Can Bad Weather Be the Reason for My Slow Internet?

Table of Contents

  1. How Does Weather Affect Internet Speeds
  2. Other Possible Explanations of Slow Internet
  3. Tips for Avoiding Internet Outages 
  4. Key Takeaways 

Nobody would want their technological devices such as smartphones to sit idle and of no use when the internet is slow or completely down. It’s important to understand how different things can affect internet speeds. 

One of the many reasons behind internet outages and slow speeds can be bad weather. The Internet is transmitted to your home, wirelessly or using cables. It has an infrastructure that is working 24/7 to deliver consistent internet speed to your house. Bad weather can significantly affect this internet infrastructure and cause it to malfunction or not generate enough internet signals. 

How Does Weather Affect Internet Speeds

Here is how internet speeds can get affected by bad weather in various ways: 

  • For internet connections like satellite and fixed wireless that use the line of sight technology, internet speeds can get disrupted during bad weather. Strong winds and thunderstorms can cause branches of trees and in-air cables to fall and get in between the line of sight. Resultantly, internet signals are disrupting. Stones and debris are common causes behind knocking over satellite dishes and breaking internet equipment. 
  • Heavy winds, snowstorms, hail storms, and other such extreme weather conditions can damage cell towers and cables. Cables can get tangl up, there may be breakages and in some cases even bigger disasters like sparks and fire outbreaks. 
  • Drastically changing weather, such as extreme hot or extreme cold causes expansion and compression underground. This can disturb the cable networks underground and therefore affect the transmission of data. 
  • The same way heavy rainfall can cause poor visibility, it has the same effect on antennas and dish receivers, and wireless signals. There are high chances of your internet speed decreasing when there is heavy rainfall for long durations. The same rainwater can cause flooding and seep its way towards electric cable systems, causing serious damage.

Bad weather is not an instant cause of slow internet

The majority of the time, bad weather is not an instant cause of slow internet. Plus, it only has a major effect on wireless technologies and infrastructures like antennas and dishes. When it comes to cables, the weather does not have a major effect on them unless major damage has occurred such as a broken cable.

Compared to DSL, satellite, and cable cheap internet, fiber optic internet is the last to be affected by the weather. Fiber optic cables transmit internet signals in the form of light beams and not electric signals. These cables are making of thin glass fibers and are protecting by several layers of non-conductive plastic. So, the electrical signals that conventional cables use are absent in the case of fiber internet. Consequently, the effect of bad weather on fiber optic internet speed is little to none. The interesting fact is, these cables are resistant to rust and corrosion. This also explains why these types of cables are ideally using underwater and in places where there is high moisture.

Other Possible Explanations of Slow Internet

Other than bad weather, there may be some other causes of slow internet speed. 

  • High traffic

There are peak times during which the internet signals can get congested. This usually happens to cable internet users, as the bandwidth is sharing amongs the neighborhood where the cable network is installing. Moreover, some websites may also be congested with traffic, leading to increased load times and slow internet speeds. 

  • Viruses and other security threats

Viruses are knows for slowing down your devices. With malware and viruses taking up more memory reserves on your computer, leading to slower downloads, uploads, and even more buffering when streaming videos. To ensure you are protected from these viruses and malware, choose an AT&T Internet plan to get the McAfee security suite.  

  • Weak Wi-Fi

Many people will notice that particular corners in their rooms or their houses get weak wi-fi signals. As a result, the internet speeds are slower. This is mainly due to poor positioning of the router, or a bad choice of router. If you have an older version or a router that doesn’t have enough range, weak Wi-Fi can be the reason behind slow internet speed. Consider repositioning the router first, and if that doesn’t work, opt for a new router with a greater range. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Bad weather can have a negative effect on your internet speeds. Electrical signals can easily disrupted by water. While heavy winds can damage satellite internet equipment. Other conditions like snowstorms and extreme temperatures can also cause damage to cable networks. 
  • Fiber optic internet is the most secure and least affected type of internet by bad weather. This is because it does not use electrical signals and has a protective plastic coating to protect it from moisture damage. 
  • There are other, more common reasons behind slow internet. These include viruses on your computer, data caps, weak Wi-Fi, and high traffic.

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