A new survey has found that 28% of UK adult respondents were having concerns about their connectivity over Christmas and whether their Wi-Fi would be reliable enough for the multiple devices being used over the festive period.
Obviously here at Geekabit, we’re extremely passionate about all things Wi-Fi. But among Wi-Fi worries are thoughts about getting our presents bought (standard Christmas eve rush, probably) and whether or not the turkey has been ordered.
Perhaps the fearful 28% are relying on superfast, reliable Wi-Fi so they can Google ‘how to cook a turkey’ on Christmas morning, or to test out their brand new smartphone that they’ve ‘accidentally’ found hidden in the bottom of the wardrobe.
Whatever the reason, if this is causing a concern for you then let’s get technical for a minute. Most homes will have a broadband router that will be able to manage a reasonable amount of connected devices. Routers and devices on the cheaper side may encounter difficulties, but this is probably only going to cause problems if you are having a huge family gathering where everyone will be using multiple devices. We’re talking tens of devices here.
The same survey found that the average home will invite 3 people over for Christmas, with 19% planning to host a party of guests of 6+. This would imply that actually, many people’s Christmas Day will not be drastically different to having family or friends over on any ‘normal day’.
The biggest difference will probably be the likelihood on Christmas Day of several family members trying to activate a new internet connection on a device they’ve received that day.
It’s predicted that the most popular 4 Internet of Things items likely to be given as gifts this Christmas will be:
- Smart toys
- Smart Watches
If everyone at your Christmas gathering are opening a gift containing one of those, firstly, how lucky are you?! And secondly, if you all rip the package open and try to connect them all at the same time, the user demand might saturate the download and upstream capacity and cause a broadband issue. However, this is only really a risk for those who are unable to upgrade to a faster package.
One of the reasons for this is that the device will attempt to initialise the download of the latest software / firmware updates which can be quite hefty in size.
So if you are one of the 34% of households that will be adding another IoT device to your homes this Christmas, you may like to consider looking at your broadband service. But as we said above, the likelihood of encountering issues is actually rather low.
Christmas time for many is more about a connection with loved ones than it is about online presence. But for 41.8 million Brits, this family connection comes with a Wi-Fi one as well, using it for online calls.
And did you know, 6% of those calls are done in the bathroom? No comment on that one; we’re hoping they don’t include video. Bathrooms seem to be a popular location for those hiding out from family for a secret scroll through social media, and even for a spot of online shopping in the Boxing Day sales!
Personally, we’re leaning towards switching off for a bit over Christmas and being connected more with those around us than with our phones; long Wintery walks, board games, good food and Christmas re-runs on the TV.
But it’s important to remember that not everyone has a Christmas like that. Some may spend the day binge-watching seasons of their favourite show on Netflix for a bit of company, or video-calling family on the other side of the world that they can’t see in person this year.
So whether you’re relying on your Wi-Fi connection for a Christmas skype call with family or faraway friends, or whether you’re one of the sneaky few who are escaping family fesitivites by scrolling social media on the sly in the bathroom, we hope your connection is strong – Both online and with your people.