One in three UK homes cannot access WiFi in every room of their house

WiFi woes: One in three UK households ‘cannot access the internet in every room of their house’, report reveals — with 18 percent forced to move their router to get a better signal

  • Broadband provide Zen Internet surveyed UK households about their WiFi
  • ‘Not-spots’ where wireless connection doesn’t work are a common issue 
  • 26 per cent of respondents said they avoid certain rooms when going online
  • While 15 per cent of homes elected to buy a WiFi signal extender instead

Are you impoverished by woeful WiFi coverage that doesn’t stretch to every last corner of your home — leaving you logged off on the loo?

Take solace in the fact that you are not alone in this tragedy, however, with such WiFi ‘not-spots’ affecting around a third of UK households, a new study has found.

In an attempt to ensure better signals, 18 per cent of UK households have taken the drastic measure of moving their router, broadband provider Zen Internet reports.

Meanwhile, 26 per cent of people surveyed said that they were forced to avoid certain rooms in their own homes when going online, thanks to connection issues.

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WiFi ‘not-spots’ affect around a third of UK households, a new study has found. In an attempt to ensure better signals, 18 per cent of UK households have taken the drastic measure of moving their router, researchers at Zen Internet report (stock image)

The findings come in the wake of the Labour Party revealing plans to offer free, full-fibre broadband to every home and business in the UK by 2033, should the party wins the upcoming General Election next month.

The scheme would involve bringing parts of telecommunications firm BT into public ownership, specifically its Openreach division, which is responsible for maintaining much of the country’s telephone and broadband infrastructure.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said that the Conservative Party want to introduce similar levels of broadband to the whole country by 2025 — eight years ahead of the previous target of 2033 set by Theresa May’s government.

Average broadband speeds received by UK households rose by almost 20 per cent last year, Ofcom reported in May,

However, the researchers also found that 15 per cent of homes have invested in a WiFi signal extender — a device that can help boost wireless coverage — in an attempt to eliminate ‘not-spots’ around their property.

With smart devices becoming more commonplace, restrictions in where internet-connected devices can be used in the homes could end up limiting sales. 

Experts predict UK consumers will have spent £10 billion ($13 billion) on such products in total this year come December’s end.

The researchers found that 21 per cent of UK households have returned connected devices — including smart televisions, lights and heating controls — because the tech did not work in the intended location.

These returns, Zen Internet experts claim, could have cost retailers as much as £2 billion ($2.6 billion) in lost revenue. 

26 per cent of people surveyed said that they were forced to avoid certain rooms in their own homes when going online, thanks to connection issues (stock image)

‘With WiFi connectivity throughout the home now an expected requirement for modern-day living, it’s unacceptable that families are still struggling to connect to their WiFi in whatever room they want,’ said Zen Internet CEO Paul Stobart.

It’s the responsibility of the broadband industry to ensure consumers have the best service possible and this includes providing the tools to deliver this,’ he added.

Among the internet users surveyed, however, opinion appeared divided as to what the cause of poor home WiFi connectivity was.

Internet providers received the finger of blame from 22 per cent of respondents, while 21 per cent thought the fault lay in the use of multiple devices on one network.

WHICH SMART HOUSEHOLD GADGETS ARE VULNERABLE TO CYBER ATTACKS?

From devices that order our groceries to smart toys that speak to our children, high-tech home gadgets are no longer the stuff of science fiction.

But even as they transform our lives, they put families at risk from criminal hackers taking advantage of security flaws to gain virtual access to homes.

A June 2017 Which? study tested whether popular smart gadgets and appliances, including wireless cameras, a smart padlock and a children’s Bluetooth toy, could stand up to a possible hack.

The survey of 15 devices found that eight were vulnerable to hacking via the internet, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. 

Scary: Which? said ethical hackers broke into the CloudPets toy and made it play its own voice messages. They said any stranger could use the method to speak to children from outside

The test found that the Fredi Megapix home CCTV camera system operated over the internet using a default administrator account without a password, and Which? found thousands of similar cameras available for anyone to watch the live feed over the internet.

The watchdog said that a hacker could even pan and tilt the cameras to monitor activity in the house.

SureCloud hacked the CloudPets stuffed toy, which allows family and friends to send messages to a child via Bluetooth and made it play its own voice messages.

Which? said it contacted the manufacturers of eight affected products to alert them to flaws as part of the investigation, with the majority updating their software and security. 

 

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