Christmas may very well be the happiest time of the year, but it could be a sad time for your Wi-Fi because, according to Ofcom, Christmas fairy lights can slow down your internet speed. The UK's communications regulator has released a free Wi-Fi checker app and has identified the electrical interference from twinkly festive lights as a cause of slower Wi-Fi.
Ofcom has revealed wireless broadband is not working to its full potential in about 6m UK homes, with poor setup and positioning being the biggest culprit. You may be completely oblivious to it, but placing your router near other electrical equipment – such as stereos, dimmer switches, TVs, microwaves and even those innocent-looking little lights on a Christmas tree – can cause routers to suffer interference. The report didn't specify how significantly fairy lights themselves could affect wireless broadband, but if you've got a Griswold-style Chrismas lights setup, you are sure to notice it.
To improve your Wi-Fi signal, Ofcom suggested moving your router to a more central place in the home, making sure that it sits up off the floor, and restarting the device so that it could search for the best available Wi-Fi channel.
If you are worried that the novelty singing Santa you bought might hinder your Christmas Netflix viewing, then you can test your connection with Ofcom's free Wi-Fi checker app. If your signal is not as not as fast as it should be, the app will offer a number of tips to boost it.
"It's vital that consumers have the tools they need, such as the new Wi-Fi Checker, to get the most out of their communications," said Ofcom chief executive Sharon White.