Yes,’ it’s true. It came as a shock to me too. Your TV and your Microwave can actually affect the strength of your WiFi. People working from home should avoid using their microwave as it can interfere with WiFi signals and slow down their internet, the UK’s communications watchdog has warned.
Let me break it down for you.
How Microwaves and TVs Slow Down Your WiFi
The tip was included in advice on improving broadband performance during the coronavirus pandemic. This is because the demand for networks has increased as millions of people work and learn from home.
The problem is that both these devices and Wi-Fi operate on the same frequency of 2.4 GigaHertz (GHz). This interference at 2.4 GHz can be caused by common 802.11b and 802.11g wireless devices, like routers, along with Bluetooth devices, baby monitors and microwave ovens.
In theory, a properly shielded microwave shouldn’t leak any radiation. However, the reality is that they leak quite a bit, resulting in electromagnetic, or radio-frequency (RF), interference. Yes, Wi-Fi is a radio signal, but it’s broadcasting on a much higher frequency than most broadcast radios operate on.
There’s no easy way to put it but we hope this illustration explains the problem you face.
Other Devices That Can Affect WiFi
It’s not only TV’s. Britain’s media regulator Ofcom said on Wednesday that cordless phones, baby monitors, stereos and computer speakers could also affect Wi-Fi signals if they are too close to routers.
Other sources of interference can include;
- Toaster ovens
- Electric blankets
- Ultrasonic pest control devices
- Electric bug zappers
- Heating pads
- Touch-controlled lamps.
To fix the problem, you should upgrade to Wi-Fi equipment that operates in the 5 GHz band, like the latest 802.11n routers (this is the other major band that Wi-Fi networks can operate in).
An auto channel may also work. That’s meant to deal with multiple Wi-Fi signals in a small place. By changing channels you can either heighten or lessen the jamming effect produced by your microwave.
Streaming platforms including Facebook, Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube have already reduced the quality of videos in an attempt to ease the strain on internet service providers.
Stay home and Stay safe.