These five household items may be killing your broadband speeds

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Feel like you're not getting the same broadband speeds you used to receive? Well, even if you've snagged one of the best broadband deals and you're eligible to receive 1Gbps per second download speeds, you may find that certain items around your home are wreaking havoc with your internet signal and slowing things down. 

For many of us, there are limited options when it comes to placing your router in your living space. Some may only have a few options like sticking it in the corner of the bedroom, inside a cabinet in your living room or even tucked away in the kitchen. For others which more options, placement is everything. Keeping your Wi-Fi signals free and clear from interference can be the difference between fast streaming and constant buffering. 

So, if your broadband speeds are struggling, you may want to think about moving your router away from these five objects in your home (if the option is available). Believe it or not, such a small change in placement could make a drastic difference to the speeds you're receiving from your broadband.



(Image credit: Unsplash / Mahrous Houses)

Generally speaking, your kitchen isn't the best place to have your Wi-Fi router. There are plenty of appliances and other electronics that may cause unwanted interference, slowing your connection speeds and giving you a hard time. This is particularly the case if your router is placed somewhere close to a microwave. 

Although these appliances are great for reheating meals quickly, they emit invisible signals that can harm your internet connection and slow down your download speeds. Wi-Fi signals aren't the greatest at cutting through physical objects like walls and furniture, and other wireless signals act like invisible walls for your Wi-FI as well. 

In a recent email to its customers, Virgin Media echoed this view. The broadband giant said that 'kitchens are often home to heavy-duty metal appliances (think ovens, fridges, and washing machines), as well as signal-emitting electronics like microwaves, making them a particularly inhospitable environment for your router.'

So if you can at all avoid it, keep your router free and clear of your favorite kitchen appliances. 



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Good Wi-Fi connections and large mirrors simply aren't compatible. This is because mirrors usually contain a thin coat of metal, which can easily cause interference and make for an unhappy Wi-Fi signal. So, if you have a particularly large wall-mounted or full-length floor mirror near your router, it might be best to move one or the other to clear the air a bit.

Thankfully, unlike some heavier and less movable objects, you can most times move an offending mirror to another location or perhaps move your router further away so as not to interfere with your broadband's wireless signal.  

As a general rule, we suggest keeping all mirrors at least one meter away from your router whenever possible. 

TV cabinets

TV Cabinet

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We understand that your router may not fit with your room's chosen colour scheme, or perhaps you find the constant flashing lights annoying. Plus, minimalism is in right now. Also, sticking your equipment in the middle of you TV cabinet seems like a safe bet, right? It makes it easier to hardwire your TV or games console for lightning-fast speeds, but at what cost?

Even if you're searching for a showhome finish, you shouldn't tuck your router away inside a cabinet of any sort. This is because, to provide you with the best connection, your router must be off the floor and out in the open where it has clear air to broadcast your Wi-Fi signal the best it can. Putting your router inside a cabinet, drawer, closet or any other closed space will only hinder performance and greatly degrade your broadband speeds. 

If you have to keep your router around your TV cabinet, do your best to keep it higher up and out in the open so you can get the best signal possible without any major interference. 

Baby monitors and cordless phones

Baby Monitor

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On top of the larger blockers, some gadgets like baby monitors and cordless phones (does anyone still use a landline?) should be kept away from your Wi-Fi router. This is because these gadgets often use a similar type of wireless signal – and if you haven't figured it out by now – these signals don't place nicely together. The more jammed up the airways are, the less clean your Wi-Fi signal will be when it reaches your devices. And, you guessed it, the less clean, the worse the performance. 

Ultimately, this means these wireless devices end up fighting for supremacy and your download speeds can greatly suffer as a result. 

Fish tanks

Finally, while an aquarium may be a great hobby and a pleasure to look at, it can also be a nightmare for your Wi-Fi. The large the tank, the worse things get. Wi-Fi signals are terrible at passing through water. Not typically an issue in most homes, those with aquatic pets may notice some severely lacking Wi-Fi speeds.

If you're a fish owner with one or more tanks around your home, be sure to keep router placement in mind if you're having issues with Wi-Fi speeds – water may be the culprit! 

Fish Tank

(Image credit: Getty Images / Ja'Crispy)

Still struggling? Switch provider today

Made some changes around the house? Thought long and hard about where your router needs to go for optimum performance? If you're still not happy with the broadband speeds you're receiving, it may be time to consider switching providers and finding a better broadband deal. This is something that's free and simple to do if you're out of contract. 

If you want to make the switch today, head over to our best broadband deals page. Here you'll find a great list of all the best broadband deals available on the market right now. Alternatively, pop your postcode into our broadband widget below. We can then show you the best deals available at your property right now.

Tom Brook

Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over a decade of experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.

With contributions from