internet service providers such as TalkTalk report an increase in complaints about internet speeds every Christmas, many due to the Wi-Fi router being positioned near or behind a Christmas tree covered in fluorescent lights. 

Best practice: keep your router in a room without any blinking lights, or other electronics that emit signals (wireless speakers, Bluetooth setups, microwaves).

Download the OfCom app here to find out more.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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