Published: Fri, March 27, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Avoid using microwave to get faster internet - Ofcom

Avoid using microwave to get faster internet - Ofcom

The UK regulatory agency has advised people to make calls over a landline or internet as it is now more reliable than the standard mobile calls due to heavy traffic in the data bandwidth.

As more people make calls with their cellular phones, mobile networks can become congested. It also says when carrying out video calls or meetings, if the person switches off the video and only use audio, it will eat up less bandwidth.

However, some services, including video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as well as YouTube, have limited video bitrates in an effort to ease any strain on networks.

Chances are, a lot of other devices in your home, now switched on and in use, may be causing interference with the Wi-Fi signal that is causing all these internet speed drops.

"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.

A Wi-Fi router. ("Wifi Router" by Sunil Soundarapandian/Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (]) Try scheduling your internet use so multiple users aren't making video calls at the same time, or download videos in advance rather than streaming. If you are using your mobile, turn on "wifi calling" settings on your device. It also advises people to make VoIP calls using apps such as Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp. Smartphones and tablets often use the internet in the background even when they're not in use, and disconnecting them could mean you get a stronger connection on other devices, the regulator said.

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"We're not seeing any significant issues across our broadband or phone network", an Openreach spokesman mentioned. It is also important to place the router on a table or a higher position, rather than hide it behind things in a shelf or place it on the floor.

"Did you know that microwave ovens can also reduce wifi signals?" Cordless phones, baby monitors, halogen lamps, dimmer switches, stereos and computer speakers, TVs and monitors can all affect your wifi if they're too close to your router. Wired connectivity is mostly always better than wireless, is the message from the regulator.

Running an Ethernet cable directly from your router to your computer, rather than using a wireless connection, should provide a faster and more reliable connection, Ofcom said.

People working from home should avoid using their microwave as it can interfere with WiFi signals and slow down their internet, the UK's communications watchdog has warned. So can interference from your phone line, so try plugging "microfilters" into every phone socket in your home. If possible, carry out tests over a few days and at different times of day.

If all else fails, you can find advice on your broadband provider's website.

Howard Watson, chief technology and information officer for BT Group, stated that the carrier "has more than enough capacity" in its United Kingdom network.

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