While the weather outside might be frightful, inside can be delightful ... as long as you have a roaring fire, roasting chestnuts, decked halls, a sparkling Tannenbaum and streaming holiday videos. However, if your Internet starts hiccupping during "A Charlie Brown Christmas," you might suddenly find it isn't such a wonderful life.
If you have Wi-Fi in your home, and you probably do, you know that it isn't always as consistent as you would hope. Maybe the connection light starts making like Rudolph's nose, or you run into random dead spots and slowdowns like Santa flying through a blizzard. What's taking the "holly jolly" out of your network?
A big part of Wi-Fi problems is interference from other gadgets in the home, including baby monitors, microwaves and cordless phones operating at 2.4GHz. And, according to Britain's Ofcom, you might run into another surprising source of interference this time of year: Christmas lights, or "fairy lights" as they say across the pond.
Maybe the Grinch didn't hate Christmas; he just wanted his Wi-Fi signal back.
Of course, Ofcom doesn't really explain how Christmas light interferes with Wi-Fi. It might be that people are decorating their desks and set the lights on the router. Just like any other metal or electronics, this can block part of the signal. Or it could be that a huge mass of metal wire and electromagnetic energy that is your sparkling Christmas tree creates additional dead spots in the living room.
Either way, if you turn on your Christmas lights and Netflix starts stuttering, there might be a connection. But fear not. Learn how to improve your Wi-Fi signal year round, and smooth out your Netflix streaming and you'll be singing the Hallelujah Chorus in no time.
Of course, soon your Christmas lights might not be a source of interference, but could actually be your network connection. Find out how light-based "Li-Fi" could soon replace Wi-Fi. Then you won't feel bad for leaving your Christmas decorations up all year round.