Monday, November 30, 2015

Does Christmas Lights Slow Down Your Wi-Fi’s Speed?

Though there are a number of probable reasons from an electrical and electronic engineers’ perspective, but can Christmas lights actually slow down your home Wi-Fi’s speed?

By: Ringo Bones 

At the time of writing, America’s right-leaning Evangelicals has yet to call this latest study as a conspiracy by the telecommunications industry to launch a “war against Christmas”, but a lot of people find it disconcerting that the most de rigueur indicator of the Yuletide Season – Christmas lights or as the Brits call them fairy lights – can actually slow down the speed of your home Wi-Fi. Worse still, quite a number of us now use broadband technology to stay connected with our loved ones through the internet and the Yuletide Season is one of the peak seasons of the year for such activities and a Wi-Fi slowdown is the last thing we need. 

In a recent research study results released by watchdog Ofcom, Christmas tree lights    / fairy lights can actually slow down your Wi-Fi’s data transfer speed and the results were in conjunction with the new app that they recently released that can check the “health” of your home broadband. The app samples Wi-Fi’s wireless signals to see if the data is flowing uninterrupted from routers to smart-phones and tablets. The app is released alongside research results, which suggests Wi-Fi in six million homes and offices participating in the Ofcom study were not running as fast as it should. 

According to the study, what causes the slowdown is the interference caused by the solid state power supplies used in modern electronics that are not transformer isolated from mains which forms the power supplies of most modern LED based Christmas lights / fairy lights that also power the electronics that makes them blink and the “singing chip”. Radio frequency emissions from baby monitors and microwave ovens can also significantly slow down Wi-Fi data transfer speeds said Ofcom in a statement. 

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