Restart your Wi-Fi router now! Vital advice issued to broadband users

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With millions of us staying at home for Christmas, this is one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year for your Wi-Fi. Downloading games, streaming movies, playing music and setting up freshly unwrapped smartphones will make a serious dent in your broadband speeds so, before the big day arrives, now is a good time to check your router and make a few simple changes.

BT’s Openreach, which supplies broadband infrastructure across the UK, has already warned that UK’s broadband use is set to break records this week.

The firm’s annual broadband update – which is based on the online consumption of millions of homes using providers including BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone – shows that last year’s total of 62,700 Petabytes of data will be exceeded around Christmas Day 2022.

So, if your house is about to be invaded by relatives and friends all asking for that all-important Wi-Fi password here is how to make sure your broadband can keep pace this Christmas.

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If you haven’t reached behind your router and flicked the off switch in a while now is a very good time to give things a reboot.

A quick restart can clear any issues that may have built up over time and you could find turning things off and on again instantly speeds things up.

To perform a reset, simply turn off the router then wait for around a minute before hitting the power button.

The full restart will take around 5 minutes so make sure nobody needs the internet before performing the reboot.


It might look pretty but your Wi-Fi won’t think much of the Christmas Tree. The festive tinsel and metal baubles can wreak havoc with download speeds so make sure your router is well away from the branches.

Explaining more about the troubles with trees, Virgin Media said: “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.”


It’s not just the Christmas tree that Wi-Fi loathes. Placing this flashing black box in the kitchen is also a terrible idea as appliances such as microwaves will interrupt the signal. Metal can also wreak havoc with your connection and kitchens are often full of heavy-duty appliances such as fridges and cookers.

Popping the router in a cupboard or behind the TV can also bring streaming to a standstill. In fact, if you want the best experience you need to place this device out in the open and as central as possible in your home.


If your home is full of fish tanks and mirrors don’t expect blisteringly quick internet speeds.

These accessories and pets can also kill the Wi-Fi. If you do want some aquatic action in your living room make sure the router isn’t nearby as water seriously affects the signal.


We’re all trying to save energy right now but one thing you definitely don’t want to turn off is your router.

Most of the UK’s biggest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including BT and Sky, recommend leaving their Wi-Fi equipment on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s because endlessly switching on and off the router can send signals to your provider that there is a fault on the line.

When this happens, ISPs can place an emergency speed restriction on the service to make sure the customer stays connected.

“Constantly switching off the hub makes the line look unstable, meaning that your speed may be automatically reduced to improve the reliability of your broadband connection,” BT explained.

As well as making things slower, hitting the power button can also mean your Wi-Fi becomes easier to hack. That’s because most ISPs push out vital upgrades overnight and if the router is off it won’t receive the changes.

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