What do people really believe affects their wifi? From ghosts to the government

Adults frequently blame weather for changing internet speeds, research claims

Grant Bailey
Friday 05 April 2019 11:35
scientists generate power through WIFI, raising prospect of phones without batteries

Heavy road traffic, ghosts and the government are among the things British adults believe affect internet speed, a new study has claimed.

A poll of 2,000 Britons has revealed adults most commonly blamed changes to their wifi connection on the weather.

House pets, aliens and fish tanks were also accused of interfering with wireless links up and down the country.

Additionally, nearly one in 10 adults believed wifi speeds were slowed down by someone else being on their phone nearby.

Others blamed thick walls and even bright lights for their slow wifi, according to the survey by Virgin Media.

Richard Sinclair MBE, executive director of connectivity at Virgin Media, revealed many things can affect wifi strength, including water.

He said: “It may surprise many, but just 3 per cent of those who took part in the study agreed water can affect home broadband which can be wifi’s Achilles’ heel.

“Fish tanks, weather, and even human beings – which are made of mostly water – can also impact connectivity.

“But we’d be very surprised if ghosts were the reason why some people experience wifi issues.”

The study also found two in five adults mistakenly believed wifi is short for “wireless frequency”, and a further quarter thought it meant “wireless fidelity”.

When in fact, the term is not short for anything and is simply what its inventors named it, not based on any other words.

Although slow internet can be a cause of frustration, many resorted to extreme measures to try to fix the issue.

Nearly one in 10 have hit their router to boost internet speed and 14 per cent turned their router off before going to bed – which is not advisable and can cause problems with the connection.

It also emerged almost one-tenth of the population have 10 or more devices connected to their home wifi at any one time.

The majority of respondents reported that they got the best signal in their living room.

However, millions struggled to pick up a decent connection in the bathroom or kitchen, according to the research.

Nearly 13 per cent were also unaware that having more active devices connected to wifi could be the cause of slow operating speeds.


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