broadbandWith Christmas almost upon us many homes will be planning for visitors over the holiday. If this includes you do plan ahead so that your broadband makes sure everyone can stay in touch with those left behind in the UK or elsewhere. If you are giving presents that need to be connected to the wifi there are some great tips towards the end of this article will help you deliver with maximum impact.

The demand from ordinary homes for high speed internet has outstripped the ability of the French network to satisfy the expectations of many. Long gone are the days when we would live with ‘dial-up’ which took 20 minutes to download files that take a few seconds today. And long gone are the ways we used to communicate both with businesses we wanted to buy from and the way we send messages and photographs to friends and family.

Last September brought it home to us when Britain’s oldest postcard publishers J Salmon announced they were closing after 140 years because of the rise of the ‘selfie’ that we can share instantly with those we otherwise might have sent a card. Our ability to share the highlights of our lives with others around the world instantly means mobile phones and emails with attachments have replaced letters and photographs, and this brings us all closer together even if we are in France and many of those dear to us are in the UK.

This has never been truer than at Christmas. If you are a typical home you will already have up to 6 internet devices connected to your wifi. (iPads, Kindles, mobile phones and laptops are the most often connected.) Each one if left connected when not being used will slow your wifi speed down. Then add to it those devices brought by your visitors and things can only get worse when they want to Skype friends, send them photos and video clips. Here is what you should do to keep everyone happy.

Essential tips for the fastest wifi

First, remember that every device connected to your wifi will slow it down a little, so the more in the house the greater the need to switch them off when they are not being used. If you house is large, and especially if it has thick stone walls, you may find that visitors will want to use there devices in rooms far away from your modem, and there is a possibility that the wifi signal will not be strong enough. Take one of your devices around your property and if this is a problem consider getting a wifi extender and set it up in advance so everyone can get connected.

Like choosing your home, getting the best wifi from your modem is all about location, location, location. Where you put your modem can have a big effect on the speed of the wifi. Here are some helpful tips to make things better:

  • The higher the location the better. The wifi signals are sent out radially and downwards.
  • Modems do not like microwaves and white goods so kitchens are bad.
  • They don’t like TVs or mirrors, so not too close to them also.
  • If the speed using the wifi is much slower than when you connect the equipment to the modem using an Ethernet cable your wifi channel is probably congested. Get help from your telecom company to change it. Many new types of modem now automatically search for the best channel to use.
  • Make sure you use the security code on the modem to stop others using your service and disconnect devices when not in use.

If you believe that your wifi is slow then don’t wait until Christmas Day when it is under maximum strain as your telecom company will not be open to provide technical support! They are able to check your wifi service and see if there are any reasons why it is slow. For example modems are often sent out with a factory set wifi channel – usually using two of the 14 that are often available. If you are surrounded by houses using the same wifi channel this can dramatically slow the service down. Ask your provider to check for you if that is the case. When we are asked we can see remotely if that is a problem and then move the wifi on to a less congested channel. Our latest generation of modems get over this by automatically searching for the optimum wifi channel to use.

New batteries won’t fix this!

Christmas is also the time of year when we give presents. In the past the biggest failing was to forget to include the batteries that many gifts needed. These days there seem to be limitless numbers of presents such as mobile phones, iPads and laptops that all need to be connected to your wifi service. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to carefully unpack your purchase and make the wifi connection prior to gift wrapping it? That way any problems you encounter can be overcome by using the technical support line of your telecom company. Just imagine someone really important to you not being able to get connected and you having no access to your technical support service over Christmas holiday to put things right!

So a little bit of planning will make sure everyone can share their good times with you.



Commercial Director, UKTelecom Ltd

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