Does the Weather Affect Your Internet?
People mostly hate bad weather. People also hate the internet not working properly. Imagine how awful it gets when the weather isn’t good and your internet connection isn’t smooth. For most people, the first instinct is to assume the weather is wreaking havoc with their internet packages.
Many people think thunderstorms and rainfall affect their internet connections. Most people complain of slow, patchy internet service during bad weather. There has to be a connection, right?
There is… But it may not be related to the weather in the way you would normally think. Read on to find out more.
How Does Weather Affect the Internet?
Let’s say there’s a thunderstorm outside on a Saturday morning. You can’t go for a run, so you decide to spend the day and watch some shows. A large number of people are jumping onboard the cord-cutter bandwagon.
They are part of the trend to cut the cord on their traditional cable TV service. Since most people can easily stream, people are gradually moving away from traditional cable services. Instead, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others are taking over. So you sit down and you try to stream the latest episode of The Umbrella Academy.
That is until you find out your internet connection is really slow. Since the weather is messing up everything outside, you naturally blame it. You come to the conclusion that it is interfering somehow with your Spectrum internet connection as well. So you do the only logical thing.
You immediately pick up the phone to dial customer service and ask them to send over a technician right away. But the reps check your service status and inform you that your connection seems to be working just fine. “How can that be?” you furiously ask. After all, you aren’t imagining your internet connection acting up.
After a while of haranguing back and forth, you hang up, no closer to the solution than you were when you called.
This blog is here to help you avoid that situation. Before you start dialing a service representative, you would do well to give this blog a read. We will look at the following:
- Heavy Rain
- Extreme Temperatures
- The Usual Suspects
- Strong Weather
- What to Do
Let’s dive right into them without further delay.
1. Heavy Rain
There is evidence to suggest rain does have some effect on public, open-air Wi-Fi connections. Researchers mostly agree on the same reason for this. Water droplets from the rain absorb, block, and interfere with radio or wireless signals.
Think of it the same way as when driving in the rain. With poor visibility, speeds slow down. The rain reduces signal visibility in the same way it reduces human visibility.
But that’s just limited to long-range outdoor Wi-Fi connections. Indoor connections are short-range and are better protected from the effects of bad weather. So while rainfall can affect signal visibility outdoors, there’s nothing to suggest the same happens indoors.
2. Extreme Temperatures
Much like rain or snowfall, the temperature has no demonstrable effect on your packages. But that doesn’t mean it can’t affect hardware. Subzero temperatures can cause a phenomenon known as ground heaves. These ground heaves can cut, tear or damage underground copper or fiber optic lines.
Extremely high temperatures aren’t good either. They can cause your equipment like your modem or wireless router to overheat. It is harder for most electronic equipment to cool down than to heat up.
A Wi-Fi router that is overheating may cause your wireless connection to run slow. This may be part of the reason you experience slower internet service in extremely hot weather. But again, the temperature does not seem to have any effect on the connection itself.
3. The Usual Suspects
So we now know neither temperature nor precipitation affects the internet connection itself. So why do you experience slow service when you’re trying to stream TV online? There are usually two reasons this happens in bad weather.
The first is your distance from your router. When it’s snowing outside, you head up to your room to read a blog on your phone. Or you head down to the den to catch an episode of The Big Bang Theory. In either case, you are further from your router then you normally are.
You want to cuddle up with a nice blanket upstairs or downstairs but you are actually moving away from your usual place. This could be one reason why you experience slower internet speeds during poor weather.
The second reason could be high traffic volumes in times of bad weather. You aren’t the only one staying in planning to spend the day on the internet. Your next-door neighbors, maybe even your entire block is probably up to the same thing. With a larger than usual volume of traffic on networks, your internet connection could work slower than usual.
4. Strong Weather
There will be some cases where extreme weather conditions directly affect your internet connection. This is usually due to strong weather forces such as storms, heavy snowfall or high winds. These conditions can potentially damage your internet connection physically.
Falling trees in high winds, tornados or storms can knock down power lines causing outages. Whirling debris can displace your satellite dish. In case there’s a flood, water could seep into the lines and damage them. In these cases, you will most probably need technical assistance.
5. What to Do?
Let’s say there is a bad storm and your internet service is severely affected. What do you do? The most important thing is to not panic. Try resetting or unplugging and plugging in your modem or router. If that doesn’t work, do not try to fix it on your own.
You can also try moving closer to your Wi-Fi router and see if your connection improves.
Do not try going out in bad weather and fixing damaged powerlines or equipment. Call a technician instead to come and fix everything professionally. Finally, check your connection on different devices like your phone and computer. The problem could be with your device and not with your packages. Keep an eye on this blog for more informative pieces on your internet and cable services. Let us know in the comments below if you found this blog to be helpful.
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