Summer has finally arrived in the UK. Just a few days after record rainfall led to flooding across the capital, the mercury hit 30ºC across England and Wales today. But while that means it’s perfect weather to finally dust off your shorts, plan a barbecue, or head to the beach… the rising temperatures could spell terrible news for your home Wi-Fi.
Virgin Media O2 issued a warning to all broadband customers across the UK ahead of the heatwave. As the Met Office forecast the hottest temperatures of the year so far, the telecoms firm sent customers an email with some advice to ensure their Wi-Fi router survives the sweltering heat.
Warning customers about the adverse effects of high temperatures on their routers, Virgin Media O2 warned that “it’s important to keep your router somewhere out of direct sunlight as it can overheat, just like your phone or laptop.”
For most customers, the Wi-Fi router lives in the same spot that it was left when the engineer was called out to fit out. Since Virgin Media O2 relies on its own full-fibre broadband network, instead of the shared Openreach cables favoured by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and a number of other brands, first-time customers will need to call out an engineer to drill a hole and feed the fibre cable into their home. To avoid too much disruption, this is often done in a hallway, or a room facing towards the street.
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To avoid trailing an unsightly full-fibre cable through your home, the router is often fitted next to the entry point. That means you’ll often find routers balanced on window sills, or in direct sunlight in the entrance hall. While it can be tempting to hide the Wi-Fi hub into a cupboard, Virgin Media O2 warns that could have dire consequences in the heat too.
“That doesn’t mean you should stick your router in a cupboard or hidden behind your TV either,” it warns customers. “Although it beams wireless internet around your home, some things can prevent the signal from getting out, like large electrical appliances and even big bodies of water. And if it gets too hot, it can slow down your connection or even grind to a halt all together. Good placement of the Hub router can also mean greater reach, so you could get Wi-Fi in the back garden if your home layout allows.”
The company has issued a few simple rules to avoid losing broadband during the warm weekend – and to ensure you enjoy the best possible internet signal, even as you lounge around in the garden to soak up the rays.
Virgin Media O2 advises customers…
- Don’t hide your router away, place it somewhere it can breathe.
- A good place is a cool place, and out of direct sunlight.
- Keep your router far away from water – even fish tanks.
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