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Christmas tree background to Wi-Fi router
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Bad Wi-Fi around the holidays? Your decorations could be to blame

Every year, Christmas decorations get bigger, brighter and more sophisticated. When it comes to front yard inflatables, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

For smart Christmas tree lights, on the other hand, that’s a welcome upgrade over the traditional options. Tap or click here for our review of Twinkly’s LED string lights.

Those aside, holiday lights emit electromagnetic radiation. And if your home Wi-Fi seems to be worse than usual around the holidays, your decorations could be to blame.

Here’s the backstory

This isn’t exactly a new issue, and it all goes back to how Wi-Fi and radio waves work. A lot of microwave ovens operate around the same frequency as typical smart gadgets and your Wi-Fi router. That’s why you put the router somewhere other than the kitchen.

For Christmas lights, regardless of incandescent or LED, the electromagnetic radiation they generate isn’t all that strong. It’s the radiation coming from the unshielded wires the lights are attached to that’s the bigger problem.

Interference can be worse with lights that twinkle and flash because of how waves pulse through the wires. So what can you do?

It’s not about picking one or the other

Even if the signs are there that your Wi-Fi is being affected by your Christmas lights, don’t worry. Any interference shouldn’t be enough to bring wireless internet traffic at your home to a halt — even if your name is Clark Griswold.

RELATED: Sick of slow Wi-Fi? Move your router.

The simple solution is to avoid putting up your Christmas tree in close proximity to your router. And it would seem that goes for other decorations, too …

Sky, an internet company based in the U.K., recently told The Sun that tinsel can also cause problems because it’s made of shredded foil that can reflect Wi-Fi signals. Moral of the story: Don’t decorate your router.

How to avoid Wi-Fi problems year-round

You can keep running all those twinkle lights and still have powerful Wi-Fi by doing a few things to ensure the greatest signal:

Check the location of your router

Your router should ideally be in a central location to your home to provide the most optimal service. This means avoiding corners, basements and attics. If your Wi-Fi currently isn’t producing the results you want, consider moving it.

If that doesn’t help, consider buying a Wi-Fi extender or upgrading to a mesh router system. Tap or click here for some suggestions.

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Run a Wi-Fi test

If you have actual concerns about how effective your Wi-Fi is, run a speed test through a website like Ookla. Move your router around and test the speed to find the best location possible.

Keep Reading

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Sick of slow internet? How to check you’re getting what you pay for

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