8 tips to get the most from your broadband this festive season
By: Shell Energy
21 Nov 2023
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – until you settle in with the family for your first Christmas film, and it starts to buffer.
Though it may seem as if the Grinch has stolen your Wi-Fi, luckily there’s often a far simpler explanation.
With a busier household, and more devices on the go during the holidays, you may need to plan ahead to give your internet the best chance of keeping up.
To help everyone stay merry and bright, we’ve put together eight handy tips on how to get the most out of your broadband during the Christmas season.
1. Branch out with your Christmas tree
It might sound like a winter’s tale, but it’s true that placing the Christmas tree in front of your Wi-Fi router can cause disruption to your service. The more space a router has around it, the better it can perform.
And this doesn’t just apply in the festive season. Making sure your router isn’t blocked by large appliances – like a sofa or the TV – is a great way to keep the Wi-Fi strong and your devices connected.
2. Fix your fairy lights
Fairy lights are a festive staple, but did you know they could be interrupting your router’s wireless signals? Keeping the Christmas lights away from your router allows it to run more smoothly.
In fact, many other electrical devices can do this too. You can help minimise disruption and improve sluggish speeds by making sure your router has plenty of space around it.
3. Cut down on the cookies
Not the Christmas ones - you can help yourself to those. Instead, regularly clearing the cookies and internet cache from your devices helps them run at better speeds.
The cache stores data to improve website loading, while cookies are created by the sites you visit to save your browsing data. These can initially make your online experience easier, but over time they can start to slow your device.
4. Don’t over-stretch your bandwidth
Just as we don’t perform at our best when we’re stretched to the limit, your internet can be affected by how much it’s being used at any one time.
If everyone in your household is streaming, downloading, and running apps, the bandwidth is used up much quicker, which could make your internet feel slow. Turning the Wi-Fi off on devices you aren’t using could ease the strain on your broadband.
5. Get your games ready
You’re gifting the game that’s been at the top of their Christmas list all year – so how can you make sure their patience is rewarded? Downloading onto a device the night before means there’s no need for your loved one to wait on the big day.
With larger games sometimes taking hours to download, you’ll secure a spot on the nice list for being such a great Santa’s helper.
6. Download for the drive
If you’re driving home for Christmas or travelling to see loved ones, avoid boredom by downloading movies to keep little ones entertained on their devices.
Many devices also allow you to download apps or games, providing hours of entertainment however long your journey may be.
7. Stay plugged in
Although plenty of items may get moved around to make space for visitors in your home, don’t let the router be one of them. Keeping it plugged directly into your home’s main phone socket – rather than the extension sockets – will give you the best connection.
And it’s one of the few devices in your home that shouldn't be turned off when not in use. This can destabilise speeds when you are using it, and prevent it from downloading and installing important security updates.
8. Extend the fun
Larger homes or thick walls can mean Wi-Fi struggles to reach certain areas of the house. Adding Wi-Fi extenders or powerline adapters to your existing setup can help boost your internet’s range.
The more places you can use your devices, the more festive fun for the family.
Staying cyber safe this Christmas
Christmas is the season of giving, and plenty of new devices will be unwrapped this year. So it’s a great time to think about keeping your family safe online. If you need advice on where to start, check out our top cyber security tips for support with securing your new gadgets.