Deck the halls and block the wifi . . .

Electrical interference from Christmas lights can slow down broadband speeds

Flashing lights and tinsel can interfere with domestic wireless signals and reduce broadband speeds by as much as 25 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

Flashing lights and tinsel can interfere with domestic wireless signals and reduce broadband speeds by as much as 25 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

 

If the wi-fi in your home has become a bit flaky over the festive season it could be the fault of the flashing lights on your Christmas tree or maybe even the tinsel which has decked your walls.

It may sound like anApril Fool’s Day spoof, but the fact is that one or other of these festive favourites could be interfering with your domestic wireless signals and reducing broadband speeds by as much as 25 per cent.

Homes which have broadband delivered via their telephone lines are most likely to experience problems, according to experts, particularly if the Christmas lights are of the flashing variety.

Broadband speed can decrease in the presence of interference from the electrical impulses which are generated each time lights flash from off to on and vice versa.

Shiny decorations can also impact on wifi coverage in the home because metallic elements in decorations can sometimes reflect or block signals. However a senior technician from a leading provider told The Irish Times that “it’s unlikely to have a significant effect unless the customer’s WiFi access point is located in an area that’s heavily festooned with tinsel.”