Heatwave could cause broadband outages and slow Wi-Fi, unless you follow these steps now

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The Met Office has issued an extreme heat weather warning for the first time this year as the UK swelters in 30ºC temperatures. The latest heatwave started at the weekend, with the mercury hitting the highest point of 2021 on Sunday afternoon in Heathrow (31.6ºC). The sizzling temperatures are widely-expected to continue for the rest of this week. And it could wreak havoc with your broadband speeds and Wi-Fi signal.

Price comparison and switching service USwitch has issued a warning to broadband customers across the UK in the wake of spiralling temperatures. It cautions that an overheated Wi-Fi router can struggle to function correctly. For millions who are still working from home, trying to order at-home Covid-19 testing kits, and much more …a working broadband connection is essential.

The warning comes days after Virgin Media O2 told all customers that its Wi-Fi routers could stop working, or result in slower download speeds, if the kit overheated in the summer heatwave.

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. First-time customers will often 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. 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, USwitch has cautioned that too can have dire consequences in the heat.

Speaking about the consequences of overheated broadband routers, Catherine Hiley, broadband expert at USwitch, told Express.co.uk: “We’re all struggling to keep cool in this heatwave, and electrical equipment like routers are no different. Just like laptops, phones and games consoles, routers require ventilation to get rid of excess heat. Therefore, you should avoid placing them in or near direct sunlight.

“Many of us put them close to windows because they are plugged into wires, which run through the external walls. So if yours is overheating, try moving it further inside the property. Keeping it in a shaded area and ensuring the room is well ventilated should be enough to stop it from overheating. If you’re using a fan to keep cool, make sure the router benefits from the moving air as well.

“If your router is regularly overheating, it could indicate that the device has an underlying problem or that it is getting too old to function properly. If this is the case, it may be worth asking your provider to send you a new router or purchasing a compatible one through a trusted retailer.”

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