Internet loving nation: 3.5 minutes is how long it takes for us to notice when the WiFi’s down

How long would you survive without WiFi? Whether you’re working from home, streaming your favourite shows, catching up with loved ones, or pacifying the kids with a YouTube video (or three!), it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without it.
We conducted an experiment with 10 households in the UK to find out exactly this. We asked them to turn their WiFi off at home at different points of the day, during a seven-day period, to see just how long it takes people to realise they can’t access the internet.

It takes us 3.5 minutes to spot when the WiFi’s down

Our experiment found that on average, it takes 3.5 minutes for us to notice when the WiFi’s gone – and for families with children, this takes slightly longer, at 4.1 minutes.

Some responses to the disappearance of WiFi included “YouTube’s not working”, and “Can you check the internet? You need to ring our provider!” – highlighting what an important part it plays in our daily lives. The kids also complained that they couldn’t play Animal Crossing!

Top tips to improve your broadband speed

As our experiment unveiled, slow broadband speeds – and a WiFi connection that keeps dropping – can be frustrating, no matter what you’re using it for. Below are our top tips on how to improve the speed of your broadband, so you can continue working, streaming, playing, or socialising.
1. Make sure your broadband is password protected
If your wireless router isn’t secure, then anyone can log onto your broadband; and the more people that are using it, the slower it becomes. Not only that, but it also means that you’re putting your online security at risk.
To check if your broadband is password-protected, search for wireless networks available to you – if your network has an image of a padlock next to it, then it’s secured. If not, you’ll need to set a password – use a combination of numbers and letters to make sure it’s as secure as possible.
2. Opt for wired as opposed to wireless
If your broadband is being super slow, connect your router directly to your computer with an ethernet cable – it should give you a much more reliable connection than your WiFi.
3. Check your broadband speed
If you think your broadband connection is slower than usual, try our broadband speed test tool to compare your connection with other providers in your area. If yours is running consistently slower, it may be time to switch.
4. Update your web browser
If you’re using an out-of-date web browser, you won’t be able to access the internet as quickly. Visit  Get Safe Online to see if you need to download the latest version – this will also help to provide better online security.
5. Audit your electrical devices
Did you know that certain electrical devices can cause interference with your router? Keep your router away from dimmer switches, computer and stereo speakers, TVs, halogen lights and fairy lights, as well as baby monitors.

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