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Avoid Using your Microwave to get Faster Internet, says Ofcom

March 31, 2020
Nicola Amis

Media regulator Ofcom has made suggestions to consumers to help improve internet speeds; saying that people should avoid using their microwave at the same time they are working and using wi-fi!

As millions of people across the UK was told to stay home, many are having to work remotely and rely on streaming services and home broadband.

This has seen a 20% surge in internet use and putting pressure on broadband providers. Reliable internet speeds are crucial for the UK, the government said, as it battles the coronavirus.

Avoid using your microwave to get faster internet, says Ofcom

Ofcom's advice covers making obvious changes, like downloading films in advance rather than streaming live when others are trying to work or make a video call, for example.

"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."

Other tips include:

  • Position your internet router as far as possible from other devices that may interfere with the signal, such as on a table or shelf rather than the floor
  • Keep your router switched on
  • If you're carrying out video calls or meetings, turning the video off and using audio will require much less of your internet connection
  • Try starting those calls at less common times, rather than on the hour or half hour
  • For the best broadband speeds, use an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your router rather than using wi-fi
  • Where possible, try not to use a telephone extension lead, as these can cause interference which could lower your speed.

There are also other devices that can interfere with WiFi signals. Some you may not have even considered, such as: wireless phones, baby monitors, halogen lamps, dimmer switches, TVs, stereos and speakers.

Ofcom has also suggested making any calls on a landline phone where possible, as there is an increase in the 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."

The regulator also suggests disconnecting devices that are not in use.

"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."

Internet providers say they can handle the pressure. Openreach, which maintains the telephone cables and cabinets across the country used by most broadband providers, said that -

"Despite the jump - usage is still lower than the usual peaks it experiences in the evening".
"We're not seeing any significant issues across our broadband or phone network," an Openreach spokesman said.
"We've seen a circa 20% increase in daytime usage over our fibre network, but that's in line with what we expected and not as high as the usage levels we see during evening peak times."

Telecoms World have a number of Homeworking products and services to support your business through the coronavirus outbreak, and ongoing to keep your business operational. We also have our innovative Office in a Box to give you unrivalled connectivity, should your broadband be inefficient.

Use our Contact Form to get in touch with one of our experts. Or, give us a call on 0800 774 7772

Article obtained from BBC Technology news.