Ofcom launches Wi-Fi checker

01 December 2015

People can check whether their in-home Wi-Fi is giving them the best service by using a simple, powerful app launched by Ofcom today.

The Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker, which runs on smartphones and tablets, allows consumers and businesses to discover the quality of their wireless internet signal wherever they live or work - as well as offering practical steps to help people get the best from their connection.

Wireless broadband may not be working as well as it could in nearly six million UK homes and offices, according to Ofcom research published today. This is often caused by the Wi-Fi set-up in the house slowing down broadband.

It could be down to something as simple as interference from other electronic devices, such as a microwave oven, baby monitor, a lamp - or even Christmas fairy lights.

Troubleshooting tips

The app tests the Wi-Fi set-up and, if it finds a problem, will provide some troubleshooting tips to help improve broadband. For example, it may suggest you:

Move your router away from electrical devices: Halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches, stereo or computer speakers, fairy lights, TVs and monitors and AC power cords have all been known to cause interference to broadband routers.Keep your router as far away as possible from other electrical devices as well as those which emit wireless signals such as baby monitors etc.

Move your router to a different part of your home: The walls and furniture in your house act as an obstacle to the Wi-Fi radio frequencies. Ideally routers should be kept centrally within the home and placed on a table or shelf rather than on the floor

Try restarting your wireless router: This may automatically select a less busy Wi-Fi radio frequency.

Use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to your router: An Ethernet cable is a computer networking cable which should give you a faster, more reliable connection.

Wi-Fi performance can be affected by lots of things. These can change over time and have a different effect in different rooms of your house. We recommend you try running the Wi-Fi Checker in different rooms and at the times of day when you're most likely to use the internet.  

The App is available for both Android and iOS (Apple) smartphones and tablets.

Google-Play-icon

If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, the app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store

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If you have an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, the app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store