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Homes across the UK could be making a simple broadband router error which will be affecting their download speeds. That little flashing black box, which is often shoved behind the TV, is vital to everyone staying connected and there’s one room you definitely need to avoid if you want blisteringly quick downloads and stuffer-free streaming.
Virgin Media has just sent an email out to customers which reveals some vital broadband tips and one top piece of advice warns that placing your router in the kitchen will wreak havoc with internet speeds.
That’s due to the amount of metal and large electrical devices, such as ovens, fridges and microwaves, that are placed in this part of the home.
Explaining more, Virgin said: “Kitchens are often home to heavy-duty metal appliances (think ovens, fridges and washing machines), as well as signal-emitting electronics like microwaves, making them a particularly inhospitable environment for your router.”
If your router is in the kitchen and you’re often experiencing dismal speeds it’s worth considering switching things to another part of the home such as your hallway or lounge.
When picking the best spot, Virgin is offering more top advice including keeping the router out in the open, as high up as possible and always standing it upright and never lying things flat. 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.
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Along with keeping the router out in the open to further things to beware of are mirrors and fish tanks, which can both affect those all-important downloads.
“Fish tanks and mirrors are enemies of home broadband,” Virgin added. “Water inhibits WiFi signal, so placing your router next to a fish tank is likely to have a negative impact on its stability. Interestingly, this is also why mobile internet is sometimes disrupted in busy spaces, because the water in human bodies will also dampen internet signal.
“Mirrors can also reflect the radio waves used to transmit wireless internet, which can have a negative impact on performance by scattering and distorting the signal. It’s not just mirrors, either: be wary of stainless steel countertops, filing cabinets or any other flat, reflective surface.”
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.
Although switching it off once in a while is good, don’t hit the Wi-Fi power button each night. This flashing black box hates being put to sleep as it won’t get vital updates that are often pushed out overnight. Constantly turning things off can also trick your provider into thinking something is wrong with your line. The emergency brakes might then be hit which will slow your downloads.
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