New Wi-Fi alert issued to all BT, Virgin and Sky users this month

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Broadband users are constantly being urged to check where they place their routers as objects around the house can wreak havoc with download speeds. Fish tanks, microwaves, TVs and other electronics can seriously hamper how well your internet performs and now there’s a fresh threat to your Wi-Fi and it’s all thanks to Christmas.

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Yes, the glowing tinsel and light-filled trees we’ll all be putting up this month are definitely not your broadband’s best friend and it’s vital to keep the decorations away from your router.

In fact, stuffing this black box behind or under the Christmas tree could see speeds slow to a snail’s pace.

With millions of us staying at home during the festive period, having a speedy service will be more important than ever especially if you have a busy home full of people streaming movies, downloading games and making video calls to distant relatives.

In a bid to keep its customers connected, Virgin Media has even released advice warning of the issues we all face at this time of year.

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“Whether you’re going for a real tree this year or a pretend one, we bet there’s going to be twinkling lights all over it,” the Internet Service Provider (ISP) said in an email.

“But did you know that fairy lights can actually obscure your router’s wireless signals? Yep, if your router ends up stuffed behind the tree, you’ll likely see a reduction in your WiFi speeds.

“To make sure you get your usual service, position your router somewhere it has a bit of room to breathe. Large electrical devices like TVs are common culprits for disruption, as well as large bodies of water like a home aquarium, microwave ovens or even the boiler.”

So, if you are about to put up the decorations and don’t want to hamper your broadband make sure you keep your router clear from any obstructions and signal-breaking tinsel.

Top tips for faster speeds

When picking the best spot for your Wi-Fi the the most important thing is keep your router out in the open, as high up as possible and always standing upright. These are all things that can help boost speeds around the home with the router’s signal free to whizz around your property without getting blocked by household objects.

Along with keeping the router out in the open, further things to beware of are mirrors, fish tanks and those festive trees, which can both affect the all-important downloads.

One final top tip is to give your router a reboot every few months to clear any issues. To do this simply unplug it from the main, wait a couple of minutes then switch things back on. It can take around 5 minutes for a connection to be restored so be patient and don’t reboot things if you’re about to join an important Zoom call.

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