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3 Ways to Ward off Holiday Wi-Fi Woes

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Electronic gizmos and gadgets are all the rage this holiday season – as they have been for decades – but the new wrinkle is that so much new stuff needs Wi-Fi and you probably already own a lot of doodads that that can frazzle your frequencies.

And, that’s a bit of a holiday bummer, because if your router isn’t working then the tech that needs Wi-Fi won’t work, either. It’s a Catch-22 no one wants to face when your new needs a software update before you can play with it.

Here are some ideas on how to keep your Wi-Fi off the no-fly this holiday season:

1. Some Christmas lights have Wi-Fi dead to rights.

It’s a sad fact, but your twinkle lights may be tangling up your Wi-Fi, especially if they’re on dimmers. Did your troubles start when the decorations went up? If so, that’s a big clue.

FIX: Move your router away from your Christmas lights, or vice versa, and see if your reception improves.

2. Your Hi-Fi may be interfering with your Wi-Fi.  

It’s not just your stereo speakers – there are scores of electronic devices that can disrupt a broadband signal, and it’s not all that easy figuring out which one is causing all the trouble.

FIX: Keep your router as isolated from other electronics as possible, and be generally mindful of where you’re plugging in your portable devices.

3. Floor or wall? It’s a Wi-Fi pitfall.

Wi-Fi is powerful, but it’s not magical. The more physical barriers there are, the slower it will get. Perhaps you’re all too familiar with the Red Loading Circle of Doom that is the bane of so many Netflix-ers.

FIX: Put as few obstacles as possible between your router and electronics. “But wait!” you say. “What about Tip #2?” Here are some ways around that:

- Invest in a Wi-Fi antenna to boost your signal.
- Upgrade your router to a dual- or tri-band AC model.
- Use an app like Wifi Analyzer (Android) or Wifi Sweetspots (iPhone) to check your signal.

Happy holidays, and have fun with all your new gizmos!

The "Grand Bay" entertainment center by Hillsdale Furniture offers plenty of options for router placement, including at the top where interference may be minimized. 

Even the new appliances you get this holiday season may need a Wi-Fi connection, like this top-rated high-tech LG fridge that features "smart" diagnosis and cooling systems.  

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