Christmas lights could interrupt Wi-Fi connections

Christmas lights could interrupt Wi-Fi connections

Decorating the office with lights is often part and parcel of the festive season for many businesses, but evidence suggests it may well be having a negative impact on your Wi-Fi connection.

A new study by UK regulator Ofcom claims that due to operating with unshielded wires, traditional Christmas lights often release electromagnetic waves that can be picked up by other devices.

This can include Wi-Fi, although the watchdog insists the effect on wireless internet is usually not significant enough for users to notice.

Nevertheless the festive season does see a rise in complaints over internet connections, meaning electromagnetic interference is not always something to be ignored.

Other potential culprits include baby monitors, microwaves and cordless phones, which can all contribute to weakening the strength of a Wi-Fi signal.

For instance, the average FM radio clocks in at around 100,000,000 waves per second while a wireless connection, in contrast, measures in at 2,400,000,000 waves per second.

As a higher frequency equates to a shorter wavelength, a wireless connection subsequently demands more power in order to transmit the signal, which in turn makes it weaker than a radio wave and more vulnerable to electrical interference.

While many offices will perhaps find the thought of taking down their office lights too much to bear, there are other measures that can be taken.

For instance, putting password protection on your Wi-Fi ensures you keep signals in-office, while it is also advisable to move unnecessary electronic devices from your router.