Turn off the microwave to boost wifi, says UK's media regulator

Tablet showing a film buffering

If you do need to use your mobile, try using your settings to turn on "wifi calling".

Using your microwave can reduce Wi-Fi signals, United Kingdom telecoms regulator Ofcom said Tuesday in a set of tips on how to keep your home connected.

Other devices, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, halogen lamps, dimmer switches, stereos and computer speakers, TVs and monitors can all interfere your wifi if they're too close to your router - so you want to keep it as far away as possible.

In order to experience best broadband speeds, connect your computer directly to your router using an Ethernet cable rather than using wifi.

Another recommendation is to disconnect your devices from your Wi-Fi network when you're not using them.

With almost the entire world staying home due to the coronavirus outbreak, authorities across the world are now giving tips to citizens on how to improve the quality of their network connections, especially as many are currently working from home.

Virgin Media, Britain's biggest cable TV operator, said on Tuesday its customers were spending almost twice as much time on their landline phones in the early evening as they did a week ago, with phone call minutes up by as much as 94%.

Some smartphones and mobile packages enable your phone to make calls over your broadband network, which often provides the best sound quality and also helps reduce demand on the mobile network.

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"Similarly, you can make voice calls over the internet using apps like Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp".

But as Ofcom says, some of the problems could be within our homes - we can all play our part in helping to manage how we use our broadband, home phones and mobiles.

"I urge everyone to read Ofcom's helpful tips and advice to ensure they get the most out of their broadband and mobile internet connections during these unprecedented times", said Dowden. Avoid using microwave while making video calls, watching HD videos or doing something important online.

Stay Connected, explains a range of practical tips and advice to help people get the speeds and reception they need.

The regulator also recommends using wired rather than wireless connections for essential tasks - including plugging laptops directly into the router. And even things like operating a microwave oven can also reduce Wi-Fi signals. And if you do have to, "use a new, high-quality cable with the shortest possible length", Ofcom advised, as tangled and coiled cables can also affect speeds. It should be plugged directly into your main phone socket, ideally without using an extension lead, as this can affect speeds.

This prompted Ofcom to publish its tips for improving broadband connections as many factors in the speed of broadband connections are in the home. Ideally, this should be done at different times over a number of days to establish an accurate average figure.

"Even if the same heavy data traffic that we see each evening were to run throughout the daytime, there is still enough capacity for work applications to run simultaneously", he reportedly said.

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