DING! MICROWAVE MISCONCEPTIONS COULD BE COOKING UP PROBLEMS FOR THE UK’S WIFI SIGNAL
- Three quarters (75%) of people unaware of the affect microwaves could have on their WiFi signal
- One in 12 (8%) believe hitting their router will improve connectivity
- More than one in five (23%) think broadband providers deliberately confuse them with jargon
UK, 30 June 2021 – Three quarters of people could be inadvertently cooking up connection problems thanks to the interference of the microwave. With 79 million ready meals eaten in the UK every week, research from Zen Internet has found 75% don’t realise popping one in the microwave could be causing dodgy WiFi signals, if the router is placed too close. People should avoid placing their router in the kitchen because the electromagnetic waves from a microwave can interfere with the WiFi signal.
In order to dispel common misconceptions amongst consumers about their broadband connections, Zen’s research found that one in 12 people surveyed (8%), wrongly believe hitting their router will improve connectivity. This also comes as over four in 10 (42%) of those polled don’t think the centre of the home is the best place to put their router for connectivity, when in fact it is.
|Top Six Broadband Myths Busted by Zen|
|Microwaves can’t affect my internet connection||The electromagnetic waves can distort the WiFi signal if the router is placed too close to it|
|It doesn’t matter where I put my router||The centre of the home is the best location for the router. Hiding it away in cupboards can affect signal strength|
|Turning it off and on again will fix issues||Not a long-term fix for reliability issues, but may fix minor hiccups in the here and now|
|Turning off my video during conference calls improves my connection||Today’s internet speeds are more than a match for video and if issues are occurring, they’re likely to be caused by a wider problem|
|I can’t be connected to two providers at once, so I have to wait until my contract ends to sign up to another provider||You can be connected to two providers at the same time, reducing potential downtime when switching|
|Giving my router a tap will improve my internet connection||If anything, hitting your router will make things worse|
While not a long-term solution, the majority of people surveyed (72%) believe that turning their router off and on again will fix their connectivity issues, with nearly half (49%) having used that tactic at some point. As remote working has risen too, many people have been turning to video calls to keep connected with colleagues and customers, with many believing the video element is adversely affecting their connection. In fact, four in 10 (40%) believe turning off video on conference calls improves connectivity, with one in eight (13%) actually doing so.
Other top misconceptions include:
- Not realising that storing the router in a cupboard out of the way will affect their internet connection (29%)
- Thinking the router is a fire hazard (19%)
- Believing WiFi can cause harmful radiation (12%)
Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet, said: “The past year has entrenched our reliance on a solid internet connection with home broadband suddenly being used for work and leisure throughout the day. However, there are still steps that users can take themselves to maximise the potential of their broadband. By busting some of the myths associated with internet setup, and giving guidance on factors such as the disruptive nature of microwave frequencies, we hope to be able to improve the experience of our customers and would encourage other providers to follow suit.”
These common mistakes may be born out of a lack of understanding from consumers on the terms used in the industry. Just under three quarters (72%) believe the broadband industry has too much jargon in it, with nearly a third (30%) calling it confusing and nearly a quarter (23%) believing providers do it on purpose to confuse people.
Despite this, consumers surveyed are confident they can define what certain terms are, such as Ethernet (63%) and Full Fibre (72%). However, when asked to pick the right definition for these terms, only 36% correctly answered for Full Fibre, while those answering for Ethernet was higher (55%).
Stobart continued: “Reliable home broadband is such an essential part of our lives now that it’s vital consumers understand the terms used and what different packages mean for them. It’s up to us as an industry to support our customers from the beginning, identifying the right speed and plan for an individual or household, and being open and honest with fees. For example, at Zen we have a lifetime price guarantee, which means that our prices aren’t subject to periodic hikes and actually come down in real terms as inflation increases. Our customers really value the transparency that provides and it’s our way of rewarding loyalty.”