Are your Christmas lights killing your WiFi and ruining Netflix and Festive-Chill? It’s possible, but only if your idea of holiday decoration centers oddly on your router. A recent report from Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, put the fear of interference into tree lighting, warning that the multi-colored lamps could be wreaking havoc on your connectivity.
In a report on wireless broadband – intended, it’s worth noting, to pitch Ofcom’s free “Wi-Fi Checker” app for iOS and Android – the regulator warns that there are many devices found in the average home or office that could be putting the invisible brakes on your broadband.
“Halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches, stereo or computer speakers, fairy lights, TVs and monitors and AC power cords have all been known to cause interference to broadband routers,” Ofcom suggests. “Keep your router as far away as possible from other electrical devices as well as those which emit wireless signals such as baby monitors etc.”
But, before you go old-school and opt for candles on your tree and run the risk of burning your house down, it turns out the humble lights might not be so deserving of blame.
SlashGear spoke to Linksys, and the company told us that, having experimented with holiday lights as a result of Ofcom’s claims, the reality is a little less ominous.
“If you use lights with unshielded wires then it’s possible it could slightly affect radio frequencies of any kind,” a Linksys spokesperson told us. “It’s unlikely to be noticeable or detectable, unless you wrapped the lights around your Wi-Fi clients.”
In short, unless you’re in the habit of decorating your wireless router with a cheap string of bulbs and a jaunty Santa hat, you probably shouldn’t worry about your holiday decorations cutting into your online gaming and streaming A Child’s Christmas in Wales.